Beautiful Burrata Salad

So cheese is like, my biggest food group. Forget milk and butter, I don’t consume either. My dairy square is ALL cheese. And arguably, my favorite of all time is Buratta Cheese. It took over the place Brie had in my heart about 4 years ago, when I first ate the Buratta Toast from Blue Ribbon Pizza (my last dying wish, for real). It rich, creamy, light and salty – basically the most delicious thing ever.

So imagine my delight when I stumbled upon Buratta in the fridge section at Trader Joe’s. I was pretty skeptical too, I only like the homemade stuff to get that real authentic taste. But I decided to give it a try, and although it isn’t quite as amazeballs as the real homemade stuff, it allowed me to get my fix at home and hit the spot.

Here is my recipe for a Beautiful Buratta Salad… you can make anything and put Buratta on it but this mix of flavors, colors and textures was fantastic.

rocket arugula

corn/edamame/red pepper succotash from Trader Joe’s freezer

cherry tomatoes

avocado

buratta cheese from Trader Joe’s fridge

sea salt & black pepper

citrus olive oil from Temecula Olive Oil Company

splash of balsamic vinegar

Buratta Salad

Buratta Salad

Buratta Salad

Buratta Salad

Pizza Party Remix

I have always been a pizza addict. Dad is from New York, so I have always been a bit of a snob. And with all the different artisan style pizza places popping up around my town, the competition can be dismal.

We all know the best kind is hot, greasy and loaded with gluten, and eating too much can make you feel pretty gross. I’ll order GF every once in awhile just to avoid a gluten coma, but not at the expense of giving up my fave food (sorry I’m not sorry). So where is the solution to this earth shaking dilemma? How can you achieve pizza perfection without sacrificing all your hard work at the gym? Meet my new little sweet potato pizzette lovers.

This recipe was the first from the Inspiralized Cookbook that I took a stab at, and was a slam dunk. This recipe happens to be gluten-free and vegetarian but you can achieve a dairy-free version too, if you’re about that life (for more on cheese alternatives, just kill yourself now). You can also swap out the toppings for whatever you like, but I followed the recipe to a T and it was the tits.

Spiralized Sweet Potato

Spiralized Pizette Toppings

Spiralized Pizette Crusts

pizettes part one

pizettes part two

Makes 6 mini pizzas

30 min to prep

30 min to cook

30 second to consume

tools needed:

large non stick skillet

mixing bowl

6 mini ramekins

ingredients:

cooking spray

2 medium sweet potatoes – peeled & spiralized with blade c

1 1/2 tsp garlic powder

salt & pepper

2 large eggs – lightly beaten

3 1/2 tbsp olive oil

1/2 red onion – thinly sliced

1 large garlic clove – minced

pinch of red pepper flakes (or five)

6 tbsp marinara sauce

1 8oz ball of mozzarella – thinly sliced

3/4 cup of green olives (my favorite castelventrano variety are sold at whole foods and most other organic groceries)

2 tbsp grated parm

2 cups rocket arugula

directions:

preheat oven to 450. apply cooking spray to a large non-stick skillet & heat over medium. once a flick of water sizzles, add the sweet potato noodles. season with garlic powder, salt and pepper. cover and let cook for 5-7 minutes, or until noodles start to lightly brown.

transfer noodles to a medium bowl and let cool for 1-2 minutes. add lightly beaten eggs and stir well. fill 6 custard bowls or mini rammekins halfway with the noodles. press down with a fork to flatten before covering with aluminum foil and a can of vegetables to firmly pack noodles down. refrigerate for 15+ minutes so noodles can set.

heat 1/2 tbsp of olive oil in your skillet over medium-high heat. add onions, garlic and red pepper flakes to skillet. cook for 3-4 minutes or until onion is wilted.

heat 1 tbsp olive oil in a large non-stick skillet over medium heat. add two of your “crusts” by flipping two of your ramekins over into the skillet, patting the bottoms until they fall out. cook for 3 minutes on each side, being careful when flipping and pushing in any stragglers with your spatula. press the buns with spatula while cooking to ensure an even cook. once crust is browned, remove and drain on paper towels. repeat with an additional tbsp of oil for each set of crusts.

line a baking sheet with foil and coat the foil with cooking spray. arrange crusts in a single layer and top each one with a 1 tbsp marinara sauce and some sliced mozz. season with salt & pepper and bake for 5 minutes or until cheese is melted.

remove pizzas from oven and top with olives, onions and parm. top with fresh rocket arugula, salt & pepper and serve those bitches up.

DIY Container Garden Project

Add some life to your home

There is nothing to get your mind right like digging your hands into the dirt. I find that being in the garden is not only therapeutic, but there is something so fulfilling about planting life into the earth, so I am always looking for fun yard projects to keep me sane.

I am a big fan of planter boxes – especially for the whole tiny herb garden look – but they don’t drain well and always end up rotting out for me. So I have learned to master using the good old fashioned terra cotta pot. Super basic, and could lead to another DIY project if you like to paint.

Succulents are the easiest to keep alive, but herbs work well year round, as do some flowers. Take a look at your outdoor area and use the amount of sunlight you get to determine where to place your pots. Once you pick your designated plant area, you have to pick out your seedlings (or seeds if you are super patient and/or have a greenhouse setup) and supplies.

What to buy

I usually get little pots in a few different sizes, a 6 pack of the strongest looking seedlings and a big bag of potting soil. You could get a shovel, or just use the plastic liner from your seedlings as a scooper since these containers are so small. If you are super OCD about cleaning, getting a tarp or drop cloth will help keep the dirt from getting everywhere.

Ready, Set, Go

planting pots 1

step 1 / if you aren’t buying new, wash out your container

planting pots 2

step 2 / layer bottom of container with small stones to allow drainage, then fill 2/3 full with potting soil

planting pots 3

step 3 / remove seedlings from their original packaging and loosen ends of roots

planting pots 4

step 4 / bury seedling in dampened soil, and cover and lightly pack topsoil – leaving room for water

Winter ramblings

It has been a long year, and we haven’t even endured our coldest, darkest season. The bleak and cynical say that Winter is representative of death and dying. After all, Fall is the symbol of the final harvest, and it has already come and gone. And with El Nino slamming us over and over, we are seeing the end of the long hot days and beginning of long cold nights.

But I see the season ahead more as a fresh start. A rebirth of sorts. Where we should be evaluating, shifting focus inward, purging of the people and behaviors no longer serving us, and making room for healthier habits for the new year. Sort of like Spring Cleaning, but for the soul.

In this process, I am realizing how long it’s been since I read a book from start to finish. Went to dinner by myself. Went to yoga. Or been to the dentist? Yikes. Have I been a bad self, neglecting to nurture my own heart and soul? Panic starts setting in, and then after a few days of anxiety and list making and day planner scribbling, I begin to simply make the changes that seem so daunting. Basically, just get my shit together without getting caught up. Which is easier said than done, I might add. But every little task completed feels like a small victory, and the more I can get my personal affairs in order, the more time is freed up for me to dedicate towards more desirable endeavors. Like writing, to start.

So here we are, about to embark on the first month of Winter, and I feel like it is January 1st. Better late than never I suppose. Or maybe I am just getting ahead for this next year to come…

To the new year and all the positive change it may bring – let’s do this.

Daycation: The Integratron

integratron daycationRight outside Joshua Tree, is a small desolate town called Landers that is home to the Integration – a structure in the Mojave desert that sits upon a geomagnetic vortex of spiritual energy. A friend once told me about this magical place , and told me you could have your soul healed by way of sound bath. Not sure if this crazy oasis was the real deal, I did some research and decided that the only way to fully understand it would be to experience it for myself.

Some friends and I packed the car with coffee, fresh fruit, and dust kickin boots and headed east towards Joshua Tree. We left at the crack of dawn, and drove through the colorful Rainbow Valley watching the sun rise and shined through the misty morning fog. Meandering along the San Jacinto mountain range, we drove through farmland, rocky hills and desert mountains to get to the flatlands of the Twentynine Palms Highway.

After a stretch/pee break, a few more antsy miles, and a left turn towards Landers, we arrived at the crowded gates just before opening time. Once the gates opened, we all scurried like little bugs to the box office to purchase tickets for the sound bath. After that, things relaxed a bit… we all walked around, exploring these energy charged grounds and taking in the beautiful desert surroundings.

integratron daycation

integratron daycation

We eventually went inside the two story structure to partake in what I can only describe as a child-like-wonder-filled-experience. People of all ages from all corners of life sat under one roof and listened to the rhythmic sounds of giant singing crystal bowls. They say that most people experience one of two reactions to this meditative state… either lucid visions of loved ones or significant figures in your life, or a comfortable sleep. Since it was early morning and we had been in the car for nearly three hours leading up to it, I experienced a bit of both. But I had some great breakthrough moments during and directly after the sound bath and could feel the reset take place.

Until I stood up, I didn’t realize how weighed down I felt going into it. I had been holding a lot of stress, responsibility and unnecessary suffering inside and I felt physically altered directly following this sound bath. I felt a mix of cloudy and clear headed – like a thin mist was hovering but I could still think crystal clear. It was a relaxing sensation and I would like to continue making quick trips out to do this regularly, to keep my mind and body light.

integratron daycation

integratron daycation

If you have the chance, I highly suggest checking out a sound bath. I know it sounds like some hippy shit, but it honestly has an incredibly calming and centering effect, and can open your mind to parts of the universe you didn’t even know existed. I felt like my mind, body and spirit all reset at the same time, creating a solid foundation for a period of change and growth in my life.

It is pretty crazy that a place like this exists just a few hours drive from where we live. It feels like a crazy scientific-spiritual burial rampant with good energy and healing vibes. The place is maintained by a cool group of older, hippy wizards that live in a small private Airstream community that borders the property. A quick day trip through the rural edges of San Diego, and you are transported to this unique destination on what feels like another planet.

integratron daycation

 

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