Hey everyone!

You may or may not have been expecting a Try it Tuesday blog post this week but unfortunately, Baby R isn't here yet so I need ways to keep myself entertained while I wait!

Sometime last week Matt and I had homemade pizza but I decided to get a little more creative than usual.
We are usually devout pineapple toppers on our homemade pizza but this time around I had an abundance of apples. In the past we've had pears on pizza, which is delicious, so I figured apples would be just as good! All of the other toppings are pretty standard pizza toppings so the apples are the shining star of this pizza.

They added the perfect amount of sweetness (and extra fiber + vitamins!) to our meal that evening.

Homemade Pizza Topped with Apples
Makes 8 square slices of pizza

Ingredients:
-Homemade pizza dough (currently I'm using this recipe from an awesome food blog, check it out!)
-Genoa Salami (I was able to find salami without added nitrates at Whole Foods for a reasonable price!)
-1/2 Green bell pepper sliced into strips
-1 Roma tomato sliced
-Spaghetti Sauce (spread the amount of your liking)
-Shredded mozzarella
-1 Gala apple (or apple of your choice) sliced
-Olive oil for brushing on crust
-Basil, garlic powder, crushed red pepper for sprinkling on top of pizza

1. Roll out pizza dough into a rectangle to fit onto a cookie sheet.
2. Brush with Olive oil and top with spaghetti sauce and some shredded cheese
3. Place salami, bell peppers, tomatoes, and apples on pizza and top with the majority of the cheese followed by a sprinkle of the spices.
4. Bake in 425 degree oven for 15-20 minutes and enjoy!!


This was a Matt Approved recipe =)
 
 
Hey everyone!
Since New Orleans has once again decided to skip spring all together and jump right to summer, what could be better than a cold, fruity drink to brighten up your day?

This is perfect for this hot summer-like weather that we've been having down here. The original recipe does not contain alcohol, but it can definitely be spiked with whatever you wish to kick it up a notch!

Virgin Watermelon Cocktail
Makes 1 serving

2 cups fresh watermelon
1/8 c lemon juice
2 packets sweetener (I use Stevia = more natural)
1 cup ice

Blend all ingredients in a blender until smooth consistency.

I really like lemony things, so make sure you taste it and make sure the lemon is not too overpowering for your taste. If so, add more watermelon or sweetener or both.

If you don't like the thick texture, you can strain the solids out and make it more of a juice-like consistency, its up to you!

Enjoy!

P.S. I love watermelon!!

 
 
I hope this makes you as excited as it made me! I was hungry for a snack the other day and wanted something a little more exciting than a banana. I remembered that I had frozen a banana a few days before and decided to experiment. Voila! Enter homemade banana soft serve.

This is a fun and creative way to get a healthy snack and pretend like you're eating some ice cream at the same time (for all of you ice cream lovers!)

The best part about this recipe? Its one ingredient! or two or three! depending on what you want to add. . .

Homemade Banana Soft Serve
1 large frozen banana (cut into chunks before freezing)

Optional add-ins:
Creamy nut butter, vanilla, cinnamon, anything real

1. Process banana in a food processor (I don't think a blender will do the trick, try your best to get your hands on a food processor!). It will be a little violent at first and you might want to use the "pulse" setting so that your food processor doesn't fall off the counter trying to break apart the banana haha.

2. Keep pulsing the banana until you begin to see a creamy consistency. Add any extra ingredients that you wish and continue to process until desired consistency. Usually about 2-3 minutes.

3. Enjoy!!
One large banana will produce about a cup of "soft serve" and will be about 130 calories. Pretty good deal if you ask me!

You can do this with any frozen fruit you like. I think I will try frozen berries next!
 
 
Hey friends!
Today for lunch I decided to step out of the box because I'm a little tired of the usual turkey + cheese sandwich. Enter this sandwich creation. It was quite easy and you can definitely try this at home for a fun change to your usual lunch sandwich, if you eat sandwiches that is!

Delicious Spinach + Berry Sandwich
2 slices whole grain bread
1 tsp hummus
4-5 fresh strawberries, sliced (the local ones are so sweet right now)
handful fresh spinach, stems removed
shredded Colby jack cheese (or shredded cheese of your choice)
1 ounce Spanish cheese, called "Queso Fresco" at the grocery (This is my random optional addition)

1. Spread hummus on bread and stack in the following order: cheese, spinach, strawberries, more cheese and top with other slice of bread.

2. Grill in panini maker until ready or if you don't have one (don't fear!) you can grill on a pan sprayed with cooking spray like you would a grilled cheese sandwich.

This sandwich was delicious and gave me an extra punch of vitamin C from the strawberries and iron, folic acid and vitamin A from the spinach!

Some other additions/substitutions could be: sliced cucumber, shredded carrots, or apples.
Hope you like it!
 
 
Hola!

This week I want to introduce you to one of my favorite traditional Colombian foods . . . Arepas! Every once in a while, even the dietitian has to enjoy some fried goodness right? This fried goodness is homemade with real food though ; - )
Arepas originated in a region called La Gran Colombia, which consisted of present day Colombia, Venezuela, Ecuador, and Panama. Colombia considers the Arepa as one of its official traditional national foods. I have not met one Colombian native who does not like Arepas!

They are very easy to make. First, you must go to the Latin foods section of your grocery store, or even better, go to a local Latin supermarket and find this flour:
There are other brands you can get too, but make sure it is 100% pre-cooked white cornmeal of some sort. In my opinion, this is the best brand to make Arepas with =)

Colombian Arepas
1. Measure out 2 cups of flour and mix with 2 1/2 cups of lukewarm water and 1 tsp salt in a bowl.

2. Knead the dough with your hands. I find this dough to be extremely easy to deal with since it is so pliable and doesn't really stick to your fingers that much.

3. Shape into balls and then flatten the balls using the palms of your hands to form Arepas of your desired size.

4. Pour some vegetable oil into a pan (be generous) on medium-high heat and place Arepas in pan to cook.

5. When you notice them start to brown on the bottom side, flip over and cook them until they are nice and toasty. Repeat the process until you run out of dough.
You can also stuff them or top them with your choice of foods such as meat or cheese. These are good for brunches but can also be enjoyed at any time of day like we do here in the Rodriguez household.

After you eat a few of these, I recommend that you go for a run around the block =)

ENJOY!!
 
 
This recipe was inspired by one of my long time friends, Whitney. One afternoon sometime in 6th grade give or take a year, Whitney showed me how to make these and I was forever hooked! Not to mention that it was one of my first exposures to Peanut Butter since its pretty rare in South America. It was the beginning of a life long attachment (to peanut butter, not to Whitney although we are still friends! haha)
I love these Peanut Butter Balls because they are simple to make, only have 3 ingredients and they require you to get messy! Its inevitable no matter which way you approach it . . .

They also don't require exact measurements, but rather, you just throw it all in there to the amounts of your liking!

Grammar School Peanut Butter Balls
Creamy peanut butter
Cheerios of any kind
Honey

1. Put all 3 ingredients in a large bowl until there seems to be an even amount of each ingredient.

2. Use your hands to dig in and mix all the ingredients together.

3. Make your life easier by using a large spoon to form balls. This is not the easiest feat and they will looks messy. Try your best to mold them together into individual ball-like shapes.

4. Place the individual balls in a plastic container or other flat surface lined with wax paper (the wax paper is not 100% necessary if you don't have it, its just easier)

5. Freeze for 2 hours before consuming.


These are great for every day snacks when you just need something sweet to tide you over.

Enjoy!!
 
 
Move over Taco Bell, I've got a dish that will satisfy your Mexican food craving without having to stop by the drive through!

This Chicken Tostada is definitely attributed to my sudden craving of something crunchy, with chicken and lots of cheese. I scanned the fridge for available ingredients and came up with this!

I hope you like it! Its incredibly easy, cheap, and absolutely healthier than any fast food option!

Healthy Chicken Tostada
Makes 1 serving

1 serving multi-grain Tostito scoops (or tortilla chip of your choice)
4 oz chicken cooked in your choice of spices and shredded. (I used 2 chicken tenders)
Green bell pepper, sliced (use as much as you would like)
Onion, sliced (use as much as you would like)
1 oz shredded cheddar cheese or 1 string cheddar cheese cup into small cubes
1 Tbsp plain Greek yogurt or light sour cream
1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.
2. Saute bell pepper and onions in a little olive oil until tender.
3. While the oven heats, assemble your dish in the following order:
Chips, chicken, bell peppers, onions, and cheese.
4. Pop into the oven for 5-8 minutes, or until cheese is melted.
5. Top with yogurt or sour cream and enjoy your Mexican fiesta!

Now if only I could find a Margarita to go with that . . .
 
 
Hello!

If cauliflower doesn't make you feel warm and fuzzy inside (like me), then this recipe will probably not seem very appetizing at first. but rest assured that this is a GREAT recipe! I got my weekly stamp of approval from my dear husband Matt =)

I've been holding on to this head of cauliflower since last week's events not knowing what the heck to do with it because I'm not really a fan of cauliflower in its original state.
So I decided to get creative and do something I've been wanting to do for a while now. . . pureed cauliflower "mashed potatoes."

I've heard about this dish from several people in my dietetics bubble and I simply had to give it a try for myself.

Disclaimer: Just so you're aware, there aren't really any mashed potatoes involved in this dish

Its incredibly simple and so healthy! 1 head of cauliflower is only 145 calories and 14 grams of fiber! WIN!

Spiced Cauliflower Puree
Makes 2-3 servings
1 medium head of cauliflower, with greens removed and chopped into florets
3 garlic cloves
1 tbsp butter
1% milk
Sea salt
pepper
paprika
red pepper flakes
garlic powder

1. Put the florets and garlic cloves into a steam basket and steam until soft, about 25 minutes.

2. When you're done steaming, pour into food processor with the butter, a small squirt of milk (less than 1/8 of a cup). Gradually add the other spices to your liking.

3. Keep taste testing until you have achieved the flavor that you like.

4. Serve hot and enjoy!
Although this looks like mashed potatoes, the similarities stop there. I must say that they do not taste anything like potatoes. They DO however, have another delicious flavor of their own. Matt and I polished it ALL off. . . AKA we each ate half a head of cauliflower in one sitting. Talk about getting our veggies!

Maybe next time I will do half mashed potatoes, half cauliflower and add some shredded mozzarella to kick things up a notch!

Enjoy! and as always, don't hate till you've TRIED IT! =)
 
 
This pizza is so good my friends. We had our friend Deacon Kyle over for dinner this evening and him and Matt both liked it! Healthy dinner success in my book =)

I found this recipe on one of my favorite food blogs eatliverun.com so check it out when you get a chance!
I wish I would've gotten a picture of the whole pizza but we were way too hungry to wait and I almost didn't even get a picture at all!

I also used the dough recipe on that same website so if you are looking for a tasty pizza dough recipe you can find it by clicking on that link.

Click here for this fabulous recipe! I promise you won't be disappointed. Do keep in mind that I used 2 1/2 cups of shredded mozzarella instead of 2 cups just because I'm a cheese lover =)

This is a great way to incorporate more veggies into your diet and zucchini is definitely one that is packed with nutrients and fiber.

Enjoy!
 
 
Merry Christmas! We are in the octave of Christmas so until next Monday, its still considered Christmas Day =) I hope everyone had a nice and relaxed holiday with loved ones!

My treat for you today has absolutely nothing to do with the holiday but it is a good way to keep your eating habits in check during this season filled with sweets galore!

If you like yogurt and have not tried its Greek counterpart yet, you are missing out!
Greek yogurt has a smooth and creamy texture that comes from the way it is strained, making it higher in protein and lower in fat than regular yogurt (disclaimer: I still love regular yogurt!)

As compared to regular yogurt, Greek has twice the amount of protein per serving, which means it will hold you over for longer periods of time.

There are many different varieties of Greek yogurt so make sure you try one that has been recommended to you by others. I wouldn't recommend getting the store brand in this case as these are usually not very good and will likely ruin your Greek Yogurt eating experience. I have known this to happen to people so just know that all Greek yogurt is not created equal!

Some brands that I love are Chobani and Fage.
OIKOS is a good brand too. You can't go wrong if you buy one of these! This is a GREAT snack on the go or anytime, a great source of calcium and other minerals and like I said, PROTEIN!

Enjoy!