Kitchen Witching…Grain Free Cauliflower Pizza Crust!

 

The First Try…
   After perusing my instagram food porn, I was hell bent on trying out this vegan, grain, and gluten free pizza crust. We could all use less carbs in our life, but Pizza is sacred. And the indigestion and potential weight gain that follows it is worth every orgasmic bite.

   I knew my Mom would be the perfect cooking companion for this recipe, since she’s on a pretty restrictive new diet. What is life without pizza? She was really really excited.


(Does this make you hungry?)

   The crust’s base is mainly cauliflower. Cauliflower seems to be hot right now. It’s been used as a stand in for grain and carbs in a number of recipes like nachos, fried rice…and now pizza crust. Not a bad second act for a vegetable usually known as the crappy part of a veggie platter. (I actually love raw cauliflower though…)

   I’m a big fan of the Detoxinista. She’s got a lot of really healthy recipes that actually taste damn good. That’s a big deal for me. I’m a health nut but I’m also a culinary hedonist…I’d take the few pounds that come along with the pleasure of eating an orgasmic meal. 

   So I went with her recipe. I used a pound and a half (one whole head) of purple cauliflower even though the recipe called for a pound. One of the most important parts of the recipe is straining the cauliflower and I was worried. Once I had cooked and blended the cauliflower it looked like purple grey mush. I didn’t think it would survive being squeezed in a dish towel. But it did!


(I resisted chia seeds as long as possible…only for the glory of pizza did I give in.)

   The rest of the recipe is pretty easy…although the almond meal (also known as “Almond Flour”) and chia seeds are going to cost you a pretty penny. (Make sure you buy ground chia seed, not whole.) The good news is you can make a several pizza crusts and bunch of other recipes with them. So having them hanging out in your pantry is not a bad thing.

(Hot out of the oven…from gray mash to brown blob?)

   Although from the picture it looks kind of cracker like, it’s actually soft inside and a little crispy on the edges. The combination of salt, oregano and  cauliflower is pretty delicious and even buttery at times. 


  

    My Mom topped hers with her homemade pizza sauce, olives, and shredded cheddar. I used her homemade sauce, chicken sausage, olives and shredded manchego. We cut up pieces of the crust, topped them, then microwaved.  

It was good but I didn’t love my topping combo. Also shredded manchego on a pizza is maybe not a great idea.

The Second Try…


   I made a simple home made pizza sauce with fresh organic basil, a can of organic fire roasted tomatoes, a can of organic tomato paste, water, tons of garlic and onions, salt, pepper, oregano, and a little cane sugar. It turned out really well and made plenty for two pizzas. 


   We used two heads of yellow cauliflower  and made two crusts. The crusts turned out much tastier the second time, so I’m not sure if yellow cauliflower is better then purple for this recipe?

    Mine an oval…my Mom’s a square. My Mom’s burned a little in the middle. Maybe the crust was too thin in those spots? 


   This time once the crust was done I topped my pizza with goat cheese, sautΓ©ed mushrooms, green olives, banana peppers, shredded white onion, and lots of my homemade sauce.  Then I popped it in the oven again for a few minutes. 



   My Mom split hers and topped half with buffalo mozzarella, white onion, sautΓ©ed mushrooms, and my homemade sauce for my sister. On her half she did Parmesan cheese, white onion, green olives, and sauce. 


   Thanks to allergies I gave up gluten some years ago. So on the spectrum of gluten free crusts, I like this one a lot. It’s nice and light digestion wise too…you can have a few pieces and feel pretty darn good. 

   With all the toppings it was really delicious. I seemed to have found the magic combo. The goat cheese went perfectly with the sauce and crust. I LOVE sauce so I would advice other sauce lovers like me to wait to top this pizza and heat it until you’re ready to serve. The crust can become soggy after sitting with sauce on it for a while. 

   I was too stuffed to try my Mom’s pizza (we made a huge salad too). They used a lot less sauce so the crust stayed pretty firm long after they topped and heated it. Both my Mom and sister loved it. Neither of them have allergies and can eat gluten. So this recipe seems to be a win across culinary boarders. 

   I’m curious to try this recipe out again on my Toro, who thinks grainless, glutenless pizza is absolute sacrilege. That would be the true test.

The Recipe…

   Go forth and try this recipe, especially if you’re vegan, gluten free, paleo, or even just looking to cut carbs. I recommend it. And don’t forget to share pictures with your favorite local food porn junkie (me). 

Xoxo,

Junkie for Joe

   
   

Return to Life Challenge Week 5…Sick Daze and Stops…Period…

(Lowdown on the slowdown.)

The Upside…

   This has been a fun week! I’ve been cooking and eating more healthy fresh yummy food. Got a wee hike in with my Toro and JG. I felt strong and flexible climbing over logs and ducking under brush. I slept deeper after getting to play outside.

The Downside…

   Perhaps in honor of the full moon my body has chosen to break down and force me to stand still. Boo. I am sick and getting my period…at the same time. So I’m definitely not getting as many workouts or working out to the intensity I need and want to be. But I’m respecting my body…eating lots of fresh veggies, resting and hoping that I’ll be back in action soon! 


(Plenty of sunshine streaming through the windows with Pilates apparatus in Magenta…Pilates Paradise. Not sure whose Pilates studio this is but it’s gorgeous!)

GOALS…

   As soon as I’m back in commission I’m going next level with the Return to Life Challenge. It’s been a few weeks since I’ve had seven days straight of workouts. I’m typically doing the Return to Life Mat 4 or 5 days a week. I like having a few days break from the mat routine itself to keep myself fresh and interested. But I’d like to make the 2 or 3 days I don’t do it into days for full workouts on the apparatus. And days to do other workouts, cardio, barre, belly dance. So week six, here I come!

I Owe You Some Awkward Body Shots…

   Next week when I’m not sick and on my moon cycle I will have brand new bikini shots. 

Love😘 

Farida 

Return To Life Challenge Week 4…CH-CH-CHANGES!Β 

(Pre-Spring Queening)

The Change Train…

   Finally leaving the station, slowly but surely. This week has been really intense and emotional… but it has also spurred a very strong desire and motivation to make changes in my life! 

   I started with small changes like making sure Im relaxing and getting in bed at a better time. This includes turning off shows or giving myself space from people and things that stress me out or trigger me.

   I filled my fridge with groceries for the week so that I could have healthy snacks to munch on and ingredients to cook healthy meals. My stomach was really starting to hurt and complain about my sugar consumption.

   Been taking more time to primp my hair and put on a cute outfits and eyeliner. There is no reason why I shouldn’t feel like a Queen every day while tackling chores and work! 

   Hopefully the smaller changes will help me feel strong and able to tackle the big stuff…and there is a lot of big changes that need to happen in my life these next few months!

Celebrating The Victories!

   My clients and my Boss have commented on how I look a lot lighter. Not working as hard as I want my gut reaction is to say: “No!!!!!! I don’t deserve compliments! I have not worked hard enough!” I’ve started to rethink that attitude a little. It’s good to have high standards, but you have to celebrate the victories, otherwise you’re not enjoying life right?  I found that actually taking time to celebrate the victories actually makes me feel even more motivated to keep on keepin on! It’s also fun to be able to throw on clothes and not worry about if they aren’t going to fit right that week!

Goals…

   My goals for this week are more home cooked meals, more early bedtimes, and more workouts. Especially full workouts at the studio so I can supplement my Return to Life Mat and progress to some tougher exercises!

   

Pisces Eclipse Week Survival Guide…Spinning shit into Gold πŸ‘‘


Pinball Wizard

    By all accounts this week is batshit crazy. There is some intense cosmic forces at work and I won the astrological lottery by having these alignments hit my natal birth chart in several different ways.   
     

   In other words I was a mess this morning. A big ass crazy mess. Walking, talking, and working, but on the inside feeling like a pinball in outer space.  

    

 Lost at Sea

   Every astrologer I listened to or tarot card I pulled this week said the same thing…you have to “find your center”. What the hell?! How?! 

    From Monday on I felt like an epic failure. I was sleep and nutritionally deprived. Things seemed hectic everywhere I went. I wasn’t getting anything done on my long “To Do List”. I started to feel ultra sensitive, anxiety ridden, and overwhelmed.

    After work today I texted my friends and called my boyfriend. I complained for the umpteenth time in as many weeks about how exhausted I was. How I felt like a mess. How I needed to get myself together…work out harder, cook some veggies, go to bed earlier. Bless ’em for listening to me vent, but I did not feel better. I was still a mess and now I was starting to bore myself.

    I drove to the coffee shop near my house. I bought a fancy ass cup of coffee and got it “for here”. I sat down at an actual table to drink it. I took several breaths and began to listen to the music that was playing…International Colouring Contest by Stereo Lab. 

   I realized there was nothing I could do in this moment to fix my food/sleep/work out imbalance. It’s become a problem, and one that I need to stop talking about and just fix.

   I started writing a list of things I was grateful for. In no time I began to tear up, realizing how lovely my life is right now…despite my issues. Under the list I wrote a few things about myself that I love. I started to feel my sense of humour coming back. 

   I drove to the mechanic smiling with the sun shining on my face, singing at the top of my lungs. I stood in window of the lobby dancing and whistling along to Rocket Man on the loud speaker. I heard a laugh and turned to see one of the mechanics smiling at me. “Hi!” I said. “Keep on whistling that song!” He said. 

(Thanks to the wonders of Snap Chat I can safely drown in my mechanic’s waiting room…without even getting my hair wet!)

Are you drowning in your own shit this week? 

Here are some tips for treading water:

Stop it…
   Literally stop it. Stop doing anything for a minute or five. Take deep breaths. Inhale for at least eight to ten seconds…then let it all out. 

Look for the light…

  Look for the sun, someone smiling, music, children laughing…anything that brings you some measure of healthy joy and pleasure. Write a list of things you’re grateful for.

Let Go…

  If you can’t find the answer to a problem, or make things swing your way then just let go for a while. As soon as you surrender and stop trying to force things you’ll feel immediate relief! 

Be a Queen…

   When you’re spinning like a top, only you can make it stop. So focus on yourself. Remember that you’re royalty. Give yourself some TLC. Write down reasons why you’re a wonderful bad ass Queen. 

One Step at a Time…

   Put one foot in front of the other. You can’t always control what happens to you but you can definitely control how you react. So remember you’re a queen and don’t act like a peasant!

(Be a Queen πŸ‘‘)

We got this guys! 

Xoxo

Farida 

*For more astrological insight check out the Leo King: 
https://www.youtube.com/user/DavidPalmerAstrology

Return To Life Challenge…Week 3 Sunshine and Swing Sets!Β 

(Sun bunny lyfe.)

Sugary Sleepy Shit Show

   Late Monday night, in a fit of productivity I decided to sort ALL of my clothes while binge watching Zelda on Amazon. I went to bed feeling like a bad ass. I woke up to my sisters droning alarm at 5:45AM. I woke up again for the land lord to bring by the fire Marshall. I finally woke up for good VERY LATE and VERY GRUMPY on V-day. 

   Valentine’s Day is usually one of my favorite days of the year but I was an angry mess. Decided not to have any coffee, it was late and I had early clients the next day. Whole Foods was a crazy crowded nightmare. I fought rush hour traffic to get my errands done and meet my sister and Bestie for our V-date. After sweet wine, strawberries, nutella, and cookies, I was over sugared and ready for bed. I slept very poorly. And the rest of my weeks workouts were tough.

  So no workout Tuesday. Three days this week with no workout. That’s not good. Being an angry sleepy mess during the week…also not good. I have got to get the sugar and sleep thing under control. 


(This pioneer woman appears to be wearing Mardi Gras beads.)

Weekend Warrior…Period.
   Joy of joys. My first moon cycle while on the challenge. As far as periods go it wasn’t bad! Despite the red river rage I fully enjoyed my weekend adventures, which included a tarot and tea party, a bonfire, sleeping in a cabin from the 1800’s, a huge antique mall and more. It’s a hard life I live… ❀❀❀


(Return of the bikini bottoms.)

Progress

   After days of doping myself on Advil during my period and a crap sleep/eat schedule during the week I had some aches and pains. The ghost of sciatica haunted me for exactly one day. I did my workout, modifying where I needed to and the pain was gone by morning. 

   My goals now are getting enough sleep during the week, eating more and healthier. 

Keep on truckin’!  xoxo

Farida

Return to Life Challenge Week 2…Bad Girl πŸ˜ˆ


(Yes, I did do a strip search.)


I’ve been a bad bad girl…

   So this week instead of two days off, I took three. Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. I chose sleep on Friday afternoon. I needed rest so I could adventure! (More on that later.) I chose sleep again on Sunday morning. I needed rest so I could properly boo the patriots. 

   For a kid who never took naps and barely ever slept as a child, I’ve been choosing sleep a lot lately. My time management skills during the week need some work so I don’t collapse into a heap on Friday afternoon. 

   But oh-my-God was that end of the week nap magical…I felt like a princess! 

(Me feeling like a Princess after my nap Friday…Heading out to have an adventure with my Toro ❀)


The day of reckoning…

  Monday I made myself work extra extra hard. Not only did I do my Return to Life workout, I thought up many other punishments on the various Pilates apparatus. I had to pay for my crimes…with hard labor. 

Results…
   After taking a three day break I started to feel some of my old aches, especially one on the right side of my torso (I like to lean on that side when I drive…naughty naughty.) By Tuesday morning those  aches were gone and I felt great again. Yay! 

   I decided to do the bikini pictures every other week, so don’t worry, there will be a new one next week! 

Love! 

Farida ❀

(No make up…no filter…all criminal.)

Return To Life Challenge… Week 1 (Reality Bites)


(Me on the mat, just about to put my phone down and do the damn thing…)

Getting the Book
   When I saw the staggering wall of boxes in my parents garage marked “Farida” I knew I would never find one of my old copies of Return To Life. So I gave up and tracked a copy down at the Bethesda Barnes and Nobles. I called to make sure they had it before I dragged my ass down 495. The first girl I spoke to had never heard of Joseph Pilates…her manager informed me that they had sent it back to the publisher. The irony of this is actually a great metaphor for the Pilates world today. A huge shelf full of Pilates books and no one is interested in the one the man himself wrote….


The Plan…

   After locating the book in the iTunes Store and buying it on my iPhone, I made a list of the exercises I could still do. Out of the 34 exercises included in his book I could competently do about 21. There were about 8 I could do a modified simpler version of. Three of the exercises, “Scissors”, “Bicycle”, and “Control Balance” were unicorn exercises. Even at my strongest I was unable to do them. But hopefully that will finally change this year!


(The “Control Balance” from Return To Life…Hahahaha no freakin way…)

Reality Bites…

   I quickly discovered a few things about my body, a right hip that clicked, a searing pain in the side of my abs when I attempted some of the overhead exercises in a sloppy, half hearted manner. Worst of all I had to scale a few of the exercises I thought I could do and turn to modified versions. Blah…I literally want to go back in time and punch my 28 year old self for letting everything go so wrong.

  I faithfully did the routine every damn day until….the weekend. Crap. I didn’t do it Saturday or Sunday….I did have a few drinks Friday night with my Toro, sister,  and friends…stay up almost all night…make my Dad a pot of his favorite soup to take to his Saturday standing brunch…doll my 4 hour of sleep zombie ass up for George Michael/Prince/Bowie karaoke with my Bestie and sis…then up bright and early for brunch with Toro and my sister…Soooo by Sunday night I needed sleep and nothing else…

   I learned from this wild first weekend that maybe one or two days off a week was not such a bad idea, as long as I promptly “Return to Life” on Monday…which I did!

The Results…

   Although Joe Pilates famously said “In 10 sessions you’ll feel the difference, in 20 sessions you’ll see the difference, and in 30 sessions you’ll have a whole new body”. I did not expect super spectacular  results right away. Oh me of little faith. 

   From Wednesday to Wednesday I had done the workout 6 times. I was already eating less, and craving healthier food. I noticed my workout was harder after a sugar or burger binge.

   I figured out how to stop the clicking hip by concentrating and connecting even more as I performed hip clickable exercises.

   I found even though I had a crazy busy work week, I still found the energy to not only do the workout, but to also do some extra work on the apparatus (Pilates equipment) in the studio. My energy levels were climbing even on days where I didn’t get enough sleep. Even after a week of way too much driving, which would normally create all sorts of back aches and misery, I felt pretty damn good. By the end of week one I had no aches or pains anymore. I could sleep all night in whatever stupid position I wanted and wake up limber and feeling good…I shit you not!

The Pictures…oh hell what am I doing?!

    A lot of people don’t know this about Joe Pilates, but he was one of the first…if not the first, to do before and after shots. He amassed an archive of before/after photos of clients. He also loved to use himself to document his method. So…deeeep breath…I will be using myself too…cellulite, bumps, lumps, and all. 

Here are the week one photos:


(Yes, I did buy those horrifically unflattering bikini bottoms just for you dear reader. I can’t believe I’m doing this.)

Muah!

Farida