Strawberry-Kiwi Dessert Pizza

Father’s Day weekend was kicked off with a date night as Cosi Cucina’s….one of my favorite local Italian restaurants in Des Moines.

Sunday, Trey woke up bright and early to celebrate (oh wait, that’s every morning)

Happy Father’s Day Dad!

ok, I’m bored

seriously, how do you get out of this thing…

we then ventured down to Winterset to celebrate Father’s Day with J’s dad and family.

His mom made this yummy dessert that I had to share with ya’ll. It has great curb appeal and would be fabulous for a summer picnic.

Strawberry-Kiwi Dessert Pizza

from my mother-in-law’s kitchen, who clipped it from the DSM Register

For the crust:

3/4 C whole wheat pastry flour

1/2 C all purpose flours, plus some for dusting (you could probably use all whole wheat)

2 tsp baking powder

1/4 tsp salt

1/2 C low fat cottage cheese

1/3 C sugar
3 T canola oil

2 T skim milk

3/4 tsp almond extract (YUM)

For the topping:

1/3 seedless raspberry jam (maybe you can pick some up at the farmer’s market!)

2 T orange juice (my favorite is Simply Orange)

3 T coconut flakes, divided

2 kiwi fruit, peeled and thinly sliced

3 large strawberries, thinly sliced


To prepare crust, in small bowl whisk together the flour and baking powder and salt. Set aside.

In food processor, puree the cottage cheese. Add sugar, oil, milk, and almond extract, then process until smooth. Add the dry ingredients and pulse 5 to 6 times, just until dough clumps together. Turn out onto a lightly floured surface and using floured hands press the dough into a ball. Knead 2 or 3 times, but do not overwork. Dust with flour, wrap in plastic and refrigerator for at least 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, prepare topping. In small bowel whip jam and orange juice together. Set aside. To bake and assemble the pizza, position rack in the middle of oven. Heat the oven to 400F. Coat 12 inch pizza pan or large baking sheet or pie pan with cooking spray. On a floured surface, roll the dough into a 12 inch circle about 1/4 inch thick. Roll the dough back over the rolling pin and transfer to the prepared pan. Spread the jam mixture over the dough, leaving a 3/4inch border around edge. Bake until crust in golden and crispy, about 15-20 minutes (my mother-in-law under baked it just a tad to have a softer crust…I recommend this!) Transfer to a wire rack and cool for 15 minutes. Place the cooled crust on a clean pizza pan or large serving plate. Sprinkle evenly with half the coconut. Arrange the fruit on top and sprinkle remaining coconut. Serve immediately or wrap with plastic wrap and refrigerate up to 3 hours before serving.

Nutrition per serving (serves 8): 207 calories, 6g fat, 35g carbs, 4g protein

Until next time…

look good, feel good, do good

"A Weekend of Killer Meals"

While sitting on our porch last Sunday with full belly’s and a glass of red wine in hand J looked at me and stated “this was a weekend of killer meals.” I must concur, however, the meals would be better described as “liver meals”….ok, lame joke but in all seriousness they were packed in nutrients, antioxidants and all the healthy stuff that keeps your ticker ticking and your skin shining.

Sunday after church J and I joined Cosco as I heard they had a decent organic produce selection….I would have to say it was ok, but they did have some great choices and prices of produce. My favorite purchase was the delish wild-caught salmon we grilled Sunday night…more about that in a minute.

So with produce coming out our ears, we went home to whip up this beautiful fruit salad with mangos, blackberries, blueberries, bananas, and unsweetened coconut.

We paired it with homemade whole wheat waffles and omega 3 scrambled eggs.

For lunch we had leftover grilled chicken breast over a bed of spinach, other leafy greens, and radishes from my CSA group, Turtle Farms.

A dinner rocked my world…grilled salmon with steamed brocolli over brown rice.

To prepare the Salmon:

Marinate in fresh dill, green garlic slices (from CSA) or regular garlic, and fresh lemon juice for at least 30 minutes.

Grill in folded and sealed foil for about 10-15 minutes or until opaque on the inside, should fall apart when fork is stuck in it

Soooo good!

Hopefully, this weekend is filled with more “killer” meals.


Hanging out with my Dad and Trey

Until next time…

look good, feel good, do good

Oatmeal Pancakes

Every Sunday when I was a kid my mom used to cook up a yummy brunch after church. Sometimes it was as simple as toast and eggs to as fancy as quiche, but my favorite brunches were when she made pancakes or waffles. I usually go to be the flipper and then had my fill at the table…easily polishing off a tall stack.
Man, I love pancakes! I look forward to carrying on this tradition with my family…which by the way…5 weeks till we meet Baby S!
Oatmeal Pancakes

3/4 C oat flour (grind 1 cup whole oats (not instant) in a food processor or magic bullet)
1 C whole wheat flour
1 T stevia or sugar
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp cinnamon
pinch of nutmeg
3/4 tsp salt
3 T butter, melted and cooled, I used Land o Lake naturally whipped
1 1/4 C buttermilk
1 C cooked oatmeal, not instant
1 T honey
2 large eggs
1/4 C finely chopped pecans or walnuts or almonds

Mix together the oat flour, flour, sugar, powder, soda, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt in a large bowl. In a smaller bowl, stir the melted and cooled butter, buttermilk, cooked oatmeal, honey, and eggs together. Gently fold the wet ingredients into the dry until just combined. Fold in nuts. Do not over mix.Heat griddle to medium-high heat. Lightly coat with oil or butter and cook pancakes to perfection.
Keep pancakes warm in an oven at 200F.

Fruit Sauce
I like to make a fruit sauce to go with my pancakes so I don’t have to use as much maple syrup. Simply pour a bag of frozen berries into a small saucepan, add 2-3 T real maple syrup, heat until bubbling, reduce to simmer. Puree with a hand blender (careful not to splatter everywhere).

Until next time…
look good, feel good, do good

Banana Roll-Ups

These have become a household favorite for J and I. We have them for a quick breakfast before a bike ride or a midnight snack to satisfy our sweet tooth.
Banana Roll-Ups
modified from Clean Eating Magazine

1 8 oz pkg low fat cream cheese
2 T pure maple syrup or honey
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
cooking spray
2 large bananas, peeled and sliced lengthwise
4 whole wheat tortillas
Topping (optional):
banana, sliced horizontal
1/4 C fresh mint
1/4 C maple syrup
dollop of cream cheese mixture
In mixing bowl, combine cream cheese, maple syrup, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Blend well.

Heat skillet and coat with cooking spray. Spread 1 T of cream cheese mixture on each tortilla. Layer the sliced bananas inside tortillas and roll up.

Place in skillet and cook 2 minutes per side or until tortillas are turned a golden brown and crisp. Remove from pan and keep warm till serving.

Heat additional banana slices in skillet for 1 to 2 minutes per side. Top roll ups with banana, mint and syrup.

Nutrition per roll up: 180 cals, 7g fat, 24g carbs, 6g prot

Until next time…
look good, feel good, do good

Strawberry-Banana Smoothie, Memorial Day Fun, Big Ol’ Salad

Smoothies are a pretty no fail & delicious thing to make. I crave them all the time during the summer. Usually its while I’m running on a HOT day and can’t wait to get home to blend one up.

They are a great way to use up any over ripe fruit.
Add any of the following combinations: milk (soy, almond, diary), ice, yogurt (homemade, Greek, plain), whey protein (vanilla, chocolate), flaxseeds, chia seeds, hemp seeds, oats, etc, etc.

Blend away, check the taste and consistency, and Viola!

In this Strawberry-Banana Smoothie I added:

homemade yogurt (flavored with honey and vanilla), splash of skim milk, banana, strawberries and ground flaxseed

Memorial Day Fun
Man, were we blessed with a beautiful Memorial Day weekend or what?!?
J and I took full advantage of the sun…
We took the opportunity to go on our first open water swim of the season. Actually, it was J’s second…his first resulted in swimmer’s itch and it looked like he had chicken pocks 🙂

We then set up our own mini triathlon to prepare for the upcoming tri season!

One of the benefits of LONG bike rides through the country is you get to see Iowa’s peaceful and beautiful countryside. J came upon this field of wild flowers.
After about 6 high school graduation parties (and lots of cake) on Saturday he drove me out to it for a good photo opt.

Who says Iowa isn’t gorgeous!?!?!?!
Big Ol‘ Salad
with all this biking, swimming, and running….we’re hungry!

Salad Fixins: Romaine lettuce, baby spinach, avocado, bean sprouts, apple slices, cottage cheese, steamed broccoli, shredded chicken breast, and Penzeys Italian Salad dressing.
(J’s trying to figure out what in the world I am feeding him)
On our last day of fun…Ryan and Robin invited us over to their pool for wine spritzers and relaxation! Thanks again!
Hope everyone had a memorable Memorial Day!
Until next time…
look good, feel good, do good

Happy Memorial Day – How to Cut a Watermelon

Memorial Day = food and fun.
It seems this weekend is the official kick off to summer activities….boating, pool, fishing and summer foods….burgers, corn, ice cream 🙂

I thought I would share one of my favs when it comes to summer cuisine…
You can’t deny it, watermelon just hits the spot on those HOT, 100% humidity days.

It also hits the spot after a good long workout…in fact, I’m munching on and rehydrating myself with it now! Did you know watermelon is about 92% water!
health benefits:

Contains more lycopene than any other fresh fruit of veggie.

Vitamin A found in watermelon is important for optimal eye health, can help prevent night-blindness, and boosts immunity by enhancing the infection-fighting actions of white blood cells called lymphocytes.

Vitamin B6 found in watermelon is used by the body to manufacture brain chemicals (neurotransmitters), such as serotonin, melatonin and dopamine, which preliminary research shows may help the body cope with anxiety and panic.

Vitamin C in watermelon can help to bolster the immune system’s defenses against infections and viruses and can protect a body from harmful free radicals that can accelerate aging and conditions such as cataracts.

How to select a good watermelon:
Look it over. Is it firm and symmetrical? Is it free from bruises, cuts or dents?
Lift it up. The watermelon should be heavy for it’s size.
Turn it over. The underside of the watermelon should have a creamy yellow spot from where it sat on the ground and ripened in the sun.

How to cut a watermelon: (I learned this technique after watching a vendor at the NCAA National track meet in DSM) very slick
1. slice the watermelon into two halves.

2. trim the bottom off of both halves.

3. slice down the side of the watermelon. just enough to trim the rind off and not waste a lot of the heavenly nectar.

4. slice through the watermelon so you have about 1/2 inch to 1 inch thick slices.

5. repeat going the other direction and you get these fries-like slices. J and I find it fun eating the watermelon like this…actually, anything you have eat with you fingers is fun.
6. if you would like more cube-like slices, simply take your knife horizontally through the middle of the watermelon. YUM!

You don’t see these varieties everyday – square and watermelon. Man, I though it was a big deal when they came out with seedless!

Until next time…

look good, feel good, do good