Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Nailing Pizza Night :: Perfect Paleo Pizza.

In the past 4ish years of my kitchen follies in Paleo cooking, I have always said I would try one of the ever-so-popular Paleo pizza crusts.Somehow, I have always found it too intimidating, seemingly complicated, or just not the adventure for that night. Well, this was the night!
My coworker, Karen, more affectionately called KSue, shared this link to a pizza crust from Paleo Spirit. She mentioned it being really easy, so I stocked up on the ingredients so that I could be ready to make it any point. Finally, last night, as I wrapped up day 98 of my Whole101, I decided it was time to try it.

The crust was super easy and straight forward. I may play with adding some spices and herbs next time to mix up the flavor, but trust me, it was good just as is! I left the pan in the oven while it preheated so it was nice and toasty when I transferred the parchment paper over to the hot pan. I baked my crust for 10 minutes before taking it out to add toppings and this is what it looked like.
 I added a thick slather of Trader Joe's Tomato Basil Marinara (check your labels!), followed by a full layer of fresh arugula. Boiled chicken from the weekend was easy to cut into thin slices to add some protein and then a nice sprinkle of sun dried tomatoes and some more sauce topped it all off.
 While I think this was a great combo of flavors to start, I went ahead and added a dusting of Flavor God's "Everything Seasoning" and a little extra dried basil to the top for full flavor optimization!
 Back in the oven for about 5-6 more minutes...I just watched to see the toppings crisp up a little and make sure the crust didn't burn.
The crust edge was perfectly crispy around the edges while the toppings all molded together like one big smear of flavor. So much so, that I didn't even notice the absence of cheese! Sorry boutcha, Dairy! The center was not to crispy while sturdy enough to still allow me to eat it just like a slice of pizza.

Yall. Some experiments take some refining and spice testing to get something worthy of bragging about. This pizza? Nailed it on the first try. I can't wait to experiment with different toppings and possibly even venture into new creations out of the crust.

So bring on days 100 and 101 of my Whole101. This pizza is comin with me into the next 100 and I'm PUMPED about it.

Pizza Night On, Friends!
Finding Fit,

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Kitchen MVP Spotlight :: The Emulsion Blender.

As an artist and designer, I have my hands-down favorite pens (which are stashed in every nook and cranny of my life), my go-to brushes, and the favored paper consistency. Naturally. So when it comes to the kitchen follies, there are obviously going to be some key important tools and devices, this "chef" gravitates towards for her clean eatin masterpieces. Obviously.

While there are a few things that my meal prep could not survive without, I had to start with a particular such MVP...my Cuisinart Hand Held Emulsion Blender.
Once upon a time, I was desperate to create a "paleo" mayo or other form of bonding agent for yummy dishes like chicken salad, deviled eggs and the like. But the "slowly drizzle your oil" step in every recipe was quite the turn off. When I'm meal prepping, time is golden, okay?? I finally got my hands on one of these bad boys as a present from my sister and my life is forever changed! ...or at least my dips, dressings and mayo's...
Finally I can dump it all in one spot and in less than 10 seconds, I have a perfect consistency, all natural, homemade dressing of any kind.
I mean, it's literally magic.
You've seen me rave about the jalapeno ranch. Well this is the tool that makes that happen and that's just the start of it.
The base of any sort of "mayo" is as easy as
  • 2/3 cup of Avocado oil (or any other light tasting oil...EVOO...)
  • 1 Egg
  • 1 tsp Lemon Juice
  • 1/2 tsp Sea Salt
  • 1 tsp Ground Mustard
From there, it's just about spices. Dill, Parsley and some Cayenne have become a go-to for a little kick of flavor. The jalapeno, garlic powder and a little extra lemon juice make that delicious jalapeno ranch dip. Experiment with any spices, hot sauces and other flavors to produce all sorts of dips and dressings.

It seems bizarre but it truly is a matter of just throwing everything in the tall container, starting the blender on low at the base and slowly raising to the top for perfection. My friends have literally seen this happen and gone "what just happened??" The response? Magic.

I store my dressings and dips in these easy little 2 ounce plastic cups with lids for easy grab and go.
While this act of magic is enough for this little guy to make the MVP list, there is actually an entire manual of other things to be done with it. With an additional whisk attachment, variable speed dial and easy to use and wash body, this tool is well worth making the kitchen cabinet cut.

So run, don't saunter, and grab your own little magic machine. Your meal-prep deserves it. And so do you.

Finding Fit,