Pizz'alad with Fresh Basil, Mozzarella, & Tomato

Pizza + Salad = Pizz'alad. This Pizz'alad was inspired by the Italian caprese salad made from fresh basil, mozzarella, and tomato.

Ingredients:

  • 1 bag of pre-made pizza dough (I use Trader Joe's whole wheat pizza dough)
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided 
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic (I used Dorot frozen minced garlic from Trader Joe's)
  • 1 large tomato, very thinly sliced
  • 5 thin slices fresh mozzarella cheese
  • 2 cups arugula, trimmed if necessary 
  • 1 cup torn fresh basil 
  • 1/2 cup flat-leaf parsley

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 500F.
  2. Roll out pizza dough and knead. Transfer dough to cookie sheet or large pan and spread evenly.
  3. Mix 1 tablespoon of minced garlic with 2 tablespoons of olive oil, and then brush onto the pizza dough crust.
  4. Add a few basil leaves on top of the olive oil/garlic mixture, and then cover the leaves with tomato and mozzarella (Note: basil should be under the tomatoes and mozzarella slices to prevent them from burning)
  5. Place pizza into the oven and bake for 15-20 minutes or until mozzarella cheese starts to bubble.
  6. While pizza is cooking, combine 2 cups of arugula with 1-2 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar. 
  7. Remove pizza from oven, let cool, and then top with salad!

Recipe courtesy of EatingWell.

 

Vegetable Tian Recipe

There's no better way to embrace the natural flavors of summer vegetables than in a vegetable tian dish. The vegetables are sliced thin, seasoned with salt and pepper, and baked with a crusty cheese topping. Enjoy!

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Ingredients

  • 1 zucchini
  • 1 yellow squash
  • 1 onion
  • 1 russet potato
  • 1 tomato 
  • salt & pepper
  • spray olive oil
  • 1-2 garlic clove(s)
  • 1 cup shredded low-fat mozzarella cheese

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 400F.
  2. Finely mince onion and garlic and pan fry until soft.
  3. Spray a baking dish with olive oil and evenly spread out onion/garlic mixture.
  4. Slice zucchini, squash, tomato, and potato into thin slices.
  5. Place thinly sliced vegetables into the baking dish vertically. 
  6. Bake for 30 minutes.
  7. Remove and spread 1 cup shredded low-fat mozzarella cheese and return to oven and bake for an additional 15 minutes or until cheese is golden brown and crusty. 

Nori Wraps

noriwraps

Following the same principle of choosing to consume foods that are both nutrient dense and digestible, nori (seaweed, kelp, algae, and other sea vegetables) is an excellent source of minerals such as iodine, magnesium, iron, and trace minerals. To read more about the health benefits of sea vegetables click here - bottom line nori is good for you and it tastes good, especially as a wrap. 

Ingredients:

  • 1 sheets of Nori
  • 1 can of smoked sardines from Trader Joe's (You can essentially use any brand of sardines but I prefer Trader Joe's because smokey flavor and saltiness pair well with the avocado and sweet potato)
  • 1/2 avocado
  • 1/2 c baked sweet potato (already cooked)
  • 1/2 c of a raw zucchini or cucumber (cut into slender pieces)
  • 1 large leaf of kale with the stem removed (split into two halves)

Directions:

  1. Lay out one sheet of nori and place one of the kale leaves on top. (Note: It is important to lay the kale prior to adding the other oilier ingredients to avoid the seaweed from becoming soggy.)
  2. On top of the kale leaf l smear the avocado in the center, place the baked sweet potato chunks on top, canned sardines, and chopped zucchini or cucumber. 
  3. Dab a little bit of water on the edges of the nori and wrap!

Crispy Kale Chips

kalechips

Easy, low calorie, and nutrient dense snack that will satisfy any salty cravings!

Ingredients:

  • 1 bunch of kale
  • 1 tbsp pure olive oil (or olive oil spray)
  • Sea salt, for sprinkling 
  • Garlic powder (optional)

Directions:

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 350F.
  2. Line a baking sheet with foil.
  3. Remove kale leaves from the stem. Wash and dry thoroughly (otherwise wet kale will get soggy).
  4. Spray olive oil on kale or toss 1 tbsp olive oil with kale.
  5. Sprinkle sea salt and/or garlic powder on top of olive oil + kale mixture.
  6. Bake until the edges are brown, but aren't burnt. Around 10-15 minutes. 

 

4 Ingredient Zucchini Meatballs

zucchinimeatballs

The easiest meatballs you'll ever make - four ingredients and minimal prep/cook time! These meatballs go great with 1/2-1 avocado and roasted vegetables for a quick and healthy lunch or dinner. 

I was able to limit the number of ingredients without sacrificing taste because I am not cooking with lean cuts of meat. Fat has been demonized by the United States, and conventional wisdom has taught us that eating fat will make us fat. Interestingly, there is a growing body of literature which suggests that the effect is actually quite the opposite. For all the science nerds out there, here's what researcher's Volek and Phinney had to say:

On it’s surface, this looks like a paradox.  But with a little thought, it actually makes sense.  A high carbohydrate intake has two effects in the body that promote higher levels of saturated fat.  First, carbohydrates stimulate the body to make more insulin, which inhibits the oxidation of saturated fat.  Thus, when insulin levels are high, saturated fat tends to be stored rather than burned as fuel.  Second, a high carbohydrate intake promotes the synthesis of saturated fat in the liver. This is particularly problematic for individuals with insulin resistance (characterized as ‘carbohydrate intolerance’ in our recent book [17]).This combination of decreased oxidation and increased synthesis of saturated fat therefore results in accumulation of saturated fats in the blood and tissues.

Dietary saturated fat intake is unrelated to risk for chronic disease, but rather higher saturated fat levels in the blood do appear to pose a problem.The culprit then is clearly not dietary saturated fat per se, but rather consumption of more carbohydrate than an individual’s body can efficiently manage. (The Sad Saga of Saturated Fat)

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb grass fed ground beef (85/15)
  • 1/4 cup almond meal
  • 1 egg
  • 1/3 cup shredded zucchini (sometimes I also add in bell peppers or mushrooms too!)

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350F.
  2. Grate 1/3 cup of zucchini. If you don't have a food grater, you can also dice the zucchini into small pieces.
  3. In a large bowl, combine 1 lb grass fed ground beef, 1/3 cup shredded zucchini, 1 egg, and 1/4 cup almond meal. Mix well.
  4. Form into 1 tablespoon sized meatballs (about 1 oz per meatball).
  5. Place meatballs onto a greased baking sheet (I use coconut oil) and bake for 30 minutes, or until well done. I prefer 

Macros:

This recipe makes around 25 meatballs, with 1 serving (5 meatballs) being: 233 calories, 17 g of fat, 1 g of carb, and 19 g of protein.

 

Note: Nutritional sciences is not binary - it's very complex and varies among individuals. I'm not a nutritionist, but someone who just likes to read papers and experiment with nutrition.