Gluten-free almond flour pizza

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I love me some almond flour.

I bought my first batch of almond flour from TJ’s right before Christmas, and I’ve had fun experimenting with it, from OMG Pancakes to muffins and now to pizza!

Based off of this recipe, I developed my own almond flour crust last week and loved it! The best part was the crispy, crunchy crust that you got without having to wait for dough to rise. An easy weeknight dinner!

Gluten-free almond flour pizza

Almond Flour Pizza
Serves 2 (double recipe for larger pizza)

Crust

  • 1 c. almond meal (ground almond flour)
  • 1 egg
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1/4 tsp. baking soda
  • A few shakes of oregano, basil, and garlic powder

Toppings

  • 1/2 c. tomato sauce 
  • 1 tsp. balsamic vinegar (optional)
  • Vegetables of choice (I used fresh spinach, onions, asparagus, and broccoli)
  • 1/2 c. shredded mozzarella cheese
  • Parmesan cheese (if desired)
  1. Preheat your oven to 350 and grease a large baking pan (I used a Pampered Chef baking stone).
  2. In a large bowl, mix all of the crust ingredients until well blended. Once a dough forms, make a ball with your hands, pick up the dough, and place in the center of your greased pan.
  3. Slowly press out dough into a circle until it’s evenly spread across the pan. Remember to make your dough as thin as possible! (This helps the crust get crispy.)
  4. Place in oven and bake for about 20 minutes.
  5. Remove the crust, and spread your tomato sauce and balsamic vinegar evenly over top. (I like the balsamic for an added sweetness.) Next, spread out your cheese and top with vegetables. Top with a handful of Parmesan cheese, if desired.
  6. Place back into oven until the cheese is melted (about 15-20 minutes). Remove and enjoy!

How to level up this recipe:

  • You can create a white pizza by leaving off the sauce. Try it with some fresh mozzarella instead — mmm!

How to level down this recipe:

  • If you don’t have any almond flour or don’t like the flavor (it is nutty), try out oat flour instead. Your consistency will change, so you may need to add some water to even it out. 

And, it’s all in my head…(plus a colorful WIAW!)

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Happy Wednesday, friends! Before getting into the delicious eats that are part of What I Ate Wednesday, I’ll start with last evening.

I decided to push up my long run from this weekend to yesterday afternoon because they were calling for temps of 52 and sunny. In January. In Delaware. You can’t beat that!

Wellll, you all know that I’m committed to morning workouts, but since it’s dark until almost 7 a.m. here, an outside morning run is nearly impossible. I decided to get into work early instead and try to make it out by 4 p.m. for my afternoon, which I accomplished.

But, then my run started. My left shin hurt. My GPS watch wouldn’t work. I hate running after I’ve eaten two meals already that day. The excuses started coming, and I started getting discouraged — and fast. I started playing the mental game — okay, I’ll just do five miles, it’s fine. Maybe I shouldn’t run a marathon and just do a half instead. It. was. ridiculous.

Finally, around mile three (as usual!), I settled into my run. I had started off way too fast (averaging 7:45 for the first two miles), which set me back even further mentally. Finally, I slowed myself down, started to pace closer to 8:05 (still about 30 seconds faster than I’m hoping to do for my marathon), and got into the groove. Four miles down. Five. Six. (Stepped in a mud puddle during mile six, which did make for a pretty uncomfortable rest of my run.) Seven. (Side stitch = not enough water) Eight. (Almost finished!) Nine. (1:13 total, average pace = 8:11)

By mile nine, I could have kept going. How’s that for a runner’s high?! It is way too true that running is all mental!

But, enough about my running craziness! I’m done my long run for the week and can focus on shorter distance hill and speed runs. Yay!

And, now, if you’ve made it this far…thank you!

Here are my eats from last week…

WIAW1.30 breakfastI started off the morning with a peanut butter banana bread bowl topped with flax seed. Yum!

WIAW1.30_morning snackI snuck in a morning snack at my desk of some fresh strawberries and the other half of my ‘nanner from breakfast.

WIAW1.16_DinnerFor lunch, I enjoyed a Mexican sweet potato with some unpictured baby carrots. (Yes, it’s a recycled photo, and yes, I eat it A LOT!)

WIAW1.30_afternoon snackFor an afternoon snack, I enjoyed some black cherry CHO topped with oats and peanuts. Odd combo, but it worked!

Gluten-free almond flour pizzaFor dinner, I tried out a new recipe and created a gluten-free almond flour pizza…recipe coming your way tomorrow! 🙂

WIAW1.30_evening snackMy evening ended with two rice cakes topped with some PB2 and dark chocolate chips on one, flax seed on the other.

Check back tomorrow for my yummy almond flour pizza recipe!

A (pitch) perfect weekend & green smoothies!

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Good morning, everyone!

As my sister reminded me last night, I’ve been slacking on the blogging front, and unfortunately, she’s right! Luckily, I haven’t been slacking on the cooking/baking front, so I do have a bunch of recipes to share with you over the next few days.

So, let’s rewind to this weekend. Andy & I were set to head up to Philly to spend the weekend with his cousin and her family, so I knew I may not get in my seven mile run that was on the marathon training plan for this weekend. Therefore, I got up early Friday morning, headed to the gym, and got in seven miles on the dreaded treadmill. Although I’d much rather run outside, I actually didn’t mind it and finished in 58:30! Not too bad. Any tips for doing long runs on the dreadmill? Please share! 

Although we were supposed to travel on Friday night, the snow detoured us and it was on to Plan B. Redbox to the rescue! We watched these two movies while snuggled up in our nice, warm apartment! I loved Pitch Perfect & the best part was Andy enjoyed it too! Acappella movies aren’t normally his thing, haha.

Pitch Perfect

Bourne Legacy

While we watched movies, I had a craving for Chipotle but since leaving the apartment was pretty much out the question, I decided to improvise. It certainly wasn’t a Chipotle burrito bowl, but it worked!

Chipotle inspired salad

On Saturday morning, we headed up to Philly and enjoyed a weekend with Andy’s family. They were gracious enough to feed us at every meal…I don’t have any pictures, but we had some eats including great steak avocado wraps, roasted chicken, and Bertucci’s Chicken Milano pizza! I’ve never had Bertucci’s pizza before, but I was definitely a fan. Delicious!

When we finally headed home on Sunday evening, we were both exhausted after a long weekend. It was almost 7 p.m. until we got home, and I wanted something pretty light for dinner. Enter…green smoothie!

Green Smoothie

Easy Chocolate Green Smoothie

  • About 10 ice cubes
  • 6 oz. plain greek yogurt (I used 0% Chobani)
  • 2 scoops chocolate protein powder (I used EAS whey chocolate)
  • 1 tbsp. peanut butter
  • 2 handfuls of spinach
  • Enough milk to thin it out (I used unsweetened vanilla almond)
  1. In a blender, combine all of the above ingredients until well-blended.
  2. Pour into a cup, and drink with a straw! (Straws are NOT optional…they make it so much more fun! 🙂

How to level up this recipe:

  • For added protein and staying power, include a tbsp. of ground flaxseed or chia seed.
  • Add more fruits and veggies! You could easily add half a banana, some fruit, or kale for more nutrition.

How to level down this recipe:

  • Can’t stomach the thought of drinking your veggies just yet? Simply leave out the spinach, and substitute a fruit instead. 

Happy National Peanut Butter Day!

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I am 100% serious when I say National Peanut Butter Day ranks up there with Christmas and my birthday for me. Yes, it’s that exciting. Who’s with me?

In celebration, here are some of my favorite peanut butter recipes from Levels!

Peanut butter banana bread bowl

Peanut Butter Banana Bread Bowl

Chocolate Chia Proatmeal

Whole Wheat Apple Wrap

Sweet, Savory, & Tart Granola Bars

Sweet Savory & Tart Granola Bars

No-bake cereal M & M Bars

Healthy Protein Peanut Butter Bars

What are your favorite peanut butter recipes? Most of the time, I like mine just straight out of the jar!

WIAW highlights

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Wednesday’s quickly becoming my favorite day of the week, thanks to our little What I Ate Wednesday party!

Here’s what was on my plate last Wednesday…

WIAW123_pumpkin oatsYes, this might be the nastiest-looking breakfast ever, but trust me when I say, it was great! I enjoyed the last bit of my Vegan Pumpkin Baked Oatmeal (recipe from Miss Katie over at CCK!) with a scoop of peanut butter and a sprinkling of flax seed.

For a morning snack, I enjoyed an unpictured pear. When lunchtime rolled around, I enjoyed my favorite fall apple salad with some grilled chicken and walnuts (rather than my typical almonds). Delicious.

WIAW123_lunch

In the afternoon, I enjoyed a big bowl of vanilla CHO topped with the other half of my honeycrisp apple, a crumbled good-as-can-be grain-free pumpkin bar, and some cinnamon.

WIAW123_CHO+apples

After work, I headed to the gym and squeezed in a five-mile speed workout, so by the time I got home, I was starving!  I was excited to try a new recipe — Avocado Basil Pesto with Whole Wheat Pasta. Unfortunately, it wasn’t as great as I had expected, but it was still more than edible. Every new recipe can’t be a success, right?

WIAW123_avocado pesto

To end the day, I enjoyed a melted banana topped with oats and a few dark chocolate chips.

WIAW123_bedtime snack

There you have it…another day full of eats!

Why I love vegan baking

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It’s pretty simple: You can lick the bowl guilt-free. 

Yes, so you can lick the bowl after you make a big batch of brownies, but your mother’s voice will always be in your head warning you about salmonella poisoning. Don’t tell me you don’t know exactly what I’m talking about.

So, there are a few other reasons I love vegan baking, but let’s be honest — licking the bowl without a lick of guilt is pretty much the best part.

But, if we have to get into the other reasons, using whole foods tops the list. You know exactly what’s going into your food and you can pronounce everything you’re putting in your mouth — doesn’t that feel good?

I’ve experimented with vegan baking more and more this fall, but put together a few yummy vegan pumpkin recipes this weekend to enjoy this week. Yes, I know, I know — it’s not pumpkin season. Well, by some miracle, I had a leftover can of pumpkin sitting on my shelf and it needed some lovin’, so it got turned into Vegan Pumpkin Baked Oatmeal (Chocolate Covered Katie is my go-to for yummy vegan baking!) & Grain-Free Pumpkin Bars.

Both are super easy, and perfect if you need to use up your last can of pumpkin!

Good-as-can-be grain-free pumpkin bars

Good-As-Can-Be, Grain-Free Pumpkin Bars
Adapted from Detoxinista
Serves 12

  • 1/2 c. pumpkin puree
  • 1/2 c. almond butter
  • 1/3 c. agave syrup (could also use honey)
  • 2 flax eggs*
  • 2 tsp. pumpkin spice
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/8 c. sliced almonds (optional)
  1. First, combine two tablespoons ground flax seed (also known as flax meal) with six tablespoons water. Mix well and allow to sit for about 10-15 minutes or until gel forms.
  2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  3. In a large bowl, combine all ingredients and the flax eggs. Stir until well blended.
  4. Pour all ingredients into a greased 8 x 8 pan. Place in oven and bake for about 25 minutes, or until edges are slightly browned.
  5. Enjoy! These are good on their own, but also great crumbled over a greek yogurt or oatmeal!

How to “level up” this recipe:

  • I considered adding some blueberries for an added sweetness and flavor, which I may try again! As always, I think one mashed banana (in place of one flax egg) would add a great flavor.

How to “level down” this recipe:

  • No flax on hand? Just make this recipe as stated, swapping two regular eggs in for the two flax eggs. 
  • Top with this maple pecan glaze from Detoxinista — this looks amazing!

Birthday weekend highlights!

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You already saw the start of my birthday weekend on Friday, and that was only the beginning! It was truly a great weekend — I am beyond tired, but had an awesome time, so that’s all that counts, right?

Andy & me enjoying birthday weekend!

Andy & me enjoying birthday weekend!

After work on Friday, I came home and made this Sweet Potato Lentil Dish from KERF, roasted brussel sprouts, and vegan pumpkin bars (check out tomorrow’s post for that recipe!) to enjoy with my friend Alyssa before heading off to see Les Mis. It was good, but very, very long. I’d still recommend it if you enjoy musicals — I absolutely loved Anne Hathaway!

On Saturday morning (my birthday!), I woke up, enjoyed some oatmeal, and then headed to the gym for an Insane Incline Treadmill Workout and arm strengthening workout. I got home around 11 a.m., took a quick shower, and got ready since my aunt, uncle, and cousin came down to visit for the day! We went out to lunch and spent the afternoon with them before heading to the Saturday evening service at my church.

All day long, I assumed Andy and I were going out for dinner…he wouldn’t tell me exactly what we were doing that night but told me to dress “semi nice” and pick somewhere we had a gift card for. (We got a lot of gift cards for Christmas, and being young, married, and buried in student loans doesn’t equal a whole lot of money!) I was hoping he had at least invited some friends, but it didn’t seem that way until…

After church, he told me another couple was going to come to dinner with us and that we needed to stop for gas (even though I already had about a third of a tank). That’s when I started to put it together…he surprised me by taking me to Max Brenner in downtown Philly!

Max Brenner napkin

We started off with their waffle fries dusted in cocoa powder and chili powder…sounds odd, but they were delicious! So delicious, in fact, that they were gone before I got a photo. Oops!

I followed up the waffle fries with their Savory Roasted Vegetable Waffle sandwich…it was a little different, but enjoyable. The sandwich was served cold, but I think it would have been better warm — aren’t waffles always warm? Either way, I LOVED the cucumber vinaigrette salad on the side!

Max Brenner dinner

But, these were all just distractions until we got to the main course…dessert! Max Brenner is famous for their chocolate and every single dessert looked amazing. Andy and I ended up sharing the “Euphoria Peanut Butter Chocolate Fudge Sundae.” Oh. my. gosh. Deep chocolate peanut butter and dulce de leche ice cream, caramelized bananas, peanuts, chocolate covered toffee…all served with warm chocolate ganache and peanut butter sauce on the side. We finished every bite!
Max Brenner chocolate

Such a fun night! Yesterday, I slept in, headed off for a six miler as part of my marathon training plan, got ready, and then my parents came down to visit. We went out for lunch (again!) and had a great afternoon together…I even lucked out with a new pair of Mizuno Wave Runners as my gift! (Here I am rocking them at the gym this morning!)

Mizunos

Last night, we held an impromptu party for the AFC Championship game (Go Ravens!), which was a great (but tiring!) end to a great weekend. We had a delicious spread, including shredded buffalo chicken, Strawberry Goat Cheese Salad, veggies, blue corn chips and salsa, and much more. I went to bed a very full and happy girl!

Hope you all had a great weekend! 🙂