Temphe Tacos

The Pizza Challenge

So we have been trying to perfect our pizza. Not part of our "Healthiest Year of Our Lives" but an ongoing challenge nonetheless. I know there is such a debate over what is considered "good" pizza, but my 2 favorite types of pizza are:

The uber heavy deep dish Chicago-Style pizza with buttery flaky crust. Trademarked also by cheese on the bottom / sauce on the top. Its like nothing else in this world.

Thin crust, not to crackery, not too doughy. Thin enough to be crisp but strong enough to hold a slew of veggies on top.

We prefer this no-cook pizza sauce: 
*I love it this way but I have had kids tell me it is too spicy (peppery)
28oz crushed tomatoes
3 oz tomato paste
4 T Romano or Parmesan
1 t Oregano
2 t Basil
3 t Sugar
2 T minced fresh garlic
1 T black pepper

This is our favorite found thin crust:
1 1/2 C warm water
1 t dry yeast
1/4 t sugar
3 T olive oil
1/4 t salt
4 C all purpose flour
semolina flour

Turn on oven to 500 degrees. Wisk water, yeast, sugar, and 1 C flour in bowl.
Cover with a cloth and set in a warm place for 10 to 15 minutes, until yeast is active and bubbly.

Add 2 T olive oil and salt. Knead in remaining flour, 1 C at a time.
Cover bowl and allow dough to rise for 1 hour.

Punch down dough and transfer to floured surface.
Divide into 10 - 3oz balls. Allow to rest 10-15 min.

Using your hands, stretch out dough. Sprinkle semolina flour on peel. Place dough on peel and decorate with sauce, toppings and cheese. Bake approx 10 minutes.

And most impressive is the Flaky Deep Dish:
The website we adapted this from (www.toptastes.com forum:Flaky Deep Dish Pizza Dough) does not seem to exist. My notes include "DO NOT DOUBLE! Crust was very thick in large pizza pan" and use cut slices of motzarella. This crust is like a crescent dough.

Flaky Deep Dish Crust Pizza
2/3c warm milk 110*
2Tbls sugar
1 tsp yeast
1/2C butter, cubed
1tsp salt
2C bread flour

Mix milk, sugar, and yeast together. Let it sit until foamy. Mix butter, salt, and flour together. Add the milk mixture and knead until you have a soft dough. 
Grease a deep dish pizza pan and spread out the dough, pinching up the sides. Cover and rest 30minutes. 
Preheat oven to 450*
Uncover, prick the dough several times with a fork and pre-bake crust 4-5min at 450*.
Lightly cover with olive oil. Layer ingredients in this order:
1lb motzarella slices
1/2 lb browned meat (sausage)
Vegetables go on top!
Bake 25-30 min at 350*, until golden brown. 
Let rest until cheese can resolidify a bit before slicing.

Recipes to come...

Quick Asian Meal

The best thing to make when I don't want to cook? Dumplings! They are quick and simple with little clean up.
We prefer chicken and veggie ones from our International Grocery store.

We make these in a bamboo steamer with cabbage or lettuce leaves spread out under the dumplings. After the water boils in the wok, it takes about 15 min. til dinner is served.

These are topped with green onion and the sauce put on it includes a couple of shakes of: hot dumpling sauce, soy, rice vinegar, and sesame oil. All things that are just hanging out in our pantry!

Paired with a salad...Lettuce, Carrot (cut in sticks), Cucumber (cut in sticks), Green onion, Sesame Seeds, and 2 T of bottled Asian dressing.

And for dessert... 5 Spice Ginger Oranges! Yum! 

The original recipe from 1000 Low Fat Recipes and calls for:

5 seedless oranges, peeled and pith removed sliced across
1/2t Five Spice Powder
1 t Cinnamon
1/2 C honey
2 T Crystallized Ginger, very thinly sliced

Melt honey (in microwave) til runny. Mix in spices. Pour over sliced oranges. Toss. Sprinkle with ginger.

Finally got pictures off of my phone!

My cake wreck, complete with fault lines. Happy Birthday Guy! Dec 2010

The best part of going home for Thanksgiving (besides family)?
The WORLD's BEST Guacamole from El Burrito Mexicano in Lisle at 2am!

My 5 year anniversary cupcakes from May 2009
The closest thing I could make similar to our wedding cake!

Sloppy Joes

Yes, this qualifies for a healthy meal. Made with 98% lean ground turkey and having 1/4 of the dish (i.e. 1/4lb of turkey) for all this food is extremely filling and nutritious. We most recently served this with mashed honey sweet potatoes from Rachel Ray.

1lb Lean Ground Beef (or meatless veggie substitute or ground turkey works great too!)
1 onion, diced
1 green pepper, diced
2 minced garlic cloves
½ C ketchup
1 T brown sugar, packed
1 T vinegar, white or cider
1 T Worcestershire sauce
1 t yellow mustard
¼ t salt and pepper
14.5 oz can of diced tomatoes, drained
4 Whole wheat hamburger buns, toasted

Brown meat, onion and green pepper in skillet over medium heat.
Drain fat. (If using veggie meat sub, brown vegetables first, then add meat sub.)
Add garlic & cook 3 minutes.
Mix ketchup, sugar, vinegar, Worcestershire, mustard, salt and pepper together.
Add mixture and can of tomatoes to skillet.
Mix well and cook uncovered 10 minutes, until thickened.
Divide between buns and serve.
Serves 4.

~ Mom's Recipe


Starting off the new year on a healthy track!

I'm hoping to post more of my healthy daily recipes this year instead of just my special occasion foods. I'm happy about a few new cookbooks added to my collection. Lots of new and yummy flavors to come!

Chicken with Wild Rice Soup
Make stock, cook chicken, and rice ahead of time to make this a quick weeknight meal.

1 T Olive Oil
1 Lrg Red Onion, Chopped
4 Stalks Celery, diced
3 M Carrots, chopped
1/2 t salt
4 cloves Garlic, minced
8 oz Button Mushrooms, halved or quartered
1/4 C flour
1/4 t rubbed sage
1/2 t thyme
1/4 t oregano
1/4 t fresh ground black pepper
1/2 T salt
2 T dry sherry (could substitute white wine)
48 oz chicken stock ( I used my own, made from this recipe, minus the turnip)
12 oz fat free evaporated milk
3 C cooked chicken breast, diced (I boiled the chicken the night before)
3 C cooked long grain and wild rice blend ( I made in the rice cooker the night before)

Heat oil in stock pot or dutch oven. Add onion, celery, carrot, and salt. Cook over medium high for about 6 min. Add garlic and mushrooms. Cook until mushrooms start to release juices and begins to color, about 5 min.

Add flour and spices. Sir frequently until flour is light brown and thickens a little for a few minutes.
Add dry sherry. This will release any of the browning flour and prevent anything from scorching. Add chicken stock and evaporated milk. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and let simmer 20 min.

Add chicken and rice to the soup. Cook an additional 10 minutes to let flavors combine.