Tomato-Basil Pizza

I haven’t posted a recipe in a while, so I figured I should share my most recent one. Y’all, it was so much better than I anticipated. I’ve been trying to find recipes for my favorite “cheat” meals so I can make them myself rather than eating out. I’m still transitioning into what I’ll have to expect in Africa, but man, I love me some pizza. It can be pretty cheap, but saving $10 is helping me manage my money as I raise funding and prepare to leave!

So this recipe was given to me by my friend, Patti. She has always blown my mind with her love for cooking and the talent that goes along with it. I changed some things in the recipe, so I’ll post mine and if you’re interested in the original, leave a comment!

1 Package (10 ounces) refrigerated pizza crust

1/2 lb ground turkey (SEASONED)

2 Cups (8 ounces) shredded mozzarella cheese broken up

1/4 Cup Parmesan cheese

 4 FRESH basil leaves or 2 teaspoons of dried basil leaves (but honestly, fresh is the way to go)

2/3 cups of Plain Greek Yogurt (I added a little more, I like the consistency that way)

1 garlic clove pressed (I used 1 tablespoon of minced garlic, because I was too lazy to chop the clove)

4 thinly sliced roma tomatoes 

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Using lightly floured dough and a pizza roller, roll the crust on a 12×15″ rectangular baking pan. I based the pan with a bit of olive olive before, you don’t have to. Sprinkle the crust with 1 cup of Mozzarella cheese. Snip your basil into the size that you prefer. I left mine a little thick, because I really wanted the basil flavor to stand out on each slice.

In a 1 Qt. bowl combine the remaining mozzarella, Parmesan cheese, basil, and the yogurt. Mix well. Add the garlic and blend it in.

Here’s where I took the recipe and did what I wanted, lol. I took about 1/2 lb of ground turkey, seasoned it, and cooked it down until it was almost crispy. I put that to the side to somewhat cool down before adding it to the pizza.

Cut the tomatoes into super thin slices and place them all over. Take the topping mix that’s in your bowl and using a small ice cream scoop, or in my case, a SPOON, dollop it onto the pizza and spread it evenly across its entirety. Sprinkle the turkey all over, and pop that sucker in the over for 15-20 mins or until golden brown. Cut and Serve.

Yield: 20 servings or 10, depending on how many Shakiylas you have joining you. Seriously, I could’ve eaten the whole thing…

The recipe said it was approximately 130 calories and 9 grams of fat per slice, BUT, my recipe replaced mayonnaise with yogurt, and regular mozzarella with low fat. I also added ground turkey. I’m not sure of the differences those make, but I felt better about eating it that way. Y’all know my rule in cooking is make it work for YOU. Recipes are fun, but they don’t always have to remain as it. Play around!

Please please please let me know if you try it. Post pictures and leave comments. It’s the summer, and before I head out to training, I’m taking some time to bask in silence. Cooking does that. It gives me a space to think and reflect, maybe that’s cheesy, but I needed it today.

Thank you for reading.

As always, I love you.

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Santa Fe Quinoa

For the past few months, I’ve been pretty particular about what foods I eat. I didn’t want to go on a diet, because I didn’t think it’d last, so I just changed everything. What I eat, what I drink, how often I sleep, physical activity, hair products, body products, everything. I’ve completely changed the way I take care of myself, and meal prepping is a small piece of that change. Now, to the recipe.

Quinoa is not for the faint at heart. The texture is something much different than what I’m used to, and it took some getting used to, but I can honestly say I enjoy playing around with recipes. I’ve been craving tacos lately, I don’t know why, but I had to do something about it.

First, the quinoa needs to be washed. It has a soap-like residue called saponin, which can cause a pretty bitter taste. The easiest way to do so, is to put it in a large bowl, whisk, and rinse. That is of course unless you have a small enough strainer. Either is fine! I generally do this the day before cooking, and allow the seeds to dry overnight in the fridge. It isn’t necessary, though. You can get right to it.


1 C quinoa

1 C black beans (mine were dry and cooked earlier in the week, canned is fine)

3 C Shrimp (peeled and deveined)

1 C diced tomatoes (these were fresh, 1 can should do the trick)

1/2 chopped onion

1/2 chopped green bell pepper

salt, pepper, cayenne, parsley, taco seasoning, and garlic powder


Cook the quinoa stovetop. No oil. No water. No nothin’. Just allow it to cook to a crunch that you deem satisfying. It will start popping like popcorn, keep an eye on it. I cooked mine for about 5 minutes on medium. Put these to the side.

In a pan mix seasonings, onion, bell pepper, black beans, and tomatoes. Add about a cup of water, and allow it to simmer for 8-10mins. In the picture attached, I put them on the plate separately for a visual, it is fine to cook them together. DO NOT overcook the beans. They’ll get mushy.

In a separate skillet, add a tbsp of EVOO, a dash of black pepper, and your shrimp. Make sure they are fully cooked.

Mix EVERYTHING in a bowl, and top with a bit of lime juice. This can be eaten in the bowl as is, or spooned onto a whole wheat tortilla. I had the bowl and was more than satisfied.

If this is your first time reading a recipe of mine, please don’t be frustrated with my lack of detail. I think it’s important not to take away the magic of cooking with meticulous recipes. HAVE FUN WITH IT. Mix it up. Enjoy. Please give feedback if you try this recipe and any recommendations are welcomed. If you have questions, please feel free to ask!

Thanks for reading.

I love you.


Whole Wheat Waffles.

Well, I got a waffle maker for Christmas..actually, it was my mom’s and I permanently borrowed it while visiting for the holidays.

I’ve been trying to think of tasty and convenient foods to have for breakfast on the way to, or at work. Well, this is not one of those breakfasts. Waffles are intended to be savored people, so these are a part of our Saturday morning ritual.

Aries, my dog, is fairly spoiled, so I generally try to find recipes that can become puppy-friendly. With all that being said, here’s the recipe:

Dry ingredients:

2 cups whole wheat flour

2 tsp baking powder

1 tsp cinnamon

Dash of salt, for my measurement obsessed (1/4 teaspoon)

1 tbs honey

1 tablespoon ground flax seed ( not necessary, simply preference)

Wet ingredients:

1 1/2 cup almond milk ( I’m lactose intolerant so this is pretty gentle on me, use the milk you’d prefer)

1 egg

2 egg whites

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 teaspoon pure vanilla

Be sure to mix the dry and wet separately. I recommend beating the eggs for at LEAST 2 minutes. I’m obsessed with fluffy waffles and after a few failed attempts, that’s what got it done!

When combining, avoid mixing the batter too much. It will create a kind of density that will make the waffles TOUGH and defeat the purpose of working those biceps with egg beating.

Be sure to warm your waffle maker completely.

I usually chop up half of a banana, add a dollop of Greek yogurt, agave, and whatever toppings I want for the day!

I could be much more specific with this recipe, but I think my favorite part of cooking is making the recipe your OWN! Play with it! Please feel free to share your results!

P.s. If it’s for your canine kid, avoid adding flax! He loves bananas, so I cook those inside of his! I freeze them overnight, and he gets 1/4 as a treat no more than twice a day.


Until next time!

I love you.