July Reader Recipe: Melanie’s Carrot Crust Pizza

In my Reader Recipes series, I am highlighting one F&F reader a month so they can share their favorite recipes with all of you.  This month’s recipe comes from Melanie over at Beautifully Nutty.  Thank you, Melanie, for guest posting and sharing your recipe!

Reader Recipes

Hello all you wonderful F & F readers!  I want to start off by thanking Athena for inviting me to write a guest post for you all today.  I have a fun recipe to share with you all, but first, here’s a little bit about me.

My name is Melanie, and I am a Registered Dietician and author of the healthy living blog called Beautifully Nutty.

Beautifully Nutty

I am all about clean, whole food living and try to do as much of that as I can.  I also have a big ole sweet tooth, so I make sure to include that into my healthy lifestyle too!  Lately I’ve been experimenting with homemade dark chocolate.  Mmm mmm!  I have been living gluten-free for about a year now after finding that it helps alleviate bloating and other not-so-fun symptoms that can often go along with having Ulcerative Colitis.  Someday I may incorporate gluten back into my diet, but for now I am content without it.

That being said, I have been having a blast experimenting in the kitchen creating fun new gluten-free recipes that are full of flavor.

The recipe I am going to share with you today was inspired by this recipe I saw for a carrot crust pizza!  I am a huge pizza lover and have experimented with cauliflower crust pizza and veggie nut pizza crust, but never carrot crust pizza.  I can’t wait for the day when I can sink my teeth into a piece of good old fashioned pizza (I do miss my bread a little bit), but until that time comes, I’ll be making my substitutes!  I must say, the end product of this carrot crust pizza did not let me down!

Here’s how I made it:

I began by washing six medium-sized carrots.  I chopped them into big chunks and put them into a microwave safe bowl.  I added about 1/3 cup of water, covered the bowl with plastic wrap, and microwaved for about 8 minutes or until I was able to pierce through the carrots with a fork.

Next, I food processed the carrots until almost smooth.  I scraped the carrots onto a thin kitchen towel (you could use a cheesecloth as well), folded up all four corners, and wrung out the liquid from the carrots into the sink.  This was a major arm workout!  There is a LOT of water in carrots.

I put the carrot mash back into the bowl and added one egg, 1/4 cup of cheese, and one grated garlic clove.  I gave it a good mix.

On a baking pan lined with parchment paper, I spread out the carrots into a 1/4 inch layer.  I spritzed the top with olive oil and sprinkled with salt and pepper.  Next it went into a 400 degree F preheated oven for about 30 minutes.

Carrot Crust Pizza Recipe

I removed the pizza from the oven when the outsides were starting to crisup up, and the center of the pizza was firm.

Carrot Crust Pizza Recipe

Then I added the goodies!  I added marinara sauce, cheese, red bell pepper, onion, olives, and mushrooms.  Feel free to add any of your favorite toppings.  Back into the oven it went for about five minutes to melt the cheese.  I finished by putting it under the broiler for three minutes for extra crispiness.

Carrot Crust Pizza Recipe

Carrot Crust Pizza Recipe

And there you have it.  Carrot pizza crust pizza!  Skeptical?  Don’t be!  It is absolutely delicious!  If you are looking for a grain-free substitute for pizza, you must give this recipe a go.

Carrot Pizza Crust (Grain-free)
Serves 2 people


  • 6 medium carrots, roughly chopped
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/4 cup and 1/2 cup cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 1 egg
  • 1 garlic clove, grated or minced
  • olive oil
  • salt and pepper
  • 1/2 cup marinara sauce (no sugar added)
  • 1 Tbsp Parmesan cheese
  • Toppings of choice


  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.  Place parchment paper on large cookie sheet.  Set aside.
  2. Place carrots in a medium microwave safe bowl and add 1/3 cup of water.  Cover with plastic wrap and microwave for 7-9 minutes, or until carrots are fork tender.  Remove from microwave and let cool slightly.
  3. Once cooled, place carrots in food processor and pulse until pureed.
  4. Scrape carrot puree onto cheesecloth or think kitchen towel.  Gather all corners and wring out excess water from the carrots into the sink.
  5. Add carrots back the bowl, add 1/4 cup cheese, egg, and grated garlic clove.  Mix well.
  6. On a prepared baking pan, spread the carrot mixture to a 1/4 inch thickness.  Spray the top with olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper.
  7. Bake for 30 minutes or until outer crust begins to turn golden, and middle of pizza is firm.
  8. Remove from oven and add sauce, the remainder 1/2 cup cheddar cheese, Parmesan, and toppings.  Bake for 5 more minutes.
  9. Turn oven to broil and broil for 3-4 minutes.  Remove from oven, slice, and enjoy warm!

I hope you enjoy!  Feel free to stop on over to Beautifully Nutty and say hi!

Thanks again, Melanie, for guest posting this month!  I love trying new pizza recipes and will give this one a go for sure.

Let’s chat – What kind of different pizza crusts have you experimented with before?

If anyone is interested in being featured on Reader Recipes, please email me at fitnessandfeta@gmail.com.  I’m open to any recipes (healthy or not), you just need to be willing to write up a little post about it and photograph your food.  Would love to feature you, and you do not need to be a blogger to participate!

Guest Post: A Trendy Tabata


My name is Caroline and I blog over at The Trendy Trainer.  I am a personal trainer and group exercise instructor living in Boston, MA.  I am so excited to be guest blogging for Athena and have decided to put together a challenging yet QUICK total body workout.  This circuit shouldn’t take more than 15 minutes and can be modified to be done at home.  A great compliment to a hectic schedule or boring workout rut!

First off, a Tabata is a form of HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training).  It is done in a series of 20 seconds of work, 10 seconds of rest repeated continuously for 8 rounds (or 4 minutes).  The work time, or 20 seconds, should be intense!  Really try to push yourself to perform at your greatest capacity.  Likewise, your rest time should be complete rest; march in place, walk it out, or simply stand in place.

So are you ready to try out a Trendy workout?  Grab your water, a towel, and motivation and let’s get started!

A Trendy Tabata

*Modifications for “home gym” workout:

-Switch the overhead presses to pushups (on knees or toes!)
-Change the kettlebell swings to squat jumps.

-Jumping Jacks
-Mountain Climbers https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nmwgirgXLYM
-Squats https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p3g4wAsu0R4
-OH Press https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B-aVuyhvLHU
-Pushups https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FaIpD_zfrJI
-Kettlebell Swings https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q0jalJ-3e7U
-Squat Jumps https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CVaEhXotL7M
-Burpees https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O7_TBHno0Os

**Please always check with a doctor before making any changes to your workout routine.

Enjoy 🙂

Thank you, Caroline, for sharing your workout on F&F!  I often teach Tabata style workouts in my own fitness classes, and I am psyched to try this one when I’m back from vacation.

Let’s chat – What are your favorite moves to combine into a Tabata style?

Guest Post: Tips for a Beginner Runner

Hi Fitness & Feta readers!  My name is Kelly and I blog over at Cupcake Kelly’s.  My blog started as a baking blog, but soon after I started it I found out I was expecting and my blog turned into a blog that has a little bit of everything.  I blog about my family, food, baking, and fitness.

Disclosure:  I do not have any official training, certifications, or degrees in fitness or nutrition.  This post is my view based on what has worked for me and should not be taken as medical advice.  Always talk to your doctor or a trained professional before starting a new diet or fitness plan.

Cupcake Kelly

Last year I ran my first half marathon and then three weeks later I ran my second, I have two more coming up this fall, and I am not an expert, but running with more experienced runners was extremely helpful and I learned a lot right away.  Today, I am sharing with you my tips for new runners.

Tips for new runners

Get the right shoe!

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard someone say how much they want a specific shoe because of the colors.  I get it, I love having bright neon shoes, but the first time in the four years that I have been seriously running, I have a neon shoe.

Go to your local running store and ask to get fitted.  I love Marathon Sports, which has many locations all over the Greater Boston Area.  The specialist will have you walk and run and will match you with the best shoe for your foot, sometimes it takes a few different shoes to get one you are comfortable with.  Take your time and make sure you get the best shoe for you.  THEN go for color, your feet with love you for it.

Get the right gear

This can be a bit cheaper and you can have more fun!  Check Target, Marshall’s, TJ Maxx, etc… sometimes the latter two can have expensive gear for cheap!  If you are going to run longer than 3 miles I would highly recommend a handheld water bottle, especially with the heat wave Boston has experienced this summer!

Watch your carbs

One of the biggest mistakes many new runners make (myself included) is that we give ourselves a free pass to eat all the carbs aka pasta.  While it is important to feed our bodies, make sure you aren’t eating just because.

Cupcake Kelly Running

Set realistic small goals and long-term goals

When I decided to run a half-marathon, I had never run more than a 5k.  I signed up with Team in Training and I had a long season, so I had 5 months of training to build to a half marathon.  During training I ran my first 10k, and I ran a half marathon as a training run.

Signing up with TNT may not be right for you, but make sure you have enough time to train for your event.

Be consistent and remember that your training is YOURS

Whether or not you’re training for an event, consistency is key with any workout.  Running can be hard for some and can come easy for others.  If you like running, but it is hard, remember we all struggle.  Everyone has bad runs, the weather affects us all differently.  While your best friend might be able to run 5 miles much easier than you, you may have a day where you can run 10 miles easier than she can.

Remember the 10% rule and prevent injury

When beginning running or training for an event, don’t increase your mileage by more than 10% a week, ramping up too quickly can lead to injury or burnout.  Additionally, make sure you warm up and cool down when running and stretch, stretch, stretch.  I can’t emphasize enough how important this is.

Cupcake Kelly Running

Have fun and enjoy your run

I love running with others, even if I am not running alongside someone, it gives me joy to share this hobby with others.  I run on a path that is filled with runners all day, everyone is supportive of one another, when I am having a bad run, I make sure to run there because it will lift my mood.

The only person you are doing this for is you, make sure you find what works for you and enjoy your run!

Find me on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram

Thank you, Kelly, for your guest post today!  I don’t write a lot of running posts, so I know my runner readers will appreciate this. 

Let’s chat – are there any other tips for beginner runners that you’d like to share?