CRUSTY CRAB PIZZA!

Posted on June 10, 2017. Filed under: Main Course, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , |

Ok, there’s no crab in this dish but that’s all I can think of for a title. It’s been a long week, I’m tired.

This week was my first on the floor at the new job. I was planning on easing in; my 5 normal shifts at Unos and 3 at the new place. What happened was I told my new manager I could work more than that. I’ve doubled every day except today.

I’ve pretty much been living on salads, smoothies and Greek yogurt (ok, and the occasional doughnut). Issue with that is I’ve noticed I haven’t really been eating enough. Sad part is, I’ve almost been to tired to eat. I’ll get used to working two jobs again, it just takes a while to adjust.

All week I’ve been thinking about making a pizza with a broccoli crust. When mom and dad came up to see the show, mom brought me some of last year’s broccoli, and I didn’t want to do something normal with it. Cause, why do that?

I had a short trip to the beach today, and while lying on the sand, I came up with the toppings. I’m actually pretty impressed with the result. The crust wasn’t as crispy as I’d like, but I didn’t get all the extra water out of the broccoli so I’m sure that’s why. Since the broccoli I had was already cooked and frozen, I did things a little differently than the recipe that I originally used.

This recipe is pretty easy and very good for you. If you’re doing the low carb thing, this is for you. Or, if you just want to try something different, this is for you.

(Sorry about the picture, it was hard to get a good quality image of this one)

Broccoli Crust Pizza with Black Bean Garlic Puree, Caramelized Red Onion, Asparagus, Brussels Sprouts and Fresh Mozz

Here’s what to get from the store:

Broccoli
Eggs
Parmesean Cheese
Fresh Mozzerella
Black Beans
Garlic
Lemon Juice
Asparagus
Red Onion
Brussels Sprouts

Garlic Black Bean Puree

5 cloves garlic
1/2 can black beans
1 tsp lemon juice
1 tsp olive oil
Salt, pepper, red chili flakes

  1. In a blender, put all the ingredients. Puree until smooth, taste to adjust seasonings.
  2. Put on top of the broccoli pizza crust

Broccoli Pizza Crust
(From Gimme Delicious)

1 small head of broccoli (about 2-3 cups riced)
2 eggs
¼ cup Parmesan cheese
¼ cup mozzarella cheese
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon pepper
½ teaspoon Italian seasoning (optional)

Toppings

Black Bean Garlic Puree
Fresh Mozzerella
Chopped Asparagus
Caramelized Red Onions
Chopped Brussels Sprouts

  1. Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper (highly recommend) or grease with oil; set aside.
  2. Process the broccoli in a food processor or shred with a cheese grater until the broccoli is the same consistency as rice.
  3. Place broccoli in a large bowl, cover with plastic wrap and microwave for 1-2 minute or until it is steamed. Cool for at least one minute then pour broccoli on a clean washcloth and squeeze as much liquid as you can out of the broccoli until you are left with a dry ball of broccoli.
  4. In a large bowl, combine the broccoli, eggs, cheeses, and seasoning with a spoon until fully combined. Pour mixture into the pre-lined baking sheet and shape into a pizza crust, ½ inch thick.
  5. Bake for 10-12 minutes or until crust is lightly browned. Remove from oven and add the toppings. Return to the oven and bake for an additional 10-12 minutes or until the cheese is fully melted. Cool for at least 5 minutes before cutting.

The one thing I’ve noticed different about myself is that I’ve actually been exercising before my morning shift at work. If you know me, you know I HATE waking up in the morning, so I normally don’t exercise before morning shifts. But, the past three days I actually have. I’d like to say it’s given me more energy for the day, but it hasn’t. I still end up crashing, but it’s no biggie. I’ll get used to it again.

 

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Gimme a Pizza yo Mind

Posted on February 10, 2017. Filed under: Main Course, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , |

I was originally going to write a post about the pickled red onions I made the other day, but my Domino’s app (don’t judge me, we all have that one awful food we have to have) told me yesterday was National Pizza Day. How could I pass up an opportunity to make pizza?

Kati and I normally hang out on Thursdays so I suggested pizza and said I was going to make it. I came up with a whole wheat crust (which turned into a beer whole wheat crust) with the pickled red onions, and Kati picked mushrooms. Both of us love cheese so there would be no less than 5 cheeses. vc bbbbbbbbbbbbbbbg4aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa

Above was Batman, he’s not a pizza guy, but Ghost doesn’t like typing. (Yes, crazy cat lady is in full effect this winter)

Now, let’s talk about the red onions that were the star of the pizza. I had been annoyed with Aldi because the only way to buy red onions was to buy them in a bag. I like putting red onions on my salad, but I don’t go through them that quickly to justify buying a bag of them. Last week my parents and I went to MSI for my mom’s birthday. For lunch I had a spinach a bleu cheese salad that had pickled red onions. And it hit me, duh, why not buy the bag of onions and pickle them? Humans have been pickling vegetables for a long time because we didn’t always have fridges or chemicals to keep food from going bad. I had finished 2 jars of my mom’s pickles, and figured why not clean them and use them again? The onions didn’t take long to make and I’ll have onions for my salads for a long time.

The pizza dough itself was pretty easy to make. It’s just the normal dough with some beer added in. I love using beer in baking because not only does it have it’s own yeast, it also adds an extra flavor that most breads don’t have. The recipe I used suggested a dark beer, but I added a wheat beer and I actually liked the flavor.

Whole Wheat Beer Pizza with Picked Red Onions, Mushrooms and 5 Cheeses

 

Here’s what to get from the store:

Whole wheat flour
Beer of your choice
Yeast
Red onion
Apple cider vinegar
Peppercorns
Mozzarella
Sharp cheddar
Asiago
Goat cheese
Parmesan

Whole Wheat Beer Pizza Dough
(From Veggie and the Beast)

2/3 cp room temp beer
2 1/4 tap active dry yeast
1 tsp sugar
2 tbsp. Olive oil, divided
1 tsp sea salt
1 1/2 cp whole wheat flour (plus more for kneading)

  1. Whisk together the warm beer with the sugar and the yeast. Let sit for 5 minutes, until bubbly and foamy.
  2. Whisk in 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Pour in 1 1/2 cups flour and the salt. If you have a stand mixer with a knead hook, let it do its thing for 5 minutes. If you don’t, use a wooden spoon to incorporate the flour, then turn out onto a floured surface and knead for 5 minutes. This is the stage where you may need to add a few more tablespoons of flour. It will come together and be more elastic. You want the dough to bounce back when you poke it.
  3. Transfer the dough to a lightly-oiled bowl and flip it around so the oil coats it fully. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and let it rise in a warm place for 2 hours.
  4. Turn the dough out onto a parchment-lined surface. Cover with a warm, damp towel and let rise for another 20 minutes. (I actually skipped this step, the crust ended up being crispy and we loved it)
  5. At this point you can refrigerate the dough if you’re not using it right away.
  6. Preheat oven to 400. If you have a pizza stone, put it in the oven while it preheats.
  7. Roll the dough into a 10-12 inch circle (depending on how thick you want the crust) Pinch the sides to form a slightly raised crust. Brush 1 tablespoon of oil on the top of the crust.
  8. When you’re ready to bake, add your favorite toppings, and then bake for 20-25 minutes.

Pickled Red Onions
(From the Kitchen)

1 medium red onion, about 5 ounces
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup rice vinegar, white wine vinegar, or apple cider vinegar

Flavorings (optional):
1 small clove of garlic, halved
5 black peppercorns
5 allspice berries
3 small springs of thyme
1 small dried chili

  1. Slice the onions: Start 2 or 3 cups of water on to boil in a kettle. Peel and thinly slice the onion into approximately 1/4-inch moons. Peel and cut the garlic clove in half.
  2. Dissolve the sugar and salt: In the container you will be using to store the onions, add the sugar, salt, vinegar, and flavorings. Stir to dissolve.
  3. Par-blanch the onions: Place the onions in the sieve and place the sieve in the sink. Slowly pour the boiling water over the onions and let them drain.
  4. Add the onions to the jar: Add the onions to the jar and stir gently to evenly distribute the flavorings.
  5. Store: The onions will be ready in about 30 minutes, but are better after a few hours. Store in the refrigerator. They will keep for several weeks, but are best in the first week.

My laptop is currently being fixed so I’m on my tablet. I actually like my tablet, but I do miss my laptop. I was hoping to get it back today, but come to discover I had ordered the wrong part, so I had to order the right one, I hope he’ll have it back to me next week.

I’m not sure what it is, at the beginning of the week I had so much motivation to go through my yoga practice, but yesterday and today I just don’t. I forced myself through it yesterday and I’m glad I did, but today I’m not sure if I’ll go through it. I still have a few hours before I have to be on the train to go to my show so hopefully I’ll get a little more motivated. I’m currently writing this in front of my therapy light with Batman lying in a weird position on my leg.

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Crustin

Posted on January 27, 2016. Filed under: Main Course, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , |

This time of year I see a TON of advertisements for weight loss support groups, apps, diet plans, ect. A lot of them suggest counting either points or calories or whatever. From personal experience, that doesn’t really work that well. When I was using a calorie counter, I’d see that I had worked off X amount of calories in my workout, then would eat as much as I burned. Not really a good plan.

The plan should be to teach you how to make better choices and how to balance what you do eat. I’ve actually gotten to the point where I crave healthy stuff instead of the unhealthy stuff. Yesterday I bought gelato, cause my hormones were asking for it, but I didn’t open it. This didn’t come overnight though, it took a long time.

Every time I see my parents now, my mom asks if I want some more frozen broccoli and tomatoes. I’m pretty convinced that they could have supplied a grocery store with tomatoes and broccoli this past season…

I only took broccoli this time, and decided I wanted to try out one of those “pizza” crusts with it. It was very easy to make, but I didn’t grease the pan, so it didn’t want to come off the foil (my fault). Other than that, it was pretty good. Broccoli doesn’t have to strong of a flavor so topping it was pretty easy.

If you’re looking to cut carbs, this would be a good way to do it with adding some extra vitamins into your dish.

Broccoli "Crust" Pizza Topped with Yellow Squash, Asparagus, Mushrooms and Shallots in Baslmic Reduction

Here’s what to get from the store:

Broccoli
Parmesan Cheese
Yellow Squash
Asparagus
Button Mushrooms
Shallots
Balsamic

Broccoli “Pizza” Crust

1 cup broccoli
1 egg
Parmesan Cheese
3 cloves garlic
1 shallot, chopped
Asparagus, chopped and blanched
1 Yellow Squash, diced and sauteed
3 Button Mushrooms, sliced
Balsamic Vinegar

  1. Pulse the broccoli in a food processor until it is chopped as much as possible. Add one of the cloves of garlic and process some more.
  2. Put the broccoli in some paper towels to squeeze out as much of the water as possible.
  3. In a bowl, mix the broccoli with one egg, and some Parmesan cheese. Season with salt and pepper.
  4. Spread onto a greased cookie sheet to resemble a pizza crust.
  5. Cook in a 400 degree oven for about 15 minutes, or when the edges start to brown.
  6. While the crust is in the oven, saute the shallots and garlic until fragrant. Add just enough Balsamic vinegar to cover the onions, and let reduce.
  7. When the crust comes out of the oven, add your toppings, finishing with the reduction and some more cheese. Put back into the oven to melt the cheese. Cut into pizza slices and enjoy!

I’ve upped the intensity of my yoga practice recently. I can actually get into a triangle head stand and I’m trying to not use the wall. The result are some very sore shoulders, but it’s a great feeling. I’m trying to flatten my stomach out just a little more before Shawn and I go to L.A in March, and I think I can do it.

I’m coming up on my year mark of my yoga practice, and I’m proud of myself. It was an amazing decision to start and I am much healthier because of it. Whatever you decide to do should make you feel just as great as my yoga makes me feel. Don’t give up.

 

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Double Trouble

Posted on April 13, 2013. Filed under: Dining | Tags: , , |

So, I’ve been to this place twice now and haven’t written a post about it, which is weird. I can’t stop talking about it to other people, but haven’t written about it yet, so here it is. About a month and a half ago, a place called Tomato Bar opened up very close to my apartment. It boasts a variety of pizzas, hoagies, calzones, and salads. Every ingredient they have is Indiana local and very fresh, which I love. They have a good amount of craft beers and a very cool environment.

Matt and his friend Kevin went there first (without me, but they saved me some pizza) a few days after they opened. Matt got a pizza they call a Thai Fighter that had peanut sauce and Kevin got something (I believe) called the Reef. I had a piece of each of them, cold, and they were good. Kevin’s pizza was better than Matt’s, only because Matt’s wasn’t as spicy as expected. My first time there was about two weeks ago. I can’t remember what pizza Matt got, but I got something called the Presto Pesto. It has pesto, provolone, mozzarella, chicken and olives. I don’t like olives though, so I switched it out for artichokes. That’s another thing I love about the place, there are so many different options for toppings. If you don’t like any of the pizzas they have, you can build your own with pretty much any topping you can think of. I also got half of a salad (which was huge) called the Californian, which had avocados and bacon on it, who doesn’t love that combo? My pizza was perfect. I watched them hand throw the dough, you just don’t see that much anymore. They brush it with garlic butter right near the end of baking, and it is even softer and more delicious that way.

The second time Matt and I went, I got an avocado hoagie. The menu said it was 12 inches, but I wasn’t expecting the size of that sandwich. The bread  felt and tasted fresh made, all of the vegetables were as fresh as they could be and the spicy mayo they topped it in gave that extra punch the sandwich needed. Matt got a calzone called the Whatjamician (spelling) It had jerk chicken, a mix of cheese and pineapples.  That calzone was huge, it pretty much wrapped around his place. We both came home with doggie bags.

Prices are pretty fair for the fresh ingredients. Our last bill was $30 and that included the sandwich, calzone, a small side salad, one beer and a pop. The service there is also very good, I have heard they are hiring, it’s tempting to apply.

Unlike other new restaurants, they have fantastic hours, 11am until Late (I’m assuming they close on volume, which is fine). We went around 8:30 the last time and they were starting to close up shop when we left, but they weren’t kicking us out. Check out the Tomato Bar located on LaPort Ave here in Valpo, right near the Starbucks.

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What a mix!

Posted on September 14, 2012. Filed under: Dining | Tags: , |

I’ve never been to Cici’s pizza. Matt says we need to go, but I can’t ever justify driving to Scheriville for a buffet, but that’s just me. At Cici’s, they have a mac and cheese topped pizza. I’ve always thought it was a strange mixture, but what do I know? It’s pretty popular. The last time I went grocery shopping, I discovered that Tony’s has a mac and cheese pizza, so I thought, why not? Well, I’ve been sick all week, along with everyone else, so there hasn’t been much eating of anything. Last night (after having Chinese food for dinner) Matt and I decided to make it. He already knew he’d like it, so he ate almost all of it. I had a piece or two. It was good, weird, but good. The mac and cheese wasn’t as huge on it as I thought. I had thought it would be Kraft dumped on a pizza crust, and that wasn’t it. It didn’t have the normal pizza sauce either, which also helped. Normal pizza sauce would have over powered and mixed with the cheddar cheese of the mac and cheese. I have to say, I’m not going to jump on the pizza all the time, but every once in a while I’ll try it, why not?

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Pizza!

Posted on September 1, 2012. Filed under: Dining | Tags: , |

I love supporting local businesses. In my mind, they’re better than the franchise in almost every way, especially in restaurant form. (Yes, I know, I do work at a franchise place). The service tends to be better and the food is generally out of this world. Now, I know that isn’t always the case, but I believe most of the time it’s true. That was one of the main reasons why I don’t eat at Olive Garden or at my own job any more. The food ends up being bland and tasteless. It’s not really the cooks fault, they’re given a certain way to build everything and it has to be perfect, even if it doesn’t taste right. I know at my place, there are books with pictures and measurements of the food. And I’m not talking, add 1 tsp of salt, or to taste. I’m talking, add 2 oz of chicken NO MORE BECAUSE IT’S EXPENSIVE. But local places can hire people who know how to cook and who make something delisious. That was the great thing about Pass Times, to bad it doesn’t exist anymore.

Anyway, Matt and I went to Tony’s Pizza for dinner last night. Tony’s has been in Valpo for years. A few of my aunts love it, and it was there when my parents were in college (and the decor shows that!) I have eaten a few things from Tony’s before and have loved them. One of my favorites is their huge chef salad that I can never finish. I have only had their pizza a handful of times though. I got to try their deep dish for the first time on Wednesday, and I have to say it was really good. The cheese had that perfect consistency that is almost impossible to chew because it is so stringy and the sauce had the almost perfect sweetness you want in a pizza sauce. Their crust was pretty good, however it did get soggy after a while. That is one thing Gino’s East has perfected, and no one has been able to copy just perfectly. Last night, though, we got thin crust because we were hungry. I got a side salad also, which just ended up being a Dole Salad mix with my favorite type of Bleu Cheese dressing, lumpy. We got bacon on half (because Matt said bacon on pizza is weird) and sausage on all of it (because you can never have enough meat!) We got a large, and should’ve gotten a small because it was so filling! And it was almost perfect. They LOADED up my side with bacon. I feel there was almost a whole pound crumbled up, but it was hard to tell because the bacon went on top and the sausage went under the cheese. Either way, we got through half of it and the rest is in my fridge. It’ll be lunch, probably.

If you’re ever in Valpo, come check out Tony’s. It’s on Lincolnway, almost on the corner of Lincolnway and Morgan, between Pat’s Parlor and Bdubs. They open at around 4:30 everyday, and they get busy, so get there early!

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Delisous Fish!

Posted on August 27, 2012. Filed under: Main Course | Tags: , , |

I was scared of tuna until college. In my mind, no meat or fish should come out of  a can. If it’s supposed to stay cold to stay fresh, it should be in the cold aisle. Victoria showed me how awesome tuna noodle casserole was, however, and I fell in love. I had an amazing tuna melt while on tour a few years ago and I crave it every once in a while. Matt also loves a good tuna melt, and we used to make them all the time. One night while at the store, he had this crazy idea, why not make a tuna melt pizza? Now, when I first heard that, I thought “ew, pizza sauce and tuna salad?” but no, Matt’s idea was to just use crust, tuna salad and cheese. It’s genius, absolutely perfect. It’s so simple. Matt makes his own tuna salad (which I believe is the best, but maybe I’m bias), but you can just use store bought tuna salad. Granted, home made tuna salad isn’t hard either!

Matt’s Tuna Melt Pizza
tuna salad (either home made or store bought)
pizza crust or flatbread
cheese of your choice, cheddar is my favorite

  1. Make your tuna salad, take 2 cans of tuna, feed a little to the cat, mix it with about 1/2 cup of mayo, squirt of mustard, 2 hard boiled eggs, 1 tbsp of pickle relish. Spread the salad  on the crust and cover with cheese. Bake in a 350 degree oven for 15 mins or until wanted level of crispy-ness.
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I love non Chained Resturants!

Posted on November 29, 2011. Filed under: Dining | Tags: , , |

So, we finally got on the road, which does mean rest stops with chain restaurants. But, whenever I can, I like to go to the small places. Saturday night we were in Red Bank, NY and our Christmas Past from last year, Chrysten, and her boyfriend came to visit. We were trying to figure out where to eat and decided on an Italian place called Burtuchi’s (I think…) across the street from the hotel. It’s probably a chain, but I’ve never heard of it so I was down. I decided on a brick oven pizza verde. This was my first non-traditional American Pizza. All it had on it was mozzerella, proschetto, arugula and a basalmic drizzel. That was it. And it was fantastic. That small list of ingredients mixed together to make an amazing flavor. I want to make it at home, but I need a brick oven. I’ve wanted one for a while anyway, lets be honest.

Sunday night I was craving a margarita and I discovered what I thought was a Mexican place 5 mins away from our hotel. It turned out to be more of a Creole place, and google maps just lied to me, but we ate there anyway. I got some crawfish mac and cheese. It was a pretty simple baked macaroni, but I loved it. You could tell it wasn’t boxed, that it had been home made. I ate all of it and never looked back. Really, the only problem with that place was that it was VERY expensive, as in I paid $10 for a mixed drink expensive. But it was worth it, it was the start to a very fun night.

We’re in York, PA for a couple of days, and I’m pretty psyced to see all of the cool places we can eat while we’re here. I love traveling.

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Pizza!

Posted on November 21, 2011. Filed under: Dining | Tags: |

Being from the Chicagoland area, I’m very specific about my pizza. It’s either deep dish or very crispy crust. None of those overly large pieces that you have to fold or super spongy crusts. No thank you. Well, for lunch we went to the Pizza Shoppe here in Omaha. We’d gone there before, but we were in a hurry so we just got their sandwiches (which were good) but today we each got their personal pan pizzas, which they called Princes (not sure why). I got bacon and artichokes on mine. The pizza was really good. The crust was very crispy and the pizzas were perfect sized for hungry people; we all at all six slices in ours. I’d go there again, if I got the oppurtonity. My only issue with the place was the fact there was only one server on and she was a little stressed./

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I love Vacation Food

Posted on August 14, 2011. Filed under: Dining | Tags: , , |

I took a short trip to Ludington, MI to visit an old friend for the weekend. We didn’t eat to much because we were to busy hanging out on the beach (that was walking distance to the hotel). But we did have good dinner both nights. Friday we had the Chuck Wagon, a local pizza place. We got their biggest pizza with artichokes, bacon and tomatoes topping and parmesean garlic breadsticks. It was pretty amazing. We had enough pizza for breakfast and lunch on Saturday, totally worth it. Saturday night we went to an Irish pub named  Sportsman’s. I got a wrap with chicken and veggies in it with some sweet potato fries, which was very tasty. My only complaint about the place was that the service was AWFUL. It just seemed to be our server, but it was frustrating. I left the worst tip I’ve ever left (since I didn’t have to pay for anything else, I paid for dinner) and I still kind of feel bad…it was like 12%…oh well. Maybe she’ll learn?

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