Homemade Sweet Potato Pizza

A few months ago, I made cooked up this pizza with a bunch of random ingredients that were in the fridge. I figured throwing a bunch of my favorite foods on some dough couldn’t go that bad, could it?

Well, Patrick says it’s his favorite pizza recipe (which means a lot coming from someone who grew up in Buffalo, NY), and you guys have been asking me for the recipe ever since! So here it is.

Ingredients:
Your favorite pizza crust (I used Betty Crocker Gluten Free)
1 lb uncooked Brussel sprouts
1 large sweet potato
1 cup crumbled blue cheese (or feta)
1/4 cup dried cranberries
1 Tbsp olive or avocado oil
1/2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 cup (or as much as you want) mozzarella cheese

Directions:
1. Prepare your pizza crust. Personally, I used Betty Crocker Gluten Free crust because gluten and yeast really mess with my belly and this particular brand only has 1 gram of sugar. Be sure to read your ingredients labels. Often, gluten-free products are packed with added sugar to make them taste sweeter. 

4. Prepare your Brussel sprouts. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Using a food processor, or carefully using a knife, chop the Brussel sprouts into strips. In a bowl, mix the chopped sprouts, olive oil, + balsamic vinegar. I also throw a little bit of pepper on mine because I use pepper on pretty much everything!

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Line a cookie sheet/baking pan with parchment paper + spread out the sprouts. Bake for about 15 minutes, or until slightly crispy and brown.

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3. Mash your sweet potato however you prefer. OR peel the potato and microwave it in a microwave safe bowl for 5 minutes. When the potato is cooked, you should be able to mash it with a fork. Add a little bit of milk (I used almond milk) to make it slightly creamy. Then, spread the mashed potato on the crust as the “sauce” of the pizza.
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3. Top the sweet potatoes with mozzarella cheese. I use about 1 cup. You do not want too much because we still have a ton of other toppings to load! But you do want to make sure there is enough cheese for the cheese to melt and keep the toppings from sliding off.
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4. Add the Brussel sprouts on top of the cheese, followed by the blue cheese (or feta), and finally sprinkle on the dried cranberries.
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5. Finally, bake for about 15 minutes, until the cheese is melted. Being from Buffalo, I also dip mine in blue cheese dressing!

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Wegman’s yogurt blue cheese dressing is the BEST

Enjoy!

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If you give it a try, be sure to share your results with me. Nosh on, hangry pizza lovers!

XO – J

 

 

Skinny & Cool Lemon Drop

Martini Recipe

Whenever I go out for cocktails, I so desperately want to try the cocktails on the menu, but I cringe at the thought of how much sugar is in them. Am I right? 

So when I am at home, I am always looking for ways to make my cocktails with a little more zen and a lot less sugar! 

Did you know that a traditional lemon drop martini recipe calls for 1/2 cup granulated sugar? PER MARTINI! 

F- that!

Here’s my Cool + Skinny Lemon Drop Martini recipe for you to enjoy guilt-free this summer! 

Ingredients:
1-ounce fresh lemon juice
1/2 ounce Cointreau
1 1/2 shots Titos vodka (Okay, I use two!)
1 packet of Stevia sweetener
1/3 cup plain sparkling water

Directions:
Chill your martini glasses in the freezer for a few minutes. You want these babies to be as cold as Buffalo Bills fans in December.
Add the lemon juice, vodka, Cointreau, Stevia, and Titos to your cocktail shaker.
Add ice.
Shake it until your hands are fridged.
Pour into your chilled martini glass and top with the sparkling water.
Add a lemon garnish if you wish.

Post pics of your cocktails below or post to social media using the hashtag #cooljustine

Cheers!

XO – J

Totally Addictive Homemade Granola

Store bought Granola is NOT “healthy!”

Well, not always anyway! Many times, granola (or granola bars) you buy from a package are LOADED with added sugars. I mean LOADED. They add sugar to the fruit, sugar to the oats, and I am sure sugar to the freaking sugar. In 2017, I started making my own granola. It’s a little guilty pleasure I enjoy my yogurt with granola or let’s be honest, to just snack on by the handfuls!

I make my own granola for two reasons:

#1 – It’s cheaper to make a large batch that lasts awhile than to buy it in a package or from the bulk section.

#2 – I can control what goes in it and ensure there are no added sugars.

Warning! Even though I do not ADD extra sugar, there is still a large amount of natural sugar in all of these ingredients. Plus, a lot of carbs and healthy fat. Therefore, granola is always better in moderation. I was only half kidding about eating it by the handfuls. Seriously, try to limit doing that! We need natural sugars, carbohydrates, and healthy fats in our diet, but again, all in balance.

Each time I make a batch, I play around with the recipe and add things I like based on what I am in the mood for. Here is a simple DIY recipe for amazing, totally additive, healthier granola:

INGREDIENTS:

2 1/2 cups of quinoa flakes, old fashioned rolled oats, or gluten free old fashioned rolled oats

1/2 cup sliced raw almonds (or nuts of choice)

1/2 cup chopped raw walnuts (or nuts of choice)

1/2 cup shredded unsweetened dried coconut

1/4 cup chopped unsweetened dried apricots, cherries, or blueberries

1/3 cup unsweetened dried cranberries

1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

1/4 tsp sea salt (or Himalayan salt)

1/4 cup pure maple syrup

3 tbsp extra-virgin organic coconut oil

1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce

COOKING INSTRUCTIONS:

Preheat the oven to 300° and line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.

Combine all the dry ingredients together in a mixing bowl and mix well. Or toss it in a bowl with a lid and shake the hell out of it! It’s more fun that way.

Make sure your coconut oil is melted and mix it with the maple syrup and applesauce. You can do this in a bowl if you feel like stirring like crazy, or quickly heat them all up in a small saucepan to really get them friendly with each other. Just make sure the oil is completely melted.

Pour the liquid into the dry ingredients and shake the hell our of them again until everything is coated well.

Dump it all onto the cookie sheet in a thin layer.

Bake the granola mixture for 40 to 45 minutes, stirring it around about every 15 minutes so it cooks evenly. Make it until it’s a golden brown and crisp.

Allow to cool, or risk burning off all your taste buds in anticipation of pure heavenly granola joy.

Store in an air-tight container.

A serving size is 2 TABLESPOONS.

PORTION CONTROL, PEOPLE! You can do it!

Comment below and let me know how yours turns out or if you came up with any other creative ingredients!

Blackened Tilapia Salad

Tilapia on a SALAD?! 
Hell, yeah! Tilapia is just one of those plain, nasty, fishes that I just don’t love. It’s not the most impressive fish on the menu, but it’s inexpensive, easy to cook, and goes well with whatever the hell you want to throw with it.

I created this salad when I was on a tight schedule (literally Aldi was closing in 15 minutes) and I did not feel like cooking. But it turned out to be amazing!

Ingredients:  

  • 4 Tilapia filets, wild caught if possible
  • 8 oz baby portobella mushrooms
  • Pinch of sea salt
  • Ground Black Pepper
  • 3 Tbsp raw organic honey
  • 1 Tbsp fresh lime juice
  • 1 cup grape tomatoes (halved)
  • 6 cups spring lettuce
  • 1/4 cup chopped walnuts or slivered almonds
  • 4 Tbsp of your favorite lime vinaigrette

Cooking Directions:

  • Heat the oil in a cast iron skillet over medium high. Add the mushrooms and
  • season with a pinch of salt and pepper and sauté for about 5 minutes, until softened and starting to brown. Remove from pan and set aside to keep warm.
  • In a small bowl, whisk the honey and lime juice together.
  • Season the fish with salt and pepper, then brush both sides with the honey/lime glaze.
  • Cook the fish in the skillet, brushing the fish again with the remaining glaze.
  • Cook fish approximately 3-5 minutes on each side until it is cooked all the way through.
  • Divide the lettuce over 4 dinner plates. Top with the tomatoes, nuts, mushrooms, and arrange the fish on top. Lightly dash that delicious creation with your lime vinaigrette and serve immediately!

Comment below and let me know if you have a good fish salad recipe for the summer!

 

Totally Addictive Homemade Granola

Store bought Granola is NOT “healthy!”
Well, not always anyways! Many times, granola (or granola bars) you buy from a package are LOADED with added sugars. I mean LOADED. They add sugar to the fruit, sugar to the oats, and I am sure sugar to the freaking sugar. In 2017, I started making my own granola. It’s a little guilty pleasure I enjoy with my yogurt or let’s be honest, to just snack on by the handfuls!

I make my own granola for two reasons:

#1 – It’s cheaper to make a large batch that lasts awhile than to buy it in a package or from the bulk section.

#2 – I can control what goes in it and ensure there are no added sugars.

Warning! Even though I do not ADD extra sugar, there is still a large amount of natural sugar in all of these ingredients. Plus, a lot of carbs and fat. Therefore, granola is always better in moderation. I was only half kidding about eating it by the handfuls. Seriously, try to limit doing that! We need natural sugars, carbohydrates, and healthy fats in our diet, but again, all in balance.

Each time I make a batch, I play around with the recipe and add things I like based on what I am in the mood for. Here is a simple DIY recipe for amazing, totally additive, healthier granola:

INGREDIENTS:
2 1/2 cups of quinoa flakes, old fashioned rolled oats, or gluten free old fashioned rolled oats
1/2 cup sliced raw almonds (or nuts of choice)
1/2 cup chopped raw walnuts (or nuts of choice)
1/2 cup shredded unsweetened dried coconut
1/4 cup chopped unsweetened dried apricots, cherries, or blueberries
1/3 cup unsweetened dried cranberries
1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp sea salt (or Himalayan salt)
1/4 cup pure maple syrup
3 tbsp extra-virgin organic coconut oil
1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce

COOKING INSTRUCTIONS:
Preheat the oven to 300° and line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
Combine all the dry ingredients together in a mixing bowl and mix well. Or toss it in a bowl with a lid and shake the hell out of it! It’s more fun that way.

Make sure your coconut oil is melted and mix it with the maple syrup and applesauce. You can do this in a bowl if you feel like stirring like crazy, or quickly heat them all up in a small saucepan to really get them friendly with each other. Just make sure the oil is completely melted.

Pour the liquid into the dry ingredients and shake the hell our of them again until everything is coated well.

Dump it all onto the cookie sheet in a thin layer.
Bake the granola mixture for 40 to 45 minutes, stirring it around about every 15 minutes so it cooks evenly. Make it until it’s a golden brown and crisp.

Allow to cool, or risk burning off all your taste buds in anticipation of pure heavenly granola joy.

Store in an air-tight container.

A serving sizes is 2 TABLESPOONS. PORTION CONTROL, PEOPLE! You can do it!

Comment below and let me know how yours turns out or if you came up with any other creative ingredients!