Tag Archives: pizza

Weekend Shenanigans: Harley Wants a Dog Stroller

Hi there!

If you haven’t yet, don’t forget to enter my Bondi Band sporty headband giveaway. It ends tomorrow and doesn’t have a high amount of entries, so chances of you winning are good!

Hope that you all had a fabulous weekend. My weekend was great! Let’s delve into a recap of it:

Calavera Hills-1

I kicked off my weekend with a hike with Harley at a nearby spot called Lake Calavera Hills Preserve. It’s a pretty area, and one pretty unique aspect of it is the 22 million-year-old volcanic plug that’s located there:

Calavera Hills-2

The first time I went hiking here, we saw a rattlesnake. This time, towards the beginning of my hike, a man warned me that he had seen a couple of snakes there that day. Since Harley loves to stick her face in bushes and zigzag around exploring, I felt somewhat paranoid of her getting bit by one. Luckily we were all good, but eeeeek!

At the summit of the mountain, you look down into a field and a nearby high school. Check out this romantic gesture:

Calavera Hills-3

Maybe the bar was set low for me from the boys I dated as a teenager, but spelling out, “PROM…?” into a yellow field is pretty clever for a 17-year old, don’t you agree?

At the top of the mountain, Harley laid down in the shade with this ridiculously funny face on and wouldn’t move for a couple of minutes:

Calavera Hills-5

I’ve been here a couple times since moving to the area. It’s a pretty spot but, contrary to Harley’s dramatics, it isn’t all that challenging of a hike. I’m going to be looking for some new hiking spots coming up.

After cleaning, hanging decor up, unpacking and organizing in my house on Saturday  (Does it take anyone else what feels like forever to get settled when they move?), my hubby and I popped over to the beach for a quick hour of surfing (him) and reading (me).

sand between my toes
Saturday night we had another couple over for dinner. Leanne was my first friend as a Marine spouse (actually, at the time neither of us were wives yet), and her husband became good friends with my hubby when they were in military training together. Now for the first time ever, we’re all living in the same area! It’s going to be fun living so close to one another.

I made guacamole for us to nosh on at the beginning of the night (aka my go-to for a super easy, tasty appetizer)… 
guacamole

…and for dinner I made two whole wheat pizza pies:

Pizza Prep

The top pie had mozzarella, ricotta, asparagus, and cherry tomatoes, while the bottom was a classic margherita pizza. Both came out really good! Throughout the night, I had a few glasses of my favorite summertime wine varietal: riesling.

Wine Chiller

By the way, Fetzer is a brand that makes a crisp, refreshing, low-priced riesling that I buy all the time.

On Sunday, my hubby and I took advantage of the beautiful day and took the pup for a long walk along the coast.

Beach walk

I’m not sure what her deal was over the weekend, but again Harley was acting like she was so exhausted and laying down while we were walking. It wasn’t even that warm, and she’s only 3 1/2 years old with lots of energy. We joked around that she must have been hungover from having our friends over late the night before. I’m predicting that she is going to be one lazy pup when she gets older!

Towards the end, she laid down in the shadow of a car, and I tried to pick her up and jokingly carry her. Normally she wants nothing to do with being held, but my 50-pound dog tilted her head back and laid there like a happy baby as I carried her… for about 20 steps before I handed her off to Adam. I had tears streaming down my face from laughing at what she looked like. If there’s one thing Harley has, it’s character. She is such a nut!

Beach walk02

I’ve never seen this anywhere else, but people in California have strollers for their dogs, which I think is completely hilarious and ridiculous. We were joking that apparently Harley needs a baby stroller now!

Besides the pizza and guac, other notable eats of my weekend included this black bean burger topped with avocado, bell pepper, red onion & shredded Mexican cheese with sautéed zucchini on the side… Black bean burger

…an English muffin topped with peanut butter, banana, cinnamon, honey & chopped up cinnamon Quest bar pieces…

PB Banana Cinnamon English Muffin

…and trying out Siggi’s strawberry & basil Greek yogurt: Siggis

Siggis-back

I’m a big fan of Siggi’s. Their yogurts are low in sugar but are still sweet enough for me to like them. In a grocery store filled with products containing complete junk for your body, how can I not love a product like this?

There was also kettle corn in my life when my hubby and I went on a movie date to see Chef.

Kettle Corn

The flick was about this chef who followed his passion for food, cooking, and creating dishes that he loved. There was a lot of meat in the movie (which I obviously am not crazy about), but I loved the underlying message of the movie, and I came home feeling hungry from watching 2 hours of nonstop food on the screen, wanting to either make a second dinner or dessert. We wound up eating dark chocolate chip banana bread at midnight…

Banana Bread

…and had it toasted for breakfast the following morning with glasses of apple/carrot/spinach/orange juice:

Banana Bread-2

I was just thinking about how I always bring my own snacks to the movies. It’s definitely something my mom instilled in me as a kid. She always brings whole bags of popcorn in a big purse! I can remember having a girlfriend in high school who cared way too much what people thought about her, and she was embarrassed when I brought my own snacks to the movies with her once. I mean hey, it’s cheaper and healthier, so why not right?

Questions: Do you bring your own movie snacks? If you have a dog, is he/she as dramatic as mine? 

Wine, Pizza, Tartufo, Oh My! My First Dinner in Venice

Sometimes in travel, just like in life in general, things just don’t go fabulously. This was the case for my husband and I the day we traveled to Venice from Austria.

Everything started off fine. We caught a train from one town in Austria to another, and with 15 minutes in between when the train got into the station and when the bus to Venice left, we figured out where the bus was and made it with a couple minutes to spare.

Venice-3

The not so great part of the day started when we got off the bus and had to figure out where the ferry was that could take us to the Lido of Venice where we were staying. After walking around confused for awhile, we found the ferry area but could only find ticket window drive-thrus. My husband went to ask the kiosk man where we could buy tickets, and the man blatantly ignored him, so he just waited on line on foot while everyone else was in cars. We later figured out that this was because we purchased tickets for the ferry that everyone with cars uses to transport their vehicles to Venice. We had to climb up and down the narrow ferry stairs with our heavy luggage, which would have been fine had we not arrived in Venice and had to walk nearly 2 miles to our hotel.

Venice-2

Two miles might not sound like a lot, but it is when you have a lot of baggage, the hot sun beating down on you, and no idea where you’re going. We would have hopped in a taxi, had we passed one at all. And unfortunately my iPhone map kept malfunctioning. To make matters even worse, one of the wheels on my heavy suitcase started to tear and not work properly. My husband was lugging it for me and the suitcase just kept getting harder for him to move. Let’s just say that walk was not very fun!

When we finally were somewhat close to our hotel, we came across a bunch of cute restaurants, so we stopped to give ourselves a break and a bite to eat. This would have been a relaxing stop amidst a frustrating walk, had it not been the table next to us, who was having an America bashing conversation that lasted way too long.

It seemed to be an Italian American woman host/tour guide with a group of Middle Eastern business men. She and one of the men lead the discussion that centered around how much America sucks. It started on the topic of food: how we eat horribly, don’t take the time to sit down and eat and don’t know how to feed our children. It then turned into the two of them saying that America has no culture and that Americans don’t know how to dress.

When the woman said, “They drink peanut butter milkshakes. Isn’t that crazy?? No wonder why people go on shooting rampages, they’re hopped up on peanut butter milkshakes!” I couldn’t take it any longer and had to turn around and give a very obvious dirty look, then loudly comment about how I didn’t realize I would be subjected to an America hate fest and how impolite it was.

america

I think of my country like I think of my family. I can talk smack about it/them, but if anyone else does, I’m very protective. Yes, the overall eating habits of America desperately need to change, but many people sit down and eat here, and eat well, thank you very much. And saying America has no culture is utterly ridiculous. One of the amazing things about America is that it’s a melting pot of tons of cultures. Generalizing about an entire country loudly in a public setting is extremely rude, and it annoyed both Adam and me.

Once we checked into our hotel, we decided to walk down to the beach a little while before sunset. After hanging out and enjoying the beach for a bit, we tried to walk back to the hotel… but all of the exits wound up being locked. We seriously couldn’t find a way out of the beach – and there were definitely people on the beach still, probably unaware like we had been since there was no signage anywhere. Eventually we snuck our way through a fancy restaurant, but it was another annoyance to our day. I kept thinking that we were in beautiful Venice and should be having the best time ever, but these little aggravations had taken a toll on our moods.

Venice-6

But then, as always, something turned our day around. As we left for the hotel that night to go to dinner, I said to Adam, “The rest of our time in Venice is going to be awesome – I know it!” While I was willing ourselves to an aggravation-free rest of our time in Italy, the actual turning point came at dinner. We went to a restaurant called Gran Viale Ristorante.

Venice-4

We chose a bottle of Borgo Magredo 2011 Cabernet Sauvignon, from the nearby Friuli region – which we passed on our bus ride to Venice. It was delicious!

Venice-7

Adam and I ordered two pizzas to share. Both had mozzarella and a red sauce – one with asparagus, the other with spinach and ricotta. They were so yummy, my mouth is watering just blogging about them.

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Venice-8

Even though I was far from hungry after the pizzas, there was no way I was skipping dessert! I ordered a chocolate tartufo, and you bet I finished it.

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Venice-10

When they brought our bill, we found ourselves with a complimentary dessert part 2 on the table: a bunch of cute mini desserts – a lemon meringue and a couple pastries filled with cannoli cream.

Venice-11

Adam and I left the restaurant stuffed but so happy, and from dinner on, our Venice trip was absolutely amazing. Another recap on Venice adventures to come!

A Renewed Love Affair with Pasta Pizza

Hi there!

I’m psyched right now because:

1.) My parents and 2 of my siblings are flying in to visit me tomorrow! The last time I saw them was in February when I was in Jersey for a few weeks because my grandma was sick and in the hospital. I’m really looking forward to seeing them under happier circumstances and to show them around my new Bay Area home.

2.) It’s only Tuesday night and my work week is pretty much over already. I’m sure I’ll be taking care of a couple of things here and there (because that inevitably happens when you work from home), but I’m pretty much done with work until next Monday and am looking forward to a nice lonnggg 4th of July weekend with my hubby and family!

christmas-family

And speaking of 4th of July, if you’re looking for some healthy recipe ideas to try out over your holiday, check out this Girls Gone Sporty article: Healthy Picnic Foods for Summer Soirees. It includes my Greek pasta salad – yum!

Moving on to today’s recipe, let’s talk pizza. In the Northeast, you can get some pretty damn good pizza. Growing up in New Jersey, “grabbing a slice” is something that was done often. One of my favorite types of pies at this one pizzeria nearby was baked ziti pizza. That’s right, pasta on top of dough with cheese and sauce = one carbolicious, scrumptious bite to eat. I can’t remember the last time I ate it, and when this little tidbit dawned on me last week, I knew I had to do something to change that. Hey, last week I talked a lot about doing a cleanse, so today I’m talking about pasta pizza to balance things out a bit. 😉 Besides, you know I healthified (making that word up – I’m aware) it a bit by using whole wheat dough & pasta and adding spinach!

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Pasta Pizza
Author: 
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 8
 
Ingredients
  • 1 whole wheat pizza dough
  • 10 oz mozzarella, grated or cubed (I did half and half)
  • 7 oz short shaped pasta, preferably whole wheat - ziti, penne, rigatoni, etc. (I used a mix of two kinds to use up the end of 2 boxes)
  • 2 TBSP shredded parmesan cheese
  • ¼ TSP dried oregano
  • About 10 fresh basil leaves, chopped
  • 2 medium vine ripe tomatoes, chopped
  • 1- 1½ cups marinara sauce (use more if you like it saucy)
  • 2 large handfuls of spinach
  • [Whole wheat] flour for rolling dough out
  • Salt & pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. Cook pasta according to package directions.
  2. Meanwhile, roll out dough on a flour dusted surface using a flour dusted rolling pin. Place on a pizza pan.
  3. Preheat oven to 375.
  4. Once pasta is done cooking, drain while also wilting spinach: Place the spinach in a pasta bowl or on a plate, then allow hot pasta water to drain through the strainer and onto the spinach, instantly wilting it.
  5. Return pasta to the pot, then mix in the marinara sauce, wilted spinach, tomato and ½ of the mozzarella (I used the shredded cheese for this part). Spread over pizza dough.
  6. Add the rest of the mozzarella cheese, sprinkle the parmesan on top, and season with oregano, chopped basil, salt & pepper.
  7. Cook the pizza in the oven until the dough is lightly browned and the cheese is bubbly, around 15 minutes.
  8. Allow to cool slightly, then cut into 8 slices. Enjoy!
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 1 slice, Calories: 325, Fat: 9 g, Saturated fat: 5 g, Carbohydrates: 46 g, Fiber: 6 g, Protein: 14 g

A Veggie Lover’s Delight: Salad Pizza

Making pizza at home is one thing I simply don’t get sick of. While I most often make either a margherita pie or one topped with mozzarella, zucchini, spinach, and roasted peppers, I like coming up with new ways to keep pizza night interesting.

With dough sitting in my fridge on Monday, visions of a brand new pizza recipe floated through my head: salad pizza. 

salad-pizza

This meal is the best of both worlds: whole wheat pizza dough to please the carb lover + a healthy dose of mozzarella to make it cheesy, yet it’s also a recipe packed with veggies and goodness to provide your body with lots of vitamins and nutrients. I thought of what ingredients I most often use in my salads and also had on hand at home, and I came up with lettuce, tomato, artichoke hearts, avocado, red onion, plus a touch of olive oil and balsamic glaze for an extra kick of flavor.

Salad-Pizza-Collage

Once I rolled the dough out and chopped all of the veggies, I spread them evenly on the dough with some shredded mozzarella, marinara and seasonings. I popped the pie in the oven until lightly browned….

salad-pizza-3…and then topped it with a lettuce combo of spring mix greens + romaine and drizzled olive oil and balsamic glaze on top.

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salad-pizza-5Even my hubby, whose a die-hard fan of the most frequent kinds of pizza in my house that I mentioned above, commented multiple times on how good this salad pizza was. Ya know why? Because it is just that tasty!

This winner of a recipe is below, and if I’ve put you in a healthy pizza kind of mood, here are a couple other fun pizza recipes I’ve blogged about before:

Salad Pizza
Author: 
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 8
 
Ingredients
  • 1 whole wheat pizza dough, either prepared or ready to roll out
  • 1½ cups low-fat mozzarella cheese
  • 8 pieces of jarred artichoke hearts (4 servings)
  • 2 oz avocado (about ½ medium sized one)
  • 1 medium vine ripe tomato
  • ¼ red onion
  • ½ cup marinara sauce
  • 4 cups lettuce of your choice (I used a combo of spring mix and romaine)
  • 1 TBSP olive oil
  • 1 TBSP balsamic glaze
  • Mixed up salt & pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. If you need to roll your dough out, do so with a rolling pin on a flour dusted surface. Place on pizza pan.
  3. Chop artichoke hearts, avocado, tomato and red onion into small pieces.
  4. Spread marinara sauce over dough, then top with veggies and mozzarella. Season with a touch of salt and pepper.
  5. Bake in the oven until lightly browned, about 15 minutes.
  6. Remove from heat and place on a wooden cutting board to slightly cool.
  7. Roughly chop lettuce, then spread on top of pizza. Drizzle with olive oil and balsamic glaze. Add a touch more of salt and pepper if desired.
  8. Cut into 8 slices and enjoy!
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 1 slice, Calories: 240 calories, Fat: 10 g, Saturated fat: 3 g, Carbohydrates: 31 g, Fiber: 4 g, Protein: 9 g

Sammy’s Woodfired Pizza & Grill La Jolla

Happy first day of spring!

As a vegetarian and healthy eater, I’m usually able to find a thing or two on the menu at a restaurant that seems to be both somewhat nutritious AND delicious. Fortunately, more & more I’m finding places that seem to be dedicated to including lots of menu items for health conscious diners. One restaurant in my area that’s doing this is Sammy’s Woodfired Pizza & Grill. The restaurant has numerous locations throughout California and Nevada. I was recently invited me to come try out some of their new healthy dishes at their location in La Jolla. With website taglines including: Eat Well. Feel Good.; We Like it Fresh; and Serving Healthy Global Cuisine, I knew it was a place I could get behind.

Last night, Adam and I headed to Sammy’s for a health blogger dinner. We chatted with a couple of cool bloggers, and had a great time trying out their yummy grub. I started off with a glass of Sicilian Pinot Noir:

Sammys-2

Immediately the food started coming out. First we tried hummus with lettuce cups, which was a nice, light app. I make hummus often and typically eat it with pita chips or carrots, but I like the idea of hummus lettuce cups. For someone like myself who enjoys ordering a little something to nosh on before my main entree but doesn’t want to add an extra 800 calories to my meal, this type of plate is perfect.

Sammys-1

 Two salads were served at dinner, both of which I loved. One was a chilled roasted vegetable salad, which included spinach, fresh mozzarella, edamame, artichoke, yellow tomato, red bell pepper, red onion, basil, lemon, balsamic vinegar and EVOO:

Sammys-4

The other salad was a red quinoa dish, and included golden beets, tomatoes, avocado, red onion, wild arugula, parsley, almonds, mint, scallions and citrus chili vinaigrette:

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Next up were the pizzas, both of which were veggie, but one I couldn’t eat because it had eggplant on it (silly food allergy!). The nice thing about their pizzas is that they offer nonfat cheese and gluten-free and whole wheat crusts. One of the pies, which included spinach, mushrooms, garlic, and red onion, was served with nonfat mozzarella and a gluten-free crust. Personally, I like my pizzas with a thicker, gluten-filled crust, but for anyone with a gluten sensitivity or who just likes to stay away from it, this is a nice option for you.

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The other pizza had grilled eggplant, red onion, zucchini, red bell pepper, tomato, garlic, and smoked provolone on a whole wheat crust:

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For all of you healthy meat eaters out there, here are the non-veggie menu items offered at the dinner:

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My meat eating other half really liked the pasta with bolognese sauce. Mental note: Try making brown rice pasta sometime soon!

For dessert, we tried their orange blossom honey & sheep’s milk cheese pizza. As much of a cheese fan as I am, I typically don’t go for it for dessert. However, I do have to say that the combination of the sweet honey, mild, creamy cheese, and flaky crust made for a flavorful dish.

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A big thank you to Sammy’s for having me as a dinner guest last night!

Heirloom Tomato Three Cheese Pizza

Did you know that it’s National Pizza Week?

Here are some favorite pizza recipes of mine:

As you may know, I am a big fan of pizza. Since I usually whip one up every few weeks anyways, I couldn’t miss out on celebrating by making a pizza this Friday evening! Tonight I went with a bit of a different combo,  pairing fontina, mozzarella, and asiago cheeses with heirloom tomatoes and fresh basil. I went to Trader Joe’s to pick up my usual whole wheat dough, but unfortunately they only had plain left. Since I’m used to eating whole wheat bread/pasta/rice/etc., it’s funny when I eat white versions of those things. I think that whole wheat tastes so much more flavorful, but the pizza was still delish:

See below for the recipe. We still have another day left in the week, so it’s not too late to celebrate National Pizza Week! 😉

Plans for the rest of my Friday are to play Sega video games with my hubby and enjoy a glass of wine. My father-in-law sent us a case of cabernet sauvignon from a Sonoma winery as part of our Christmas gift. We just received it a few days ago and are about to try some. Have a great weekend!

Heirloom Tomato Three Cheese Pizza
Author: 
Serves: 8
 
Ingredients
  • 1 pizza dough (preferably whole wheat)
  • 1 lb heirloom tomatoes (about 3 medium)
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh basil
  • ½ cup marinara sauce
  • ¼ cup shredded asiago cheese
  • ½ cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • ¾ cup shredded fontina cheese
  • Salt & pepper to taste
  • Flour for rolling dough out
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 375.
  2. Using a flour dusted rolling pin on a floured surface, roll out the dough. Place on a pizza pan coated with cooking spray.
  3. Spread pizza sauce on top of dough.
  4. Slice and/or chop tomatoes (I did a combo of both) and spread evenly over dough.
  5. Mix cheeses together in a bowl, then sprinkle evenly over the dough.
  6. Chop the basil and evenly spread over top. Add a touch of salt and pepper.
  7. Bake until lightly browned, 15-20 minutes.
Nutrition Information
Serving size: Per slice, Calories: 215, Fat: 8 g, Saturated fat: 4 g, Carbohydrates: 28 g, Protein: 10 g

Butternut Squash, Spinach, Goat Cheese & Tomato Pizza

YAY for the weekend being here! I came home a bit ago to find the first Christmas gift that I’ve ordered this year sitting at my doorstep. I love the feeling of getting someone you care about a gift you know that they’ll love – ’tis the season right!

My Friday so far has consisted of work, hiking with Harley at a nearby park, physical therapy (my calf is feeling pretty good right now!), and last but certainly not least, making this pizza….

If you’re familiar at all with my blog, you know that Friday dinners are homemade pizza nights in my household more often than not. Though pizza is often thought of as a ”naughty” food, the ones that I make aren’t greasy, and are usually loaded with veggies and made with whole wheat dough. Because I make pizza pretty often, I like to switch it up and try out new healthy combos. Tonight’s pizza is adapted from a recipe I saw on Self magazine. You can find their original recipe here.

First, I preheated my oven to 375. Then I tossed the butternut squash in a bit of olive oil, salt, and pepper, and let it cook in the oven until tender.

Next I rolled my dough out on a flour dusted surface…

I then chopped up the spinach, sliced the cherry tomatoes and red onion…

…and evenly spread them over the dough.

Next I added the butternut squash cubes,  evenly crumbled the goat cheese on top, and seasoned the pizza:

I baked that bad boy in the oven until lightly browned, then let it cool before cutting into slices.

It was definitely a unique pizza combo! Here is the exact recipe:

Butternut Squash, Spinach, Goat Cheese & Tomato Pizza
Author: 
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 8
 
Ingredients
  • 1 whole wheat pizza dough (I use the Trader Joe's brand)
  • 4 oz goat cheese
  • 2 cups cubed butternut squash
  • 1 TSP olive oil
  • ¼ red onion
  • 2 cups raw spinach
  • ½ cup cherry tomatoes
  • ½ TSP dried thyme
  • ½ TSP salt
  • ½ TSP pepper
  • About 2 TBSP of whole wheat flour for rolling dough out
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 375.
  2. Toss butternut squash with olive oil, ¼ TSP salt and ¼ TSP pepper. Place on a baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes. Turn squash over, then bake for about another 10 minutes, or until tender. Set aside.
  3. Turn oven up to 400.
  4. Using a flour dusted rolling pin on a flour dusted surface, roll the dough out. Place onto your pizza or baking pan.
  5. Roughly chop spinach, slice cherry tomatoes, and thinly slice red onion. Evenly spread on top of the dough.
  6. Add the butternut squash and crumble the goat cheese evenly onto the pizza.
  7. Season with thyme and remaining ¼ TSP of salt and pepper.
  8. Bake in the oven until lightly browned, around 15 minutes. Allow to cool before cutting into slices.
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 1 slice, Calories: 190, Fat: 6 g, Saturated fat: 2 g, Carbohydrates: 31 g, Sugar: 2 g, Fiber: 6 g, Protein: 8 g

White Broccoli Pizza

Happy Halloween blog friends!

How adorable is that? Check out 49 other hilarious animal Halloween costumes here: http://www.hlntv.com/slideshow/2012/10/24/animal-pet-cute-costume-halloween?hpt=hp_c2

Today’s post is about one of my well-known favorite kitchen creations — pizza! For last weekend’s homemade pizza night,  I decided to use a bunch of fresh broccoli I had on hand to make this delicious pie:

First I rolled out my whole wheat dough, then placed it on my pizza pan:

Next I chopped the broccoli, minced the garlic…

…and brushed olive oil evenly on my dough.

Next I spread shredded mozzarella & provolone cheese, spooned ricotta cheese, and placed broccoli and garlic evenly on top of my dough, seasoning with salt, pepper and basil:

I baked the pizza in the oven at 400 degrees until lightly browned, let it cool,  sliced the pie, then thoroughly enjoyed a few pieces. Full recipe is below!


White Broccoli Pizza
Author: 
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 8
 
Ingredients
  • 1 whole wheat pizza dough
  • 1 bunch of broccoli (2-3 cups)
  • 1 TBSP olive oil
  • ¾ cup light ricotta cheese
  • 1½ cups shredded mozzarella & provolone cheese
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • Salt, pepper & basil to taste
  • Flour for dusting
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Lightly dust the dough, surface, and rolling pin with flour. Roll the dough out and place on a pizza pan.
  3. Chop broccoli into bite-sized pieces and mince garlic.
  4. Brush the olive oil evenly onto the dough.
  5. Sprinkle the shredded cheese and spoon the ricotta on the dough, then evenly spread the broccoli on top.
  6. Add minced garlic, basil, salt, and pepper to the pizza.
  7. Bake in the oven until lightly browned, around 15-20 minutes.
  8. Allow the pizza to cool before cutting into slices.
Nutrition Information
Serving size: Per slice, Calories: 235 calories, Fat: 10 g, Carbohydrates: 28 g, Protein: 11 g

Homemade Pizza Night: Greek-Style

I love to bring along a lot of things to read to pass the time when I travel. Thanks to a readership program I began participating in a few years ago, I get a load of good magazines every month – from Cosmopolitan to Wine Enthusiast. When I went to Amsterdam a few weeks ago, one of the reads I brought with me was an issue of Islands magazine. I enjoy reading this magazine because A.) I love to rip out pages of places I want to go to one day, and B.) They publish a lot of articles that discuss culture and people from around the world, which I find really interesting.

In the Islands issue I read on one of my plane rides, I found one article particularly intriguing. It was about the Aegean Greek island of Ikaria, where people are four times more likely to reach the age of 90 than Americans. Per capita, the island has the world’s highest number of people over that age. What are some of the Ikarians’ secrets to leading longer lives with less instances of heart disease and cancer?

  • Get moving! The people on this island are constantly walking around their mountainous villages.
  • Consume wild greens – The island’s inhabitants eat a lot of veggies that they pick themselves. Thyme, mint, oregano, spinach, kale, chard… They grow it, they eat it.
  • Drink large quantities of red wine – Enough said, you don’t have to tell me twice. 🙂
  • Be a nap taker.
  • Feel a sense of belonging and have an easy sense of humor.

It seems to me that another reason why these islanders live so long is that they keep their anxiety levels at bay. The article notes that people don’t stress about being late, and they take their sweet time doing things (which, let’s be honest, may just be an elderly person trait in general!). What I took away from this article are things that seem like common sense for a long, happy life: not stressing out over trivial things, exercising, eating veggies, lots of laughter, wine and naps… CHECK! I’m certainly going to continue to do my best to live my life following all of these “‘rules.”

In line with this post’s theme of Greek awesomeness, tonight’s dinner was a Mediterranean homemade pizza! This was the gist of it:

I prepped green bell pepper, cherry tomatoes, spinach, red onion, and roasted red pepper:

I rolled my whole wheat pizza dough out:

Instead of using a red sauce, I put together a light dressing to coat the dough with to compliment my veggies:

Next, I brushed the dressing and evenly arranged the veggies and cheese onto the dough, then baked until lightly browned:

It was a healthy, delicious new pizza recipe that I’ll definitely be making again! You can find the full recipe below.


Greek-Style Pizza
Author: 
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 8
 
Ingredients
  • 1 whole wheat pizza dough (I use the Trader Joe's brand)
  • 6 oz Feta cheese crumbles, Mediterranean style
  • ½ green bell pepper
  • 2 cups raw spinach
  • ¼ red onion
  • 1 roasted red pepper
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes
  • 1 TBSP olive oil
  • ½ TBSP red wine vinegar
  • ¼ TSP garlic powder
  • ½ TSP dried basil
  • ½ TSP oregano
  • salt & pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 400.
  2. Chop up the peppers, onion, and tomatoes into thin slices.
  3. Using a flour-dusted rolling pin, shape your dough into a large circle on a flour-dusted surface. Place in a pizza pan.
  4. In a small bowl, whisk together the olive oil, red wine vinegar, oregano, garlic powder and basil.
  5. Lightly brush the dough with the olive oil mixture.
  6. Arrange all of the veggies onto the dough evenly.
  7. Sprinkle the cheese on top, and season with salt & pepper.
  8. Bake for about 15 minutes, or until lightly browned.
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 1 slice, Calories: 195 calories, Fat: 7 g, Carbohydrates: 27 g, Protein: 9 g

 

Balsamic Portobello & Mozzarella Pizza

As some of you may guessed by now, I’m a big fan of pizza.

But not just any old pizza, delicious pizza.  If I’m going to indulge in pizza, which I do probably every other week, it’s got to be good. The best way to ensure that the pizza I’m eating isn’t full of grease and extra calories is to make it myself – hence, homemade pizza night happens pretty often around here.

The “classic” pie in this house is one loaded with veggies (most often zucchini, tomato, and spinach), mozzarella, and marinara (like the one I posted about here), but I do veer away from that sometimes to experiment with other combos — such as this goat cheese & arugula pesto pizza. And then there’s my most recent pizza creation…

Balsamic Portobello Mozzarella Pizza

Makes 8 slices 

  • 1 whole wheat pizza dough ball (Trader Joe’s)
  • 1 vine ripe tomato, chopped
  • 1 large portobello mushroom cap, thinly sliced
  • 8 oz fresh mozzarella, sliced
  • 1/2 c balsamic vinegar
  • 2 TBSP brown sugar
  • 1/2 c roasted red pepper & artichoke tapenade (optional, or you can sub it for marinara or another kind of veggie tapenade)
  • 1/4 red onion, thinly sliced
  • Flour for rolling dough
  • Salt & pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 400.

In a medium saucepan over medium heat, add the balsamic vinegar and brown sugar. Bring to a boil, then lower heat and simmer for around 10 minutes, until it becomes syrupy.

Add the portobello and onion slices, and cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Meanwhile, roll out your pizza dough, dusting the rolling pin and surface with flour to make it easier.

Place the dough onto your pizza pan. If you’re using a tapenade or base sauce, pour onto dough and spread evenly.

Once the mushrooms are tender, remove from heat. With a large spoon, place the balsamic mushroom and onion slices onto the pizza. Use the spoon to drizzle a bit of the balsamic onto the pizza.

Evenly add the tomato and mozzarella slices onto the pie, then sprinkle with salt and pepper.

Bake for about 15 minutes, or until dough is lightly browned and cheese is bubbly.

Per slice stats: 220 calories, 7 g fat, 10 g protein, 32 g carbs

Adam and I both liked this one, but agreed that our favorite pizza remains my classic loaded veggie pie!