Homemade Pizza Dough

 

If you looking for that pizza dough recipe with the nice, chewy crust – click no further. This household loves pizza. I especially love it because I can use up alot of stuff in my fridge! I had alot of vegetables and some chicken that needed to be eaten. Pizza = problem solved. Along with the recipe for the crust is our favorite pizza known as the “Hot Hawaiian” named in honor of a pizza we love from a past favorite.

  • Hot Hawaiian
  • Famous Dave’s Sweet and Zesty Sauce (for extra spice use or mix with their Devil’s Spit sauce)
  • Shredded Pizza Blend Cheese
  • Deli-Sliced Hot Jalapenos (usually found in the pickle/condiment section)
  • Shredded Chicken (if you are in a hurry a rotisserie chicken works great)
  • Pineapple Chunks
  • Red Onion

Homemade Pizza Dough
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Ingredients

    This recipe requires a mixer with a dough hook
  • 6.5 cups of unbleached flour (or flour of your choice), divided
  • 1 package Fleischmann's Active Dry Yeast Original
  • 2.25 cups of water, divided
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoon olive oil
  • Cooking Spray or an additional tablespoon olive oil
  • For Cooking Pizza Dough
  • 2 cookie sheet pans
  • 2 tablespoons corn meal
  • Cooking Spray or about 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • Sauce and Toppings of your choice

Instructions

  1. Add yeast to one cup of warm water (I microwaved the water for about one minute). Let sit for about 5 minutes.
  2. Mix the remaining 1.25 cups of water, oil, sugar and salt in a separate bowl. Mix well.
  3. Combine 6 cups of flour, yeast mixture and water mixture to your mixing bowl.
  4. Mix on low for about 8-10 minutes.
  5. Let rest for about 2 minutes. Use a plastic scraper to scrap the bowl to assure all the flour is getting mixed.
  6. Mix on low for an additional 6 minutes or until smooth.
  7. Now remove flour onto well floured surface.
  8. Knead until elastic and smooth using the remaining 1/2 cup of flour to prevent dough from sticking to your hands. You may not need to use all of the flour.
  9. Diving the dough in two.
  10. Add each ball of dough to a large zip-lock bag coated with cooking spray or the remaining olive oil.
  11. Place in fridge overnight or up to two days.
  12. When you are ready to use remove from fridge and let sit at room temperature for one hour prior to use.
  13. Preheat oven to 550.
  14. Now take two cookie sheets and coat with olive oil or cooking spray.
  15. Evenly coat each sheet with 1 tablespoon of corn meal.
  16. Carefully spread out dough onto cookie sheets. You can roll the ends if you would like to make thicker crust.
  17. Place formed crust into preheated oven for about 3-5 minutes.
  18. Remove promptly and add sauce and toppings of your choice.
  19. Place back in oven and cook another 8-12 minutes dependent on how well done you like your crust.
  20. Remove and let cool for about 5-10 minutes.
  21. Slice and enjoy!
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https://www.goodeatsdietitian.com/2018/01/06/homemade-pizza-dough/

Ultimate Sweet Potato Brownies

Do you know when you have food in your house and you need to think of a way to use it up? Well, I had a random sweet potato and wondered how I could make use of it instead of the go-to roasted sweet potato. I stumbled upon a brownie recipe that seemed like the ideal solution to using it up.

I actually love trying out recipes that contain atypical ingredients. One time for National Nutrition Month I made a chocolate cake and had the hospital staff try to guess the secret ingredients. Not one person guessed the cauliflower and only one person guessed the avocado in the frosting. It was hilarious to watch people be SO certain the secret ingredients were things like apple sauce or spinach. Nope!

 

Well lets go ahead and get to this lovely recipe. I omitted one ingredient from the original recipe and loved the change. If you are a thick, gooey and rich brownie type of person than this recipe is for you.

Ultimate Sweet Potato Brownies
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Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons of flour (can be substituted with oat or gluten free product)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 pureed sweet potatoes (I cooked and then put them in my processor)
  • 1 cup peanut butter or nut butter or your choice
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips (plus more to top if you really love chocolate) - for vegan choose a vegan type of chocolate chip (Simple Truth and Enjoy Life make them)
  • 2/3 cup sugar or sugar substitute of your choice

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 325.
  2. Mix all the dry ingredients until well blended.
  3. Heat the peanut butter to where it is easy to stir.
  4. Add in sweet potato puree and vanilla.
  5. Pour dry ingredients into sweet potato mixture and stir well.
  6. Stir in chocolate chips until well blended.
  7. Pour and smooth into a 8x8 inch pan lined with parchment (or have it greased).
  8. Cook for 20-25 minutes (I cooked for 20 minutes in conventional setting).
  9. Remove and allow to cool. If you want a bit more firm than stick in the fridge (I stuck mine in the freezer because I didn't have patience).
  10. Enjoy!
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https://www.goodeatsdietitian.com/2017/12/28/ultimate-sweet-potato-brownies/

 

5 Ingredient Buffalo Chicken

Do you have those days where you really don’t want to cook dinner? Or you have no idea what to even cook for dinner? This recipe helps take the edge off of having to cook because it is so dang simple and can be used in a variety of ways.

I hate reading blogs that feel like a chapter book so let’s get to the ingredients:

  • 
1.5 pounds chicken breasts cut into 1-inch cubes
1/2 cup flour of your choice
  • 1 teaspoon of chili powder (more or less depending on your spice level – this was definitely my threshold)
  • 2 teaspoons cumin
  • 1/2 cup Sweet Baby Ray’s Buffalo Wing Sauce
  • Optional: olive oil depending on pan

Directions:

1. Mix flour cumin and chili powder together until well blended.

2. Mix in chicken until well coated.

3. Add to pan (my husband bought me Swiss Diamond pans for our anniversary which don’t require oil, but you can spray your pan with olive oil depending on your pan) and cook until well browned and cooked through.
4. Once fully cooked turn off stove and stir in buffalo wing sauce.

5.  Enjoy! Add to a wrap, place over a salad,  make tacos, eat alone with a side of celery and carrot sticks, etc.
Now I’m off to some other adventure. When I say that it will probably entail washing clothes or something cleaning related.

Chicken Souvlaki Kabobs with Tzatziki Sauce

At least once a week I try to incorporate a new recipe into my weekly menu. This usually consists of me perusing instagram, pinterest or just google itself. As mentioned on a previous instagram post, by planning and making a grocery list for the a week I end up saving time, money and reducing my stress level when I don’t know what to prepare for dinner. A lot of patients I have worked with in the past say they simply don’t have time to make a list and my question is, “Do you watch tv?” Most answer “yes.” Then you have time to make a list and if you don’t want to miss your show than use the commercials as a time to make the list. If it is a priority you will make time for it. As some wise man or women once said, “If you fail to plan, you plan to fail.”

So let’s get to this recipe already. Who knows, it may end up on your weekly menu.

Ingredients for Chicken Souvlaki Kabobs

  • 
About 1.5 pounds of chicken breast cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 3 tablespoons dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 
1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 2 tablespoons fresh, minced parsley
  • 
1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 3 tablespoon olive oil

Directions:
 Preheat oven to 350 degrees F
Mix all of the ingredients except the chicken and place in a seal-able bag. Add chicken pieces and allow to marinate in the refrigerator for 1-2 hours.
Place on kabobs (I used wooden kabobs so I soaked them in water a few hours before placing the chicken on them). Place on a sheet lined with foil. Cook for about 10 minutes. Then set broiler to on and cook for an additional 10 minutes or until done, rotating half way through. I broiled mine for about 14 minutes to get that harder texture on the outside of the chicken.

 

Ingredients for Tzatziki Sauce

  • 1 medium cucumber grated and squeezed of as much water as possible (you can use cheesecloth or if willing a handful of paper towels)
  • 2 cups of Chobani Fat-Free Plain Greek Yogurt (or similar Greek Yogurt of you choice)
  • 3 tablespoons of lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons of minced garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoon of cumin powder
  • 
1/2 teaspoon of ground pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon of cayenne pepper (more or less depending on your spice level)
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 
3 tablespoons minced dill leaves (fresh)
  • 2 tablespoons of minced mint (fresh)

Directions:
 Mix all of the ingredients except the cucumber well. After well mixed fold in cucumber.

Serve with chicken souvlaki and your choice of  pita bread, rice, purple onions, lettuce or tomato. Enjoy!

Apple and Peanut Butter Dip

All you need are three ingredients and a few minutes to whip up this easy treat. When I say a few minutes it’s because the ingredients are an apple, peanut butter and Greek yogurt of your choice.  I personally am not a fan of the tart, plain Greek yogurt taste. If you are someone who is or you are reaching for the ultimate healthy treat than you can substitute. My yogurt of choice is the Greeks God Vanilla Yogurt. It is the ultimate creamy treat, and my way of being human and opting out of fat-free, plain Greek yogurt. I’m human! So let’s get to the recipe and recipe substitute for you out there who aren’t picky and like plain Greek yogurt.

Print

Apple and Peanut Butter Dip

A twist on the classic Apples and Peanut Butter

Course Snack
Prep Time 5 minutes
Servings 1
Calories 290 kcal

Ingredients

  • 1 Apple
  • 1/3 cup Greek God Vanilla Yogurt (or other preference)
  • 1 tspn Peanut Butter

Instructions

  1. Mix Yogurt and Peanut Butter well. Dunk in apple or fruit of choice and enjoy!

This provides approximately 290 calories, 30 g carbohydrates and 8 g protein. You can choose to substitute with a yogurt such as Chobani Non-Fat Plain Greek Yogurt which will provide you with 250 calories, 26 g carbohydrates and 19 g protein.
This is a great snack to act as a “bridge” to your next meal, runners needing a post recovery snack or those with Diabetes looking for a healthy snack.  Not to mention it pairs well with other fruit. Enjoy friends!

A Twist On The Traditional Cheese and Cracker Appetizer and Tips On Party Eating

A while back I was able to teach a class dealing with something I am sure we have all experienced. Attending a social event where dozens upon dozens of appetizers line the tables and everything is calling out to you. For me personally, I feel like a child in a candy store. You aren’t at a restaurant where you are analyzing prices and trying to decide between this or that. At these events you can have it all… but should you? Below are a couple tips to help you enjoy these social events without the guilt.

1. Just as dietitians tell you not to go grocery shopping hungry (hello big bill), you don’t want to go to these functions starving. When you are starving you are more apt to make poor food choices and go for a lot of foods you probably wouldn’t otherwise. Think of a snack beforehand that is still small, but filling. An apple with peanut butter or half a sandwich for example.

2. Before going crazy and picking up one of everything look at all the options there are. I know I have started loading up my plate only to realize something better was down the line. Take a moment to really look at what foods actually are worth it to you.

3. Take small servings of appetizers. That way if you don’t like it you don’t have to worry about having half a plate you feel obliged to eat because your co-worker made it. Yep. I have been that person.

4. Make sure you are staying hydrated. When I say hydrated I mean with water. If you are having alcohol make sure you are drinking water between drinks. Also make sure you are well hydrated prior to going. We may think our body is telling us we are hungry when it is really saying, “water me!”
These are a few tips that have helped me and I hope can help you.

To end this topic I am sharing with you one of my favorite party appetizers that does require being moderate in consumption, but is a good spin off of your normal cheese and crackers appetizer.

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Ingredients:

  • Plain Triscuits
  • Mascarpone Cheese
  • Strawberries (sliced)
  • Fresh Basil
  • Balsamic Vinaigrette

Instructions: Add approximately 1 tsp. of the mascarpone cheese to the cracker. Top with strawberry slice and fresh basil. Drizzle with vinaigrette and enjoy!

These are so many different topping ideas when it comes to crackers! This is only one. Tell me, what are your favorites?

Avoiding The Wrong Kind of Runs

Lets be frank and talk about a topic that has most likely plagued every endurance athlete out there at least once in their lifetime. Some may calling its the runner’s trots, but to account for upper and lower GI effects, let’s just call it GI distress. When we have our digestive tract mess with us it can not only affect our training, but it can also linger over into our recovery time.

So what causes us to get that rumble in our stomach that sends our minds into overdrive as we try to estimate the closest spot to, well quite honestly, unload? You know what I’m talking about. “Such and such gas station is about 1.2 miles from here, but maybe that little boutique store has guests restrooms just a block over. Or… OMG. I’m in the middle of nowhere. Is there a bush I can hide behind or can I slowly walk until I get to a restroom.” What causes these thoughts to surface begins with what is taking place inside of us. As we start to run our body starts to shunt blood flow away from our digestive tract to provide oxygen enriched blood to all of those working muscles. This inturn delays the breakdown and absorption of food as our digestive tract is no longer receiving it’s normal blood flow. Now picture a meal you ate just bouncing around in your stomach because it didn’t have time to properly digest.

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Next, depending on the length of our runs we don’t necessarily always have water or fluid  with us. Even a slight hint of dehydration can have an affect on our GI tract with some individuals being more affected than others. Personally speaking, if it’s cool outside or winter time, I typically don’t carry any fluid on runs less than 90 minutes. The exception being I am doing a tempo run and testing out fueling strategies for a race. I say personally speaking because I also have friends who sweat like a broken faucet and always have fluids on hand.

Third, but not least are simply the mechanics you could say. As we run our insides are getting jostled around. Mixing that with gravity can start to cause upset and irritation. This can lead to cramping, heartburn and diarrhea to name a few. So what dietary strategies can help in preventing upsetting our insides? Below are a few simple steps that may be beneficial to you:

1. If you are dealing with GI Issues now and not sure what the culprit is, do like I tell my patients, “Document! Document! Document!” Write down what you are eating, drinking and type of workouts. That way you can look back and pick out the culprit. Example: Everytime I have this included in dinner I end up having to stop and use the restroom on my morning run. Or anytime I drink this I tend to get kind of nauseated during runs/races.

2. While I always encourage fiber intake and some runners have stomachs of steel and can handle it, start to cut back on fiber the week before a race and try and avoid high fiber foods before a run. Play with different foods and see what works best for you. My go to are bananas and gel blocks when time is limited. Before races are coffee and a plain white bagel with peanut butter and banana. Nothing fancy, but it works.

3. If your stomach is super sensitive consider going to liquid foods or gels that don’t need to broken down like solid food. It took me sampling a variety of gels and blocks to finally find one that was worked for me and didn’t make me gag.

4. Speaking of liquids. Keep hydrated! Again, this takes playing around with. The most common advice is about 2 cups of water 2-3 hours before a run/race and another cup about 10-20 minutes before. This isn’t for everyone though and why it is so important to listen to your body, drink when you are thirsty and also know where fueling stations are during races. A good indicator you are properly hydrated is if you pee regularly throughout the day and your pee is a light-straw color.

5.  Consider popping some tums before races or demanding runs. I am known for being the pukey runner, but since popping some alka-seltzer chews before demanding workouts I feel like a whole different person.

6. Finally, don’t go changing up or trying new things right before your big race! Make sure you are working on your fueling strategies as you train so by the time you get to the big day you know exactly what to take and when to take it. In a future post I will tell you about my journey in finding my optimal fueling strategy!

End Note: If symptoms persist despite your efforts to alleviate them I recommend seeing your PCP or a Medical Professional. While I may be a Licensed and Registered Dietitian my advice does not take the place of a Health Professional that can treat and  diagnose your specific ailments.