Polenta Three Cheese Pizza

know how hard it is to bake a gluten-free pizza crust.  Sticky, dense, or rock-hard… You might as well serve up melted cheese on a cardboard box.  Bleck.

But never fear, Polenta Pizza to the rescue!  Crisp, fiber-full, and just the right density.  I don’t even miss regular wheat pizza!


This was the perfect vehicle for my FODMAP “cautious” lactose challenge.  Bring on the cheese, baby!  {BTW, this girl tolerates milk products just fine!}

Polenta Three Cheese Pizza

Serves 4
Adapted from Living FODMAP Free

gluten free


  • 36 ounces (2 packages) pre-cooked polenta
  • 3 Tbs water
  • 2 Tbs corn starch
  • 2 Tbs gluten-free all purpose flour
  • 1 Tbs green onion, chopped {omit white part for Low FODMAP friendly}
  • 1 C tomato sauce
  • 1 Tbs green onion, chopped
  • 1 C shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1/4 C shaved parmesan cheese
  • 1/8 C goat cheese
  • pepperoni (if desired)
  • 1/2 C spinach


  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
  2. Place one package polenta in Kitchen Aid Mixer, using whisk attachment to break apart.  Repeat with second package.  Add water, corn starch, gluten-free flour, and 1 Tbs green onion.  Mix until smooth and forms dough ball.  Add additional water by the tablespoon if necessary.
  3. Press dough out evenly on to a pizza pan and bake for 35 minutes {Or until cooked through. Test this by using a toothpick – if it’s cooked, the toothpick will come out clean}.
  4. Mix green onion and tomato sauce together.  Spread over cooked pizza shell.
  5. Add cheese, and other desired toppings, and place in oven for an additional 25 minutes, or until cheese turns golden brown.
  6. Remove and let stand 5-10 minutes before serving.




This crust is to die for.  Crisp and light, not too dense.

I chose to add some green onions to my tomato sauce, because I wanted a little extra flavor.  I am still avoiding garlic and onion, so my tomato sauce contained the basics – tomato and basil.  I used Pomi, which took me forever and a day to find at the grocery store.  Next time you are at the grocery store, just try and find a pizza sauce without garlic and onion.  Practically impossible!


gluten free salad pizza recipe

And please don’t forget to add some veg to the pizza.  Let’s be civilized, here.

spinach pizza gluten free recipe

polenta pizza gluten free recipe

gluten free pizza slice

Ohhhh yes, yes, yes.  That’ll do!




Weekly Menu + My New Diet

You may have noticed yesterday I posted a gluten-free recipe, something I haven’t done in about a year and half… It wasn’t because I just had some left over gluten-free flour that I needed to use up, or because I was trying to provide a trendy gluten-free recipe to you, my dear reader.  It’s because I am I am going back to gluten-free.  Actually, I’m taking it a little further than just wheat; I am going Low FODMAP.

I was first introduced to the Low FODMAPs diet two years ago during my undergrad while shadowing a fabulous dietitian, Carol Plotkin at On Nutrition in Rochester, NY.  I adopted a handful of the recommendations for a short period of time, and the results were amazing!  No more stomachaches, bloating, gas … and other unpleasant side effects.  Plus, I lost a little weight, got way faster, and felt more energized!

Now I’m not trying to convince you to go Low FODMAP, and let me note – this is not a weight-loss diet – but if you struggle with IBS symptoms, you may give it a try to see if you can find relief too.

So let me give you a brief review on what a FODMAP is…

Oligosaccharide {fructans and galactans}
Disaccharide {lactose}
Monosaccharide {fructose}
Polyols {sugar alcohols}

FODMAPs are specific types of carbohydrates that are rapidly fermented in our GI tract.  As the healthy bacteria in our gut digests and consumes FODMAP carbohydrates, they produce gas and draw in water.  For people with IBS, these normal physiological processes are exaggerated resulting in undesirable side effects.

So what are some of the big culprits?

  • Fructans – Artichokes, asparagus, brussel sprouts, broccoli, cabbage, chicory (Inulin), snow peas, onions, garlic, wheat, and rye
  • Galactans – Chickpeas, lentils, kidney beans, and soy products
  • Lactose – Milk, yogurt, ice cream, riccotta, and cottage cheese
  • Fructose – Apples, pears, peaches, mangos, water, coconut, dried fruits, fruit juice, honey, agave, and high fructose corn syrup
  • Polyols – Sugar alcohols, apricots, plums, nectarines, watermelon, cauliflower, and mushrooms

Currently, I am starting with a very strict elimination phase, where I am cutting out all  FODMAPs for two weeks.  I have never done an elimination type diet, and while I do have a pretty good idea what gives me grief {fructans, galactans, and fructose kill me, whereas polyols and lactose I tolerate fairly well, with the exception of sugar alcohols}, I think I will gain an even greater insight into foods I can tolerate and those I just plain can’t.

So here’s what I have planned for this week’s Low FODMAP menu:

+ Pork Chops + Baked Sweet Potatoes + Corn
+ Seared Ahi Tuna + Brown Rice + Mixed Asian Veg
+ Chicken Thai Quinoa Salad {inspired by this recipe}

And workouts for the week:

+ Monday – Chest & Biceps
+ Tuesday – Legs & Abs // 3 mi trails
+ Wednesday – Rest
+ Thursday –  Shoulders & Triceps // 3 mi
+ Friday – Legs & Abs
+ Saturday – 4 mi trails
+ Sunday – 3 mi

I’m upping my running this week after feeling like a slacker since this past weekend’s SLO Marathon.  I may or may not be feeling the racing itch!  Hopefully my new diet will help get me back in good shape for running season!

Happy Tuesday!

Almond Quinoa & Oat Waffles with Blueberry Drizzle

Happy Monday!  Hope you all had a wonderful weekend!  I’m still in weekend mode as I am still off from work today.  Monday = the new Sunday for this girl.  When I first started my job at the hospital I thought I would hate my new “weekend,” but being off Monday does have it’s perks.  I’m able to make appointments, get in great workouts, meal prep, and run errands without having to fight the hustle of the weekend crowd.  It also makes the traditional Sunday Funday mimosa brunch a little less guilt-inducing knowing that I have the next day off. 😉

Speaking of which, Jaime and I went back to Luna Red yesterday from Sunday brunch to get our fix.  Jaime loves the chicken and quinoa waffles, and I love that he loves such a awesome whole grain version of his favorite food.  So in attempt to satisfy the craving, I decided to make my own version the recipe.  And to my delight, these turned out {in my humble opinion} EVEN BETTER than Luna Red’s!  Full of texture, fiber, protein, and flavor. Mmmmm. Gimme.  And instead of the savory fried chicken-scrambled egg-topping route, I went with a luscious blueberry drizzle.  But to be honest, you don’t even need syrup for these waffles.  They are that good.


Almond Quinoa & Oat Waffles with Blueberry Drizzle

Prep time: 30 min {less if you have quinoa pre-preped}
Cook Time: 10 mins
Makes 4 waffles.

gluten free


Almond Oat & Quinoa Waffle 

  • 1 C cooked quinoa
  • 1/2 C rolled oats
  • 3/4 C gluten-free all purpose flour {regular will work too}
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 Tbs vegetable oil
  • 2 Tbs brown sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp almond extract
  • 1/4 C water

Blueberry Drizzle

  • 1 C frozen blueberries
  • 1/2 C real maple syrup


For Waffles:

  1. Add cooked quinoa, rolled oats, gluten-free flour {I used Bob’s Red Mill}, salt, and cinnamon to a large bowel.  Mix until combined.
  2. In a small bowl, add eggs, vegetable oil, brown sugar, vanilla extract, and almond extract.  Whisk together.
  3. Add liquid ingredients to dry and stir to combine.  Add up to 1/4 C water to thin batter.  Add additional 1 Tbs if needed.
  4. Heat waffle maker and spray with cooking oil.  Add batter according to waffle maker instructions and cook.

For Drizzle:

  1. Add frozen blueberries and syrup to a small sauce pan.  Bring to a simmer for approx. 2 minutes.  Pour over waffles.


gluten free

Gahhhhh, I die. SO good.

gluten free

I decided to use my Bob’s Red Mill Gluten-Free All-Pupose flour to go completely wheat free this morning.  Luna Red’s, however, is not gluten-free.

Bob's Red Mill All Purpose Gluten Free Flour

Rolled oats, quinoa, and gluten-free flour.  Plus a side of fresh-brewed coffee and sunshine.

Making Waffles

Organic eggs, please.

Organic Eggs

gluten free

Now, isn’t that pretty?

Gluten Free Waffles

They are a hearty waffle with great texture.

gluten-free baking

Tons of staying power!


And the sweet, sweet syrup.  Mmmm.


Hope you enjoy!

Have a great week!


Honey Glazed Beet, Fresh Fig, and Roasted Kale Salad

I love parties.

I love planning parties.

I love making food to eat at parties.

I love eating food other people made at parties.

I love food and parties.

I mean, who doesn’t?  Unless you’re an introvert.  But even then, you still probably like food.

So bring this to your next party.  I just did. {Happy Birthday Anouk!!}

Honey Glazed Beet, Fresh Fig, and Roasted Kale Salad

{Gluten-Free, Vegetarian}


Prep Time: 30 – 45 minutes
Serves: 4 entree-sized salads, or 8 sides


  • 8 small beets {or 4 large}
  • 2 Tbs olive oil
  • 2 Tbs honey
  • 2 Tbs olive oil
  • 2 bunches dinosaur kale
  • 2 Tbs olive oil
  • 2-dozen figs, quartered
  • 1 C ricotta
  • salt and pepper to taste


  1. Preheat oven to 425.  Peel and cut beets into wedges.  Toss with 2 Tbs olive oil and salt to taste.  Place on a large baking sheet, and cook for 25 minutes, or until soft.
  2. Whisk together 2 Tbs honey and 2 Tbs olive oil.  Toss cooked beets in dressing.  Adding additional honey, salt, or pepper as desired.
  3. Turn oven to broil.  Remove stems of kale leaves.  In two batches, toss with 1 Tbs olive oil each, and salt and pepper.  Place one bunch in the oven for 5 minutes, or until edges become crispy and lightly charred.  Repeat with second bunch.  Chop roasted kale into bite sized pieces.
  4. Plate figs and honey glazed beets atop roasted kale.  Dollop on ricotta and serve!


I love this salad.  It is so simple.


The honey glaze for the beets could also be used as a salad dressing drizzle if desired.


But I think the ingredients speak for themselves.


A beautiful mix of color, texture, and taste.


I was nervous to bring kale AND beets to a party, but people ate it up!  {Maybe that’s a lovely California thing, or maybe it’s the fact that we played chubby bunny and stuffed ourselves silly with sugar – veggies to counteract the marshmallow high.}


Note:  If you are bringing this to a party, Do Not Mix.  It will turn the salad into pink mush! And you don’t want that.


Mmmm. Doesn’t that look good?

Bon Appetite!

Kale, Quinoa, & Orange Salad

Hello there darlings.

Happy Friday!


Or maybe 3 or 4…

Hope your week went well!

I have a delicious recipe to share with you today.

I know. Can you believe it? It’s been way too long.

Kale, Quinoa, & Orange Salad

Adapted from the  Edible Perspective


Prep Time: 30 minutes

Yield: 6-8 servings


  • 1/2 Tbs Coconut oil, or olive oil
  • 1 C Uncooked quinoa
  • 2 C Water
  • 6 Tbs Olive oil
  • 4 1/2 Tbs White wine vinegar
  • 2 Tbs Fresh squeezed orange juice
  • 1 Tbs Honey
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 tsp Orange zest
  • 1/2 head Dinosaur kale
  • 3 Oranges
  • 1 C Chickpeas


  1. Place the coconut oil in pot over medium heat and add quinoa once hot.  Stir quinoa and oil for 3 – 5 minutes.
  2. Add water and bring to boil over medium-high heat.  Once boiling, stir once and cover with lid for 15 – 18 minutes until water is absorbed.  Do not stir while cooking.
  3. Remove quinoa from heat and let sit covered for 5 – 10 minutes.  Fluff with a fork, and place in the refrigerator on a large baking sheet to chill.
  4. In a small bowl, whisk together olive oil, vinegar, orange juice,  honey, zest, and a pinch of salt.  Set aside.
  5. Remove and discard stems from kale leaves.  Slice leaves into thin ribbons, measuring out approximately 3 Cups loosely packed kale.
  6. Remove skins and section oranges into bite sized pieces.
  7. Add kale, oranges, chickpeas with half of the dressing in a large bowl.  Toss and place in refrigerator to chill for 10 minutes.
  8. Add kale, chilled quinoa, and remaining dressing together.  Mix well.
  9. Top with chopped pecans and orange zest, serve or store covered.


Ohhh yes, yes, yes.

This is such a light and refreshing salad.  Perfect for hot summer days.

First, I want to start with the quinoa. Now, I know most of you know about quinoa – but have you ever cooked it using a little coconut oil?


Holy smokes.

Brown up your quinoa in sweet coconut goodness before adding water. Ohhhh boy!


Heaven! I’m in heaven.

We could stop with the recipe right here, really.

Bucket of coconut quinoa for one please!

That’s the awesome thing about cooking up a big batch of grains at the beginning of your week. You can do anything with it – eat it hot in the morning with a little milk and sugar, have a serving on the side with salmon and grilled veggies, or add beans and veg for a complete meal! So versatile.

Okay – getting side tracked here.

So while you are cooking up your quinoa, get started on making your vinaigrette. {Does anyone else have the worst time spelling ‘vinaigrette?’}


A little of this, a little of that…


Bada-bing, bada-boom.


{Please note: Those past two lines should be read with a thick New Jersey // Italian accent.}

Now chop up that kale real good.


Add in the rest of the ingredients.




A delicious meal that is hardy enough to last in the fridge for the entire work week {that is, if you have the will-power to not eat it all}.


Pretty, no?


Pretty and delicious.

Have a Killer Weekend!

{Better Late than Never} Foodie Pen Pal!

Hello and happy hump day!

I hate when people call it hump day… I don’t know why I just did that.

Anyways, today was Day 2 of my Dietetic Internship Orientation, and once again, I have nothing but good things to say about the girls.  As did our speaker from WIC- she said in the 9 years that she has been coming and speaking with Cal Poly interns, we are the best group she has had! Woohoo! Go us!  We are certainly an intelligent, inquisitive, and engaged group.

I won’t go into all the details, but basically, today was all about breastfeeding – 7 hours worth of information.  [Well, actually a little less because we were done slightly early – my girls are wicked smaht.]

Now! More importantly…

Yes, yes, yes. I know I am super late on this, but life is busy, yo!

I received my goodie box from a lovely reader, Gina!

Shoutout to Gina – HEY GINA!

Gina and I both were moving in the month of August, so pardon the delay.

This box was in.cred.i.ble. No joke.  Gina went above and beyond the call of duty. I could not believe how much stuff I received!!

Here’s what I got…

Adorable card.

Spicy seaweed – delish.

Addicting. I just was plowing through these as my after school snack.  The bag had to be pryed from my hands.

Satisfied last night’s sweet tooth!

Can’t wait to put this in my morning yogurt!

Had this on my PB & Jam breakfast this morning. To die for.

LOVE Burt’s Bees.

Totally packing this for tomorrow’s snack.

I see a perfect busy-dietetic-intern-on-the-go-no-time-to-cook dinner in my future!

I’ve always wanted to try this mix.  Perfect for my weekend pancake fix!

Just about to sit down to a Tortilla Pizza dinner made with these!

Amazing, right?


I love foodie pen pals.  And maybe you might too!

Here are the details:

-On the 5th of every month, you will receive your penpal pairing via email. It will be your responsibility to contact your penpal and get their mailing address and any other information you might need like allergies or dietary restrictions.
-You will have until the 15th of the month to put your box of goodies in the mail. On the last day of the month, you will post about the goodies you received from your penpal! 
-The boxes are to be filled with fun foodie things, local food items or even homemade treats! The spending limit is $15. The box must also include something written. This can be anything from a note explaining what’s in the box, to a fun recipe…use your imagination!
-You are responsible for figuring out the best way to ship your items depending on their size and how fragile they are. (Don’t forget about flat rate boxes!)
-Foodie Penpals is open to blog readers as well as bloggers. If you’re a reader and you get paired with a blogger, you are to write a short guest post for your penpal to post on their blog about what you received. If two readers are paired together, neither needs to worry about writing a post for that month. 
-Foodie Penplas is open to US & Canadian residents.  Please note, Canadian Residents will be paired with other Canadians only. We’ve determined things might get too slow and backed up if we’re trying to send foods through customs across the border from US to Canada and vice versa.

Check out Lindsay’s site for more information!

Well, time to dig into that pizza.  Tonight is glow-in-the-dark ultimate frisbee with a fellow intern, Anna, and her friends! So excited to meet some people my own age! Hopefully I won’t make too much of a fool out of myself – I have no idea how to play, much less throw a frisbee. Ha! It will be fun!

Have a great night!




Homemade Cashew Butter

Oh yes.

I’ve done it!

I’ve made my very first batch of homemade nut butter.

I hate calling it nut butter.

It doesn’t bother Vegan Vinniee tho…

Nice neck tat.

{Trying my best to keep my commentary pg-rated here.}

But before we go in to the recipe…


Have you given your dad a hug yet today?

[I have not, yet. He is still snoozing away.]

Hopefully you figured out what to get him.

And if not, check out yesterday’s Cherry Oatmeal Pancake Cookie idea. A crowd pleaser, for sure.


Okay, on to the nuts!

So Dad and I picked up this ginormous container of cashews at Costco, so I could make my favorite post-workout energy bites.

There were a ton left over.

And I thought to myself… “what to do, what to do with all these lovely cashews?” [poet status, man.]

Fancy cashews, at that.

What makes one cashew fancier than another?

The world may never know..

So anyways, {tangent there…} I thought I’d try my hand at creating my very own homemade nut butter! I looked at about a million recipes online, and with the access to my parent’s hand little food processor, I thought, I can do this!

Why not give it a whirl? Literally. {Oh, man, I crack myself up sometimes.}


Stephanie’s Homemade Cashew Butter

{Vegan, Gluten-Free}

Yield: 1/2 C


  • 1 C roasted, salted cashews*
  • 1 tsp canola oil
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract

*You can use unsalted too, just add about an 1/8th of a tsp of salt


  1. Place all ingredients in a food processor.
  2. Blend, blend, blend until mixture reaches desired consistency.



I mean, seriously, it does not get any easier than this.

Behind the scenes.

Look Ma! No mess!

And the results?

Delicious to say the least.

Lunch is served.

And no, I did not just have cashew butter for lunch, as my sly grin may suggest.

Happy Father’s Day!