Category Archives: Italian

Spiralized Zucchini with Lemon Yogurt Pesto

It has been awhile since I spiralized zucchini for a savory salad/”pasta” dish. This one is light and filling, simply refreshing and delicious! Keep the zucchini noodles raw, and the lemon based dressing will soften them just so. Serve cold!
You need:

1-2 zucchini spiralized into noodles

Steamed fava beans, 1/4 cup

1 small steamed Potato

Sunflower seeds, 1 tbs

Red bell pepper, 1/2, sliced

1/2 cup mixed Greens

5 large olives, sliced

About 4 large button mushrooms, sliced
Arrange all ingredients in a large bowl or container.
For the dressing, whisk together:
1 tbs pesto (premade or This recipe )

1 lemon juice

2 tbs plain nf yogurt of choice 
Pour over salad and enjoy!


Greek/Italian Kale Salad

Ever notice how well Greek/Italian flavors blend? I made a kale salad using leftover ingredients for my fancy pizza, but with a lemon juice dressing and some sliced cucumber that suddenly made it seem greek! Add some crumbled goat cheese, and bada bing, what a lunch salad!!
You need:
3 cups cut kale

1/2 cucumber chopped

1/4 red onion sliced

black olives, artichokes, mushrooms to taste

3/4 lemon juiced

Dash goat cheese crumbles

1 steamed potato chopped

Dash oregano
Just combine all ingredients and enjoy!

Easy Fancy Veggie Pizza!

Looks so fancy, was TOO easy. I used pre-made pizza dough from the refigerated section of TJs AND their reday made pesto sauce. I know, cheating, but who cares, have gourmet pizza at home in minutes for a fraction of the cost of going out!! I used their whole wheat crust, 3 cheeses, and TONS of veggies. Not to mention fresh garlic and basil. Mine was not vegan, not gluten free, but there are of course vegan versions of the cheese and ready made crust (I know at whole foods and elsewhere) if you need!
You need: 
1 pizza dough crust (of choice, I used whole wheat, you can use GF or the herbed option!)

2 tbs pesto sauce

1/2 can artichoke hearts (i like in water, not oil)

1/2 red onion, chopped

3 cloves garlic minced

1/2 can black olivessliced 

1 large handful fresh basil sliced

Dash crushed red pepper

Dashes of oregano

wheat germ/flax meal to taste

1/2 red bell pepper, thinly sliced

6 large mushrooms thinly sliced

Parmesan/mozz/goat cheeses! (subs vegan or just nutritional yeast flakes if desired)
Follow crust instructions, but I let mine sit out on the counter for 30min, then stretched out onto a very large round bake sheet, lined with lightly sprayed foil.  Then I spread the pesto, sprinkled flax and wheat germ for some added nutrition, then layered my veggies, spices, and 3 cheeses at the end.  
Baked on 375 for about 15min then broiled x1min.

Slice, enjoy, and serve with a glass of pinot noir (not a fancy wine pairing but trust me, it was delish)   🙂

Parmesan Brussels and Spagetti Squash

OMG! Instant favorite alert! Brussels sprouts and spagetti squash, fresh herbs, savory cheese, mushrooms, tomatoes, and garlic make this a true treat. The flavors are so rich and complex, and I love the subtle burn of the crushed red pepper 🙂

You need:

-spaghetti squash roasted whole at 375F for 1 hr 20min

– about 7 large Brussels sprouts sliced

-1 large tomato, chopped

-1/2 onion, chopped

-1/2 can chick peas

-about 6 large mushrooms sliced

-6 cloves garlic, minced

-salt, 1/4 tsp

-pepper, 1/4 tsp

-crushed red pepper, 1/4 tsp

-oregano, 1/4 tsp

-fresh thyme, 1tsp

-fresh parsley, 1tbs

-herbed goat cheese (optional), 1tbs

-shredded Parmesan (optional), 2 tbs

-olive oil, 2tbs
SautĂ© all veggies in olive oil on low heat, adding in canned chick peas and herbs/seasoning once veggies are reduced and mostly soft. The brussels retain some crispiness, but I like the tomatoes soft and mostly cooked down. Then turn off heat and add cheeses if you are using.  Remove spagetti squash from the shell and serve your saute over this squash “pasta”. Garnish with a sprinkle of parmesan and some fresh parsley.  Enjoy!!!


Gluten Free Veggie Spaghetti

Italian food is such comfort food in my book. I love the savory flavors and hearty nature of the dishes. This is a satisfying vegan gluten free version, replete with veggies. An easy staple meal.

You need:

1/2 onion

1/4 jalapeno

2 clove garlic

1 tomato

8 oz mushrooms

6-8 oz frozen spinach 

1tbs oregano

8oz quinoa brown rice spaghetti 

14 oz can tomatoes

1/2 jar marinara sauce

Zucchini 3 spiralzed

1/4 cup nutritional yeast 
Make sauce by sauteing your garlic onions, mushrooms and jalapeno, then adding tomato, seasonings, spinach and canned products.  While these are simmering and cooking, spiralize your zuccini and boil water for your gluten free pasta. Add in your zuccini when you turn off the heat on your pasta and cover for 2-3 minutes to soften. Then drain together and use pasta as normal, but with a veggie boost!  Serve sauce over pasta and enjoy! Top with nutritional yeast. Sometimes for added protein I will mix some chick peas into the sauce as well, just as an option. Enjoy!



Zucchini Mini Pizzas !

Little healthy yummy morsels! For a flourless gluten free way to get that pizza taste. Make a great appetizer to an Italian meal or an anytime snack!
You need:

-2 zucchinis sliced into 3-4 long flat strips (depending on size).

-marinara sauce

-cherry tomatoes, 3-4 sliced 

-tsp chopped onion

-dash crushed red pepper

-sprinkle of garlic powder

-tbs each fresh basil and oregano, chopped

– (optional) cheese of choice (I used daiya pepper jack shreds on half, and a little fresh mozzarella on the other half)

Arrange on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper.

Bake at 350F for 20min then 2 min on high broil to get cheese a bubblin!


Coconut Quinoa Primavera Pasta (AKA Better Than Mac N Cheese)

Oh yum. So delicious. When made like this, creamy pasta is no longer on my no-no list. In fact my goal is to find a way to enjoy every unhealthy food I used to eat before learning about nutrition, guilt-free. Knowledge is power and this dish makes me feel strong, happy, and healthy! Also,this recipe makes a LOT of food; lunches for the week!

8oz organic quinoa pasta
1 cup canned coconut milk
1/4 large lemon juiced
Red crushed pepper
1/2 yellow bell pepper chopped
1/4 red bell pepper slivered
16oz broccoli steamed
9oz sugar peas steamed for 4-5 min only
7-8 oz fava beans, cooked

Toss all ingredients together and enjoy! For work lunches I plan to serve over some fresh spinach for extra greens. Energy all week long!