Are you shunning America’s favorite fast food because it’s rich with fat and calories? Good news: You can have your pizza and eat it, too. The caveat: you need to make your own. With the growing availability of whole grain, thin crusts, you can make pizza that isn’t labor-intensive.
Today I took leftover pasta sauce (which I’d made using ground lean turkey, lots of garlic and onions, and San Marzano tomatoes crushed using my Vitamix) and spread it on a store-bought crust. I added a few items (sliced Crimini mushrooms, a bit of green bell pepper, and sweet onion), topped with reduced fat Mozzarella cheese and Parmesan cheese plus a sprinkle of Redneck Pepper Italian. I baked it ten minutes in a preheated 450° oven (but I used a Pampered Chef stoneware baking pan. If you use a metal pizza pan, reduce heat to 425°). After removing it from the oven, I sliced it into six pieces (3 servings).
You can use any combination of toppings you like. There are pizza sauces available. Just read the labels to be sure you don’t get too much fat or sugar. Shred your own cheese or buy it already shredded and ready to use. The two big offenders that make pizza less healthful are meats and refined flour crusts. If you stick to meat-free or lowfat meats like ground turkey, and if you use a thin, whole wheat crust, you can enjoy two slices of pizza without wrecking your diet.
By request, here is one of my favorite (and easy) fish recipes. Use low heat and don’t overcook. If you don’t have an electric skillet, use a quality covered skillet over low heat.
Fiery Fish with Fennel and Onion
1-1¼ pound any firm fish fillets
1 fresh bulb fennel (save some of the fennel fronds for garnish) 1 large yellow onion
1 Tbsp. lemon juice or 1 lemon, sliced
½ tsp – 1 tsp Redneck Pepper Flamin Fish seasoning (optional for sissies)
Preheat a large electric skillet to 250°. Quarter, core, and slice fennel bulb into ¼” slices. Peel and slice onion into ¼” slices. Arrange fennel and onion slices in bottom of the skillet and cover, simmering for about ten minutes. Meanwhile, rinse the fish fillets, sprinkle with lemon juice (or if you prefer, cover fish with lemon slices when cooking), then season fillets with the Redneck Pepper Flamin Fish seasoning (or regular lemon pepper if you can’t find Redneck Pepper*) on both sides.
Carefully placed the fish fillets on top the sliced fennel and onions, cover, and steam for approximately fifteen minutes. Avoid lifting the lid, but if too much steam escapes, adjust temperature a bit lower, to about 225°. Check fish after fifteen minutes. If done, unplug skillet and serve. If fish needs additional time, cover and time an additional five minutes. Check again.
Serve the fish with a side of the cooked onions and fennel slices, cornbread, and a side vegetable of your choice. Tasty and healthful, too!
*For information on how to purchase Redneck Pepper, call 1-78-REDNECK2 or visit http://www.redneckpepper.com/ . You’ll be glad you did!
Fiery Fish and Fennel for 4
Chili in summer? At my house, anytime is chili time. This one is a favorite, with or without beans. I suggest Famous Bloemer’s® Chili Powder and Redneck Pepper® Jalapeño if you like yours extra spicy and hot. We save leftover chili to add to hotdogs. Yummy!
Tasty Turkey Chili
1.3 pounds ground turkey breast
1 yellow onion, diced
1 10 oz. can Rotel® diced tomatoes and green chilies
1 15 oz. can tomato sauce
1 oz. Bloemer’s® chili powder
1 small can Bush’s chili beans (optional)
1 can or bottle beer, any kind
Redneck Pepper® Jalapeño (to taste)
¼ cup fresh chopped cilantro leaves (optional)
Brown ground turkey and onion over medium-low heat in a covered 4-quart pan. Gradually add the remaining ingredients except for the cilantro. Bring to a boil, then cook, uncovered until the liquid reduces and chili is thick. Don’t rush it. This reduction can take from 20-45 minutes. Remove from heat. Stir in fresh cilantro and serve.
Store leftovers in a covered container or freeze in an airtight bag or container. *Stretch this recipe (or leftovers) by adding 1 cup pasta and heating until pasta is al dente. Or serve the chili over cooked spaghetti. That’s how we ate it back in the day. 🙂
Products to make great chili
These aren’t paid endorsements, by the way. Bloemer’s® is a product out of Louisville, Kentucky, where I’m from originally, and I order their chili powder by the case via the Internet; Redneck Pepper® is in Lake City, Florida, not far from where I live. Each company makes a great product, so I hope you’ll give each a try.
The 2QT Gourmet Slo-Cooker
What makes slow cooker recipes work as hasty tasty meals is that they cook in the background, requiring no attention from you. You’re free to enjoy a movie, run errands, clean house, or whatever. Here’s a favorite of ours:
REDNECK PEPPER® ITALIAN ROAST BEEF
I make this roast in my 2-quart Gourmet Slo-Cooker. If you use another type of slow cooker, such as a Crock Pot, you will need to brown the roast in a skillet then transfer it to the Crock Pot.
1 2 lb. round beef roast
1 cup low sodium beef broth
1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
1 clove garlic, minced
1 sprig fresh rosemary
1 yellow onion, cut into 2” pieces
3 potatoes, scrubbed and cut into 2” pieces
1 cup mushrooms, cleaned and sliced
Redneck Pepper® Italian Redneck
Preheat pan over medium heat and preheat Gourmet Slo-Cooker base to a setting of 2½ (Low setting on a Crock Pot). Add roast to the pan. Brown on each side, approximately 2 minutes. Sprinkle each side generously with Redneck Pepper Italian. Place the rosemary sprig and garlic clove beneath the roast. Add broth around the roast (careful not to rinse away seasonings). Add Worcestershire sauce, cover the pan, then move it to Gourmet Slo-Cooker base. Allow roast to cook at 2½ for 2 hours. Do not lift lid and peek. After two hours, add the potatoes, onion, and mushrooms. Replace the lid. After another hour, lower the setting to 1. Cook on 1 for seven to eight hours. At this setting, you won’t overcook. The roast will be tender and juicy with plenty of flavor.
Optional: Add sliced carrots during the last two hours of cooking, if desired.
Roast, potatoes, onions, and mushrooms