I have a friend who swears by her homemade pizza dough recipe…all three rises of it. It’s practically an all day affair to make it, but she wouldn’t have it any other way. While I might spend all day making pizza dough once in a while, the vast majority of the time I just want to get it done. Apparently, so did my mom.
This recipe came out of her archives and, in fact, was labelled “Mom’s Famous Pizza Crust.” It’s fast, easy, and just an all-around good crust. The recipe says it makes two, 12″ round pies but I found that resulted in the crust being too thin. I made one thicker pie, which was plenty for the three of us with a side salad. If you’re feeding more than that, double the recipe. Then, top with your choice of goodies (it’s a hearty crust, so it withstands toppings well), and enjoy!
One-Rise Pizza Dough (courtesy my mom’s recipe collection)
- 2 1/2 to 3 c unsifted flour
- 1 1/2 tsp sugar
- 2 tsp salt
- 1 pkg dry yeast
- 1 c tap water, very hot
- 2 Tbps vegetable or canola oil
- In large bowl mix one cup of flour, sugar, salt, and undissolved yeast, gradually adding hot water and oil.
- Mix or stir balance of flour and knead until smooth (about 10 min).
- Place in greased bowl, cover, and let rise until dough is double in size (about 45 min).
- Pre-heat oven to 350° F.
- After dough has risen, stretch over a 12″ x 18″ greased pan or cookie sheet.
- Cover with toppings of your choice and bake 30 – 40 min.
Like anyone who prepares meals every night of the week, I don’t always have time to languish over a pot of soup. Some days, there’s just not time for all the chopping and dicing and stirring required. If you feel my pain, you’ll appreciate how fast this black bean soup comes together. Classic flavor reigns with the cilantro, red bell pepper, and cumin. Optional toppers, aside from the yogurt (or sour cream, if you’re so inclined), include some shredded pepper jack cheese, a dash of hot sauce to kick it up a notch, or some baked tortilla chips. My only qualm with the recipe was it didn’t make enough to put it to the “yesterday’s soup” test. We all know things like this taste even better the next day. But this one tasted pretty darn good the first day! Nonetheless, next time I’m going to double the batch to insure some leftovers.
Also, this soup is only a couple of substitutions away from being a perfectly acceptable vegetarian meal: swap out the chicken stock for veggie stock, and bulk it up with tofu or more beans. Personally, I’d go with the beans. Tofu is just…well. Tofu is just tofu. However you make this your own, you’re sure to enjoy!!
Easy Black Bean Soup (recipe adapted from: Cooking Light Superfast Suppers)
- 1/4 c onion, chopped
- 1/4 c red pepper, chopped
- 1 low-fat turkey kielbasa (Hillshire Farms), cut into pieces
- 1 15 oz can no-salt-added black beans, rinsed and drained
- 1 14 oz can fat-free, low-sodium chicken broth
- 1 1/2 Tbsp basil/garlic/oregano flavored tomato paste
- 1 tsp cumin
- 2 Tbsp reduced -fat Greek yogurt (optional)
- 1 Tbsp fresh cilantro, chopped (optional)
- Place non-stick saucepan over medium-high heat until hot. Add onion and pepper; saute 3 minutes or until vegetables are crisp-tender.
- Add chopped sausage, beans, and chicken broth to onion mixture. Stir in tomato paste and cumin; bring soup to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer 5 to 6 minutes or until soup is slightly thickened.
- Ladle soup into individual bowls; dollop each serving evenly with yogurt, and sprinkle with cilantro.
- Serve with home-made tortilla chips (optional).
It seems lately I’m ever so slightly bordering on obsessed with fish tacos. I’ve pinned ump-teen recipes to my Pinterest board, I’ve bookmarked a bunch in my favorites bar, and I’ve cooked them…a lot…recently. If there’s any kind of taco I’m happy to eat, it’s fish. Don’t get me wrong. It would be my worst nightmare to be served up a plate of Rubio’s fish tacos and ordered to eat! First, it’s a chain restaurant and fast food, at that. Second, while I understand it’s a popular place for fast (see above) fish tacos, crunch the numbers on the Original Fish Taco (2 taco plate) and you’ll devour 620 calories, 360 or which are from fat, 40 grams of fat, 50 mg of cholesterol, and 780 mg of sodium. Which is why I make them myself.
Being able to control portion size and ingredients is a huge deal. And, believe me, it doesn’t have to be breaded and deep-fried in artery-clogging oil to taste good. This recipe is the perfect example of how a variety of spices and minimal oil can come together to create a mouth-watering meal without all the fat and calories that come standard at your local fast food taco joint. This recipe went together really fast. I made the rub ahead of time and refrigerated it for a couple of hours. The recipe doesn’t say you need to do that, but I thought the fish had a truly developed flavor because it had been resting in the spices for a longer period of time.
The salsa was bright and lively, too. I threw on some fresh cilantro from our garden just before serving, and gave an extra squeeze of lime juice, too. Low-fat and delicious. So much better than fast food. Enjoy!
Tilapia Tacos with Fresh Tomato Salsa (recipe courtesy ActivewearUSA)
- 4 tortillas
- ½ pound tilapia fillets
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- ½ teaspoon chili powder
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon onion powder
- ½ teaspoon ground cumin
- ¼ teaspoon dried oregano
- Pinch of salt and pepper
- ½ onion, roughly chopped
- ¼ cup sweet corn (fresh or frozen)
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 3 medium tomatoes
- 1/4 onion
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- Juice of half a lime
- 1 teaspoon red wine vinegar
- ¼ cup fresh coriander
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Combine the paprika, chili powder, garlic powder, onion powder, cumin, oregano, salt and pepper in a small bowl. Pour the herb and spice mix into a resealable plastic bag. Add the tilapia fillets and shake until the fish is completely covered. Set aside to infuse with flavor.
- Pour 1 teaspoon of olive oil into a pan over medium heat and add the onion and corn. Cook for around 10 minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking, or until the onion is soft and the corn begins to blacken.
- Stir in the garlic and cook for 1 minute or until fragrant. Be careful not to scorch.
- Remove the tilapia fillets from the Ziploc bag and place them into the pan, using a spatula or spoon to divide the fish into bite-sized pieces as the fish cooks. Place a lid on top of the pan and cook for 10 to 15 minutes, stirring half way through.
- While the fish is cooking, prepare the salsa by roughly chopping the tomatoes and onion into small pieces. Add them to a bowl with the minced garlic, lime juice, red wine vinegar and coriander, stirring until well combined. Add salt and pepper to taste.
- When the fish is solid white and flaky, warm the tortillas in the oven or microwave.
- Divide the tilapia, onion and corn mixture evenly between them. Serve immediately with salsa for topping.
Kat and I had a girl’s night last night while Daddy-O was at the Stanford/ASU game. We baked homemade mac/cheese (her all-time favorite meal) and settled on the animated version of A Christmas Carol for after dinner entertainment.
But what of dessert?
Ice cream? Too cold.
Popcorn? Too last Friday night.
Baked S’mores? Why, yes, please and thank you!
These are pretty much a no-brainer. You don’t really need a recipe. Just keep your eyes on the s’mores at all times lest they quickly turn to ash under the broiler.
- Graham Crackers
- Chocolate pieces (Hershey, Dove, you choose)
- Parchment paper for easy clean-up
- Pre-heat broiler to 500° F. Line baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Break crackers in half, placing one half on baking sheet and reserve other half to top your S’more. (Or, bake both sides and eat them open-faced.) Place one marshmallow on each cracker. Heat under broiler until tops of marshmallows are golden brown. Turn off oven and remove pan.
- Top melted marshmallow with the chocolate pieces of your choice. For these I used dark chocolate Dove candies.
- Slide pan back in the oven for 25 -30 seconds, or until chocolate starts to melt.
- Remove and top with remaining graham cracker halves to complete your S’mores.
Summer is upon us. I’m giving myself permission to publish nothing but recipes containing the word “salad” from now until October!!! I
probably won’t, but today, with the temperature currently hovering about 106°, it’s tempting. Salad is a cool word. It doesn’t have the same heavy, sweat-on-your-neck connotations as, say, casserole. I don’t know about you, but I felt infinitely more sweaty (sweatier?) typing “casserole” than I did typing “salad.” Even in my climatically controlled office space.
On top of that, last weekend I was out of yogurt but didn’t feel like succumbing to peanut butter and jelly for lunch. I did have, fortuitously, a couple of hard-boiled eggs. The rest, as they say, is history.
Egg salad is one of those catch as catch can kind of foods. You make of it what you will with whatever ingredients you can gather from the fridge. There are no rules. If it sounds good, add it. It’s summer. It’s hot outside (at least here in the desert southwest). Throw caution to the 106° wind. Enjoy!
Simple Egg Salad Sandwiches (recipe adapted from Eat, Live, Run)
- 4 eggs, hard-boiled
- 2 Tbsp mayonnaise (I used reduced fat mayo with olive oil)
- 1 tsp red wine vinegar
- 2 tsp stone ground mustard
- 1 stalk celery, rinsed, trimmed, and diced
- salt and pepper to taste
Mash eggs with a fork and add remaining ingredients. Chill in fridge or spread on whole grain bread with sliced onion and lettuce. Enjoy!
Cook’s Notes: I halved the recipe because I only wanted a half sandwich and gave the other half to the husband. The recipe, as written, makes enough for two sandwiches. Increase ingredients accordingly depending on how many mouths you need to feed or how much you want left over for tomorrow’s lunch.