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Cauliflower Crust Pizza: Low Carb, Low Cal, Gluten Free Deliciousness!

wpid-dsc_0168.jpgOn my never ending quest to maintain some semblance of slimness, I’ve been trying to cut back on my carb intake, so when I saw a recipe for cauliflower crust pizza I just HAD to try it! The original was a little bit bland and didn’t hold up that great so I tweaked it and this is what I came up with.

It’s FABULOUS! I promise you, no one will know it’s cauliflower!

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(Measurements are approximate as I rarely measure anything!)

1/2 large Cauliflower (raw) (1.5-2 cups)
1 egg
1 cup shredded cheese (Italian, mozzarella, etc. Whatever you like)
2 Tbsp Coconut Flour
1 Tbsp Basil
2 Tbsp Dehydrated Minced Onion
2 tsp onion powder
2 Tbsp garlic powder
1 tsp Pepper Blend
1/2 tsp salt
Note: Use any seasonings that you like, but only DRY seasonings. Don’t use anything wet, other than the egg.

Preheat your oven to 400F

If you have a juicer, juice the cauliflower and then squeeze out any additional liquid, using cheesecloth or a nut milk bag. If you don’t have a juicer, just grind the cauliflower in a food processor or blender and then squeeze out the liquid using cheesecloth or a nutmilk bag. You want to remove as much liquid as possible. The goal is for the cauliflower pulp to be dry or as dry as possible.

In a large mixing bowl, combine the cauliflower with all of the dry ingredients, including the cheese. Make a hole in the middle and drop in the egg, beat it slightly and then combine with the rest of the ingredients.

Once everything is combined, press it out onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, or a silicon baking mat. Press it as thin as possible, but not too thin. (I know, how thin is too thin, lol?!) About 1/8″ (2-3mm) thin is perfect.

Bake at 400F for 15-20 minutes (crispy edges). Remove from the oven, flip over and top with your sauce & toppings.  (My sauce recipe is below.)

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Tips:

1. I don’t really measure anything. When adding the seasonings, I keep adding stuff until the “dough” smells yummy.
2. I roll my crust between 2 sheets of wax paper until it’s the size that I want. I then peel off the top sheet and flip the crust onto my baking surface. I then peel off the other sheet of wax paper. (Peel carefully to the side, not straight up, or you may tear the crust.)
3. Coconut flour absorbs liquid. If you don’t have any, you can leave it out, but I suggest you just go get some.

Pizza Sauce:

1 can tomato paste
1 can tomato sauce
2 tsp Sriracha (optional)
Italian Seasoning
Minced Garlic
Onion powder
Salt
Pepper

Combine all ingredients. (Season to taste.)

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Gluten Free Blondies: More Vegan Delights!!

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So, after my success with the Black Bean Brownies, I’ve been thinking about trying to make blondies. I finally got around to it and man oh man. They are awesome!! My first batch was a bit oily because I didn’t take into account the oil in the peanut butter, but boy oh boy are they good! I made a few adjustments to the recipe and will probably be making more of these babies this weekend. So, without further adieu, here ya go!

 

 

Ingredients:

1 15oz Can Great Northern (white) beans, drained and rinsed very well
3 Tbsp Oat Flour
1/4 cup Sugar
1/2 cup Light Brown Sugar
1/4 cup Peanut Butter
2 Tbsp Coconut oil
3 tsp pure vanilla extract
Chocolate Chips

Preheat oven to 350 F. Combine all ingredients except chips in a good food processor or blender (food processor works best), and blend until completely smooth. Stir in the chips, then pour into an oiled or lined 8×8 pan. Sprinkle extra chocolate chips over the top. Cook 30 minutes, then let cool at least 10 minutes before cutting. Makes 9-12 brownies.

Tips:

Garbanzos (Chickpeas) can be used instead of Great Northerns. Just make sure you rinse your beans really well. REALLY well. Until the water is clear.

I use Domino Light, which is a half calorie blend, instead of regular sugar. You can use a zero calorie baking blend, as well. Make sure it’s for baking. Be sure to taste your batter to make sure it’s sweet enough before baking. If the batter is yash, the blondies will be, too!

I make my oat flour by grinding whole oats (oatmeal) in a coffee grinder (a blender can be used as well). You can also use quick oats instead of oat flour.
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As you can see, this is practically the same recipe as for the black bean brownies, with a few small adjustments. I hope you like them as much as I do!

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Gluten Free Black Bean Brownies (Vegan, too!)

bbbrownieI’m not sure why I found this recipe. I think it was when I was cutting back on carbs, but regardless of the reason, I’m glad I did. It is fantastic!! It’s actually a combination of multiple recipes and a little experimentation. (The ones in the picture have a layer of coconut butter!) I know it sounds kind of gross. I mean, come on. Black Bean Brownies??? Ewww!! But I promise you, no one would ever know that these are made with black beans and are actually good for you! (high protein, low fat, high fiber…)

Please read the entire recipe and the tips at the end before making. You might regret it if you don’t…

Ingredients:

1 15oz can black beans, drained and rinsed very well
3 Tbsp cocoa powder (add a little extra if desired)
2-3 Tbsp Oat Flour
1/2 cup Stevia Baking Blend (or other 0 cal sweetener baking blend)
1/2 cup Sugar
1/4 cup Coconut oil
2-3 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup to 2/3 cup chocolate chips (115-140g)

Preheat oven to 350 F. Combine all ingredients except chips in a good food processor or blender (food processor works best), and blend until completely smooth. Stir in the chips, then pour into a greased 8×8 pan. Sprinkle extra chocolate chips over the top. Cook 20-30 minutes (clean toothpick in center), then let cool at least 10 minutes before trying to cut. Makes 9-12 brownies.

Tips:

Make sure you rinse your beans really well. REALLY well.

One of the original recipes called for 1/2 cup agave nectar or honey (not vegan). I’ve found that you can do a mixture of sweeteners, as well (agave & stevia, etc) and sweeten to taste (I tasted the batter to make sure it was sweet enough). If you use one of the 0 calories brands, make sure it’s for baking otherwise it may turn bitter. You can also just use all sugar. You definitely should taste the batter to make sure it tastes ok before baking.

I made my oat flour by grinding whole oats (oatmeal) in a coffee grinder (a blender can be used as well). You can also just use quick oats instead of oat flour.

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Lavender Burn Gel

pinkyburnWorking with hot glass can be a bit, um, hot at times. Soft glass has a tendency to pop and land in places you’d never want to have hot glass land. Sometimes, your hand just ends up in the flame. After a while, though, you just don’t scream any more…

4oz Aloe Vera gel
20 drops pure Lavender Oil

Mix well and store in a cool place.

Tips:
1. I use the sunburn aloe that has Lidocaine in it. It helps to numb the pain a bit.

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Jojoconut Gel (Lightweight Curl Custard)

Ok, so I was checkin’ out Gypsycurl’s youtube video on Jojoba gel a few months ago and it was good, but not quite what I was going for, so changed it up a lil bit. I’m pretty pleased with the results. I get pretty good curl definition and softness with a light hold. If Shae’s Pudding is too heavy for you, then you should try this recipe. It’s especially great if you have a silky hair texture (which I don’t, lol). It’s not really heavy and has just enough oil to control frizz, but won’t make your hair greasy. It’s awesome on my baby boy’s hair.

Normal disclaimer: All measurements are approximate. I just dump stuff in and guess at the amount. I’m pretty good at guessing, though.

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3-4oz Vitamin E Gel or Pure Aloe gel (you can get Vitamin E gel at Walgreens, it’s with the Aloe Vera gel)
3-4oz Flax seed gel (very thick)
1oz Jojoba Oil
1oz Coconut oil (optional. my hair loves coconut oil)

Mix ingredients well and apply to damp (or wet) hair. (I spray my hair down with my leave in, then apply this gel, twist and seal.)

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Bentonite Hair and Face Mask

As you may already know, I’m a glass artist aka lampwork artist. I make small sculptures by melting and shaping glass rods using a torch. Most times I work off-mandrel, but I started off as a bead maker. Apparently, I’ve always been a mixologist because I also make my own bead release (a type of clay that you dip your mandrel in so that the melted glass won’t stick). Well guess what? Two key ingredients in bead release are Bentonite and Kaolin, both of which are SUPERB deep conditioners for your hair. I had no clue!! I’ve actually never used Kaolin in my hair, but if Bentonite were a man, I’d marry him! As much as I love my henna, I must say Bentonite is closing the gap pretty darned quick!

Anyways, on to my recipe:

(Keep in mind I don’t measure anything, sooo…)

Bentonite (Green Clay, Mutani Mitti, Fuller’s Earth)
Plain Whole Fat Yogurt
Coconut Oil
Coconut Milk
Deep Conditioner (your choice)
Baggie Cap (or plastic bag)
Medium Size Ziploc bowl (or snything similar, because they’re cheap, disposable and have lids)

Put about 2oz bentonite into a good size bowl. Moisten with some water. Some people use distilled, but I used tap. Use enough to get it thoroughly wet. It should be extremely thick. Add 2Tbsp or so of cocnut oil, 2oz yogurt and 4oz coconut milk. Mix well. Mixture will be very thick (soft clay, not quite runny). If it’s too thick, add a bit more water or milk. If it’s too thin, add a bit more clay, but not too much because the clay really swells up.

Hair:
Spread through your hair, making sure that ever strand is coated. Smooth lots on the surface and smush it down so that it gets on your scalp. Let air dry for at least 30 mins. You can leave it on for as long as you like as it won’t harm your hair. Rinse well and follow with a deep conditioning treatment with baggie cap.

Face:
Smooth over face about 1/4″ thick and let dry for 5-10 mins (any more than 15-20 mins may cause irritation). Rinse well.

Tips:

1. I use the Glad/Ziploc bowls because they have lids that fit tightly so that leftovers can be stored for future use. This mask will keep in the refrigerator. Just add a bit of water to rehydrate.

2. When I used the mask on my face, I left it on for 20 mins. Way too long for my skin! I had a sort of red/rashy thing starting up but I just rubbed aloe all over my face and it went away immediately.)

3. If you have shorter hair, you can use less ingredients. Again, I don’t measure anything so just use what you think will be enough. (You can also use just straight Bentonite with nothing but water and a bit of oil for slip.)

4. You can mix it with just water, if you like. Whatever works for you.

5. Sometimes, I add  Maka (Bhringraj) to the mix. I buy Hesh brand and use half of it. It’s really good for your scalp and skin.  I’ve noticed my hair is a lot softer afterwards when I add it in. I also add it to my henna mix, if I’m not using Karishma.

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Shae’s Deep Conditioner

(All measurements are approximate because I almost never measure anything)

Version I

2-3Tbsp ElastaQP DPR-11
2-3Tbsp Plain whole fat yogurt
2oz Suave Naturals Coconut Conditioner
2oz coconut Oil
.5oz Vitamin E Oil

Version II

2-3Tbsp ElastaQP DPR-11
4oz Plain whole fat yogurt (plain baby yogurt)
1Tbsp Coconut Oil
2-3Tbsp Powdered Buttermilk
2-3Tbsp Powdered Coconut Milk/Cream

Mix everything in a small bowl until well blended. Work through previously detangled hair, making sure every strand is well coated and then baggie for at least 15 mins. I usually do 30-60 minutes.

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Shae’s Pudding (Curly pudding for the financially challenged.)

Ok, I absolutely love my hair, but I’m always looking for something “better”. (Aren’t we all?) I’ve been known to spend some bucks on latest greatest thing but the economy has put a crimp on my spending. I’ve been wanting to try Miss Jessie’s, but I just can’t justify the expense. Besides, I kinda like jackin’ around with stuff for my skin and hair, so this is the concoction that I’ve come up with. It works awesome! My son even lets me use it on his hair!

20oz jar IC Hair Polisher Styling Gel – $3.99 (I used the Olive. Smells yummy!)
4oz Unrefined Raw Shea Butter – $5.99 for 16oz
1oz Extra Virgin Olive Oil – Already on hand because I use it for cooking.

Using a hand blender or food processor, whip the shea butter. Add the olive oil and while still mixing, add the styling gel a little at a time. Continue to whip until smooth. I use it on damp or dry hair, not soaking wet hair because I really don’t like the Jheri Curl look. (And I’m lazy. Shingling takes wayyy too long!)

Enjoy! Your hair and your bank account will thank you.

 

Tips:

1. For extra moisture, substitute 4oz pure aloe gel for 4oz of the IC gel.
2. Substitute 2oz coconut oil for 2oz shea butter and the mix will smell yummy. (I hate the way shea butter smells.)