Category: Greens

Pizza at Home with a Stellar Salad Class–No Special Equipment Needed

Pizza at Home with a Stellar Salad Class–No Special Equipment Needed

IMG_7609

I’m not the best pizza maker in the family; that honor goes to my son Sean, who makes the most delicious pizza I’ve ever eaten.  Since pizza is my favorite food, that’s saying a lot.  So if I can make good pizza at home, anyone can. I’ve taught or made pizza to and with a few folks including parents and kids over the years and they, in turn, have made it with family and friends as it’s a fun group project. It’s simple for the solo cook as well. I made the first grilled pizza I ever saw back in the mid ’80s.  And you? Always wanted to make pizza? Frightened off by words like yeast or wood-fire?  Have an oven and a rimmed sheet pan?  You’re in business, about to eat well, and this post is for you!

Food and health guru, writer Michael Pollan is fond of saying,

“Eat all the junk food you want as long as you cook it yourself.”

While pizza isn’t exactly junk food as it’s often full of good things, it is highly caloric for the nutrition available. It’s also really easy to chow down on it.  If you make it yourself, you’ll be careful about how much you eat because you had to make it! Try making the salad first and eating it while the pizza bakes. You’ll eat less pizza.  Do include the kids: get them in on the baking; they love to make pizza and you’ll add a great skill to their arsenal of abilities. To say nothing of the positive memories.

This pizza, based on a Tyler Florence recipe, makes 12 or 15 pieces –enough for 4 to 6 people–and goes from start of dough to ready-to-eat in about an hour and a half.  Maybe less.  The dough recipe makes enough for two pizzas, so you could be prepping a second while the first bakes if you have a crowd.  It uses no special equipment like a pizza stone or pizza peel. In fact, if you don’t have a pizza cutter (the little gizmo handle with a spiffy wheel at the end), you are not in trouble; a knife works fine and perhaps better. You’ll need a large bowl, measuring cups and spoons, a saucepan, a jellyroll or half-sheet pan (2 for $8.99 at COSTCO), and a stove with an oven.  If you have  a standing electric mixer like a Kitchen Aid, that will help make the dough, but if not, your hands and arms will work just as well and you won’t have to lift weights that day. I give directions for both methods. You can also pick up fresh dough from your local pizza place or the grocery store (check refrigerated section), but it’s just as fast and much cheaper to make it.

If you’re not in tonight’s class, try this at home and join us that way:

Continue reading “Pizza at Home with a Stellar Salad Class–No Special Equipment Needed”

IMG_7609

I’m not the best pizza maker in the family; that honor goes to my son Sean, who makes the most delicious pizza I’ve ever eaten.  Since pizza is my favorite food, that’s saying a lot.  So if I can make good pizza at home, anyone can. I’ve taught or made pizza to and with a few folks including parents and kids over the years and they, in turn, have made it with family and friends as it’s a fun group project. It’s simple for the solo cook as well. I made the first grilled pizza I ever saw back in the mid ’80s.  And you? Always wanted to make pizza? Frightened off by words like yeast or wood-fire?  Have an oven and a rimmed sheet pan?  You’re in business, about to eat well, and this post is for you!

Food and health guru, writer Michael Pollan is fond of saying,

“Eat all the junk food you want as long as you cook it yourself.”

While pizza isn’t exactly junk food as it’s often full of good things, it is highly caloric for the nutrition available. It’s also really easy to chow down on it.  If you make it yourself, you’ll be careful about how much you eat because you had to make it! Try making the salad first and eating it while the pizza bakes. You’ll eat less pizza.  Do include the kids: get them in on the baking; they love to make pizza and you’ll add a great skill to their arsenal of abilities. To say nothing of the positive memories.

This pizza, based on a Tyler Florence recipe, makes 12 or 15 pieces –enough for 4 to 6 people–and goes from start of dough to ready-to-eat in about an hour and a half.  Maybe less.  The dough recipe makes enough for two pizzas, so you could be prepping a second while the first bakes if you have a crowd.  It uses no special equipment like a pizza stone or pizza peel. In fact, if you don’t have a pizza cutter (the little gizmo handle with a spiffy wheel at the end), you are not in trouble; a knife works fine and perhaps better. You’ll need a large bowl, measuring cups and spoons, a saucepan, a jellyroll or half-sheet pan (2 for $8.99 at COSTCO), and a stove with an oven.  If you have  a standing electric mixer like a Kitchen Aid, that will help make the dough, but if not, your hands and arms will work just as well and you won’t have to lift weights that day. I give directions for both methods. You can also pick up fresh dough from your local pizza place or the grocery store (check refrigerated section), but it’s just as fast and much cheaper to make it.

If you’re not in tonight’s class, try this at home and join us that way:

Continue reading “Pizza at Home with a Stellar Salad Class–No Special Equipment Needed”

IMG_7609

I’m not the best pizza maker in the family; that honor goes to my son Sean, who makes the most delicious pizza I’ve ever eaten.  Since pizza is my favorite food, that’s saying a lot.  So if I can make good pizza at home, anyone can. I’ve taught or made pizza to and with a few folks including parents and kids over the years and they, in turn, have made it with family and friends as it’s a fun group project. It’s simple for the solo cook as well. I made the first grilled pizza I ever saw back in the mid ’80s.  And you? Always wanted to make pizza? Frightened off by words like yeast or wood-fire?  Have an oven and a rimmed sheet pan?  You’re in business, about to eat well, and this post is for you!

Food and health guru, writer Michael Pollan is fond of saying,

“Eat all the junk food you want as long as you cook it yourself.”

While pizza isn’t exactly junk food as it’s often full of good things, it is highly caloric for the nutrition available. It’s also really easy to chow down on it.  If you make it yourself, you’ll be careful about how much you eat because you had to make it! Try making the salad first and eating it while the pizza bakes. You’ll eat less pizza.  Do include the kids: get them in on the baking; they love to make pizza and you’ll add a great skill to their arsenal of abilities. To say nothing of the positive memories.

This pizza, based on a Tyler Florence recipe, makes 12 or 15 pieces –enough for 4 to 6 people–and goes from start of dough to ready-to-eat in about an hour and a half.  Maybe less.  The dough recipe makes enough for two pizzas, so you could be prepping a second while the first bakes if you have a crowd.  It uses no special equipment like a pizza stone or pizza peel. In fact, if you don’t have a pizza cutter (the little gizmo handle with a spiffy wheel at the end), you are not in trouble; a knife works fine and perhaps better. You’ll need a large bowl, measuring cups and spoons, a saucepan, a jellyroll or half-sheet pan (2 for $8.99 at COSTCO), and a stove with an oven.  If you have  a standing electric mixer like a Kitchen Aid, that will help make the dough, but if not, your hands and arms will work just as well and you won’t have to lift weights that day. I give directions for both methods. You can also pick up fresh dough from your local pizza place or the grocery store (check refrigerated section), but it’s just as fast and much cheaper to make it.

If you’re not in tonight’s class, try this at home and join us that way:

Continue reading “Pizza at Home with a Stellar Salad Class–No Special Equipment Needed”

38 Power Foods, Week 13 — Swiss Chard — Vinegar-Chard with Apples, Shallots, and Honey

38 Power Foods, Week 13 — Swiss Chard — Vinegar-Chard with Apples, Shallots, and Honey

Not terribly photogenic, but quite delicious.

  I don’t cook Swiss chard a lot, though when I make it, I’m always happy I have and wonder why I don’t make it more often.  It’s a fast side for chops or chicken (chop/saute),  tops rice beautifully, and fills an omelet like nothing else.  Did I mention it’s gorgeous?

Last night, after a long day full of lectionary study, lunch out, children’s music meeting, and grocery shopping, I walked in the door not knowing what in the world I was doing with my Swiss Chard for today’s post.  I also knew I wanted to be all done with dinner in time to watch the convention; I am, if nothing else, a sincere John Kerry fan. (And he was a superhero last night!! Yikes.)  I scouted around the kitchen trying to think what else could go in that pan and what I came up with was luscious–sparky with the apple cider vinegar-red pepper combination and crunchy with the added green apples, shallots, and chard stems.  A nice drizzle of local honey evened out the whole thing.  We ate it with some cold chicken and a slice of German vollkornbrot (whole grain bread) with a bit of sharp cheese.

Once in a while, just for grins, I write a recipe using only photographs and captions.  This is so simple, let’s see if I can accomplish it:

vinegar-chard with apples, shallots, and honey
 makes 4 small servings

                           Cook’s Note:  Wash chard very thoroughly before preparation.
  

Remove stems from 1 bunch of Swiss chard (1 – 1.5#) and slice thinly.  Set aside.  Roll up chard leaves and slice into 1/2″ pieces.

 

Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a deep saute pan over medium heat.  Add pinch crushed red pepper, 2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint, and cook one minute.

                

Stir in one minced shallot, reserved chard stems, and 1/2 a chopped Granny Smith apple with skin.
Sprinkle with a generous pinch each of kosher salt and fresh ground pepper.

Let cook a minute or two, stirring,  until a bit softened.

Toss in chopped chard.  Season with a little more salt and pepper.  Stir.
Cook 2-3 minutes until chard wilts.  Stir in 1 tablespoon each apple cider vinegar and honey (or to taste.)  Taste and adjust seasonings.  Serve hot or at room temperature.  (Optional garnish:  finely chopped pecans)

Low in calories and vitamin-dense (C, K, A, B), Swiss chard comes from the same family as beets and is also called silverbeet.  Full of antioxidants, it’s a cancer-fighter and usable in all of the ways you use spinach. A great addition to your shopping cart, saute pan, or soup pot, with its store of various minerals (including iron) it’s also a nutritional powerhouse.  Young chard makes great salad.  Read more here.

If you like this, you might also like this week’s post on my blog, Dinner Place — Cooking for One:

ratatouille-steamed salmon with jasmine rice and spinach

Could have used young, chopped chard.

I blog with a great group of food writers on Fridays as we cook our way through the list of foods from Whole Living Magazine’s Power Foods:  150 Delicious Recipes with the 38 Healthiest Ingredients: 

  Read more about Swiss chard this week at these sites:

Ansh – SpiceRoots.com  
Jill – SaucyCooks 

Sarah – Everything in the Kitchen Sink
Anabanana – adobodownunder.blogspot.com
Alanna –  http://kitchen-parade-veggieventure.blogspot.com/
.
Join us:

If you’re interested in joining the gang writing each week, get in touch with Mireya from My Healthy Eating Habits:  Mireya@MyHealthyEatingHabits.com

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two-dog kitchen and around the ‘hood

Finches have another brood.  Here parent eats while baby waits above at my kitchen window feeder.

Feed me, fast!

Gorgeous Thai eggplants (1.5″) from the St. Paul farmer’s market–used it in the salmon and ratatouille above.

 Sing a new song,
Alyce

38 Power Foods, Week 9 — Kale — Baby Kale and Spinach with a Roasted Chicken Breast

38 Power Foods, Week 9 — Kale — Baby Kale and Spinach with a Roasted Chicken Breast

 While I didn’t grow up eating kale, I got to it as soon as I could.  My folks were transplanted southerners.  Greens made an appearance, oh yeah.  I ate them.  (not)
There were lots of reasons why I finally hit on kale (baby kale first, actually)  once I knew from good.  One was its curly beauty:

       One was its strength and goodness.
     

One cup of kale contains 36 calories, 5 grams of fiber, and 15% of the daily requirement of calcium and vitamin B6 (pyridoxine), 40% of magnesium, 180% of vitamin A, 200% of vitamin C, and 1,020% of vitamin K. It is also a good source of minerals copper, potassium, iron, manganese, and phosphorus.

Kale’s health benefits are primarily linked to the high concentration and excellent source of antioxidant vitamins A, C, and K — and sulphur-containing phytonutrients.(courtesy webmd.)

Another was its price.  Even at Whole Foods, kale was doable, payable, and edible.

Last was its ease of preparation. Clean well, chop, saute, season, eat.  Repeat.  Mix in another bit of greens if you like.   Herbs?  Oh, yes.  Heat?  Sure.  Good in soup?  Perfect!  And…
 Served with a bit of rice or a piece of chicken, I loved, loved it.    Try this:
baby kale and spinach with a roasted chicken breast
  A. first roast your chicken breast
Roast  olive oiled and salt and peppered bone-in breasts 45 minutes at 350 F a la Ina.

  B.  toward the end of the cooking time for the chicken, begin cooking the greens:

In a medium skillet or sauté pan, pour in about a tablespoon of olive oil.  (No need for extra virgin.)  Heat over medium heat with a pinch of crushed red pepper and kosher salt. 
  1. Add 4-5 very thin slices of red onion, torn or cut if they’re large. Cook, stirring, for one minute.
  2. Drop in 4 cups or so spinach and baby kale. (Use chopped kale in place of baby kale if that’s what you have.)  Let cook down as much as you like; watch it carefully.  Stir.   Some people like greens barely cooked; some like them well done.  Suit yourself.
  3. When almost done to your liking, toss in about 6 sliced cherry or grape tomatoes.  
  4. Heat through and serve hot or at room temperature.  (You can add a splash of apple cider vinegar if you like.)
 Never cooked greens like kale?  Watch how here:


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If you liked this recipe, you might like:

Alyce’s Red, White, and Blue Kale Salad

Stay cool!
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 38 Power Foods is a group effort!   Stop by these other blogs and see what they’re cooking each week as we team up to bring you some of the healthiest cooking available.

Ansh – SpiceRoots.com  
Jill – SaucyCooks 

Sarah – Everything in the Kitchen Sink
Anabanana – adobodownunder.blogspot.com
.
As we go along, I’m guessing we’ll get some other writers involved.  If you’re interested in joining the gang writing each week, get in touch with Mireya from My Healthy Eating Habits:  Mireya@MyHealthyEatingHabits.com

Sing a new song,
Alyce

baby kale and spinach with a roasted chicken breast originally posted by alyce on dinnerplace.blogspot.com

two-dog kitchen and around the ‘hood

Earlier this week on More Time:  Homemade Potato Chip-Steak Salad with Homemade Mayonnaise Dressing
Just add fork

Right now on the dinnerplace blog:  Would you make breakfast?
Egg+Egg White Omelet filled with Nonfat Cottage Cheese on WW Toast

Guacamole Soup with Cheese Quesadillas…recipe I’m working on for the book.  Five tries and I’m finally happy.
Miss Gab and Tucker under my make-shift desk.

  Today I took a break from recipe development and sat out on the front deck with a cup of coffee for a few.  In the crab apple tree off to the right was a tiny chickadee singing, “CHRIS-tine.”  I’ve never seen chickadees in Colorado, much less in my own yard.  Soon, I saw there was a second chickadee.   Of course, they’re always in pairs.  They seemed to be digging around for insects in the bark of the tree.  Sitting quietly, I finally saw one of the birds  go to a nest–right in the tree. 
How could I not have noticed them, the building of the nest, or the baby birds?

 Lesson for the day:  If you don’t take the time to rest or sit quietly, you won’t know what’s going on in  life right outside your own front door.