Monday, February 28, 2011

Authentic Margherita Pizza

Margherita Pizza Ingredients
Liz Edmunds, The Food Nanny
Makes one 16-inch pizza or two 12-inch pizzas

                Basic Pizza Dough (see below)
                2 pounds very ripe Roma or hot-house tomatoes
                1/4 teaspoon salt
                1/4 cup olive oil
                8 ounces fresh mozzarella cheese, thinly sliced
                2 tablespoons freshly grated
                imported Parmigiano-Reggiano
                Coarse salt and ground black pepper
                14 small fresh basil leaves or 7 large, torn into pieces


1.             Oil the pizza pan(s) and set aside.
2.             Prepare the pizza dough, roll it out, and place it in the prepared pan(s).
3.             Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.
4.             Peel (optional, see Note) and dice the tomatoes, discarding the seeds, and combine with the salt and 1/4 cup oil in a bowl. Spread over the crust.
5.             Bake 15 to 20 minutes on the lowest oven rack. Remove pizza from oven and arrange the mozzarella and the Parmesan, if using. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and drizzle on additional olive oil. Return to oven till bubbly, 5 to 10 minutes.
6.             Top with basil and serve immediately.
Note: A simple way to peel tomatoes is by scalding them in boiling water. Here's how: Bring water to boil in a medium saucepan. On the bottom of each tomato, cut a shallow X with a paring knife; do not cut the flesh. With a large slotted spoon, drop each tomato in the boiling water. When the skin begins to curl back at the X, after 15 to 30 seconds, remove the tomatoes and place them in ice water to stop the cooking. Then simply peel off the skin.

Friday Night Pizza

We have Friday night pizza night at our house. Our kids love it, and believe it or not it is actually healthy. I make homemade whole wheat crust with fresh ground white wheat flour. We always have vegetables and use 2% reduced fat Mozzarella cheese. Our family would all agree that our pizza is better than a restaurant. . .and a lot healthier!

Almost all of my pizza ideas come from Liz Edmunds, "The Food Nanny." This is her pizza crust recipe that we love! I always double her recipe and freeze half so that I only make the dough every other week.

Basic Pizza Dough
(The Food Nanny)
One 16-inch medium-crust pizza or two 12-inch thin-crust pizzas or four 8-inch thin-crust pizzas
1 tablespoon active dry yeast

1 cup warm (105-115 degrees) water

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 tablespoon honey

1⁄4 teaspoon salt

3 to 4 cups all-purpose flour or half all-purpose and half whole wheat (See Note) *I use white wheat four
1. Mix the yeast and water in a small bowl, cover, and let stand until foamy, 5 to 10 minutes.
2. Mix the oil, honey, salt, and yeast mixture in a large mixing bowl. If using a food processor, add 1 cup of flour at a time, up to 3 cups, mixing well after each addition. You may have to stir in the third cup of flour by hand, depending on your machine. Or mix in all 3 cups of flour by hand with a wooden spoon.
If the dough seems too wet, mix in more flour, 1⁄4 cup at a time, until the dough is soft. Turn the dough onto a floured surface and knead in more flour, 1⁄4 cup at a time, until the dough is moderately stiff and somewhat firm to the touch, about 6 minutes.
3. Lightly grease pizza pan(s) or a cookie sheet(s) with oil. If you are making two or more thin-crust pizzas, divide the dough. With a rolling pin, roll out the dough on the floured surface. Gently stretch the dough to fill the pan(s).
4. Let the dough rise (it will not rise very much) while you make sauce and continue with the pizza recipe of your choice.
Note: I like this pizza crust best with half all-purpose flour and half whole wheat. I now keep my whole wheat flour in a canister right beside my all-purpose so I can dip into and add whole wheat to almost any bread dough or pancake or waffle batter.
TD&N Nutrient Analysis (based on 8 servings): Calories: 213; Total Fat: 4 g; Saturated Fat: 1 g; Polyunsaturated Fat: 1 g; Monounsaturated Fat: 3 g; Cholesterol: 0 mg; Sodium: 74 mg; Carbohydrates: 38 g; Fiber: 2 g; Protein: 5 g

Topping ideas: pepperoni, ham, pineapple, red peppers, green peppers, onions, fresh tomatoes, olives. . .

My personal favorite is "3 Cheese Pesto Pizza." I have the recipe in the week #1 recipes.

Good Morning Peach Crisp

Our recipe for Peach Crisp is a healthy recipe that we make for breakfast.  It is a nice change from cold cereal.  

Good Morning Peach Crisp 

2 cans sliced peaches (well drained)
3/4 cup granola (we like Quaker 100% natural Oats and Honey)
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1 1/2 tsp.  butter, melted

Place sliced peaches in 8x8 casserole dish. Sprinkle granola and cinnamon.  Drizzle with melted butter.  Bake at 400 degrees for about 12-15 minutes.  

(you can adjust the recipe if you like more granola or more peaches)

Wednesday, February 23, 2011


We love healthy smoothies at our house.  It is a great way for us to get our fruits (and veggies).
Here are a few of our favorite recipes:

Banana Winter Smoothie

1 banana, frozen
1 cup Dannon all natural vanilla lowfat yogurt
1/4 cup chopped walnuts (optional)
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 tsp. honey (optional)
1/8 tsp. ground nutmeg

Cut the frozen banana into 3 or 4 chunks.  Place in blender with vanilla yogurt, cinnamon and honey.  Blend on high for 2 minutes or until smooth.  Pour into glass and top with dusting of ground nutmeg.

This week. . .

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