Sun-Dried Tomato and Basil Pesto Spaghettini

You can definitely tell when I get hooked on something. This week I needed (more like wanted) to use the sun-dried tomatoes in my fridge. I also bought some basil to make fresh spring rolls with and had some left over. There is hardly a better combo and I haven't made fresh pesto in forever....probably because it's messy and I don't usually eat pasta. But this was so good I barely shared...

Sun-Dried Tomato and Basil Pesto Spaghettini 
1 cup basil leaves
1/2 cup parmesan cheese, grated
2 cloves garlic
1/2 cup sun-dried tomatoes, in oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
Whole wheat spaghettini pasta

Place basil, garlic, sun-dried tomatoes, salt and pepper in a food processor. Pulse until mixture begins to come together. If need, drizzle olive oil while pulsing. I found if I used the tomatoes in the oil they were packed in, it was more than enough, and also gave great flavor. 
Remove from food processor and stir in parmesan cheese and set aside.

I know what you are thinking....this looks....good?
Bring a medium pot of water to a boil. Add pasta and cook for 7-9 minutes, until al dente. Remove from stove and drain. Return to pot and stir in pesto, making sure to coat each noodle :) I used about 2 cups of pasta with the amount of pesto this made and it was perfect. 

Serve with freshly grated parmesan and garnish with basil leaves. 


Sun-Dried Tomato and Garlic Cauliflower Pizza Crust

I am sure you have heard of this pizza crust. A miracle to replace your gluten filled pizza nights. I have experimented with it quite a bit and have come up with the perfect ingredients and steps to make it delicious and able to be held in your hand like a real piece of pizza. I even gave my husband a slice for our "pizza night" and he said "Wow, this is good!" to which I replied...."Its made from cauliflower! HA!"Always the trickster.....anyways, here it is!

Sun-Dried Tomato and Garlic Cauliflower Pizza Crust
1 1/2 cup cauliflower florets
1/2 cup reduced fat mozzarella, grated
1/4 cup parmesan, grated
3 cloves garlic
2 tablespoons sun-dried tomatoes, diced
2 eggs
1/2 teaspoon no-salt vegetable seasoning

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. 

Place cauliflower and garlic in a food processor and pulse until it resembles a coarse sand. Remove from food processor and place on a paper towel. Place another paper towel on top and squeeze out all of the excess moisture you can. This may be the most important step. If your cauliflower is not adequately pressed you will have to eat your pizza with a fork. Still taste good, but not really pizza! 

After pressed add to a large mixing bowl. Add cheeses, eggs, sun-dried tomatoes and seasoning. Stir well to combine. 

Spoon mixture onto a no stick baking sheet, or prepared pizza pan. Using your hands, form into a round around 1/2 inch thick. Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until edges are golden brown and middle is set.

After this your can freeze it or make a pizza right away. Just top like a regular crust and bake for about 10 minutes at 400, until your cheese is melted.


Cilantro Lime Hummus

While scouring the grocery store for healthy, clean food yesterday I stumbled upon a neat little snack. They were baked chips, made with chickpea flour, pea flour, and rice flour. Sounded pretty legit so I gave then a try. They tasted like salted cardboard, but could have used more salt. Anyways they were supposed to be roasted red pepper hummus flavor. Random right? So when I got home I thought I will just make some hummus and then have a sweet ass healthy snack that has super hummus power. 

Cut to me making hummus and staring at a jar of tahini that has been in my fridge for a questionable period of time. But the jar was in a foreign sandskrit or some non-sense and i couldn't read it. So my last resort was a taste test...... Let me just be clear here,I think rotten tahini may be my new topper for bad rotten foods you accidentally eat. I couldn't get the taste out of my mouth. It was pretty vile. But the good news is if you don't have tahini on hand, you don't need it for this recipe!!!

Cilantro Lime Hummus
1 cup packed cilantro, stems included
3 garlic cloves
1 lime, juiced
1 teaspoon salt
1 can chickpeas, rinsed & drained
1/2 teaspoon chili paste
1/4 - 1/3 cup olive oil

Place all ingredients in a small food processor and pulse. You may need to stop and push down mixture from the sides. 

 Slowy pour in olive oil, while pulsing, until desired consistancy is reached. I think I used about 1/4 of a cup. Serve with your favorite chips or veggies!


Guilt-Free Chocolate Fudge Balls

Eating clean has forced me to do something I hate doing.... making healthy desserts. I found this on pinterest and it happened to be from an awesome website I had seen before called Chocolate Covered Katie.  She is a dessert queen, so check it out if you have a craving. 

Chocolate Fudge Balls

3/4 cups dates or prunes
1/2 cup pecans
2 tablespoons cocoa powder
2 tablespoons shredded coconut
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon agave nectar

Put all ingredients into a small food processor. Pulse until dough begins to come together and forms a ball. Remove from food processor and roll into 1 inch balls using hands. That is it!!! So easy and the first bite is crazy delicious. I did find however that the more I ate, the more I could taste the prunes. Which is probably good because I have heard a few rumors about prunes.....

Vegetable Fried Quinoa

So a month ago I promised you a better version of fried rice. After checking in on my pal Lacey and our clean eating challenge I saw that she had essentially made the quinoa fried "rice" I have been meaning to make! Since it is so easy, healthy, and fit in our clean eating challenge, I guess there is not better time than the present. 

Vegetable Fried Quinoa
2 cups cooked quinoa
1/2 cup carrots, diced
2 celery stalks, diced
1/2 cup diced onion
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup broccoli, broken into small florets
1 cup assorted bell peppers, diced
1 cup mushrooms, diced
2 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 teaspoons sesame oil
3 tablespoons cilantro, chopped

In a medium pan heat olive oil over medium-high heat. Once hot add carrots, onions, celery and garlic. Cook for 2-3 minutes until carrots begin to soften.

Add broccoli, bell peppers, and mushrooms and one tablespoon of soy sauce. Cook for an additional 2 minutes. 

Push vegetables to one side and add quinoa, remaining soy sauce and sesame oil. Quickly stir, mixing in vegetables about a minute, then add chopped cilantro, stir and serve!

Super easy and really, really delicious. Especially if you are craving chinese food, but don't want to go into a sodium coma. 


Day Three: Give me some damn chocolate

I am pretty sure I am having withdrawals....when I get a sugar craving I have been eating a piece of fruit instead....today I had 2 oranges, an apple, a kiwi and a banana. I need to restock my fruit bowl if this is going to continue. 

So for day three of the challenge I had.....
Breakfast: Raspberry & Banana Smoothie made with Coconut Water and Pumpkin Seed Protein Powder
Lunch: The same as yesterday....once you open a can of beans you gotta eat 'em ;)
Dinner: For dinner I had some quinoa with salsa and cilantro and this salad

Mixed Salad Greens with Fresh Papaya and Mint Viniagrette

2 cups fresh greens
1/2 cup cubed papaya
1/4 cup mint leaves, chopped
1 tablespoon olive or coconut oil
1/2 tablespoon lime juice
1 teaspoon agave nectar
2 tablespoons sunflower seeds

Whisk together mint leaves, oil, lime juice, and agave nectar. Pour over mixed greens, papaya and sunflower seeds and toss! Super quick, easy and completely clean :)


The worlds most challenging challenge ever

So to test my self-control, which I will be the first to admit it non-existent, and to try some clean eating my friend Lacey and I are embarking on a month long challenge. It is a clean eating change to help get your body feeling right, stop eating things you shouldn't, and hopefully pinpoint anything you may have a sensitivity to. The first week is the toughest - no sugar, milk products, animal protein, gluten, caffeine, or alcohol. Basically fruits and vegetables, with whole grains that aren't wheat. Over the period of a month you slowly add things back in, always keeping in mind the dairy, sugar, and wheat should be eaten in moderation if at all. 

 I feel like this would be a breeze, if sugar was allowed. Anyone who knows me knows that I eat dessert after every meal....including breakfast. My sweet tooth is my only tooth.  I have also recently read that if you stop eating sugar, you stop craving it....well if that doesn't work I am going to slap someone for cutting out my sugar for a month. 

I want to post each days meals, with hopefully a tasty recipe that you could use if you wanted to try this challenge. That is if I don't break my computer in a sugar withdrawal. I told Lacey I was going to post her blog so people could harass her as well if they wanted to :) Life of Lace

Today I had gluten-free oatmeal made with almond milk, topped with papaya and blackberries. Not bad but I think almond milk is gross. Alas, it was all we had. 

For lunch a had refried beans, which surprised me that on the label only had: beans, garlic, vegetable oil and salt. No preservatives that I couldn't pronounce. Awesome. Anyways I chopped up everything in my kitchen drawer and put it on top with some mexican spices. It was pretty good :) I like to think of it as a deconstruction taco. Mexican is one of the easiest typed of food to make vegetarian and gluten free too. 

Chewy Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies

Every time a make this I swear I will never make them again. They are so good I usually eat 1/4 of them before they make it in the oven, and then try to share the rest, but end up eating those too. They are super easy, soft, and you could probably convince yourself they are healthy because of all the oatmeal. 

Chewy Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies

1 cup butter, softened
1 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
2 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 1/2 cup all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
3 cups quick cooking (instant) oats
1 1/2 cup chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

1. In a large bowl cream butter, brown sugar, and white sugar until fluffy. Add eggs and vanilla and beat until smooth.

2. In a separate bowl mix flour, salt, and baking soda. Slowly fold into wet mixture a mix until just incorporated. 

3. Add oats and chocolate chips and gently fold in, careful not to over mix.

4. Add large spoonfuls to a baking sheet and bake for 11-12 minutes until edges begin to brown.

Oscar cursing that chocolate is poison.
I melted some baking chocolate with butter and drizzled over the top of each cookie for some added chocolate.....because thats all we really want :)

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