PIZZA!

NC’S PIZZA!

Okay folks, I finally got a post together and it’s FUN!  It’s PIZZA!

Followed my craving yet again but wanted to opt for more control of my ingredients.  While in Costco recently a fella was on line in front of me with 20 of the hugest bags of flour ever made (yup, that’s Costco for you — everything done BIG!).

I read the label and yup, sure enough, bleached white flour.  Previously read that actual chemical bleach is used to strip away vital nutrients and create the white appearance.  I mentioned this to the guy who was making the purchase for his friend’s pizzaria.  He was startled, as I was when I researched it.

So yes, that $1 NY pizza we all love, I’m sure uses the least expensive ingredients including bleached flour.  Many baked goods (yum!) are also made with it.

I used a simple recipe of olive oil, yeast, wheat and white (unbleached) flour and then watched it grow…

 

BEFORE OVEN                                       OUT OF THE OVEN

       

How you like your toppings is all on you.

Me, I love vegetables and I added sweet peppers, onions, spinach, sun-dried tomatoes, low-fat cheeses and this amazing eggplant garlic spread I found at Trader Joe’s.  I was never really a tomato sauce lover so this was a nice option for the base.

NC’S PIZZA 

Ingredients — Dough

3/4 whole wheat flour
3/4 C white flour
1 t salt
pinch of sugar
1 T olive oil
1/2 – 2/3 C of warm water (120-130 degrees)
2 t of dry yeast

Process for making the dough:

Mix the olive oil and the water; combine the dry ingredients except for the yeast; add the yeast in the center of the dry ingredients then add the water and olive oil mixture; mix with hands, careful not to add too much water; when dough is mixed till smooth and no longer sticky, place in a greased bowl, cover and let sit in a warm dry spot for 45 minutes.  When it has enlarged, knead and roll out onto a the back of a greased baking sheet; add your topping and bake at 400F for about 20 minutes.

Enjoy.

Find your personal favorite pizza dough recipe and then add whatever toppings you like!  Simple and FUN!

 

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The Sauce is in the Spinach

Spinach Sauce

Well, I haven’t been keeping up with posts.  As life fluctuates and we progress, changes happen and it’s only good to go with that flow.  I’ve missed you all and I’ve missed sharing my goings on in the kitchen.

This is a healthy yummy dish I created because I love spinach and it was inspired by a dish I had at a local soul food restaurant — spinach rice.  I’ve also been shopping too much at the big box stores and quantities for one are nonexistent so it gets me to be even more creative since waste makes me cringe.

If you’re in the mood for something different yet flavorful and healthy, give it a try.

Here’s the recipe.

Spinach Sauce

2 ½ – 3 C baby spinach or any fresh spinach, blanched
1 medium onion
4 garlic cloves, minced
dash or two of red pepper flakes
1/4 C pitted green olives (any you like)
1 T olive oil
pinch of salt

Process:  Saute the onion, olives and garlic in olive oil until fragrant; add the blanched spinach and cook for another 5-7 minutes until flavors meld. Let cool; add to a blender and puree.

Add this sauce to any side dish like quinoa, rice, pasta with a sprinkle of pecorino romano cheese, and perhaps for added creaminess, some cream or half and half.


Here’s the sauce on quinoa topped with pecorino romano cheese.  Mmmm…