How to Make Healthy, Delicious Pizza at Home

Friday night family nights have been a staple in my house for as long as I can remember; growing up my parents insisted on it and it’s a tradition that I have carried on now that I’m in my own home with my own family. I can think of no better food to bring people of all ages together than pizza – delicious, hot, cheesy pizza. The best part is, you can customize pizza to just about anyone’s taste and, with just a few, simple choices it can be as healthy as it is delicious.

The easiest way to enjoy a healthy pizza is to make it at home and the first place to start is the crust. This recipe uses a mix of whole wheat and all purpose flour for a crust that is perfectly chewy on the inside and crispy on the outside. If you and your family are watching calories, roll the dough out thinly for an even crispier, lighter crust.

Yields: About 1lb of pizza dough, or enough for one thick crust or two thin crusts

Ingredients:

  • 1t honey
  • 1 ½ cups warm water
  • 1T active dry yeast
  • 1T extra virgin olive oil
  • 1t kosher salt
  • 2 cups white whole wheat flour
  • 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour

How to Make Healthy, Delicious Pizza at Home

Preparation:

  1. In a large bowl, stir honey into warm water until dissolved. Add the yeast and let it sit until a foam develops, about ten minutes.
  2. Stir olive oil and salt into the mixture.
  3. In a separate bowl, sift together the whole wheat flour and 1 cup of all-purpose flour.
  4. Add the flour mixture to the yeast mixture slowly, stirring until a ball of dough begins to form.
  5. Sprinkle remaining all-purpose flour out over flat surface and place the ball of dough on top. Knead together until all of the flour has been absorbed and the ball of dough is smooth, about 5-10 minutes. To knead the dough, work it with your hands to form into a ball. Press the dough flat and then reform into a ball. You may also punch the dough flat with the heels of your hands and then fold and refold the dough. You want to work the dough until it loses its stickiness.
  6. Place the dough in an oiled bowl and tip the bowl around to coat the surface of the dough with the oil. Cover with a towel and let stand in a warm area for about one hour, or until the dough has doubled in size.
  7. Tip the dough out until floured surface about and punch the dough down, forming it until a tight ball. Place back into bowl and let it rise for another 45 minutes.
  8. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
  9. Roll the dough out to desired thickness with rolling pin. If making two crusts, split the dough into two balls and roll each other as thinly as possible.
  10. Once the desired shape and size has been reached, place the dough on a well-oiled pizza pan or baking sheet and top with your favorite toppings. Pizza sauce can be purchased or your can make your own. Some healthy topping choices include turkey pepperoni, mushrooms, olives, peppers and spinach, but just about any vegetables will work (starchy vegetables like zucchini or squash may need to be steamed or sautéed first). Use fresh mozzarella cheese sparingly.
  11. Bake for 16-20 minutes, depending on the thickness of the crust, until the crust is crispy and the cheese is melted and bubbling on top.
  12. Enjoy!

Image Credit: pixabay.com

 

Pizza Stromboli – Freeze before Baking

Pizza StromboliIt’s easy to make your own Stromboli at home. A pizza Stromboli is also a great meal to prepare ahead of time and store in your freezer for one of those busy days when you know you won’t have time to prepare a home cooked meal. Kids and adults alike will love the warm and gooey cheese and pizza toppings all encased in a crispy dough that can be eaten on the go or served as a sit down meal with salad and bread. Here is our recipe for pizza Stromboli – freeze before baking. Prepare it this weekend for a great meal next week! The basic recipe is included, but you can always customize the pizza toppings based on what your family enjoys.

Ingredients

  • One pound prepared pizza or bread dough. If you don’t have a great recipe for pizza dough, you can purchase prepared pizza or bread dough.
  • Four ounces pepperoni, thinly sliced (deli pepperoni has the best flavor, but you can buy pizza pepperoni)
  • ½ cup shredded parmesan cheese
  • 1 ½ cups shredded mozzarella cheese
  • Loose flour to work the dough
  • Kosher salt
  • Melted butter

Instructions

  1. Roll out the bread dough on a flat work surface. Use the loose flour to keep the dough from sticking. Roll the dough into a 10 x 12 rectangle that is ¼ inch thick.
  2. Brush the top of the dough with a thin coat of the melted butter.
  3. Beginning with the pepperoni, layer the meat and cheeses over the top of the dough leaving a 1 inch border of dough.
  4. Dampen the edges of the dough with a little water using a pastry brush or a damp paper towel.
  5. Roll up the Stromboli beginning with a ten inch side pinching the dough closed on the ends as you go.
  6. Set the Stromboli seam side down on a large piece of plastic wrap.
  7. Pulling the plastic wrap tight, wrap the Stromboli up and then cover it again in tin foil.
  8. Place in the freezer.

Preparation

  1. Set the frozen Stromboli in the refrigerator overnight to defrost.
  2. At least two hours before cooking time, set the Stromboli out to come to room temperature.
  3. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
  4. Melt about 1 tablespoon of butter.
  5. Spray a cooking sheet or bread pan that will fit the Stromboli with cooking spray.
  6. Unwrap the Stromboli carefully and place it on the cooking pan seam side down.
  7. Cut a few diagonal slits in the top of the bread.
  8. Brush the top of the Stromboli with melted butter and sprinkle it with kosher salt.
  9. Cover with the tin foil.
  10. Bake for 25 minutes. Remove the tin foil and bake for another ten to fifteen minutes (until the bread is crispy and brown).

Serve this fabulous Stromboli with your favorite marinara sauce for an easy weekday meal that won’t have you laboring over a hot stove for hours. Pizza Stromboli – freeze before baking is sure to become a fast family favorite!

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Authentic Italian Pot Roast Recipe

Authentic Italian Pot Roast Recipe

Everybody has a favorite type of food, but there are certain types that just seem to taste good to everyone. At the top of that list is Italian food. Everyone seems to love Italian food, but not everyone realizes that there is more to it than pizza and pasta. One notable dish that tastes great when prepared correctly is an authentic Italian pot roast.

What Ingredients Does Italian Pot Roast Require?

One of the keys to any good recipe is to make sure that you have fresh, quality ingredients. For this recipe, there are several things to have prepared. In addition to the chuck roast, you will need these ingredients:

1 (8-oz.) package sliced fresh mushrooms
1 large sweet onion, cut in half and sliced
1 (3- to 4-lb.) boneless chuck roast, trimmed
1 teaspoon pepper
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 (1-oz.) envelope dry onion soup mix
1 (14-oz.) can beef broth
1 (8-oz.) can tomato sauce
3 tablespoons tomato paste
1 teaspoon dried Italian seasoning
2 tablespoons cornstarch

Of course, everyone has different tastes, so these ingredients are just the main ones that you will need. Feel free to adjust the amount of each (within reason) to suit your taste buds. You can also experiment with a few different spices if you choose.

How to Prepare Authentic Italian Pot Roast

Having fresh ingredients does not guarantee that you will concoct a delicious meal, however. You still have to take care to correctly prepare the ingredients and cook them properly. As any good chef can tell you, a slight variation on cooking procedures can have a drastic effect on the taste of a dish, and that is not necessarily a good thing.

  1. Place mushrooms and onion in a lightly greased 5-to 6-qt. slow cooker.
  2. Sprinkle roast with pepper. Cook roast in hot oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat 2 to 3 minutes on each side or until browned.
  3. Place roast on top of mushrooms and onion in slow cooker. Sprinkle onion soup mix over roast; pour beef broth and tomato sauce over roast. Cover and cook on LOW 8 to 10 hours or until meat shreds easily with a fork.
  4. Transfer roast to a cutting board; cut into large chunks, removing any large pieces of fat. Keep roast warm.
  5. Skim fat from juices in slow cooker; stir in tomato paste and Italian seasoning. Stir together cornstarch and 2 Tbsp. water in a small bowl until smooth; add to juices in slow cooker, stirring until blended. Increase slow cooker heat to HIGH. Cover and cook 40 minutes or until mixture is thickened. Stir in roast.

Of course, there is more to a meal than just the featured food item. For an easy side, sauté 2 cups diced zucchini, 1 cup frozen sweet peas, and 1/2 cup diced onion in 3 Tbsp. olive oil until tender. Toss with 20 oz. hot cooked cheese-and-spinach tortellini, and 1/2 cup each shredded Parmesan cheese and chopped fresh basil. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

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