Of Course Pizza Can Be Healthy

Even though I consider myself a healthy clean eater, we all need comforting cheat foods.

For example, I like pizza. So, instead of getting a take out thick crust pizza from a nearby restaurant, I make pizza at home. I can satisfy my pizza craving once in awhile, and still try to stay within my daily calorie intake.

Initially, I bought a good quality frozen pizza from the grocery store, like Newman’s Own 4 Cheese or Kashi Mediterranean. Half a pizza is about 450 calories.

Then one week, I purchased a Rustic Crust thin pizza shell, loaded it with fresh tomatoes, onions, garlic, spinach, & cheese and baked it myself. Still low in calories -approximately 500. It’s easy to create, and so much better tasting than frozen.

homemade pizza with onions, garlic, spinach, & cheese

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Semi Homemade Pizza

The other day, I bought a ready-made “Rustic Crust” brand thin pizza crust. I know it’s not completely homemade, but the list of ingredients were very good: Unbleached/Unbromated Wheat Flour, Water, Natural Culture, Semolina Flour, Whole Wheat Flour, Sea Salt, Honey, Yeast, Organic Soy Oil, Olive Oil.

Yes, it’s white flour, but it’s pizza! Come on! I would have liked to get the whole wheat crust, but it was more calories. This was thin and crispy and absolutely delicious!

Anyway, here’s how I made the pizza:

I brushed 1 Tbsp of Olive Oil on the crust, and topped it with:
sliced tomatoes,
sliced halved onions,
chopped garlic
fresh spinach (chiffonaded),
fresh mozzarella (about 8 oz, sliced) – I will use less next time, and possibly some Parmasan Reggiano as well.

This photo doesn’t do justice to how wonderful and fresh it looked going into the oven.
homemade pizza - loads of mozzarella

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Soups and One Pot Meals Cookbook Review

This is a review for the cookbook Soups and One-Pot Meals the 100 Best Recipes from around the World by Christian Teubner (1998)

The first thing I noticed about the recipe design is that the ingredients list was centered making it a little more difficult to read. Plus more multiple ingredients were sometimes listed on one line, making it even more difficult to comprehend.

The photos in the book are gorgeous. I love cookbooks with lots of photos and this book doesn’t disappoint. Every recipe has beautiful professional photos on its pages.

The book starts off with stock recipes, and then is divided into countries/regions. A few recipes include photos with every step but unfortunately, it’s difficult to see the details because the photos are too small.

Personally I don’t know how many recipes I would actually make, but there are a lot if great ideas to take to your own recipes, and the price is right at the Amazon.com marketplace. With shipping, you can grab a used copy of this book for under $5.

I love reading cookbooks, like some people love reading novels! I am inspired by recipes, and enjoy learning ideas from cookbooks; I like putting my own spin on a recipe rather than exactly following it. Please keep in mind that my opinions might be completely different from the other home cooks.

Butternut and Sweet Potato

Hehe. My hubbie says he hates sweet potato. I want to eat them more often so I bought both butternut squash and sweet potato. So for dinner, I cut up both and steamed until soft. I mushed them together and he wasn’t the wiser!!! Shhh, don’t tell him.

I also recently picked up a white colored sweet potato (or was it a yam?) and I plan on slicing them and roasting along with white potatoes. I hope he doesn’t notice, they are just so good for you!

Turkey Meatloaf – Round 3

I don’t know what it is about this turkey meatloaf recipe (from Epicurious.com), but I am almost obsessed about perfecting it! I made it again last night, and while it was better than last time, it still needs a few more tweaks.

To recap, the first try, it was delicious, but it tasted too much like “stuffing” with all the bread crumbs. Second time, I made the mistake of adding way too much chicken stock/broth, so it was swimming in juices. Still delicious, but not right.

Okay, so last night, this was the recipe:

  • 1 lb ground turkey (93%)
  • 1/2 cup Panko bread crumbs
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth/stock (low sodium preferred)
  • 1 egg
  • shallots, zucchini, and a few chopped peppers. You can use mushrooms, or any other veggies like onions, carrots, etc.
  • I roasted a whole pepper in the oven, and sliced it to add to the top of the meatloaf as well
  • whatever herbs or spices you have: I used chopped fresh parsley, and dried thyme.
  • salt and pepper

The consistency was less liquidy this time, but it was still a bit too mushy. I need to lower the chicken stock amount again, or maybe add a touch more bread crumbs. Or even better, try it with real crusty bread chunks. I didn’t have mushrooms this time, so I used zucchini, and I am sure that added a bit to the liquid content of the meatloaf.

It’s been really fun experimenting with this recipe!

Second Try Turkey Meatloaf

I tried a pretty good recipe for turkey meatloaf about a month ago, and I wanted to try it again last night with some revisions.

Well, it was edible, but I still made mistakes and I think 3 times will be the charm next time!

First, I only had 1 lb ground turkey, which was half what the recipe called for. I forgot to divide the ingredients in half before I poured the full cup of chicken stock. I figured eh, the mushrooms would absorb it! Big mistake. I shouldn’t have put in so much stock. It made the meat way too liquidy, and it ended up steaming/boiling the turkey, so it had a gray tinge. Didn’t look extremely pleasing to the eye, but did still taste fine, just a little soupy.

I reduced the panko bread crumbs to 1/2 cup, and this time added the mushrooms and shallots. Diced up those mushrooms as small as I could to make sure my picky hubby wouldn’t notice them. It worked for the first piece of meatloaf, but when he went back for seconds, he asked me what this little piece of “something” was. LOL.

The good news is, he only picked out that one piece of ‘shroom and didn’t even bat an eye when eating the rest of the 2nd piece!

So, we have leftovers for lunch today, along with beets, butternut squash and brown rice. I like making extra so we have lunch portions too!

Next time, I think I will definitely watch the amount of chicken stock, and I think it will be perfect. In the future, I might experiment with whole grains, like oatmeal or whole wheat bread instead of the panko crumbs.

Exploding Spaghetti Squash!


Last night I was excited to make spaghetti squash again. I hadn’t cooked it in years, and I was planning on mixing it with some whole wheat pasta and tomato sauce with the leftover turkey meatloaf.

Online directions, said to microwave whole for 10-12 minutes, making sure to poke a few holes in the skin before.

I checked on it after 5 minutes, there was watery foam seeping out of the cut holes, but the skin still felt hard. So, I left it in for the final 5 minutes.

All of a sudden, I heard a big bang, and oh no! I opened the microwave door, and the squash was EVERYWHERE! Dropping out of the door, onto the stove! yuck!

I took the dish out, and was relieved to see there was a good portion that was still edible. That’s good.

The microwave was a disaster to clean though. Yellow was in every nook and cranny! It was just terrible, and I learned a very valuable cooking lesson about making spaghetti squash in the microwave!

I will either bake it, or if I need to microwave, I will chop it in half, or if whole, I will watch it very very closely!!!!

PS. I was tempted to snap a photo of the mess, but I really didn’t want to remember that part forever! LOL
PSS. The saved portion of the spaghetti squash was very good, and it tasted yummy. I will definitely be trying it again!