Healthy Pizza????

I am not going to lie.  I LOVE PIZZA.  Seriously.  I see it, I want it.  I smell it, I want it.  Tell me I am not alone in this…I am salivating just thinking about it.  Papa John’s is definitely my favorite, though I’m not sure if it’s for their pizza or for the garlic dipping butter they give you just to make it extra nutritious.  Anyone remember those delicious Trixy Sticks from Pizza Pipeline in Provo…the cinnamon and sugar ones that you dipped in the cream cheese frosting?????

Yet I know it is not good for me.  It is a greasy pile of grease and if I’m going for longevity, I have to practice moderation or alteration.  So I make my own at home. with whole wheat thin crust, lots of veggies, and minimal cheese.  Though it is definitely not faster or more convenient (or as delicious), I don’t feel sick to my stomach after my indulgence and I still get to satisfy those cravings.  What are your favorite ways to healthify your pet indulgences?

Until last night, that is.  For inexplicable reasons, I tried a different recipe for my crust.  And oh my goodness, I could not get enough of it.  The recipe is so simple and I thought I must share it with you.   It comes from Cooking Light. I just adapted it to add some whole-grain goodness.

And then I got to thinking…was the secret to my amazing crust the newness of the recipe or the newness of the white whole wheat flour that I had just purchased??  Have you guys heard of this?  It has all the same nutrition as whole wheat flour, but it is made from white wheat instead of red wheat, giving it a milder flavor and lighter texture.  I am not kidding you that it was not heavy at all like the regular crust I make.  Has anyone tried it in baked goods?  I can’t wait to sneak it into some cookies after my dessert fast ends to see if you can tell.

 

Basic Pizza Dough

Ingredients

  • 2 teaspoons honey
  • 1 package active dry yeast (about 2 1/4 teaspoons)
  • 3/4 cup warm water (100° to 110°)
  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour, 1 cup white whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • Cooking spray
  • 2 tablespoons stone-ground yellow cornmeal

Preparation

Dissolve the honey and yeast in 3/4 cup warm water in a large bowl. Let stand 5 minutes or until bubbly. Lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Add 2 cups flour and salt to yeast mixture; stir until a soft dough forms. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Knead until smooth and elastic (about 6 minutes); add enough of the remaining flour, 1 tablespoon at a time, to prevent dough from sticking to hands (dough will feel slightly sticky).

Place dough in a large bowl coated with cooking spray, turning to coat top. Cover and let rise in a warm place (85°), free from drafts, 30 minutes or until doubled in size. (Gently press two fingers into dough. If the indentation remains, the dough has risen enough.)

Roll dough into a 12-inch circle (about 1/4 inch thick) on a lightly floured surface. Place dough on a baking sheet sprinkled with cornmeal. Bake according to recipe directions (I did 10 minutes at 450 degrees).

NUTRITION (for the full 12 inch dough): Calories 367 / Fat 11 g / Carbs 215g / Protein 38 g / Fiber 21 g

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Eat Your Veggies

Yes, it’s been awhile since I’ve posted.   I could give you my excuses, but I doubt you care so let’s just get on with it.  As mentioned in my last post, my husband has been trying to figure out his food allergies.  As part of that we talked about doing a 28-day detox and elimination diet.  For many reasons (of course none of them being that we are afraid of the green smoothie fast), we decided to postpone that, but not until after I had bought 3 Costco-sized clamshells of leafy greens.

So though it is still winter, I may be posting a lot of recipes heavy on the green veggies over the next little while as I attempt to eat them all before they spoil.  If you don’t get excited about vegetables, I apologize, but I’m pretty sure I’m not the only one out there who could stand to eat more!

This recipe, from Tosca Reno’s Eat-Clean Diet Cookbook 2, reminded me of my favorite salad at the Cheesecake Factory, so it was the first thing I made from the book that my sweet brother got me for Christmas.

What are your favorite salad recipes?

BBQ Chicken Chop Chop Salad

INGREDIENTS

  • ¼ cup Spicy Clean BBQ Sauce***
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • ½ tsp Dijon mustard
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 1 TBSP red wine vinegar
  • ¼ tsp black pepper
  • 1 TBSP extra virgin olive oil
  • 16 oz chicken breasts
  • 2 ears corn, husked (I just used frozen corn, since again, it’s winter!)
  • 1 red pepper, seeded and quartered
  • 1 yellow pepper, seeded and quartered
  • 1 baby zucchini, halved lengthwise
  • 1 head romaine, halved lengthwise and chopped
  • 2 cups cooked black beans
  • ¼ red onion
  • 1 avocado, cut into bite sized pieces
  • ¼ cup chopped cilantro

DIRECTIONS

  1. In a small bowl, whisk together BBQ sauce, garlic, mustard, lime juice, vinegar and black pepper.  Whisk in olive oil and set aside.
  2. Heat a grill or grill pan to medium-high heat.  Lightly season chicken breasts, corn, peppers, and zucchini with seat salt and black pepper.  Cook chicken and vieggies on grill, turning once, until marks appear and veggies are slightly softened but not cooked through, about 2 minutes each side.  Continue cooking chicken until cooked through, about 5 minutes each side.  Remove and set aside until cool enough to handle.
  3. In a very large bowl, add romaine, black beans, and onion.  Cut cork from cops and add to bown. Cut peppers, zucchini and chicken into bite sized pieces, and add to bowl.  Pour reserved BBG dressing over top and toss to combine.  Add avocado and cilantro, and very gently toss to combine.

NUTRITION: Calories 367 / Fat 11 g / Carbs 36g / Protein 30 g / Fiber 11 g

***Clean BBQ Sauce

(feel free to use premade BBQ sauce if pressed for time, but be sure to check the label because those things are usually full of High Fructose Corn Syrup, Sugar, and Preservatives)

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 tsp safflower oil
  • ½ large sweet onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 cup tomato sauce
  • 1 chipotle pepper in adobo sauce, chopped
  • 1 TBSP deli mustard
  • 1 TBSP cider vinegar
  • 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 TBSP unsulfured blackstrap molasses
  • 1 TBSP honey
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • ½ tsp smoked paprika

DIRECTIONS

  1. Heat oil in a small saucepan over medium heat.  Add onion and sauté until soft and starting to brown, about 5 minutes.  Add garlic and cook for 1 minute longer.  Add rest of ingredients, stir to combine, and simmer for 15 minutes until slightly thickened.
  2. Pour into a food processor or blender and blend until smooth.  Can be stored in a sealed container in fridge for up to two weeks.

Life Without Cheese

I’m sure I’m not the only one who feels that food allergies seem to be taking over.  When I was in elementary school, we all ate peanut butter sandwiches pretty much everyday, but now many kids aren’t even allowed to take them to school because of the severe allergies of kids in their class.  Labels throughout the grocery stores boast of their gluten-free status, and almond, coconut, soy, and rice milk are taking over the “dairy” aisle.

What’s going on?!?!

Well it’s now going on in our home as well since Aaron, born and raised on a dairy farm, was diagnosed with both a dairy, and an egg allergy.

I know it’s very sad.

I’m no stranger to allergen-free cooking, with a sister & brother-in-law that eat gluten and dairy-free, and now a dad that has become vegan after someone suggested it would help his heart.  But that is still not to say that it’s been an easy transition.  A main concern he has is getting enough protein at breakfast and snack times (we try to eat 5 – 6 small meals throughout the day).  So I found a decent recipe for vegan protein bars that have helped fill in that void but I will say they are not definitely not as good as the milk-ridden kind!!

Any of you have favorite books/websites for cooking without dairy, eggs, or gluten?  What struggles and success have you had in allergen-free living?

VEGAN PROTEIN BARS

  • 1 cup dairy-free soy protein powder
  • 2 cups quick-cooking oats
  • ½ cup whole wheat flour
  • ¼ cup wheat germ
  • 2 t. baking powder
  • ½ t. salt
  • 2 cups chopped dried fruit, such as raisins, apricots, berries
  • 1 cups plain, unsweetened soy yogurt
  • 2/3 cup maple syrup
  • ¼ cup apple juice
  • 2/3 cups natural unsalted peanut butter, creamy or crunchy
  • 1/4 cup Egg Replacer mixed with 1/2 cup hot water

Preparation:

1. Preheat the oven to 350 F. Lightly oil a 9” x 13” baking dish.

2. In a medium-sized mixing bowl, sift together the protein powder, oats, flour, wheat germ, baking powder and salt. Mix in the dried fruit until evenly distributed. Set aside.

3. In another mixing bowl, mix together the soy yogurt, maple syrup, apple juice, peanut butter and Egg Replacer mixture using an electric hand mixer until well combined. In 2-3 additions, add the dry ingredients to the wet, mixing until just combined spread into the prepared dish and bake for 35 minutes, or until golden brown and set. Allow to cool completely on a wire cooling rack before cutting into bars.

NUTRITION: Calories 254 / Fat 7g / Carbs 36g / Sugars 18 g / Protein 14 g / Fiber 4 g

Pineapple Ginger Meatballs

We’ve been fortunate for the past few days to enjoy some unseasonably beautiful weather here in the Pacific Northwest.  During yesterday’s exceptionally sunny day I happened past an intoxicating smell of fresh pineapple in the produce section.  I knew I had to take it home with me so I could keep alive the dream of me relaxing on a beach somewhere warm.

Unfortunately the dream came crashing down as I got home and realized now I had to chop it.  Am I the only one that HATES chopping pineapples?!?!  Such work to get to the fruit, and then even more to make sure you don’t get any of the core or the eyes (is that what they’re called?!) in your pieces.  Apparently I wasn’t successful because my daughter promptly spit her first bite back in the bowl.  Whoops!

Since I still have a pile of fresh ginger from all the Chinese New Year partying, I thought it would be good to make this recipe from a Comfort Food special edition of Clean Eating.  Somehow this yummy recipe is not on the internet so I have to post my own ghetto picture…

Pineapple Ginger Meatballs

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 lb extra lean ground beef (or pork, chicken, or turkey)
  • 1/3 cup quick-cooking oats
  • 1 medium jalapeno pepper, seeded and finely chopped
  • 1 TBSP plus 1 tsp fresh grated ginger root, divided
  • 2 egg whites
  • ¼ tsp sea salt, divided
  • 1 TBSP safflower oil
  • ½ cup finely chopped red onion
  • 1 cup diced fresh pineapple
  • 3 TBSP dried unsweetened apricots
  • 1 ½ TBSP balsamic vinegar
  • 3 packets stevia
  • 2 cups cooked whole-wheat couscous
  • 1 oz slivered unsalted almonds
  • ¼ cup chopped green onion
  • 2 TBSP chopped fresh cilantro

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. In a medium bowl, combine meat, oats, jalapeno, 1 TBSP ginger, egg whites, black pepper, and 1/8 tsp salt. Shape into 24 meatballs. In a large nonstick skillet, heat oil on medium-high. Add meatballs and cook until browned, stirring frequently, about 5 minutes.
  2. Coat a slow cooker with cooking spray.  Add red onion to cover bottom, top with meatballs, cover and cook on high for 2 hours or until no longer pink in center.
  3. In a small bowl combine pineapple, apricots, vinegar, ¼ cup water, stevia, and remaining 1 tsp ginger. Pour over top of meatballs and cook for 15 more minutes.
  4. In a large bowl toss couscous with almonds and green onion. Divide couscous mixture among serving bowls. Gently stir meatball mixture and spoon over top of couscous. Sprinkle with remaining salt and cilantro.
  5. Serves 4 (1 cup meatball pineapple mixture and ½ cup couscous mixture)

NUTRITION: Calories 381 / Fat 12 g / Carbs 38g / Sugars 10 g / Protein 30 g / Fiber 4 g

Becca’s thoughts:

To make it healthier I used turkey, only 1/2 TBSP oil, and no salt and it still tasted great.  I also don’t own Stevia so I just used some cane sugar, but I wonder if it even needs that.  Next time I’ll try it without.  Also the meatballs were VERY soft and broke apart easily while browning.  I would suggest baking them instead or making them with just one egg white.

Tour de Cure

If you have been checking this blog, you probably have goals for healthier eating this year.  I’m loving that we can work together on this…though I’m a bit sad I can’t seem to be able to pawn off any leftover delicious homemade cookies on anyone.  Way to be strong!  Someone even decided to join me in my 90-day dessert fast, which made me think maybe some of you want to join me in one of my fitness goals for the year…ride a CENTURY!  Yes, that’s one hundred miles on your bike.

Now, if that seems a little far or a little intense, don’t worry.  You can still join in the fun without going all the way.  There are shorter courses of 15, 25, 45, or 75 miles.  For those who don’t know, the Tour de Cure is a ride sponsored by the American Diabetes Association to raise funds and awareness for curing Diabetes.  You all know what an epidemic this has become in our country, but maybe it has affected you personally like it has me…my dad and one sister both have it.

The ride is May 12th up at Lake Sammamish, you can go to the main website for more information, or if you’d like to join my team, you can go do my page.  If you aren’t even feeling up for the 15 miles, you can simply donate on my page as well.

Let me know if you have any questions…hope to ride with you soon!