Healthy alternative for Pizza lovers – “Piz-za-my-heart!”

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Non-gluten, Non-dairy Vegan Pizza

 

“Non-gluten,” “Non-dairy” and “Vegan” have become the new buzz words! For me, it’s nothing new. I was raised on a vegetarian diet before it became “Hip.” When I was growing-up, a good meal was a plate full of meat and potatoes but not for me and my eight siblings.

It’s easy for me to embrace a cauliflower crusted pizza with dairy-less cheese but I do have high standards. It better taste good too! Of course, when it’s made with love by someone you love, that’s the best with a “Piz-za my heart!”

My daughter, Marianna, made me the delicious pizza pictured above. It is low in carbohydrates, which means low in sugar. So, if you are prone to Diabetes, this is the pizza for you! This amazing pizza is made with all plant-based ingredients.

For us, the crisper the cauliflower crust, the better. It was topped with a cashew based Alfredo sauce, fresh vegetables and Burata style buffalo mozzarella vegan cheese made mostly of coconuts.

 

A trip to our local Farmer’s Market

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Mother and daughter selfie! Marianna Riccio and Maria Lauren

We found most of the produce for our pizza, including three kinds of basal, at our local Farmer’s Market!

Grazing through the Farmer’s Market is always a fun mother/daughter expedition for us.

It’s an adventure to explore the variety of fruits and vegetables that are on display. If the vendors offer us free samples, we are eager to reply, ‘Yes, please!’ 🙂

It’s fun to support your local farmers. Try being creative in your food preparations and enjoy healthy, delicious alternatives in eating.

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EXTRA! EXTRA! EAT ALL THE PIZZA!

NO GUILT Non-Dairy, Non-Gluten RECIPE …

~ Start with Trader Joe’s Pizza Crust (Check link for cooking instructions).

Take the Cauliflower Crust out of the oven and put your favorite ingredients on top. 

First, my daughter, Marianna used a dollop of Victoria’s Vegan Alfredo Sauce in the middle of the pizza and lightly brushed it around the pizza in a circular motion.

Then, she added sautéed portabella mushrooms and white onions on top of the sauce and placed raw sliced heirloom tomatoes with purple, green and lemon basil, a colorful display! Sparingly, she scattered bite-size pieces of Miyoka’s Mozzarella Cheese on top with just a few sprays of Spectrums Olive Oil Spray. Broil for a few minutes more until the edges of the pizza begins to turn brown. Buon Appetito!

Thanks to my daughter, Marianna for this healthy and tasty treat!

Healthfully yours,

Maria Lauren, AKA Maria Elena Alberici – Riccio

Your Powerful LIFE blog

My Website

Marianna Riccio’s Website

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Marianna Riccio and Maria Lauren are certified fitness and health professionals

This is a blog about LIFE: Living, Inspiration, Fitness, Entertainment. It is produced in my own time and solely reflects my personal opinions. Statements on this site do not represent the views or policies of my employer, past or present, or any other organization with which I may be affiliated. All content is copyrighted.

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Pomegranate jam and sweet escapes

Pomegranate Tree

Pomegranates are an Intriguing and Powerful Fruit that stirs up the imagination.

As I make my Pomegranate Jam, I think of the Shakespearean phrase, ‘Nightly she sings on yon pomegranate tree…’ and the memory of playing the part of ‘Juliet’ when I was eighteen years old without ever seeing a pomegranate tree or the fruit itself. This is odd because I was raised as a vegetarian. Yet decades later, there is a pomegranate tree growing in my backyard.

Pomegranates are a Powerful Antioxidant!

The pomegranate looks similar to an apple on the outside but inside the skin you’ll find a multitude of tiny berries that are beneficial to your health and beauty.

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Pomegranates are good for you!

Can you eat the seeds in each juicy morsel? Yes, chew it good, the seeds contain oil, an isoflavones (also contained in soy) so it becomes creamy in your mouth. The juice squirting in your mouth from each berry is quenching and soothing to your throat. Also, feel good knowing that you are getting nutrients including 5 polyunsaturated fatty acid that helps with cell regeneration.

Picking a Sweet Pomegranate… Beware of Creepy Bugs!

I always pick fruit at the market that have markings on the skin because I know the bugs like sweet things too. Because of our hot summer, my pomegranates were already bursting on the tree. This made the seeds easy to get out. However, it invites creepy large bugs. Yuck!

The bugs looked slow-moving so I carefully ventured into the tree to pick a pomegranate. What just flew above my head? Was it one of these bugs? Yikes, they fly! The Leaffooted Plant Bug was well camouflaged within the tree!

I ran to my house to get my cell phone so I could take a picture of these little critters. Can you see the creepy crawlers? It won’t be easy to see the bugs but that’s what makes it fun! Are you game?

Play with a friend. Where’s ‘Waldo,’ the bug? (Reminiscent of the children books, ‘Where’s Waldo’ or in some countries, ‘Where’s Wally.’) Hint: In this collage of two pictures, there is a bug in each picture. If you have trouble finding the bugs, you can click on the picture to enlarge it. 😉

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Leaffooted Plant Bugs in the Pomegranate Trees!

Natural Pomegranate Jam Recipe

(made with Lemonade and Pectin)

This simple pomegranate jam recipe contains no added sugar! It is sweetened with a little honey and lemon aid that I made from fresh lemon juice (lemons from my tree). Of course, you’ll also need fresh pomegranate seeds and pectin (pictured).

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Natural Pomegranate Jam with Pectin

Prepare:

I suggest that you put on an apron so you don’t stain your clothing and wear tight fitted latex gloves (if not allergic to latex) to protect your nails.

Soak and Separate Pomegranate:

I soak each cracked pomegranate in water to cleanse it and then put it in water again to get the seeds out while the pomegranates are immersed in water. This is an easy way to loosen the seeds because the seeds sink and the pulp floats. Then, I put the pomegranate berries/seeds through a strainer, discard any unwanted remnants and keep only the best. One large pomegranate yields about one cup or less of berries/seeds.

~ This recipe makes three cups of my Natural Pomegranate Jam.

~ First open the package of Pomona’s Universal Pectin (pictured) containing no sugar or preservatives. The information /instructions that are found in the inside of the package is plentiful and can be confusing, so I have made it easier here:

Ingredients:

3 cups of lightly mashed pomegranate berries/seeds

1 cup of fresh lemonade (lemon juice and water sweetened with stevia and honey or agave)

2 teaspoons of calcium water (powder is in package – 1/2 teaspoon of powder to 1/2 cup water)

1/2 cup of honey * Ikaria honey has many health benefits; it is rich so use less.

2 teaspoons of pectin (powder in package)

Glass jars with tight lids (let jars and lids sit in hot water until needed)

Instructions:

In a bowl, add 1/4 cup of  lemon aide with the mashed pomegranates and keep the mixture on the side for later. Meanwhile, put 3/4 cup of juice and honey in a pan with the calcium water and boil separately. Then, put this mixture in a blender and add pectin until powder dissolves in juice. Put pomegranate mixture in a pan and bring to a boil. Pour the pectin mixture from the blender into the pan and return to a boil. Remove mixture from heat and fill the warm, empty jars with the jam mixture, leave some room at the top and screw the lids on tightly. When the mixture cools, it will harden into a jam. Put jam in to the refrigerator when the jars are cool. Enjoy!

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Powerful Connections & Sweet Escapes

No matter how far or near, the power of love connects us to those who have touched our hearts. That wonderful energy triggers our memory and senses just by listening to a song or eating food.

Making Pomegranate Jam renews my connection to a special friend, Robyn Whatley – Kahn who is living on the island of Ikaria in Greece. She specializes in the quality of Archaeologous guided tours to the area where pomegranates first grew, namely Turkey, where some scholars claim is the location of the Garden of Eden.

Below, I put together a few pictures that Robyn sent me for a glimpse of the places, people and things that can fill your senses while on an Archaeologous Turkey tour!

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Views of culture sites in Turkey – Quality tours and healing works with Robyn Whatley-Kahn

Turkey is loaded with biblical history. Noah’s Ark landed on Mount Ararat (Agri Dagi) in Eastern Turkey. Ephesus in Turkey is the burial ground of St. John which is now a huge Basilica of St. John (in ruins and excavations) When walking in Ephesus, you are walking the footsteps of Apostle Paul, Mother Mary as well as Cleopatra, Alexander the Great…

Robyn and I have a past of traveling and entertaining together in the 70’s girl group, The Golddiggers. Now, we are both  involved in healing, I am an exercise coach/therapist and Robyn is a Body Talk practitioner. The bonds of the past powerfully unite us.

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Book: Beyond Our Wildest Dreams and The Golddiggers during the mid- 1970’s

Pictured are Maria Lauren, Dean Martin, Linda Eichberg – (top row) Maria Lauren, Linda Eichberg: Alberici Sisters, Joyce Garro, Peggy Gohl, (bottom row) Patti Gribow and Robyn Whatley-Kahn.
In the book, Beyond Our Wildest Dream, my sister, Linda Eichberg and I fondly remember times as members of The Golddiggers during the groovy 70’s. As insiders, we tell backstage stories of entertaining with icons including the Rat Pack. Those who were there, our “Golddigger” sisters and other notables share their viewpoint giving a broad perspective to this special era in showbiz history.
It’s a fun time of sisterhood and friendship when the TV Variety Show was prime and celebrity legends ruled the Las Vegas strip.
Our readers have found it to be a sweet escape!
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‘Within one pomegranate there are many berries/seeds that burst of a sweet tartness, just like the experiences and people that full my life.’ – Maria Elena Alberici – Riccio

Wishing you the sweetness of life,
Maria Lauren, aka Maria Elena Alberici – Riccio
Your Powerful LIFE blog
 cropped-maria_lauren_fitness_expert.jpgYour Powerful LIFE blog is about Living, Inspiration, Fitness, Entertainment…
Statements on this site do not represent the views or policies of my employer, past or present, or any other organization with which I may be affiliated. I have not been paid to promote any product or service on this post. All content is copyrighted.

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