Pizza seems to be a comfort food for many folks, yet it’s considered a “not-so-healthy” choice. There are many ways to make your pizza healthier, and the sauce is one item that could use a makeover.
Making pizza sauce is not hard, and not all pizza sauces have to be tomato-based. A basil or spinach pesto could be used or even a white sauce can be made. To keep things as traditional as possible the recipe below is tomato-based. To make it convenient, this recipe uses tomato puree, but you can also make your own tomato sauce starting with fresh tomatoes or canned crushed tomatoes. The sugar in most tomato-based dishes is used to cut down on the acidity of the tomatoes.
1 onion, finely minced (can put in a food processor)
1 Tablespoon minced garlic
3 cups of tomato PUREE
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon dried basil
½ teaspoon dried thyme
½ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon honey or other sweetener of choice
½ teaspoon of crushed red pepper flakes or some other hot pepper (optional)
1 teaspoon red wine vinegar
1 Tablespoon of olive oil
Heat oil in pan and sauté onions until translucent over medium heat. Add garlic, and sauté another minute with the onions. Add tomato puree, the herbs, salt and sweetener. Stir. Bring to a low boil then turn down heat and simmer, stirring occasionally. Cook for 20 minutes until sauce has thickened a bit and flavors have married. Add vinegar, stir and simmer for another 5 minutes.
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What’s in a label? The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is considering making changes to nutrition labels to include additional information that will help consumers make responsible food choices. Until then, you can identify the best foods for your diet by using these simple tips:
Find the secret ingredient. Did you know that you can find partially hydrogenated oil in many foods packaged foods? This is the manufactured form of trans fat, which experts agree is among the worst fats for your body.
Less is more. Most health experts advise avoiding foods with long ingredient lists, which tend to belong to foods that are highly processed and full of chemicals and additives. Focus on whole foods that undergo less processing.
Go to the back. The back of the package, that is. Don’t be fooled by the BIG letters or claims on the front of the package. Look at the label on the back or side panel of the package to really understand the ingredient list. Continue Reading »
If you are eating seasonally, you are in luck because there are many foods grown in Wisconsin that are in season this time of year. One of my favorites is fennel.
Fun fact: fennel is a flowering plant that belongs to the same plant family as carrots. Fennel is a hardy perennial plant, considered both an herb and a vegetable. It has yellow flowers and beautiful, soft, feathery leaves similar to dill. It typically grows in the Mediterranean, but it is also grown in Wisconsin.
Smelling fennel is an experience in and of itself! It is very aromatic with a deep pungent aroma that resembles anise, similar but much richer smelling than licorice.
Fennel is also a very flavorful herb. Almost every part of the plant can be used in cooking. The dried fennel seeds are aromatic and taste like anise. Green seeds are best for cooking, having the most flavor. The leaves can be used to finish off a dish to produce a delicate flavor, and the bulb can be used as a vegetable by putting it in salads and soups. It is crisp and can be sautéed, baked, grilled or eaten raw.
Many Indian and Middle Eastern dishes call for fennel in their recipes. It is also found in some Chinese spice powders. Fennel is often used to make Italian sausage, and it is also found in breath fresheners. It can be used to make tea, which tastes much like licorice or anise tea.
All in all fennel is a wonderful food that can be used in many ways. Look for it in the grocery stores or at your local farmer’s market.
Whether you eat meat or not, protein is a vital part of our diets. Below are just a few of the foods that will help you reach your protein intake for the day.
When it comes to recent food trends, it is almost impossible to ignore the increased use and popularity of Salvia hispanica L.
Salvia hispani… what?
Salvia hispanica L. is popularly known as chia seeds. This mint-related plant is leaving its mark on the food industry and is ever so prevalent on the Internet. If you do a quick Google search you will find plenty of recipes using chia seeds, and you are likely see people raving about this gluten-free seed on Pinterest and other social media networks, too.
Chia seeds, which date back to the ancient Aztecs, have shot to the top of the “superfood” lists, creating a craze with consumers. Perhaps it is their versatility that is so appealing. You can use chia seeds to make beverages, desserts, crackers, breading and more.
The seed can be consumed whole or ground, and may be easily added to foods such as yogurts, smoothies, oatmeal and other cereals. A unique property of the seed is its ability to turn gelatinous or gummy when soaked, allowing it to be used as a thickening agent in recipes.
This feature comes in handy when using chia seeds as a substitute for eggs in baking. To use chia seeds instead of eggs, soak one tablespoon of ground chia seeds in three tablespoons of water for five to 10 minutes. This is usually the equivalent of one egg. In a study published in the Journal of the American Dietetic Association, it was found that 25 percent of eggs or oil in a recipe could be replaced with the chia gel without affecting the functional or sensory properties of the result. By using chia seeds instead of oil or eggs, it decreases the caloric and fat content of the final product. Continue Reading »