Flat-bread Pizza

It’s no secret that my wife and I love pizza. It was our first date meal (pizza, Con Air and The Rock – how that that miss?). It’s our typical anniversary meal. It’s our go-to fast food. Unfortunately, pizza isn’t exactly the healthiest thing to eat. Well, we’ve found a way to at least push things a little more in the right direction and that’s flat-bread pizza.

Most pizza has a thick crust. Even the thin crust pizza is far thicker than a piece of flat-bread. That’s a lot of unnecessary carbs and calories. So take a piece of flat-bread and spread a small amount of pizza sauce on it. Don’t use spaghetti sauce –  no matter who tells you they are they same, they are not and a fussy eater can certainly tell the difference (and probably an Italian too). Now take some 2% mozzarella cheese and cover the pizza. We like pepperoni on our pizza, but it isn’t really healthy. We figure that it’s still better than we would order from a pizzeria. Just go a little light on pepperoni or other unhealthy toppings.

Flat-bread Pizza Prep

 

OK, so maybe we didn’t go that light on the pepperoni. Like I said, it’s still better than pizzeria pizza. Get over it. Not everything I eat is going to be healthy. You do need some comfort food. If you can make it healthier than it was before, you are still helping yourself out overall.

Once the pizza is prepared, pop it in the oven at around 400 for around 8-10 minutes depending on how you like your cheese.

Colonie-20121216-00104As you can see, I like my cheese just a little bit browned.  It’s nowhere near as good as the local Vintage Pizza, but it is pretty close to a Newman’s Own. If you are looking for a way to eat pizza and not get all the carbs and calories, give it a try. It gets this fussy eater’s stamp of approval. What about your fussy eater?

 

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Spicy Honey-Brushed Chicken Thighs Recipe

My wife has often commented on how we should cook chicken thighs since they are generally much cheaper than chicken breast. I tended to think they probably weren’t very good if they were so cheap – besides, they are kind of small too. Well, she found a recipe that changed my mind about them even though the recipe does include garlic powder.

Spicy Honey Brushed Chicken Thighs

I’m including the recipe as it was listed. However, we did stray from it a little.

Ingredients:

  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground red pepper
  • 8 skinless, boneless chicken thighs
  • Cooking spray
  • 6 tablespoons honey
  • 2 teaspoons cider vinegar

Directions:

  1. Preheat broiler.
  2. Combine first 6 ingredients in a large bowl.
  3. Add chicken to bowl; toss to coat.
  4. Place chicken on a broiler pan coated with cooking spray.
  5. Broil chicken 5 minutes on each side.
  6. Combine honey and vinegar in a small bowl, stirring well.
  7. Remove chicken from oven; brush 1/4 cup honey mixture on chicken. Broil 1 minute. Remove chicken from oven and turn over.
  8. Brush chicken with remaining honey mixture. Broil 1 additional minute or until chicken is done.

We couldn’t find boneless chicken thighs so we got them with the bone. That was both good and bad. The good thing about the thighs with bone is that they are a bit bigger. I’m not sure if there actually is more meat on them than if we used boneless, but it gives the appearance of more. On the other hand, they seemed to take a lot longer to cook than the recipe calls for. They say 5 minutes  per side, then brush with honey and do one or two more minutes per side. I think we ended up cooking them around 10 minutes per side.

Spicy Honey Brushed Chicken Thighs - Plated

Regardless of how long they may have taken to cook, I must say they were absolutely delicious. I would never have guessed they were made with garlic powder if I hadn’t read the recipe. The honey made them nice and sweet and the red pepper gave them some kick.

With this recipe, my opinion of chicken thighs has been changed forever. It definitely meets with this fussy eater’s approval.

via Spicy Honey-Brushed Chicken Thighs Recipe | MyRecipes.com.

Land O’ Lakes Saute Express – Lemon Pepper Chicken

Land O' Lakes Saute Express - Lemon Pepper

We finally had a chance to try the Lemon Pepper variety of the Land O’ Lakes Saute Express seasoning. As with the Italian Herb, it is a mix of butter, olive oil, and seasonings. Simply melt it in the pan and saute the chicken until done. It’s a great way to create a tasty meal with little effort. Perhaps I shouldn’t have said tasty though, since it got mixed reviews from my wife and I.

Land O' Lakes Saute Express - Lemon Pepper ChickenBelieve it or not, Linda was the one who didn’t care for it. She thought it was too lemony for her taste. Personally, I thought it had a nice lemon kick to it. I do think that it would be wise to pick the proper side dish to complement the chicken. We had  yellow rice. I’m not sure it really went well with the lemon. The chicken had a pretty strong lemon flavor so I’m not sure what would work best as a side dish. Any ideas?

Land O’ Lakes Saute Express – Italian Herb Chicken

While Linda was out of town, I opted for a lot for easy to prepare meals. I made Kraft Fresh Take chicken, burgers, and (I hate to admit it) even hot dogs and beans. Another easy meal I made was from a simple seasoning and butter combination – Land O’ Lakes Saute Express. It’s a simple premise. You probably already saute with either butter or oil and then add seasonings to it. Why not just do it all at once? That’s just what Land O’ Lakes has done.

Land O Lakes Saute Express Italian HerbWe picked up two varieties a while back – the Italian Herb and the Lemon Pepper. I haven’t had a chance to make the Lemon Pepper yet, so expect to see an entry about it at some point in the near future.

These couldn’t be much easier to use. Simply melt a pack in the pan and add the chicken to it. I prefer to cut up the chicken into nice bite sized pieces, but you could leave it whole if you prefer. Then just saute until the chicken gets golden brown.

Land O Lakes Saute Express ChickenI found this to be a pretty quick and easy way to saute up some chicken. However, the real test in in the taste. It doesn’t matter how quick and easy it is if it doesn’t pass the taste test. I’m glad to say that it does meet with this fussy eater’s approval. I look forward to trying the Lemon Pepper variety.

Kraft Fresh Take Southwest Three Cheese Chicken

Fortunately, Linda is now home after having been out of town taking care of her mother. While she was gone, our youngest daughter and I were left to fend for ourselves. Since we had some of the Kraft Fresh Take recipes on hand, I decided to let her try the Cheddar Jack & Bacon (which I made before with Linda) and also the Southwest Three Cheese, which was new to both of us. Needless to say, I made them on separate nights. Since I’ve already written about the Cheddar Jack & Bacon, I’m only going to cover the Southwest Three Cheese today.

Kraft Fresh Take - Southwest Three CheeseAs with the Cheddar Jack & Bacon, this was a very easy dish to prepare. These Kraft dishes remind me a lot of the old Shake-n-Bake. Simply open the bag, separate the two sides and mix. Then add your chicken and mix again. It doesn’t get much easier than that.

Kraft Fresh Take - Southwest Three Cheese - Ready to bakeOnce you’ve coated the chicken, I suggest adding a little more on top once they are in the pan. Then pop it in the oven at 375 for about 30 minutes. That’s all there is to it.

Kraft Fresh Take - Southwest Three Cheese - Ready to serveAs with the Cheddar Jack & Bacon, the outside gets just a little crispy from the cheese. As I mentioned in that post, don’t flip the chicken halfway through the cooking. It might seem like a good idea, but it looks a lot better if you don’t. Either way they still cook completely so why not make something eye catching and appealing.

Kraft  Fresh Take - Southwest Three Cheese - PlatedI chose to serve the chicken with a side of fries and Ketchup. Kate considered a little hot sauce to go with hers but opted not to so she could see how they were. We both really enjoyed them. I must admit I had a small bit of concern over seeing garlic listed in the ingredients, but I didn’t let that get the better of me. I couldn’t taste the garlic at all.

So far, I’m pretty impressed with the Kraft Fresh Take meals. They are very easy to make and taste great. I think we still have a few varieties to try though including Rosemary & Roasted Garlic. That one will be interesting.

Sauteed Brussels Sprouts with Bacon

My wife has been out of town for a little bit taking care of her mother. This has left me to mostly fend for myself at home. Fortunately, our youngest daughter, Kate, is currently living at home and has helped me to avoid going back to my old ways of hot dogs, pork and beans and eating out of the pan I cook in. She has also turned me on to Game of Thrones.

Anyway, she made these once before, but I didn’t really get a chance to try them. They are quick and easy to prepare, which is great. It’s not much of a recipe since she doesn’t measure anything. At least when I prepare things without measuring I have some general idea of the amounts or proportions. Since I have no clue here, I’ll just lay out the ingredients and leave to each of you to figure out what amounts work for you.

Ingredients:

  • Petite Brussels Sprouts
  • Olive oil
  • Bacon
  • Garlic
  • Salt
  • Pepper

Directions:

  1. Microwave some bacon.
  2. Put olive oil in a pan and add Brussels Sprouts.
  3. Break up the bacon into small pieces and add to the pan.
  4. Add a small amount on garlic.
  5. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  6. Saute for a few minute until Brussels Sprouts are done.

Kate suggests microwaving the bacon for two reasons. First, the paper towels that you use above and below the bacon will help draw out the grease so they are a little healthier. Second, it help to make them a bit more crisp and uniform so you can easily break them up into small pieces.

Brussels Sprouts w/Bacon

They were pretty good. The only thing I noticed was that some pieces seemed to have more garlic than others. I will probably leave out the garlic when I make these myself. I’m also thinking of adding some chili powder to give them some kick. I’m sure there is a lot that could be done with them. Any ideas?

Kraft Fresh Take Cheddar Jack & Bacon Chicken

Cheddar Jack & Bacon Chicken - Kraft

Linda recently picked up several Kraft Fresh Take chicken seasonings. The Cheddar Jack & Bacon was the first one we tried. The whole concept is kind of interesting. It comes with a large seasoning bag that is sealed at the top and has a seal between the two sides. One side contained the cheddar jack cheese bits and the other had the bacon bits. One side also contains bread crumbs, but I can’t remember which. Anyway, you open the seal between the two sides and mix it up. Then add your chicken and mix it up.

Cheddar Jack & Bacon Chicken - Ready to BakeOnce the chicken has been seasoned, you bake it at 375 for approximately 28-30 minutes (assuming boneless chicken, which is what I used). At first I thought it would be a good idea to turn the chicken halfway through the cooking time, but it really isn’t necessary and definitely affects how it looks. If you don’t turn them they come out much better looking. Either way they still come out fully cooked.

Cheddar Jack & Bacon Chicken - ServedAbove is one of the better looking pieces. It comes out with a little bit of a crispy texture, but not entirely. It’s a little hard to describe. The combination of chicken, cheese, and bacon was new to me, but it was really quite good. We picked up a few more varieties to try as well.

If you are looking for a quick and easy way to make something other than that same old boring chicken, then I’d give this a try. It meets with this fussy eater’s approval and I’m sure your fussy eaters will enjoy it too.

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