Monday, January 25, 2016

Lemon Artichoke Chicken Pizza

My favorite pizza is plain old cheese and pepperoni but from time to time I like to change it up and go with something a little different.  This is one that I really enjoyed.  The dough recipe will be enough for 2 or 3 pizzas depending on what size you prefer.

Here is what you will need:

Pizza Dough -

  • 2 1/2 - 3 cups bread flour
  • 2 1/4 teaspoon (1 package) yeast
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup warm water
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 cup diced or shredded chicken cooked chicken
  • 2 cups shredded smoked gouda cheese
  • 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped

Lemon Artichoke sauce - 
  • 6.5-ounce jar marinated artichoke hearts
  • 1/3 cup parmesan cheese
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • salt and pepper
and now its time to cook....

1. in the mixing bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook combine 1 1/2 cups of the flour, yeast and salt.  Add water and oil and mix at medium speed.  continue adding the rest of the flour until you have a smooth dough, knead for 5 minutes

2. place dough in a covered oiled bowl for about 45 minutes so it can double in size.

3. while the dough is proofing place all the artichoke sauce ingredients in a food process and pulse until smooth and blended.

4.  once dough has doubled punch it down and move to a lightly floured surface.

5. cut dough into 2 or 3 pieces and form into balls and cover for 5 minutes

6. flatten and shape the dough into a circle, spread desired amount of sauce on the dough, top with chicken and cheese.

7. bake in a preheated 450 degree oven for 10-12 minutes (a pizza stone works best, if you don't have one...get one!)

8. let pizza rest for 3 minutes, top with parsley, cut and eat!

Friday, January 22, 2016

Israeli Couscous with Chicken, Peas and Carrots

Took a while for this one to get the official stamp of approval but it passed the test so here is another one for the healthy meal file!

I made this last minute and forgot to charge the Nikon so there aren't many photos to share so we will just jump right to the recipe!

Here is what you need:

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 3 cloves minced garlic
  • 8 oz israeli couscous
  • 1 cup peas
  • 1 cup chopped shredded carrots
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 2 teaspoons smoked paprika
  • 2 cups diced cooked chicken

Here is what you do with it:

1. add oil to a large skillet over medium heat, add couscous and garlic and saute for 5 minutes
2. add peas, carrots, chicken broth, garlic and onion powder, paprika, salt and pepper
3. bring to a boil then reduce heat to simmer until liquid is absorbed..about 8 minutes
4. remove from heat and fold in chicken

I chose to serve these in pita bread with some red pepper hummus spread inside

Sunday, January 17, 2016

Creamy Spinach Fettuccine

With the start of the new year lots of people try to make healthier choices in their meals, and hopefully doing so without sacrificing taste!  So I will be doing my best to help out by posting some good tasting and healthier dishes.  How my usual process works is that I find a recipe, make it, take some pictures and find some taste testers to get feedback.  Based on the feedback I receive I either post it as is or make some adjustments and retest before posting.  So in the end you end up with a recipe that gets approval from someone other than just me!

Today we start with Creamy Spinach Fettuccine which in the end comes in just under 300 calories per 1 1/4 cup serving.

Lets get cooking...

Start by sauteing your garlic and shallots in some olive oil in a large skillet

Then whisk in your broth slurry and milk bringing to a boil

Add your fresh spinach....

....until it wilts down

Add in your cooked fettuccine

Toss it all to coat the pasta

Plate and eat!

Here is what you need:

  • 8 ounces fettuccine 
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 large shallot
  • 3 cloves minced garlic
  • 1/4 cup vegetable broth
  • 1 tablespoon all purpose flout
  • 1 cup milk
  • 10 ounces of spinach (can be less is you can't find a 10 ounce bag)
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
  • 1/4 cup grated parmesan

1. Cook pasta in salted water
2. Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat
3. Add garlic and shallots, cook for a couple minutes
4. Combine the vegetable broth and flour in a small bowl, whisk to combine
5. Add broth slurry and milk to skillet and whisk until it comes to a boil
6. Add fresh spinach to skillet and reduce heat to medium, cook for a few minutes until spinach is wilted
7. Add salt, pepper, garlic powder and parsley
8. Turn off the heat and add the parmesan and fettuccine tossing until pasta is well coated

** you can substitute whole wheat pasta
** this dish can be pared with various proteins like..shrimp, chicken, steak..etc

Sunday, January 3, 2016

Cashew Chicken Pasta Salad

I have made this pasta salad multiple times over the years and it always seems to be a hit.  I only made one minor tweak to the original recipe to help cut down on some of the sweetness.

For this recipe I made my own farfalle pasta...because that's just how I roll! If you are a little less ambitious feel free to use a box of dried farfalle...I won't judge you!

Toss the bulk of the ingredients into a bowl and mix it up!

Here is the recipe:

Toss the following into a large mixing bowl
  • 1 pound of cooked farfalle pasta
  • 4 Cups cooked chicken (cut into bite sized cubes)
  • 1 20 oz can of drained pineapple tidbits
  • 1 cup diced celery
  • 1/2 cup sliced green onions
  • 1 cup seedless grapes (any mix of color)
  • 1 6 oz package of dried cranberries

In a smaller bowl mix the following:
  • 1 cup ranch dressing
  • 1/3 cup miracle whip
  • 1/3 cup real mayonnaise

Now add the dressing mixture into the large bowl and stir to combine

If you are going to be eating the salad right away go ahead and 2 cups of cashews,  if not wait until just before serving to add them so they don't become soggy.