Thursday, May 7, 2009

Homemade Pizza

Okay, I do occasionally make pizza crust from scratch. It is fun to do and pretty tasty. But, when I want dinner on the table in a hurry, homemade dough, isn't really a realistic application! So I buy ready made dough and go from there. I love whole wheat pizza dough! Tasty and filling! Boboli's makes a great one that you can use. I found one at a local farmer's market that I stock up on and keep in the freezer! Now we can have tasty and healthy pizza anytime!

Pizza dough
Any topping you like!

Here is the pizza dough that I like to use (thank you Dekalb Farmer's Market!)
Here are three of our favorite types of homemade pizza. Being creative is part of the fun.
With one of the pizza rounds, I spread 1/2 with tomato sauce and 1/2 with olive oil.
On the olive oil half, lay out fresh spinach leaves.
Next top the tomato sauce side with sauteed onions and bell peppers.
Top both halves with fresh tomato slices and black olive slices.
The spinach side is then topped with fresh feta cheese and a little bit of Parmesan cheese. The tomato sauce side is topped with low-fat mozzarella and Parmesan cheese. Bake in a 400 degree oven for about 15 minutes or until lightly browned.
I love veggie pizzas. They are my favorite! Also tasty with artichoke hearts, roasted peppers, zucchini or any other veggie that you love!

A new way that we recently made were "Italian Sausage Sub Pizzas".
We topped the pizza with tomato sauce, browned turkey Italian sausage, sauteed peppers and onions and mozzarella cheese (forgot to take a picture with the mozzarella cheese ~ trust me it was there!). Good Stuff!

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Fettucini Alfredo - the healthy way!

I love Alfredo sauce. I could eat it by the spoonful - right from the pan. But, of course, it isn't so helpful for my weight goals. After several attempts, I made a tasty and healthier version of this great comfort food! What I love, is that most of the ingredients are pantry staples, so you've got dinner anytime in about 30 minutes. The calories have been cut from 550 to just at 200 for the sauce. Fat grams have been cut from 35 grams a serving to around 12 a serving. What helps to make this lower calorie is the use of chicken broth to thin the sauce instead of half and half and heavy cream. Also using some white wine gives the dish a great rich tasting flavor. When paired with whole wheat pasta and some steamed broccoli, you've got a delicious meal and a non-guilty one too!

2 TBSP. olive oil
2 TBSP. whole wheat flour
3 cloves of garlic minced or chopped
1 cup of fat-free chicken broth
1 cup 1% or skim milk
1/2 cup dry white wine
3 TBSP. reduced fat cream cheese
1 TBSP. reduced fat sour cream
1 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
Salt and pepper
Sun-dried tomatoes (optional)
Favorite pasta
Favorite add-ins (steamed broccoli, lump crab meat, grilled chicken, shrimp, etc.)

Heat olive oil in a large skillet and add chopped garlic over medium low heat.
Stir frequently so the garlic doesn't burn.
Once the garlic is lightly browned, stir in the flour. This is how you make a roux. This is the basis to all white cream sauces. I first learned how to make a roux at a cooking class in New Orleans. Being able to make my own roux, gave me power..made me super chef...then I woke up!

Let the flour and oil cook together for about 2 minutes. This makes sure the flour taste is cooked out. Don't cook on high heat, you don't want the roux to brown.
Add a cup of chicken broth and stir until well combined. The sauce is kind of brown in color. This is because I used whole wheat flour. If you use white flour, the sauce will be white, unless you cook your roux too long!
Once this starts to get thicker, add the cup of milk and stir until well combined.
Next add the white wine. This is my most favorite white wine in the whole world.
Pour a little, drink a lot! ;-))
At this point I added about 2/3 a cup of sun-dried tomatoes. I love the tangy taste of them in Alfredo sauce. If you don't love it...leave it out.
Once this starts to thicken, add the cream cheese and the sour cream. Stir until well combined and smooth.
Add the Parmesan cheese about a 1/3 a cup at a time and stir until well combined and the cheese is melted. You can grate your own, but I prefer the easy stuff! I've even used the stuff in the green can in a pinch!
If the sauce starts to get thick....mine ALWAYS does, add a little bit of chicken broth until it is the consistency you prefer. I normally have to add chicken broth about 2 - 3 times during the course of cooking, as I don't always time my noodles to be done when my sauce is!

I cooked a whole wheat fettuccine noodle to serve with the sauce, but I also like Penna pasta too. Whatever makes you happy!
Tonight, I served the pasta with steamed broccoli. To save time, I threw a bag of broccoli florets in with the pasta water when the pasta was just about done.
You can also serve it with chicken, shrimp, crab or other vegetables. Take the sauce and run with it! So glad there was enough for left overs!!!!!!

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Corn Pudding

DISCLAIMER: This is NOT a healthy recipe!

Cookouts, potlucks, covered dishes....what to make???? This is my absolute Go-To recipe for any and all of those occasions. Everyone ALWAYS loves this recipe - kids and adults alike! It is also the absolute EASIEST thing to cook. I mean it...nothing homemade could be easier. It is SUPER cheap to boot. I also like that it can sit out and doesn't have to be more consistently refrigerated. Your friends will love you for bringing this dish to your next get together.

2 cans whole kernel corn (drained)
2 cans cream corn
2 boxes Jiffy Corn Muffin Mix
1 stick butter
1 16 oz. container of sour cream

Turn on oven to 350 degrees.
Place unwrapped stick of butter in your baking dish and put in the oven until it is melted. (Time Saver: this melts the butter and greases your pan at the same time!)
I do use Smart Balance 50/50 - trying to make it a tiny bit healthier

Pour 2 cans of corn and 2 cans of creamed corn in the pan

Pour 2 boxes of Jiffy Corn Muffin Mix in the pan

Add container of Sour Cream (I use reduced-fat)

Stir until completely combined. (don't you love throw-away aluminum baking dishes - great for cookouts!)

Cook in 350 degree oven for 1 - 1 1/2 hours. (depends on how deep your dish is). The dish should be evenly browned on top and toothpick inserted should come out clean.