Pampering Josh with a homemade Buffalo Chicken Pizza!

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Needless to say, he was delighted. I love creating my own pizza because I can make sure that every element is just the way we like it! From the cooked to a crisp crust, to the delectably spicy and savory buffalo sauce–that I made with the juices of the marinated, tender chicken breasts I baked and shredded for the topping, to the sweet-caramelized red onion and melted blue cheese crumbles.

It all starts with the crust! Here is the guideline (“recipe”) that I use:

 

(Yield: 3 large pizzas)

*Tip: tightly- wrapped dough stores well in the refrigerator for a day or two, you can also keep it in your freezer for up to three weeks. 

  • 4 cups all-purpose flour, plus extra for dusting and if your dough is sticky
  • 1 1/2 cups warm-hot water
  • One packet (.25 oz) active dry yeast
  • Pinch of Kosher salt (about 1 tsp.)
  • Olive oil, for drizzling
  • Freshly ground pepper (because Josh loves it!)

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Steps: 

  1. In one small bowl: dissolve the yeast into the warm-hot water. In a large bowl: whisk together the flour and salt.
  2. Add the yeast mixture into the flour mixture. Knead the mixture with your clean hands, until a ball forms. *If it’s too dry- add a little water (about a tablespoon at a time), *if it’s too sticky- add a little flour (about 1/2 tablespoon at a time). Drizzle in a little olive oil. Cover your pizza dough with plastic 20170718_140648wrap and store in a warm place. Allow your dough to double in size. *This is a very important step! Once it is ready (about an hour), cut into three equal size pieces.
  3. Heat your oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Extend your dough onto a large pizza pan (I use the perforated ones) Make tiny breathing holes using a fork, and season with freshly ground pepper and a drizzle of olive oil. Cook your pizza crust for approximately 20 minutes, until golden brown.
  4. Add your toppings and change the oven to broil to create a delicious layer of hot, crispy, melted goodness!

SLICE

Sweet and Savory Watermelon Salad

Go outside of your comfort zone and enjoy a slice of watermelon with crispy red onion (*soak in ice water to decrease the pungency), sweet and creamy honey goat cheese, crunchy: cashews, walnuts, and macadamia nuts (*raw nuts contain many vitamins, nutrients, and healthy fats). Top it off with mixed greens tossed in a white wine reduction and finished with freshly ground pepper.

It will be a juicy, sweet, and savory treat for your taste buds!

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Portobello Salad Tossed in a Rich Burgundy Wine Vinaigrette

Salad is always a good idea! It is a quick and easy way to use anything you have in your fridge. To keep it exciting and nutritious, use a variety of fresh ingredients that pair perfectly together.

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The key is to balance flavors* This red Burgundy Wine Vinaigrette has the richness of dark cherries, the sweetness of raw-unfiltered honey, and the savory flavors of fresh thyme, parsley, and garlic.

Here is how you can make this delightful salad at home:

Ingredients:

  • Five baby portobello mushrooms
  • 1/4 yellow bell pepper
  • 1/4 red bell pepper
  • 1/4 yellow onion
  • Fresh mixed greens
  1. Julienne your vegetables (this means slicing into 1/8th of an inch slices) *It doesn’t have to be perfect, just as similar in size as you can get them
  2. Sautée in a little olive oil, and set aside.

For the rich Burgundy wine Vinaigrette: (Yield: 1/2 cup)

  • Two cups of Burgundy red wine
  • One cup of good quality extra-virgin olive oil *the taste will come through in the vinagrette
  • Two cloves of fresh garlic (or as much garlic as you want)
  • Two sprigs of thyme
  • Generous pinch of fresh parsley
  • Dash of kosher salt
  • Tablespoon of raw-unfiltered honey *this is my favorite honey thus far 
  • Tablespoon of honey mustard *this will help bind the vinaigrette and more honey? yes, please!
  1. Add all of your ingredients in a large pan (except for the honey mustard)
  2. Bring up to a boil, then down to a simmer. When it becomes thick, it is ready for the blender!20170626_145201
  3. Add the honey mustard, taste your vinaigrette to see if you want to adjust any ingredients, blend for a few minutes, and voila!

Toss your salad and enjoy!

 

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Josh said this salad was amazing; that he had never tasted anything like it and it is now one of his favorites!

This meaty, savory, delectable salad will change the way you look at mushrooms. 

Mix up your whole grains!

One of my favorite pantry staples is a blend of brown jasmine rice, farro wheat, and red quinoa! You can mix it up with any flavors you enjoy, and voila, you have a filling and scrumptious meal!

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I simply sautéed a few shrimp, added a little broccoli, the cooked grains (cooking grains in bulk is a time saver!), and topped it off with: fresh avocado slices, lemon wedges, a drizzle of extra-virgin olive oil, and mixed greens for extra nutrients!

*Season to your liking; here are a few suggestions that are better for you than excess salt: 

  • Red pepper flakes
  • Roasted garlic
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • Fresh herbs
  • Citrus juices- lemons, limes, and oranges are my personal favorites!

 

Smoky Chicken Tortilla Soup

When it rains, I get an immediate craving for soup! My hubby, Josh, always asks for his favorite… chicken noodle soup! Since I often look for a reason to add my Mexican flair to my recipes, I incorporated both of our tastes with a smoky chicken tortilla soup!

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  • Roasting chicken-season with: cumin, garlic powder, chili powder, thyme, freshly ground pepper, and a pinch of Kosher salt.
  • Corn tortillas– five, diced
  • Vegetables– (diced) carrots, celery, onion
  • Herbs– cilantro and thyme
  • Legumes– kidney beans, cooked
  • Smoky flavors and deliciousness– chipotle peppers, roasted garlic cloves, chile de arbol powder
  • Garnish– guacamole, crunchy tortilla strips

20170606_150009 Roast your chicken in the oven. Cool it, and shred it. Save the bones for chicken stock! 

Two pots: One for chicken stock; one for sauteing and bringing the flavors out of your ingredients.

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Saute in a little olive oil: corn tortillas, smoky flavors and deliciousness, herbs, vegetables, and kidney beans. When your vegetables are soft, add in the shredded chicken and chicken stock. Bring up to a boil and let the flavors marry.

This soup is addictive! Once you have a spoonful of the steaming hot, spicy, savory broth; the tender, sweet vegetables; the juicy, garlicky- chicken, and my favorite part- the guacamole; you will not want to stop! I, myself, had three bowls. Luckily, this soup is low in fat, and spicy foods are known to accelerate the metabolism!

If you have any soup left, you can freeze it for up to three months! This is very convenient for healthy eating and satisfying your taste buds, with minimum effort!