Here in Florida we are in the midst of the dog days of Summer. 95 degree days make it hard to believe that in less than a month it will be September and we’ll be trading pumpkin recipes and craving Fall flavors. But for now I’m still savoring fresh Summer flavors, as well as some of my favorite Summer comfort foods.
Applegate is currently running a Get Out On Grass campaign, where they’re encouraging people to get outside and enjoy the outdoors, just like their cows! In celebration of this campaign I received their Get Out On Grass kit, which included packs of their 100% grass-fed beef hot dogs, Vermont bread potato hot dog buns, Sir Kensington’s ketchup and mustard, and some Applegate goodies. I’m always excited to receive an Applegate package. I love that their products are made with minimal ingredients and taste great to boot!
When I received Applegate’s hot dogs I wanted to go beyond the usual suspects when it came to toppings. So I experimented a bit and came up with two fun (and yummy!) recipes.
The first is what I call the Spicy Southern.
Pimento cheese and pickled okra give a nice bite and kick.
The second is a Bacon BBQ dog.
Smokey bacon jam, crispy fried onions and a drizzle of sweet BBQ sauce give the dog a pow of flavor and crunch.
What kind of fun toppings do you put on your hot dogs? I hope if it’s not 95 degrees where you are that you’re enjoying this last month of Summer and that you Get Out On Grass!
Anytime I try to clean up my eats one of the hardest hurdles is snacking. Don’t get me wrong…I love healthy snacks. I’ll usually slice up an apple or grab a handful of almonds. But I like variety and my usual go to’s can get old fast.
One snack that doesn’t get old? Oat balls!
Do a quick search on Pinterest and you can find a wide variety of oat balls. They are my favorite healthy snack…not just because they’re yummy and healthy…but also because you can create a million different versions. So no getting bored with the same old thing!
Somehow I’ve accumulated a surplus of peanut butter in our pantry…does this happen to any one else?? I’ve had a jar of Peanut Butter & Co.’s Cinnamon Raisin Swirl, which I only have once in a blue moon and wanted to use it up. I thought it would be perfect for oat balls!
Cinnamon Raisin peanut butter, rolled oats, dried apples and honey are all it takes to make these little balls of goodness. Just mix these ingredients together, form them into small balls and voila! You have an easy to reach for healthy snack throughout the week. I especially love them as a pre or post workout snack. I also suggest keeping them in the fridge to keep them fresh and so they keep their shape.
Cinnamon Raisin Apple Oat Balls
Oat balls made with cinnamon raisin peanut butter and dried apples. Perfect for snacking!
- 1 cup rolled oats
- 1 cup dried apples, diced
- 1/2 cup cinnamon raisin peanut butter*
- 2 tbsp honey
- Add all ingredients to a medium sized bowl.
- Mix together.
- If you cannot find cinnamon raisin peanut butter you can use regular peanut butter and add 1/4 cup raisins and 1 tsp cinnamon.
A Full Plate http://afullplateblog.com/
I love comfort food. And I love healthy food. So it’s only natural that I love to find healthier versions of my favorite comfort foods. Like PIZZA.
I’ve tried cauliflower crust before, and while it was tasty, I found it labor intensive and the crust fell apart in my hand.
Then I came across a recipe for quinoa crust….say what?
This quinoa crust is so far the closest thing I’ve had to the real deal. The crust has the perfect amount of crunch and the flavor of quinoa doesn’t over power any toppings you use.
If you’re going to make this wonderful crust you’ll want to plan ahead. The quinoa needs to soak for at least 8 hours. But after that it’s smooth sailing and super easy to make.
As for the toppings…the sky’s the limit. Feel free to use whatever you have on hand and experiment! We had some olive tapenade in the fridge that I was trying to think of how to use…when I thought of pizza the rest of the ingredients came flowing in.
For the sauce we’ve had a jar of ajvar that I’ve been waiting to pop open. If you haven’t heard of ajvar sauce before you’re sorely missing out. It’s a tomato sauce that’s also made with red peppers and sometimes eggplant. It’s full of flavor and you can do almost anything with it. Top it on chicken or fish, toss in pasta…and use as a sauce for pizza!
Along with the tapenade I thought roasted red peppers, spinach and goat cheese would all be great accompaniments. And for protein? Spicy chicken sausage…a healthier and leaner alternative than pork sausage.
I made this pizza for myself and a friend for a movie night. I paired with a simple side salad and a glass of red. Whether it’s movie night, date night or just any ol’ weeknight, I hope you enjoy this pizza!
Chicken Sausage & Goat Cheese Pizza with a Quinoa Crust
A healthy alternative to "regular" pizza. A quinoa crust serves as the base with chicken sausage, goat cheese, olive tapenade, roasted red peppers and spinach as tasty toppings.
- 3/4 cup quinoa, uncooked
- 1/4 cup water
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tbsp oregano
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 lb spicy chicken sausage
- 2 oz goat cheese
- 3 tbsp ajvar sauce*
- 1/4 cup roasted red peppers, chopped
- 2 tbsp olive tapenade
- 1/2 cup spinach
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- Put quinoa in a medium sized bowl and cover with water. Cover with plastic wrap and let soak for at least 8 hours.
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Rinse quinoa and put in a food processor with water, olive oil, oregano, salt and baking powder. Mix together until mixture is smooth and creamy.
- Line a small pan with parchment paper and pour mixture onto pan. Bake for 15 min. Flip crust and bake another 15 min. or until edges are brown.
- While crust is baking cook sausage in sautee pan over medium heat. Set aside.
- Spread ajvar sauce over crust. Crumble goat cheese evenly. Spread peppers and tapenade evenly. Top with spinach. Drizzle olive oil over spinach. This will help spinach cook evenly without shriveling. Add sausage over top evenly.
- Return pan to oven and bake for 10 min. Let cool for 5 min. Serve and enjoy!
- *Ajvar sauce is a sauce made with tomatoes, red peppers and eggplant. It is very flavorful and adds to any dish where you'd normally use tomato sauce. If you are unable to hunt any down using regular tomato sauce is just fine!
A Full Plate http://afullplateblog.com/