Garlic Lemon Zucchini Noodles

Since I got back from my trip, I’ve really been focusing on getting back into shape. I exercise everyday, and try to eat healthy foods. That’s why I haven’t posted my usual cookie and cupcake recipes! But I promise they’ll be back soon ;)

Garlic Lemon Zucchini Noodles from Square Root of Pie

This recipe is really great especially since it’s been so hot here in LA. It may technically be fall already, but it’s still 95 degrees outside! This dish is completely raw, so no sweating over the stove.

Garlic Lemon Zucchini Noodles from Square Root of Pie

I eat this as a meal, but if you want something a little heartier it would still make a great side dish, or even a healthy afternoon snack.

Garlic Lemon Zucchini Noodles from Square Root of Pie

Garlic Lemon Zucchini Noodles
Vegan, gluten free. Serves 1 as a meal or 2 as a side dish.

Ingredients
1 medium zucchini
handful (6-7) cherry tomatoes, halved
4-5 leaves fresh basil, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
juice of 1/2 lemon
1 Tbsp olive oil
splash balsamic vinegar
salt and pepper to taste

Instructions
1.
Make zucchini noodles using a julienne peeler. Put in a medium mixing bowl with tomatoes and basil, and set aside.
2. Combine all remaining ingredients in a small bowl to make a vinaigrette.
3. Toss noodles with vinaigrette until completely coated. Enjoy!

Garlic Lemon Zucchini Noodles from Square Root of Pie

Flourless Pizza?!

I probably wouldn’t believe it either. But I promise, I’m not lying – this pizza has no flour. No carbs. No gluten. No guilt. And it tastes amazing!

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Trust me, I was a little skeptical when I first saw this idea on Pinterest. But then I tried it and I fell in love.

Cauliflower Pizza Crust
Makes 8 slices. Gluten free. Adapted from Eating Bird Food.

Ingredients
1/2 head cauliflower
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp dried basil
1 egg
1 C shredded cheese (mozzarella, parmesan, etc)
salt and pepper to taste

Instructions
1. 
Preheat oven to 400F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone mat, or use a pizza stone if you have one.
2. Put cauliflower florets into a food processor and pulse until crumbly. You should have about 2 cups.
3. Saute over medium heat about 5 minutes.
4. In a large bowl combine cauliflower with all remaining ingredients. Mixture should be crumbly.
5. Spread crust on pan about 1/4 inch thick, pressing down with your fingers so it sticks together.
6. Bake 25-30 minutes until edges are crispy.
7. Remove from oven, top with sauce and any toppings, and broil another 5 minutes. Serve hot.

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My Favorite Grocery Store

Trader Joe’s, hands down. At least for awesome vegetarian options. They don’t always have everything I want for baking, but they never let me down for dinner.

A little while ago I picked up a package of TJ’s Soy Chorizo to try. I wasn’t entirely sure what I was going to do with it, and then I found this amazing website, Cooking with Trader Joe’s. I’ve seen Trader Joe’s cookbooks before, but as a vegetarian I found most of the recipes useless to me. But a website, where you can search for recipes with specific TJ’s products? This is the greatest thing on the internet, my friends. Besides this gif I made of myself morphing into Beyonce for my computational photography class.

This recipe is super easy. Like, 10 min prep time, 15 min cook time, eat leftovers for days easy. And it calls for no spices. What?! WHAT?! I know. Because the soyrizo is just that delicious enough on its own.

Soyrizo Chili
Vegan. Serves 3-4. Adapted from Cook TJ.

Ingredients
half package Trader Joe’s soy chorizo
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
1/2 can corn, drained
14oz canned diced tomatoes
1/4 red onion, diced
~1/3 C carrots, diced
olive oil

Instructions
1.
In a medium saucepan, saute onions and carrots in olive oil until softened.
2. Add all other ingredients and bring to a boil.
3. Reduce heat, cover, and let simmer for 15 min.
4. Serve hot, topped with cheese, cilantro, avocado, sour cream, etc.

Look at how chunky that chili is! Just how I like it. I wish I had thought ahead and bought Frito’s to make Frito Pie!

My Super Fancy Dinner Party

Sorry for the super late post! I’ve been busy doing so many fun and exciting things, like going to a taping of The Daily Show, seeing Batman, and going to the beach!

Anyway last weekend I had a Super Fancy Dinner Party. With paper plates because I had five people over and only four plates. I went to this super fancy grocery store, Eataly, right around the corner from my apartment, and got all sorts of great, overpriced ingredients.

Fresh pasta…

Ripe eggplants…

And I made…

Eggplant Parmesan
Serves 6. Original recipe here.

Ingredients
2 medium eggplants, sliced about a half inch thick
2 eggs, beaten
breadcrumbs seasoned with basil and oregano
2 bottles tomato sauce
~1/2 C grated parmigiano reggiano
~8 oz shredded mozzarella

Instructions
1.
Preheat oven to 350F.
2. Dip each side of the eggplant slices in the eggs, then coat thoroughly in breadcrumbs. Bake for 5 minutes on each side. (You may have to do this in several batches – don’t stack slices on top of each other!)
3. Spread tomato sauce on the bottom of a 9×13 pan. Place down a layer of eggplant slices, and sprinkle with both cheeses. Add another layer of sauce, eggplant, and cheese, continuing until you’ve used all the eggplant. Top the final layer with sauce and cheese.
4. Bake for 35 minutes. Serve on top of pasta.

Now, if you know me at all, you know I couldn’t stop there. Obviously I made dessert.

How delicious do those look? I recently got a super cool mini cheesecake pan from Norpro, which I’ve been dying to use. It’s funny – I think a lot of people think cheesecake is really difficult to make, but these were so easy. The only thing is you really can’t do it without a mixer – you’ll never smooth out all the chunks.

Mini Lemon Cheesecakes
Makes 12. Adapted from here.

Ingredients
for the crust
7 honey graham crackers
3 Tbsp butter, melted
1 Tbsp sugar
for the filling
16 oz low fat cream cheese
2 eggs
1/2 C sugar
3/4 tsp vanilla
1 Tbsp lemon juice

Instructions
1. 
Preheat oven to 350F. Grease cheesecake pan.
2. Crush graham crackers, either by hand or in a food processor. Mix with butter and sugar.
3. Divide crust between wells of pan (about 1.5 Tbsp each). Press down evenly in each well – I used a shot glass to help since it’s a little hard with your fingers.
4. Bake crusts for 10 min. While they cool, begin the filling.
5. Thoroughly mix cream cheese, eggs, sugar, vanilla, and lemon juice, using either an electric mixer or a food processor.
6. Fill each well about to the top and bake for 15 minutes.
7. Remove from oven and let cool. Then remove cakes from pan and chill in the fridge for at least an hour.
8. Garnish with berries and dark chocolate to serve.

“_____ Week”

Last Week. Tech Week. Show Week. Stress Week. I Have No Time Week. It’s the last week of classes, the week of my dance show, the week when everything is going on all at once and I’m freaking out. Which means I’m stress baking to make myself feel better, but also that I don’t have much time to blog. So next week is Cookie Week, where I post all the different cookies I’ve made so far. I’ve got three already.

Last last weekend, instead of breakfast, we made delicious spinach lasagna rollups.

You can check out the recipe here. They were pretty straightforward to make, and very good, but next time I’d put more cheese. Mostly because I love cheese.

Anyway, onto the main event. Breakfast from last Saturday. Amazing. I wish I could eat these everyday. They’re sweet but not too sweet – I hate when breakfast gets too close to dessert. Making them was so quick that I really could do it on any random morning.

Applesauce Banana Muffins
Makes 10 muffins. Original recipe here.

Ingredients
2 ripe bananas
1/4 C sugar
1/4 C applesauce (if using unsweetened, add a bit more sugar)
1 C flour
1/2 Tbsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla
1 egg

Instructions
1. Preheat oven to 350F.
2. In a medium bowl, mash bananas and mix in sugar.
3. Stir in remaining ingredients.
4. Pour into a muffin pan and bake 20-25 min until a knife comes out clean.

They’re really light, so don’t feel bad if you eat two. Or three. Or four. Which I did. They’re also pretty good with a little bit of butter on top, but they don’t need it.

Overly Enthusiastic

This weekend was Spring Carnival at my school, aka the only time CMU resembles any sort of normal university. People are crazy and silly and go go go go for three days straight. It just makes me wonder… how would I have possibly survived if I went to a real school? By the end of Carnival I was just sleepy. What if it were like this every weekend? I would die. Or have no friends. Or both.

My favorite part of Carnival is Holi, which is basically an excuse to eat delicious Indian food and get really dirty. It’s especially fun when it’s raining out, because you get super muddy too. I really want to know what the color powder is made of – it actually dyed my blonde hair pink! I don’t know how long it will last, but it looks pretty cool considering it was accidental.

I had a zucchini left over from when I failed making zucchini bread a little while ago (don’t ask, it was a huge disaster) so for lunch a couple days ago I decided to make pizza. Since I’ve been cooking more and more, I’ve been getting more comfortable with randomly throwing things in a bowl rather than actually measuring them. It’s great for my cooking skills but bad for my recipe posts. I’m gonna put estimates but check out the original recipe if you really want to know the actual measurements.

Zucchini Boat Pizza
Serves one. Original recipe here.

Ingredients
1 medium zucchini
1 Tbsp bread crumbs
1 Tbsp parmesan cheese
dash dried oregano
3 leaves fresh basil, chopped
2 Tbsp marinara sauce
shredded cheese
toppings (mushrooms, olives, bell peppers, etc)

Instructions
1.
 Preheat the oven to 425 F.
2. Wash the zucchini and slice lengthwise. With a spoon, scoop out the innards, chop them further, and put into a small mixing bowl. Put the zucchini shells on a foiled baking sheet.
3. Add bread crumbs, parmesan, oregano, basil, and marinara to the mixing bowl with the zucchini and stir well. Refill the zucchini shells with the mixture.
4. Top with shredded cheese and any toppings (I didn’t use any).
5. Bake for 20 min (mine took 15 in the toaster oven).

Embarrassing: I got way too excited to eat this/make people jealous that I only took an Instagram photo with my phone and completely forgot to use my foodtography camera. So that’s what you get.

“Healthy Week”

My friend decided that this week is “Healthy Week.” What does that mean exactly? Working out, no junk food. That means no peanut butter, no Nutella, no delicious Fig Newtons hiding away in my cupboard, and NO COFFEE. Coffee isn’t exactly a junk food, sure, but I’ve gotten to drinking it every morning and I really should cut back. Both of us are going coffeeless for the week.

Unfortunately this is proving to be pretty difficult for me. I try to eat healthy, sure, but if you’re going to restrict what I can eat I need some warning. We decided last minute on Sunday night that this would start Monday morning, and of course I’m almost out of spinach, so salads are out. I’m also almost out of hummus, which is another one of my go-to ingredients. Next week we’ll be back on our regular diets, and then the week after that is no junk again, so at least I’ll have time to prepare.

I don’t know if this really counts as healthy, but it’s certainly not unhealthy. I made a big pot of it Sunday night, and I’ve been eating it nonstop since. If you know me, you know that this is my #1 favorite food in the entire world. It is always at the top of my food request list when I get home after being away for a long time, and I talk about it way more often than any food really needs to be talked about. Also, until now, I had no idea how easy it is to make. Sure, I suppose some of the magic is gone, but since I get to eat it more often now, I don’t really mind. So, without further ado…

Tortilla Soup
Recipe courtesy of my mother

Ingredients
I actually made a half batch, but I’m posting the original amounts.
~6 Tbsp vegetable oil
6 corn tortillas, cut into pieces (cut tortilla in half, then cut into 1/2in strips)
4 large garlic cloves, chopped
1/2 C chopped fresh cilantro (coriander leaves for you silly non-Americans)
1 medium onion, chopped
1 can (28oz) diced tomatoes
2 Tbsp cumin
1 Tbsp chili powder
3 bay leaves
6 cups vegetable stock
1 Tsp salt
1/2 Tsp cayenne pepper

Instructions
1.
 In a large saucepan, heat oil over medium heat. Add tortillas, garlic, cilantro, and onion; saute 2-3 minutes.
2. Stir in tomatoes and bring to a boil.
3. Add cumin, chili powder, bay leaves, vegetable stock, and return to a boil.
4. Reduce heat. Add salt and cayenne pepper.
5. Let simmer 30 minutes to thicken. (The photo above was taken pre-simmering – this stuff gets thick!)
6. Remove bay leaves. Serve with cheese, avocado, sour cream, fried tortilla strips, etc.

Magic. In a bowl.