Easy, healthy, sometimes indulgent recipes

Archive: Jan 2016

Basic Pizza Dough

Great pizza always starts with great dough.  There are different ways to enjoy the crust, thick, super thin, but my favorite is a blistered exterior with a soft interior. Dough may sound intimidating because of longer rising time, but in fact it is extremely simple to make. Nothing beats homemade pizza crust.  It is amazing what incredible flavor comes out of flour, water, salt and a little olive oil.  In fact my favorite pizza was something I had years ago in a little restaurant in Rome where it was drizzled with really great olive oil, topped with lots of fresh Arugula and a touch of shaved Parmigiano-Reggiano.  It was so simple, but it tasted amazing.  There was so little on it in terms of ingredients that every ingredient was allowed to shine.

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Baked Chicken Parmesan

Chicken Parmesan is such a great dish. It is equal parts comforting and elegant.  I really love making it, but it is usually pan fried, which is delicious, but more tedious to make and generally a much heavier dish.  Whenever possible I like to take the shortcut of having the oven do the work for me.

chicken parmesanThe trouble with baking this dish  is that it always turns out soggy, it is never as crispy as the fried version.  I have tried different recipes and the one I like the best is  Ellie Krieger’s recipe found here.  Over the years I adapted Ellie’s recipe so that it turns out much crunchier. Instead of baking this dish in a glass pan, I use a pizza pan with holes.  This way, the bottom never gets soggy once it is topped with sauce.

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Kale Lemon Apple Green Juice

kale ginger green juice

I have been looking for ways to make more green juice and to replicate the same experience of juicing without actually buying a juicer. I think juicers are amazing, but I really want to avoid buying yet another appliance to sit on my counter.  My kitchen mantra is to keep things as basic as possible.  I try to have as many multi-functional devices as I can.  I own a nice blender,  it is not top of the line,  but it is middle of the road and it does the trick well for this recipe and many others.  What I like about making “juice” in a blender, you always have a choice on using the pulp and keeping the drink more like a smoothie or it can be strained for a clear juice.

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Vegan Oatmeal with Strawberries and Peanut Butter

vegan oatmeal with berries

Ahh, oatmeal.  Oatmeal with diced cooked apples is my sons favorite food to eat so an oatmeal type of a  breakfast is often cooking up in my kitchen. The nutty aroma of oats cooking up in the kitchen is incredibly comforting.  Now, I know everyone knows how to prepare oatmeal.  Nothing that I am about to write here is groundbreaking, but I wanted to share it because I just love preparing it.  It is a staple in our house.  On a cold day such as today, it is hard to pass up the warming flavors of this breakfast.  While we are not vegan, I love preparing vegan dishes because I am forced to tap into  plant-based foods to replace any traditional ingredients.  I always look for ways to enrich any dish with nutritious super-foods like chia seeds, hemp or cacao nibs.

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