I've posted about homemade pizza before, but I wanted to take the opportunity to share this recipe from Annie's Eats again for the perfect pizza crust because its so easy and so good!
This is the first time that I split the dough into two to make a thinner crust pizza and it was definitely the best yet. I topped the pie with my homemade sauce (I used my immersion blender to make a smoother pizza sauce), low fat mozzarella cheese, turkey pepperoni and shredded Parmesan.
And now for that crust recipe. Trust me, this is the way to go!!
Basic Pizza Dough
Recipe from Annie's Eats
½ cup warm water (about 110°)
1 envelope (2 ¼ tsp.) instant yeast
1 ¼ cups water, at room temperature
2 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
4 cups (22 oz.) bread flour, plus more for dusting
1 ½ tsp. salt
olive oil or non-stick cooking spray for greasing the bowl
Measure the warm water into a 2-cup liquid measuring cup. Sprinkle in the yeast and let stand until the yeast dissolves and swells, about 5 minutes. Add the room temperature water and oil and stir to combine.
Place the flour and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Briefly combine the dry ingredients at low speed. Slowly add the liquid ingredients and continue to mix at low speed until a cohesive mass forms. Stop the mixer and replace the paddle with the dough hook. Knead until the dough is smooth and elastic, about 5 minutes. Form the dough into a ball, put it in a deep oiled bowl, and cover with plastic wrap. Let rise until doubled in size, about 1 ½ to 2 hours. Press the dough to deflate it.
To bake, place a pizza stone in the lower third of the oven. Heat the oven to 450° for at least 30 minutes. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface. Divide the dough into two equal pieces. Form both pieces of dough into smooth, round balls and cover with a damp cloth. Let the dough relax for at least 10 minutes but no more than 30 minutes.
Roll out the dough and drizzle a little olive oil on the crust. Top as desired and bake for 25 minutes.
One of my goals in the new year is to also try more vegetarian meals. Not that I plan on giving up meat, but because they are generally very healthy and cost effective dinners. Plus, I have many family members that are vegetarian and I would like to be able to make them something other than meatless baked ziti when they visit!
I have to admit that I wasn't that excited about this meal. I am typically not a fan of beans, even though I am trying to be more open minded about them. But, it ended up being pretty good. There was something missing flavor-wise (I could have added more salt), but overall it was a nice hearty soup. And the beans were actually my favorite part!
ZACH'S RATING - *** 1/2
Bruschetta Pesto Tilapia
Adapted from The Mad Chemist
Serves 2, 11 WW points plus per serving
4 Tilapia filets
4 tbs pesto
4 tbs roasted red pepper bruschetta (Wegmans brand)
1/2 cup asiago cheese
Preheat oven to 350
Pat tilapia filets dry and place on a baking dish. Top each filet with 1 tbs pesto and 1 tbs roasted red pepper bruschetta. Sprinkle with asiago cheese.
Bake for 5 minutes. Switch oven to broil and cook for 3 minutes more or until cheese is browned.
ZACH'S RATING - *** 1/2
I have to pat myself on the back, this was a great one!
1 lb boneless skinless chicken tenders, cut into chunks
Olive oil cooking spray
1/2 large onion, chopped
1/2 yellow pepper, chopped
1 tbs minced garlic
14.5 oz can diced tomatoes
4 cups vegetable broth
1 packet low sodium taco seasoning
4.5 oz green chili's, drained
1.5 cups frozen corn
Heat pan to medium heat, spray generously with cooking spray. Add chicken and brown on all sides. Add onion, pepper and garlic and cook for 5 more minutes.
Spray crockpot with cooking spray. Add chicken and vegetables. Add the rest of the ingredients and cook on low for 6-8 hours. Serve with tortilla chips, sour cream and/or a little bit of Mexican cheese on top.
I bagged it up in small zip locks, 1/2 cup per portion, so I can easily grab it on the go.
Low Fat Granola
Adapted from Weightwatchers.com
4 points plus per 1/2 cup serving
4 cup uncooked quick oats
1 cup steel cut oats
2 scoops protein powder (I used banana flavored)
6 Tbsp honey
1 tsp canola oil
1/4 cup apple juice
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 cup slivered almonds
1/4 cup dried cranberries
1/4 cup chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 350°F. Mix uncooked quick oats, steel cut oats and protein powder together and spread on a non-stick baking sheet with sides; bake for 10 minutes, stirring once.
Meanwhile, mix honey, oil, apple juice, spices and vanilla together in a cup. When oats are done, spoon into a large bowl; set pan aside. Add almonds to oat mixture and stir to combine. Pour honey-spice mixture over oat mixture and mix thoroughly to distribute and coat completely; spread mixture back over pan.
Return pan to oven and bake for 15 to 20 minutes more, stirring every few minutes. Remove from oven and spoon back into bowl. (Note: Be careful that granola doesn't burn)
Stir chocolate chips and cranberries into mixture; let cool. Store in an airtight container. Yields about a half cup per serving.
Down 6 lbs in 2 weeks. Weight Watchers rocks!
Chicken Meatball and Vegetable Soup
A Running Mama Cooks Original
7 WW points plus per serving
1 tbs Olive Oil
1/2 onion, chopped
3 carrots, chopped
1/2 cup chopped celery
pinch red pepper flakes
4 cups broth
28 oz can diced tomatoes
1 tsp minced garlic
1 lb ground chicken
1/2 cup oats
1/4 cup egg beaters
1/4 cup Parmesan, plus more
2 tbs pesto
1 tsp minced garlic
1 tsp fresh thyme
1 cup frozen green beans
6 oz bag baby spinach
Heat olive oil in a large saucepan. Add onions, carrots and celery and cook until onions are tender, about 5 minutes. Add a few pinches of red pepper flakes
Add broth, tomatoes, bay leaf, and dried basil. In the meantime, combine ground chicken, oats, egg beaters, pesto, Parmesan, garlic and thyme and form into 1 inch meatballs
Bring soup to a boil. Add frozen green beans and drop in meatballs. Simmer on low covered for 20 minutes or until meatballs are cooked through. Stir in baby spinach and serve with Parmesan cheese.
I think Gina from Gina's Weight Watchers Recipes is my new best friend. The last thing I wanted to do is give up Sunday pancakes while on a diet! I quickly found what I was looking for on skinnytaste.com. Banana pancakes are my favorite and these looked perfect. And only 4 points plus for 2 pancakes (with the nuts, 3 points without), not bad!
They were light and fluffy. I put a teeny bit of butter and light syrup and didn't feel like I missed out at all.
Banana Nut Pancakes
Recipe from Gina's Weight Watchers Recipes
1 cup whole wheat flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1 large banana, very ripe, mashed
1 cup 1% milk
3 large egg whites
2 tsp oil
1 tsp vanilla
2 tbsp chopped walnuts (optional)
butter flavor cooking spray
Mix all dry ingredients in a bowl. Combine milk, egg white and mashed bananas in a bowl and mix until smooth. Combine wet ingredients with the dry and mix well with a spoon until there are no more dry spots. Don't over-mix.
Heat a large skillet on medium heat. Spray oil to lightly coat and pour 1/4 cup of pancake batter. When the pancake starts to bubble and the edges begin to set, flip the pancakes. Repeat with the remainder of the batter.
The only thing I changed about this recipe is that I used thighs instead of drumsticks. And with only 5 weight watchers points plus per serving (4 servings total) you cant go wrong! It was so good that I had it for lunch today with steamed broccoli and dinner with brown rice.
Asian Glazed Chicken Thighs
Very slightly adapted Gina's Weight Watcher Recipes
8 medium boneless skinless chicken thighs
Pam spray oil
1 cup water
1 tbsp Sriracha hot sauce (more or less to taste)
1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
1/2 cup soy sauce
4 tsp agave nectar (or sugar)
3 cloves garlic
1 tsp ginger, grated
2 tbsp chives or scallions, chopped
1 tsp sesame seeds
In a heavy large saucepan, brown chicken on high for 3-4 minutes with a little spray oil. Add water, balsamic, soy sauce, agave, garlic, ginger, hot sauce and cook on high until liquid comes to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer, covered for about 20 minutes. Remove cover and bring heat to high, allowing sauce to reduce down, about 8 minutes until it becomes a thick glaze, turning chicken occasionally. (Keep an eye on glaze, you don't want it to burn when it start becoming thick) Transfer chicken to a platter and pour glaze on top. Top with chives and sesame seeds and serve