whole wheat pizza {made on the grill}

Summer has officially come to an end as evident by the mass amount of pumpkin and fall goodies!


No complaints here! I am very ready for fall! My bucket list includes:  apple picking, making chili, carving pumpkins, drinking pumpkin beer and cider, and good old fashioned family time.

Last week I headed back to LA for a special someone’s birthday! My Dad’s!

I started throwing ideas around of a fun meal and thought that pizza on the grill was the perfect way to celebrate a birthday and the end of summer!



I love getting the whole wheat dough from Trader Joe’s (along with everything else in my pantry 🙂 ) The dough is only about $1.19 a bag and it is really convenient and tastes great! I was able to serve about five people with two bags of dough.

Rolling out the dough:

The trick with this dough is to really let it rest for the recommended 20 minutes before rolling it out.  I usually let it sit for closer to 30 minutes to ensure that the yeast had plenty of time to fluff up the dough.

Once it has rested, lightly flour a large cutting board and begin to stretch out the dough. If you don’t have a rolling pin, you can easily use an old wine bottle and your fingers!


Once the dough is completely rolled out, apply olive oil liberally to one side and place on the preheated barbecue.   I also applied some crushed garlic to the olive oiled side.  Place the olive oiled side down on the hot grill (make sure it is oiled thoroughly so that it doesn’t stick to the grill).  Cook one side thoroughly and have your desired toppings ready to put on once you flip it!



You want to make sure the grill isn’t too hot otherwise the toppings won’t cook and the dough will burn! Slow and steady!


Vegetable Greek Pizza: Put as much of the toppings as you would like!

-one bag of Trader Joe’s whole wheat pizza dough (found in the refrigerated section)

-marinated artichoke hearts

-mozzarella cheese

-feta cheese

-thinly sliced roma tomatoes

-thinly sliced orange bell pepper

I didn’t put any sauce on the Greek pizza because I thought that the garlic, olive oil, and the marinated artichokes as the base would be enough.  It definitely was tasty without the sauce, but you could add a marinara dipping sauce on the side!

Layer the marinated artichoke hearts on the dough and spread out the tomatoes and bell pepper.  Sprinkle the mozzarella and feta cheeses over the top.  Cook just until the cheese bubbles!


Barbecue Chicken Pizza:

-one bag of whole wheat Trader Joe’s dough

-green onions, diced

-red onion, diced


-pre-grilled chicken, shredded

-barbecue sauce for the base

-mozzarella cheese

On the cooked side, spread the barbecue sauce the completely cover the dough. Sprinkle the spinach, then shredded chicken, red and green onions.  Sprinkle mozzarella cheese completely over the top.  Cook just until the cheese bubbles!


Slice and serve immediately!



grilled chili+lime fish tacos with greek yogurt slaw

grilled fish

I can never turn down a good fish taco, especially when it’s loaded with avocado and some grilled veggies.  When I ran across this recipe on Ambitious Kitchen I knew I had to make it the following  Taco Tuesday.  I made these earlier this summer, when I had a lot more free time than I do now, but I’ll try to update more regularly as I have a special place in my heart for this lil ol blog!

These fish tacos are quite fantastic as the tilapia is marinated with this awesome blend of honey, chili powder, olive oil, garlic, cumin, lime juice, sea salt, and a dash of cayenne pepper.  Once the fish is grilled it would also be great over a salad too! And you really do need to add the mango. Makes all the difference in the world!

This recipe serves about 4 people, but can easily be increased!


marinated chili + lime tilapia:

1 pound of tilapia (or any other fish you prefer, tilapia is great because it is fairly mild and usually on the cheaper side)

3 tablespoons fresh lime juice

1 tablespoon olive oil

2 teaspoons of honey

2 garlic cloves, smashed

1 tablespoon chili powder

1 teaspoon cumin

1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

Using a large ziploc bag, add the fish, lime juice, olive oil, honey, garlic, chili powder, cumin, and salt and pepper to taste.  Let the fish marinate for about 30 minutes and then place on a medium hot grill. You can also easily pan fry these if you don’t have a grill. Remove fish from marinade and place onto hot grill. Grill fish for 3-5 minutes each side, or until fish start to flake with a fork. Remove and keep warm.

grilled fish

red cabbage, radish, and cilantro slaw:

1 1/2 cups  thinly sliced red cabbage

2 tablespoons fresh chopped cilantro

1/3 cup sliced radish

1/4 cup plain, nonfat greek yogurt

1 tablespoon fresh lime juice

salt + pepper, to taste

Mix the cabbage, cilantro, radish, greek yogurt, fresh lime juice, and salt and pepper in a bowl and place in the refrigerator.

slaw collage


sauteed corn + zucchini:

2 ears of corn, with the kernals shaved off

1 small zucchini, diced into medium chunks

1/2 tablespoon olive oil

salt + pepper, to taste

After shaving off the corn kernals and dicing the zucchini, turn a pan onto medium heat and add the olive oil.  Once hot, place the veggies in the pan and sautee until tender. Set aside.


All together now….

IMG_0194Grill the corn (or flour) tortillas for a few seconds on each side.  Divide the fish equally among the tortillas, add the slaw, sauteed veggies, chunks of mango, and slices of avocado. Top with cilantro and any hot sauce you desire!




two ingredient pancakes


It’s been more than a while since I’ve written in this space, but I recently dusted off my camera and decided to snap a few photos!

These pancakes have been seen on mostly every healthy living blog, pinterest, and possibly in your own kitchen, but they are too easy, healthy, and tasty not to share once more. The two-ingredient pancake is simply eggs and banana, mashed together, and then poured into silver dollar shapes onto a skillet. I wasn’t kidding about the simplicity was I? You can also add anything into the “batter” once you’ve mashed the banana and egg together.

two ingredient pancakes:

-two eggs

-one medium sized banana (it’s better if it’s on the riper side)

-optional add-ins: blueberries (as pictured here), walnuts, cinnamon


In a bowl, mash one whole banana until soft and creamy.  Crack two eggs into the same bowl and whisk until evenly combined.  Add in any additional ingredients, such as blueberries featured below.


Pour 1/4 cup of “batter” into a skillet that has been heated on medium heat.  Brown each side of the pancake and flip.  You really don’t need any syrup as these pancakes are naturally very sweet from the banana.


I served mine alongside one of the best peaches I have had this summer. I have a serious love for summer stone fruit apricotspeachesnectarines.




cherry almond granola bars

I have a slight obsession with Trader Joe’s and anyone who knows me can definitely attest to that. Currently, I’ve been absolutely loving the Black Pitted Tart Montgomery Cherries. At almost five dollars a bag they are definitely one of my splurges, but I can easily consume a bag in a week and enjoy every single piece.


I ran across a recipe for apricot almond granola bars, but was out of dried apricots (also usually purchased at TJ’s) and decided to swap with the dried cherries. Best idea ever.

Sooo without further ado, after my long blogging hiatus, I present you with a super easy, no bake, healthy recipe for cherry almond granola bars.

the bars:

1 1/2 cups whole raw, unsalted almonds
1 cup old fashioned oats
1 cup dried tart montgomery cherries
2 Tablespoons sesame seeds
1/4 cup + 2 Tablespoons honey
3 Tablespoons coconut oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon of cinnamon

In a blender add 1 cup of raw almonds and 1/2 cup old fashioned oats. Blend until fine and pour into a separate bowl.




Chop the remaining almonds into coarse pieces and add the remaining 1/2 cup of oats, sesame seeds, and cherries into a separate bowl.



Stir together the honey, coconut oil, salt, vanilla and cinnamon in a small pan over low-medium heat. Whisk together until the mixture melts, then create a foamy consistency, and then continue cooking for about 10 seconds longer.



Pour the warm honey and coconut oil over the nut blend and combine thoroughly to create a wet mixture.


Wrap an 8×8 dish with saran wrap (feel free to spray with a little cooking spray) and press the nut and oat mixture firmly down into the pan. Make sure to leave saran hanging over the edges. Refrigerate, or freeze if your impatient like me, for a few hours.


(Please note the lovely paper plate. I immediately took these over to a friends house after they had firmed up a bit)

Later that week I crumbled a bar over a bowl of yogurt with some fruit for breakfast and it was the perfect pre-workout fuel.



the wise words of wednesday

I’m currently blogging from a Starbucks with a pile of notes in front of me and a half empty nonfat latte. It’s the week before finals. A week and a half before Christmas break. A week and a half until I’ve completed my first semester of grad school. Life is good.

eatlivethrive image

Have a wonderful day!


quinoa banana bread

It’s hard to believe that there are only three weeks left in the semester! I feel as though I just arrived in San Diego, but it already feels like home.

While I was in LA for Thanksgiving, this happened….

To say I was excited would be an understatement! I was also quite relieved to have the final confirmation that I did in fact graduate from college!

And now the recipe…

Quinoa is awesome. I eat it for breakfast with yogurt, berries, and a dash of cinnamon. I eat it for dinner on top of a salad with a drizzle of balsamic dressing and now I’m baking with it! Best source of grain-like protein!

This recipe incorporates cooked quinoa so it’s really easy to use any leftover from dinner!

quinoa banana bread
(makes one loaf)

  • 1 3/4 cup flour (1 cup white flour and 3/4 cup wheat)
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • two ripe bananas
  • 1 cup cooked quinoa (cooled)
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1/4 cup unsalted buter (melted)
  • 1/4 cup fat free plain greek yogurt

Preheat the oven to 350. In a bowl, combine the dry ingredients together.  In a separate bowl combine the mashed banana, cooked quinoa, melted butter, egg, and greek yogurt.  Slowly add the dry ingredients into the wet.

Pour into a greased loaf pan (I sprayed mine with PAM) and place into the oven.  Cook for about 55 minutes, but the amount of time could vary depending on your oven.  Check with a toothpick. The bread will be ready when the toothpick comes out clean when the toothpick is inserted into the middle of the loaf.






walnut potato dinner rolls

For the past couple of weeks I had been brainstorming and searching for a dinner roll recipe to bring to Thanksgiving.  I spotted this recipe on Jenna’s blog and just knew these would be perfect! The recipe turned out better than I expected (they usually do) and the leftovers were made into mini french toasts the next morning, per tradition! The rolls were better than any store bought rolls that’s for sure!

This is definitely an involved recipe, but well worth the time! Just have patience with the rising process and they’ll be done in no time at all. Sidenote: They smelled amazing. On the way to t-day dinner, the car began to smell like a bakery.

And just fyi: these rolls would not be regarded as healthy, but it’s about enjoying everything in moderation! 😀

walnut potato rolls (adapted from Jenna’s blog eatliverun.com)

  • one large white potato
  • two eggs
  • one package dry yeast (1/4 ounce)
  • 1/4 cup warm water
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 4 1/2 cups flour
  • 3/4 cup walnuts
  • one stick unsalted butter
  • one egg + 1 tbsp warm water for the egg wash


Preheat the oven to 375 and spread the walnut pieces thinly over a baking dish. Cook for about 6-8 minutes until golden brown and toasty.

Peel the potato and cut into chunks. Place into boiling water and cook for about twenty minutes until you can prick them with a fork easily. Drain the cooked potatoes and mash with a fork.

Let the potatoes cool slightly, then dissolve the dry yeast in the warm water. Add the two eggs and 1/3 cup sugar to the mashed potatoes. Then add the frothy yeast mixture and mix well to combine.

Add two cups of flour, salt and the walnuts to the potato mixture. Combine with a wooden spoon until a dough forms. Place a towel over the bowl and let the dough rise for 1 1/2 hours in a warm spot (on top of the stove).

Beat the softened one stick of butter and the extra 1/3 cup sugar in a Kitchenaid mixer until smooth and fluffy. Add the dough and mix with the dough hook attachment. Slowly add the remaining 2 1/2 cups flour until the dough is pulling away from the sides of the bowl. Mix until the dough forms a ball around the hook.

Place the ball of dough in a greased bowl and allow to rise again for 1 hour.

Prepare a baking dish (whatever size you prefer) by greasing it with butter. Form the dough into balls, about 40, and place them into the baking dish. Allow the rolls to rise for another 45 minutes.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Brush the tops of the risen rolls with the egg/water mixture.

Bake for 35 minutes until golden.