Here’s an easy snack! Toss 2 tbs olive oil with a bunch of seasons (I used garlic, chili, smoked paprika, chili flakes, salt & pepper) with about 14oz of garbanzo beans. ( I soak beans in large batches and freeze them until use.) Spread on a foil lined cookie sheet and bake 350 for 45 minutes. Perfect crunchy snack!
My pizza making ways have evolved. I no longer wait for the dough to rise, or even bother using my bread maker. Nope. Time is of the essence and when I have a hungry boy to feed, I need something quick and easy.
My pizza recipe has slightly altered since I began this blog. I changed to sprouted flour (for the healthy benefits.) Even with the increased price (I pay about $7 at whole foods for a 5LB bag) it is still cheaper to eat homemade pizza over store bought. I also get to control what does or does not go in it. In the future I might play with a few gluten free recipes, but for now my entire family is in love with this pizza crust.
To make things even easier, I plan on making at least 2 pizzas when I bother to make dough. This way I can tuck one away in the freezer for a quick meal. Tonight as I type, I decided to double up and make ready-made-meals to start the school year off strong. I am making 1/2 size cheese pizzas to store in gallon freezer bags. The idea is leave the toppings up to the person cooking the pizza.
The assemby line goes something like this:
Make the dough recipe, split into 2 balls. Immediately roll out one and pop it in the oven at 475 degrees for 6 minutes. While that is baking, I place the next dough ball on my cutting board and start my next batch of dough in the stand mixer. This will produce 2 more dough balls. I end up with 8 freezer pizzas in roughly the amount of time it takes to make one. I consider this a good investment of your time. If you are short on time, just make one and freeze the other.
2 cups sprouted flour
3/4 warm water
1 1/2 tsp yeast
2 tbs olive oil
1/4 cup parmesan cheese (optional)
sprinkle of salt
FIrst, pour warm water into your stand mixer bowl. Add yeast and olive oil. Then add flour, cheese and salt. Mix with a bread hook until a dough ball has formed. Split the ball in half and roll out your first ball (I don’t even use a floured surface, I just get it rolled out. If it is too sticky, I make sure that the next batch has a bit more flour). After you roll out your dough, pick it up and bounce it from the center to allow it to stretch out and then hold the edges and let it hang as your work your way around the “wheel.” I don’t know how to do the “fancy pizza toss” but this stretches out the dough for me. You might find a better method.
Bake your dough at 475 for 6 minutes. While in the oven, start rolling out your next dough ball. If you need more pizzas, add your ingredients to your mixing bowl and begin mixing while you roll out your second dough ball. Now you have started your assembly line. When your first pizza crust is done, remove from oven and let cool while you bake your next pizza crust. Once I am done baking crusts and they are all cool, I begin my easy freezer prep.
Spread your pizza sauce on all your cooled pizza crusts. Next, add your mozzarella cheese and press it down into your sauce so it adheres to your pizza. Place each pizza inside of your gallon zip bags and freeze flat. Once frozen, I use a magazine holder in my freezer and stand them upright, side by side like books. This makes for super easy storage and easy access.
Cooking fresh pizza
Add any additional toppings and place back in the oven for 7 minutes.
Cooking from frozen
Take your pizza out of the freezer. Add any toppings you want and place in your cold oven. Turn oven on to 475 and time your pizza for about 20 minutes. That’s it. After soccer practice or a busy day, the ease of just throwing something ready made into your oven is the best!
Pesto is one of those flavors I really love but don’t eat very often anymore. My husband and I used to own a crepe shop and pesto crepe was our top selling crepe! I always imagined it being hard to make from scratch and buying it pre-made isn’t cheap. Pine nuts are one of the reasons the price is so high. I have heard of other people using walnuts or pecans instead of pine nuts but I have a son who is severely allergic to those nuts. For the most part I gave up on my quest and resorted to every once in a while buying a real “pine nut pesto” jar from the store.
Every summer I buy a basil plant or two from Trader Joes. They are so inexpensive and tend to last the entire season in my backyard in a pot. (That’s if I remember to water it.) I love to cut the leaves off for my homemade pizzas or cold quinoa caprese salad. This lazy sunday afternoon I decided to do some investigating online. Surely there was something other than pine nuts that I had on-hand that would work. Then I found it! Cashews.
Who knew you could use cashews in pesto! This was my simple fix and out I went with scissors in hand. After watching a video on how to completely rob your basil plant without killing it, I cut my little plan almost down to the pot. The trick is to cut the thick steam down to the bottom leaves, making sure there are healthy ones ready to grow in it’s place, not the old spent leaves that are hanging on for their last fews days in the sun. The rest of my adventure is revealed in these easy directions below:
4 cups basil leaves (loosely measured- I did around that much)
1 cup cashews
1 cup parmesan
3 garlic cloves (substitute garlic powder if you are sensitive to garlic)
3-4 tablespoons lemon juice (or squeeze half a lemon
1 cup olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
Rinse basil leaves (especially if they have been outside) and place directly into food processor. (No need to pat dry.) Add garlic cloves, parmesan, cashews and blend. Scrap down the walls of food processor with rubber scraper. Add the lemon juice and a little salt and pepper and blend again. While blending, slowly add the cup of olive oil to emulsify.
That’s it! Your pesto is ready to be cooked with your favorite pasta, pizza, calzone or sandwich dish. I have heard you can freeze pesto too, I just decided to make daily pesto dishes this week. Below are a few photos of what I had this week with my pesto. I cannot describe how yummy it is when the pesto is heated and the parmesan gets a little toasted in it. Oh yum!
This is pizza is using my homemade pizza crust. Brush the raw dough with pesto and cook it onto the pizza instead of toasting up the pizza crust first. Then remove from oven and add roasted tomatoes and mozzarella cheese.
This easy meal is simply cooked pasta, tossed in warm pesto with roasted tomatoes and cubed mozzarella (from string cheese sticks!)