I love eggplant! I especially love roasted eggplant… on pasta… with feta cheese! I don’t know why. I just love the smoky taste mixed with the zesty feta. This low-carb, gluten-free, vegan recipe for Eggplant Pesto is easy – as long as you have a grill ready to roast your eggplant. If not, then baking it in the oven will do.
1 large globe eggplant or 2-3 long Asian eggplants
Finely chopped 1-2 shallots or 1/2 small red onion
2-3 tbsp of balsamic or red wine vinegar
1 clove garlic, chopped
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh basil, parsley, cilantro, or whatever herbs you like.
1-2 tbsp of olive oil
salt & pepper
GRILLING: Place eggplant directly on the grill. (Do not oil or salt and pepper). Rotate it occasionally until all the sides are charred and it softens. This takes about 25-30 minutes. OVEN: Preheat at 375˚ F. Pierce the eggplant with a fork in a couple of places then place eggplant on a cookie sheet (Do not oil or salt and pepper). Rotate after 10-15 minutes then cook for another 10-15 minutes until it’s soft and mushy. Let the outside char so that peeling will be easy. Remove from the grill and let cool completely before peeling. If the eggplant seem really watery — the larger ones tend to give off more liquid — let them drain in a colander for 10 to 15 minutes.
In a bowl, put the shallots/red onion and pour the vinegar over it and let it sit. Then add the chopped garlic.
Peel the eggplant. Place it in a larger bowl and sprinkle it with salt and pepper to taste. Mash it all together with a fork.
Add half of the shallots/red onion and garlic to the eggplant.
Mix in the herbs and a drizzle with olive oil. Mix and then taste.
Serve over brown rice pasta and sprinkle feta cheese on top for lunch or dinner. Or you can also serve this as a dip with gluten-free crackers. Makes for a delicious guilt-free snack or appetizer.
A few months ago, I went to an upscale deli and had this beautiful quinoa salad that was so delicious and flavorful. I didn’t know how to reciprocate it since I didn’t know all the ingredients used. But I decided to get creative and try to achieve something close. I call it Cheesy Quinoa Salad because, well, there’s cheese in it. Maybe I should have come up with a different name but, hey, my kids will eat anything that starts with “cheesy.”
This makes for a great gluten-free, vegetarian side dish with dinner or you can eat it by itself for lunch. Filling and tasty!
1 cup quinoa
1/2 to 1 cup of grilled asparagus, zucchini, steamed spinach (or whatever cooked veggies you may have)
1/2 cup of grated Parmesan cheese (Not the dry pre-grated that comes in a can but the one that comes fresh in a resealable bag or plastic tub. But you can really use any kind of cheese you prefer: Mozzarella, Cheddar, Swiss, Monterey Jack, etc.)
10-12 cherry tomatoes, halved
salt & pepper to taste
Cook your quinoa following the directions on the package. I cooked mine in my rice cooker using 1 cup of quinoa to 2 cups of water.
While that is cooking, grill or steam your vegetables, then rough chop them in to big bite size pieces. I like to see and bite into my veggies.
After the quinoa is cooked, mix in a couple tablespoons of olive oil, the juice from the lemon, and salt & pepper. (You can add red pepper flakes if you want more heat!)
Let the quinoa cool for about an hour, then add the Parmesan cheese.
Add the tomatoes and stir.
Add more olive oil, lemon juice, and salt & pepper depending on your taste.
When you’re craving ice cream and you really shouldn’t have ice cream, I go for this Frozen Banana dessert treat. It’s gluten-free, dairy-free and vegan. So simple to make. I usually have bananas in my freezer because sometimes I buy too many bananas. And instead of tossing them out or if I don’t have time to make banana bread, I peel them and put them in a zipped bag and save them for future use. For this frozen treat, I cut up a frozen banana and drizzle all-natural, no sugar added peanut butter all over it. It tastes like you’re eating real ice cream! Hits the spot (and I’m eating clean.) You can also use almond butter, cashew butter, any other nut butter of your choice. Even sunbutter if you’re allergic to nuts.
I saw this recipe on Instagram and thought to myself, “I have to make this… RIGHT NOW! I’m having a snack attack!” This is my photo, but the picture I saw on @myhealthydish_ looked absolutely delicious. I hope I captured it as well as they did. The recipe didn’t have a name and so I figured I’d call itApple Peanut Butter Sammies (or sandwiches) because it’s kinda like a sandwich but I’m using apple slices instead of bread, so it’s gluten-free, wheat-free, low-carb and healthy. Mmmmm. It’s a perfect snacks for your little ones too!
peanut butter (or any other nut butter of your preference – almond butter, sun butter, etc.)
chopped nuts (I used pistachios but you can use almonds, peanuts, walnuts, etc. )
Slice the apple thinly.
Spread peanut butter generously on an apple slice. Top with another apple slice. (Peanut butter will squish out. That’s what you want.)
Roll the “sammie” in chopped nuts so they stick to the peanut butter.
I saw this recipe for Oven Baked Prawns on a Facebook post that went viral and HAD. TO. TRY. IT! Looked so simple to make and, of course, I had to add my own spin on it. This dish is great as an appetizer at parties when your guests don’t mind getting their hands dirty or as a dinner entree.
1 stick of butter
1 lemon sliced thinly
1 lb. of prawns or shrimp (shelled or not shelled, whichever you prefer)
1 tsp of dried Italian spices (basil, oregano, thyme, garlic, etc.)
salt & pepper
Optional: sliced zucchini or asparagus spears
Preheat oven at 350˚F.
Melt the butter in a microwave-safe glass pan (about 1-2 minutes in the microwave.)
Layer the lemon slices over the butter.
Place the prawns over the lemon slices.
Sprinkle the Italian spices, salt & pepper over the prawns.
Top with veggies.
Cover with foil.
Bake for 15-20 minutes.
Remove foil and bake for another 5-10 minutes. (You may have to move the veggies around to make sure all the prawns are cooked.)
Doesn’t this Cauliflower Pizza Crust look like a REAL pizza crust?! I finally found a recipe for this gluten-free, wheat-free, low carb crust that doesn’t turn out soggy and is actually a decent guilt-free substitute for pizza crust. This is based from a recipe from GoSuperSisters.com. The trick is getting ALL THE EXCESS WATER OUT! And it’s best to make this a personal-sized pizza vs. a regular family-sized pizza because then the center will be soggy. I couldn’t bake it longer without burning the edges. And look at those edges! Yup… there is a little crunch with this crust!
2 cups of rough chopped cauliflower
1 egg white
1 tbs coconut or oat flour
1 T Parmesan cheese
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp of dry Italian herbs or seasoning
2 T tomato sauce or sugar-free pizza sauce
2 T Parmesan cheese
1/8 cup of shredded mozzarella
Your choice of toppings
Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Place cauliflower in a food processor (or in a blender with a bit of water) and process until “riced.”
Put the riced cauliflower in a microwave safe bowl and heat in the microwave for 4-5 minutes or until soft.
Once cauliflower has completely cooled (a couple hours?), pour the cauliflower “dough” in a clean kitchen towel or cheese cloth and squeeze the excess water out. I’m talking SQUEEZE! There is a lot of water in cauliflower and when you think you’ve squeezed it all out, SQUEEZE some more! You’ll be thankful you did.
Place cauliflower back into a bowl and add your egg white, flour, cheese, garlic, salt, seasoning and pepper. Mix well and form into a ball.
Place the dough on your lined baking sheet and flatten into a round circle with your hands. Place in oven for 15 minutes, then remove and carefully flip (I used another lined baking sheet on top to support the crust and make sure it didn’t fall apart).
Put it back into oven for 5-10 minutes or until golden brown (more if you want).
Once your crust is done, top it with sauce, cheese and any other toppings.
Place it back into the oven for 5-10 minutes or until cheese is golden.
When I get lazy or don’t have time to make old-fashioned oatmeal, I can make these… I love these Overnight Oats! I found the idea from a friend’s Instagram post. She’s a fitness and nutrition coach (TineySpark) and now I can have oatmeal without all the work. You can use either a mason jar or an almost-empty-jar* of peanut butter.
(* almost empty means you have about 1 tablespoon of peanut butter around the jar)
In a mason jar…
1 Tbsp of PB (or any nut butter)
1/2 cup of uncooked old-fashion oatmeal (not quick oats or steel-cut)
1/2 cup of almond milk (soy, coconut or rice milk works too)
1 Tbsp of agave nectar (or other sweetener of choice)
1 tsp of shredded coconut
1 tsp of unsweetened cocoa powder
a splash of vanilla extract
a couple shakes of cinnamon
1/2 tsp of chia seeds
1/2 tsp of flax seeds
Put the lid tightly back on the jar.
Place the jar in the refrigerator overnight and you’ll have a guilt-free, dairy-free breakfast ready in the morning!