A Taste For Spice »

Masthead header

PORTOBELLO PIZZA

Going low-carb conscious has been a fad diet that’s stuck for many years because when done properly can be a very healthy lifestyle, reaping many benefits like the obvious weight loss but also help manage diabetes.

For the most part, in a healthful manner; a low-carb diet can be beneficial for those who are gluten intolerant as well since it does rule out most refined breads or anything of high carb made from wheat, barley and rye. While I’m personally not gluten-intolerant, I do find myself to have more sustainable energy throughout the day by eliminating these refined carbs for the most part, and find healthier alternatives that tastes just as good. If not, better!

I kept this recipe super basic and simple so that you have a clean slate to add any of your favorite toppings. I love getting turkey Italian sausage and using that once in a while or doing a quick saute of some thinly slice bell peppers, onions, black olives… okay, seriously anything! I’ve done a Greek style of fresh red onion, sauted spinach with garlic and crumbled feta. SO GOOD! And if you really want to get creative, instead of marinara you can use an alfredo sauce to make a white pizza which up to you can omit any cheese or not. I love keeping marinara on hand, freezing small containers. There’s nothing better than a Homemade Marinara!

One more thing before I shush! Use baby bella mushrooms instead for bite-sized appetizers. All you have to do is remove the stem (no gills) and you don’t have to broil before stuffing them. As always, have fun and get creative. Make the recipe your own and if you come up with something amazing, please share!

Print Recipe
PORTOBELLO PIZZA
Instructions
  1. Remove the stems and use a grapefruit spoon (even a regular spoon will work) to scrape against the gills going along the curvature of the mushroom. Throw them away.
  2. Spray the bottom of a baking dish with olive oil cooking spray. Place the mushrooms in the dish and drizzle the tops with a little olive oil. Place the baking dish in the broiler on high for about 3-5 minutes depending on how thick the mushrooms are.
  3. Flip them, broil for another few minutes and remove from the broiler.
  4. Spoon the marinara sauce into the mushroom caps, sprinkle with as much or little red pepper flakes and grated Romano cheese. Then, top with your favorite shredded cheese and garnish with dried oregano.
  5. Place the baking dish back under the broiler for about another 3-5 minutes or until the cheese is golden.

TUNA & SUN-DRIED TOMATO PASTA

Lets face it, we’re always busy regardless what time of year. But with Summer around we are busy on top of wanting to enjoy those days of perfect weather to do the things we couldn’t do otherwise. With this quick dish you can’t get anymore healthy with pasta when you throw together a bunch of tuna, spinach, garlic and sun-dried tomatoes. It’s light and filling enough to not weigh you down on those hot days we’ve been having. I eat this either cold, room temperature or warmed up depending on my mood, it’s super yummy either way.

I’ve made this with arugula instead of spinach and it’s just as yummy. There are no rules so, feel free to use any leafy green and any other favorite veggie that appeals to you. That’s the best thing about cooking is you can eat healthy and make it taste good, it’s all about using lots of fresh flavor and your favorite ingredients. If you’re gluten free, use a GF pasta or any other pasta alternative like whole wheat, quinoa pasta for more protein or zucchini noodles for low carb! You can learn about zucchini noodles and how you can easily make them on my Garlic Shrimp Zoodle recipe. Enjoy!


Print Recipe
TUNA & SUN-DRIED TOMATO PASTA
Servings
servings
Ingredients
Servings
servings
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Fill a large pot of water for the pasta and bring to boil. Cook the pasta according to the instructions on the packaging. When the pasta is done, reserve a glass of pasta water and set aside.
  2. In a large skillet on medium-high heat, drizzle the bottom with olive oil and saute the onions until softened. Add a splash of the reserved pasta water, lemon juice, minced garlic, red pepper flakes, sea salt, sun-dried tomatoes, sun-dried tomato olive oil, and tomato paste. Stir. Simmer for about 3-5 minutes.
  3. Reduce heat to low. Add the tuna and fresh spinach, toss for a good minute allowing everything to warm through. Then, add the pasta, stir until everything is well incorporated.
  4. Toss the parmesano reggiano while piping hot and serve immediately.

HONEY PORTER KEBABS

Mmmm who doesn’t like kabobs? They’re simple to make, fairly quick to put together and cook… and they can be very healthy. These aren’t the healthiest ones but they’re close enough, full of flavor and sure beats trying to be healthy eating out since that’s nearly impossible. And yes, even a salad from a fast food joint is a lost cause.

This recipe is really all about the marinade. So make sure you pick a good porter beer. I use all chicken breast but feel free to use chicken thighs or half and half. And of course you’re not limited to only using one color of bell peppers. You can always add additional veggies to the mix too. As always while all my recipes are great as is, they’re also there to inspire you to make them how you would enjoy them best!

Print Recipe
HONEY PORTER KEBABS
Servings
servings
Ingredients
MARINADE
ASSEMBLE
Servings
servings
Ingredients
MARINADE
ASSEMBLE
Instructions
MARINADE
  1. Combine everything together in a large glass bowl, cover with plastic wrap and let it marinate for at least a couple of hours, even better over night.
ASSEMBLE
  1. Pour the leftover marinade and dark brown sugar into a small sauce pan over medium-high heat. Let it come to a boil whisking it for about several minutes until it thickens just enough to glaze the back of a spoon. Mix in about 1/2 tablespoon of olive oil and set aside.
  2. Assemble the skewers with the chicken, onion, bell peppers, and tomatoes by alternating them.
  3. Put the skewers on the grill, brush the marinade generously on top and close the grill for about 3 minutes to get a char started. Turn the skewers about every 2-4 minutes and brush more marinade each time for a total grilling time of about 15 minutes give or take.
  4. Remove the skewers onto a clean plate and if there's any marinade leftover you can always place the remaining on top. Garnish the top with some chopped cilantro.

FRESH CHIMICHURRI

There are only so few many things that are this fresh and taste fresh even a week later after sitting in the refrigerator. Chimichurri is best known with red meat but I swear by it when it comes to marinating chicken in it too. And it doesn’t have to be limited to just that alone as well. Drizzle a little on top of your favorite baked or grilled white fish and you can also turn it into a light Summer dressing by adding a more olive oil to your taste. I can probably give you a dozen ideas but this is for you to get creative!


Print Recipe
FRESH CHIMICHURRI
Servings
cup
Ingredients
Servings
cup
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Place everything in a food processor or blender and pulverize until texture is smooth.
  2. Serve right away or keep refrigerated.

ITALIAN WHITE BEAN CHILI

This super delicious, warm, hearty and perfect chili for the post holiday cold weather is the best for a little change in flavor from a traditional chili! It’s composed of all things good for you (if you use turkey Italian sausage instead of pork). Tons of warm and earthy spices. Enough to not have you missing ground beef over ground turkey. There’s plenty of veggies including one of the best super foods out there, Swiss chard. And the broth is really tasty, you’ll just have to make it to see what I’m talking about.


Print Recipe
ITALIAN WHITE BEAN CHILI
Servings
servings
Ingredients
Servings
servings
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. In a large pot over medium-high heat drizzle the bottom with olive oil, add the onions, bell peppers, and garlic stirring frequently until the onions are translucent, about 5 minutes.
  2. Add the ground turkey, Italian sausage, salt, pepper, and break up the meat using a wooden spoon. Continue by adding the cumin, oregano, tarragon, chili powder, garlic powder, and red pepper flakes. Stir every so often until the turkey is cooked through, about several minutes.
  3. Then, add the chicken stock. Stir everything together thoroughly and let it come to a boil.
  4. Reduce the heat to medium-low to simmer and check every so often to make sure nothing sticks to the bottom of the pot. Simmer for about 20-30 minutes or until the chili has thickened.
  5. Add the cannellini beans, corn, and Swiss chard. Add more salt and pepper to taste if needed.
  6. Garnish the top with some grated parmesan cheese.