05/03/2013

Turkey Sausage, Spinach and Ricotta Deep Dish Pizza on Wheat Crust

Yesterday I shared a Turkey Sausage, Pepperoni and Mushroom Pizza recipe with all of you, and today I am excited to provide a second homemade pizza recipe! This recipe goes outside of the box just a little bit, but it sure is tasty if you love ingredients like spinach, ricotta, fresh mozzarella, and just like the first pizza recipe, turkey sausage.

I absolutely love deep dish pizza.  It is undeniably my favorite type of crust to order when choosing a particular style of pizza. Chicago is home to the original deep dish pizza, and you better believe that every time I go, we have to stop at Gino’s or Giordano’s at least once for a thick, cheesy slice.

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Since I was making two types of pizzas for my family dinner Sunday, I wanted to make two completely different options available. Making a small deep dish style pizza just seemed like a natural fit to go with the larger, pan crust pizza. The more variety the better if you ask me. The only similarities between the pizzas were the marinara sauce, fresh mozzarella and turkey sausage, and the fact that the dough for each came from the same batch. Feel free to either make one pizza at a time, or to throw a pizza party of your very own using both recipes!

Turkey Sausage, Spinach and Ricotta Deep Dish Pizza on Wheat Crust

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Ingredients

½ pound Homemade Wheat Crust or Store Bought Crust

1 tablespoon olive oil

¼ large onion, finely diced

4 garlic cloves, minced

1 Jar of your Favorite Brand of Pizza Sauce

8 ounces low-fat ricotta

1/2-1 frozen package of spinach (thawed and water removed – I use a colander, add spinach and press out water through the holes using a metal spoon)

¼ pound fresh mozzarella, thinly sliced

Fully cooked and sliced Italian turkey sausage (I cooked the sausage on a grill pan until fully cooked, and then thinly sliced the links)

2 teaspoons oregano

 

Directions

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

In a small saucepan over medium heat, add olive oil and onions to the pan, cooking 3 minutes. Then, add garlic to the pan and continue cooking for another 2 minutes. Pour in marinara sauce, stir and heat through, 2-3 minutes.

In a bowl, mix together ricotta and spinach until combined.

On your deep dish pizza pie pan, sprinkle a little flour, roll out your dough and stretch dough until the baking dish is fully covered, spreading across the bottom and up the sides of the pan. Spread on sauce mixture, spoon on ricotta and spinach mixture, then top with turkey sausage and fresh mozzarella. Sprinkle on oregano.

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Place pizza in the oven and bake for 20-25 minutes until crust is fully cooked and mozzarella cheese is nicely melted and lightly browned.

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Talk to Me!

  • What are your favorite pizza toppings? Do you prefer more traditional choices like pepperoni and tomato, or more unique ingredients like spinach and ricotta?
  • When you invite guests over for dinner, do you have a go-to recipe you always seem to choose? (Lasagna, salad and homemade bread is a meal I make all the time for guests! Another favorite of mine is to grill-out hamburgers, hot dogs, and veggie kabobs, then serve baked beans and macaroni and cheese on the side!)
05/02/2013

Turkey Sausage, Pepperoni and Mushroom Pizza

I mentioned Monday that over the weekend I had my family over for a little homemade pizza night! I absolutely love whole wheat pizza and I tend to make it at least a few times a month. It can be budget friendly, makes enough to feed a crowd or provide leftovers for days, tastes delicious, and can be made a million different ways.

Sunday I decided to play around with two new recipes, one being more traditional with toppings like pepperoni and mushrooms, and the second was a much more unique deep dish version that included ingredients like ricotta, spinach and turkey sausage. I am going to share one recipe today, and the second tomorrow so make sure you come back and check it out!

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When I was choosing the menu for Sunday, I had to put into perspective who were going to be my guests.  I guess you could say that I know my dad, brother and husband pretty well, so when I started imagining the perfect pizza combination to fit their needs I knew that at least two different kinds of meat toppings were necessary to make everyone’s taste buds happy. I stuck with this traditional, yet slightly healthier version of a classic homemade pizza since I was absolutely certain it would be a hit.

Turkey Sausage, Pepperoni and Mushroom Pan Pizza on Wheat Crust

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Ingredients

1 Pound Homemade or Store Bought Wheat Crust (I Used a Combination of Half White Whole Wheat Flour / Half White Flour)

1 tablespoon olive oil

1/2 large onion, finely diced

4 garlic cloves, minced

1 Jar of your Favorite Brand of Pizza Sauce

1 cup slice mushrooms

Pepperoni slices (enough to cover your whole pizza)

Fully cooked and sliced Italian turkey sausage (I cooked the sausage on a grill pan until fully cooked, and then thinly sliced the links)

¼ pound fresh mozzarella, thinly sliced

2 cups shredded mozzarella

2 teaspoons oregano

 

Directions

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

In a small saucepan over medium heat, add olive oil and onions to the pan, cooking 3 minutes. Then, add garlic to the pan and continue cooking for another 2 minutes. Pour in marinara sauce, stir and heat through 2-3 minutes.

On your pizza tray (I used this Large Bar Pan from Pampered Chef, which is my go-to pizza pan!) sprinkle a little flour, roll out your dough and stretch until the baking dish is fully covered. Spread on sauce mixture, and add pepperoni, mushrooms, turkey sausage, fresh mozzarella, and then top the whole pizza with shredded mozzarella cheese.

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Sprinkle oregano on top of pizza. Place pizza in the oven and bake for 20-25 minutes until crust is fully cooked and cheese is nicely melted.

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Talk to Me!

  • Do you prefer homemade pizza, or do you have a favorite place you order pizza from?
  • Important question: Thin Crust, Pan Crust, or Deep Dish?!  White or Whole Wheat Crust?
05/01/2013

WIAW: Playing Catch Up!

I completely love having weekend plans with friends and family, and enjoy staying busy with exciting events and having guests over to entertain. These are the types of sweet moments that I live for, cherish, look forward to, and carefully include on my calendar in fancy script using colored pen whenever possible.  I mean, I would absolutely hate to miss out on any of those special occasions simply because the event didn’t stand out on paper! However, as much as I love a full schedule it is always nice to have one day a week to just be home and take the day to catch up, and simply breathe.

Saturday was one of those laid-back, no plan days for me. After being gone all last weekend in Hilton Head, I needed that day to finish unpacking all laundry and to do a full deep cleaning of the entire house, from top to bottom; bathrooms to kitchen.  Nothing was off limits! I try and dust once a week and vacuum at least twice a week, in thanks mostly to little Teb’s never ending piles of shiny black hair that consistently appears no less than five minutes after I vacuum! Try as I might though, it is hard to keep the house up to my standards of clean no matter how much I attempt to keep up with it throughout the work week. There is nothing like a good scrubbing when you have a little more energy on the weekend. It’s the little things in life!

Since Tim was gone at a softball tournament, I decided to make Saturday a cleaning and ‘me’ day, and I also took the time to take pictures of my eats to share with all of you in today’s WIAW.

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Breakfast

I always stick to a freshly brewed cup of coffee when I first wake up, and then shortly follow it up with a second cup of coffee along with my breakfast. Since Tim had already left for softball, breakfast for one it was. My morning meal wasn’t anything fancy, but it sure was tasty.

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1 egg, 3 egg whites, a slice of Colby jack cheese on a whole wheat wrap. On the side were some perfectly ripe strawberries. I love that the seasonal produce is starting to be on sale in the grocery again.

The rest of the morning was a clean-fest. I worked upstairs cleaning the bathrooms, (my least favorite household chore!), and then made my way downstairs until the whole house was spic-and-span. The weather was gorgeous Saturday, so I treated myself ‘for a job well done’ with a nice long walk outside.  (I had a little pre-exercise fuel with a banana before I left). 

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It was imperative to get Tebow and me both out of the house and into the warm sunlight. We did a brisk neighborhood walk, nothing too crazy, but enough to get my blood flowing and my heart pumping. We were gone for about an hour and by the time we got back and chugged some water, I was more than ready for a little lunch.

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Earlier in the week, I made this recipe, but without the sugar snap peas, and instead with a frozen bag of Asian medley frozen veggies.  The chicken and veggie dish was served alongside leftover quinoa as well.

After lunch, I headed upstairs to take a shower and give Tebow a little time to rest, not that he thought he needed to though! I then proceeded to move the wash to the dryer and fold the clothes that were already dry. I flipped through this month’s Self Magazine, and watched a little television.  I am not a Jonas Brothers fan, but for some reason I love the show Married to Jonas! I found my stomach start to growl after a little while, so I went back to the kitchen to find a good snack. I made my version of this Peanut Butter Maple Shake from Dashing Dish! I shared it with you last week as well, but I literally have this shake at least three times a week…so good! Check out Katie’s original recipe here, or feel free to try my version below:

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½ cup cottage cheese

1 scoop Vanilla Protein Powder

2 tablespoons peanut butter (Sometimes I get a little heavy handed with this, depends on my mood)!

1-2 teaspoons of REAL pure maple syrup, (I have tried the extract, but you really can’t beat the real thing! A little bit goes a long way, so I think it is 100% worth the splurge)!

About ¾-1 cup water + 10-15 ice cubes

Optional – ¼ – ½ teaspoon xantham gum, depending on how thick you like it

Blend all ingredients together and serve with a little light whip cream on top; it’s non-optional! Kidding…)!

This literally tastes like a milkshake and I promise it will fulfill any ice cream craving!

After my ‘dessert’, I actually lied down and took a little nap. A nap is rare for me since trying to sleep usually consists of me thinking about everything I should be doing instead, but sometimes it is highly necessary to just give in to that sleepy feeling.  When I woke up, Tim was on his way home and his plan was to mow the lawn and do some outside work, so I decided to get back in the kitchen and prep for dinner. I marinated two split chicken breasts to grill up for dinner in an easy mix of olive oil, balsamic vinegar, fresh garlic, and salt and pepper. I prefer boneless skinless chicken breasts, but these were incredibly cheap. It’s hard to pass up a deal! I also cut a butternut squash in half, removed the seeds and prepped it for baking.

I also started making two desserts and snacks from Tone it Up. I made the Peach Cobbler for Saturday night’s dessert, and the Raisin Spice Granola Bars to be a snack throughout the week.  I am happy to report that both recipes turned out great, except my granola bars turned out to be more like loose granola instead of bar form.  I probably should have added another tablespoon or two of honey, but the taste was amazing!  Literally, that granola can be quite addictive.  After giving some to my mom to try, Tim and I have now almost finished the entire batch in three days!

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Here is my dinner with chicken and cubed butternut squash, and my scoop of peach cobbler.

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Too bad I didn’t have any light ice cream to scoop so that I could have served it up a la mode! The rest of the night consisted of a little movie watching and an early bedtime.

Talk to Me!

  • What is your favorite healthy dessert? Feel free to link up; I would love some new recipe ideas!
  • Are you a reality television fan? I really don’t watch as many reality shows as I used to. I am pretty much over the Real Housewives phase, but I do still catch up on the Orange County episodes when they are on television. I used to watch the Kardashians too, but I am over that one as well. Has anyone seen the new show on E! What would Ryan Lochte Do? Wow…! Not sure how I feel about that one; I watched five minutes of the first episode and felt a little less intelligent than when I started watching! Now, I just tend to follow The Bachelor, Married to Jonas and Food Network / HGTV shows if you choose to count those as reality series’! Ha)!