Sandra ain’t got nothin’ on me.

27 Jun

Of course the weekend I’m off trying new restaurants and eating all kinds of good food, I forget to bring my camera along. Maybe someone needs to design a really chic, lightweight handbag with a thick should strap, will match with all my outfits AND fit my DSLR inside without feeling like I’m carrying 10 pounds.

While this is not really food-related (although we did sneak in some eats from Paul…), I watched Midnight in Paris with the Boyfriend and loved it. If you’re a literary/art/history nerd, or you just love Paris, or if you love Owen Wilson for some odd reason, definitely check it out. I’ve been lucky enough to visit Paris a few times in my life, and the scenery in the movie alone brought back a lot of great memories.

I took this while in Paris 4 years ago - the photo doesn't do it justice, but it really is gorgeous there!

I’ve been bitten by the travel bug again (I swear, this wanderlust hits me every 4 months or so). My friend Dorothy recently came back from an amazing trip to Barcelona, so after hearing her stories and seeing a movie about Paris, I’ve been wondering, “Where’s my next trip to??” There have been talks between myself and others about trips to Portland and Seattle, Vegas, Miami, the Bay area…we’ll see. Time, and well, finances, will tell.

Meanwhile, back here in DC I’ve been indulging myself every few days with overnight oats. I’m pretty sure this tops the list as my favorite breakfast food ever. This combo included old-fashioned oats in almond milk, mixed with 1/2 mashed banana, then topped with a few chocolate chips, the other half of the banana, slivered almonds, walnuts and my favorite white chocolate peanut butter. That, my friends, is happiness in a bowl for me.

Another food trend in my household lately: semi-homemade pizza. Now, to preface, I should tell you that ordering Papa Johns once a month was once standard for me. It’s close by, and it’s pretty much the easiest thing to order on those nights where I’m home late and my energy level is at 50% or under. But then I realized I should try making pizza myself. The Bf has a pizza stone from The Pampered Chef (similar to this but without handles), so I decided one night to put it to use. I bought a jar of pizza sauce and a Boboli’s crust, and then threw on a bunch of ingredients I already had in the kitchen.

And guess what. It was delicious! I liked that I could control the amount and the kind of toppings I put on the pizza, making it healthier than any delivery pizza I would normally order. Granted, Boboli’s crusts and jarred pizza sauce aren’t as healthy as crust and sauce can get. To be honest, I don’t really have time or patience to make my own pizza dough. Maybe on a Sunday afternoon when I’m really bored. So as much as I don’t like Sandra Lee, I don’t blame her for cutting some corners. I am willing, however, to try making my own pizza sauce, so if you have any suggestions, throw them my way.

My first iteration, with turkey sausage, onions, mushrooms and tomatoes.

My sister, Anna, has since found whole wheat pizza crust at Whole Foods so we’ve made these a few more times using that crust. It’s equally delicious to regular crust from Boboli’s, in my opinion. Assembling and baking this is super easy, but here’s some guidance for ingredients and assembly, just in case:

Ingredients:

  • whole wheat crust (couldn’t find it at Safeway, so you may have to check another store or just go to Whole Foods)
  • pizza sauce (I brand I’m using is Ragu because that’s also all I could find)
  • pesto (Anna prefers pesto to tomato sauce)
  • shredded Italian cheese (preferably low-fat)
  • goat cheese (apparently this is healthier than cow’s milk cheese. I love cheese so I use both)
  • chopped onion
  • chopped peppers
  • chopped mushrooms
  • chopped tomatoes
  • any chopped vegetable of your liking
  • 2 links turkey or chicken sausage
  • prosciutto
  • Italian herb mix
Pre-heat oven to the temperature as directed on the crust package. In a pan on medium heat, spray some cooking spray on the pan and saute the vegetables (except for the tomato) for a few minutes to soften them. Set vegetables aside and on the same pan remove the sausages from their casings and break up the meat with a wooden spoon. Brown the meat.
On a round baking sheet or pizza stone, place the crust and then spread pizza sauce or pesto, or both – Anna and I like section off our own sides using the ingredients. She likes pesto, goat cheese and prosciutto, and sometimes peppers and onions. I top mine with pizza sauce, then a little shredded Italian cheese, then sausage and all vegetables, then a little bit more cheese on top. I sprinkle everything with Italian herb mix and then pop it in the oven for time directed on the crust package. It usually doesn’t take more than 12 or 13 minutes!

Pesto pizza, sausage and cheese, sausage and veggies (all on 1 crust)!

Sorry Papa Johns, I think I’m officially a convert to my own pizza.

What food is heaven in a bowl to you? Have you tried any homemade/semi-homemade versions of your favorite take-out foods?

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9 Responses to “Sandra ain’t got nothin’ on me.”

  1. Rufus' Food and Spirits Guide June 27, 2011 at 8:59 pm #

    Your pizza looks just great. I’m so addicted to goat cheese right now. I love pesto on pizza too, we normally do separate small pizzas to mix it up. I like your approach.

    • Lisa (The Novice Nosher) June 28, 2011 at 5:34 pm #

      Thanks! Yeah, I haven’t seen smaller whole-wheat crust sizes, so sectioning off one big one saves us from pulling the 2nd crust out of the package (the WF ones come in 2 per package). I know how to feel about goat cheese – I’m slowly becoming more of a goat cheese fanatic the more I put it on my pizzas!

  2. Jenny June 27, 2011 at 10:15 pm #

    Love your morning oats, it really does look like happiness in a bowl 🙂 My food heaven bowl is cottage cheese and yogurt mixed with cereal and peanut butter 😛

    • Lisa (The Novice Nosher) June 28, 2011 at 5:32 pm #

      Thanks! I’m trying to keep up with your oats. 😛

      Hmmm, I might try this…I do love cottage cheese, I ought to try it mixed with other things for a change!

  3. Sheridan June 27, 2011 at 10:27 pm #

    Haha I was going to blog a pizza recipe involving Boboli crust abd roasted veggies. You beat me to it 😉

    Also, Kelly Moore camera bags are super cute! My friend loves hers.

    • Lisa (The Novice Nosher) June 28, 2011 at 5:30 pm #

      Hehe sorry to beat you. But I hope you still post your veggie pizza recipe! And thanks for the camera bag recommendation, I’m googling Kelly Moore right after this!

  4. Lisa {Smart Food and Fit} June 29, 2011 at 10:32 am #

    I love oatmeal, look forward to it every morning. Lately I’ve been keeping it simple, oats, water, cinnamon and stevia maybe a splash of soy milk.

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