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

 

Teriyaki Salmon Collars

Many people believe that salmon collars are “fish bones” and just throw them away. The truth is that there is a lot of meat left on the collars nine times out of ten and that meat is just completely wasted. Another benefit of salmon collars is that they are usually very inexpensive. If you go to your local grocery store and ask if they have any salmon collars, in most cases they will, if the are selling fresh salmon steaks, and you will be able to get these collars for a discounted rate—as fish bones. Not only are the salmon collars relatively inexpensive, they are also full of flavor, making them one of my favorite meals. Many people have had salmon collars at sushi joints or other restaurants, yet they believe that it is too complex of a meal to cook at home. I’m here to show you the opposite. Here is an easy recipe to make salmon collars.

Teriyaki Salmon Collars

Serving Information

  • This recipe serves 4 people
  • Preparation time is 3-5 hours
  • Cook time is under 10 minutes
  • The total time to make teriyaki salmon collars is approximately 4 hours and 10 minutes.

What You Will Need To Make Teriyaki Salmon Collars

  • Mirin
  • Sake
  • Soy Sauce
  • Sugar
  • 4 Salmon Collars

How To Make Teriyaki Salmon Collars

Make Your Own Teriyaki Sauce, How You Like It!

If you wish, you can feel free to buy a pre-made sauce at the grocery store. However, if you make your own, you can make it exactly how you want it. The main ingredients are as follows: Mirin, Sake, Soy Sauce, and Sugar. Just start mixing until you come up with the flavor you like. For my teriyaki sauce, I use ¼ cup sugar, 1 ½ cups of soy sauce, ½ cup sake, and 1 tablespoon of Mirin. However, we all have different tastes and likes so make sure to experiment and create a sauce that you can use again and again.

Let the Salmon Collars Marinate

Put the collars in a large Ziploc bag. You have to break them up and but 2 in 2 different bags. Pour in the marinade that you created or that you purchased from the store. Let it sit and marinate for 3 to 5 hours.

Cook the Salmon Collars

When you are ready to cook the salmon and it has had plenty of time to marinate, remove the salmon from the Ziploc bags. Then, put the salmon on the grill. As the fish is cooking, paint the remaining teriyaki sauce on the salmon collars. You can also choose to cook the fish in a frying pan and still adding the teriyaki sauce as it cooks. You will know when the salmon is done cooking when it becomes flakey and cooked through the center. It will only take about 4 minutes on the grill, depending on how much steak is left on the collar.

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Crock Pot Lasagna Recipe

Though each one of us has their very own unique ways of preparing lasagna, the one thing we all share in common is our love for crock pot lasagna. Basically, this is because crock pot lasagna requires minimal effort, no manual attendance and most importantly, brings out the best flavors. Here's a good example of an easy to adopt crock pot lasagna recipe:

Ingredients:

  1.  18 ruffle edged lasagna noodles
  2.  Two pounds of Italian sausages - with their casings removed
  3.  Two cups of water
  4.  Two jars of tomato sauce
  5.  Two tablespoons of flat fresh leaf parsley that've been chopped
  6.  Two ounces of finely grated Parmesan cheese
  7.  One and a half pounds of grated mozzarella cheese
  8.  One pound of whole milk ricotta cheese
  9.  A tablespoon of olive oil
  10.  Thinly sliced fresh basil
  11.  Kosher salt
  12.  Freshly ground pepper

Directions:

Start by heating a skillet over medium heat, warming olive oil and adding Italian sausages. As they continue cooking, use a wooden spoon to break up any large chunks into smaller ones. Then, wait for them to turn brown or, let them cook for 10-12 minutes. Proceed to add in two cups of water and tomato sauce and, give them a few more minutes to simmer. When ready, remove from heat and transfer to a large bowl.

Take another bowl and add ricotta cheese followed by parsley and then salt and pepper. Mix thoroughly and set aside.

On the bottom of the slow cooker's insert, spread a thin layer of sauce mixture and cover it with one layer of uncooked lasagna. To make it easier for them to fit, break accordingly. Then, spread a thin layer of your ricotta mixture over these noodles. Repeat this procedure as you go about adding the remaining lasagna noodles. When done, top with the remaining sauce mixture and sprinkle a quarter and one cup of Parmesan and mozzarella cheese respectfully.

Next, transfer the insert into the base of a slow-cooker and cover it. Adjust to low setting and leave it to cook till all noodles become cooked through and tender. On average, this takes 5-6 hours.

Final Preparation:

Once your lasagna is ready, sprinkle a little of the mozzarella cheese on top and let it stand for 10 minutes or till all cheese melts.

Alternatively, you may transfer the crock pot's insert to the oven and let it broil for seven minutes or till the cheese turns golden brown and bubbly.

Lasagna

Serving:

Let the lasagna sit for 20 minutes before it gets served. You should also take time to cut it into pieces as well as garnish it with herbs, preferably basil.

Summary:

This crock pot lasagna recipe is highly praised for it saves on time (one doesn't have to be physically present to monitor the cooking) and, it always gives you lasagna that's full of flavor and nutrients.

 

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Quick Energizing Breakfast Recipes

mango smoothie

If you just woke up hangovered (sic), woke up at dawn to hit the gym, are currently recuperating or want to jump-start your day, the only way of making this possible is by having an energizing breakfast. Basically, such a breakfast encompasses foods that contain high amounts of healthy carbohydrates, fats and proteins. To get the best out of them, here are 5 quick energizing breakfast recipes that you should give a try:

Sunny-Side Up Eggs

When making sunny-side up eggs for four, you'll need fours slices of bread, four anchovies, four eggs, Parmesan cheese shavings, olive oil, lemon, capers, black pepper, coarse sea salt and kale. To make the eggs, start by sprinkling cheese over the bread and heating in the toaster till it melts. Over medium high heat, heat the olive oil, add anchovies and mash till a paste forms. Add kale, season with salt and pepper and wait till the leaves become soft and bright green and stems tender. When done, remove and serve beside the toast. In another skillet, add a tablespoon of olive oil, heat over medium high heat and crack the eggs directly over the pan. Let them cook for 2-5 minutes. When done, serve your eggs with the greens and have them topped with cheese and capers. Also, add a squeeze of olive oil and lemon juice and sprinkle with salt and pepper.

Yogurt Parfait

Other than being an energizing breakfast food, yogurt parfait makes breakfasts less boring. To prepare a cupful, you'll need low fat plain yogurt, two tablespoons of dried fruit and flaxseed meal, unsalted raw almonds or walnuts, sugar and ground cinnamon. Start by stirring flaxseed meal, nuts and dried fruit into the yogurt and finish off by sprinkling sugar and cinnamon at the top. Alternatively, you can choose to create a layered parfait; flaxseed meal at the bottom followed by a later of yogurt, dried fruit and then another layer of yogurt and finally nuts followed by a more yogurt.

Almonds Butter and Bacon Sandwich

To make this delicacy, you'll need three pieces of whole grain bread, natural almond butter, bacon, olive oil, tart apple and coarse sea salt. When making the sandwich, you'll be required to first toast two slices of bread before spreading them with butter. Next, lay the apple over the butter and top each piece with crisp bacon. Finish off by drizzling some olive oil and sea salt on the bacon and assembling your sandwich - with the plain slice in the middle.

Fancy Fresh Toast

To make fancy French toast, you'll need two slices of whole grain bread, an egg, low fat milk, canola oil, canola margarine, low calorie syrup and cinnamon. While the pan heats with margarine and canola oil, beat and combine the egg with milk and cinnamon. Dip the bread into the egg mix and toast over a pan till it turns golden on both sides. When done, top with syrup and serve.

Re-hydration Ginger-Mango Smoothie

This quick energizing breakfast recipe demands that you use low fat vanilla yogurt (gives a creamy and thick texture), peeled and chopped mango (adds a sweet flavor), soft tofu, chopped crystallized ginger, flaxseed oil, ground flaxseed and cardamom. To make the smoothie, put all of these ingredients in the blender and puree till smooth.

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Simple Sweet Pea Crostini

Here’s a quick appetizer recipe that captures the summertime fresh produce from the garden: simple sweet pea crostini. Try this one at home or to impress friends at a backyard bbq or potluck. It’s easy and quick to prepare, but your guests will believe you spent more time in the kitchen to get such incredible flavor and a beautiful presentation.

Sweet pea crostini

Prepare the Baguette

Buy a fresh baguette from the great local bakery for this recipe. It will be so worth the extra expense to have delicious, artisanal bread. Cut into ¼-1/2” thick slices – the thinner slices will be crispier after toasting in the oven so if you want a chewy crostini, thicker slices will be better. Brush both sides of the slices with olive oil, and then rub a clove of garlic of the surfaces. Microscopic bits of garlic will become incorporated into the nooks and crannies of the bread. Place in a 375-degree oven and toast for 8-10 minutes. Watch carefully – this bread can burn quickly if you leave it too long.

Prepare the Peas

The delicious spread for this recipe is simple so as not to detract from the superstar ingredient: fresh garden peas. Fresh is best, although this recipe works fine with frozen peas as well. Simply thaw and rinse them, blotting them to remove any excess moisture. About 2 ½ cups of peas will create enough spread for the baguette slices in this recipe. Place the peas into a food processor with spices of your choice. Classic combinations for peas include fresh mint, garlic, salt and pepper. You can also add ricotta cheese, grated parmesan or even avocado to change up the flavor and create a creamy spread. Pulse in the food processor, along with 4-5 tablespoons of olive oil, and add more oil until desired consistence is reached. If you don’t have a food processor, this step can be done in a blender or even by hand with a fork. It will create a chunkier (we call it rustic) spread but the flavor will still be amazing.

Top the cooled baguette slices with a dollop of the pea mixture. You can serve this crostini just as it is, or top the mixture with another flavor dimension. Try small slices of thin prosciutto, a cube of cantaloupe, or a red grape. You’ll get another dimension of flavor.

This recipe is simply beautiful on the plate. The bright green peas, the toasted bread and if you use garnish on top, it looks amazing and tastes even better. This recipe is great because, unlike appetizers or salads with mayonnaise, it can withstand a little time in the sun without worry. Plus, this recipe is easy to modify to suit your tastes – incorporate any number of ingredients such as roasted red peppers, red pepper flakes, or red onion. The possibilities are endless and you’ll love all of the flavor combinations you will try with this recipe.

Summertime is a great time to experiment with recipes that use flavors fresh from the garden. This simple sweet pea crostini captures the tastes of summer without keeping you in the kitchen. Try it today.

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