Spinach & Artichoke Hummus

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I can eat hummus any day..any time..I think it might be an obsession but hey, at least its a healthy one right!? I also love spinach/artichoke dip but that stuff is loaded with mayonnaise and other extremely fatty ingredients so I have combined my two favorite dips into one healthy and wholesome snack. I make an extra large batch because I love having leftovers of it. Enjoy with pita chips, crackers, or your favorite veggies!

Yield: 8-10 servings

Ingredients:
2 15 ounce cans of garbanzo beans; drained and rinsed
1 14 ounce can of artichoke whole artichoke hearts
1 9 ounce package of frozen spinach; thawed and drained
2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
1 Tbsp sesame seeds or tahini
3 cloves of garlic
1 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp lemon pepper
2-3 Tbsp olive oil

Steps:
1. This is soooo simple and easy!..Place everything in a large food processor for 3-4 minutes and done! 🙂 Add more olive oil to make hummus creamier..it is completely up to your preference.
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Cauliflower Crust Pizza with Spinach & Sausage

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If you don’t crave pizza every now and then you’re lying…Unless you don’t live in America because there is just something about it that we all crave. Pizza as we all know isn’t the healthiest so I made this into a low-carb meal by making a cauliflower crust instead of a pizza dough. It’s almost too good to be healthy to be honest..and you can customize your own pizza to your own likings! Also, did I mention this is probably easier to make than a regular pizza?

Ingredients:
1 head of a small to medium cauliflower
1 egg
1/4 cup italian seasoned bread crumbs
1/4 cup mozarella cheese (or cheddar)
1 Tbsp grated parmesan cheese
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp dried basil
1/2 tsp oregano (pinch with your fingers)
2 Tbsp tomato sauce
Mozzarela Cheese (I used a little less than 1/2 cup, but use as much as you desire)
Use your favorite toppings! I used a roasted garlic artichoke chicken sausage I got at Trader Joe’s.

Steps:
1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. Cut off the florets and stem of cauliflower. Place in food processor until it looks almost powdery. Place cauliflower in a microwavable save bowl and microwave for 8 minutes. Let cool for another 2 minutes and add egg, breadbrumbs, cheeses, garlic powder, salt, pepper, basil, and oregano. Mix with a wooden spoon until combined and it has formed an almost dough consistency.

2. TIME TO BAKE! Line a baking sheet with a silicon mat or use parchment paper. Form cauliflower crust in a large round circle by pressing with your hands. If your hands are super sticky add more breadcrumbs to the dough. Bake for 15 minutes until crust is golden brown.
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3. Now for the finale! When crust is fully cooked, add your tomato sauce, cheese, and your toppings. Bake for another 5 mintues until cheese is melted and there you go! You can definitely feel good about eating this and you get an even bigger benefit by getting all the nutritous vitamins from cauliflower! It’s a win-win meal 🙂
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Spinach & Chicken Sausage Stuffed Eggplant

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There is a good chance this may be my new favorite low-carb eggplant dish. I really don’t know what I was thinking when I made this dish except I wanted eggplant for dinner. Roasted eggplant is one of my favorite things to eat, I would even consider it a treat. It is totally easy to make you would never guess that because it is so delicious. You can get real creative on this one and stuff it with anything you wanted…spaghetti, pasta, quinoa, roasted veggies, ground beef..or whatever else you like. Use your imagination–the possibilities are endless!

Yield: 4

Ingredients:
2 eggplants, cleaned and dried
1 tsp salt
5 Tablespoons olive oil
4 chicken or italian sausages, sliced
1/2 cup diced onion
3 garlic cloves, smashed, peeled and minced
2 cups fresh spinach; chopped
1/2 cup italian seasoned breadcrumbs
1 Tablespoon capers, drained and smashed
1 handful of fresh basil; chopped
2 cups of fresh marinara sauce
1 cup mozarella cheese (I used fresh moz)
Sprinkle of parmesan cheese (for the topping)

Steps:
1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Cut off the edges of the eggplant with a sharp knife. Then scoop out the middle of the eggplants. Rub with salt and let stand to sweat. Dice the inside of the eggplant meat that you scooped out. Rub about 2 Tablespoons of olive oil in and around the eggplant and place in oven for 20 minutes.

2. In the meantime..heat 2 Tablespoons of olive oil in a large frying pan, add the onions, garlic, and sausage. Use a wooden spatula to stir and cook for about 6-7 minutes. Then add 1 more Tablespoon of olive oil and add eggplant meat, spinach, capers, and basil. Cook for another 5 minutes or until sausage and eggplant is cooked completely. Stir in the breadcrumbs and take off heat.

3. Now for the stuffing part..stuff eggplant with cooked eggplant mixture and place in a baking dish. Ladle tomato sauce into the baking dish underneath the eggplant and a little bit on top of each eggplant.

4. Cover baking dish with foil and bake for 35 to 40 minutes at 375 degrees F.

5. Uncover and add sliced mozzarella and parmesan cheese on top each of each eggplant to cover. Bake for another 5 minutes and then broil for another 5 minutes. Serve once cheese is melted..enjoy!
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Healthy Breakfast “Pizza”

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The best way to start your day is with a good breakfast (obviously!) so this has become one of my new favorites. It is so satisfying and hits the spot every time.

Yield: 1

Ingredients:
1 whole wheat tortilla
1/4 ripe avocado
1 pan fried egg
A handful of spinach
Cherry tomatoes (optional)

Steps:
1. Warm a tortilla in a hot oven for a few minutes until softened. Spread avocado on tortilla and top with spinach and cherry tomatoes. Top with pan fried egg and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Amazing and delicious in every bite! I could eat this every morning..

Italian Pasta Salad

imageThis is the easiest way to make a pasta salad if you are short on time and need to make a quick side dish or appetizer for a party or event. I would make this super easy pasta dish when I was in college because it was cheap, delicious, and everybody loves pasta salad! Especially with salami and cheese in it how can you go wrong!? Mix up the ingredients to what you like and you can’t mess up this recipe 🙂

Yield: 10

Ingredients:
1 lb multi colored rotini pasta
1/4 cup Wish Bone light Italian dressing
8 ounces mozzarella cheese; cubed
1 cup salami; chopped
1 can black olives; sliced
1 cup fresh spinach; chopped
1/2 cup fresh cherry tomatoes; cut in half
1 small jar of roasted peppers; sliced
1/2 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp black pepper
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Steps:
1. Bring a large bowl of water to a boil and cook pasta for 10-12 minutes or until al dente (cooked but has a bite to it). Once cooked drain and let cool.
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2. Once pasta is cooled place in a large bowl, add salad dressing, mozzarella cheese, salami, olives, spinach, tomatoes,red peppers, and seasonings. Toss with two large spoons until evenly coated. This dish is best when its served chilled. This is so easy and simple anybody can do it!
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