Easy Breezy Pizza at Home

I don’t know about you, but I LOVE pizza! I know that may cause me to lose my official foodie status, but I do. Pizza is so versatile and the variety of topping combos keeps monotony at bay.

Semi-homemade is okay with me.

I love a good hand tossed pizza crust as much as the next person, but when I’m looking for a quick crust or one that’s GLUTEN FREE, I always reach for a box of Chebe (not sponsored, just a fan). It’s also super clean when it comes to ingredients and with only a few in total, checks all my boxes when it comes to mass-produced foods. It’s base is tapioca flour which leaves you with the best crunchy on the outside, chewy on the inside crust. I’ts my very favorite grain free option and believe me, I’ve tried most. It comes together in about 2 minutes and bakes for 15-20. Perfect!

I like to roll mine out and brush with olive oil. I usually bake just the crust for 7-10 minutes on my pizza stone, then add toppings and finish off baking.

Getting Saucy.

Now, if time is really an issue just use your favorite store bought pizza sauce. But, in the amount of minutes it takes you to pre-bake your crust you can whip up a delicious sauce that rivals any grocery offering.

Just combine a can of 8 oz tomato sauce and 6 oz tomato paste with 1.5 tsp sea salt and 1 TBLS pizza seasoning. Just read your label to check for any tricky ingredients. Heat all of these with a drizzle of olive oil over medium until heated through. Depending how much sauce you like, this should cover 3 pizzas. You can even freeze your extra!

On the the really good stuff…

Remember pizza’s versatility? Well , here’s my kids favorite thing to do with pizza dough and why I always have 2 or 3 boxes of Chebe in my pantry.

PIZZA ROLLS :

Roll your dough out into a thin rectangle. It should be thin, but not quite transparent. Cut into equal strips about 1-1.5″ wide. Dollop a tsp of pizza sauce every inch or so down on every other strip. Top with a sprinkle of cheese and any other toppings. Brush the sides of the dough with olive oil and top with an empty strip. Press the sides to seal and cut into squares with a pizza cutter. Brush the tops with olive oil and bake according to package directions or until tops are crispy and golden.

Some of the sides might pop open as they puff- no big deal!
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Building a Better Breakfast

With a few minutes of prep and some containers we all have around the house, breakfast is ready in flash!

Think about your typical morning. If you’re anything like me, there are lots of moving parts in those first morning hours. If I don’t have a quick and easy plan in place, my breakfast gets skipped! I recently saw one of my favorite bloggers writing about her delicious, make-ahead jars. Immediately I had a vision of rows of tiny jars of goodness lining my fridge shelves.

I’ve got 2 variations to share with you today!


THE SAVORY

These came together in a flash and all of the ingredients were so delicious on their own, they barely made it into the jars. I knew from the start I wanted to include quinoa. It’s packed with protein and is considered a super food in many cultures. For my friends with gluten sensitivities it IS a gluten free grain, but is often processed in facilities containing gluten, so get to know your sources!

Next came the kale! Kale is one of my favorite greens to chop up and toss in with my morning eggs, so it was a natural addition. It’s packed with nutrients, especially when raw. Tossing it in a sweet and tangy vinaigrette with the quinoa made it the perfect foundation.

I really could go on and on about these delicious little jars but instead I’ll share the full recipe with you here:


THE SWEET

I don’t know about you, but some mornings I’m just NOT ready to wake up and eat eggs. I know I need a healthy dose of protein first thing, but it can be a struggle sometimes in those early hours of day.

Enter these next jars.

Start with old fashioned oats. They pack more nutrients than the quick version and by pouring your liquid in 4-16 hours before eating, they’ll be plenty soft when you’re ready to indulge. I like to add a little flax meal (OMEGA 3’s) and collagen peptides (PROTEIN) to my oats.

Top these with almond butter, your favorite berries, a sprinkle of coconut flakes for texture and you have a great, and very portable breakfast!

Check out the recipe here:

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Feeding a Mixed Crowd: one meal for a variety of food needs

Photo: Amanda Donaho Photography

About 18 months ago I had the pleasure to serve as private chef to an incredible group of female business owners. They were at a creative retreat designed to infuse their businesses with new vision. One of the perks of this retreat was all meals served up in-house by yours truly. The menu was in place BEFORE the participants. Upon registering, each person had a chance to list food allergies, intolerances and preferences. So there I was, not only needing to meet pretty tight timelines for meal service, but also needing to adapt each meal to accommodate 3 very specific needs. TIME TO THINK OUTSIDE THE BOX!

TIPS FOR ADAPTING A MENU

1.STAY CLOSE TO NATURE.

Menus made of mostly whole, unprocessed foods are the easiest to modify. You can control EXACTLY which ingredients to include and omit. This does require making most of your food from scratch, but with good planning you can make a lot of things in advance. (Don’t get me started on my love of meal plans. That’s a post for another day!)

2. DON’T OVERTHINK.

I remember freaking out the first time I had to cook for a friend who has celiac disease. This is not just a matter of a tummy ache, too much of the wrong food could land her in the hospital. I used to go to elaborate lengths to cook a different meal for her. She actually wanted to be eating what everyone else was, so I stopped over-planning. When I made a big batch of lasagna for our small group I made a smaller pan using zucchini noodles. One simple ingredient switch. Instead of serving cake or cookies for dessert, we did fruit parfaits. They were every bit as delicious, but wouldn’t hurt our friend.

3. DO YOUR HOMEWORK.

Cooking , and especially baking, can be pretty tricky when it comes to certain food needs. Spend some time learning. Just a few tips can go a long way. A while back I took a deep dive into gluten free baking. I learned all about alternative flours, which could be subbed 1:1, which could not. Now I have this little reference file tucked away in my brain. It makes adapting a baking recipe so much easier and I can use MY favorite recipe and still serve my gluten free friends.

4.KEEP YOUR ADJUSTMENTS TO YOURSELF.

If you serve it, they will eat! Did your parent ever try to sneak extra veggies into your meals? Maybe they did and you didn’t even notice! The best way to serve a mixed crowd is to just SERVE THE FOOD and say nothing. Instead of announcing to the group about this gluten free/dairy free/paleo brownie, just serve it and watch what happens!


I think the best compliment I received the weekend of the retreat was the women asking if I had remembered their allergy when preparing a certain food. I always assured them I did, but they couldn’t see a difference between their food and the rest of the group. One woman teared up telling me how much she enjoyed eating some foods she hadn’t had in ages. SHE didn’t even know of some of these tweaks were possible. There’s so much joy in serving food, especially when folks have been feeling left out.

Today I’m sharing with you my recipe for the delicious quiche pictured above! I used to serve it in a flour crust, but I decided to try a potato crust for my gluten free friends. Guess what? I loved it, my family loved it! It’s our new go to quiche.


All photos in this post courtesy of Amanda Donaho Photography http://amandadonaho.com/

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The Evolution of a Recipe: Tortilla Edition


Who loves tacos? I guess the better question is, who DOESN’T love tacos? In my house we diligently guard our Taco Tuesdays (and Wednesdays, Thursdays… you get the picture). Actually, tacos and fajitas are one the top ways I utilize leftover protein. So when I realized my Whole30 was going to prevent me from enjoying my beloved corn tortillas, I went to work on a grain-free option.

Now, before the Whole30 judges come to get me, I am WELL AWARE that tortillas are SWYPO (search it); taking an item and making a paleo version of it, rather than just giving it up for a month. However, my reasons for Whole30 these days are not to identify triggers or allergies, but simply for a reset and refocus. And, so here we are!

ATTEMPT #1 Almond, Coconut + Tapioca Flours

YIKES! The theory was good, but they were very crumbly and the almond flour did not say tortilla to me.

ATTEMPT #2 Tapioca Flour + Egg

Getting Closer! The texture was almost right, but these little guys were not fold-able! They would make a better tostada.

ATTEMPT #3- THE FINAL PRODUCT!

I’m so happy with how these turned out! I decided to roll them out and use my 4″ pastry cutter to make them the perfect little tortillas for street tacos.
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