Nutrition Coach Diana Risell Suggests Delicious Veggie Swaps to Create Comforting Healthy Dishes
Cauliflower Pizza Crust
1 small head of cauliflower, cut into florets
½ cup of shredded mozzarella
¼ cup grated parmesan
½ tsp Italian seasoning
¼ to ½ tsp kosher salt
¼ tsp garlic powder
2 eggs, lightly beaten
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Steam the cauliflower florets until soft. Drain well. Place the cauliflower in a towel and
gently squeeze to get the cauliflower as dry as possible.
Mix the drained, dried cauliflower with the remaining ingredients until well combined.
Place the cauliflower dough in the center of a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and spread it out with a rubber spatula so it makes a circle or push to the edges of the pan to form a square.
Bake 20 minutes, until the crust starts to dry and become golden. Flip the crust over and bake another 10 minutes.
Top with your favorite toppings.
Bake another short 5-7 minutes, just until the cheese melts.
Nutritious Swap: Nutrition Coach Diana Risell says veggies make the perfect swaps in recipes. “Usually it’s just one big ingredient that needs substituting, like subbing in riced cauliflower for white rice or zucchini spirals for spaghetti,” she says. “Replacing products like rice, chips and rolls, which don’t have much nutritional value with vegetables means that I can eat healthier and eat more!”
1 Tbsp chili powder
1 tsp each ground cumin, garlic powder and paprika
1⁄2 tsp each kosher salt, pepper and oregano
1⁄4 tsp red pepper flakes
1 lb ground beef, ground turkey or shredded chicken
1 lb mini peppers, halved and seeded
Shredded cheddar or monterey jack cheese
1⁄2 cup chopped tomato
Other optional toppings: Greek yogurt, chopped fresh cilantro, chopped avocado and black
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a large baking try with parchment paper or aluminum foil.
In a small bowl, combine all of the spices, chili powder through red pepper flakes.
In a large skillet over medium heat, brown the ground beef or turkey. Drain any fat. Or if using shredded chicken, bake, grill or poach it and shred with a fork.
Toss the meat or poultry with spice mix.
Arrange mini peppers in a single layer, cut-side up but close together.
Sprinkle peppers with the meat mixture and top with shredded cheese.
Bake 5 to 10 minutes, until cheese is melted.
Remove from oven and top with chopped tomatoes and any other desired toppings. Squeeze a 1⁄2 lime over the top just before serving for brightness.
Make your own spice mix to control the ingredients to your liking and for nutritional value. Ready-made taco seasoning packets tend to have a lot of salt. Use more spices, less salt in your mix.
All veggie – Top your peppers with black beans, corn and shredded cheddar cheese before baking. Then add additional toppings as described above.
Buffalo chicken – Use shredded chicken as your meat. Top with shredded cheddar cheese or crumbled bleu cheese. After baking, drizzle of Ranch dressing on top. Then top with veggies.
Mediterranean – Use cooked ground lamp with Mediterranean spices like oregano and garlic. Top with
feta cheese. After baking, top with chopped tomatoes, cucumbers and black olives. Add fresh chopped mint and some dollops Greek yogurt before serving.
Veggie Fried Rice
1 Tbsp plus 1 tsp sesame oil for wok and to finish the dish
1 small head of cauliflower
½ red pepper, diced
1-2 carrots, peeled and shredded or diced
½ cup green peas, fresh or frozen
2 green onions, sliced and white and greens separated
1-2 cloves garlic, minced
2 eggs, slightly beaten
2-3 Tbsp tamari (gluten-free) or low-sodium soy sauce
Salt and pepper to taste
Break cauliflower into florets and pulse in a food processor until it resembles rice. Or find ready-to-use riced cauliflower in your grocery store produce section. Frozen riced cauliflower is usually too wet for this dish but may work in a pinch.
Heat oil in a wok or similar pan. Add the riced cauliflower, red pepper, peas, white part of the green
onions and the garlic and move the mix around quickly until it just starts to get tender. This will take
just a few minutes. Add the carrots and cook until warm.
Next, push the veggie mix to the sides of the wok, making a space in the center of the wok. Add
eggs and scramble them in the center of the wok. Toss lightly to combine, distributing bits of the
egg throughout the dish.
Finish the dish with the tamari or soy sauce. Fold carefully to mix in. Taste to see if your dish needs
additional salt and pepper. Sprinkle the top the remaining teaspoon of sesame oil and the green part of the green onions. Serve.
Optional: Add some cooked chicken or pork, small shrimp or tofu when you add in the carrots and heat until warm.