Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Pizza Monday

Sometimes I think we all need a little something to look forward to on Monday. Last night I was looking forward to a great workout with Morgan and then baking up a pizza! Once Morgan and I finished up our workout (in our matching clothes-somehow we keep doing this unintentionally) we headed back to my place to start dinner. While I rolled out whole wheat pizza crust, Morgan chopped up veggies for our salad and pizza toppings. Typically we like to make pizza crust from scratch but I didn't do the prep work on Sunday so Trader Joe's pre-made whole wheat pizza dough it was! Preheating your oven to say, 450F would be a great thing to do before your hands get covered in flour. After looking around the fridge to see what I had on had we decided on basil chicken pizza. I had a tube of EarthBound pureed basil that I picked up from Whole foods this weekend and needed to use up, hence the inspiration for basil!

Since I didn't have cornmeal on hand I used flour to make sure the dough didn't stick to the counter top and also dusted my pizza stone with flour before baking. Next step, the base! I started by using my olive oil mister to lightly coat the dough, followed by a sprinkling of powdered garlic. Then mixed the pureed basil with 2 laughing cow light original cheese wedges to serve as the "sauce". I had every intention of adding spinach to this pizza but I completely forgot until it was in the oven. So if you'd like to, add the spinach BEFORE you add the cheese and other toppings, this prevents the spinach from burning while baking. Now add the cheese (I used low fat mozzarella). Finally, put your toppings on. I went with sundried tomatoes, red peppers, and roasted basil chicken. I had made the roasted basil chicken Satuday afternoon using the same tube of basil, a touch of cilantro, garlic, salt, and pepper. Pop this bad boy in the oven for about 25 minutes and out comes a delicious pizza! Both Morgan and I happen to be a little obsessed with red sauce so we made sure to heat up a jar and use it for dipping the pizza.

While all this pizza baking was going up we started devouring our salads!
In the Mix:
-Organic Baby Spinach*
-Organic yellow Peppers*
-Roasted parsnips,carrots, and sweet potato
-English Cucumber

*These foods are part of the Dirty Dozen, 12 foods that have the most pesticides. So if you can, go Organic to avoid all those nasty chemicals!

And about 25 minutes later we had pizza!

Basil Chicken Pizza:
1 Whole wheat dough (store bought)
    The Base
1 tsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 tsp Powdered Garlic
2 Tbsp basil puree
2 Laughing Cow Light cheese wedges
   The Toppings
2 cups low fat mozzarella cheese
5 chopped sundried tomatoes
1 Organic red bell pepper sliced
1 large basil chicken breast (or any chicken)

-Preheat the oven to 450F. Roll out the dough on a floured surface and dust the pizza stone with flour. Transer dough to stone and build your pizza on the stone (it's a lot easier to transer the dough without toppings on it!). Spread base on dough. Then add cheese. Place toppings evenly around pizza and bake for about 25 minutes!

This dinner took about 45 minutes-1 hour (depending on your oven baking time) from start to finish. Not too bad considering the leftovers will feed me a few more nights. If you don't have an extra set of hands to expedite the chopping and cooking process, try buying pre-cut veggies. They are a bit more expensive but it saves you on prep time. Another way to cut back on prep time during the work week is to wash and chop your veggies when you buy them, store them in tupperwares, and they are ready to go during the week. I do this all the time. It makes for quick salad assembly and veggie stir fry during the week.

Last night I also experimented with making a cinnamon raisin mixed nut butter. Let's just say my mini food processor wasn't up for the challenge and started smoking about half way through. More on this later :)

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