healthy living, recipes

eggplant-carmelized onion flatout pizza


Here is another recipe that I initially saw on a Pinterest link.  In an effort to save a few calories/weight watchers points, I have recreated it here, using a Flatout Bread wrap as the crust.  It was just as yummy as on a regular pizza crust, no doubt from all the delicious flavors that topped it.


Roasted Eggplant-Carmelized Onion Flatout Pizza


1 Flatout Bread wrap

2 Tablespoons hummus (I used roasted garlic)

1 Chinese eggplant- sliced in thin slices

1 yellow onion


olive oil

salt and pepper


Preheat oven to 450 degrees.  Rub just a bit of olive oil on the flatout wrap and cut into smaller pieces (I cut mine into 8).  Place in the oven for about 5 minutes to let it crisp up.  (I used my Pampered Chef bar pan and pressed the wrap into it, making a little edge all the way around.  It worked great to give the pizza a little lift.  Sadly, my daughter broke it last night, so I’ll be hunting on ebay or somewhere to find a replacement.  It’s an excellent addition to anyone’s kitchen.)

While that’s baking, slice the onion and sauté in a swirl of olive oil.  Cook on medium heat until the onion starts to caramelize and the edges start to turn crispy.  This will take a good 20 minutes or so.

While the onions cook, lay the eggplant slices on a baking sheet and salt/pepper them.  Roast in the 450 degree onion for about 10-15 minutes, just watching to make sure they start to turn brown.


Once the onions and eggplant are done, spread the hummus onto the wrap pieces, just as you would pizza sauce.  Layer the onions and then the eggplant onto each slice as well.  Top with oregano and bit more salt and pepper.

Place back in your heated oven for another 5-7 minutes until heated through.


Serve with the leftover roasted eggplant slices (eggplant “chips” if you’re trying to coax a kid to try them) and fresh fruit.  Enjoy every bit because the flavors are so yummy!  If you’re following weight watchers this lunch for one was only 5 smart points (2 for the wrap, 2 for the hummus, 1 for the olive oil which is only about a teaspoon if used sparingly).  It’s a little bit of effort for “just” lunch, but if you’re having a day at home and want something that’s a little off the beaten track from the typical sandwich or cold-plate like I usually have, this is completely worth it!  Enjoy!!


**I’m learning as I go, here, so please bear with me- I promise to have photos to show more of the cooking/recipe process next time.  I realize that will be helpful :))







blackberry-basil flatout pizza

After hanging out on Pinterest over the weekend, I stumbled on the most delicious looking pizza I had seen in a long time.  The pin linked me to The Food Charlatan and I instantly LOVED her site.  Her food looks amazing, her style is very down-to-earth, and her photos bring it all to life.  And this recipe… oh my goodness!  It was different- full of fresh blackberries, creaminess, fresh basil… not to mention the fresh dough it was baked on!  My mouth watered.  And I wondered why… these weren’t the typical flavors I was drawn to, and cheese is most definitely NOT my thing.  But I kept going back to check out the photos and read through the recipe wondering if I should just go for it.


If you know me at all, you know that I tend to OCD on things once I get them in my head.  I just can’t help it.  So, at my next stop at the grocery store, I picked up a small carton of blackberries, ricotta, and the laughing cow cheese wedges.  As soon as I got home, I set out to try a lighter version from the recipe I had found…. one that I could use up just a modest amount of my weight watchers smart points for but still get the flavors I was craving.

I must say, it turned out to be SO yummy!  When you track food through the weight watchers app, there is an option to save the list of food you entered as a meal.  I love this new feature!  I used it right away for this pizza… I will most definitely be making it again!



Blackberry-Basil Flatout Pizza

1 Italian herb flavored Flatout Bread wrap

1 wedge Laughing Cow Asiago cheese wedge

1 small carton fresh blackberries, rinsed

1/3 cups low fat ricotta cheese

1/8 cup grated parmesan cheese

1/2 teaspoon Gourmet Garden Basil herb blend

olive oil

fresh basil




Preheat oven to 450 degrees.  Brush one side of the Flatout bread wrap lightly with olive oil and bake in oven for 5-7 minutes just to crisp it up.  While it’s baking, place 1/2 cup blackberries in a bowl and mash until you get an even consistency.  In a second bowl, mix together the ricotta cheese and basil herb blend until fully incorporated.

Once the wrap is toasted, spread the laughing cow wedge evenly to cover.  Second, using a fork, begin to add the smashed blackberries on top, spreading evenly.  It works best to use a fork or slotted spoon to get the pulp and not the juice in this step.  Next, using a spoon, drop small dollops of the ricotta mixture on top of the blackberries.  It works best to spread it out evenly over the entirely flatbread, leaving a small space between each blob.  Sprinkle the grated parmesan and a a bit of fresh basil over everything and add a small handful of fresh blackberries evenly over the top.  These are easy to place sort of in between the ricotta pieces.

Bake at 450 degrees for 12-15 minutes or until edges are brown and crispy or cheese mixture is bubbling.  Top with the remaining fresh basil and enjoy!

I’ve gone ahead an included a photo of what it looks like to have two big bites out of your piece.  Get used to that view.  This pizza is so good, you will want to dig in fast!  And maybe be a little sad when you are all done…




dark chocolate chia seed pudding

Chia seeds are one of most nutritious foods you can eat.  They are high in protein, fiber and omega-3s to name just a few.  Making them part of your dessert is a win-win- equals parts tasty and healthy!


This recipe is about as easy as you can get!  The trick is to PLAN it far enough ahead of when you actually want to EAT it because it takes several hours to set.  It’s best to make it the night before and have it ready to go the next morning.  There are so many variations and flavors you can add to almond milk and chia seeds, but this one is by far my favorite!

1/2 cups dark chocolate Silk almond milk

2 Tablespoons chia seeds

1/2 tsp. vanilla

1/2 tsp. cinnamon

fresh strawberries

Fat free whipped cream

semisweet chocolate chips


Mix together almond milk, chia seeds, vanilla and cinnamon.  Stir well.  Pour into glass dish and let sit overnight to set.  The mixture will congeal together.  When ready to serve, top with a dollop of whipped cream, fresh sliced strawberries, and a few chocolate chips.  Enjoy!




daily moments, family produce project, healthy living, recipes

family produce project- rutabaga

In an effort to learn about other foods, learn kitchen skills, and practice working together, our family has taken on the weekly “Family Produce Project”.  Every week we will seek out a new fruit or vegetable that is either completely unfamiliar to us or that we haven’t done much with before.  We will scope out the produce sections of our grocery store(s), agree on a new item to try, research how to clean and prepare it, and find a yummy recipe to try our hand at cooking it.  Anything goes- from the most obscure to a rather known fruit or veggie, keeping in mind that our goal is to try new things and get out of our food comfort zone.

The first week has been fun.  I initially thought we would make a special trip to find the perfect subject to get us out of our box.  Week one already proved busy, so in our Wal-mart run for camp things, we decided to check out what the produce department had to offer.


I was actually pretty impressed with the selection and the display.  There were rows and rows of every color you could look for.  The girls had to determine if they wanted to try a fruit or veggie, decide what color they were looking for, and figure out if they were going for something they sort of knew or something that they had never heard of before.

Not too long in the hunt, they found the rutabaga.


I love how Wal-mart gives the shopper a brief blurb about the produce.  High in vitamin C, sort of tastes like a turnip, good to cook stews or soups with, and look for one that is not mushy or decaying.  We figured two would feed our family of six in a side dish, so we bagged them up.

This will be our Monday night gig.  All the girls have to plan to be home and all have to work together in the kitchen and on the computer (or their phones) to figure out a recipe that sounds good to everyone.  They have to determine how you clean and prep the food to eat (skin, de-seed, peel, slice, etc.) and will have to gather all the ingredients and tools to make the dish.  After a few hits on Pinterest, it didn’t take long for them to agree on making rutabaga fries.  That pretty much meant ketchup, too.  I’m sure they saw that as a necessity to trying to eat something that looked like an huge, dirty, rock.


We first had figure out how to cut into the rutabaga.  Did it have a seed or pit?  Can you eat the skin?  They determined it’s best to start by slicing the whole veggie straight down the middle, so you can work then with each half.  You lay each half flat-side down, then slice 1/4″ all the way through (much like you would slice a loaf of bread).  You then take each half-moon shaped piece, cut the skin off, and slice 1/4″ slices, very much looking just like raw French fry pieces would.


Once both are cut, you simply toss with olive oil and spices, lay out flat in baking pan, and bake.  Pretty simple prep for limited cooking abilities in the kitchen.  The finished dish smelled yummy and each of the girls seemed genuinely interested to and willing to try it out.  When we sat down to eat, we looked up what we could on rutabagas.  Did you know that we are the only ones that call them that name?  In just about everywhere else in the world they are called Swedish turnips, or Swedes for short.  And they are actually a cruciferous vegetable- just like broccoli, cauliflower, and cabbage to name a few.  They are an excellent source of Vitamin C, potassium, and manganese.  They have fiber and other vitamins and minerals that promote healthy functions in the body.  They are antioxidant and beta-carotene rich and help protect from heart disease and cancer.


So, this will be a goal for summer.  Every Monday night is family night, girls night in if Brad has to be gone.  We will cook and learn and laugh and hopefully make some healthy memories in the kitchen.  Healthy for our bodies and healthy for our souls.

Rutabaga Oven Fries: (adapted from a recipe on

2 medium rutabagas

1 1/2 Tablespoons olive oil

2 Tablespoons rosemary

1 teaspoon garlic powder

salt and pepper to taste

Slice up the rutabaga into matchstick size pieces, similar to the cut of thin French fries.  Either in a baggie or just in the jelly roll pan, toss and coat the fries with the oil and spices covering the pieces evenly.  Roast in a 425 degree oven for 12-15 minutes, or until tender and browned.




radicchio and chicken egg roll cups




3 oz. rotisserie chicken- shredded

3 egg roll wraps- unbaked

2 cups shredded radicchio lettuce

1 tsp. olive oil

1/2 tsp. apple cider vinegar

1/2 tsp. frozen orange juice concentrate

1/4 tsp. garlic powder

1/4 tsp. ground ginger

salt and pepper


  1.  Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Mold the egg roll wraps into a muffin tin- loosely pushing them in and tucking edges to make like a mini bowl.  Bake for 8 minutes then set aside to cool.
  2. While eggroll wraps are baking, place radicchio in a bowl.  Combine with olive oil and next 6 ingredients and stir well.
  3. Gently mix in the chicken.  Stir until just combined.
  4. Fill each eggroll cup completely full with the mixture.
  5. Enjoy!

These are so simple to throw together and make for a very flavorful, light lunch.  I just ate them with my hands… may be a little messy but worth it!  Weight Watchers= 7smartpoints total.




jicama mango salad


A fellow WW member brought this recipe to our meeting yesterday- she had a copy for everyone.  How sweet was that?  The total time, start to finish, is 20 minutes AND it’s only 2 smartpoints!  I thought I would pay it forward and share it here- the flavors make my mouth water.

3 tablespoons orange juice

1/4 teaspoon minced orange zest

1 1/2 teaspoons sugar

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar

3 tablespoons vegetable oil

12 ounces jicama, cut into 1 1/2 inch-long matchsticks (about 2 cups)

1 large mango (about 1 to 1 1/2 pounds)

1/4 cup chopped cilantro

2 heads Bibb lettuce, washed and drained

In a small bowl, whisk together juice, zest, sugar, salt, and vinegar.  Continue whisking and add oil in a slow stream.  Set aside.

Place the jicama in a medium bowl.  Use a vegetable peeler to peel the skin of the mango.  Carefully cut the flesh of the mango away from the large, oval pit.  Cut the mango into short, thin strips, and add to the jicama.

Add the dressing and cilantro and toss.

Arrange the lettuce on a platter.  Top with the salad.  Garnish with orange wedges, if desired.

Makes 6 servings.

*i used thawed out frozen mango chunks  by the time I sliced and stirred it was a little soft and mushy  still tasty 😜

*one fellow member suggested also adding mint- yummy.

*another member suggested adding grilled chicken to up the protein and make it a full meal.

*when typing this out, I accidentally first typed the word “whiskying”… instead of “whisking”…. perhaps it was a Freudian slip… maybe a shot of whisky while making this salad just adds to the whole overall experience of having a yummy dish… (heehee)