Sunny Side-Up Pizza for a Rainy Day

Rain, rain, go away. Come again...neverrrr. Ugh. There's puddles outside my front door the size of kiddie pools, and I somehow always park my car right next to them. My optimistic side is thanking the Heavens that it's not snow, but I'm never a fan of grey skies and roads adorned with slimy worms that never made it to the other side. Lets have a moment of silence for the worms....... okay, that was nice.

Well, on a positive note... I'm feeling creative and I'm starving. I am a subscriber to Whole Living magazine and it's pretty fantastic. It's filled with dozen of scrumptious recipes and health living tips, hence right up my ally.

In the last issue, it featured a ton of pizza recipe ideas. I adore pizza, but being lactose intolerant has stripped the best part: cheese. Sigh. So I never really bother making it unless I can get my family to indulge in my "special" cheese (I give them credit, they're good sports). But anyways, the point I'm trying to make is that I'm in pizza denial...until I was inspired by the picture below.

Do not adjust your monitors.. what looks like cheese is really a few fried eggs. I have been on an egg kick for the past couple weeks, so this has been God-sent. People put eggs on toast, steak, and even hamburgers so why not pizza. This is breakfast pizza with an edge, and since I'm making it for lunch we'll call it lunch pizza. Sunny side up lunch pizza for a cold and rainy day. I like it.

I'm making a few modifications since this foodie epiphany just daunted upon me, and I'm too hungry to make a run to the grocery store.

What you'll need:
A large whole wheat tortilla
2 eggs
Tomato sauce
Olive oil

I preheated the oven at 400 degrees. I drizzled my tortilla with olive oil so it crisps in the oven, and don't forget to cook it on aluminum foil to avoid sticking. Spray the aluminum with non-stick spray, too!

Crack the 2 eggs on top of the spinach. Try to avoid breaking the yolks and letting them slide off the pizza; they're slippery little guys. Throw the pizza in the oven and watch carefully. It should be ready in about 20 minutes or less.

Drum roll please.....

This brightened my day...well at least my stomach since it just started snowing outside. The pizza was so delicious! I definately recommend trying this recipe and experienmenting with different toppings. The eggs add a nice touch with huge flavor!

Enjoy! and go away snow!


Guest Post: How to Make Delicious & Healthy Meals

Woohoo, my first guest post! I'm always excited when fellow foodies reveal themselves and share their thoughts. I want to thank Brett H. for her great article and interest in Eat Simply. Live Healthy.

Interested in writing a guest post? Shoot me an e-mail, we'll make it happen!


How to Save the Foodie from the Health Freak: 
Making Delicious Healthy Meal Plans

Yes, we all know that eating healthy is better for you in the long run. But following healthy meal plans seem to imply that you have to give up your love for food, the joy of tasting and savoring, that post-bite bliss. Indulging in fatty foods bogs down your system, causing heart complications and high blood pressure. No arguing with that. But why is it that health food is so darn bland? It doesn’t have to be!

There are tons of ways that you can make food both healthy and delectable. And the best part is, you don’t have to be a chef of have hours at hand to prepare the meal. Here are some easy ways to eat healthy, while jazzing up the same ol’ diet routine.

1.     Balance your Meals

Try and make balanced meals when you cook. This means that every meal should include an array of foods, like fruits, veggies, grains, protein, and dairy.

Take steak and fries, for example. This classic combo only gives you starch and protein, providing your body with a limited array of nutrients. Instead of eating an enormous portion of steak, limit your intake to about 2-3 ounces. Trade in those fatty fries for a bit of whole grain pasta and some string beans. String beans can be easily “jazzed up” with clove garlic, shallots, parsley, ground black pepper, salt, and a couple drops of olive oil. This combo of spices complements the steak and brings out its flavor. Now, you have a dish that includes a mouthwatering steak and equally delicious side dishes at a fraction of the calories. Not too shabby!

2.    Know your Portions

So your meal-balancing is going well and you’ve completely given up heavy, fatty foods. But then, someone in the office brings in fast food for lunch and your stomach starts to growl. Loudly. Or another person gaily exclaims, “That was a piece of cake!” and you suddenly feel the urge to drop everything and order a slice of tuxedo cheesecake at the nearest restaurant. News flash: you don’t have to give up the good stuff when you’re eating healthy. When you get cravings, grab a friend and split the piece of cake, thereby cutting your calorie intake in half. Smart. Also, moderate the finger foods. Instead of digging straight into the bowl, put the number of chips you want to eat straight onto your plate, that way you can see exactly how much you’re eating. Also, try taking smaller bites of your food. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition reported that chewing for 9 seconds resulted in “significantly less food intake than quickly chewing for just three seconds.” 

To better control your intake, know your portion sizes. For example, 1 oz. of meat is about the size of a matchbox and 3 oz. of meat is about the size of a deck of cards. You should never eat more than three ounces of meat in a serving. If you’re feeling really ambitious, invest in a scale. This way, you can accurately weigh out each portion to better count your calories.

Just keep in mind: you can still savor your favorite eats, just don’t overdo it!

3.    Get in the Kitchen

Have you ever heard the expression, “Eat to lose weight?” Well, maybe it should be changed to “Cook to lose weight.” When you cook at home, you can not only better control your portions, but you can ensure that the food you’re eating isn’t loaded up with tons of butter, oil, and other fatty additives. Maybe instead of going out for pizza with the family every Friday night, you should cook something at home. Change your traditions to include eating in, rather than dining out. You can also learn new recipes to liven up your old diet routine. Try experimenting with different spices and colors. A colorful dish is not only visually appealing, but it contains lots of different types of nutrients. For example, yellow fruits and vegetables contain beta-carotene and vitamin C, whereas blue and purple fruits and vegetables include zeaxanthin, resveratrol, and fiber. Trade in that iceberg lettuce (snore) for some deep purple eggplant, butternut squash, or red peppers. These yummy vegetables can stand in for you typical starch. Instead of going out for Italian and ordering lasagna, prepare a dreamy eggplant parmigiana. Try this recipe, which is quick n’ easy, taking only 45 minutes tops.  

Not only will eating in save you money, but it can also save you time. Taking aside a Sunday afternoon to cook a homemade meal will provide you leftovers that will tide your kids over for the next few days, saving you from having to think about what to prepare for the next meal.

Still skeptical? Try it out. If it doesn’t “pan out” (pun intended) then your cynicism is reaffirmed. But what do you have to lose, except the lbs.? Give these healthy meal plans a try and make a system that works best for you. Who knows? Maybe it will turn out to be a “piece of cake.” 


Simple Saturday Apple Dumpling Recipe

It's Saturday and I feel like doing anything besides school work. I need to be productive, but for some reason I'm not feeling it. The weather is cold, overcast, and lazy, and sigh, my mood is mimicking the weather. I wouldn't mind curling up in bed and watching Bridesmaids. But, sadly, I don't own Bridesmaids, so my next procrastination option is to bake. Early this week, I made my Twist on an Egg Salad and thought to myself...hmm, this tortilla shell would be even more perfect if  filled with a gooey hot cinnamon apple filling. 

Hark, the apple dumpling was born.

         What you'll need:
  • Apple (I used a Gala because they're yummy)
  • Large wheat tortilla
  • Plain apple sauce
  • Cinnamon
  • Small glass bowl
  • Vanilla ice cream/Kool-Whip

Form the tortilla to the glass bowl to create a shell. Add a 1/2 cup of apple sauce and sprinkle with cinnamon. Cut up the apple into small chunks and mix into the applesauce. This will make a simple filling. 

Tip: to make the shell more dumpling-esque, fold over the edges and secure together with toothpick.

Preheat the oven to 350 and cook dumpling for about 20 minutes but watch carefully to avoid a burnt and sad dumpling. Those are the worst kind. Bake until the tortilla is crispy and apples are soft. 

Warning: the applesauce mixture will be hot post oven so let cool before you dig in face-first.


Top off with some vanilla ice cream or Kool-Whip, and you have yourself a sweet and healthy treat that'll satisfy your pre-Thanksgiving sweet tooth!



October is Fair Trade Month!

October is a month recognized for its falling leaves and pumpkin farms. If I say October most respond Halloween, but October should not solely be defined by scandalous costumes and children high on candy corn. October also hosts important causes like Breast Cancer and, one that may not ring a bell, Fair Trade Awareness. The video snippet below will give you some background about Fair Trade USA and what it's all about.

I was approached by Fair Trade USA to help raise awareness about its products. I am a huge supporter of Fair Trade everything because profits are given back to those who count. The organization does so much good that I was honored to spread the word!

What is Fair Trade USA<--- Click to check out the Web site!

Fair Trade USA is a non-profit organization which strives to cultivate a global trade model that benefits farmers, workers, consumers, industry and the earth. By certifying products and suppliers who protect local ecosystems and guaranteeing that farmers are paid a fair, honest price, Fair Trade USA works to help people make conscientious purchases. Fair Trade is just what it says: fair! Consumers often forget where their actually comes from, Fair Trade allows those respected suppliers (everyone from farmers to Mother Nature) to be recognized and shown appreciation; we'd be hungry without them.


Not sure what a Fair Trade product looks like?

Look for either of these seals:


How is technology helping you locate Fair Trade products?

I think this is beyond nifty, it epitomizes the saying there's an app for that. To help consumers find Fair Trade Certified products more easily, Fair Trade USA is marking Fair Trade Month 2011 with the launch of a new social media initiative. The new “Fair Trade Finder” Facebook and mobile (iPhone and Android) application allows consumers to enter their location to find out where they can buy Fair Trade Certified products nearby and be among the first to populate the map with other Fair Trade Product locations. When I upgrade to an iPhone in a few weeks (I caved), I'm downloading this app pronto. 

Wow, that app sounds awesome! How do I get it?

I'm so glad you asked! Fear not, it's simpler than you think. To start becoming a socially-conscious foodie on the go (and why wouldn't you, you'll be the talk of the town) click the following links to download the ANDRIOD and iPHONE "Fair Trade Finder"! Don't have a smartphone, no worries! Click HERE to check out the Facebook application.

To stay connected and updated with Fair Trade USA,
"like" them on Facebook and follow @fairtradeusa on Twitter

Help me celebrate Fair Trade Month by either purchasing a Fair Trade product, volunteering within your community, or even small acts of kindness. Together we can make an impact and give back to those who sacrifice so much.


My New Addiction: Cinnamon Apple Straws

I am not a huge fan of Wal-Mart, but am forced to shop there because there isn't a Wegmans or Target within a 100 mile radius of my university; but, I do give them credit for beginning to stock healthier and organic options...which brings me to my new found love: Cinnamon Apple Straws. I found these randomly on a Wal-Mart shopping escapade...so for that (and that reason only) I thank you, Wal-Mart.



Here are  5  6 reasons why I'm obsessed:
  1. 38 straws = a serving (130 kcal).. this makes me happy because I can munch mindlessly without feeling like I'm consuming half of my daily calories
  2. The ingredients list impressed me.. usually a snack like this is too good to be true, but the ingredients proved to be very simple and chemical-free; I'm not a chemist and was able to pronounce every ingredient!
  3. They're crunchy and sweet.. these little guys satisf my sweet tooth and my craving for something crunchy...it's like a BOGO sale in my mouth
  4. They come in a variety of flavors.. if you're not a fan of cinnamon, the same company has veggie and potato straws...perfect to satisfy a sweet starch tooth
  5. They're healthy.. yay!, a snack that claims to be good for you that actually is! More, puhhhlese
  6. They're college budget friendly.. less than 3 bucks a pop

So that's my plug for the Apple Straws. 
They're nutritious, delicious, and if you polish off a bag by yourself, hey, it's okay. Enjoy licking the cinnamon-y crumbs off your fingers...it's the best part.


The Great Pumpkin Gnocchi Recipe

    Random Thought: 
    What if ...we ate through our bellybuttons. I have been pondering this all day.

    In other news, it's my parents' 24th anniversary. Yay!, I am so honored to be a a product of their love. Congrats Mom and Dad! In celebration and as a "thank-you" for life, I am making them dinner: pumpkin gnocchi. Gnocchi is a funny word, it sounds like it's spelled Y-o-n-k-y. Thank god, it was never given to me during a spelling bee.

    Pumpkin is so underrated and the poor thing is only really utilized during Halloween and Thanksgiving, when in reality it's deserved year-round recognition. Team Pumpkin! It's my first-time attempting to make this veggie pasta, but the recipe looks easy enough so lets go!

      What you'll need:
        • 1 (15 oz.) Can Pumpkin 
        • Nutmeg & All-spice (to taste)
        • Cinnamon (1/2 teaspoon or to taste)
        • 2 3/4 Cups All-Purpose Whole Wheat Flour
        • Minced Garlic
        • Salt and Pepper 
        • Sauce of choice


        1.) Mix flour, canned pumpkin and seasonings together to form a pumpkin-y dough.  You may need to keep adding flour until it becomes a doughy consistency.


        2.) You may need to add additional flour if the dough is sticky or falls apart; keep adding small amounts until it's no longer a sticky mess. FYI... taking pictures + rolling dough = a phone covered in flour
        3.) Create a lightly floured surface, and divide dough into 6 parts. Pretend you work as an Auntie Annies' pretzel maker and roll each piece into a rope about 1 inch in diameter. This recipe made me realized that Annie would have fired me.
        4.) Begin boiling a pot of water...add salt to the water, too!
          5.) Take the first rope and cut into 1 inch pieces, roll each in the floured surface so it has a light, floured layer. When cutting, I found that small pieces worked best but do you. Place each rolled "gnocchi" on a floured baking sheet. 

          6.) Repeat until all of the ropes have been cut and rolled into lovely gnocchi shapes.
          7.) Once the water is boiled, add salt and drop in the gnocchi a handful at a time. Gnocchi are finished when they float to the top (like little buoys). Retrieve each veggie noodle with a slotted spoon as they come afloat.

            8.) Gently rinse the gnocchi off with warm water, then plate and top off with hot, tomato sauce!

            I was pleasantly surprised that the pumpkin gnocchi had the same consistency as regular, pasta gnocchi; so good! Another success were the green beans (above) which were mixed and marinated in pesto sauce.

             Bon Appetite! 


            Maggie goes on a Diet: Childhood Obesity

            When I was a little girl, I was never a twig. I ate Happy Meals, but I was a three sport child so I was always active. I never thought twice about what I ate, and my parents never shunned my eating habits. I was a happy and healthy tomboy. I will never be petite; it's not in my genetic make-up, and you know what?..that it A-OK with me. I admire my tree-trunk thighs and strong calves, they complete me.

            Of course, everyone has a few body parts they'd like to shrink or enlarge, but I'm lucky to have grown up in an accepting and supportive family environment. But I stop to wonder: if my parents were judgmental during my "heftier" years, would my self-image suffer?

            There is a semi-new, contraversial children's book titled, Maggie goes on a Diet. Maggie is an overweight, insecure, little girl who resembles Pippy Longstockings. The book describes her journey to a healthier life-style with the help of exercise and a hard-working mentality. The crazy thing is that the book is being marketed to youth as young as four. Four! I think if a four-year-old is overweight (minus genetics), then the parents are responsible for the unhealthy life style not the children. A child isn't going to say "No mother, I don't want a Happy Meal; it will go straight to my hips." No!, they're gonna be like "Hell yeah, I want those fries and Transformers toy". 

            At the end of the book, Maggie is a skinny soccer star. The book is basically telling children that they have count calories to be successful. Skinny = Popular. Fat Maggie = Sad. Skinny Maggie = Happy. I understand the concept the book is trying to make, but it's not the child's responsibility to take that initiative...it's the parents. A four year old is not going to pick up this book and instantly enroll in Weight Watchers. The key is living a healthy lifestyle because diets are often short-lived and unsuccessful.

            It's the family's responsibility to raise their children in an environment where health is valued and not a value-meal.


            Indoor Rock Climbing: All Work & All Play

            Re-post with a few adjustments!

            I love rock climbing but hate heights (I'm a contradiction). Though I haven't overcome my fear of heights, I have learned to mange my fear and turn it into a positive experience. I now work at a rock wall, and enjoy teaching others and strengthening their skills. I's probably the only job I've had where work and fun go hand-in-hand. Ah, the rock wall is my adult playground.

            When working, it's sometimes difficult to get students to share my love of climbing. I feel like that annoying salesman, but usually 1 of 4 things happen when I ask students to climb:

            Me: "Hey! Would you like to climb?"

            Student will either: 
            (a) Pretend they don't see the 30 foot rock wall and will avoid all eye-contact;
            (b) "I'll climb after I work out" (no, you won't)
            (c)  "I'll fall" (I hope not or I'd lose my job)
            (d)  "Okay, sure!" (woohoo!)

            I'm not knocking on anyone who gives the wall a try...I admire you, but there are climbers (big muscly guys, especially) who try to pull themselves up the wall, all arms. They soon find out that it's not all about upper body strength (GTL won't help you here), but using a combination your legs, arms and keeping your body close to the wall . It's a great workout--the first time I climbed, I couldn't open the peanut butter jar for 2 days (I was like David from the Dentist: Is this going to be forever?) because I wasn't use to using specific arm muscles  It works your arms, legs, abs, concentration and mind. I always look at it as a puzzle and how I can solve it.

            Climbing is not for everyone, but I've had numerous students try it once and absolutely love it. I won't let you fall (promise) and it's actually fun (double promise)


            .. And when I do get to the top, I feel like a contestant on GUTS (Nickelodeon throwback) who just climbed The Aggro Crag (minus the falling foam boulders and Moe).

            Challenge yourself. Rock climbing might not be your thing, but you'll never know until you give it a try. Always make sure you're wearing a helmet; harnessed in; and your bilayer knows what he or she is doing, then rock out!


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