Tag Archives: fresh

Market Things & Gluten-Free Pizza

marketthingsThe outdoor market is one of the highlights of my week. It’s my chance to pick up some plump Medjool dates, pick out bunches of fresh veggies, and get my hands on some amazing Italian cheese. It’s also a great chance to practice Italian with the local merchants. Today is that much brighter after buying fresh flowers, carrots, spring garlic, spring onions, and fennel.

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To be honest, I had only eaten fennel a handful of times before coming to Italy, and boy, was I missing out. Fennel is a staple in Italian cooking and I am so grateful for the different versions I have been exposed to. I adore fennel’s slight liquorice flavor and its wonderful versatility. It is great raw or cooked, added to salads for some crunch, or baked in the oven with some cheese, breadcrumbs, and fresh herbs. Fennel sauteed with coconut oil, raisins, and pine nuts is heavenly. Fennel is anti-inflammatory, aids in digestion, and contains vitamin A, vitamin C, calcium, iron, magnesium, and zinc.

I am also discovering the magic of fennel seeds, which add delicious depth and flavor to sauces and soups. Sometimes I even nibble on them to freshen my breath. I recently made this recipe from Green Kitchen Stories and wooooah baby was it packed with amazing flavor!

fennel spring garliccoatedfennel

I left the market feeling some powerful fennel inspiration and so I decided to make this gluten-free pizza with caramelized fennel and goat cheese for my host family. I joked to my host mother that I must be breaking some sort of Italian law with this gluten-free crust but it turns out they loved it! I mean, can you really go wrong with sweet caramelized fennel and goat cheese?

GFpizza

Gluten-Free Fennel & Goat Cheese Pizza

Inspired by My New Roots’ recipe

Makes one medium-sized pizza

Ingredients for topping:

1 large fennel bulb

1 large tomato [optional]

1/2 cup soft goat cheese

olive or coconut oil

2-3 tbsp. fennel seeds

2 tbsp. balsamic glaze [can also use honey or maple syrup]

sea salt

bunch of arugula

Gluten-free crust:

1 small head cauliflower

1 egg

3/4-1 cup shredded mozzarella

sea salt

2 tsp. herbs of choice [I used oregano and garlic]

Directions for crust:

1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Cover a baking sheet with aluminum foil and grease with olive or coconut oil.

2. Wash and dry the head of cauliflower and then cut off the florets. Place the florets in a food processor and process until cauliflower resembles rice. Place in a bowl and microwave for 5-6 minutes.

3. While cauliflower is cooking, mix the egg, cheese, salt and herbs in a separate bowl until combined. Drain cooked cauliflower in a sieve, pressing with a spoon to drain as much water from the cauliflower as possible. Add the cooked cauliflower to the egg & cheese mixture and mix well.

4. Spread mixture onto the covered baking sheet and spread until your preferred thickness [I like mine to resemble more of a flatbread]. Bake for 15 minutes and let cool.

Directions for topping:

1. While crust is cooking, prepare the topping. Wash fennel and remove fronds. Cut vertically into thin slices.

2. Heat coconut or olive oil in a pan over medium-high heat. Place fennel on the pan, making sure the pieces are flat and not overlapping. Sprinkle with sea salt.

3. Wait for the fennel to become golden-brown on the underside and then flip the pieces over. Let the other side become golden-brown.

4. Add the fennel seeds and balsamic glaze to the pan and toss to coat. Cook fennel for another minute and remove from pan.

Assembly:

1. Once the crust has cooled, drizzle with olive oil. Lay the fennel pieces on top [and slices of tomato if using] then place pieces of goat cheese evenly over the top.

2. Bake in the oven for another 3-5 minutes or until the goat cheese has slightly browned. Remove from oven and dress with fresh arugula.

Enjoy lovelies,

Sarah D.

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Spring Cleaning

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Hello lovelies, happy spring! Warmer weather, blooming flowers, bike rides & frolicking/picnicking/sprawling on lawns are all in sight and this makes me a very happy girl. It is such an uplifting feeling when spring comes back around offering all of its rejuvenating, positive energy.

The theme for my meditation today was creating balance and the mantra was: my outer world reflects my inner world. As our outer world makes a transition, it feels right to make one on the inside as well. Just as we would look to our home for some spring cleaning, now is a perfect time to look to our most sacred homes- our bodies- for some cleaning as well. Staying in rhythm with nature as best we can is a wonderful way to create balance in our lives.

A great way to clean out winter and make room for spring is a juice cleanse. I was recently told that the two things that take up the most energy in our bodies are thinking and digesting. A juice cleanse, where you drink only vegetable and fruit juices, allows our bodies to focus less on digesting and more on cleansing. Meditation is a great practice to pair with a juice cleanse because it means less thinking! Time to not only clear the body of toxins but clear that busy mind.

To be completely honest, I have never done a full juice cleanse. What I have done is replaced breakfast and dinner with juice and kept lunch on the lighter side [grains, steamed veggies, sweet potatoes.] Even replacing just dinner with juice provides great benefits for the body. Plus, if you are new to cleansing, it is the easiest meal to replace since the body’s digestive fire is low and you are engaging in less activity at night.

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Juicing with a juicer instead of a blender is very important. A juicer extracts fiber, which is important during a juice cleanse (but try not to throw the pulp away, you can use it in baked goods or as compost). You want to eliminate fiber from your diet so your body does not use up energy digesting it. The point of a juice cleanse is to give your digestive system a break from all that hard work it does!

Here are some juice combos that I especially love but feel free to play around with your veggies and fruits and see what new and colorful combos you come up with.

Helpful tip: it is important to incorporate some kind of sweet component into your juice so it doesn’t taste so “green”. Apples and oranges are perfect picks but if you are on a strictly veggie juice cleanse, I find beets and carrots to be wonderful sweeteners.

Juice combos:

beet-apple-carrot-ginger

carrot-orange-apple-ginger

kale-spinach-celery-parsley-apple-lemon

pineapple-lemon-ginger-mint (you can use a blender for this one)

cucumber-melon-mint-lemon

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Goodbye winter, hellooooo spring!

Cheers,

Sarah

[Photos: homemade beet-carrot-ginger juice//green juice from fortheloveoffood]

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