Vegan Pizza and Simple Salad

I’ve got an update on the foot: The doctor thinks its tendonitis with maybe some plantar fasciitis in the mix as well. The good news is that as of today I can try to start walking around without it. Then ease into running on a treadmill. Baby steps… literally.

It seems to be getting better so my hopes are still high. And being in the boot hasn’t been too bad– if you’re in the Massachusetts area, you know how cold the weather was last week. It made staying inside all the easier.

All this time at home did, however, give me some inspiration to cook; –itchin’ for the kitchen, if you will, so I got in there to whip something together. The outcome: vegan pizza and a super simple summer salad. (Or, “ssss” if you’re really short on time.)

I still had some veggies left over from the post on kitchen sink pasta and I thought it would be cool to provide some other ideas on what you can make with the same ingredients. Let me know what you guys think!

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One of the difficulties of cooking in my apartment is that I have such limited space to do anything. Although I love having a studio in Boston, my kitchen is more like a glorified pantry.

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Because of this, when I’m thinking about recipes and trying to come up with “easy” dishes to cook, I don’t just consider how simple it is to understand the instructions or how long is takes to make. I’m always thinking about the number of ingredients and how many pots/pans/bowls etc. it requires as well.

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This also helps me eat healthier because God knows when I come home from work starving the last thing I want to do dive in to an elaborate recipe.

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I admit, I’m pretty bad when it comes to going out to eat. I do it a lot, and I waste a ton of money in the process. If there’s anything I really want to crack down on, it’s that.

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Pizza:

(The dough needs work and I’m not going to share the recipe here. Baking experts: advice on why it tasted like a pretzel?) If you’re not a baker, my suggestion is to buy a pre-made dough/crust or find a really easy recipe online.  I added nutritional yeast, basil, salt, chopped garlic, and ground flax to mine for flavor/extra boost of healthy stuff. Somewhere along the way something didn’t work, so like I said I’m not going to mislead you all.

The pizza was completely vegan. I sauteed some of the zucchini and summer squash left over with basil, oregano, thyme and a pinch of salt and pepper. While they were simmering I chopped up the half of a white onion, a few varied baby peppers and cherry tomatoes.

I used some of Chris’s homemade sauce (benefits of dating an Italian,) but I think any pizza/pasta sauce would do the job. I’m not a sauce snob in this case. I won’t hold it against you if you are.

I used extra sauce to make up for the lack of cheese and loaded on the cooked and raw vegetables. Then I threw it in the oven at a 450 for 15 minutes.

While the pizza was in the oven I used the time to clean up a little bit and make the salad:

Sliced baby cucmbers
Halved cherry tomatoesSplash of Italian dressing

It may sound basic but it’s a great summer side dish that’s both healthy and refreshing. If you’re like me and enjoy some sort of chips or crackers with your sandwich, the cucumber provides a crunchy alternative to that. Plus, I had leftovers in the fridge for 3 days and it didn’t get soggy at all. I’m always hesitant to add dressing to salads because I cringe at sad, soggy lettuce but I didn’t have to worry about it with this.

Anyhow, I hope you enjoy. I’d love to know what you guys make when you’re short on time or energy!

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Weekend Recap

Welp, I finally got to a doctor after injuring my foot about two weeks ago. It’s been painful to walk on and I was going off the idea that it was plantar fasciitis but the pain hasn’t gotten any better with massage or rolling it out so it’s looking more like a stress fracture. The doc put me in a boot for the weekend and I’ve got an appointment with a specialist tomorrow. Wish me luck.

After the advice of many, I finally bid adieu to my beloved minimalist New Balances and picked up some Brooks at Marathon Sports. I haven’t been able to run in them yet but so far they’ve been comfortable to walk in. I’m hoping this is the last complication I have.

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Being in the boot did have its advantages–it gave me an excuse to sit in Copley Square and pick up some rice and refried beans from the Baja Taco truck.

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That night Chris and I packed up and drove to New York. It’s hard to coordinate plans because our work schedules are so different but it feels good to get out of the neighborhood sometimes.

We headed out to Long Island, where his family is from, and spent the next day at the beach. First trip of the year! I’ve got to say, it felt really liberating to strip down to a bathing suit and feel comfortable in my own skin.

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Afterwards, we went to a family cook out. It’s difficult and feels rude to be picky on holidays or at family events when it comes to food. I used to by bothered by these situations but sometimes I see it as an opportunity to, as Chris likes to call it, “junk out.” Hotdogs, hamburgers, and sangria aren’t ideal for the waistline but it can be valuable to indulge once in a while without worrying about how it fits in to your diet. If it becomes a habit then begin to reconsider things –but after a day spent eating junk I usually am craving healthy food. It’s about getting to know what’s right for you. Indulging every once in a while doesn’t mean you’re weak or you’re “cheating.” If anything, being able to eat a little unhealthy sometimes without falling off track is a sign of strength because it shows self-control and the choice to return to healthy habits. All or nothing mentalities can be harmful to weight loss efforts and your self esteem. Guilt will keep you from growth and at the end of the day, none of us are perfect. It’s okay to embrace that now and then.