My Simple and Nutritious Veggie Pizza

Pizza is one of my favorite meals! I love a great veggie packed pizza. I also love a pizza that is quick and that does not require the long dough rising times. I chose not to add vegan cheese or vegan meat substitute to this pizza because I am trying to steer clear of the processed vegan cheese and meat substitutes in an effort to lead a clean-eating, whole plant-foods based diet. Feel free to substitute any of your favorite veggies!

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Ingredients:

Pizza Crust:

– 2 cups of all purpose flour

– 1/4 cup of organic, unrefined coconut oil

– 2/3 cup unsweetened, unflavored almond milk

– 2 tsp baking powder

– Optional seasonings: garlic salt, oregano, basil

Pizza Sauce:

– 2/3 of 15 oz can of tomato sauce

– Garlic salt, onion powder, spicy seasoning blend, dried basil, dried oregano, to taste

Pizza Toppings:

– 1 zucchini, sliced into circles

– 1 red bell pepper, diced

– Other veggie options: spinach, red onion, black olives, broccoli, artichokes, etc.

Directions:

– Preheat your oven to 425 F. If using a pizza stone, preheat your pizza stone as well for 15-20 minutes or according to your stone directions.

– Prepare the vegetables as listed in the ingredients and set aside

– Place all of the crust ingredients into the food processor, starting with the dry ingredients and ending with the wet ingredients, process until a crumbly dough forms

– Remove crumbly dough from the food processor and roll into a ball, knead dough on a floured surface, roll dough with rolling pin into the desired crust thickness, roll edges of crust down

– Place pizza dough on the preheated pizza stone (that has been sprinkled with cornstarch to prevent sticking) or a greased pizza pan

– Top with pizza sauce and veggie toppings

– Bake for 15-20 minutes until crust is golden brown (note that a shorter baking time is needed if using a pizza stone)

– Slice into 6-8 slices, serve immediately, and Enjoy!

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My Almost Raw Veggie Spring Rolls

This is one of my new favorite meals. It is simple to prepare, healthy, and delicious!

almost raw spring rolls

Ingredients:

– Rice paper/spring paper wrappers

– Mixed veggies cut into thin strips, I used a broccoli slaw mix that contained broccoli, cabbage, and carrots 

– 2 tbsp of all natural peanut butter (I used PB2 powdered peanut butter)

– 1 to 3 tsp of seasoned rice vinegar, (I used citrus flavor)

– 1 to 3 tsp of coconut aminos (instead of soy sauce)

– 1 to 3 tsp of siracha chili sauce

Directions:

– To make the peanut sauce, mix the peanut butter, rice vinegar, coconut aminos, and siracha chili sauce, add additional tsp of the liquid seasonings to get the desired flavor

– To assemble your spring rolls:

–Wet the rice paper in lukewarm water for about 5-10 secs

–Place the rice paper on a clean surface and spread your peanut sauce on the paper

–Place the desired amount of vegetables in the rice paper and fold down, tuck in the sides as you’re folding. The edges of the rice paper will stick together.

–Continue making spring rolls until you’ve used all of your sauce, this amount of sauce makes about 5 spring rolls.

–Serve immediately and Enjoy!

TO MAKE THIS 100% RAW: Use a large collard or cabbage leaf to wrap your veggies. To make a super delicious, tangy and creamy ranch sauce, blend/food process 1/2 cup of  cashews and 1 to 2 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice with fresh or dried chives, parsley, dill, and black pepper to taste. Add water to facilitate blending/processing and to thin sauce to desired consistency.

My Warm and Hearty Chickpea Stew

This is the perfect meal for a cold Winter night. It is spicy, warming, and hearty! Did I mention it’s simple and quick and takes less than 15 minutes from stove to bowl!

Ingredients:

– 2, 15 oz cans of chickpeas, drained and rinsed

– 1, 15 oz can of tomato sauce

– 1, 15 oz can diced tomato, garlic and basil

– 1, 15 oz can diced tomato, fire roasted

– Garlic salt, oregano, chipotle flakes, onion powder, spicy seasoning of your choice, to taste

Directions:

– Drain and rinse 2 cans of chickpeas, set aside

– Pour tomato sauce and diced tomatoes into a pot, cook and season to taste

– Pour in chickpeas, cook and add additional seasonings

– Serve warm and Enjoy!

Gluten: What to Avoid and What to Eat

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Foods to Avoid

Wheat is one of the main staples of a Western diet and therefore is public enemy number one for those with gluten allergies. In addition to wheat, all of its forms are off limits for sufferers including:

  • wheat starch
  • wheat bran
  • wheat germ
  • couscous
  • cracked wheat
  • durum
  • einkorn
  • emmer
  • farina
  • faro
  • fu (common in Asian foods)
  • gliadin
  • graham flour
  • kamut
  • matzo
  • semolina
  • spelt

The list of gluten-containing grains doesn’t end at wheat however. Other offenders are:

  • barley
  • bulgur
  • oats (oats themselves don’t contain gluten, but are often processed in plants that produce gluten-containing grains and may be contaminated)
  • rye
  • seitan
  • triticale and Mir (a cross between wheat and rye)
  • veggie burgers (if not specified gluten-free)

Gluten may also show up as ingredients in barley malt, chicken broth, malt vinegar, some salad dressings, soy sauce, as well as in many common seasonings and spice mixes. Therefore, gluten-free cooking presents many challenges.

Foods to Eat

The list of off-limits items may seem daunting but, thankfully, there are plenty of replacements on the menu. Lots of foods are naturally gluten-free, including fruits and vegetables, beans, seeds, legumes, nuts, potatoes, eggs, dairy products, corn, rice, fish, and meats. Many other grains and foods are gluten free as well, including:

  • amaranth
  • arrowroot
  • buckwheat
  • cassava
  • millet
  • quinoa
  • rice
  • sorghum
  • soy
  • tapioca

SOURCE: http://www.healthline.com/health/allergies/gluten-food-list#1

Soy free, gluten free, vegan?

In my clean-eating journey, my ultimate goal is to be soy free (and possibly even gluten free). I know that this will take some time and also some kitchen creativity, but it is a goal that I am working towards. I know that I have a soy sensitivity (i.e., skin breakouts, digestive problems). I want to experiment with my diet and determine if I have a gluten sensitivity as well. I will work towards eliminating both of these from my diet and document my progress and results. What exactly does this mean? Meal planning and preparation.