Eating My Way Through

Whole Wheat Pizza Dough March 6, 2011

Filed under: Dinner — Nikki Wegner @ 3:59 pm
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Pizza is by far one of my guiltiest pleasures! I have a very hard time resisting it…no will power whatsoever. Combined with beer, it was definitely my downfall in college (it probably didn’t help that the only sport I played was beer pong.)

I figured it wouldn’t hurt to see if I could find a way to make it a bit healthier. Enter the whole wheat pizza crust, made easy by my mixer, which yes I am still obsessed with!

To start, you just combine a packet of yeast with some warm water, letting it sit until it gets a bit fizzy.

Yeast

Yeast

In the bowl of a stand mixer, add in the flours and the salt and mix using the dough hook on low-speed.

 

Flour mixing

Flour mixing

 

Once combined, slowly add in the yeast, kneading the dough for about 7-10 minutes. Once it is well-formed, add in the olive oil.

Take the dough and shape it into a ball, placing it back in the mixing bowl. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap or a damp towel, and let the dough rise for about an hour, until it is double its size.

 

Dough rising

Dough rising

 

Once the dough has risen, punch it down. You can use it right away, or wrap  in plastic wrap and place in the refrigerate overnight to make it extra yummy.

 

Pizza Dough

Pizza Dough

 

To finish off your pizza, preheat your oven to 375º and add your toppings of choice, then bake for 15-20 minutes!

I caramelized some onions with garlic and mushrooms and then added some goat cheese and prosciutto to mine, while my roommate took a more traditional route, topping hers with tomato sauce, mozzarella cheese and black olives…both delicious!

 

Caramelized Onion, Goat Cheese and Prosciutto Pizza

Caramelized Onion, Goat Cheese and Prosciutto Pizza

 

One good thing about this dough-you can freeze it and have it handy for a latter date! If you don’t want to use it all right away, just wrap it in some plastic wrap and aluminum foil and pop it in the freezer. It should take an hour or two to thaw, so make sure you take it out in time if you are craving it.

This is a great addition to my healthy cooking staples! A way to get my fix of a favorite, without as much guilt. And the ability to make my own mini pizzas has self-control built right in!

Whole Wheat Pizza Dough

1 packet of dry yeast

1 cup warm water

2 cups whole wheat flour

1 cup all-purpose flour

1 tsp of sea salt

1 tablespoon olive oil

Directions:

Add yeast to warm water in a medium-sized bowl, letting it sit for  about 5 minutes until it gets fizzy

In a stand mixer, with the dough hook attached, combine the flours and salt on low-speed

Slowly add in the yeast mixture and let the dough hook knead the dough until well combined, scrapping the sides of the bowl to make sure all the flour is getting mixed in

Kneading should take about 7-10 minutes, then add in the olive oil and continue kneading until combined

Form your dough in to a ball and place back in your mixing bowl

Cover with plastic wrap or a damp dish towel, and let the dough rise for about an hour – the dough should almost double in size

Punch down the dough and form into desired shape for pizza making!

For even better results put in the fridge and let it sit overnight

Yields 8 Servings (I made 8 mini pizzas)

 

A Meze Platter May 2, 2010

Filed under: Dinner,Salad,Veggies — Nikki Wegner @ 5:38 pm
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I have come across a variety of Mediterranean inspired dishes lately that I have been dying to try. But all of them were smaller plates, which does not a complete meal make. So I decided to combine two of them with one of my favorite easy chicken  recipes and some pita bread to make a small meze platter for dinner.

I started things off by making a Cucumber and Chickpea salad and a yogurt sauce to accompany everything. The salad is super light and fresh tasting, as it combines mint with a bit of olive oil and salt, that’s it!

First, roast the chickpeas for the salad and garlic for the sauce.

Garlic and Chickpeas Roasting

Garlic and Chickpeas Roasting

While everything is roasting, chop the cucumber and mint and combine with the olive oil. Also juice one lemon and combine with dill and greek yogurt.

Once chickpeas and garlic are done roasting, add the chickpeas to the cucumber mixture and stir together.

Cucumber and Roasted Chickpea Salad

Cucumber and Roasted Chickpea Salad

Then peel the roasted garlic, be careful it’s hot!, and add to the yogurt sauce.

Yogurt Sauce

Yogurt Sauce

Next, roasted eggplant dip. I love eggplant! If you have ever been out to dinner with me, there is a good chance that if there is a dish with eggplant on the menu I’ll order it. With this recipe the key is to roast the eggplant for the perfect amount of time, otherwise there won’t be a lot of “flesh” to scoop out. Also, the outside will burn, and that is okay! Just be careful when you take it out of the oven you let it cool before doing anything else. Your fingers will thank you.

Roasted Eggplant

Roasted Eggplant

While the eggplant is cooking, you can combine all the other ingredients in the dip: lemon juice, olive oil, feta, red onions, chipotle chile pepper, basil, parsley and salt.

Roasted Eggplant Dip

Once the eggplant is cooled, simply cut the eggplant in half, scoop out the inside into the dip, and mix everything to combine.

The final piece is the chicken. I threw this together once, and it has become one of my favorite easy chicken recipes.

Simply spray a skillet with olive oil cooking spray. Add chopped garlic and balsamic vinegar and heat. Add chicken and cook until done. Be careful not to over-cook. It can get dry quickly if you don’t pay attention.

Balsamic Chicken

Balsamic Chicken

Then I toasted some pita, and put everything together on a plate to enjoy!

Meze Platter

Meze Platter

I am not going to lie. This is one of the trickier complete meals I’ve ever attempted. You just have to prep things in advance and be aware of timing. But, any of these recipes are great on their own and would be good as a dish to pass at a dinner party.

Cucumber & Chickpea Salad (adapted from FitSugar)

1 large cucumber

1 15.5 oz can chickpeas, rinsed

1 tbsp + 1 tsp olive oil

2 tbsp mint

Salt, to taste

Directions:

Pre-heat oven to 400° F

Place chickpeas on a roasting pan, cover with olive oil

Roast for 30 mins stirring occasionally

Slice cucumber then cut into quarters and put in a medium bowl

Chop mint and add to cucumbers with 1 tsp olive oil

Add roasted chickpeas, stir and salt to taste

Yields 4 servings

Yogurt Sauce (adapted from FitSugar)

6 garlic cloves

6 tbsp non-fat plain Greek yogurt

2 tbsp dill, fresh

2 tbsp fresh lemon juice

Directions:

Pre-heat oven to 400° F

Roast garlic cloves for 20-30 minutes

In a medium bowl, combine yogurt, lemon juice and dill

Peel roasted garlic and add to mixture

Whisk until combined and creamy

Yields 4 servings

Roasted Eggplant Dip (adapted from EatingWell)

1 medium eggplant

1/2 cup reduced-fat feta

2 tbsp lemon juice

2 tsp olive oil

1/2 cup red onion, chopped

1/4 tsp chipotle chili pepper

2 tbsp fresh basil, chopped

2 tbsp fresh parsley, chopped

Salt to taste

Directions:

Pre-heat broiler

Poke eggplant with a fork to create holes for venting steam

Line a baking sheet with foil and place eggplant on the pan

Put in oven, turning with tongs every 5 minutes, skin will char

Repeat for about 20 minutes, or until you can insert a knife into the think stem of the eggplant

Once cooked, transfer to cutting board to cool

While eggplant is cooking, combine feta, lemon juice, olive oil, red onions, pepper, basil, and parsley in a large bowl

When eggplant is cooled, cut in half, length-wise

Scoop out the eggplants flesh into the bowl

Stir with mixture and add salt to taste

Yields 4 servings

Balsamic Chicken (own recipe)

olive oil cooking spray

2 garlic cloves

1 tbsp balsamic vinegar

1 lb chicken breast, trimmed

Directions:

Spray a skillet with cooking spray

Add garlic and balsamic vinegar and heat

Add chicken and saute until cooked through

Yields 3 servings