My husband and I are pizza lovers. (Is there anyone who isn’t?!) In the past we would order in or go out for pizza, or occasionally we would enjoy a Kashi frozen pizza. But last December when I was testing recipes for We Can Cook, I made pizza at home and we really loved it. (The only other time I have ever made pizza at home is on Passover when I make matzo pizza.) Although I didn’t make the dough from scratch, it was still really fun to make the pizza – rolling out the dough, choosing the toppings, and seeing it turn into a delicious meal. Not to mention that it was so much cheaper than getting it ready made!
Last week when I made the cucumber soup I decided to make pizza to round out the meal. I had beautiful farm-fresh cherry tomatoes, basil, summer squash, and some leftover roasted broccoli on hand as toppings. I bought the whole wheat pizza dough from Trader Joe’s, divided it in two to make two pizzas, topped each crust with tomato sauce, part-skim shredded mozzarella cheese, and veggies, and watched it cook. Ten minutes later we had two Nutritioulicious pizzas (plus enough for lunch leftovers).
Margarita Pizza with Cherry Tomatoes and Basil
Summer Squash and Broccoli Pizza
If you’re going out for pizza, be sure to check out my tips for how to make it a healthy slice!
Have you ever made pizza at home? What are your favorite pizza toppings?
Posted in Cooking, Dinner, Lunch, Recipes, Seasonal Eating
Tagged basil, cherry tomatoes, cooking, CSA, healthy pizza, healthy recipes, homemade pizza, margarita pizza, Recipes, Seasonal Eating, Summer Squash
It’s that time of year again – lots of cucumbers available fresh from the farm. A couple of summers ago I shared a recipe for a new twist on traditional cucumber salad. With the plethora of CSA cucumbers that have piled up I decided to try another new recipe showcasing this nutritioulicious vegetable.
My cucumber soup recipe was inspired by the one from Eating Well, with just a few modifications. It was really easy to make, and quick too!
Chilled Cucumber Soup
Serves 4; Serving Size: ~1 cup
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 shallot, diced
- 1 small onion, diced
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice, divided
- 4 cups peeled, seeded, and thinly sliced cucumbers, plus 1/4 cup chopped cucumber for garnish
- 1 1/2 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
- 1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt
- Freshly ground pepper
- Pinch of chili powder
- 1 avocado, diced
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley, plus more for garnish
- 1/2 cup nonfat plain Greek yogurt
- Diced tomatoes for garnish
- Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add garlic, shallots, and onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender, 1 to 4 minutes. Add 1 tablespoon of lemon juice and cook for 1 minute. Add the 4 cups of cucumber slices, broth, salt, pepper, and chili powder and bring to a simmer. Reduce heat and cook at a gentle simmer until the cucumbers are soft, 6 to 8 minutes.
- Transfer the soup to a blender. Add avocado and parsley and blend on low speed until smooth. Add the second tablespoon of lemon juice to taste and blend. (Use caution when pureeing hot liquids.) Pour soup into a serving bowl and stir in the yogurt. Refrigerate until chilled.
- Serve the soup garnished with diced cucumber and tomato and the chopped parsley. Enjoy!
Nutrition Note: Cucumbers are in the same family of fruit and vegetables as squash, watermelon, and cantaloupe. Nutritionally, cucumbers are a good source of phytonutrients that have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant benefits. They are also a good source of the antioxidants vitamin C and beta-carotene. Because they are water-rich, cucumbers are excellent low-calorie vegetables.
What are your favorite ways to enjoy cucumbers?
Posted in Cooking, Dinner, Lunch, Recipes, Seasonal Eating
Tagged cooking, CSA, cucumber recipes, farm-fresh vegetables, healthy eating, healthy recipes, Recipes
When I first found out this month’s Recipe ReDux theme, frozen desserts, I was a little worried. First of all, I don’t make dessert very often – don’t get me wrong, I eat plenty of it, I just buy it instead! Second, I don’t have an ice cream maker or popsicle molds, so all the ideas that originally came to mind wouldn’t work. But as I continued to think about what I would make, I realized simplicity was the way to go. Plus, I wanted to make something that most people could easily whip up without having special gadgets taking up room in their kitchens.
Watermelon sorbet sounds like it would be a lot more complex to make than it actually was. This recipe is so quick and easy, only requires a blender and ramekins, and the result is a refreshing treat that the whole family can enjoy. An added bonus: it’s low in calories and a great source of the antioxidants vitamin A and lycopene too! (Find out more of the nutritional benefits of watermelon.)
Ready to serve!
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1/4 cup water
- 2 cups watermelon cubes
- 3 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
- Combine the sugar and water in a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer until the sugar is completely dissolved. (Since there is very little sugar, this will happen quickly. Keep an eye on it to make sure the water doesn’t evaporate.) Remove from the heat and set aside.
- In a blender, combine the watermelon cubes, lemon juice, and simple syrup. Blend until no watermelon chunks remain.
- Divide the mixture evenly among four ramekins. Cover with plastic wrap and freeze for at least three hours. Enjoy!
Watermelon sorbet before freezing
Nutrition Facts (per serving): 35 calories, 9 g carbohydrate, 8 g sugar (only 3 g added sugar), .5 g protein, 0 g fat
For more delicious frozen desserts, check out these great recipes from my fellow ReDuxers!
By Megan Kian
With these past few sticky and extremely hot days it’s been hard to find a way to cool down. At home in New Jersey my dad has a garden where he loves to grow a variety of different vegetables, fruits, and herbs. One of my favorite herbs that he grows is mint (I also love his basil). It is such a fragrant herb that it had me feeling refreshed with just the smell! Mint was originally used as an air freshener to rid rooms of unpleasant smells. It is a great source of antioxidants including vitamins A and C, and has a long nutritional history for its use in aiding digestion. In cooking, it is not as common to see mint used in main dishes, but it can be used as an accent in sweets. I decided to use the mint from my dad’s garden to make mint chocolate chip ice cream! Here is the recipe that I used from David Lebovitz:
- 1 cup whole milk
- ¾ cup sugar
- 2 cups heavy cream
- Pinch of salt
- 2 cups packed fresh mint leaves
- 5 large egg yolks
- Bittersweet or semisweet chocolate chips
You’ll also need an ice cream maker to make this delicious ice cream!
- In a medium saucepan, warm the milk, sugar, 1 cup heavy cream, salt, and mint.
- Once the mixture is hot and steaming, remove from heat, cover, and let stand for an hour to infuse the mint flavor.
- Remove the mint with a strainer, then press down with a spatula firmly to extract as much mint flavor and color as possible. Once the flavor is squeezed out, discard the mint.
- Pour the remaining heavy cream into a large bowl and set the strainer over the top.
- Rewarm the infused milk. In a separate bowl, whisk together the egg yolks, then slowly pour some of the warm mint mixture into the yolks, whisking constantly, then scrape the warmed yolks back into the saucepan.
- Cook the custard, stirring constantly with a heatproof spatula, until the mixture thickens and coats the spatula.
- Immediately strain the mixture into the cream, then stir the mixture over an ice bath until cool.
- Refrigerate the mixture thoroughly, preferably overnight, then freeze it in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
- Add in as many chocolate chips as you like!
- When finished, cover and freeze until firm.
How do you like to use mint?
As you may know from summer’s past, I love farm-fresh tomatoes. What I love even more is the simple yet nutritious and delicious combination of tomatoes and basil. Lucky for me I have both from my CSA this week, which makes me so happy! This afternoon as I was looking in my fridge and pantry for an afternoon snack, I thought “Why not make a little tomato and basil salad?” In less than three minutes I had this beautiful salad, which paired with some cheese made for a filling and balanced snack!
How good does that look?!
- Handful cherry tomatoes
- 2-3 basil leaves
- Extra-virgin olive oil
- Aged balsamic vinegar
- Salt & freshly ground pepper
- Rinse tomatoes and basil in cold water and pat dry. Slice tomatoes in half and add to a small bowl. Tear basil leaves and add to tomatoes. Drizzle olive oil and vinegar on top of tomatoes and basil. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Enjoy the fresh flavors of the summer!
Looking for another tomato recipe? Try the Tomato Jam I made last fall.
Do you like tomatoes? What’s your favorite way to enjoy them?
It’s that time again: the monthly Recipe Redux blog challenge! Last month’s theme was grilling (if you missed my Grilled Salmon Burgers with Cherry Chutney check it out), and in keeping with the spirit of summer, the Recipe Redux founders made this month’s theme Summer Beverages.
Back in April, Nutritioulicious intern Megan posted a refreshing recipe for Strawberry, Lemon, and Basil Soda to get us ready for summer, but I needed something new for this month’s challenge. Inspired by the blueberries I had in my refrigerator and the basil I received from my weekly CSA share, I decided to make a Blueberry Basil Cooler. I made it non-alcoholic, but feel free to add vodka or gin to it for happy hour!
Blueberry Basil Cooler
- 1/2 cup blueberries, plus more for garnish, rinsed and patted dry
- ~10 basil leaves, rinsed and patted dry
- 1 lime, juiced
- 1-2 teaspoons honey
- 12 ounces seltzer or soda water
- Ice cubes
- Muddle blueberries, basil, lime juice, and honey in the base of a shaker glass.
- Add seltzer or soda water and ice cubes and shake to combine.
- Fill two glasses with ice cubes and strain the drink evenly between the two glasses. Garnish with blueberries and a basil leaf. Sit back, relax, and enjoy the summer!
For more summer drinks, here are the other great recipes from Recipe Reduxers:
- Gretchen, Kumquat Ginger Ale
- Dr. Barb, Nutrition Budgeteer Triple Cherry Chiller
- Carlene Helble, Carlene’s Figments Mint Berry Seltzer
- Kara Lydon, Peace, Love, and Food Blueberry Basil Lemonade Fizz
- Deanna Segrave-Daly, Teaspoon of Spice Cantaloupe Basil Aqua Fresca Fizz
- Jessica Fishman Levinson, Nutritioulicious Blueberry Basil Cooler
- Marie Spano, Performance Nutrition Post-Workout Power Smoothie
- Elizabeth Jarrard, Don’t White Sugar-Coat It Southern Blackberry Smash
- Emily Greenfield, The Nutriscientist Apple, pear and strawberry smoothie with Chia
- Kristen Bourque, Swanky Dietitian Fresh Fruit and Club Soda Cooler
- Regan Jones, The Professional Palate Berry-Lime Bubbly
- Kat Lynch, Eating the Week Sparkling melon fizz – nice & naughty
- Lisa, Healthful Sense Berry Refreshing Chia Seed Smoothie
- EA Stewart, The Spicy RD Gingery Peach Float
- Alysa Bajenaru, Inspired RD Blackberry Banana Swirl
- Ann Dunaway Teh, Eat to Nourish, Energize & Flourish Pregnancy Mocktails
- Yuri, Chef Pandita Green Tea Ginger Limeade with Chia Seeds
- Karman Meyer, Nutrition Adventures Orange-Mint Iced Green Tea
- Cherie Schetselaar, Grain Crazy Mango Strawberry Smoothie
- Emma Stirling, The Scoop on Nutrition Recipe Redux Tangelo-ade
- Alexandra Caspero, Delicious Knowledge Strawberry Splash Mojito
- Janel Ovrut Funk, Eat Well with Janel Blog Mango Melon Smoothie
- Liz Weiss & Janice Newell Bissex, Meal Makeover Moms’ Kitchen Pint-Size Pina Colada
- Danielle Omar, Food Confidence RD Almond Iced-Coffee Latte
- Rebecca Scritchfield, MeFirst Banana Split Smoothie
- Carrie Miller, Nutrition Know How 12 Smoothie Recipes to Beat the Heat
- Diane Welland, Eat Well Eat Clean Watermelon Ginger-Lime Aqua Fresca
The other day I wrote about roasting fennel and mentioned that it made for a great side dish with roasted beets and onions. The truth is, I have yet to find a vegetable that doesn’t taste good roasted! Since beets and spring onions are in season, that’s what I had on hand and they were so easy to cook up.
Many people shy away from cooking with fresh beets because they are afraid it’s too much work (or that their entire kitchen will be stained from them!). But cooking with beets really isn’t difficult, and once you have fresh beets it’s quite hard to go back to the canned variety. The easiest way to cook them is as follows:
- Rinse beets and scrub to remove any dirt if they came fresh from the farm. (If your beets come attached with beet greens, cut off the greens and save for a salad.)
- Toss beets with olive oil, salt, and pepper. Roast in a 375 degree F oven for about 20-30 minutes, until they are fork tender.
- Remove from the oven and let cool. When cool enough to handle, use a paring knife to remove the outside skin. It should come off very easily. (If you’re afraid of staining, you can wear plastic gloves while removing the skin.)
- Serve roasted beets as a side dish or add to a salad (I especially love the combo of beets and goat cheese!).
Here are before and after shots of spring red onions and farm-fresh beets:
Looking for another beet recipe? Try this Beet and Beet Green Gratin that Nutritioulicious intern Jo made last summer!
FYI: Consumption of beets can turn your urine and stool a red color. So if you start peeing red and you ate beets within a day or two, don’t worry!
Do you like beets? What’s your favorite way to eat them?