Asian Cucumber Salad

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This salad is nice and crunchy and packed full of flavor. Hoisin sauce is a thick, pungent sauce that is typically used in Chinese cuisine. It’s typically made from soy sauce, black bean paste, and sweeteners. If you do not have this sauce and don’t want to purchase it, just whisk together soy sauce (gluten free if you choose), and honey. It won’t taste EXACTLY the same but it will be close enough. I didn’t have them in my kitchen, but you can sprinkle sesame seeds on top of the salad when you serve it for a nice presentation! 🙂 Enjoy! xx

Yield: ~3 cups of salad

-2 large cucumbers, washed & sliced VERY thinly

-1/2 red bell pepper, minced

-1 tsp fresh ginger, minced

-1 glove garlic, minced

-1 large handful of cilantro, chopped finely

-2 tablespoons Hoisin sauce (or 2 tablespoons soy sauce & one tablespoon honey if you don’t have hoisin)

-1/3 cup rice wine vinegar

-1/4 cup sesame oil

-1 tablespoon sugar

In a large bowl, whisk together the Hoisin sauce (or soy sauce mixture), rice wine vinegar, sesame oil, and sugar. Add the ginger, garlic, and cilantro and stir well, then add your vegetables (the cucumber and the red bell pepper). I would let the salad sit for about 30 minutes before serving, so that all of the flavors can soak into the cucumber!

Gluten Free Pizza Crust Recipes; Cauliflower Addition

IMG_7649IMG_7651IMG_7645I have started to play around with some gluten free pizza crust recipes. I adapted this cauliflower crust from a recipe I found online. I like a lot of flavors in what I make, so I added some ingredients to the crust so that it has a great taste in and of itself. The crust took longer to cook than I expected, and it was hard to get it really crispy. BUT the flavor is all there, and I think the texture is pretty good too. I really loved this GF crust recipe & and will be making up some others as I toy around with different ideas of what to make it with. I hope you try this recipe out & give me some feedback. 🙂 xx

Yield: 2 crusts

-1 large head of cauliflower

-2 eggs

-1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese

-1/2 cup parmesan cheese

-1 tsp salt

-2 tsps pepper

-2 tablespoons fresh basil, minced

-1 tsp oregano

-Parchment paper

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

Cut the bottom off of the cauliflower with all of the green leaves and hard stems. Break the cauliflower into small florets. Place all of the florets into a large pot with about 1 and 1/2 inches of water in it. Cover with a lid. On medium heat, cook the cauliflower until it is fork tender and begins to fall apart–about 15 minutes. Strain the cauliflower in a large colander to remove the excess water, and let the cauliflower sit in there for about 20 minutes until it is as dry as possible.

Pour the cooked cauliflower into a large mixing bowl. Lightly beat the eggs and then add them to the cauliflower, along with the remaining ingredients. Stir well until thoroughly mixed.

Place parchment paper on two cookie trays. Put the cauliflower mixture on the trays and spread it out using your hands. Make sure you use the same amount of mixture for each crust so that they cook uniformly.

Place into the oven for about 30-40 minutes, until it has browned. I removed the parchment paper mid-way through because I felt it was not getting crispy enough.

You can use whatever toppings you choose; I used whatever I had at my house which was cherry tomatoes, fresh arugula, basil from my garden, and baby bella mushrooms. I used just jarred tomato sauce as the base. Use whatever toppings and ingredients you have, and this meal comes together in about an hour and is DELICIOUS & healthy!

Spring Spaghetti Squash Salad

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Serves: 4

-1 medium spaghetti squash

-2 tablespoons olive oil

-1/2 lb. asparagus, cut into 1 inch pieces

-1 red bell pepper, diced

-2 cloves garlic, minced

-1/2 cup parmesan cheese (optional)

-1 tablespoon fresh dill, chopped finely

-Salt & pepper to taste

Using a large, sharp knife, cut the spaghetti squash in half length-wise. Make sure you are doing this on a non-slippery surface. It can get kind of tricky! Remove the seeds from the inside of the squash using a metal spoon.  Place the two halves onto a large, microwave-safe plate, and cover them with moist paper towels. Place into the microwave for ~20 minutes, or until the spaghetti squash is tender but not mushy. Set aside and let it cool for about 5 minutes.

While the spaghetti squash is in the microwave, heat the 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large frying pan. Add the red pepper and asparagus and cook until tender; about 3-4 minutes. Add the garlic, stir, then remove from the heat. When the spaghetti squash has cooled a little, spoon out the squash into the skillet with the other vegetables and stir it around so that the vegetables are evenly distributed. Add the parmesan cheese, the fresh dill, and any salt & pepper if you’d like. I then like to serve the salad in the spaghetti squash skin itself for presentation, but do whatever you’d prefer!

Pineapple Salsa

IMG_7239This recipe is super simple & delicious. Just mix all of the ingredients together, taste for salt & pepper, and then let sit for about 20 minutes in the fridge before serving. This will give it enough time for the flavors to marry. If you like your salsas a little spicier, you can add minced jalapeno to it (I would say about 1/2 tsp worth for this quantity). I love how this salsa is nice and sweet and has a great texture from the pineapple. Enjoy!

Serves: 4

-1 fresh pineapple (small), cut into small pieces

-1 medium roma tomato, diced

-2 tablespoons minced onion

-2 tablespoons cilantro, minced

-1 teaspoon salt

-pinch of red pepper flakes (optional)