Pistachio Cauliflower Crust Pizza

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Cauliflower Crust

Ingredients:

3 cups frozen cauliflower, riced

1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese

1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

1/2 teaspoon dried oregano

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon garlic powder

2 eggs beaten

Preheat oven to 400 F.  Heat a pan on the stove top to medium high heat and add the riced cauliflower.  Cook stirring occasionally until tender.  Remove from heat and let cool. Transfer to a fine strainer or a clean dish towel and squeeze as much of the excess liquid out as possible.  This helps keep the crust together. Add the cauliflower to a bowl along with the mozzarella, Parmesan, oregano, salt, garlic powder and eggs and combine well. It should form into a doughy consistency.  Place mixture onto a parchment lined sheet pan, spread out and flatten evenly into desired shape.  Bake in oven for 25 minutes until edges are golden.

Pistachio Pizza Sauce

Ingredients:

1 cup lightly salted Get Crackin Wonderful Pistachios No Shells

1 cup fresh basil packed

1 cup fresh parsley packed

1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

1 teaspoon lemon zest

1 cup extra virgin olive oil

1/2 cup water

Salt and pepper to taste

Topping suggestions:  Mozzarella cheese, heirloom tomatoes, caramelized onions, fresh basil, crushed pistachios, fried egg

Add all ingredients to a food processor and pulse until combined and smooth.  Add salt and pepper to adjust taste as necessary.  Spread as much of the pistachio mixture on top of the cauliflower crust as desired.

Top with more mozzarella and heirloom tomatoes.  Return to oven and bake until cheese is melted.  Remove from oven and top with caramelized onions, fresh basil, crushed pistachios and a fried egg.

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The Hidden Sugar Effect

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This content is sponsored by Atkins Nutritionals, Inc.

What are hidden sugars and what harm can they do to you?  On average Americans eat 22 teaspoons of sugar per day without even realizing it.

Incorporating too much sugar in your diet causes an excess of insulin in the blood stream, which triggers high blood pressure and causes the liver to store fat more efficiently.  Over time this can lead to globules of fat build up around the liver and can increase the chances of diabetes, heart disease and stroke.

There are many foods we would never expect to include hidden sugars.  It’s inevitable that a huge source of hidden sugars comes from sugary drinks but much of these sugars also come from the unexpected.  A few examples of these foods include high carb foods such as bagels and breads, potatoes and baked goods like muffins and cookies.  Other foods, which we would least expect, include ketchup, jarred tomato sauces, bananas, dried fruits and corn.

Source:  https://www.atkins.com/how-it-works/hidden-sugars

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The best way to avoid hidden sugars is to eat real whole foods like vegetables, high-fiber, low glycemic fruits (like berries) which contain natural sugars, lean meats and a moderate intake of protein, eggs, and foods that are a source of healthy fats like avocados and olive oil.

You can find out more information about “The Hidden Sugar Effect” — foods that you think are healthy that actually turn into sugar when digested. You don’t see the sugars, but your body does — and how sugar effects your health on the Atkins website here:

https://www.atkins.com/how-it-works/library/articles/10-ways-sugar-harms-your-health

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This Veggie Noodle Salad with Grilled Chili Lime Shrimp is the perfect low sugar, low carb recipe.  Its colorful, nutritious, appetizing and filled with flavors.  It’s the perfect addition to any BBQ, as a salad or a side dish and super easy to make!

Veggie Noodle Salad with Chili Lime Shrimp

1 medium zucchini, spiralized

1 medium summer squash, spiralized

1 large carrot, spiralized

1 ½ cups red cabbage, shredded

1 cup snow peas, shredded (sub. shelled edamame)

1 ½ cups red bell pepper, sliced into thin strips

½ cup scallions

4 Tablespoons toasted sesame oil

4 Tablespoons coconut aminos (sub. soy sauce)

2 Tablespoons rice wine vinegar

2-3 Tablespoon lime juice

½ tsp. chili flakes

2 Tablespoons black sesame seeds

1 Handful cilantro, roughly chopped

Salt & Pepper to taste

In a large bowl, add the zucchini, squash, carrot, red cabbage, snap peas and red bell pepper.  In a separate small bowl or Mason jar add the toasted sesame oil, coconut aminos, rice wine vinegar, lime juice, chili flakes, ½ tsp. salt and ¼ tsp. black pepper.  Blend and emulsify until well combined.

Pour the dressing mixture over the veggies and toss to coat.  Season with more salt and pepper and top with cilantro, scallions and sesame seeds.

Chili Lime Shrimp

1 pound jumbo shrimp, peeled and deveined

1 Tablespoon chili powder

1 clove garlic, chopped

¼ cup fresh lime juice

½ cup extra virgin olive oil

¼ tsp. sea salt

½ tsp. ground black pepper

Add the olive oil, lime juice, minced garlic, chili powder, salt and pepper to a medium bowl or a mason jar.  Blend and emulsify until well combined.  Add the shrimp and let it marinate in the fridge for at least 20 minutes.

Skewer the shrimp and grill on each side for 2-3 minutes until shrimp turns pink or bake in the oven for 10-12 minutes.

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Lemon Dijon Potato Salad with Herbs

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This potato salad is even more enjoyable to me then a traditional mayo blended potato salad.  Its light and fresh, made with real and simple ingredients. Lower calories and lower fat content.  Tangy and flavorful with just the right amount of zing.  The earthy Dijon and the tart lemon with fresh herbs makes this potato salad the most perfect side dish or can even be eaten as a whole meal if you prefer.  Plus its soy free, dairy free, gluten free and vegan!

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Ingredients:

5 medium Yukon gold potatoes

1/2 cup scallions chopped

1/2 cup flat leaf parsley, roughly chopped

2 tablespoons capers

1 tablespoon whole grain mustard

 

Lemon Dijon Dressing

1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil

1/4 cup fresh lemon juice

1-2 tablespoons red wine vinegar

2 tablespoons Dijon mustard

1 clove garlic chopped

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper

Peel the potatoes and cut into 2 inch pieces.  In a large pot on the stove top bring 4-5 cups of salted water to a full boil.  Add the potatoes and simmer until tender about 10-12 minutes.  Drain and set aside to cool.  In the meantime make the dressing.

In a mason jar add the extra virgin olive oil, lemon juice, red wine vinegar, Dijon mustard, garlic, salt and pepper.  Cover and shake vigorously until combined.

Once the potatoes have cooled, using a knife on a cutting board slice them into 1/4 thick pieces leaving some larger chunks.  Add the potatoes back into a bowl and toss with at least 1/2 of the dressing.  Any dressing you don’t use can be stored in the fridge and used for something else.  Add the scallions, parsley, capers and whole grain mustard and blend well until the potatoes are fully coated with all the goodness.  Serves 4-6 and can be stored in the fridge for up to a week.

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“Atkins: Eat Right, Not Less” Lifestyle Book

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When it comes to nutrition advice and living a low-carb lifestyle, the“Atkins: Eat Right, Not Less” lifestyle book is one of my top go-to sources. The book provides solutions for eating the foods we love in a healthier way and contains 100 delicious whole food recipes that are low in carbs and sugar.  www.atkinseatrightnotless.com

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As flexible as it is inspiring, Atkins: Eat Right, Not Less” will show me how to enjoy the benefits of a lower carb lifestyle on my own terms.

“Atkins: Eat Right, Not Less” also acts as a guide book that shows me how to eat the right balance of moderate protein, healthy fats and nutrient dense, high-fiber carbohydrates. It features a guide to help avoid the “Hidden Sugar Effect” – foods that you think are healthy that actually turn into sugar when digested. You don’t see the sugars, but your body does – which helps you to experience overall optimal health and effortless weight loss. It provides helpful information on how to read a food label, smart shopping strategies and meal plans for any stage of the game.

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The book offers a variety of recipes from breakfast to dinner, including savory side dishes or sweet decadent desserts to suit any time of the day.  Some of my favorites include the Wilted Brussels Sprout Salad with Warm Pancetta Dressing and Parmesan Scallops so I had to share.

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Wilted Brussels Sprout Salad with Warm Pancetta Dressing

Wilted Brussels Sprout Salad

4g net carbs

217 calories

Serves 4

Ingredients

½ pound brussels sprouts

5 ounces baby spinach or kale

4 hard-cooked eggs, quartered

4 ounces pancetta, diced

Shred the brussels sprouts in a food processor with the shredder attachment. Divide the spinach and brussels sprouts among four plates.  Divide the eggs among the plates.

Place the pancetta in a small skillet over medium heat.  Cook 4 to 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until well browned, reserving the fat in the skillet.  Make the dressing as directed.  Divide the pancetta among the salad plates.  Drizzle the dressing over the salad and serve immediately.

Warm Pancetta Dressing

4 garlic cloves, minced

¼ cup apple cider vinegar

2 teaspoons Dijon mustard

Place the skillet with the fat from the pancetta that you cooked over low heat and add the garlic; cook 1 to 2 minutes, until fragrant.  Turn the heat off, carefully add the vinegar and the mustard to the skillet, and stir well, scraping up any brown bits sticking inside the pan.

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Parmesan Scallops

14.3g net carbs

299 calories

Serves 4

Ingredients

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 head broccoli, cut into small florets (about 4 cups)

¼ teaspoon garlic salt

¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

2 cups low-sugar marinara sauce from a jar

½ cup water

1 pound fresh sea scallops

¼ cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

½ cup grated Parmesan cheese

Warm the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat.  Add the broccoli, garlic salt and black pepper; cook 7 to 8 minutes, until the broccoli starts to brown and soften.  Set the oven to broil.  Decrease the heat to low under the skillet, carefully add the marinara sauce and water; and stir well.  Smooth the top of the broccoli sauce mixture and place the scallops on top.

Sprinkle with the parsley and Parmesan, and place under the broiler.  Broil 4 to 5 minutes, until the tops become golden and the scallops are cooked through and no longer translucent when sliced with paring knife.  Serve immediately.

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www.atkinseatrightnotless.com

 

Chicken Sausage with Peppers & Onions

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This was one of my favorite meals growing up.  A few simple ingredients and easy to make.  Perfect on a sandwich, in a wrap, over pasta or served with garlic bread.  Comforting and delicious.  Taste great reheated as a leftover.

Ingredients:

4 Italian style chicken sausage links

1 medium red bell pepper cut into 2 inch pieces

1 medium green bell pepper cut into 2 inch pieces

1 large yellow onion cut into cut into 2 inch pieces

extra virgin olive oil

salt and pepper to taste

In a small pan on the stove top pan sear the sausages until browned and fully cooked.  Set aside to cool.

While the sausages cook, heat 2-3 tablespoons olive oil in a large skillet on medium high heat.  Add peppers and onions and season with salt and pepper.  Cook the peppers and onions stirring occasionally until caramelized.  About 10-12 minutes.

Slice the sausage into 12 inch thick coins.  Add the sausage to the pan with the peppers and onions.  Continue to cook for 2-3 minutes.  Serve in lettuce boats, with crusty bread or a on a sandwich.

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Chili Roasted Chickpeas

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I love chickpeas so much, especially roasted chickpeas.  They can be eaten as a snack, along with a meal or a topping for a soup or salad.  You can season them to your liking either sweet or savory.  My favorite way to season them is with chili powder and sea salt because it gives them just the right balance of flavor.  I just can’t get enough of them.

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I like to use canned chickpeas.  I make sure they are in a brand that has a BPA free can.  Always drain and rinse them thoroughly before spreading onto a baking sheet.

IMG_4566 Parchment paper or aluminum foil both work perfectly fine!  Pre-heat oven to 400 F or if you like to use a toaster oven like me turn the heat up to 425.

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Season them up just the way you like.  Chili powder, garlic powder, lemon pepper and cocoa powder and cinnamon for a sweeter note are a few suggestions.  Spray with a little olive oil, avocado oil or coconut oil spray and toss to fully coat.  Then get to baking!  Time varies on preference of crispiness.  I personally don’t like to make them too crispy if eating with a meal but like them extra crispy on top of a soup or a salad.

Chili Roasted Chickpeas

Ingredients:

1 can of BPA free chickpeas drained and rinsed

1 tsp. chili powder

1/2 tsp. sea salt

Olive oil spray

Preheat oven to 400 F or toaster oven to 425 F.  Spread the chickpeas on a parchment or foil lined baking sheet.  Dust the chili powder and sea salt (or whatever other seasonings you prefer), then spray with a light coating of oil spray.  Bake for 15 – 25 minutes depending on desired crispness.

They can be stored in a zip lock bag in the fridge for 2-3 days.

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Chickpea Pasta with Mozzarella, Tomatoes & Basil (Caprese)

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If you are looking for a comforting meal with refreshing Spring flavors made with lots of fresh ingredients this this Caprese inspired Chickpea Pasta with Mozzarella, Tomato and Basil is just what you need.  Dressed with a balsamic olive oil blend for a tangy and robust bite.

It’s super easy to make and can be made in advance to eat as a side dish with meat or fish, on top of a greens salad or a cozy pasta dish in itself.

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Ingredients:

2 cups cooked pasta (I used Banza Cavatappi Chickpea Pasta)

2 cups cherry tomatoes halved

2 cup fresh mozzarella cut 1 into 1/2 inch chunks

1 cup fresh basil leaves chopped

1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil

1/4 cup balsamic vinegar

1/2 cup kalamata olives pitted & slices in half lengthwise

1 teaspoon dried oregano

salt and pepper to taste

Combine pasta, tomatoes, mozzarella, basil & olives in a medium bowl.  In a separate small bowl blend together balsamic vinegar, olive oil, oregano, salt and pepper.  Pour dressing over pasta mixture and toss to coat.  Add additional salt and pepper if needed to adjust flavor.

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Nutty Grain Salad with Citrus Dressing

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This grain salad is nourishing, healthy and refreshing and can be customized to your liking.  I used buckwheat groats to make this but works perfectly with any other type of grain.  Bulgur, Farro, Brown Rice and Millet are some of my top choices or you can get exotic and use Freekah or Sorghum.  The choices are endless.  Can be used as a side dish, on a green salad as stuffing for a veggie boat or eaten on its own.  If you are not a fan of chickpeas you can use black beans or white beans instead and if you are allergic to pine nuts, almonds or walnuts can be added instead.

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Ingredients

2 cups buckwheat cooked** or sub any other type of grain (bulgur, farro, brown rice)

**(Bring 3 cups water or stock to a boil add 1 cup buckwheat groats reduce heat to simmer until groats are tender and fully cooked.  Drain excess water and rinse in a strainer.)

1 can of chickpeas drained and rinsed

1 cup carrots cut into matchsticks

1 bunch scallions, greens and whites finely chopped, about ½ cup

Handful flatleaf parsley roughly chopped, about ½ cup

½ cup pine nuts

Salt and pepper to taste

 

For the dressing:

½ cup fresh squeezed orange juice

½ cup extra virgin olive oil

¼ cup agave nectar

2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar

1 tsp. salt

½ tsp. ground black pepper

In a medium bowl add the buckwheat, chickpeas, carrots, scallions and parsley and combine well.  Season with salt and pepper.  In a separate small bowl make the dressing.  Combine olive oil, orange juice, agave nectar, apple cider vinegar, salt and pepper.  Combine well until fully blended and pour over the buckwheat mixture.  Mix to combine and let sit for at least 20 minutes for flavors to absorb.

In the meantime toast the pine nuts.  On the stove top heat a small pan on medium high heat until hot.  Add the pine nut tossing constantly until they start to brown.  Remove from heat and add to salad mixture for a toasty nutty crunch.

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Atkins Nutritionals – Eat Right, Not Less

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I am a big fan of the Atkins shakes because as a busy mom of 3 kids I don’t always have the time to eat and prepare meals, even if meal prep is involved. While I’m running errands, driving around, taking the kids to after school activities or going to the gym it’s much easier to drink something than it is to eat with a fork or spoon. The Atkins Mocha Latte Shakes fit perfectly with my healthy lifestyle and help crave my sweet tooth. Each shake contains 15 grams of protein, 1 gram of sugar, 2 grams of fiber and only 160 calories. They are creamy and delicious. Perfect for that moment when I’m feeling hungry and just don’t have time to eat.

You can find more information about Atkins shakes here:

https://www.atkins.com/products/atkins-shakes/shakes/mocha-latte-shake

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Choosing a low glycemic eating approach is beneficial to our health because the control of blood sugar and insulin levels is one of the keys to reducing our risk of heart disease and diabetes. This approach to eating is also useful for controlling your appetite – and for those interested in weight loss, it helps there too.

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“Glycemic” means “relating to the sugar or glucose in the blood.” The glycemic load simply estimates how much a food will raise a person’s blood glucose level after eating it. The greater the glycemic impact of a food, the greater and more rapid its impact is on your blood sugar level—and that may cause your body to produce greater levels of insulin to return your blood sugar to a normal level.

Source: https://www.atkins.com/our-mission

Eating foods with a lower glycemic index not only can help you to live heart healthy, it may reduce the risk of developing diabetes and metabolic syndrome, which can increase your risk of having a heart attack or suffering a stroke.

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https://www.atkins.com/products/atkins-shakes/shakes/mocha-latte-shake

Celebrate The Big Game Day with Whole Foods Market!

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We all know that the Super Bowl is not just about the game but also about the food!  My local Whole Foods Market and their amazing catering menu makes it easy.

There menu offers a large variety of delicious choices to choose from including vegan, vegetarian and gluten-free options, making it super convenient to please every type of eater!  Honestly I spent a good 45 minutes trying to make up my mind what I wanted to order because of all the options.

https://www.wholefoodsmarket.com/shop/choose?utm_source=zestmylemon.com&utm_medium=referral&utm_campaign=influencerne&utm_content=zestmylemon

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I am all about the Thai Lettuce Cup Platter which includes all the proteins, veggies, sauces and toppings.  Everything is freshly prepared, individually packed and ready for your guests to build there own lettuce cup creations.  It also looks very appetizing and appealing set up on your table and will have your guests impressed.

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My carnivorous husband on the other hand likes to stick with the traditional favorites like buffalo wings, sliders and deli sandwiches so when he saw the Lower East Side deli platter on the menu he had to have it.  All the fresh baked breads and fixings are included plus I know the meats are nitrate free and sustainably sourced so the quality is at its best!

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Order your Big Game Day catering spread today!  Trust me you will see exactly what I am talking about!

https://www.wholefoodsmarket.com/shop/choose?utm_source=zestmylemon.com&utm_medium=referral&utm_campaign=influencerne&utm_content=zestmylemon

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Lobster Salad with Chickpea Pasta

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This Lobster Salad recipe can be used by itself without the pasta and served on a buttered toasted roll with potato chips and a pickle on the side, on slider buns, on top of a greens salad or with crackers as an appetizer.  It can be stored in an air tight container in the fridge up to 5 days.

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Ingredients:

4 Lobster tails 4-5 oz. each

Extra virgin olive oil

garlic powder

1/2 pound chickpea pasta (or any other pasta of choice)

2 stalks celery chopped (about 1/2 cup)

scallion bunch chopped (about 1/4 cup)

2 tablespoons red onion finely chopped

parsley bunch roughly chopped (about 1/4 cup)

fresh dill bunch roughly chopped (about 2 tablespoons)

3-4 tablespoons good mayonnaise

juice of 2 lemons

fresh ground black pepper to taste

1/2 cup cherry tomatoes sliced in half

Preheat oven to 350 F.  Slice down the center of each lobster tail with a sharp knife and split crack the tails so meat is exposed.  Place each tail on a sheet of aluminum foil.  Season with garlic powder, black pepper, a squeeze of lemon and a drizzle of olive oil.  Wrap each tail with the foil slightly loose giving a little room to steam within the foil packet.  Place on a baking sheet and bake for 25 minutes until lobster is pink and tender.

While the lobster cooks prepare the pasta.  Bring pot of salted water to a boil.  Add the pasta and let cook until tender and slightly al dente.  Drain a toss with a little olive oil to prevent it from sticking together.  Set aside to cool.

Remove the lobster from the oven and set aside to cool.  If you like the claw meat  and prefer a full steamed lobster follow the same steps as the preparing the tails except reduce the cooking time to 15 minutes.  Once the lobster is cooled remove as much meat from the shell as possible using a claw crackers or a nut cracker if necessary and add to a large bowl.

Break up the lobster meat leaving some large chunks.  Add the celery, scallions, red onion, parsley, dill, lemon juice and mayo and combine well.  Season with ground black pepper.  Stir in pasta and season with sea salt.  Add the cherry tomatoes as desired and serve.  Serves 4

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