Oven Dried Tomato Pizza! (And world-class Costa Rica Eats!)

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Hello friends!

I’m officially BACK from Costa Rica! Oh my goodness, it was such an incredible trip!

Not only was it a wonderful – and high adventuretime with my best friends, we ALSO ate some of the most delicious food I’ve ever had.

So at the end of the post, I’ll share with you some of the truly world-class dishes we enjoyed while we were there!


Oven Dried Tomato and Avocado Pizza! By BeautyBeyondBones #glutenfree #paleo #food #edrecovery #specificcarbohydratediet #vegetarian

I need to introduce my HANDS DOWN FAVORITE recipe that I enjoyed this evening.

You know how when you’re traveling, and you’re on the plane all day, and by the end of the trip, you’ve got a hankerin’ something fierce for a specific meal?

Well, friends this. was. it. OVEN-DRIED TOMATO PIZZA

Oven Dried Tomato and Avocado Pizza! By BeautyBeyondBones #glutenfree #paleo #food #edrecovery #specificcarbohydratediet #vegetarian

I had a gorgeous heirloom tomato from the farmers market waiting for me when I got back, and so I whipped up this gorgeous pizza, and let me tell you – it hit the spot!

Introducing my Oven-Dried Tomato, Eggplant and Avocado Pizza with a Cauliflower Crust!

Oven Dried Tomato and Avocado Pizza! By BeautyBeyondBones #glutenfree #paleo #food #edrecovery #specificcarbohydratediet #vegetarian

I wish you could see me right now — I’m doing a happy dance just writing about it. It was SO GOOD!

Oven Dried Tomato and Avocado Pizza! By BeautyBeyondBones #glutenfree #paleo #food #edrecovery #specificcarbohydratediet #vegetarian

Holy smokes you guys. This was outrageous. Like — incredible. I had never made oven-dried tomatoes before, and ohhhhhh my gosh…GAME CHANGER. Seriously. If you take one thing away from this post, it’s MAKE THE TOMATOES! πŸ™‚

Oven Dried Tomato and Avocado Pizza! By BeautyBeyondBones #glutenfree #paleo #food #edrecovery #specificcarbohydratediet #vegetarian

And, it’s gluten free, Specific Carb Diet friendly, and Paleo — PLUS it has a vegan option!

Oven Dried Tomato and Avocado Pizza! By BeautyBeyondBones #glutenfree #paleo #food #edrecovery #specificcarbohydratediet #vegetarian

Here’s What You Need (Serves one very hungry camper)

2 egg whites (Vegan option: 1 flax/chia egg)
1 cup cauliflower florets, riced
1/4 cup almond flour
1/4 tsp salt

1 tomato, sliced into 1/4 inch rounds
1 japanese eggplant, sliced into 1/4 inch rounds
4 mushrooms, sliced
fresh basil, sliced julienne style (or chopped)
1/2 avocado, mashed
1 Tbsp pine nuts, toasted

2 Baking sheets
Food Processor
Parchment Paper
Small Mixing Bowl
Saute Pan
Good Chef’s Knife (This is the one I use and love)

Oven Dried Tomato and Avocado Pizza! By BeautyBeyondBones #glutenfree #paleo #food #edrecovery #specificcarbohydratediet #vegetarian

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Put your raw cauliflower florets in the food processor and process until it resembles rice. Then, place the “rice” in a clean kitchen towel (or several paper towels) and wring out all the liquid over the sink. This is a really important step.

Combine your wrung-out cauliflower rice thoroughly with the almond flour, salt and egg whites.

Cut 2 sheets of parchment paper the size of a baking sheet. Put your dough onto one sheet of parchment paper, and place the other sheet on top. “Smoosh” it out fairly thin, forming your round crust. Spritz the top with olive oil. Bake for 30-35 minutes, until golden brown.

Also, toss your eggplant with 2 Tbsp EVOO, salt and pepper. Then, place your tomato and eggplant slices in a single layer on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Bake for about 40 minutes, flipping the eggplant halfway through. Then, take the eggplant off and set aside.

Now, to get your tomato slices suuuuuper dry and chewy like I did, you’ll need to turn off the oven, and leave them in there with the door closed for another hour. However, you can forgo that step and eat them as is, too…which is just as delicious.

While those are baking, brown your mushrooms in a skillet with 1 Tbsp EVOO. Do this by placing them in a single layer, and then don’t touch them for about 304 minutes, so that they can brown. Then, flip, and let them sit untouched for another 3 minutes. Take off the stove and hit with salt and pepper.

Oven Dried Tomato and Avocado Pizza! By BeautyBeyondBones #glutenfree #paleo #food #edrecovery #specificcarbohydratediet #vegetarian

Finally, mash your avocado with salt.

To assemble, spread your avocado in a thin layer. Top with slices of tomato, eggplant, mushrooms, pine nuts, and fresh chopped basil.

OK – this was officially one of the best things ever. Oven-dried tomatoes are seriously amazing. They become intensely sweet and “tomato-y.” And they’re nice and chewy and sticky. That, combined with the creamy eggplant, and chewy and earthy mushrooms — it was just fantastic!

Oven Dried Tomato and Avocado Pizza! By BeautyBeyondBones #glutenfree #paleo #food #edrecovery #specificcarbohydratediet #vegetarian

And the CRUST! Goodness gracious it was good. It was nutty and chewy and the perfect vessel for this delicious meal!

The avocado — one of my favorite foods. It’s buttery, luxurious, and so creamy! And the basil really gave the right amount of freshness to the it.

Oven Dried Tomato and Avocado Pizza! By BeautyBeyondBones #glutenfree #paleo #food #edrecovery #specificcarbohydratediet #vegetarian

Finally, it was a beautiful dish. It was rustic and regal looking. A stunner for sure.

OK — now onto my eats in Costa Rica! Let me tell you – I had some of the most delicious restaurant meals ever there. First of all everything is SO FRESH. The fish was literally in the ocean that morning. It was incredible.

And the produce! Holy cow. The reason it is so delicious is because the soil is so mineral rich in Costa Rica. They have 6 active volcanos, and another 61 dormant/extinct ones. So as a result — the soil is prime for cultivating crops and vegetation.

So everything was just superb. And every restaurant was SO accommodating with my dietary needs. I literally followed my tips for dining out from my last post — and just asked for a filet of fish with sautΓ©ed vegetables, and I ended up getting OUTRAGEOUSLY delicious meals. I mean – I have never eaten so well.

The first night, Antonio – the resort’s chef – came to our house to cook us a . private dinner and it was amazing. The menu was this fabulous tuna tar tar appetizer with mango and avocado…

Followed by a delectable sea bass fillet. It was, I think, the best thing I’ve ever eaten.

The next night, we ate at the Four Seasons, and I had an incredible fillet of red snapper. And again – it was phenomenal. The spices on the outside were so flavorful — a bit of middle-eastern flare to it!

This was lunch from the following day. We went ATVing in the morning, followed by ziplining, in the afternoon. And for lunch, they made us a brilliant meal! It was grilled mahi mahi over this refreshing salad. It might not look it from the photo, but the fish was so fresh, and the salad was amazing — the handmade olive vinaigrette was next level.

That night we ended up getting take out, and had a repeat dinner from the Four Seasons.

One night we went to Maracuya Beach Club for dinner, and it was a phenomenal dinner, but WAY overpriced. I got a delicious fillet of snapper with so-good-you-could-drink-it chimichurri sauce, but we did not go back, because the prices made us gag, to be honest.

Our final night, we went to the Andaz Resort’s outdoor restaurant and had a lovely dinner. My red snapper was super duper heavy on the coconut oil, which ended up really hurting my stomach. But the atmosphere was tropical and beachy and really fun. — Minus the time when a flying grasshopper the size of a literal hotdog flew into the hair of the woman sitting at the table next to us, and she let out a shriek so loud, I think the people in Panama could hear. But the highlight was that they had a really talented mixologist, and made my friend her own specialty drink, served in a cacao pod πŸ™‚

I think to rank these — Antonio the chef’s home cooked meal took first place, followed by the Four Seasons, followed by a tie for third with Maracuya and Andaz.

“This is what the Lord says to these bones: I will make breath enter you, and you will come to life.” Ez 37:5

A big thank you to my foundational sponsor, BetterHelp Online Therapy. I cannot begin to express how beneficial therapy was for my recovery from anorexia.  Speak with an online therapist. Or check out content about eating disorders from BetterHelp.


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58 responses to “Oven Dried Tomato Pizza! (And world-class Costa Rica Eats!)”

  1. Wow! I’m a super picky eater and all of these dishes need to be tried by me! I’m glad your back safe and had a great time Caralyn. Enjoy that food! 😎😍

    • Thank you so much! I didn’t! This is literally the first I’ve heard of it!! what is it?

      • Well, it means “married,” so it is rice, beans, plaintains, and yummy foods married together. πŸ™‚ I studied there for a month and stayed with two different host families. So I got a big taste of Costa Rican life. Pura Vida!

      • Oooh very nice. Yeah saw lots of dishes with rice and beans and plantains! Unfortunately, none of those are SCD legal 😩 How cool that you studied there! That’s awesome! Hugs and love xox

    • Thank you so much Tonya πŸ™‚ Yeah it was such a wonderful. Now I’m back and hitting the ground running! haha but the rest was very well appreciated. Love YOU my dear friend! xoxo

      • Rest is so important for our walk with the Lord, so I praise and thank God for giving some good rest to you, His precious daughter and my beautiful friend. Yay! I prayed that His peace will last in your heart back to reality. πŸ˜„β€

  2. Caralyn, so glad you got to enjoy your best friends on vacation and have great food. Having the chef personally prepare your food sounds so good. Your pizza that you prepared looks amazing. XOXO

    • Thank you so much! oh gosh, we definitely enjoyed ourselves! Yeah that was an outrageous experience! he ended the night by putting on salsa music and teaching us all how to dance! it was so fun! thanks for stopping by! hugs xo

    • Oh my gosh we ate such delicious food!! I agree – haha definitely good to be eating leftovers!! Hugs and love xox

  3. Welcome back, Caralyn! It all looks good.
    I would have had a heart attack over a bug that big… in my hair!
    I would have been glad it wa sa harmless grasshopper AFTERWARDS, but NOT while in my hair! πŸ˜‰
    So glad God poured blessing all over your days!

    • Thank you Lane! Oh the pizza was just what the doctor ordered! Hah it really hit the spot! Thanks for stopping by! Hugs and love xox

  4. “I wish you could see me right now β€” I’m doing a happy dance just writing about it” you should have posted that, that line of yours made me giggle

    your recipes always make me think because they are soooo outside what I do, thanks! and I am jealous of the fish in costa rica! people up here don’t get the privilege of fish right off the boat too often, if anyone (or you) travels to the Keys it is a thing to go out day (or crack of dawn) fishing, bring your catch to the local restaurant and they cook it for you, nothing better/fresher than that… check out Islamorada if you want the real Keys… not Key West, if I win the lotto I will disappear in the keys, to fish and let the waves wash my feet

    • Haha it was the best happy dance – lots of shoulder action hahaha thank you so much!!! I have never been to the Keys! Sounds so amazing! Hugs and love xox

    • Thank you!! Oh my gosh the food was out of this world! So fresh and flavorful!! Hugs and love xox

  5. Great. Now you’ve given me more to do. Today we finish canning tomato sauce (we’re using the last of our mason jars) but now you’ve got me thinking about pulling out the dehydrator to put away some oven dried tomatoes.

    • Haha oh
      Gosh sorry!! But wow that’s awesome that you canned your own sauce! How cool! Hugs and love xox

  6. Costa Rica is my all time favorite trip. Hands down. The people are the best there. We actually didn’t have the greatest food experiences like you but it still was the greatest place ever!!

    • The people really ARE the best! They were all so kind!! Thanks for stopping by! Hugs and love xox

  7. Your recipes look so good, including the guacamole one you posted weeks ago, but I am a lazy Virginia bachelor and I usually end up microwaving something. I did finally make a shakshuka recipe from Youtube that smelled incredible and tasted pretty good too.

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