Category Archives: Recipes

Healthy options that don’t taste like cardboard. These will not be vegetarian or vegan, but will have ingredients that you can pronounce.

Make Homemade Pizza for Dinner Tonight

Why Make Homemade Pizza?

Homemade pizza is a weekly tradition in my home.  Over two years ago, my family decided to get healthy for real, after reading The Daniel Plan.  Um, can we say #LifeChanging  ?!  Read more here.

I started researching the ingredients in most boxed/packaged foods and they are not good.  Most processed items purchased in stores do not contain food; they contain food-like ingredients.  Our bodies are amazing creations with lots of abilities and processes in place to pull nutrients out of food.  However, when you are fueling your body with food-like substances, the body does not know what to do with the food.  Plus, eating food-like substances is not getting you the nutrition that you get from eating FOOD.  It’s really not difficult to make food from scratch; it just takes time and planning.

Steps for Making Homemade Pizza

  1. Make the dough.  I love making dough in the bread machine, because I’m not a fan of the whole kneed thing.  Dump ingredients into bread machine and press start.  The one drawback is time here.  My machine takes 1.5 hours to make dough.  Early afternoons on Sundays, we start preparing for dinner.  Our favorite recipe is from Mom on TimeOut.  Find it here.     Homemade pizza starts with homemade dough
  2. Of course, I also love our Pampered Chef pizza stone.  You can let the dough set for a few minutes – I have left it in the fridge for 30 minutes – one hour.  Here recently, I have baked it right away and that works fine also.  So, either put it in the fridge for later, or jump to the next step.  Make sure you preheat your oven!  I do 400 degrees.

Rolling the dough

3. Roll out the dough.  I am definitely not an expert with this!  Each time, it comes out differently.  I roll it and pick it up and stretch it out.  Anything that works, right?!  With this recipe, I’ve not had to use flour because it doesn’t stick to the roller.  This is my least favorite (and most time consuming) part of the homemade pizza making process.

The Crust is Ready

4. Next comes the sauce.  I just pour some in the middle and spread evenly with a spoon.  How much you use depends on your sauce preference.  I enjoy more sauce!

Add sauce

5. Cheese is next.  I mean, what is pizza without the cheese?!  Now, dairy is not really good for your body, so I have tried to cut back on my family’s intake of dairy products.  The pizza dinner is really a treat.  We buy mozzarella in bulk and shred/slice it ourselves.  (Shredded cheese that you purchase in the store sometimes has not-so-great ingredients to keep the cheese from sticking together.  You know, like saw dust and other chemicals.  Yum-not!)  Shred and slice your own cheese.  Seriously, how has the food industry been allowed to get away with this nonsense?!  But, I digress.  Here’s what the cheese looks like: cheese

Happy with just Cheese?  Skip Step 6.

6. The final prep stage is the toppings.  Here’s where you can really get creative.  This is probably one of my favorite reasons to make homemade pizza in the first place.  My family loves Hawaiian pizza with pineapple and ham, sausage, veggies, banana peppers, etc.  The possibilities are endless!  I have even made one with ketchup and mustard instead of sauce, with ground beef.  Cheeseburger pizza.  For this baking session, I didn’t have any fun ingredients, so I just stuck with the staple, pepperoni.

slice it up

Yes, we slice our pepperoni also.  I try to prep as much as I can at home.  The less that the food company does, the better.

Choose your toppings on your homemade pizza

As you can see, hubby likes pepperoni more than the girls.  This is another perk!  You can completely customize the toppings to fit your family’s needs/wants.

7. Put on the bottom rack for 9 minutes.

img_3919 Bake that pizza

8. Spin pizza and put on the top rack for another 9 minutes.

homemade pizza almost done

Always Use Caution!

Confession: I forgot about how greasy pepperoni can be and put some a little too close to the edge of the stone.  Enough dripped over the side to make quite a mess in the oven.  Don’t make the same mistake!  Line the bottom with aluminum foil, or don’t go so close to the edge.  On a side note, this pizza had a slightly smoky flavor from the small fire I caused in the bottom of my oven.  It was not intended, but unexpectedly good.  I don’t think it’s worth the fire hazard, but I was glad that the pizza was not ruined!

Ready to eat

9. Optional: I like to make a crust oil to spice up the crust.  Olive oil, salt and spices.  I think this is Oregano.  If I don’t have any spices on hand, I will use my essential oils.  Read more about those here.  When the pizza is finished cooking (Again – learn from my mistake.  AFTER the pizza has cooked, not during!) brush the oily goodness on the crust. Experiment with different flavors and spices.  It will only enhance the homemade pizza experience.

crust topping

Here is the oily crust topping ready to go!

Compliment Your Homemade Pizza With…

I usually pair this meal with a nice, green, leafy salad topped with seeds and veggies.  For salad dressing, I enjoy mixing 2 parts olive oil with 1 part basaltic vinaigrette.  For an extra nutritional punch, I will cut sweet potatoes in half lengthwise and bake with sliced onions, sea salt and olive oil.  375 degrees until sweet potatoes are soft, usually 30 minutes.

Added Bonus

This is a great way to bring the family together to wrap up the weekend.  J is still a toddler, so she “helps” make dinner, but as she gets older, I will give her more responsibilities.  Education is key.  I want her to know where her food comes from and that it’s important to prepare as much as possible from scratch.  The detachment so many people have with food is alarming.  Here I go rambling again.  Enjoy the pizza!

Interested in another laborious but lovely recipe?  Click here to read about my homemade applesauce.

Homemade Applesauce

finished applesauce jars

Why homemade applesauce?

This is my first real experience making homemade applesauce…and going through the entire process…. yum!  Let’s talk about why you would want to start this process in the first place.   If you haven’t done any research about the food industry, let me just shorten it down for you.

S-U-G-A-R

Sugar is relatively cheap to use and is very addictive.  For the company who is trying to make a profit, that’s great news, however, for the consumer, it is NOT.  Sugar feeds cancer and makes your body crave more sugar.  Unfortunately, it is difficult to find products without sugar in the ingredients – be careful; there are tons of different names for sugar!

Think that’s bad?  Here’s more:

Also, if there is a small enough amount of something, companies don’t have to list it as an ingredient – thanks a lot FDA!  So, knowing exactly what is in the applesauce (hello, apples!) is very appealing to me and my family.  If you’d like more information on foods and why I read the ingredients, click here.

The process of making applesauce – Part I – Preparation

  1. First, get jars – I prefer quart sized because my family of 3 loves applesauce and we go through quite a bit.
empty jars
Make sure you run the jars through the dishwasher beforehand.

2. Second, get apples and wash them.  I prefer Staymen apples, but got Golden Delicious and Jonagolds which were also good.

pretty little apples
I got seconds apples from a local orchard, TS Smiths.

3. Since you will be cooking these apples, make sure you cut them and remove any bad spots.

sliced apples
Quarter cut and core apples.

The process of making applesauce – Part II

4. Then, cook the cut apples.  This may take a long time, depending on the kinds of apples that you purchase.  Stir as needed.  Smells of homemade applesauce filling your home = bonus!

cooking apples
Add apple quarters to a large pot to cook. Add water if you want to also make apple juice.  Pick a cool day because the kitchen gets HOT.

5. Once apples have cooked and are soft, dump into a bowl to cool (if you’re making tons, you will need to refill the pot on the stove and keep cooking).  If you added water in Step 3, you will need to strain the juice out of the cooked apples now.

cooked apples
Cooked apples ready to run through the Victorian Strainer

6. Run cooked and slightly cooled apples through Victorian Strainer.  You will need something to catch the peels (we used a glass bowl inside of this steel one) and something else to catch the applesauce.

Victorian Strainer
This machine removes the peel and any part of the core that was missing in the cutting process.

The process of making applesauce – Part III – Packaging the Goodness

7. If you have help, have someone sterilizing lids while you are straining apples. Cover with water and bring to a boil on the stove.  Keep the lids in the hot water until you are ready to put on the filled jars.

lids
Sterilize lids on stove

8. Once your applesauce has no peels, fill up those jars!  Be careful not to make a mess!

yummy applesauce
Use a funnel to scoop applesauce into empty jars.

9. Now, take care to remove any residue from the very top of the jar where the lid will go.  It is super important that the lid seals in the next step, or all of your hard work is wasted when the applesauce goes bad.

wiping tops of jars
Use a wet paper towel to wipe the tops of the jars where the lid must seal.

10. Put the lids on!

Make sure you have this magnetic tool to grab the lids out of the hot water!
Make sure you have this magnetic tool to grab the lids out of the hot water!

11. Add the screw top (sorry, I forgot to snap that picture!) and tighten just with your hands.  No tools needed.

The process of making applesauce – Part IV – Preparing for Storage

12. The vibration of the water boiling can cause your jars to crack if they are sitting directly on the bottom of the pot.  They sell bottoms specifically designed to hold jars, or you can just use extra screw on tops.  Once water is boiling, time it for at least 10 minutes.  This seals the lids.

hot water bath
Put jars in pot with something on the bottom and fill 1 inch above lid with water.

13. Carefully remove jars and set on a towel with a little space in between jars.  If you are making lots, fill pot again, adding water if needed, and repeat.  Once finished, cover jars with towels to help them cool slowly.  Do not move jars for at least 24 hours!  This ensures the seal on the lids is not broken!

taking jars out of bath
Make sure you have this handy little tool to remove the jars from the hot water.  Not the best photo here!

14. Once your jars have set for 24 hours, you may move them into your cupboard or pantry.  You could even give them away.  Who wouldn’t want freshly made applesauce?!

finished jars
Yum!  This is about half of what I made.

Now that it’s finally over

I purchased 4 bags of seconds apples and was able to make 39 jars of applesauce and 3 jars of apple juice.  It takes a lot of work and is exhausting, but it is so worth it!  I would definitely recommend doing a lot of jars.  It would be too much of a pain for only a few jars.

Overall, making homemade applesauce is super tiring, but when I consider all of the benefits for my family combined with the fellowship of friends during the process, it’s a win-win.

Einkorn Waffles

Making healthy foods doesn't have to be difficult. Easy recipe & great taste.
Ingredients needed

Einkorn flour is the purest form of flour, you know the stuff before humans get involved and modify/denature the plant.  Although I love teaching science, I do not love scientists messing with the foods that I eat!  My family prefers the closest we can get to natural ingredients.  There are no long-term studies on all of these GMO that are used in foods and how it affects our bodies…… but I digress.  That’s another topic for another post.

Above are the ingredients that I used to make my first ever Einkorn waffles.  The batter’s consistency was thinner than I am used to, so I burned the first batch.  Oh, and I forgot to read the directions before I started and realized that I had the temperature up too high.  The back of the box gives you the recipe for pancakes / waffles.  I added some flavor-infused olive oil and my favorite essential oil for breakfast recipes: Young Living‘s Orange.

Once I mastered the temperature and consistency, these came out great.  They are not as crunchy as your typical waffle, but still tasted great.  I think I added 3 drops of the Orange essential oil; next time I will add 6 drops.  There was a hint of orange, but not too much flavor.

I haven’t tried the pancakes yet.  We are currently doing a fast, so that will have to wait!

Update: The pancakes were SOOOO much better than the waffles!  They were slightly denser than your brand name box mix, but had a great flavor.