Asparagus Pizza

I don't think I've posted any pizza recipes yet ... this one is my current favorite. And it's an original. Came from my brain, it did.
Here's what it looked like before the cheese ...

So ... use whatever crust you like. Khrista has posted one that I am going to try next time I make pizza ... I use Bertolli Five Brothers - Roasted Garlic and Onion Pasta Sauce for the base. Sprinkle with basil, oregano, parsley and garlic powder. I chop a couple asparagus spears up, slice some mushrooms and a bit of red onion. Add kalamata olives and some nice marinated green olives. Sprinkle with a good handful of pine nuts. Add some crumbled feta cheese.

Then top with the mozarella. Put in a hot oven ... 200C ... 400 F. Usually takes about 10 - 15 minutes but watch it at the end so it doesn't burn !

This is a yummy yummy pizza. No, I don't cook the asparagus before I put it on. It cooks perfectly with the pizza !!!

The Enchiladas of Loveliness that Jill Makes but Pam Found

As the title may suggest, Pam found this recipe, and I adapted it to make it into a quick and easy cassarole.

3/4 lb lean ground beef
2 cans refried black beans
12 corn tortillas
about 1 cup salsa
about 1 cup enchilada sauce (we make our own using a mix from Watkins and tomato sauce)
up to 2 cups of cheese (obviously, if you want to cut down on calories, use less cheese)

Brown the ground beef in a skillet, drain off any excess grease. Add about 1/2 cup salsa and the beans. Stir until well mixed and the beans lose their can shape.
Grease (or line with baking paper) a 9x12 pan. Layer 6 of the tortillas on the bottom. Add the beef/bean mixture. layer the rest of the tortillas. Generously cover the top with enchilada sauce and a little more salsa. Make sure it's all sealed and soaked in the sauce. Top with cheese and broil for 5 minutes until the cheese has melted. Let sit another 5 minutes.
Serve with your favorite toppings (we use chopped tomatoes, onions, black olives, avocado, shredded lettuce, jalepenos, sour cream, and salsa).

Serves 8.

Quinoa with Red Peppers

Found this recipe in"From The World's Finest Pasta and Grains" by Anne Marshall
Serves 4
3 red bell peppers (capsicum)
1 cup quinoa
1 tbls virgin olive oil
1 onion, cut into 12 wedges
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped. (Do I even need to say that I used more than this ?!)
1 large tomato, cut into 12 wedges
1/4 black olives, pitted and sliced
2 tbls capers
1 tbls chopped fresh oregano
1/4 tsp salt
1 tbls balsamic vinegar
oregano sprigs, for garnish
Preheat the broiler (grill)
Cut the peppers into wedges, following the natural indentations. Remove the seeds and white membrane. Place, skin side up, under the hot broiler and heat until the skin bubbles and starts to scorch. Place the peppers in a clean plastic bag, seal and cover with a cloth for five minutes. (I don't do this. I put the peppers in a bowl of cold water ) Remove the skin for the peppers with your fingers, then cut into long, thin strips.
Coook the quinoa according to package directions. Keep hot.
Heat the oil in a large, heavy-bottomed saucepan over low-medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and cook, stirring frequently, for 3 minutes.
Add the tomato and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Stir in the peppers and heat through, about 2 minutes.
Add the olives, capers, oregano and salt and cook, stirring, for 30 seconds. Add the vinegar, then remove from the heat.
Spoon the quinoa onto a warm serving platter, spoon the pepper mixture into the venter, garlnish with the oregano sprigs and serve immediately.


Khrista asked what Pappadams were. Figured since she didn't know there are probably others who haven't discovered this culinary treat !! I have never made them myself but one day I will try. Any of you ever done it ? Got a good recipe ??
I looked up Pappadams for a definition ... Here's what I found.
(poppadum, paparh, papad, papadum )
An Indian flat bread made with lentil flour.
The pappadam are fried or grilled.
You can purchase papadam in packages and lightly fry them before use.

(I got this photo here)

This is how I buy Pappadams. They last forever in the pantry. We have cooked them two ways. 1. In Hot Oil. 2. In The Microwave. Easy Easy Easy ... both ways.

(I got this photo here)

Hope that helps ...

Another Pizza Recipe

This Veggie Pizza is fairly quick and easy to do, especially if you do the chopping before hand. We found premade whole wheat crusts which really ratchet up the easy factor!

1 lb of veggies (we usually use red and orange peppers, mushrooms, zucchini, summer squash, artichoke heats [the frozen kind], red and white onions, minced garlic, and jalenpenos [obviously those are left off of Pam's]) chopped up small.
1 sm can of chopped up black olives
1 sm can of tomato sauce
2 lg or 4 sm Boboli whole wheat pizza crusts
Finely shredded italian cheese

Saute the veggies in a little olive oil (we usually make more than is needed for the pizza and use the cooked veggies later in a pita or something for snacks, it also freezes well) untill tender crisp. Mix together tomato sauce and olives and spread generously on pizza crust. Add veggies and top with cheese.

Broil for 10 minutes or until cheese is melted and bubbly and crust is crisp. (we recently learned that if the pizza is too close to the broiler the cheese will melt too fast and the bottom won't be nice and crispy) Enjoy!

Triple Chocolate Cookies

So, It's my first post to this site, and I'm still a bit of a newbie to blogging. I was going to post a pie and crust recipe because the crust is easy and AMAZING, but then I thought of my audience, and decided that my first post would try to fit in with the healthier tone of the site. After this, though watch out... we'll be "eatin' the fat and drinkin' the sweet." to quote an old southern baptist we know.

So, a cookie recipe might not be a good start for healthy... but it's a bit healthier than normal. Note the canola oil and whole wheat pastry flour. Both supposedly add health, but neither take away from the taste.

When you mix these up, they look a bit like brownie batter instead of cookie dough. And, be careful not to overake them... just like brownies.

Oh, one more note. I don't like dark chocolate, so I substituted white choco chips for the dark chocolate.


Sorry there's no picture, I ate them all before I was invited to post on the blog.

1/4 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup dark brown sugar
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup canola oil
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup whole-wheat pastry flour
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (not Dutch processed)
1/4 teaspoon salt, optional
1/3 cup coarsely chopped dark chocolate (2 ounces)
1/3 cup coarsely chopped milk chocolate (2 ounces)
2/3 cup chopped pecans, optional
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
In a large bowl, mash together the butter and sugars with a fork until well combined. (If you're using a Kithcen-Aid mixer, don't use the cookie paddle. Instead use the wire attachment used for whipping cream.) Add the oil and egg and beat until creamy. Mix in the vanilla.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flours, cocoa powder, and salt. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix well. Stir in the dark chocolate, milk chocolate, and the pecans and mix well. Using a tablespoon, scoop the batter onto an ungreased cookie sheet. Bake for 12 minutes. Transfer cookies to a rack to cool.

Copyright, 2005, Ellie Krieger, All rights reserved

I'm hoping my name's going to be on the bottom of this... if not, I'm Ellie Smith.

Pizza Primavera

Pizza Primavera

Weight Watchers book "Pizza, Pizza." Copyright © 2003

Makes 6 servings

½ pound fresh asparagus, trimmed and cut into 3-inch pieces

2 plum tomatoes, cut into ¾ -inch chunks

1 zucchini, cut into ¾-inch chunks

1 yellow squash, cut into ¾-inch chunks

1 red onion, cut into ¾-inch chunks

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

½ teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

¾ cup shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese

¼ cup chopped fresh basil

1 (1-ounce) piece Parmesan cheese, shaved

prepared whole wheat pizza dough

  • Preheat oven to 450°F. Spray a large baking pan with olive-oil nonstick spray.
  • Combine the asparagus, tomatoes, zucchini, yellow squash, red onion, oil, salt, and pepper in a large bowl; toss to coat. Place the vegetable in a single layer on the pan. Roast until tender and lightly browned, 20-25 minutes. Remove the pan from the oven and set aside.
  • Arrange one rack on the bottom rung of the oven. Increase the oven temperature to 475°F.
  • Sprinkle prepared pizza dough with the mozzarella cheese, then top with the roasted vegetables. Bake in the bottom rack of the oven until the crust is golden and the cheese melts, about 25 minutes. Sprinkle with basil and Parmesan cheese just before serving.

Bread Machine Pizza Dough with Whole Wheat Flour

Fridays around here are known as "Pizza Night." It's a tradition my husband's mom started a few years ago. Then, it was take-out from our favorite pizzeria. Now, it's just us three here in Alaska, I have taken to making our own dough and providing a wide array of toppings!
It's one of my favorite nights to cook, because we all make our own individual pizzas however we like. Pizza is a great accompaniment to a movie or board game!
My husband is a stickler for his favorite: pepperoni, Canadian bacon, and pineapple.
My daughter is a plain ol' pepperoni kind of girl.
Personally I like to make my pizzas sans meat, and LOVE lots of veggies!
Try this dough with the recipe titled "Pizza Primavera" that I have posted!
This pizza dough recipe pleases all of my family's selective tastes! It's a wonderful crispy on the outside-tender on the inside crust!
Hope you enjoy!

Bread Machine Pizza Dough with Whole Wheat Flour

The Bread Machine Cookbook by Donna Rathwell German

Makes 2-14-inch round pizzas

1 1/3 cups water

2 tablespoons olive oil

3/4 teaspoon salt

2 cups all-purpose flour

2 cups whole-wheat flour ( I love Bob's Red Mill Organic Whole Wheat Flour.)

2 teaspoons yeast

Add ingredients to bread machine as directed by your manual.

This dough turns out crusty on the outside and soft on the inside.

Kung Pao Chicken

My husband always orders this dish when we eat Chinese. I was thrilled to find a "healthy" version in my newest edition of Oxygen magazine. This was incredibly yummy! I was sad there were only leftovers enough for my husband's lunch! :o( Next time I think I'll double it! I will take pictures the next time I make it!

Kung Pao Chicken
Makes 4 servings
Ready in 20 minutes

1 lb. chicken breast
1 tablespoon soybean or cooking oil
½ cup chopped green onion
2 teaspoons minced garlic
2 teaspoons crushed hot red pepper
1 tablespoon chopped fresh ginger (I know fresh is best, but I only had dried on hand.)
½ tablespoon cornstarch
2 tablespoons rice wine (I only had cooking sherry on hand, and it tasted fine.)
¼ cup low-sodium soy sauce (Shoyu)
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
1 teaspoon sugar
2 teaspoons sesame oil
¼ cup peanut, raw
4 cups cooked brown rice

1. Cut chicken into bite-sized pieces. Heat oil in wok or saucepan, add chicken and cook until no longer pink.
2. Remove chicken from the pan and set aside.
3. Add the onion, garlic, pepper, and ginger to the pan and stir-fry 20 seconds.
4. In a small bowl, dissolve the cornstarch in the rice wine; stir in the soy sauce, vinegar, sugar and sesame oil and add to the pan. Cook, stirring until sauce thickens.
5. Stir in chicken and peanuts and serve with the brown rice.

Leftovers For Lunch

I had the leftover Avocado Salad on top of warm basmati rice for lunch today. VERY NICE.
I made lentil wraps for dinner. They were GREAT this time !! I used Mountain Barley Bread instead of lavash - heaps better. I also added homemade hummus before I toasted the wrap. I'll be posting the hummus recipe as soon as I take an acceptable photo of it !
Can't wait for tomorrow's leftovers for lunch !

Tuesday Night's Dinner

Cajun-Spiced Fish WIth Fresh Corn Salad
(from a Super Food Ideas Magazine)

I decided to do two different types of fish as I thought the cajun flavor would be a bit much for the kids. So ... the bits of fish on the left are done with a lemon/salt rub. The bits on the right are the cajun ones.

Serves 4.

Cooking Time : 20 minutes


  • 2 tsp cajun seasoning
  • 4 boneless white fish fillets ( I used dory )
  • olive oil cooking spray
  • 2 corn cobs, kernels removed
  • 250g green beans, trimmed
  • 1 small red onion, finely chopped ( I only used 1/2 an onion )
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • 1/4 cup coriander (cilantro) leaves, roughly chopped


  1. Make Salad - Half fill a saucepan with water. Bring to the boil over high heat. Add corn and beans. Cook for 3 to 4 minutes or until beans turn bright green. Drain. Refresh under cold wter. Pat dry with paper towel. ( I didn't do that - didn't seem necessary when I'm fixing to pour lemon juice on top of it !!) Combine corn, beans, onion, 2 tablespoons lemon juice and coriander in a bowl. Season with salt and pepper.
  2. Sprinkle seasoning over both sides of fish. Gently rub onto surface with fingertips.
  3. Heat a large, non-stick frying pan over medium-low heat. Spray with oil. Cook fish, in batches, ( I didn't do batches but rather used two frying pans as I was cooking two different flavors !) for 3 to 4 minutes each side or until just cooked through.
  4. Serve on top of corn/bean salad.

This was nice. Rory really liked the corn/bean salad. The cajun fish was SPICY but I'm realizing now that I used WAY MORE than 2 tsp of the seasoning ! I just poured it on !!

I'm posting this recipe in here as well because I served them together tonight but I wouldn't serve these two recipes together again. This avocado one is nice but I think next time I will serve it whent we BBQ or do a roast. I think it would be nice with a piece of meat, some mashed potatoes and this ...

Individual Avocado and Asparagus Salads (from the COLES grocery store junk mail)

I can't decide which photo I like best so I'm posting them both !

Serves 6.

Prep Time : 10 minutes


  • 2 bunches aspagarus, blanched (I didn't blanch ... I cooked them with a bit of olive oil in the oven)
  • 1 punnet grape tomatoes, halved
  • 1/4 cup slivered almonds, toasted ( I didn't toast them )
  • 1/4 cup sultanas (raisins)
  • 1/4 cup torn basil leaves ( I just sprinkled a bit of the dried stuff )
  • 3 avocados, halved, stones removed ( I only used 2 )
  • coriander leaves, to garnish
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablesspoons lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped coriander
  • 1 teaspoon brown sugar


  1. Combine asparagus, tomatoes, almonds, sultanas and basil.
  2. Mix together all dressing ingredients and pour over asparagus mixture. Toss to combine. Place on top of avocado halves and garnish with coriander leaves to serve.

Monday Night's Dinner

It was DELICIOUS !!!! If you haven't tried this yet, you need to ! YUMMMMMMMM !

Bonnie's Breakfast Smoothie

I started making this smoothie using the Magical Breakfast Blaster recipe that I saw on Oprah, way back when I had the time to watch TV !
I have modified it quite a bit though so here is my recipe ... you can modify it to suit your tastes and nutritional requirements !
1 banana
a handful of frozen blueberries
soy milk ( maybe 1 cup ?)
a handful of ice
cinnamon ( to taste, I probably use a tsp or a little bit more)
vanilla ( again, to taste, I probably use 1/2 tsp ?)
pyllium husk ( I use a dinner spoon full)
flaxseed (linseed) meal (1 tbls)
a handful of fresh baby spinach leaves
sometimes I add about 1/4 cup of fruit juice for a different flavor but not usually

Throw it all in the blender together. It will look something like this !

Blend. Pour into a glass and drink.
I love this ! For many reasons. Let me tell you them!

1. I can take it with me. Often, I make it, put it in a take away coffee mug with a lid and a straw and drink it on the way to dropping Jono at school. This keeps me from skipping breakfast ... something of which I have been a lifetime ( after my mom stopped making my breakfast ! ) offender.

2. It is nutritious ! Two serves of fruit. Blueberries are full of antioxidants ! Psyllium for fiber. Flaxseed for my Omega 3 and 6. Cinnamon is an anti-inflammatory. Spinach ...well, it's one of the foods you should eat heaps of and I get it every day at least once when I'm making these smoothies. Soy Milk for protein. And Banana ... I don't know what's good in a banana but I do know that I LOVE THE FLAVOR !!!! Potassium ... they have potassium, right ?

3. The kids love it. I often double the recipe so they can have a glass too !

4. It can be modified to suit tastes or nutritional requirements. Rory doesn't like the psyllium or flax in his. Says they are too earthy. The flax will thicken it so make sure if you are putting flaxseed meal in it that you drink it straight away. Don't let it sit for 30 minutes like Rory did !

Give it a try ... I'd love to know what you think. Of course, many of you are just coming into winter but here in Australia we've just passed the first day of SUMMER !! Smoothie season !!

What's Cookin' ?

The Menu At Our House This Week !
2. Lentil Wraps with Homemade Hummus and Fresh Carrot Sticks
3. Rice and Beans with Avocado Salsa
4. Pastina in Brodo
Roasted Pumpkin, Spinach and Feta Salad
Garlic Rye Bread Crostinnis
6. Spinach and Pumpkin Dahl with Basmati Rice and Pappadams
7. Quinoa with Red Peppers served on a Bed of Rocket ( Arugula )
EIGHT of these dishes are ones I've never made before.
Will let you know how they come out and will post recipes that are FABULOUS !
What's on the menu at your house this week ???

Crock Pot Apple Cider

This has long been a tradition at the family holiday gatherings. It is so easy, I start it last thing before I go to bed and wake up to the most amazing perfume ever! It's healthy, too!


-1 bottle apple cider, the bottle that's about 1/2 gallon
-1 bottle cranapple juice--same amount as the cider
-whole cloves (I fill my tea ball nearly half full of them and throw the ball in--keeps the cloves from getting in my cup (yuck!))
-2 cinnamon sticks
-a pinch or two of powdered ginger (add to taste, but remember it will get stronger since it will simmer overnight)

Throw everything into the crockpot, set to low and simmer overnight.

(If you need to make a second batch, good luck, because it isn't nearly as good heated together on the stove, or heated on high in the crock pot till it's hot. The flavors really need to blend for all those hours.)

P.S. All of the comments in parentheses are things I have discovered by doing wrong, ignore them to your taste buds' peril!

P.S. you get ready to enjoy this yummy drink, clink your mugs and give thanks to the Giver of All Good Gifts, and hug everyone nearby!