Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Guest post on Graphitas: MozCon Glazed Salmon with Organic Rainier Cherry Compote

MozCon and Seattle Inspired Guest Post on Graphitas

I was recently on a serendipitous trip to Seattle for MozCon, the megawatt SEO and Inbound Marketing Conference, and as a newbie to SEO I was eager to learn more and get inspired. Wow, was I ever! I work for a Tech Services company and was fortunate to be sponsored by them for this experience. Looking to learn as much as possible about the ever-evolving, complex, online marketing industry, I knew MozCon was the place to be, and it surpassed expectations.

While at MozCon I met some really dynamic, interesting and engaging people who know so much about SEO. I was thrilled just to be in their company and learn from them, in addition to what I took away from the conference. I left with a greater knowledge of the industry and some awesome new buddies.  I was solo on the trip so meeting up with such a fun group of people made the trip even more worthwhile. Included in this group of knowledgeable and entertaining new comrades was Justin Taylor from Graphitas

After talking with Justin about annaDishes over a few "networking beers", we thought it would be fun for me to create a recipe for Graphitas for their Gra"fit"as project. I wanted something healthy, well-rounded and of course- delicious! I was eager to use ingredients local to Seattle as they are plentiful, sustainable and most of all, delectable. The end result was a Mustard, Honey and Ginger Glazed Salmon with a Rainer Cherry Compote, which has been dubbed MozCon Glazed Salmon.

For the recipe and to read more, head over here to Graphitas.

If you'd like to see more about my trip, check out the photos below! 

Everything about MozCon was incredible. From the content of the presentations, to the attention to detail and the Mozzers genuine concern that everyone come away from the conference with a greater understanding and positive experience-- it was all amazing. I can't recommend it enough. If you want to see some of the information we collected check out #MozCon on Twitter


Some pics from my time in Seattle and my stroll through Pike's Place Market


The weather in Seattle was absolutely gorgeous the week I was there. I was so thankful to have warm, humidity free days and a couple of cool, crisp evenings. I had a wonderful stay at the Grand Hyatt, they have a fabulous staff, and clean, comfortable rooms. Definitely check it  out if you are ever in town. 
We also made our way to The International Beer Fest, which was a blast, one of the best I have been to! And, Moz put on a great party at the EMP museum, both musts if available when you are in town. 

This was my first time in Seattle, and it didn’t disappoint! I look forward to going back next year, meeting up with my new friends and learning more about the Moz culture and creativity.

**This post is not sponsored, all opinions are my own**

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Cauliflower Crust Pizza

2 Cups Riced Cauliflower
1/3 Cup Garbanzo Bean Flour (or Almond Flour)
1 Egg- Plus 1 Yolk
1 Cup Shredded Mozzarella
2 Teaspoons Olive Oil 
Truffle Salt
Italian Seasoning

Optional Toppings:
Fresh Mozzarella
Fresh Ricotta
Sauteed Eggplant
Thinly Sliced Ham
Kalamata Olives

Preheat oven to 400.

Who doesn't love pizza?! I am a big fan of super thin, crispy crust pizza like I used to get in Italy. It is a little harder to find here but, none the less, I still enjoy a good pie. In my neverending efforts to move away from wheat and carbs, I needed a way to get the same flavors without the wheat, a vessel for the toppings if you will. So, I stumbled across the idea for a cauliflower crust, and it sounded like the perfect substitution.

It could very easily be made paleo as well. Just skip the cheese topping and substitute in the crust. Depending on your paleo opinion about grass-fed or raw cheese you could use that in the crust as well. 

One of the great things about cooking with cauliflower is that it really has a mild, minimal flavor that can marry with almost anything. 

To begin, rice the cauliflower in a food processor until very fine. (I have seen that you can also do this with a box grater if you don't have a food processor.) Place in a microwave safe bowl and cook on high for 8 minutes. If you don't have a microwave you can saute until the moisture has cooked out and the cauliflower has softened. You want to make sure the cauliflower is not wet, or the crust won't stick together. 

In a separate bowl, mix together thee chick pea flour, the eggs, mozzarella cheese, truffle salt, pepper. Mix until evenly distributed. Then add in the cauliflower and mix well. 

I highly suggest using a SILPAT mat if you can. If you don't have one, really consider getting one. They aren't too expensive and will last forever if you take care of them properly. If you don't have one, you can always use parchment paper. Place the mat on a baking sheet and spritz with a light mist of olive oil. 

Take the dough mixture and flatten to about 1/4"-1/2" thickness. You don't want it to be too thick. 

Bake for 15-20 minutes or until golden and crispy. Remove from oven. I like it to have the extra crispy pieces around the edge so I leave it in a little longer. 

I'm sure I have mentioned it before at some point, but I am a HUGE fan of fresh ricotta. The flavor and texture are amazing and incomparable to the stuff you get at the regular supermarket. I get fresh ricotta either at Whole Foods, or if you are local to South Florida, Joseph's market has some really, really good stuff. 

You can customize your toppings as you like but this combination was fantastic. Before making the cauliflower crust, cut the eggplant into 1/2" pieces and saute until soft and browned. For the kale, cook until it has wilted down and softened to a cooked spinach consistency. 

Spread a very thin layer of your sauce of choice, it should be just enough to cover the surface but not to weigh it down. Then put your selected toppings on and the fresh mozzarella and/or ricotta.

Place the pizza back in the oven for 5-7 minutes or until the toppings are hot and the cheese is melted. I turned on the broiler for a minute and kept careful watch so it wouldn't burn, but I wanted it extra crispy!

Remove from the oven and let sit a minute, then cut and serve!

What are your favorite pizza toppings??

Monday, July 15, 2013

Kale and Arugula Salad with Chicken Sausage, Apples and Manchego


1/2 Bunch Organic Kale
1 Cup Arugula
1/2 Cup Shaved Manchego
2 -3 Links Chicken Sausage
1/2 Cucumber Sliced
1/2 Cup Walnuts Chopped
1/2 Cup Dried Cranberries

This was a leftover, throw-together salad that turned out to be the perfect afternoon meal-- and I just had to share! 

It was light, satisfying and nutritious.  The kale holds up well with the sausage and apples and is complimented well by the walnuts and manchego and balanced by the arugula and cranberries. 

The salad would be great as a stand alone lunch or as a side salad at dinner. 

For the dressing I just threw together a simple dijon vinaigrette consisting of:
Champagne Vinegar
Dijon Mustard
Orange Blossom Honey
Olive Oil
Salt & Pepper

Combine ingredients in bowl and whisk well until completely emulsified.

I like to drizzle the dressing on each indiviual salad rather than dressing the entire plate. That way you have plenty for leftover and won't get soggy.