Recipe Redux | Pizza Party

California BLT pizza

First off, let me congratulate Regan Miller Jones, Serena Ball and Deanna Segrave-Daly for an awesome job starting and growing this blogging community know as the Recipe Redux. We are over 70 members strong! If you follow closely, you might notice I am  posting on the  22nd and not the 21st of this month. We are now two groups, posting on separate days.  Hopefully  this will help all of us  to keep up with what’s being shared, and be influencial with interactions via comments and other social media.

So let’s cut to the chase, what’s cookin’?  This month’s recipe Redux theme is the quintessential party food, pizza! Our challenge is to give the delivery guy a day off and share a healthy pizza recipe.

There seems to be no limits when it comes to delicious ways to make and serve pizza.  So how do you narrow it down to just one? Well, I was inspired on a  recent trip back to the area of the country where I grew  up,  suburban Washington DC. It happened on a cold, rainy night while enjoying dinner with friends and talking about… well.. eating; specifically my friend’s latest pizza passion, California Pizza Kitchen’s BLT.  Eureka!!!!!

Hmm, healthy BLT pizza. Where do you start? I started with the  pizza crust giving it   a boost of fiber and phytonutrients with the addition of whole wheat flour. Simple enough. For those with a fervid desire to know more about the benefits of food and nutrition, you might find this next point interesting.  A team of food chemists at the University of Maryland,  found a way to further boost the antioxidant content of whole wheat pizza dough:  longer fermentation times, longer baking times and higher temperatures. (Note: I’m taking advantage of the  high baking temperture in my recipe.) These findings were presented at the 233rd nation meeting of the American Chemical Society.

My second modification was scrapping the bacon and substituting Candanian bacon. Bacon comes from the belly of a pig, Canadian bacon is leaner, coming from pork loin.

I love dairy, but always seek a low fat or non fat variey. For this pizza, part skim mozzarella fit the bill.

Now my primary reason for toppping this pizza with arugula (aka garden rocket) is because I think the darn stuff is so pretty. Yes, really! But make no mistake, its’ beauty is not merely superficial.  This green is considered a cruciferous vegetable. Along with the benefits you get from eating fruits and vegetables, cruciferous vegetables are associated cancer fighting and immune-boosting properites.

Finally, I left off the mayo typically used on a BLT and drizzled my pizza with EVOO (extra virgin olive oil). This  healthy fat is rich in monounsaturated fats which have been shown to be protective against some chronic diseases, including heart disease and diabetes.

Whatever you’re planning for the next several weeks, (be it a fun Friday night with the kids, or an adult oriented Superbowl party), consider checking out the links at the bottom of this post to find the perfect pizza pairings!



Fit California BLT Pizza

by Diane Boyd

Ingredients (makes 4 personal size pizzas)

    for the pizza crust

    • 1 package active dry yeast
    • 2 teaspoons honey
    • 1 1/2 cups lukewarm water
    • 2 cups all-purpose flour
    • 1 cup whole-wheat flour
    • 1 teaspoon sea salt
    • 2 tablespoons olive oil
    • semolina flour

    for the topping

    • 2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil , divided
    • 8 slices cooked and diced Canadian bacon
    • 4 roma tomatoes. thinnly sliced
    • 2 cups part skim mozzarella cheese, shredded
    • 1 cup baby arugula
    • herbs for pizza; basil, oregano, thyme, marjoram


    for the pizza crust

    1. In a small bowl, dissolve yeast and 1 teaspoon of honey in 1/2 cup of lukewarm water. Let sit until it just begins to foam, about 3-5 minutes.

    2. In a large bowl, add the dry ingredients and make a well in the center.

    3. Gradually pour the yeast mixture + remaining honey, and oil into the well formed by the dry ingredients. Stir from the center outwards. Then gradually add enough of the remaining water to form a smooth dough.

    4. When ingredients are combined, remove dough from bowl and knead on a work surface covered wih semolina flour for 5 – 7 minutes or until smooth and elastic.

    5. Coat a large bowl with nonstick spray and place dough into bowl. Cover with a damp kitchen towel and let rise for 30 – 45 minutes or unitl it has doubled in size.

    6. Remove dough from bowl and divide into 4 equal pieces (about 6 oz each). At this point you can shape dough and contine to assemble pizza or wrap securely in plastic wrap and store in the refrigerator for use later. (Keep up to a day.)

    to shape pizza crust

    1. Place ball of dough on work surface sprinkled with semolina. Flatten the dough by pressing down with the heels of your hands.

    2. Lift gently and pull the dough to stretch into a circle 8 inches in diameter.

    3. Using your fingertips, press and shape a 1/2 inch rim around the crust.

    4. Repeat with remaining balls of dough.

    to assemble pizza

    1. Place a pizza brick in oven and preheat to 500F.

    2.Brush olive oil over each pizza base.

    3. Spread 1/2 cup of shredded cheese over each pizza base. and follow with 2 slices of diced Canadian bacon.

    4. Place tomato slices over the Canadian bacon to cover the pizza in a single layer.

    5.Sprinkle each pizza with herbs to taste.

    6. Using a pizza paddle transfer pizzas from work surface to pizza brick in hot oven and bake 8-10 minutes or until dough is brown and crisp.

    7. Remove from oven. Top with arugula and dizzle with extra virgin olive oil.

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    Take on a New Direction with Quick and Healthy Meals | Perfect Pork Tenderloin

    Perfect Pork Tenderloin

    Happy New Year! Have you resolved to do a better job eating healthy in 2014? Or maybe you’ve set a goal to prepare more homecooked meals? Let me help you take on a new direction,  and master the art of making a healthy dinner easier! How? Organizing!

    What’s organizing got to do with it? You must understand… you should eat a variety of fruits, veggies, whole grains, lean protein sources, low fat dairy, and healthy fats what’s this #butasweetoldfashionednotion…Yet,.. it’s only logical.. you will only consume these nutritious foods if they’re readily- available. That’s why it’s important for  you to take time to stock your pantry and plan your meals and snacks (those eaten at home and away from home).

    If you’ve ever felt confused standing in front of the frozen foods while trying to recall a recipe, you will like this idea! Start with a list of balanced meals you can make in under 30 minutes.  Keep the ingredients for these meals on hand and also keep a list of the ingredients in your phone. For all you technology savvy individuals, start ‘pinning’ a weeks worth of meals along with your dream home. And don’t be shy about checking out the myriad of grocery shopping apps including food on the table. Now that’s better;  who needs a heart list when a heart can be broken  list can’t be found.

    But I have to say, I’ve been thinking about my own ‘ go to’ entrees and it makes me feel like sharing one today.  This perfect pork tenderloin is a breeze to make and I ususally vary what I serve with it. It’s pictured with  steamed brussel sprouts and black eyed peas, but it goes well with other sides including mashed potatoes and roasted vegetables;   a red pepper rissoto and  a garden salad; or finished with a tart cherry cranberry glaze and served with a baked sweet potato and steamed broccoli.

    There’s a name for it, there’s a phrase that fits.. but.. whatever the reason, do it for… yourself!

    What have you resolved to improve this year?


    Perfect Pork Tenderloin

    by Diane Boyd


    • 1 pound pork tenderloin
    • sea salt
    • fresh grated pepper
    • 1 Tablespoon herbes de Provence


    1. Preheat oven to 425 F.

    2. Season pork with sea salt, pepper, and Herbs de Provence.

    3. Place the pork on a rack in a roasting pan or in a oven safe baking dish.

    4. Roast in the oven for 12-15 minutes or until the internal temperature reaches 145 degrees F. Remove from the oven and let pork rest for 10 minutes.

    5. Slice the pork and serve. Makes 4 servings

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