Super healthy pizza dough

I had previously blogged about the World’s Easiest No-Rise Pizza Dough. Well, I made a few changes to make it healthier. The new and improved recipe is:

Ingredients:

  • 1 packet of yeast
  • 1 cup warm water
  • 2 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 2 T honey
  • 1 t salt
  • 2 T olive oil
  • 1/3 cup flax seed
  • 1/4 cup steel-cut oats(plus 1/4 cup water)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

In a microwaveable bowl, combine 1/4 cup steel-cut oats and the 1/4 cup water and microwave on high for 2 minutes. This will soften up the oats but not fully cook them.

In a large bowl combine packet of yeast with 1 cup of warm water. Stir until the yeast dissolves. Add in all other ingredients, stir until combined. Let rest for 10 minutes.

Divide dough in half and make 2 large pizzas. This dough has a tendency to rise, so press your crusts out a little thinner than you want your end product. Top with your preferred toppings. Bake 20-25 minutes and eat a guilt-free pie.

–One of my favorite ways to top the pizza is use a little BBQ sauce as the sauce and add minced garlic, broccoli, tomato slices, mushrooms and spinach(or any other veggies you have on hand). No cheese. Bake and devour.

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Lobster tails and low-fat potato salad

Last night’s dinner menu was loaded with summer: lobster tails, low-fat potato salad and corn on the cob!

I had bought some lobster tails for dinner but everywhere I looked told me that I needed to grill them. I don’t have a grill. Hmph! Finally, with Brian’s aid I found an uncomplicated “How to broil lobster tails in the oven” article. Success!

Let’s get to it:

  1. Defrost lobster tails overnight in the refrigerator
  2. Preheat the broiler. Make sure the rack is at least 5in from the heat source.
  3. Flatten the lobster tail on a cutting board. Beginning at the WIDE end(not the tail end!), cut the shell down the middle and bend back to expose the meat. Rinse out any innards that are left.
  4. Coat a shallow baking dish with non-stick spray and lay lobsters meat side up.
  5. Create the marinade. In a small sauce pan, saute one clove of minced garlic and 2 tablespoons of butter(I used I can’t believe it’s not butter light as a healthier option and it worked well). When melted down, pour in to a bowl and add any combination of lemon zest, salt, pepper and/or parsley. Brush or pour marinade on lobster.
  6. Place lobster tails under the broiler and watch carefully. Broil for about 4 minutes then flip so shell side is up and broil for about 4 more minutes. Meat will be opaque and shell will be bright red when done.

Low-fat Red Potato Salad

Ingredients:

  • 3 lbs small red potatoes, steamed and diced into edible sized cubes
  • 2 stalks celery, finely diced
  • 3 medium radishes, finely diced
  • 1/4 cup vinegar(I would cut back about a Tbl on this)
  • 1/4 cup fat-free mayonnaise
  • 1/2 cup fat-free sour cream
  • 1/4 cup parsley, chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon celery salt
  • 1 teaspoon dill weed
  • 1 dash pepper

Preparation:

  1. Mix everything but the potatoes, radish and celery together until smooth.
  2. Add in potatoes, radish and celery.
  3. Chill for 2 hours and enjoy.

Orange salmon

I’m not a huge fan of salmon. Well, at least I wasn’t until Saturday night. You see, I’d had a few bad experiences with the fish. One time, I made the poor decision of buying a Lean Cuisine with salmon in it. I took it to work and heated it up in the microwave and it created the most foul, fishy smelling odor I had ever smelled. It was so vile that I could hardly get close enough to the microwave to take it out and throw it in the trash. That, combined with one of my former bosses constantly microwaving and eating salmon at work killed any desire for me to eat the little swimmer.

Attempting to conquer my fear of the foul-smelling beast, I started looking up recipes on Friday to make for dinner on Saturday. This is when I happened upon an orange salmon recipe, on the Cooking Light website, which seemed much more exciting than the 847 lemon dill recipes I had seen.

After deciding on the preparation for the meat, there is always the dilemma of complimentary side dishes. Well, I threw caution to the wind and said, “To Hell with side dishes! I’m puttin’ this meat on a bed of greens and we are calling it salad!” So, that’s what I did!

Orange salmon:

Ingredients:

  • 2  tablespoons  brown sugar
  • 1  teaspoon  chili powder
  • 1/2  teaspoon  grated orange rind
  • 1/2  teaspoon  ground cumin
  • 1/2  teaspoon  paprika
  • 1/4  teaspoon  salt
  • 1/4  teaspoon  ground coriander
  • 1/8  teaspoon  black pepper
  • 4  (6-ounce) salmon fillets
  • Cooking spray

Preparation:

Preheat broiler.

Combine first 8 ingredients in a small bowl. Rub spice mixture over both sides of salmon fillets. Place salmon on a broiler pan coated with cooking spray. Broil for 8 minutes or until salmon flakes easily when tested with a fork.

I cut the recipe in half because I was only  making for the two of us. While the salmon was broiling I gather the rest of the ingredients for the salad:

Amounts per salad:

  • plateful of lettuce of choice(I used butter lettuce) 
  • 8-9 raspberries
  • 2 T of crumbled goat cheese
  • 1/2 of an orange(segmented)
  • a few walnut halves(or nut of choice)
  • 2 T of Newman’s Own light raspberry walnut vinaigrette

When the salmon is done simply lay it on the top of the salad and eat.

Tilapia and asparagus packets


I had seen this recipe a month or two ago and finally got around to making them. Super simple, healthy and delicious. It would be perfect for entertaining because they are quick to make and minimal clean up…more time with your guests.

Adapted from Woman’s Day magazine:

4 cups baby spinach**
4 tilapia fillets (6 to 7 oz each)
8 tsp extra-virgin olive oil
8 oz thin asparagus, trimmed and cut into lengths about 2 in. long
4 tsp each capers and minced shallots**
2 tsp fresh thyme leaves
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
8 to 12 thin slices lemon

**I didn’t have any spinach or shallots so I just left them out and they still turned out fabulous.

Heat oven to 425ºF. You’ll need a rimmed baking pan and 4 pieces of parchment paper or nonstick foil. I used foil because I couldn’t find my parchment paper…until the day after I made them.

To make each packet: Place 1 cup spinach in center of parchment(again, I didn’t do this). Top with a tilapia  fillet. Brush fish with 1 tsp of the olive oil. Scatter 1/2 cup of the asparagus on and around fish. Scatter 1 tsp each of the shallots and capers, and 1/2 tsp of the thyme over top. Drizzle with another tsp of the oil; sprinkle with 1⁄4 tsp of the salt and 1/8 tsp of the pepper. Top fish with 2 or 3 slices of the lemon.

Bring long ends of paper/foil together and fold down 3 times to make a seam. Place on baking pan and tuck ends underneath. Repeat with remaining ingredients to make 4 packets.

Bake 15 minutes until packets are puffed. Open 1 packet to test if fish isn’t opaque at center, reseal packet and return to oven. Check again after 5 minutes.

Easiest no-rise pizza dough

This is seriously the easiest pizza dough. Just when I am wanting homemade pizza but don’t want to take the time to let the dough rise and put off dinner for an extra hour, I remember this pizza and “presto!” pizza!

Adapted from:

http://everybodylikessandwiches.com/2009/07/pizza-blanco-the-easiest-pizza-dough-in-the-world

Get ready for easy:

1 packet of yeast
1 c warm water
2 1/2 c flour
1 t honey
1 t salt
2 T olive oil
cornmeal
Preheat oven to 400. In a large bowl, add in the yeast and warm water and stir until the yeast dissolves. Add the flour, salt, honey, and olive oil and stir with a wooden spoon vigorously until combined. Let dough rest for 10 minutes.

Sprinkle cornmeal onto a walled baking sheet and press dough into it until thin(I usually use a baking stone, but pans and grills work well, too). Add toppings as desired and bake 20-25 minutes until crust is light brown and cheese is bubbly.

Notes:
I usually use half whole wheat and half regular flour. I’ve also made several other variations when making this crust. At times I’ve added extra honey for a sweeter crust…delicious. Another time we threw oregano into the mix for a more flavorful crust. It’s an easily adaptable and nearly impossible recipe to mess up. We have even used it on the grill at my parents house and it cooked as well as other recipes that take much longer to make.

Just make sure that you roll/press it out about 30% thinner than you actually want it to end up because it has a tendency to rise a bit while cooking.

Enjoy!

Grilled Yellow Fin Tuna

Tuna steaks have always been a little intimidating to me. Well, most seafood is. I feel like chicken is so much more versatile and much less easy to mess up. Being a recovering vegetarian and having not cooked any meat in a few years the task at hand was a little more daunting.

Resolving to eat more healthy and dating a guy from Florida meant incorporating more seafood into my diet(not at the most opportune time considering the Gulf oil spill). So, I was at the grocery store and saw some yellow fin tuna steaks. Remembering how much I enjoyed eating tuna steaks while in Hawaii made me buy them. I headed home to search for an easy recipe to hopefully not screw up.

Recipe adapted from cooks.com:

GRILLED AHI STEAKS (YELLOW FIN TUNA)

2-8 oz yellow fin tuna steaks

Marinade:

1 cup soy sauce
1/2 cup lemon juice
1 clove crushed garlic (per steak)
4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
small amount of sea salt, to taste
fresh ground black pepper, to taste

In a shallow 9 X 13 inch glass dish, prepare all of the marinade ingredients. Remember, if you have more than 2 8 oz tuna steaks, you might need to adjust the ingredients to marinate. Marinate both sides (dredge steaks and get marinade on both sides). Let sit in refrigerator for 30 minutes before grilling. *Soy sauce will overpower tuna if you marinate for too long!
Light the grill while tuna is marinating. Once coals are white (30 minutes) spread them and clean the grill, then wipe with oil so steaks don’t stick.(See note below as I used the stove top).

Grill for 4 minutes or less per side for 1 inch steaks, depending on how you like them. Steaks should be firm with pink in the middle. If you prefer steaks to be more rare, grilling time should be 2 1/2 minutes on each side.

**Well, I didn’t have access to a grill so I just heated up a skillet nice and hot and cooked them for the same amount of time. I turned the burner on high and left the skillet to heat up for about 10 minutes. Use a little of a high heat tolerant oil to grease the pan so they don’t stick right before they go in and cook according to grill times.

They didn’t look beautiful when they were done and I was quite skeptical about eating it, but it tasted amazing!

For a side, I reserved about 1/4 cup of the marinade to the side before putting the tuna in to marinate. I diagonally sliced 2 zucchini and 2 yellow summer squash in 1/8-1/4in slices and placed in a single layer on a non-stick aluminum foil covered baking pan. I brushed them with the marinade and baked them at 425F for 12 minutes or until starting to lightly brown on the edges. I’ve never enjoyed zucchini and summer squash so much. I have made them a few times again just by making a much smaller batch of the marinade and using it just for the vegetables.

Also, I believe “ahi” technically refers to blue fin tuna, not yellow fin, but I’m not one to argue with the person that submitted the recipe that brought such nice flavors to my mouth.

Lemon Pepper Shrimp Scampi

I’ve made this several times and will continue to make it. Next time I would like to switch the orzo with quinoa and add a little more nutritional value. Or try cilantro in the place of parsley. It’s fast, easy and delicious.

Picture and Recipe taken from Cooking Light(March 2009):

Yield: 4 servings (serving size: 1/2 cup orzo mixture and about 7 shrimp)

Ingredients
1 cup uncooked orzo
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
1/2 teaspoon salt, divided
7 teaspoons unsalted butter, divided
1 1/2 pounds peeled and deveined jumbo shrimp
2 teaspoons bottled minced garlic
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon black pepper

Preparation:

1. Cook orzo according to package directions, omitting salt and fat. Drain. Place orzo in a medium bowl. Stir in parsley and 1/4 teaspoon salt; cover and keep warm.

2. While orzo cooks, melt 1 tablespoon butter in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Sprinkle shrimp with remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt. Add half of shrimp to pan; sauté 2 minutes or until almost done. Transfer shrimp to a plate. Melt 1 teaspoon butter in pan. Add remaining shrimp to pan; sauté 2 minutes or until almost done. Transfer to plate.

3. Melt remaining 1 tablespoon butter in pan. Add garlic to pan; cook 30 seconds, stirring constantly. Stir in shrimp, juice, and pepper; cook 1 minute or until shrimp are done.

As suggested, I usually make asparagus as a side to go with this dish. I have also done zucchini and summer squash. All were delicious.

**When being lazy I use precooked shrimp and throw them in during the last minute or two to heat them through.

the big move

Wow.

After being on Blogger for six years, it was time for a move. I’ve brought my (recently lacking) blog over to WordPress. I am going to try to bring just my entries from this year over to WordPress and just have a link to the old business.

It’s funny how my blog has changed over the years. It started as a way to keep my family and friends updated on my life after my “big” move to the big city. Now it has become much more food and recipe focused than humorous anecdotes of things my friends and I have done. I have really come to love cooking and baking. It’s a great stress reliever for me.

So, here it is. Enjoy.