Vegan, Gluten Free, Pesto Veggie Pizza

Sometimes, you just really need to eat a pizza. However, this doesn’t usually fit into your health goals. I decided to develop a healthy pizza recipe that is low in calories and high in nutrients. Plus, this pizza is ridiculously delicious, so you won’t even miss the junky stuff!

At only 254 calories per serving, this pizza will definitely help you maintain or achieve the figure that you want while still satisfying your hunger!

I paired this pizza with an enormous salad but you can also make a vegetable side dish of green beans, brussel sprouts, sugar snap peas, broccoli… whatever you feel like! That’s the great thing about eating a large amount of vegetables… you can eat SO MUCH FOOD!

If you try out this recipe (which you definitely should, because it’s amazing), take a picture of your end result and tag me on Instagram (healthyfoodylifestyle) or Twitter (@AutumnBates21) so that you can share your chef-ing abilities!

Happy cooking!


Vegan, Gluten Free, Pesto Veggie Pizza

254 calories per serving

serves 2


1 thin crust Udi’s Gluten Free Pizza Dough

1 tablespoon veganaise (vegan mayo)

1 teaspoon vegan pesto (or regular pesto if you don’t mind it not being vegan)

1 teaspoon olive oil

1/4 avocado

1/2 cup spinach

1/2 zucchini

3 crimini mushrooms

1/4 yellow or sweet onion

1 bell pepper

1 garlic clove

salt and pepper

1. Preheat the oven to 425.

2. Cut the zucchini, onion and bell pepper into thin slices. Lay the cut vegetables flat on a cookie sheet and pour 1/2 teaspoon over them. Add about 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon of pepper and toss it all together. Put in the oven for 8 minutes.

3. While the veggies cook, mix the 1 teaspoon pesto with the 1 tablespoon veganaise and set to the side. Slice the mushrooms into thin slices and set to the side.

4. Cut a garlic clove in half and rub the clove all over the pizza crust. Sprinkle the remaining 1/2 teaspoon olive oil over the crust.

5. When the veggies have finished cooking, take them out and lower the oven temperature to 375. Start assembling your pizza by first evenly pouring the spinach and mushrooms on the pizza. Then add the baked vegetables to the top. Put into the oven for an additional 7-9 minutes, depending on how crispy you like your pizza.

6. When the pizza is done cooking, take it out of the oven and add slices of avocado to the top. Then sprinkle the pesto mixture, using a fork, over the pizza. Slice into four pieces and serve!

Crispy Baked Cauliflower recipe

This is one of my favorite side dishes to a main course. It’s crispy, crunchy, tasty and low in calories(only 96 calories per serving!)! Plus, cauliflower is packed with vitamin C (strange, but true), fiber, potassium and folic acid. There have also been nutlike studies that have found cruciferous vegetables (such as cauliflower, broccoli, and brussel sprouts) may help prevent colon cancer as well as some other cancers. This recipe is super simple and can be used for various other types of veggies such as broccoli, carrots, potatoes, brussel sprouts and more!


Crunchy Baked Cauliflower
96 calories per serving
serves 4

1 head of cauliflower
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper

1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
2. Chop the cauliflower into small bite sized pieces.
3. Put the cauliflower on a cookie sheet and pour the olive oil, salt and pepper on top. Mix together with your hands so that each piece of cauliflower has olive oil, salt and pepper on it (this should only take a few tosses with your hands).
4. Put the cookie sheet with the cauliflower on it into the oven. Bake for 25 minutes or until crispy.

Try this recipe out and let me know what you think!
Post pictures of your results and tag me on Instagram (healthyfoodylifestyle) or twitter (@autumnbates21) so that I can see your creation!
Happy cooking!

Teriyaki Chicken Plate

This meal is perfect for days when you have done a really long workout and you need something low in calories, high in protein, filling and delicious!
With only 360 calories and 30 grams of protein, this meal will leave you satisfied and well within your calorie allowance!


Teriyaki Chicken Plate
serves 1

1 small boneless skinless chicken breast
1 teaspoon olive oil
1/4 cup uncooked brown rice
1/4 cup teriyaki sauce
1 slice of lime
1 green onion
Salt and pepper

1. Measure the rice into a pot and add 1/2 cup water. First cook at medium high until the water starts to boil, then turn the heat down to medium low and cook for 30-40 minutes or until the rice is tender.
2. While the rice cooks, slice the chicken breast into thin strips. Make sure to wash everything that touched the raw chicken really well!
3. Season the chicken with a sprinkle of salt and pepper. Get a pan and pour the teaspoon of olive oil into it. Heat the pan in the stove to medium high. Add the chicken. Cook the chicken for about 8 minutes (or until done), flipping the pieces over after 4 minutes.
4. After 8 minutes, add the teriyaki sauce and reduce the heat to medium low. Cook for another 5 minutes.
5. While the chicken finishes cooking, cut the green onions and lime slice. Add the rice and chicken to the plate and add the green onions and lime. When you are ready to eat, squeeze the lime over the chicken.

You can pair this with a salad or some cooked veggies to add a little green to your dinner.
Enjoy your teriyaki chicken plate and let me know how you like it!

Butternut Squash Black Bean Quesadillas… without cheese!

I know what you’re thinking… a quesadilla without cheese is just simply not a quesadilla! Well, you’re just going to have to try this one to believe me… you won’t even miss the cheese. I usually really don’t like the taste of butternut squash (it’s just too squashy tasting), but this recipe totally covers the flavor with spicy goodness while still getting the Vitamin A, E and minerals! I am literally addicted to this dish. 

Plus, something great about this recipe is that you can make the mixture for the quesadilla days in advance and have it in the fridge ready for whenever you feel like eating quesadillas! This recipe is tasty, nutritious, filling and figure friendly. Try it out and you will become a believer in the cheeseless quesadilla!!


Butternut Squash Black Bean Quesadillas

300 calories per serving

serves 3


1 small butternut squash (1-2 pounds) OR 2 cups (fresh or frozen) cubed butternut squash

1/4 yellow onion

1 cup canned spicy black beans (Whole Foods 365 brand is my favorite), drained of any liquid

1/4 cup Trader Joe’s Salsa Autentica 

2 tsp olive oil

6 corn tortillas

1 green onion for garnish

1 tablespoon of parsley for garnish

1 small avocado

1/2 lemon

a pinch of cayenne pepper


1. Fill a pot halfway with water and put it on the stove at a medium high temperature. Pour the butternut squash cubes into the water and let it cook for about 20-25 minutes or until the cubes are tender when poked with a fork.

2. Drain all of the water and mash the squash cubes using a fork until there are no lumps. Put this into a bowl and set to the side.

3. Cut the onion into thin slices. Drizzle 1/2 a teaspoon of olive oil into a pan and turn the heat to medium. Put the onion slices into the pan and sprinkle about 1/8 of a teaspoon of salt over the onions. Let the onion cook for about 8-10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

4. While the onion cooks, add the salsa and beans to the squash and stir together. Add a pinch of cayenne if you like spicier food. The mixture will turn a little brown from the beans.



This is the salsa I used and my quesadillas turned out so well! I strongly suggest using this salsa!

5. When the onions are done cooking, add them to the mixture and stir until combined. 

6. Add 1/2 teaspoon olive oil to a pan and turn to medium heat. Grab two corn tortillas and add 1/3 of the mixture to one tortilla, evenly distributing the mixture throughout the tortilla. Add the second tortilla to cover it and put into the pan. Cook each side for 4 minutes, making sure to flip the quesadilla after the first four minutes. Repeat this two more times for the other two quesadillas.

7. While the quesadillas cook, combine the lemon juice, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and the small avocado in a bowl and mash together. This is your easy guacamole to add to your quesadillas.

8. Once the quesadillas are done, slice them into 4 pieces, add the parsley, green onions and guacamole for a complete and DELICIOUS meal!

Peanut butter protein bars

If you like perfect foods bars, the you will love these little peanut butter protein bars! They are perfect to hold you over between meals. This recipe is extremely simple and takes only 5 minutes to prepare. You can add more protein powder than I listed if you want to make the bars less gooey, but add a little at a time to make sure that you don’t overdo it. You can also substitute protein powder for maca which is a powder that comes from a root. Maca contains selenium and magnesium and is also known for increasing the libido!


Peanut Butter Protein Bars
176 calories and 6 grams of protein
Serves 12
1 cup creamy peanut butter
1/4 cup honey
1 cup rice puffs
1/2 cup dried cranberries
2 tablespoons of your favorite protein powder(either vanilla or flavorless) or maca- you can add more if you feel like the consistency isn’t right.

1. Combine all of the ingredients and mix well until combined.
2. Put the mixture into a small baking dish-about 8×8 inches. I used a small casserole dish. Cover with plastic wrap and put in the fridge for 20 minutes.
3. You can either precut 12 squares and wrap individually in plastic wrap (just make sure to keep them in the fridge) or you can cut out the pieces from the dish whenever you plan on eating them!

This recipe makes 12 two inch by two inch squares (depending on how thick you made the bars). It’s about three bites of peanut buttery heaven. After the first bite, you’ll be addicted!
Try the recipe out and let me know how you like it!

Stressed? Try this out…

Yesterday, I got a request from one of my followers for tips on how to de-stress. Nobody likes to feel stressed out. When you feel stressed, the whole world feels like it’s out to get you and everything always seems to go wrong. There are drugs and pills out there that help people deal with stress and anxiety, but unless you deal with the actual problem, it will just keep coming back. Plus, pills cost a lot of money and being healthy individuals, we don’t want to be drugged up all the time anyway! I personally get stressed really easily with school and maintaining my grades, so I’ve learned a few things to help relieve it. 

Some tips that I have found useful:

1. Exercise (it literally is the cure for almost anything): Even just walking for 30 minutes can help lower your stress levels.

2. Drinking less caffeine and alcohol/eating less sugary foods: Moral of the story, eat all the things you know you should be eating already, avoid all the bad stuff and pretty much all your basic woes will go away (weight issues, stress, energy levels, etc.)!

If you still feel stressed, here’s my favorite guided meditation that helps me get through rough days:

I know what you’re thinking… “guided meditation?? But I’m not a buddhist, hippy, vegan, or free-spirit so guided meditation is DEFINITELY not for me!” But you just have to trust me on this one. It’s only 11 minutes and if you really follow along with everything it tells you to do, you will feel a weight lifted off your shoulders. Stress only exists because of how you perceive a situation. You don’t need it. Try this guided meditation out. Do it everyday either in the morning, midday or before you go to bed, it doesn’t matter!

I hope you have a day devoid of stress!

Black bean quinoa bowl

January is the month to get back into healthy eating! This recipe is easy, fast and healthy! I made a large batch so that I can eat it throughout the week when I don’t have time to cook healthy meals.
Plus, it’s only 313 calories per serving!


Black Bean Quinoa Bowl
serves 4
3/4 cup uncooked quinoa
1 can black beans, drained
1 cup chopped cilantro
4 green onions
1/2 lime
1 teaspoon garlic powder (not salt!!)
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons olive oil
1/4 avocado per serving

1. Combine the quinoa with 1.5 cups water in a pot. Cook at medium heat for 15 minutes. When the liquid is gone, turn the heat off and cover the pot while you prepare the other ingredients.
2. Drain the liquid from the beans and put it into a large bowl.
3. Chop the cilantro and green onions and add them to the beans.
4. Add the garlic powder, lime juice from half of a lime, salt and olive oil to the bowl.
5. Add the cooked quinoa to the bowl and toss everything together.
6. Add the avocado and your dinner is complete!

This recipe is super simple, fast and easy. If you are trying to eat healthy but you don’t have the time… Make this recipe!! Not only does it take 20 minutes to make, you can make a large batch and eat it throughout the week!
Enjoy the recipe and let me know how you like it!



Whenever you do something healthy foody lifestyle worthy (eat something healthy, exercise, meditate), hashtag it with HFL on instagram so that you can share your accomplishments with everyone! To make it more specific, hashtag it HFL along with what you did such as #HFLworkout #HFLbreakfast #HFLmeditate


A chocolate recipe that won’t slowly kill you

I had a request put in for a chocolate recipe that “won’t slowly kill you”.


In order to make a healthy chocolate, it just has to be raw. Most people, when they think of raw food, they think of hippy-dippy vegans and food that tastes like dirt. An understandable stereotype because you often do see people and food like that when it’s raw. HOWEVER, some of the tastiest and most flavorful food that I have EVER tasted has been raw (specifically from Cafe Gratitude in Venice, CA). Raw chocolate is one of those exceptions. Not only is it flavorful, but it is actually good for you too! (But this doesn’t mean that you should eat pounds of raw chocolate a day…)

Raw chocolate is made from cacao nibs. Cacao is one of the best sources for magnesium as well as a good source of calcium, iron, copper, zinc and potassium! Plus, since it’s raw, you don’t need to eat as much to get your chocolate fix. Raw is the way to go when it comes to chocolate!

This is my recipe for raw chocolate. I was fiddling around with some ingredients with my dad one day and finally figured out this bad boy! Very tasty, very satisfying.

Raw Chocolate

Serves 3

156 calories per serving


1/3 cup cacao nibs

1 handful of cacao butter (picture below shows how much this is)

1 tablespoon honey

1 teaspoon vanilla

1/8 teaspoon cinnamon

A pinch of pink himalayan salt

coconut oil (for greasing the bowl)

1. Set up your double boiler*. Assemble two pots on top of each other. Fill the bottom one half way with water. Turn the heat to medium.


*A double boiler allows you to cook something (usually melt) without burning it. Since it uses steam, the heat is much more gentle.

2. Ground the cacao nibs in a coffee grinder until fine (so that it looks like espresso). Pour this into a very small bowl or cup. Make sure that you first grease the bowl or cup with coconut oil.

3. Put the cacao butter into the top portion of the double boiler. It will take about 3 minutes to completely melt once the pan is heated.

-Cacao butter is hard to measure, so just make sure you have about as much as a large handful (picture below).


This is what the cacao butter will look like when it is done melting:


3. While the cacao butter melts, add the rest of the ingredients (honey, vanilla, cinnamon, salt) to the ground cacao.

4. Pour the melted cacao butter in with the rest of the ingredients and stir well to combine. It will be very liquid-y, but that is what you want.

5. Put the bowl/cup into the fridge until hardened. It won’t become really hard, it will be a little soft and chewy. If you want it to become harder, put it in the freezer. The hardening should only take about 10 minutes.


You can add anything to this recipe such as coconut flakes, goji berries, almond butter… whatever sounds good to you!

This is an extremely healthy way to get your chocolate fix in. It doesn’t have the same taste as regular chocolate, but once you’ve had this raw chocolate, you won’t want the junkier stuff.

Let me know what you think of this recipe!

Cacao Nutrition facts:

Pan roasted brussel sprouts

Such an easy side dish and so tasty. I know a lot of people out there think of brussel sprouts and cringe, but you’ve got to try this recipe out. I paired it with chicken but you can pair brussel sprouts with pretty much anything (fish, beef, lamb, soup, wraps…).

Plus, only 81 calories and 5 grams of fat per serving!


Pan Roasted Brussel Sprouts
serves 4
2 cups of chopped in half brussel sprouts
1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
4 cloves of chopped garlic
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
1/4 cup chicken broth

1. Pour the olive oil into a large pan or wok and heat to medium.
2. Add the brussel sprouts, lemon, garlic, salt and pepper. Toss a few times with a wooden spoon to combine.


3. Let this cook, only stirring two or three times, until the brussel sprouts have browned (the picture above shows how brown it should look).
4. Once browned, add the broth and cook for another 5 minutes or until the broth is gone, stirring frequently.

Try the recipe out and please let me know what you think!
Happy cooking!