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Carb-Free Zucchini Pizza: Flavor Punch Central

My boyfriend and I are on week two of a carb-free, sugar-free diet. I have gone no carb/sugar several times before and I find that it is one of the best ways to detox your body and get your sugar intake back on track. The first few days really suck–headaches, hunger, etc. But, if you can pull through, by day 4, you start feeling REALLY good. The pounds shed pretty quickly too–which isn’t a bad side effect, right?

Even though the low-carb diet has been the craze now for the past few years (I am a big fan of The South Beach Diet), the most difficult part of going low-carb is mixing it up. I mean really, you don’t want to eat eggs and veggies every SINGLE day. Well….maybe the eggs. 😉 Regardless, satisfying cravings for things like pasta or bread can be tricky.

Then I found Zucchini Pizza and something changed! Craving pizza but don’t want the carbs? This is your answer.

If you stop and really think about what you crave when it comes to food, you are usually craving flavor that isn’t coming from bread/pasta (starch) the most. With pizza, usually the sauce, toppings, and cheese are what you want in your gullet! So, serve all that up in a zucchini boat and you are set.

Each person will probably eat a whole zucchini. Split the zucchini in half and then hollow out.  I cut some sections into the middle and then hollowed out with a spoon.

Then, in a bowl, mix your favorite pizza toppings with pizza sauce and some cheese (any kind you want!!).  This is a good time to be creative and fill that delicious veggie up with anything you would like.  For this meal, I used mini pepperoni (yum), olives, veggie pizza sauce, and mozzarella.  Next time around I might do alfredo, spinach, mushrooms, and feta.  Who knows!

Then, fill those fresh zucchini up with the pizza filling.  The more the better!

Now add the best part: CHEESE!  As always, use cheese excessively!

Now, just throw those babies in to the oven and pretty soon an amazing dinner will be waiting for you.  I cooked these for the first time on 400–and that was a little too hot.  I would try 350 for about 12-15 minutes–or until cheese is golden brown.  We got some crispy cheese on these, but they were still divine.

Pair this with a nice Caesar salad on the side, and you are all set.  Total prep and cook time about 20 – 30 minutes.  Easy as pie (well, easier actually).

Low carb–low calorie–full of vitimins!  Enjoy!

-Nosh

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Colorful Harvest–Sweet Corn Like Candy

I was very excited a few weeks back when Steven from Colorful Harvest contacted me about doing a review of some of their products. I was more than happy to do so and only a few days later a cooler of their amazing Ruby Jewel Sweet Red Corn arrived. When I peeled back the husks on the corn, I was so excited. It was some of the prettiest food I had seen.

This came with a few questions for me. How did the corn get to be such an amazing shade of red? Was it some kind of chemical? Was I actually eating corn…or was this the “idea” of corn after it had been tampered with? So, when Steven also sent me a few facts on this beautiful crop, I was even more impressed.

Ruby Jewel Sweet Red Corn gets its amazing color due to good old fashioned seed development for deep red color, sweet taste, tender skin, and high nutrition. There is nothing chemically altered about it. In fact, in the ruby color of this harvest there is a nutritional element that you don’t get with regular sweet corn. The red color comes from an antioxidant called Anthocyonin which 350% higher levels of antioxidants than ordinary white or yellow corn. Getting a cold? Not feeling so hot? Eat up some of this gorgeous corn and get some of those antioxidants!!

Colorful Harvest recommends that you not boil this great product because some of the color will bleed out and with that color goes the awesome nutrients with it. However, I had boiled a few cobs before receiving this information, and I can at least say, that it tasted amazing–even if some of that color bled away in the boiling process. I added just a little bit of organic butter, but didn’t need any salt. The corn was so sweet that it didn’t really need any. I was in a corn cob heaven. So, if you boil it, it isn’t the end of the world. However, try grilling with the husks on–adding a bit of butter–and you will keep that bright red color when you serve.

After tasting the corn and getting some more information on it, I knew that I wanted to come up with a recipe for it in which the corn was used raw. After a quick trip to whole foods for some ingredients, I came up with a pretty tasty recipe: Nosh Maven’s Ruby Jewel Sweet Corn and Bean Succotash. It was a big hit with a lot of people!

For this tangy recipe, you will need the following: (3) Cobs of Ruby Jewel Corn from Sweet Harvest, Great Northern Beans, White Beans, Black Beans, (1) Anaheim Pepper, Tomatoes (Colorful Heirloom Tomatoes look best), Fresh Cilantro, Green Onions, Juice of (1) Lime, Sea Salt, Red Wine Vinegar, Garlic (fresh or dry), Onion Powder, and Fresh Cracked Pepper.

First, you will want to drain all of your beans in a strainer and rinse them off with cold water. Then, shave the kernels off the 3 cobs of the Ruby Jewel Corn into the bowl you will use to mix the succotash. Squeeze the juice of the lime into the corn and mix. Add 3/4 of the stalk of green onions. Mix all of these items together well and add in the beans. After adding the beans, chop 1/4 cup of cilantro and add to the mixture. Then, chop your tomatoes (farily fine) and throw them in! Personally, I don’t love bell peppers. I understand this is a weird concept for some, but really, I think that their flavor overtakes everything they are added to. I wanted some kick of this dish, but I didn’t want bell peppers anywhere near it. Instead, I used 1 large Anaheim pepper, which worked perfectly. Cut the pepper down the center, get rid of the seeds, and finely chop.

To season, I think that everyone can pretty much season to taste, however these are the items I think that you really don’t want to skip on: First and foremost, red wine vinegar. I like the zing of it and it really brings out the flavor in these fresh veggies. I would say about 1/4 – 1/2 cup works well. Salt, pepper, garlic, and onion powerd to taste, and you are ready to roll. Kettle Brand Tortilla Chips with Chili Lime (organic) were a great addition.

I took this succotash on an outing with friends, and they raved. It was the prefect summer snack and I found people putting in on sandwiches, eating it with different items for dipping, and generally enjoying the flavor. The Ruby Jewel corn adds a sweetness (not to mention beautiful color), while the peppers and red wine vinegar add some heat and zest. It is a flavor explosion, to be exact. You could use this while cooking chicken or even for a pasta sauce.

I gave a lot of the Ruby Jewel corn to family and friends for them to try it as well. My mom cooked it a wonderful steak dinner (she even took a picture for me!) while some other friends BBQ’ed or boiled it. Not one person didn’t rave about the great flavor, quality of the product, or the beautiful presentation.

This corn is grown in California, but some local grocers carry the product. See Colorful Harvest’s website for details and also to check out some of their other chromatic produce!

Also, make sure to follow Colorful Harvest on Twitter and find them on Facebook!