Tuesday, October 16, 2012

My New Favorite Thin Crust Pizza

Sometimes I make something so good that I'm glad that no one else is home with me to make me share with them.  This was one of those meals.  I really wanted pizza yesterday when I got home, so I threw together some ingredients and prayed that it wouldn't require 10 hours of dough rising.  It was so delicious that I ate the whole thing even though I was stuffed after I ate half of it.
The dough was thin, crispy, chewy, and this was one of the more bubbly pizzas that I have made to date.  Yummo!
  • 1.5 cups warm water
  • 2 tsp yeast
  • 3 cups of all purpose flour
  • 1 cup of bread flour (or all purpose if you don't have it, but I won't be making the switch anytime soon)
  • 2 tsp sea salt
Mix the water and yeast together, mix in the salt, then add in the flour.  Knead until the dough is smooth and slightly tacky to the touch.  Place in a bowl and cover with a pot lid or a damp towel.
Place a pizza stone in the oven and preheat oven to its highest setting- mine tops out at 500.
After about half an hour roll out the pizza dough on a floured surface. 
Place the dough on a pizza peel that has a light coat of corn meal on it, with the pizza placed as far away from the handle as possible to make sliding it off easier.  Before I had a pizza peel I used one of those flexible thin cutting boards.
Top the pizza with your favorite toppings- I like to brush on a 1 inch thin coat of olive oil around the outer crust, spread out a thin layer of salt-free tomato sauce, top it with fresh mozzarella balls and sliced tomatoes, I also hold my sea salt grinder high above the pizza and crank it a few times.
Slide the pizza onto the preheated pizza stone and cook until the crust is golden and the cheese has melted.
Top with fresh basil and enjoy.

Santa Fe Chicken with Spaghetti Squash

I have a diet FULL of variety.  Some days I do paleo, some days just gluten-free, and more often than not I carbo-load even though I'm not entering into any marathons anytime soon.  Incorporating spaghetti squash into my diet is a new way for me to satisfy my cravings for pasta without having the post-pasta guilt trip.  One cup of cooked spaghetti squash contains about 42 calories, whereas pasta contains over 200 calories per cup.  Aside from the longer time commitment to cook a spaghetti squash, the health benefits make this a no-brainer.

I slow-cooked one of my favorite meals to serve mixed in with the squash- and IT'S INCREDIBLE.  I've been eating the leftovers for lunch now for a few days, and I'm thrilled to report that spaghetti squash microwaves much better than pasta does.

Santa Fe Chicken recipe adapted from Skinny Taste
4 boneless chicken breasts
14.4 oz can diced tomatoes
14.4 oz chicken broth (I filled the tomato can with water as a measuring tool and mixed in some Better than Bouillon)
2 cups of cooked pinto beans or black beans
2 cups of frozen corn
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp onion powder
1 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp cumin
Salt and pepper to taste

Optional garnish: cilantro and diced green onion

Mix together all of the ingredients and set the chicken on top.
Slow cook for around 4-5 hours on high or 8 hours on low.
One hour before serving shred the chicken, adjust the spice and salt, and start cooking the spaghetti squash.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
Wash and dry the spaghetti squash. 
Cut it in half, remove the seeds with a large spoon, and place in a large glass casserole dish or in separate pie plates.
Bake for 40 minutes to an hour. 
Remove from an oven and use a fork to separate the ribbons of squash from the skin.  If the squash isn't easy to separate place it back in the oven for an additional 5-10 minutes or until it doesn't resist.

Serve the two together- and savor every bite because it is delicious!!