Eggplant Parm Pizza

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I am a zombie.

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I am walking around with glazed over eyeballs, ragged breaths and outstretched arms looking for my next victim.

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By victim, I mean plush object to cuddle and nap with for 23 hours.

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I just returned home from a long work conference where I had, on average, 4 hours of sleep each night. I am fully grown adult who needs at LEAST eight hours of beauty rest to even look and act like a human being. Nine is preferable – I find the extra hour adds just the faintest glow to my complexion. By the end of the week, I was struggling to form sentences and conceal the bags under my eyes. At one point, I was going down an escalator and saw some folks I needed to connect with coming up & I proceeded to practically bark at them….but also stutter?? Like, I tried to get my point across, but the combination of no sleep and the moving staircase I was on made it tricky. Another time, I found myself riding the escalator up, only to ride it back down immediately because I forgot something, and then do it all over again. The passersby found it amusing at least. I came home and fell asleep during yoga, so really doing well on fitness goals, too.

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Now why did I think it was a good idea to plan a vacation immediately after this requiring me to get up at 3:00am for a flight????

 

 

Time: 1 hour (prep + cooking) | Serves: 2 pizzas

Ingredients:

  • 2 cauliflower crusts
  • 1 eggplant, peeled + sliced in 1/4 inch thick discs
  • 1 cup of tomato sauce
  • 1/2 cup of raw cashews, soaked overnight
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 2 tbsp. of unsweetened almond milk
  • 1/2 of a block of firm tofu, water drained
  • 1 tbsp. of ground flax seeds
  • 1/2 tbsp. of all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup of panko
  • 1 tsp. of italian seasoning
  • 1 tsp. of oregano
  • 1/2 tsp. of crushed red pepper
  • S+P, to taste
  • Olive oil spray
  • Basil, for serving

How to:

  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees
  • Place eggplant rounds in a colander + sprinkle with salt, let drain for 20-30 minutes
  • Meanwhile, pulse cashews in food processor
  • Add lemon juice + tofu + S+P, process on high + slowly add in milk until smooth
  • Adjust seasoning to taste and place in fridge until ready to use
  • Meanwhile, combine flax seeds + 1/3 cup of water in a bowl, set aside for 10 minutes
  • Add panko + Italian seasoning + oregano + crushed red pepper + S+P to another bowl
  • Dredge eggplant disc in flax egg, then panko, place on a sprayed lined baking sheet, repeat with remaining dics
  • Bake 30 minutes, flipping once in the middle of cooking
  • Spread the crusts with tomato sauce + top with eggplant slices + tofu ricotta
  • Bake another 10 minutes
  • Serve warm with basil
  • Fold a slice like a lil pizza boat + swim it right down your cavernous gullet

 

Adapted from here!

Rainbow Carrot + Asparagus Tart

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How can I ever accurately express the impact Celine Dion has had on my life?

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I suppose I’d have to go back to the beginning. When a six-year-old Rachel sat in the movie theatre after her first screening of Titanic and the credits rolled. Something inside of me just clicked.

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My Heart Will Go On became the first in what would become a collection of ballads I would memorize and sing at all hours of the day staring at myself in the mirror performing in a melodramatic fashion.

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And now, in less than one year, I will see my idol in person. I will breathe her angelic air and hear her golden voice live. Because my mother knows me to my core, she was determined to get these tickets. She joined a Celine fan club to get early access to tickets and on the morning they went on sale, she was prepared to fight the masses with two cell phones, an iPad and a laptop. After we lost out on Adele tickets in 2016, she was not taking any chances! After about 73 failed attempts, she gets them. 8 tickets for me, her and 6 of my BFFs. It’s not until after she’s paid she realizes she accidentally bought us VIP tickets. Like, OK, do I smell a meet and greet in my future?!?!! After further research, we discover the 8 VIP tickets we purchased give us 8 commemorative lanyards and 1 CD. A single CD. For the 8 of us to share. We’ll be creating a rotation schedule so everyone gets equal amount of time with the disc.

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And we are also all going to channel different Celines for our wardrobe and makeup, so we or may not go viral.

 

 

Time:  1.5 hours (prep + cooking) | Serves: 1 tart

Ingredients:

  • 1 puff pastry
  • 4 rainbow carrots
  • 1/2 a bunch of asparagus
  • 1 cup of basil leaves
  • 1/2 cup of walnuts
  • 1/4 cup of nutritional yeast
  • 1 tbsp. of garlic
  • 1 tbsp. of lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup of olive oil
  • S+P, to taste

How to:

  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees
  • Thaw puff pastry for 40 minutes
  • Arrange carrots + asparagus on two lined baking sheets
  • Drizzle each with 1 tbsp. of olive oil + some S+P
  • Roast 20 minutes, tossing once in the middle, remove the asparagus, cook carrots a couple more minutes
  • Meanwhile combine basil + walnuts + nutritional yeast + garlic + lemon juice + S+P in a food processor, process on low + add in remaining olive oil
  • Spray a baking sheet with oil + place puff pastry on sheet
  • Spread pesto on thawed puff pastry, leaving edges plain
  • Cut carrots in half, length wise + place them + asparagus on top of the tart in whatever order your heart desires
  • Bake 15-20 minutes or until crisp to your desire
  • Cut in quarters + serve warm
  • Take a quarter in your hand + crunch it up over your tilted mouth letting the crumblies fill your pie hole

Buttnernut Squash + Beet Pizza

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My husband just asked what is the difference between the Oscars and the Academy Awards.

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How did I end up with him, honestly?

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It was another successful Oscar Sunday in my household. Snacks were served, a guessing game was played, an exclusive performance by muah of the entire A Star Is Born soundtrack was witnessed.

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Speaking of, will I ever recover from the Gaga/B Coop performance? My dreams for the last three nights tell me no. When they came back from commercial and the camera is filming the audience as the stage hands set up the piano and you hear the opening chords, I was all wait, what, what is happening, what is going on?!? Then, they rise from their seats like friggin PHOENIX FROM THE ASHES and walk hand in hand on stage, I truly almost fainted. I was not mentally prepared. Then they opened their mouths and started singing and my blood began to boil in a positive way. Like, I started to sweat and get light headed. Bradley was obviously nervous and Gaga just calmed his nerves via the secret brain waves they share. When he started walking towards her, again, I had to force myself not to pass out. He sits, puts his arm around her & I had to fight back tears. I cannot remember when I’ve been subjected to that much passion on live TV. They finish the song, pause, look at each other, and in that intimate moment, I just began to scream. Kiss her. Kiss her! KISS HER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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The friends I had over for a watch party are no longer speaking to me, but they’re probably just really busy.

 

 

Time: 1 hour (prep + cooking) | Serves: 1 pizza

Ingredients:

For dough, if making homemade –

  • 3 cups of all-purpose flour
  • 2 1/2 ounces of active dry yeast, activated
  • 1 tsp. of S
  • 2 tbsp. of olive oil

For toppings –

  • 1 butternut squash, peeled + cubed
  • 3-4 baby beets, peeled + sliced thin
  • 1 onion, sliced thin
  • 1 can of cannellini beans, rinsed + drained
  • 1/2 cup of spinach, chopped
  • 1 tbsp. of garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp. of crushed red pepper
  • S+P, taste
  • 3 tbsp. of olive oil

How to:

  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees
  • In a large bowl, combine flour + activated yeast + S
  • Mix in a cup of warm water + the olive oil + knead until it forms a dough ball
  • Let sit for 15 minutes
  • Roll out onto a floured surface + place on an oiled pizza stone or cookie sheet
  • Bake 10-15 minutes or crisp to your desire
  • Meanwhile, arrange butternut squash on lined baking sheet + drizzle with 1 tbsp. of olive oil + S+P
  • Roast 20-25 minutes, tossing once
  • Meanwhile, heat another tbsp. of olive oil in a skillet over medium heat
  • Add onion + S+P, cook 7-8 minutes or until caramelized to your desire
  • Stir in beans + S+P, cook 1-2 minutes, turn off heat
  • Process butternut squash in a food processor with garlic + remaining olive oil
  • To assemble pizza, spread butternut squash puree on cooked pizza dough + top with onion/bean mix + sliced beets
  • Cook another 10 minutes
  • Top with fresh spinach, serve warm
  • Take leftover beet slices to the local park + use as mini frisbees with pals

 

Dough from here!