Sunday, April 19, 2015

Homemade Sweet Pepper Salad Dressing


When I started my quest to eat as clean as possible, I began to read labels. The more I read the more I learned these "low fat" and "healthy" branded condiments are filled with soy, corn, and high fructose corn syrup. It's a GMO cesspool. Okay, maybe that's dramatic but even the organic brands contain canola oil. Though organic, canola is still highly processed. My mother taught me "nunca te des por vencida", meaning "never give into defeat".  One day, I felt brave and made my own salad dressing. Once I got the hang of it, my eyes were opened to endless possibilities. What can be more fun than combining different herbs and vegetables in blender and making a new discovery? For the most part, I use Greek yogurt as a base and add to it.
1/4 cup Greek Yogurt
2 mini red peppers
Dash of ground mustard
Dash of Cayenne
Salt and pepper to taste
With the help of a NutriBullet, blend the above ingredients until smooth and creamy.
Do not be fooled, this may look like French dressing, but tastes completely different. The flavors here complement the Tuna For 1 recipe beautifully. A little kick from the cayenne, and the sweet juices from the peppers are a perfect marriage. YOLO, so experiment. It pays off!!

Tuna for 1, Por Favor!


Often I find myself looking for a quick meal while the kids are in school and the hubs works away. My solution? Tuna for 1. This recipe can be easily doubled or tripled to feed the family.

-A package of Wild Albacore tuna. I like Wild Planet. No added ingredients - just clean tuna.
-1/2 English cucumber
-Homemade Sweet Pepper Salad Dressing or your favorite salad dressing
-Squeeze of lemon
-Fresh basil and sun-dried tomatoes for garnish
-Avocado or fruit if desired

Prepare your tuna in a bowl with your favorite salad dressing and a squeeze of fresh lemon. Halve and hollow out the cucumber with a spoon. They look like cute little cucumber canoes, don't they?

Spread the tuna on top and garnish. I had fresh basil and sun-dried tomatoes on hand, but olives, parsley, or sliced fruit would work too. Serve with avocado. Because avocado. Nothing more to say about that!

If cut into individual squares, a doubled or tripled recipe can make a unique and health-conscious party tray. Be that person that brings the veggies and own it!! Trust me, they will thank you for it after the first bite.

Quick and easy. Healthy and nutritious.

Did you like this recipe? Tell me about it. How did you serve it?

Friday, April 17, 2015

Plantain Pizza Crust Recipe

Every now and then I enjoy dropping a culinary bomb on the family - anything with an explosion of flavors and textures that leave them singing my praises. My latest and greatest: The Plantain Pizza **Warning**Disclaimer**I'm the kind of cook that has the inability to follow recipes; therefore all measurements below are guesstimates and may need to be tweaked at your discretion.** Ingredients: 2 plantains: 1 yellow (ripe) 1 greenish-yellow (not so ripe) Coconut oil Cashew butter Water Your favorite pizza sauce Your favorite pizza toppings Step 1: Peel your plantains and slice diagonally. Heat some oil in a skillet on medium-high and add your plantains. Toast them on each side until they're nice and golden. You don't want to cook them all the way through because they will be baked later. Remove and place on a paper towel and let cool. If you are familiar with Latin American cuisine, you're basically making "maduro frito" or "madurito frito", if you're Nicaraguan. My mother used vegetable oil back in the day, but I find coconut oil to work just as well, and it's much better for you.

Step 2:  Place your cooled plantains in the food processor. This is where it gets a little tricky, and depending on the ripeness of each plantain, you may need to modify. Pulse until the plantains begin to resemble dough. If the batter looks too crumbly, add some cashew butter and/or water. You want to form a ball of dough that can be rolled out. The cashew butter (peanut/almond butter work well too) and water help bind the plantain together. Add in 1 tablespoon at a time, pulse and analyze. I used 2 tablespoons of cashew and 2 tablespoons of water and my "dough" was the perfect consistency.

**If your plantain dough is sticky, do not panic. Coat your fingers with oil to work it**

Step 3: Carefully remove the dough from the food processor (don't cut yourself on the blade - not that it ever happens to me or anything ) and knead it. Work it. Give it some love till it's nice and smashed together. Place in the center of a pizza pan. Use a rolling pin and roll as evenly as possible. I like a very thin crust. Bake on 375 for 10 minutes. You may also use a cookie sheet or pizza stone. Depending on the size of your pan and thickness of the crust adjust cooking time.

Step 4:  Remove from oven and add your favorite pizza sauce and toppings. I poured half a jar of Wild Oats organic pasta sauce into the food processor. I added 3 garlic cloves, pepper, and a couple drizzles of agave because I like it sweet. I blended all together for a few seconds. Generously coat the crust. For toppings, I grated some grass-fed white cheddar cheese and parmesan. I added artichoke hearts, sliced deli chicken (I like the Harvest brand) and fresh basil. I put it back in the oven for about 5-7 minutes until the cheese melted. Check out those crispy golden edges...YUM!! I ate the first slice before I could get a picture...sorry. It's so good, ya'll!! 

Hope you enjoy!! ~Amy

If you try this recipe, let me know!! I'd love to hear about it.