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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The Art of Making a Plan: Meal Planning 101

So, its almost February, who made a resolution to eat healthier this year? Anyone, anyone? If you’re like me in many years past, it was two-fold: healthier choices means more eating at home and more eating at home means less spending! Win, win! As with a lot our resolutions, good intentions, etc…, it’s tough to turn these into habits without a plan.

I’m going to show you my meal planning process and explain why it works for me!

CREATE A MASTER PLAN

Whether it’s a spreadsheet, app, or pen and paper, you’re going to need someplace to lay out your meal plan. I like to use a simple Google spreadsheet. I usually plan for 1-2 weeks at a time. I physically print it and hang it on the fridge, but my husband and I can also access it from our phones when we’re out, which has proven SO handy! Some of my friends like to print the blank spreadsheet and write their plan in. Try a few different systems and see which works for you! I’ll show you mine below!

MAP OUT YOUR WEEK

Take a look at all of the activities you and your family will be involved in for the week; sports practices, extra shifts at work, travel, lessons. Take a look at the evenings you may be getting home later and need a quick and easy meal versus the days you’ll have a bit more time for prep. I like to lay all of these things out on a spreadsheet like this:

CHECK YOUR FREEZER, PANTRY & FRIDGE

Once you know what’s happening in your upcoming week, take a look in your freezer and pantry. Do you have a whole chicken, several cans of black beans, a surplus of cilantro from a recent recipe. Try to incorporate these extras in the upcoming recipes. It’s amazing how much money you can save, not to mention cutting down on food waste. Last week I spent only $65 dollars on my family of four utilizing ingredients I already had in the house.

PUT ALL YOUR INFORMATION IN ONE PLACE

Maybe this is self-explanatory, but it was a huge game changer for me! My master spreadsheet has tabs for shopping lists (including all the stores I frequent, recipes, and ideas for future meals. Having it all in one place really helps me stick to the plan.

PLAN YOUR PREP

This may be my favorite part of my master plan! About six months ago I added a prep tab into each day. When I’m mapping out my week I can look at lighter schedule days and add some meal prep for upcoming busier days. I do the more labor intensive prep on the first day of the week, but also build in time to pack lunches, make a loaf of bread, etc… This really helps me to rely more on home cooked items and less on the easy access packaged ingredients.

BE FLEXIBLE

So, you’ve got your plan, make your shopping list, purchased groceries. What happens if Tuesday rolls around and you don’t feel like eating tacos? Who cares! You are in control! Change a day, eat leftovers, push a meal off to the next day. The plan is just a framework to help you avoid all those last minute panicked dinners or bowls of cereal for dinner. Here are some wonderful side effects of meal planning:

  • More time with my family. If I know I have a busy work week, I’ll choose simple Instant Pot or slow cooker meals. That way when we’re home, we’re together.
  • Kids help! My boys help me sit down on the weekend and pick out meals for the upcoming week. They love having a say in what they’re eating.
  • Healthier choices. By mapping out activities and meals I can make sure to purchase and prep foods and meals that align with my health and fitness needs and future goals.
  • Budget is in check. By making my list based on a detailed plan and checking my fridge, freezer and pantry every week, I can keep food costs and food waste down. This makes me (and my husband) super happy!

Now that you’ve heard my ideas, get to work on your own! I’ll bet you can find a system that will simply your life and help you gain some precious time back in your week. I’ll help you get started- download my template below! If you do, drop me a comment and let me know what you gain back into your week by meal planning. Happy planning, friends!

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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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