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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Cheesy Baked Cauliflower Tots

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This is definitely one of my new favorite side dishes! These delicious little bits of what you would think is a tater tot but its really cauliflower will blow your mind completely. These are really easy to make even on a weeknight when you are rushed for time.I had extra tomato sauce from the weekend so I dipped my tots in it and it went perfectly. They are also perfectly delicious by themselves as well. Really though–you won’t believe how good these are until you try them!

Yield: About 2 dozen (24)

Ingredients:
1 head of cauliflower
2 cloves garlic
1/4 yellow onion
1 tsp salt
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp black pepper
1 cup of shredded cheddar cheese
1/2 cup parmesan cheese
1 egg
1 Tbsp flour
1 Tbsp Italian seasoned breadcrumbs
1 cup marinara sauce for dipping (optional)

Steps:
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Wash one head of cauliflower and chop until it crumbles. Place in microwavable safe bowl and microwave for 2 minutes, until soft.

2. In a large food processor, blend together, cauliflower, garlic, onions, salt, garlic powder, and pepper until its is well combined together. Add cauliflower mixture to a large bowl and mix in cheeses, egg, flour, and breadcrumbs until combined.

3. Spread cupcake tins with cooking spray and spoon in cauliflower mixture evenly (about 1/2 inch thick) sprinkle with more parmesan and bake for 15-20 minutes until crispy looking. Let cool for 10 minutes and enjoy!

*If you want to make smaller tots, use mini cupcake tins.

Italian Mac and Cheese

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Growing up we would always have some type of homemade pasta dish on Sundays as an Italian tradition. We had everything from Spaghetti and Meatballs to Raviolis…you name it we had it. It was my favorite meal of the week! This recipe just sounded so good on this rainy day and it was. I actually got this recipe from one of my favorite Food Network stars, Rachael Ray and added my own twist to it! I hope you enjoy it as much as we did!

Yield: 10

Ingredients:
1 pound ziti rigate, penne rigate or cavatappi (ribbed, hollow corkscrews)
1 pound Italian sweet sausage; casings removed
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon butter
4 cloves garlic, chopped
2 cups crimini mushrooms, sliced
Salt and pepper to taste
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 cup chicken stock
1 cup milk (I used low-fat)
2 1/2 cups, shredded Italian 4 cheese blend (Trader Joe’s has a great one!)
1 cup marinara sauce
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese

Steps:
1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Salt water and cook pasta until al dente (still chewy), about 10-11 minutes.

2. In a non-stick frying pan or skillet, brown the sausage for about 5-7 minutes or until it is no longer pink. Drain cooked sausage and set aside. In the same pan add olive oil, butter, garlic and sliced mushrooms. Season with salt and pepper and sauté for 4-5 minutes or until mushrooms look golden.
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3. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Add flour to mushrooms and stir, cooking 2 minutes. Whisk in stock, then stir in milk. When sauce comes to a boil stir in 4 cheese blend. When cheese has melted into sauce, add marinara sauce. When sauce comes to a bubble, remove from heat.
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4. Combine cheese sauce with sausage and pasta, transfer to baking dish. Add one layer of pasta and then sprinkles more cheese in the middle. Add second layer and top with remaining cheese and parmesan. Bake for 20 minutes and enjoy!
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Baked Parmesan Chicken Strips

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I like chicken but I don’t love it..I just never have unless its cooked in some amazing way. I had some leftover chicken breasts in my fridge and to be honest they are my least favorite part of the chicken because it is the driest. I’ve never been the one to eat chicken strips or order them in restaurants as a kid so I decided to come up with a “grown-up” version, which is much more tastier and delicious than any other chicken strips I’ve ever had. Try dunking these crispy strips in marinara or pesto sauce, I even combined the two!

Yield: 6

Ingredients:
3 chicken breasts; sliced into 1/2 inch strips
1 cup Italian Seasoned bread crumbs
1/2 cup parmesan cheese
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1 whole egg; beaten
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper

Steps:
1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Cut chicken breast into 1/2 inch strips. Place breadcrumbs and parmesan cheese in a bowl and set aside. Place beaten egg and flour into 2 separate bowls.

2. Dip chicken strips on both sides into flour, then dip into the egg mixture, then dip in the parmesan breadcrumb mixture.
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3. Place on baking sheet lined with parchment paper and bake for 15 minutes on one side, then with tongs flip and bake on other side for another 10 minutes. Enjoy this with some marinara sauce and pesto, the combination is delicious!
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Turkey Zucchini Parmesan Meatballs

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Ok so I’ve been craving a dish of spaghetti and meatballs for the last few days..my Nana makes the best and I dream about the dish all the time! But instead I decided to go with the healthier alternative and make my own spin on meatballs. I usually like to add zucchini in my burgers or meat loafs because I find it makes it more moist and nutritious of course. Anyways, I served these scrumptious meatballs with a side of spaghetti squash. More on that recipe later 🙂 But for now, these definitely hit the spot and satisfied my craving!

Yield: 12
Ingredients:
1 lb extra lean ground turkey meat
1 zucchini; grated
1/2 cup italian seasoned breadcrumbs
1/2 cup parmesan cheese
1 egg
2 cloves garlic; chopped
1 tsp salt
1 tsp black pepper
1 tsp onion powder
1/2 cup marinara sauce
1/4 cup fresh basil; chopped

Steps:
1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. In a large mixing bowl, mix together the turkey meat, grated zucchini, breadcrumbs, cheese, and egg. Mix with hand until slightly combined. Add in garlic, salt, pepper, and onion powder and continue mixing with hand until well combined.
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2. With an ice cream scoop, scoop meatballs into a lightly greased (with olive oil) baking dish. Roll meat in hand to form the perfect “meatball” shape. Bake for 20 minutes and top with warm marinara sauce and freshly chopped basil.

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