Cauliflower crust pizza

Hello hello, friends! I have been limited in regards to cooking and writing due to a wrist sprain, but I am lucky to have friends that offer to help whenever I need. A good friend of mine, Cecilia, who also enjoys cooking, “lent” me her hands for cooking a few times           (I suggested the recipes, we adapted them, and she did most of the work – thanks, Ciça!).

Have you ever cooked with a friend? I highly recommend it. Not only it is tons of fun, but you always learn new cooking tricks and can talk about how to improve the recipes.

One recipe that Cecilia and I made together and that I am definitely making again soon is a cauliflower pizza crust that Ella from Deliciously Ella created. It is easy, nutritious, and quick because there is no waiting for the dough to rise. Maybe you and a friend could plan on making this recipe together? You won’t regret it.

pizza cauliflower crust(Photo credit: Ciça)

Cauliflower pizza crust (adapted from Deliciously Ella)

– 1 cauliflower
– 1 cup of brown rice or gluten-free flour (we used Bob’s Red Mill gluten-free flour)
– 2 tablespoons of chia seeds with 8 tablespoons of water added
– ½ cup of apple puree (we made a fresh apple puree by steaming and pulsing in a food processor two small apples)
– 1 tablespoon of soy sauce or tamari (we used soy sauce)
– juice of 1/2 lemon (use more if desired)
– 1/4 of a cup of cold water (it may or may not be necessary)
– pinch of salt
– toppings of your choice: tomato sauce, cheese, arugula, tomatoes, bell peppers, mushrooms, oregano

1. If you have not prepared the chia gel yet, combine the 2 tablespoons of chia and 8 tablespoons of water in a bowl and reserve. Let it sit for at least 10 minutes.

2. Cut the cauliflower florets and put them in a food processor. Pulse for a few seconds or a minute until it looks like flour or small chunks. Place the pieces on a clean dishtowel or nut milk bag and drain all the water (don’t skip this step otherwise the recipe won’t work). {We let the cauliflower “flour” sit for a few minutes on a dish towel and it probably made the water drainage easier}. Squeeze, squeeze and squeeze all the water.

3. After removing all the water, place the cauliflower in a bowl and add the chia gel. Then, add the apple puree and blend well. Finally, add the flour, soy sauce, salt, lemon juice and mix well. You may slowly add water if needed. The dough should look like this. cauliflower pizza dough4. Pre-heat oven to 395F. Coat the pizza pan or baking tray with oil and then evenly sprinkle flour on it before opening the dough. Spread the dough making the desired shape.

cauliflower pizza dough baked 5. Bake at 395F for 20 to 30 minutes. If you are not using a pizza pan, flip the dough halfway. When crust looks golden and not very soft, remove it from the oven, add the toppings (tomato sauce, then cheese, then veggies) and bake for 5 to 10 more minutes.

Decadent apricot carrot spread

Don’t you love when you develop a recipe that requires only a few ingredients and takes about 3 minutes to make? Even better when you realize that Halloween is approaching and the end-product (yummy spread) is orange and a healthy option for October 31st. :) Yes, ladies and gentlemen, this recipe is a keeper for “HealthOWeen” 2014. decadent apricot carrot spread This apricot carrot spread is inspired by the raw carrot cake recipe that I posted when cultiv8health turned one. Once I opened my pantry today and saw apricots and cashews just waiting to be turned into something delicious… well, you know what happened. This quick spread came to life and made my day a lot better.

Decadent apricot and carrot spread
7 apricots (almost 1/3 cup)
1/3 cup of cashews (I used unsalted and roasted)
1 tablespoon of coconut oil or another oil/liquid of choice
1/2 small or medium carrot, chopped or grated (add to your liking)

1. In a food processor, mix all the four ingredients until the spread looks smooth (40-60 seconds). Mine still had tiny chunks of cashews, so feel free to process the paste for longer.
2. Enjoy on warm toast or crackers.cultiv8health quick apricot carrot spreadMore recipes for HealthOWeen 2014:
Regurgitated guacamole, mummy pasta and more
Roasted veggies with a scary bell pepper

Mom, dad, and baby Monday #9

Are you interested in increasing your family? If yes, how much alcohol are you and your partner consuming?

Alcohol can impair reproduction in women and men. Why? Alcohol affects testosterone levels in men and can also impair sperm quality. In women, it affects menstrual periods and ovulation. Women and men who are trying to conceive should drink, respectively, no more than 2 units (about 175mL of wine) and 3 units of alcohol per week. You can calculate the amount of alcohol you typically consume at Drinkaware UK.

Simple suggestions to help increase your chances of conception include drinking good old water (or spa water or coconut water) and eating nutritious foods (with lots of fruits and veggies and less refined carbs).

coconut water


October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month

Can you believe it is October? It seems like only yesterday I was thinking about pink meals for Pink October 2013.

This month has an extra special meaning to me. One of my dear labmates was diagnosed with breast cancer earlier this year. It is ironic that we were conducting breast cancer research and she then she became a BC patient. When I heard the news, one of the things that came to mind was to donate my hair in honor of her. We currently live in different states, so this was a way of showing my support to her and helping make a wig for someone.ilane july 2014 hair donation

Hair donation is one of the ways you could help someone. Social support, meal preparation, offering to drive to buy medications for nausea will be valuable to those struggling with cancer.

My labmate’s story was featured online and I cannot express in words how proud I am of her. Dr. Laura Bowers is a survivor, a scientist, an inspiration, a heroine!

More on Pink October from cultiv8health:
Physical activity and breast cancer
Homemade strawberry ice cream for Pink October
Homemade applesauce and oatmeal

No-bake granola

Hello, hello! I hope you are doing great.

A friend of mine shared with me a granola bar recipe and, let me tell ya, I changed the recipe a bit and the end product was yummy granola for breakfast. So good and it only has four ingredients. Four. So simple. So good and simple.

granola cultiv8health

No-bake granola
(adapted from Minimalist Baker)

1 cup packed Medjool dates, pitted
1/4 cup nut butter of choice (I used almond butter)
1 cup almonds, chopped or sliced
1 1/2 cups rolled oats, toasted if you prefer

1. In a food processor, pulse the dates until they look like a dough. Alternatively, you could soak the dates and then mash them with a fork (nice arm workout).
2. Combine dates, almonds and oats in a bowl.
3. Melt nut butter in a saucepan under low to medium heat (watch out for it not to burn).
4. Add the nut butter to the bowl of oats and mix well.
5. Transfer the granola mixture to a 8×8 container lined with plastic or parchment paper. Let it harden in the freezer for 5 minutes, then for 10 minutes in the fridge. *If you would like to make granola bar, leave the mixture in the freezer for 20-25 minutes, and then cut into bars.
6. Store the granola in the fridge or at room temperature in an air-tight container.

Playing with food

Hello, hello! I hope you are doing great.

Ready to play a game? Can you name the ingredients in the picture below?

eggless breakfastFor those who like playing with food, this is an “eggcelent” but eggless breakfast or snack.

playing with food cultiv8health

The ingredients are: an apricot placed in the center to resemble an egg yolk, and yogurt
to resemble the egg white of a fried egg. Almonds, oats, chia and/or
flaxseeds are wonderful and yummy additions.

playing with food c8h

Orange chocolate chip cookie recipe

Hello hello! How have you been? I was taking a break from the virtual world, but I here I am :) And with a yummy and gluten-free recipe.

orange choc chip cookies cultiv8health

(Are you already drooling with the melted chocolate chips?)

If you are, or even if you are not, a fan of chocolate with citrus ingredients, you should try this recipe. I created it to bake cookies for a friend who follows a gluten-free diet and she said she loved them. You could definitely replace the almond meal with regular flour, but I advise you not to omit the orange zests. To me, they are the wonderful touch.

Oatmeal orange chocolate chip cookies (makes 16 small cookies)
1 cup oats
1⁄2 cup almond meal
1⁄2 teaspoon salt
1⁄4 teaspoon baking soda
1⁄2 cup brown sugar or other sugar of choice
1 egg
2 tablespoon orange zest, freshly grated
1⁄2 cup chocolate chips (or a little more)

orange choc chip cookies

1. Pre-heat oven to 375F.
2. In a bowl, stir together the first five ingredients.
3. Combine the orange zest, chocolate chips. Finally, add the egg and mix well until
the dry ingredients are well coated and moist.
4. Make cookie balls using a tablespoon and bake at 375F for 10 minutes or until
cookies are golden brown. *Remember that oven times vary.

orange chocolate chip cookies c8h

Power salmon spread

Omega-3 fatty acids and other healthy fats, protein, fiber, and antioxidants are part of this quick and easy sandwich. I believe that spices, canned salmon, avocado can make great survival meals, and that’s why I often have these ingredients at home. 

I first tried this recipe when I was volunteering with The Happy Kitchen in Austin, and I liked it so much that I wanted to recreate it at home. I hope you will enjoy it as well.

Power salmon spread (inspired by the Cancer fighting Kitchen book)

1 (7 ½ oz) can salmon, bones in
½ lemon or lime
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 small celery stick, chopped finely
2 tablespoons cilantro, green onions, or parsley
1 teaspoon turmeric
pinch cayenne pepper
½ avocado
2 teaspoons capers (optional)
1 tablespoon onions, shaved or diced finely (optional)

salmon power spreadPreparation
1. Drain salmon, remove the spine, but leave the bones for calcium. Put salmon in a bone and mash bones with a fork (the bones will be broken easily with a fork and they are easily digested).
2. Add the lemon, mustard, cilantro, celery, turmeric, and cayenne pepper. Mix well.
3. Stir in capers and onions.
4. Serve on toast with avocado slices or on salad with avocado chunks.