Monday, February 11, 2013

Vegan, Gluten-Free, Guilt-Free Mini Pesto Pizzas!

Vegan, Gluten Free, Pizza with my SUPA EASY quinoa crust!



Okay, so who doesn't like pizza? With my cheesy-bready-loving family it is hard to escape the
inevitable pleas for that hot box that magically shows up on your door step piping hot
and full of "awesome" who-the-F-knows-what! I mean come on... we pay for convenience in
more ways than just our wallets.. I'm guessing pizza companies who can afford to sell $5 dollar
pizzas aren't investing in your health and well being..

...So, lets make some pizza, it is quick, it is easy, and best of
all it is full of awesome yummyness that won't have you feeling like a tub of greasy lard afterwards!

So lets start out with our crust. This crust is super easy and if you have some quinoa in your
cupboard you have pretty much all you need to rock these mini-crusts out in no time!

Pretty much all you need for these delicious hearty crusts!

Pretty much you just put about
1.5 cups of cooked quinoa,
a little bit of italian seasonings,
a teaspoon of salt,
a couple tablespoons of water,
a drizzle of EVOO,
and I threw in 1/3 cup of walnuts and a sprinkling of old fashioned oats just for the halibut!

I processed these ingredients in the food processor until it made a thick sticky dough.

On a greased baking sheet I made two 6in pizza crusts and stuck them in a preheated oven (400°f)
for roughly 20 minutes. I took them out and CAREFULLY flipped them over.. Treat these babies
nice because they break pretty easily!!

From here add your toppings and put them back in the oven for about 15-20 minutes.

I chose to use a homemade pesto for my sauce. Another quick and easy recipe that I make that
absolutely DOES NOT use pine nuts. Those things are CRAZY expensive!!

Laura's Cheap Date Pesto:

2 cups of fresh basil
1/4 cup of walnuts or cashews
1 clove of garlic
a dash of salt
a drizzle of EVOO (add more if mixture is too think for your liking)
1.5 tbls of nutritional yeast (if you aren't going for vegan use parmesan cheese)

Process these ingredients in a food processor (if using a blender do the nuts and garlic first so you don't end up with huge chunks in your pesto).

For my pizzas I carefully spread on my pesto and threw on some zucchini, mushrooms, and sun dried tomatoes, and topped that with Daiya Cheese. I like Daiya cheese a lot, and I'm PICKY about cheese substitutes, I will say though a little goes a long way (a good thing too because it isn't cheap).

These pizza's are delish, and since Mr. Man is at work and babygirl is crashed out on the couch I think I'll eat them both! heh!!

..and to prove that the crusts even holds up to being handled!!

Loving you!

Laura Helms

Friday, February 1, 2013

Somedays require yoga.. and some days require yoga AND CHOCOLATE!

Okay, today hasn't been the best, by no means the worst, but I found myself
running the hamster wheel of negative, resentful, pointless thoughts.

You know the usual, self-pity mixed with some "WTF' and "Why?!".. you know what I'm talking about.. don't deny it.
Nothing really happened to set me off, I was just feeling sorry for myself.. So, break out the
balloons and hats because we're making raw chocolate bars for this pity party!

Really though, My yoga practice helped knock me off my hamster wheel, but I was left needing something else..

call it a pick-me-up, a craving, a hankering..

.... a hankering for chocolate!

Because let's face it.. there are somethings that just require a big fat Rx from Dr. Chocolate..

However, I've done pretty good keeping chocolate out of my house.. It never lasts,
and I'm left with a sad feeling that I just undid all the healthy living from the past week.
So, let's make some healthy chocolate.. that's right, I said it! You know chocolate made
from nuts, dates, avocado.

That's right.. no added sugar, no dairy, no undoing the hour
of intense core work I just busted out in my yoga practice. This recipe is fast, easy, and
will have you smiling and back in the game. A word of warning though, I made this
chocolate in a bit of a frantic get'er done kind of way.. Yeah.. It was like that. So, the
measurements are approximates, but you should be fine as long as when you pinch the mixture and  it sticks together.

Raw Mexican Chocolate Bars:


Chocolate base:
1 c. Deglet Noor Dates (check em real good for pits, I swear I always miss one or two!"
2/3 c. raw cashews
1/3 c. Walnuts
3/4 c. Coconut flakes
1/4 of an avocado
1 tbls. melted Coconut oil
2.5 tbls. Raw Cacao powder
.5 tbls. Cinnamon
pinch of cayenne (roughly about 1/8 teaspoon)

.25 c. raw cashew
.25 c. coconut flakes
.5 tsp Himalayan sea salt (totally optional, but in my world salt and chocolate are a given)

Pulse all chocolate base ingredients into a food processor until it forms a sticky dough, if it isn't coming together at another tbls of coconut oil.
Put it in a rectangular container and press down to ensure uniformity.

You can also form the mixture into 1.5in. balls and roll in the topping to get more of a truffle effect.

Pulse the topping until the cashews are chopped and sprinkle on the chocolate and press it down to create your topping layer.

Place in the fridge and cool. Eat it. Smile. It's all gonna be okay.

I promise.

Loving you,

Laura C. Helms