Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Smoked Salmon Spring Rolls

My family Easter dinner was a potluck this year, and I was very excited to be able to bring a healthy contribution to my family dinner! I don't normally think of myself as having many dietary restrictions as, when I cook for myself, I just cook the things I like to eat, aka lots of fruit and veggies; but when thinking about something to bring to the potluck and trying to come up with a healthy option everyone would like, I became a bit stumped. What could I bring that was gluten free, meat free, and dairy free? When you search Pinterest for potluck ideas, everything is laden with carbs, meat and cheese, not my idea of a healthy meal... So two days later while out for Thai food I ordered fresh spring rolls, and thought, oh wow, I'd love to be able to make these for the potluck! After doing a bit of research and deciding what ingredients I wanted to use, I went shopping found the necessary items required, and set to work! Spring rolls are surprisingly easy to make, and quite fun!


Ingredients :

Spring roll skin

Smoked salmon

1 Mango

1 Avocado

1 large cucumber

Purple cabbage - finely shaved/chopped

Spinach - de-stemmed

Cilantro also de-stemmed

Thai sweet chile sauce , peanut sauce and hoisin sauce for dipping the spring rolls in

A close up look at the hard spring roll skin!


1. Chop and julienne your ingredients to go inside the spring rolls

A. Halve the cucumber when slicing and remove the inside seeds

B. make sure all ingredients will fit evenly inside the middle of the spring rolls

2. To soften the spring roll skin to be able to roll it, you will need to submerge it in warm water for 20-30 seconds

3. Once the skin is soft, don't leave in the water too long or it will become difficult to work with, remove it from the water and lay it out flat. I choose to lay down parchment paper to keep it from sticking to my cutting board.

4. Place your ingredients in the middle top of the skin wrap, making sure be aware which ingredients will be shown on the outside of the wrap when it is rolled

5. Fold the outside edges of the skin on top of the ingredients

6. Once the outside edges have been folded over, begin rolling from the top, pulling tight as you roll

7. The spring roll skin will stick to itself and form a tight roll after you finish rolling it, completing the process.

8. Slice diagonally across to eat and enjoy a variety of dipping sauces

Our family Easter dinner table was so bright and colorful this year, a testament to my family's new and improved healthy eating habits! We definitely ate a rainbow of healthy fruits and vegetables this year!


Friday, April 11, 2014

Asparagus, Mushroom, Pesto topped Cauliflower Crust Pizza

I had been debating all week how to use my asparagus, cauliflower and fresh tomatoes that I bought from the local farmer's market, when it hit me, combine them all in a garden fresh pizza! One of the things I love about making your own food, is seeing it go from individual ingredients into a beautiful finished meal, all parts combined to create a delicious healthy work of "food art"! lol 


For the Crust:
Half a head of Cauliflower
2 egg whites
1/2 cup light mozzarella cheese
3 Garlic cloves, minced
Dash of Basil and Oregano
Salt and Pepper to taste

Light Mozzarella Cheese
1 cup Mushrooms, roughly chopped
1 small organic tomato
1/8 cup sun dried tomatoes
12 stalks of Asparagus
Splash of Truffle infused olive oil - or regular olive oil

Toppings I would have added had they been on hand:

Crumbled goat cheese
Balsamic glaze drizzled over the top
Fresh spinach leaves
Sauteed Zucchini or Yellow Squash
So many options, I might just have to make another one next week!

Recipe feeds two slightly hungry people or one ravenously starving individual, like myself, after a hard workout.. Yes, I ate the whole thing.. couldn't help myself! You can increase the amount of cauliflower and add an extra egg white and a little more cheese to make a larger pizza!


A. Pre-heat the oven to 450 degrees

1. Rice the Cauliflower: Divide the half head of Cauliflower into large florets and put them a few cups at a time into the the Vitamix on low, using the dowel to push them down into the blades. This can be done in a food processor or using a cheese grater, although the Vitamix is by far the easiest and fastest way to "rice" the cauliflower.

2. Once the Cauliflower is "riced", I microwaved it in bowl for a minute to soften it, before adding in the egg whites, minced garlic, mozzarella cheese, and the spices.  Mix thoroughly.

3. Line a large baking sheet with wax or parchment paper, and spray it liberally with nonstick cooking spray. I have missed this step too many times to count and ended up with a pizza crust that wont come off the paper, and your whole pizza/dinner is ruined.. Moral of the story, use nonstick spray every time, as the cheese which is the glue the holds the crust together, also acts as a glue with the wax paper, foil, or parchment paper.. moving on...

4. Transfer the pizza crust mixture onto the baking sheet and pat down into a pizza shaped crust, so its about a half an inch thick and round.. or square if you like too 

5. Put your pizza crust into the oven to bake for 30 minutes until your crust is barely golden brown and looks like a solid pizza crust

6. While the pizza crust is baking, chop the mushrooms, sun dried tomatoes, and add them to a pan to saute with the stalks of asparagus tossed on top

7. Drizzle with olive oil, or in this case I used truffle infused olive oil, and cover with the lid to keep in the moisture, toss a few times, and after about ten minutes take them off the medium heat

8. Once the pizza crust is finished baking, top with pesto as the base, sprinkle on the mozzarella cheese, top with the sauteed mushroom and sun dried tomato mix, place freshly chopped tomatoes on top of them, and then finish with the sauteed asparagus stalks. 

9. Place your pizza with the toppings back in the oven to bake for another 10 minutes or until the cheese has fully melted.

10. Remove pizza from the oven, slice and enjoy! 

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Cauliflower Quinoa Fried 'Rice'

I have been thinking about making this cauliflower quinoa fried 'rice' all week! Mentally checking off that the necessary ingredients were stocked, salivating over the impending deliciousness to come during spin class this afternoon, and finally enjoying the end result!

Fried Rice is something I usually only get when I'm out for Chinese food or at those Japanese Hibachi restaurants. Generally it's something of special treat or indulgence, but this is a healthy recipe I could eat all day long! The best part, is that it's actually good for you, it's full of healthy nutrients and protein, via the quinoa, as well as as many veggies as you want to throw in! I used what I like, but feel free to just use this as a jumping off point and add whatever veggies you like! The more ways you can incorporate vegetables into your diet the healthier you will be! I love that the 'rice' portion of this meal is actually a vegetable and protein filled grain, not a starchy white carbohydrate!

This is definitely a feel good meal!


1 small Cauliflower (riced)

3 cups cooked Quinoa, I used tri-color

1/2 Yellow Onion

2 stalks Green Onion

3 cloves Garlic

2 cups Mushrooms, roughly chopped

Large handful Broccoli, roughly chopped

I cup carrots, diced

2 large Eggs

1 TBSP fresh Ginger

Cilantro for added flavor

Sesame oil, a few splashes, probably 3-4 TBSP

Soy sauce, a couple swirls, yes I'm making up my own cooking terms.. Going to need a glossary to keep track

Siracha sauce, if desired!



A. Cook the quinoa, I used my leftovers from the previous night, which made the process much quicker!

1. Mince the garlic, ginger, chop the onions, and sauté them in a large pan with a tbsp of sesame oil

2. As the onions start to appear translucent, add in the chopped mushrooms, carrots and broccoli to begin to cook along with a splash of soy sauce

3. Meanwhile roughly chop the cauliflower, and add 2 cups worth at a time into the Vitamix blender on the lowest speed, and using the dowel, push the cauliflower into the blades to 'rice' it. Once all the cauliflower has been finely grated into rice size pieces, you can transfer it and the cooked quinoa into a large sauce pan or wok

4. Add the eggs to the veggie mixture and allow them to cook thoroughly

5. As the 'Rice' aka cauliflower and quinoa combination is heating up, add a tbsp or two of the sesame oil and a swirl of soy sauce to the pan

6. Once the veggie mixture and eggs are completely cooked, transfer them into the pot or wok with the 'Rice' and stir together, add in cilantro and Siracha if desired!

7. Allow ingredients to heat for a few more minutes until pipping hot

8. Serve and enjoy!