Sunday, November 18, 2012

Tomato Basil Pizza (Pizza Margarita)

 I used to continuously buy pizza stones that cost $20, only to have them break on me. Then I realized I could buy tiles at the home repair store for only $1.00 that work just as well. You want to buy the tiles that are unglazed.  The glaze could have lead that could transfer to your pizza.  If you don't have a pizza stone you could still make this recipe on a sheet pan.

You could also use those pre-baked store bought pizza crusts.

Here is my tip for storing individual size portions of dough. Single Foodie Tip Storing Pizza Dough

Pizza Dough 
Flour, (for rolling out the dough)
Corn Meal (for sliding the dough on the pizza stone)
1/4 c. Marinara Sauce 
2-3 slices of Fresh Mozzarella, torn into pieces
2 Roma Tomatoes, sliced
salt & pepper
2-3 Basil fresh leaves, chopped

Preheat your oven to 450 degrees. 

Dust your dough and cutting board with flour. Roll out the dough. 


To easily slide my pizza on to the pizza stone, I use a cookie sheet that does not have an edge on it. I liberly spread corn meal onto the cookie sheet so the dough doesn't stick then place dough on the corn meal. Shake the cookie sheet back and forth to make sure your dough is not sticking. 

On the dough, top it with dollups of tomato sauce and fresh mozzarella. Top the cheese with the tomatoes and sprinkle with salt and pepper. It may look like too many tomatoes, but they will shrink.

Slide your pizza on to the pizza stone or place your pizza in the oven  to bake if using an sheet pan.  Bake for 15-17 minutes. 

Top your pizza with the fresh basil right when it comes out of the oven.








Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Mozzarella Marinara Chicken

This is a super fast easy recipe. I enjoyed it with a big mixed greens salad dressed with just extra virgin olive oil and vinegar.

Plastic Wrap
1 Chicken Breast
2 Tbsp Flour
1 Tbsp Olive Oil
salt 
pepper

1/4 c. Marinara Sauce
1 oz. Mozzarella 
(optional - 2 slices of salami, pepperoni, capocollo, sopressata or any Italian deli meat you may like)

Heat a pan on medium high heat. 

Place the chicken breast between 2 pieces of plastic wrap. Pound it to 3/4 inch thin. I use a rolling pin but you can also use a meat pounder or another pan. (Don't use the one you are heating!)




On a plate, add about 2 tablespoons of flour mixed with salt and pepper. Coat the chicken you have pounded out with the flour mixture and shake off any extra flour.
In the hot pan, add the olive oil.  Once the oil is hot, cook the chicken in the pan for about 10-12 minutes, flipping it over half way through. Cook until the chicken is done and nicely browned. 






Spray a small dish with non-stick spray. Add the cooked chicken. Top the chicken with the marinara. If you are using a few slices of Italian deli meat, add it next. Lastly, top the chicken with mozzarella cheese. 

Place the chicken under your broiler for about 5 minutes. DON'T WALK AWAY. Your broiler may only take 2 minutes. I use my toaster oven's broiler so it takes longer than a conventional oven.




Thursday, November 1, 2012

Lemon Pepper Chicken with Spinach & Goat Cheese Orzo Pasta

When I got home this evening, I looked in my lonely fridge and came up with this for dinner.  This recipe is super simple and quick with only a few ingredients. It only takes 30 minutes (if you have unfrozen chicken.) I often buy those frozen bags of chicken breasts, pull one out before work and throw it in the fridge in a covered dish to thaw during the day.

1 Chicken piece, breast, thigh, whatever you may have
Non-stick spray
1 Tbsp Lemon Pepper
1/4 c. Orzo Pasta
1 c. fresh Spinach, chopped (I don't measure this, I just grab a handful.) 
1 Tbsp Goat Cheese crumbles
1/2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
Salt 

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. I use my toaster oven for this recipe which works great too. 

Spray a foil lined tray with non-stick spray. Place the chicken on the foil and coat it with lemon pepper. I really like the McCormick Lemon & Pepper Grinder. Bake the chicken for 25-30 minutes, or until it is done.



After the chicken has baked for about 10 minutes. Start heating a small pot of water, with 1/2 tsp of salt, on high till it comes to a boil. 



When it comes to a boil, add the orzo pasta. Cook for 8-10 minutes or the time your pasta box says.  

When the pasta is done, drain the orzo in a colander and set aside.

Return the pot you just used to boil the pasta to the burner and TURN DOWN the heat to medium. 

Add the extra virgin olive oil to the pot. It will heat up very fast. Add the spinach, cooked orzo, and goat cheese to the pot and stir. The spinach will cook and the goat cheese with melt in 1-2 minutes. Your pasta is ready!

By the time you are done making the pasta the chicken should also be ready!



Monday, July 23, 2012

Open Face Avocado and Egg Sandwich

This is by far one of my favorite snacks, breakfasts, lunches, or dinners! It is really just a method than a recipe.

2 Eggs
Non-stick Spray or oil

2 pieces of Bread
2 slices of Cheese, whatever you have on hand
1/2 Avocado, chopped Tip for Storing the Other Half
Hot Sauce, such as Louisiana Hot Sauce or Tabasco
Salt
Pepper

Heat a skillet over medium heat.  Spray the pan with non-stick spray or drizzle it with about a teaspoon of oil. Crack the eggs into the hot pan. 

Toast the bread. 

With a spatula, flip the eggs over after about 3-4 minutes and cook on the other side until they are done to your liking. I really like a runny yoke, so I only cook the flipped eggs for about 1-2 minutes.  Cook the eggs longer if you like a yoke that is firmer.

On a plate, top the toast with a slice of cheese. Then slide an egg on top of the cheese. Sprinkle the egg with salt and pepper to your liking. Top with avocado and a few dashes of hot sauce.



Sunday, July 22, 2012

Asparagus and Steak Salad with Basil

1 Steak
6 Asparagus Stalks, chopped 
1tsp Olive Oil

2 large handfuls of Lettuce
3 Basil Leaves, sliced
10 Cherry tomatoes

1 tsp Dijon Mustard
1/2 Tbs White Wine Vinegar (or whatever you have. I've also used Red Wine Vinegar, Balsamic, Champagne Vinegar, even Apple Cider Vinegar)
1 Tbs Extra Virgin Olive Oil
salt 
pepper


Heat a pan to medium heat.

Season your steak with salt and pepper.  Here is a good guide to cooking your steak to your liking. Steak Cooking Times


Drizzle the pan with about a teaspoon of oil. I usually use olive oil. To save from dirtying many pans, I cook the steak on one side and saute the asparagus on the other side. Saute your asparagus for 7-8 minutes while your steak is cooking. Since I like my steak medium rare, I usually cook one side for 4 minutes and then flip it to the other side to cook for 3-4 minutes. Once the steak and asparagus is cooked, set them aside to rest and cool off for a few minutes.

While the steak cools down, in a bowl mix together the mustard, vinegar and olive oil to make the dressing. Add the lettuce, basil and tomatoes to the dressing. Slice the steak and add the steak and asparagus to the salad.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Single Foodie Tip: Storing Pizza Dough in Individual Size Portions


I make individual thin crust pizza all the time. But when I buy frozen pizza dough it always comes in very large portions. Here's my tip to have ready available small portions, perfect for an individual pizza. I do the same thing when I make pizza dough from scratch.



When you get home from buying the frozen dough, let the dough thaw out on the counter.   

Cut it into individual sizes and roll them into balls. 





Wrap them in Glad Press n Seal so they do not get freezer burn or dry out.  I found this is better than saran wrap or a plastic bag because it seals the air out.







Put them back in the freezer.  When you want pizza, all you have to do is thaw out only the amount of pizza dough you need! 




Sunday, July 15, 2012

Spicy Fresh Corn and Goat Cheese Scramble

Spicy Fresh Corn and Goat Cheese ScrambleI love making this protein packed fresh corn scramble for breakfast! It is spicy with sweet pops of fresh corn kernels and tangy goat cheese crumbles. To make this meal low fat and high protein, I use 1 whole egg and 4 egg whites. 

1 Fresh corn ear, corn cut off the cob
5 Eggs, one whole and 4 egg whites
1 Tbsp Jalapenos
1 Tbsp Goat Cheese Crumbles
1 Tbsp Fresh Cilantro, chopped
salt
pepper
non-stick spray

Heat a non-stick skillet over medium heat. Cut the corn off the cob and set aside. In a bowl beat together the one whole egg and 4 egg whites. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Mix the corn and jalapenos to the egg mixture. 

Once the skillet is hot, spray with non-stick spray. Add the eggs and constantly stir them with a spatula, making sure to scrap the bottom. This will ensure you have light and fluffy eggs. Once they are cooked, about 5 minutes, stir in the goat cheese and cilantro. 



Thursday, May 17, 2012

Healthy Berry Maple Bread Pudding


This recipe for one is actually enough for two, or eat half with ice cream for dessert and the other half for breakfast! I used 1% milk in my recipe and I didn't miss the cream used in traditional bread puddings at all.


2-3 pieces of Bread, torn into pieces
1 Egg
1/2 c. Milk
1 Tbs Maple Syrup
1/2 tsp Vanilla Extract
8-10 Berries, (blackberries, blueberries, raspberries, or cut strawberries)



In a bowl, whisk together the egg, milk, maple syrup, and vanilla extract. Stir in the bread and berries, making sure to coat the bread with the egg mixture. I usually gently press the bread down. Let this sit for an hour on the counter or longer in the fridge. (You can't really mess this recipe up!)

Preheat your oven to 375.

Spray a small baking dish with non-stick spray. I use a 10 oz Pyrex bowl.

Pour in the bread mixture. Bake for 40 minutes.




Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Single Foodie Tip: Ranch Salad Dressing Mix

One of my favorite "go-to" seasonings is ranch salad dressing mix. Since I mostly make meals or snacks for one, I never use a whole packet. I pour the packet of ranch powder in a clean empty spice bottle so I can have it on hand and easily accessible when ever I want to quickly zing up flavor!

Ideas:
  • Sprinkle on raw chicken or shrimp before cooking
  • Ranch Vinegarette for one: 1/2 tsp ranch powder, 1 tsp white wine vinegar, 1 Tbsp olive oil, 1/4 tsp brown mustard. Whisk together.
  • Make a healthy dip for one, 1/4 c. plain yogurt + 1 tsp ranch powder
  • Add to whisked eggs for scrambled eggs, egg tacos or omelets.
  • Add to egg or tuna salad. Here's my recipe for Avocado Egg Salad (no mayo) 
  • Add ranch powder, butter, and parmigiano cheese to pasta. 
  • Sprinkle on a baked potato.

Low Fat Spicy Avocado Egg Salad - no mayo, no yoke

This is definitely NOT your typical egg salad. In fact, there is no mayo, mustard or even egg yokes. I use avocado for creaminess, green onions for crunch, jalapeno for a kick, and my secret ingredient..... ranch dressing powder!

1/2 small Avocado, diced (Here is a tip for the other 1/2)
1 tsp Ranch salad dressing powder
1/4 of a Lemon
2 hard boiled Eggs* (my method is below)
1 Green Onion, sliced
4-8 very thin slices of Jalapeno (optional)
pepper, to taste

In a bowl, mash half of the diced avocado with the ranch dressing powder and the juice of 1/4th of a lemon and set aside.

Peel the hard boiled eggs, discard the yokes and dice up the whites. Chop the green onion and cilantro. Thinly slice the onions.

Add the eggs, remaining avocado, green onion, jalapeno, cilantro and pepper to the mashed avocado. Stir.

Try this salad between bread, a tortilla, or lettuce cups!

*Hard Boiled Eggs: I know there are many ways of making hard boiled eggs, but this is my method. I place the eggs in a pot. Fill it with water just to cover the top of the eggs. Place the pot on a burner set to high and pay close attention. As soon as the water comes to a boil I turn it to medium - medium high, just to maintain a boil, and cook them for 8 minutes. When my timer goes off, I transfer the eggs to a bowl of ice water.

Single Foodie Tip: Left Over Avocados

Most of the time when you are cooking for 1 or 2 you only need 1/2 of an avocado. Keep the other 1/2 fresh and green for another day by sprinkling a few drops of lemon juice, leaving the pit in, and wrap it in Glad Press n' Seal. Using Glad Press n' Seal you can get a close wrap that will keep the air out and leave your avocado green. A plastic storage bag will cause air to oxidize the avocado making it brown.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Roasted Zucchini "Caprese"


Basil, tomatoes and mozzarella.... say no more!!!! I made this as a snack but it would be a great side dish too, especially when zucchini is in season.

2 small zucchini, sliced longways
10 cherry tomatoes, sliced in half
1 oz of fresh mozzarella, cubed (but really who are we kidding, use as much as you want!)
few basil leaves, sliced in ribbons
olive oil
salt
pepper
balsamic vinegar, optional

Heat your oven to 450 degrees.

Slice your zucchinis longways and place them on a baking sheet, covered in foil, skin side down. Sprinkle with a little salt, pepper and a drizzle of olive oil. Roast them in the over for 10-20 minutes until cooked. (I used a toaster oven that took 20 minutes, but I don't trust it is working correctly.)

Top the roasted zucchini with the tomatoes and mozzarella cheese.  Place them back in the oven for 5 minutes or until the cheese is melted to your liking.

Drizzle with a little balsamic vinegar, if you like, and top with the basil.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Lemon-Pepper Asparagus Cheese Toast

I recently bought a large bunch of asparagus and have been trying new ways to eat it. Here is a really tasty 10 minute snack perfect for the toaster oven. 

Bread
Any Melting Cheese (Mozzarella, Colby, Jack, etc) 
Garlic Clove
Asparagus, sliced in half long ways (I use 2 stalks per toast)
Lemon Pepper

Toast your bread. While it is toasting slice enough cheese to cover the bread. 

When it comes out of the toaster, rub the hot toasted bread with the garlic. Top the bread with cheese, asparagus and lemon pepper. Put the bread on a baking tray and place under the broiler for 5 minutes. Make sure to watch it so the cheese doesn't burn. 


Thursday, February 9, 2012

Chocolate Covered Strawberries (for $0.25 each!)


Why pay $12.00 for 4 chocolate covered strawberries, when you can make them in 5 minutes for $0.25 each! If you have a microwave and  refrigerator, you can do this.

All you need:

Strawberries ($2.00 for ~20 in a 16 oz container)
Chocolate Chips ($3.00 a bag)
Wax paper

In a bowl pour about 1/2 cup of chocolate chips. Microwave them for ONLY 15 seconds at a time and stir after each 15 seconds. Continue to do this until they have all melted. (You can easily burn the chocolate in the microwave, that is why you only want to do 15 seconds at a time.)

Dip the strawberries in the melted chocolate and place on a tray or plate lined with wax paper. Cool them in the fridge for about 30 minutes and you have awesome chocolate covered strawberries!

If you run out of chocolate, just melt more. If you have too much chocolate, try dipping other things like pretzels, cookies, etc!



Monday, February 6, 2012

Radish and Alfalfa Sprout Tacos

 Yes, these sound bizarre, but they really are good! The peppery radish and sprouts give great crunch and texture to your boring bean and cheese tacos. These are also very simple to make. It essentially is just a bean and cheese quesadilla with radish and sprouts stuffed in it. You want to make sure to stuff the radish and sprouts AFTER you make the quesadilla so they do not wilt or turn soggy.


2 corn or flour tortillas
2 Tbs fat free refried beans
2 Tbs shredded cheese
2 radishes, thinly sliced
2 Tbs alfalfa sprouts

Heat a pan to medium heat. If you are using corn tortillas, cook them in the pan a few seconds each side so they become pliable and able to fold with out breaking.

Spread 1 Tbs of refried beans on one side of each tortilla. Top the beans on each tortilla with 1 Tbs of cheese and fold in half.

Cook the tortillas in the pan for 3-5 minutes per side, or until crispy. Take the tortillas out of the pan. Open them up and stuff the radishes and sprouts in them.

Enjoy!





Thursday, February 2, 2012

Mint & Basil Pineapple Salad

Today I noticed the mint I am growing on my balcony has gone out of control! It must be the wonderful warm and rainy weather we are having this winter. Since I didn't have any rum for a mojito, I thought this salad would be a refreshing use for mint!

Dressing:

1/2 Tbs Rice Wine Vinegar
1 Tbs Soy Sauce
1/2 tsp Honey
few drops of Sesame Oil
dash Crushed Red Pepper (optional)

Salad:

5 Mint Leaves, finely chopped
5 Basil Leaves, finely chopped
1/4 c. Pineapple, cubed
1 think slice of Red Onion
few handfuls of Salad Greens

In the bottom of a big bowl, I usually use the bowl I'm going to eat out of, mix all the dressing ingredients together. Then add all the salad ingredients and toss! Voila!