Spiritual Growth – An Inside Job

As my spiritual journey continues, my experience of love and compassion is, in fact, growing. I naturally began reaching outward to share joy and love along the way; however, I’ve come to realize that self-love is equally if not more important. How we treat others is a direct reflection of how we treat ourselves.

Tuning into my own heart enables me to open my heart to others and this allows all the goodness of what God offers us into my own life. Whatever we put out into the universe always finds its way back to us.

It’s an amazing gift to be had every day if only we take the time to tap into it and accept it as truth.

Sharon – Embracing My Joy

Portobello Pizza – GF (Guilt-Free!)

At the start of 2020, I ditched the tradition of listing resolutions and instead jotted down a few intentions. I, of course, included a couple that focus on nutrition and self-care.

If you’ve stumbled upon my previous posts, you probably know I have celiac, I’m vegetarian, and reluctantly need to follow a gluten-free diet while missing the pastas and crusty breads of my childhood. Well, I’ve decided to take this one step further and eliminate flour from my diet completely for at least 99% of the time. I am human after all and the occasional gluten-free cupcake won’t kill me!

I started 30 days ago – just before the holidays, because why make things easy? So, here is one of the dishes I made for the first time. These personal-sized pizzas remind me of the bagel pizzas I made as a teenager for a late-night snack. They’re a little lighter and a little more grown-up with a selection of cheeses I would have never chosen over my beloved mozzarella back in the day.

I hope you enjoy! 

First up: The portobello mushroom caps. I tried to find large ones, but the baby ones can be used for small bites. I like to peel mine before eating just because I think they’re cleaner. Remove the stems which can be added to your marinara or used as a topping when building the pizzas. I brushed the caps liberally with extra virgin olive oil on both sides for browning and a flavor boost.

Next: The big three. These are my favorite cheeses at the moment. Fontina is my go-to whenever I want a gooey-melty cheese in a recipe. I’ve used it in lasagna, baked mac-n-cheese, quiche, and now pizza. I just love the texture and the flavor; it’s pretty much replaced mozzarella for me which I find bland next to fontina. I also used two types of Havarti: aged and creamy. The aged is a hard cheese that could substitute Romano or parmesan and the creamy is a softer cheese with a buttery flavor. 

The toppings: The cheese is thinly sliced and accompanied by one of my favorite pizza toppings – sundried tomatoes.

Building: A generous amount of homemade marinara sauce covers the caps with the sundried tomatoes on top. I wanted the tomatoes underneath all that cheesy goodness!

And then: Layer the cheeses. YUM!

In they go: I baked them at a pre-heated 375 degrees for 20 minutes.

All dressed up: A little fresh parsley is a nice touch.

Mangia!

Baked Cauliflower and Cheese

Here we go again! Another attempt at cutting the carbs and another successful, healthy addition to my growing stack of no-carb comfort food.

The prep work started with one head of cauliflower cut into chunks.

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I love cheese! So I took the cheesy flavor to another level by replacing plain old cheddar with equal parts of seriously sharp cheddar and fontina cheeses. The cheddar has a delicious bite and the fontina is smooth and creamy.

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I still wanted to up the veggies and thought going for greens was the best nutritional choice. I added chopped spinach and sprinkled in some frozen peas.

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I mixed it all up with a couple of beaten eggs, cream, and plenty of black pepper.

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A good sprinkle of paprika before baking.

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Creamy, cheesy, and yummy!

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I’ll definitely make this one again!

Roasted Creamy Tomato Soup

I’ve been busy in the kitchen lately and still trying to lighten up for summer. I don’t make soup very often; I like texture and having my teeth sink into deliciousness. 

However, this soup just might turn me into a soup enthusiast. It’s velvety creaminess is rich and chunks of tomatoes gives it texture. It’s a satisfying meal that’s comforting enough for winter and light enough for warmer months.

I started with chopped tomatoes drizzled with extra virgin olive oil tossed in oregano, basil, thyme, garlic powder, and plenty of freshly ground black pepper.

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After roasting for about an hour, the house smelled heavenly!

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I roughly mashed with a potato masher but it could be blended in a food processor for a smoother consistency.

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After transferring to a saucepan, I added veggie broth, light cream, a splash of balsamic vinegar, and simmered for about 20 minutes.

And finally…the perfect cup of soup!

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I’m looking forward to trying this with fresh garden tomatoes come summertime!