Jun 30, 2012

Simple Pasta and Veggie Salad

Perfect for a crowd (I doubled the recipe below to make a huge batch), this salad stimulates the taste buds--tangy, crunchy and savory. It was simple to make and also gave us great leftovers. I'd recommend adding grilled chicken breast to a leftover batch for a filling lunch or supper. The original recipe was from Southern Living, but I created my own variation.

Simple Pasta and Veggie Salad


1 cup chopped pecans
  • 1/2 (16-oz.) package farfalle (bow-tie) pasta
  • 1 pound fresh broccoli
  • 1 cup mayonnaise 
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup diced red onion
  • 1/3 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1.5-2 cups diced red, yellow and orange bell peppers
  • cooked bacon slices, crumbled 


  • Prepare pasta according to package directions.
  • Meanwhile, cut broccoli florets from stems, and separate florets into small pieces using tip of a paring knife. Peel away tough outer layer of stems, and finely chop stems.
  • Whisk together mayonnaise and next four ingredients in a large bowl; add broccoli, hot cooked pasta, and peppers, and stir to coat. Cover and chill three hours. Stir bacon and pecans into salad just before serving.

Jun 19, 2012

Clean Eating Pizza Crust

This is hands-down the best whole wheat pizza crust I've ever made. And it's a clean eating recipe. It comes directly from Clean Eating Magazine. I grilled out pizza on my new Pampered Chef pizza grilling pan. It was delicious.

Clean Eating Whole Wheat Pizza Crust

Makes: 2 1-lb dough ballsHands-on time: 30 minutesTotal time: 2 hours


  • 1 tbsp raw honey
  • 1 cup less 1 1/2 tbsp lukewarm water (105° F to 110° F), divided
  • 1 pkg active dry yeast (1/4 oz or 2 1/2 tsp)
  • 2 1/2 cups whole-wheat flour, divided
  • 4 tsp vital wheat gluten
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 3 tbsp olive oil, divided
  1. In a large bowl, mix together honey and 1/3 cup water. Sprinkle in yeast and allow to proof, undisturbed (do not stir or move bowl), for 10 minutes or until yeast is foamy. (NOTE: If yeast does not foam, it is dead and your dough will not rise. Discard and start again with fresh ingredients.)
  1. While yeast is proofing, mix together 2 cups flour, wheat gluten and salt in another large bowl.
  1. Once yeast is foamy, add remaining water and 2 tbsp oil to yeast mixture. Pour in flour mixture and gently fold in with a bowl scraper or spatula until just combined. Mixture will form a very wet ball. Coat the bottom of another large bowl with remaining oil (ensure that bowl is large enough so that, when doubled in size, the dough will not reach the top). Transfer dough to bowl, rolling ball a bit to coat with oil. Cover bowl tightly with plastic wrap and set aside at room temperature to rise for 1 hour. Dough will be very soft and sticky.
  1. Lightly dust counter with about 1/4 cup flour. Transfer dough to floured surface and roll lightly in flour as needed. Gently knead dough, using remaining flour as needed, for about 1 minute. Form dough into a ball and place back into bowl. Cover bowl again tightly with plastic wrap and set aside at room temperature to rise for 30 minutes.
  1. Transfer dough back to floured surface, adding more flour to prevent dough from sticking, if needed, and cut dough in half to form 2 balls. Lightly knead each for about 30 seconds and reform into balls. Dough is now ready to be formed into crust or wrapped for future use. To store, wrap each dough ball individually in plastic wrap. Dough can be kept refrigerated for 24 hours or frozen for up to 1 month.
Remove dough from fridge and allow to warm a little at room temperature, about 10 minutes. Form a pizza crust.

Transfer dough from freezer to fridge and let it defrost overnight before following the Use From Refrigerator steps above.

Nutrients per serving (1/8 of each dough ball): Calories: 96, Total Fat: 3 g, Sat. Fat: 0.5 g, Carbs: 15 g, Fiber: 2 g, Sugars: 1 g, Protein: 3 g, Sodium: 121 mg, Cholesterol: 0 mg.

Jun 18, 2012

Creamy Dill Potatoes

A warm helping of dill potatoes is true comfort food to me. My mother used to make them every summer with dill fresh from the garden.

My recipe is a little different than mom's--I add sour cream. I was blessed to be able to make this particular batch with fresh dill and potatoes from my dad's garden after my last visit home.

Creamy Dill Potatoes

4-6 cups new potatoes (any variety), quartered
2 tbsp. margarine
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 cup skim milk
Handfull of fresh dill, roughly chopped

Bring a pot of salted water to a boil.
Add potatoes and boil until very tender (I like mine falling apart).
Drain water from potatoes, turn down heat to simmer, return potatoes and pot to stove.
Add margarine, sour cream, skim milk, dill, salt and pepper.
Stir until creamy; remove from heat.