Loaded pizza

Hello friends! We’re back after a crazy spring and summer! Hopefully you all are enjoying this beautiful weather we’ve been graced with… for 2 months ­čÖé

I’ve started a new nursing job involving shift work and with that comes a bit more freedom with days off during the week. Today, I’ve decided to make a well rounded meal for me and my hubster… (not a word, you say? I’ll add it to Wikipedia.)

This pizza is inspired by one of my great friends and her love of vegetables on anything and everything! I think it would’ve been even better if I cooked it on the BBQ to give it a bit of a smokey flavor (and to avoid making the house hotter than it already is). Ah well, next time.

To make the crust:

2 1/2 cups warm water
2 Tbsp oil
2 Tbsp white sugar
1 tsp salt
2 Tbsp quick-rising yeast
6 cups flour (I used 5 cups whole wheat and 1 cup white flour)

Mix sugar, salt, dry yeast and flour. Add water and oil. Knead well, adding more flour if needed. Cover with a wet tea towel and let rest for 10-15 minutes.

Divide the dough into two and roll out onto a large cookie sheet or pizza pan. Let rise 5 minutes. Prick entire crust. Bake crust at 425 F (or on the BBQ) for 7 minutes. Remove from oven to cool. You can use immediately or freeze for later use.

Once your dough is ready…

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Throw on your pizza sauce of choice. I like to make my own using tomato sauce and tomato paste, and add my own spices like garlic, oregano, thyme, basil, pepper, and a dash of salt.

Next, slice up the veggies you are craving for the pizza!
I used mushrooms, leftover asparagus from our supper the night before, spinach, and red onion. I also added sliced pork tenderloin from the night before. We occasionally struggle with using up our leftovers so this was a great way to make sure nothing went to waste!

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Voila!

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A beautiful pizza! I just added a bit of cheese and baked it at 425 F for about 10 minutes. I always like to broil it for a couple minutes at the very end to crisp up the cheese a bit. Yumm!

I feel like pizza has created a bad rap for itself because of all of the (delicious) processed junk that often gets added. But you can make it (deliciously) healthy, too!

What are your favorite things to add to a pizza?

Until next time,

Bree

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Get those vegetables in your diet

As many of you may be able to relate to, my boy does not like to eat vegetables. It is very rare when he finishes something from the vegetable family. So my challenge, besides just getting a meal on the dinner table, is also getting veggies into my sons tummy. I also have to admit, into my tummy too! He definitely gets his distaste for vegetables from his mother, and definitely not from his father. So how do you sneak in vegetables into ones diet, without consistently being at the blender? Well thanks to the current hype on cauliflower, I was able to get a significant amount of vegetables into my sons diet. The whole meal contained pull a part chicken made in the crockpot, and cauliflower cheese bread. Sure maybe not all great ingredients, but its all homemade! And that for me is a gold medal!!

I would like to share with you the recipe that lead to my great success, which I hope in turn will lead you down the right path as well.

The great Chicken Pull A Part.┬áI actually found this on Pinterest, after my wonderful sister, Bree, told me to join because it would be another great app addiction in my life! The original recipe is called Crockpot BBQ Beer Chicken but I renamed it Chicken Pull A Part because that’s how I used it, and my recipe did not use beer, instead I opted for Gingerale.

The Cauliflower Cheese Bread was found through Facebook… wow, up until now┬áI never realized how useful these sites really are in my life! Other common cauliflower recipes I have seen, but have yet to try are mashed cauliflower (instead of mashed potatoes), cauliflower pizza crust, and an egg and cauliflower biscuit like thing. Like I said I haven’t tried these items yet, but when I do I will let you know how it all turns out.

Successful photo of my boy devouring this “gourmet” meal:

chicken and cauli

The Cauliflower Cheese Bread:

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This meal is becoming a staple in my house. It fed 4 adults plus one hungry little boy, plus we had left overs!

I did include a salad as a side. Just a basic romaine lettuce, bell peppers, green onions and olive oil/balsamic vinegar dressing.

Overall I must say that the internet has proven to be beneficial; my child and I have successfully consumed vegetables without really realizing it!

Do you have any tricks up your sleeve to get the vegetables into your or your families meals? If so, please share as one successful meal does not make for a complete successful meal plan.

Until Next Time,

Elisa

Pumpkin anyone?

Fall is on its way. There. I said it. I’ve decided to embrace this fact and make the most of the spices and squash that come along with it. This morning I woke up with frost on the grass, and cool wind in the air. I, being the cold-blooded person I am 24/7, could practically feel this chill from my bed. I poked my feet out from the blanket and boom. Instantly they turned to ice. I do truly love fall and the beautiful colors of the leaves, and the crisp fresh air. I am trying to embrace ALL of the fall season, even if it may not be so pleasant at the time. So, to counteract my chilled morning awakening, and to embrace the spices and squash, I decided to make this.

ImageA Pumpkin Earl Grey Latte. A great way to start off my morning! No, I didn’t buy it from Starbucks… and yes, it was amazing! And healthy! It practically blew my moccasins off and if you’re a sucker for pumpkin I’m sure it’ll do the same to you. I found this recipe off of the mouth-watering blog called With Food + Love and you can find this delicious recipe here along with many more great healthy and tasty fall recipe ideas.

What makes pumpkin so amazing anyway? Well… for starters, it’s inexpensive and has a fairly long shelf life. But what makes it so healthy? I’ve done my research and compiled the top reasons I want to eat pumpkin everyday.

1. Pumpkins are loaded with fibre to help you stay fuller longer
2. If your making your own squash (which I highly recommend you do…who doesn’t want freshly toasted pumpkin seeds?) toast the seeds for a small snack. The seeds are full of phytosterols that help lower bad cholesterol
3. Pumpkins are full of potassium which is great for refueling your body after a workout!
4. They contain beta-carotene which is a form of vitamin A, an essential vitamin in maintaining eye health and may help to prevent certain types of cancer
5. The seeds also contain tryptophan (yes the one that gets us all at Thanksgiving, causing a mass nap with all your relatives) which helps you sleep better, and improves your overall mood

You can read more information about the health benefits of pumpkin here and here.

I want to know…what is your favorite healthy drink of the season?

Sincerely,
Bree

References:
http://withfoodandlove.com/breakfast-brunch/first-of-fall
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/10/05/pumpkin-health-benefits_n_1936919.html
http://greatist.com/health/superfood-pumpkin