Category: oven

Cauliflower Pizza Crust

For years, a recipe for making a healthier pizza crust from cauliflower has made the rounds. Although interested, I couldn’t find the enthusiasm to try making it. Like Tres Leche Cake, it was too labor-intensive to fit my criteria for a Hasty Tasty Meal. Thanks to Green Giant, that’s no longer the case.

Cauliflower pizza crust is pricey ($4.99 at my local grocery store), but is worth the investment if you’re craving pizza and can’t sacrifice nutrition. Yes, nutritional pizza is no longer an oxymoron.

I baked mine in my Power Air Fryer Oven 400°F but it works better in a conventional oven at 450°

Here’s how I made a sausage and mushroom pizza:


Reasonably Healthy Cauliflower Crust Sausage and Mushroom Pizza

Makes 2 2-slice servings.


  • 1 frozen cauliflower pizza crust
  • 1 8 oz. can low sodium tomato sauce
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 patty fully cooked turkey sausage
  • 1 tsp. Italian seasonings
  • 1 can mushrooms, rinsed and drained
  • 1/4 cup onion, chopped
  • 1/4 cup bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 cup grated mozzarella and Parmesan cheeses (2/3 cup mozzarella and 1/3 cup Parmesan)
  • cooking spray
  • optional salt to taste


  1. Preheat oven to 450°.
  2. Remove cauliflower crust from its packaging. Prebake crust directly on the rack for 12-15 minutes.
  3. While crust bakes, combine sauce, seasonings (including garlic), and turkey sausage patty in a blender or food processor. Don’t overprocess. Stir in mushrooms. Also, grate cheeses if needed.
  4. Carefully remove crust from the oven using a pizza peel or large spatula. 
  5. Spread the sauce over the crust and sprinkle the chopped onion and pepper.
  6. Cover with shredded cheese and return pizza to the oven, again placing it directly on the oven rack.
  7. Bake just until browned and bubbly (approximately 6 minutes). Carefully remove the pizza and allow it to cool for 3-5 minutes.
  8. Slice into 4 pieces and serve.

Cuisinart: For the Grater Good

I’ll admit I’m a kitchen geek. I love my Vitamix, my Kitchen Craft and Americraft Cookware, my Instant Pots, and my KitchenAid stand mixer. I didn’t need a Cuisinart. I just wanted one.

So this year I asked Santa for the 14 cup model, rated the best by America’s Test Kitchen for 2017. Christmas came early for me this year. Yippee!

What makes me want a food processor? I’ve had two, neither of which did what my Kitchen Cutter does (and without electricity!). Not abandoning my Kitchen Cutter, either. But there are food processors and then there is the Cuisinart. My new Cuisinart slices tomatoes! I kid you not. It grates cheese, cuts butter into brown sugar or flour, and  blends creamy sauces.

Here is my lightened version of Scalloped Potatoes using my Cuisinart and a stainless steel cake pan. You can make it without a Cuisinart or cake pan, of course, but my way is fun and easy.


Lightened Scalloped Potatoes

Serves 4


  • 2 Russet potatoes, peeled
  • 2 yellow onions, peeled and halved
  • 4 ounces mozzarella cheese
  • 8 ounces Neufchatel cheese
  • 1 cup fat-free chicken broth
  • Salt and Pepper to taste


  1. Preheat oven to 400°F.
  2. Using the slicing blade to the food processor, slice potatoes and onions. Set aside.
  3. Switch to the grating blade. Grate mozzarella cheese. Set aside.
  4. Switch to the mixing blade. Combine Neufchatel cheese with the chicken broth. Process until creamy smooth.
  5. In a square or round baking pan, layer half the potatoes and onions. Add salt and pepper. Sprinkle with half the mozzarella cheese.
  6. Repeat with a second layer. Then pour the Neufchatel cheese sauce over all.
  7. Cover with foil and bake for 1 hour.
  8. Remove foil and bake an additional 10 minutes or until potatoes turn slightly golden.
  9. Remove pan from oven and allow to cool 10 minutes before serving.

Merry Christmas to me!

Pumpkin Cake

Pumpkin is rich in nutrients and abundant in the fall. Whether you puree your own or buy canned, you can enjoy pumpkin in a variety of dishes. Canned pumpkin puree (Not pumpkin pie filling!) makes this cake a hasty tasty quick bread. I use the Vitamix to make the batter, but a mixer works, too. The maple glaze is optional.


Pumpkin Cake


  • cooking spray
  • 2 cups whole wheat flour
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • 2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
  • 2 tsp. baking soda
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • 6 oz. Egg Beaters®
  • 15 oz. can pureed pumpkin
  • 3 Tbsp. powdered sugar (for glaze)
  • 1 Tbsp. real maple syrup (for glaze)


  1. Preheat oven to 350° F.
  2. Spray inside of a 8½” X 4½” loaf pan or a small tube cake pan with cooking spray.
  3. In a 2 quart mixing bowl or pitcher, combine all dry ingredients. Form a depression in the center. Set aside.
  4. In the Vitamix container (or a mixing bowl) combine the pumpkin and Egg Beaters® starting at Variable Speed 1. Gradually increase speed to 10 then High. Run for 20 seconds.
  5. Add the wet ingredients to the center of dry ingredients and fold using a spatula or spoon. Don’t over mix. Batter will be stiff.
  6. Spoon batter into the loaf pan and place in the oven.
  7. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.
  8. Remove cake from pan and cool on a rack, at least 30 minutes.
  9. In a small plastic food storage bag, combine powdered sugar and real maple syrup. Seal bag then snip a hole in one corner to create a small piping bag.
  10. Drizzle the cake lightly with the glaze and serve.

Variations: If you prefer a less dense cake, use 1 cup whole wheat flour and 1 cup all-purpose flour. Add ½ cup nuts for more fiber and flavor.

Note: Cake will be dense and moist.

Yield: 12 servings

Not So Naughty Muffins

100_1272I enjoy a muffin, but often they are dense and heavy. If I splurge and indulge, I want a yummy and light treat. After experimenting with recipes, I settled on one that we love. The extra baking powder makes them light and airy. Don’t be alarmed at the amount of butter. Spread over twelve servings, it’s not too decadent yet adds flavor. Or substitute coconut oil for the butter. It works. One muffin won’t wreck your daily calorie count. One. 


Cinnamon Swirl Muffins

Makes 12

Preheat oven to 375 F.  Spray the cups of a muffin pan with cooking spray.

In a mixing bowl, whisk together:

  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 Tbsp. + 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 3/4 tsp. fine salt (I use pink Himalayan salt)
  • 1/2 cup sugar

In a separate bowl, whisk:

  • 1 egg (room temperature, beaten)
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 stick unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract

Pour liquid ingredients into the dry. Whisk just until batter is smooth. Don’t over-beat. Set aside.

In a small bowl, combine:

  • 1/4 cup brown sugar (I use light, but dark brown works as well)
  • 1 tsp. ground cinnamon

Fill each muffin cup with batter just shy of halfway. Add 1 tsp. cinnamon-brown sugar mixture to each muffin. Layer 1 Tbsp. batter followed by 1 tsp cinnamon-brown sugar mixture. Using a knife or skewer, swirl batter with the cinnamon-brown sugar.

Place muffin pan on the center rack of oven. Bake for 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in a muffin tests clean. Remove muffins and cool on a rack.


Light and airy, cinnamon swirl muffins are perfect for breakfast or anytime.

Apologies to my gluten-intolerant friends. I failed at making a gluten-free version of this recipe, but I’ll keep experimenting in my lab–, er, kitchen.

© 2019 Cheryl Norman

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