Deep Dish Pizza

Last year hubby and I made some major changes to our diet. We weren’t looking for a quick fix or a fad diet to lose weight. We wanted to make healthy changes to our diet that would be a commitment for life. While we are still both considered overweight and have a ways to go, we are both half way to our goals and that is something worthy of celebrating! What better way to celebrate weight loss than a gorgeous, cheesy, saucy, deep dish pizza? Don’t mind if I do!

Before I show you this lovely little recipe, here are some before and afters from our journey so far.

Hubby – Before

Hubby – After (My darling nerd) 40 lbs lost

Me – Before

Me – After (Apparently, I’m a nerd as well) 33 lbs lost

Needless to say, we still have much work to do but we are excited about being halfway there! This pizza was delicious and the crust, in my opinion, is perfect. It is a perfect weekend pizza! Be careful though, this recipe makes two deep dish pizzas, but the recipe can easily be cut in half to make one pizza. I’ve made a few adjustments to the sauce, mostly because the salt can be overwhelming and I felt it could be sweeter. I’ve noticed this year that most of the crushed tomatoes I’ve purchased have been extremely acidic, so I have had to use more sugar in my sauce this season. Either way, it quickly became one of our favorite cheat night meals.

Deep Dish Pizza
Adapted from: Prevention RD

1 1/2 cups warm water (about 110 degrees F)
1 (1/4-ounce) packages active dry yeast (2 1/4 tsp)
1 tsp sugar
3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup semolina flour
1/2 cup canola oil, plus 1 teaspoons to grease bowl
1 tsp salt

1 Tbsp olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tsp fresh basil, chopped
1 tsp fresh oregano, chopped
1/4 tsp fennel seeds
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
1 (28-ounce) can plum tomatoes, coarsely crushed
1 Tbsp dry red wine
1 tsp sugar ( I used 1 tablespoon, due to acidity)
salt – see note in recipe

1 lb part-skim mozzarella cheese, sliced
1 cup (2 ounces) Parmesan, grated
~70 slices pepperoni


In a large bowl, combine the water, yeast, and sugar and stir to combine. Let sit until the mixture is foamy, about 5 minutes.

Add 1 1/2 cups of the flour, the semolina, 1/2 cup of the oil, and the salt, mixing by hand until it is all incorporated and the mixture is smooth. Continue adding the flour, 1/4 cup at a time, working the dough after each addition, until all the flour is incorporated but the dough is still slightly sticky.

Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth but still slightly tacky, 3 to 5 minutes. Oil a large mixing bowl with the remaining 1 teaspoons oil.

Place the dough in the bowl and turn to oil all sides. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and set in a warm, draft-free place until nearly doubled in size, 1 to 1 1/2 hours. Divide into 2 equal portions and use as directed.

While the dough is rising, make the tomato sauce. In a medium saucepan, heat 1 tablespoon oil over medium-high heat. Add the garlic and cook, stirring, for 30 seconds. Add the herbs, seeds and black and red peppers, and cook, stirring, for 30 seconds. Add the tomatoes, wine and sugar, and bring to a boil. I season it with just enough salt so that it tastes just below where I would want it. The pepperoni, crust and cheese all have salt in them – trust me, it will be salty enough. ๐Ÿ™‚

Lower the heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, until thickened, 20 to 30 minutes. Remove from the heat and let cool completely before using.

Preheat the oven to 475 F.

Spray two 10-to-12-inch round deep-dish pizza pans with cooking spray (I used one spring-form pan and one 9-inch round and it worked great). Press 1 piece of dough into each pan, pressing to the edge and stretching about 1 1/2 inches up the sides. Let rest for 5 minutes.

Layer the mozzarella cheese all over the bottom of the pies. Top each with half of the pepperoni. Ladle the sauce evenly over each pizza and top with Parmesan.

Bake until the top is golden and the cheese is bubbly and the crust is golden brown, about 30 minutes. Remove from the oven, slice and serve hot. Yield: 8 LARGE slices prepared.

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Okra Fritters with Corn and Goat Cheese

Hi. ๐Ÿ™‚

Contrary to popular belief, I am alive! You wouldn’t believe it but I’ve been cooking insane amounts of food for weeks, unfortunately the idea of even having a moment to photograph the food or write a blog post has totally escaped me.

Lucky for me, I was able to take a few minutes to make these for myself and my friend Abby who was working in the kitchen with me one day a few days (weeks?) ago. I was given a huge bag of okra and once I saw this recipe over at Confections of a Foodie Bride, I knew that my okra now had a destiny. Plus, if you don’t feed the help – they get whiny. ๐Ÿ˜‰

These were delicious, so my changes were quite simple. I didn’t have the time to grill corn that day so I substituted canned corn and I added sriracha sauce because I felt like the sweet heat of sriracha is always welcome with fried foods.

Make these. Enjoy these. Forgive me!

Okra Fritters with Corn and Goat Cheese


  • Vegetable oil, for frying
  • 1 1/2 cup sliced okra (~1/4-inch slices)
  • 3/4 cup corn kernels, cut from 1 grilled cob
  • 4 oz goat cheese, crumbled
  • 1.5 teaspoons Sriracha (more if you like it spicy, omit if you don’t!)
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 1/2 cup + 2 Tbsp flour
  • 1/3 cup buttermilk
  • 1 egg
  • Ranch Dressing for serving (optional)


  1. Heat ~1/2 inch of vegetable oil in a medium frying pan.
  2. In a mixing bowl, combine okra, corn kernels, goat cheese, sriracha, salt, and pepper, stirring to mix well.
  3. Add flour and stir.
  4. Whisk together egg and buttermilk and add to the mixing bowl, mixing until there are no streaks of dry flour left.
  5. When the oil is hot enough (a pinch of batter dropped into the oil should vigorously bubble), drop batter by 2 Tbsp and flatten with the back of your spoon.
  6. Fry in 2-3 batches, cooking 2-3 minutes on each side, until golden brown.
  7. Remove to a paper towel-lined plate to drain and cool. (I like to sprinkle with a bit of salt while they are still hot.)
  8. Serve warm. With ranch dressing.

Yields: 12 pieces



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Menu Plan: 6/11-6/16

Nobody Panic! I actually had a moment to breathe and menu plan for myself! It has been an insane month for us. We just returned from a mission trip in Guatemala, like last year, we worked at the Malnutrition Center in San Juan. It was an incredible trip and it really REALLY makes me thankful for what I have. Meanwhile, our catering business is keeping us quite busy and I just haven’t had the time to menu plan like I should. I think our waistlines and wallets have reflected that! I am ready to chow down on some yummy recipes this week in the kitchen. ๐Ÿ™‚


Sunday: Green Chile Enchiladas and Cheesy Jalapeno Rice.

Monday: Chicken Pot Pie with Dumplings

Tuesday: Southwestern Stuffed Potatoes, chopped salad with chipotle ranch dressing.

Wednesday: Meeting with a client, so dinner will be leftovers or sandwiches

Thursday: Roman Style Chicken, brown rice pilaf, glazed carrots

Friday: Late night working- hoping to squeeze in some grilled pizza.

Saturday: Asian Beef Burgers with Sriracha Aioli and oven fries.

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Potatoes Dauphinoise

Potatoes, cheese and cream. I mean really, how much more delicious or decadent can you get? It took about 2 seconds to realize I needed to make this when I made a special lamb loin dinner for my hubby last weekend. It went perfectly! This was rich and actually fairly easy to assemble. Like most Martha Stewart recipes, it was pretty flawless with the exception of the initial cooking time of the potatoes, which I have edited to reflect below.


Potatoes Dauphinoise
Barely adapted from: Martha Stewart


1 tablespoon unsalted butter, room temperature
2 1/2 pounds Yukon Gold potatoes
2 1/2 cups heavy cream
1 1/2 cups whole milk
1 garlic clove, smashed
1 teaspoon coarse salt
1/4 teaspoon ground white pepper
4 ounces Gruyere cheese
1/8 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg


Preheat oven to 400 degrees with rack in middle position. Spread butter across bottom and sides of a 2-quart baking dish.

Peel potatoes and slice 1/8 inch thick. Place slices in a large bowl of cold water and drain thoroughly.

Bring heavy cream, milk, and garlic to a simmer in a large, wide saucepan. Add potatoes, salt, and pepper and continue to simmer, stirring occasionally, until potatoes are tender, 20 minutes. * This took 10 minutes for me. I would start checking at 10 minutes.

Using a slotted spoon, transfer half the potatoes to prepared baking dish and sprinkle with half of the cheese. Add remaining potatoes to baking dish and pour enough cream mixture over potatoes to just cover. Sprinkle with remaining cheese, place on a rimmed baking sheet, and bake until bubbly and golden brown on top, 40 to 45 minutes.

Remove from oven and grate nutmeg over top just before serving.

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Citrus Semifreddo

This was my first time eating semifreddo (which translates to semi-frozen) and it was such a treat. It was both creamy and cold, tart and sweet. It was the perfect light dessert after a huge lunch this weekend. I can’t take the credit for actually physically making the semifreddo this time though. My friend Abby actually came over and made this (since it needed 8 hours to freeze) the day of my graduation this past weekend. Because Lord knows I wasn’t going in the kitchen on that day. Haha! We swapped out the amaretti cookies for ginger snaps, mostly because I already had them in the pantry and because I’ve had a hard time finding amaretti cookies before. If I had to compare this to anything it would be like mixing a lemon ice with gelato. It is the quintessential summer dessert.

You must go try this!

P.S. Bear with me! Our Catering Company has launched full steam ahead and we have been CRAZY busy with that. If you’re local to the Central Florida area or just want to show your support, swing by our facebook page and check us out! Until then, hang in there with me while I adjust to cooking for the amazing folks of Central Florida and my husband. haha!

Citrus Semifreddo
Barely Adapted from: Giada De laurentis

Nonstick cooking spray
4 ounces purchased ginger snap cookies, crushed (about 20 small cookies) plus more for sprinkling
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1/2 cup sugar, plus 1/4 cup
8 large egg yolks
1/4 cup lemon juice
3 tablespoons lime juice
2 tablespoons limoncello (this is a lemon liqueur)
Pinch salt
1 lemon, zested
1 lime, zested
1 cup whipping cream


Spray a 9 by 5 by 3-inch metal loaf pan with nonstick spray. Line the pan with plastic wrap, allowing the excess to hang over the ends and sides.

Combine the crushed ginger snap cookies and the melted butter. Put in the lined pan and press down to firm and form a crust.

Whisk 1/2 cup of the sugar, the egg yolks, lemon juice, lime juice, limoncello, and salt in a large metal bowl to blend. Set the bowl over a saucepan of simmering water (do not allow the bottom of the bowl to touch the water). Whisk the egg mixture until it is thick and creamy, and a thermometer inserted into the mixture registers 160 degrees F, about 5 minutes. Set the bowl of custard into another bowl of ice water to cool completely. Stir in the zest.

Using an electric mixer, beat the cream and remaining 1/4 cup sugar in another large bowl until firm peaks form. Using a large rubber spatula, gently fold the whipped cream into the custard. Spoon the mixture onto the prepared crust. Fold the overhanging plastic wrap over the custard and freeze until frozen, at least 8 hours or up to 3 days.

Unfold the plastic wrap. Invert the semifreddo onto a platter and peel off the plastic wrap. Cut the semifreddo into 1-inch slices and sprinkle with crushed ginger snap cookies and serve.

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Jamaican Curried Pork Tenderloin

I’m a huge fan of pork tenderloin. It’s super lean, tender and makes for a pretty quick meal. I was craving some of the beautiful curry powder I bought at the Caribbean market a few weeks ago and this fit the bill. This came out delicious and was easy. The marinade comes together quickly and then really works into the pork tenderloin while it marinates over night. The marinading time is important, the flavors are mellow and need time to marry. I served this over basmati rice with carrots, scallions and garlic but I tend to think that this would make an amazing sandwich!

Jamaican Curried Pork Tenderloin
A Gourmet: Day to Day Original

1 Pork Tenderloin (approximately 2 lbs)
Kosher Salt and Pepper


1/2 cup Nonfat Greek Yogurt
1 1/2 tablespoons Hot Curry Powder (Regular Curry powder can be substituted here)
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/4 cup water
2 teaspoons vegetable oil
1 tablespoon honey or Agave
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

In a medium sized bowl whisk together all marinade ingredients (yogurt through kosher salt). Before adding the pork to the marinade, season it well with salt and pepper. Transfer marinade and pork tenderloin to a one gallon freezer bag and allow to marinate overnight.

To cook: Preheat oven to 375. Spray a large oven safe skillet with non stick cooking spray. Heat vegetable oil in the same pan over medium heat. Remove pork tenderloin from marinade. Sear each side of the pork tenderloin about 3 minutes per side (all 4 sides) until each side has developed a golden crust. Cover with oven safe lid or aluminum foil. Transfer skillet to oven and allow to finish cooking through until pork reaches an internal temperature of 145 degrees (160 if you don’t care for any pink inside the pork) This will take approximately 20-25 minutes depending on the size and preferred doneness of the pork. Once pork has reached the proper temperature, remove from oven and allow to rest 2-3 minutes. Carve and serve immediately.

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Shrimp Fajita Pasta

I swear we don’t always eat shrimp. It may seem like it, but we do eat other proteins, I promise. ๐Ÿ™‚ I found this recipe over at Prevention RD. As usual, I wasn’t disappointed with this recipe. I mean really, it’s shrimp (love it) fajita seasoning (fresh made, not that packet jazz), cream cheese and fresh whole wheat pasta. How could I NOT like this? Then as if all those components weren’t enough, it comes in at 400 calories a serving. LOVE THAT.
If you’re like my friend Jennifer and don’t care for shrimp (she usually calls me and asks if she can substitute chicken for the shrimp). Yes you can! Just pre-cook cubed chicken in some of the fajita seasoning and then add the enchilada sauce and cream cheese as instructed for the shrimp.
This was easy, delicious and low calorie. Seriously. You need this pasta in your life.

Shrimp Fajita Pasta
Barely adapted from: Prevention RD

13.25 oz box dry whole wheat linguine
2 tsp extra-virgin olive oil
3 bell peppers, sliced thinly into strips (I used 1 green, 1 yellow, 1 orange)
1 large yellow onion, halved and sliced thinly into strips
2 1/2 Tbsp fajita seasoning, divided (look below for a QUICK and easy fresh fajita seasoning mix)
1 1/2 lb raw shrimp, peeled & deveined
10 oz can enchilada sauce
4 oz reduced fat cream cheese


Cook the pasta according to package instructions. Drain and set aside.

Meanwhile, heat olive oil in a large skillet or cast iron skillet until rippling. Add the peppers, onions, and 1 1/2 tablespoons of the fajita seasoning. Cook 8-10 minutes or until tender and onions are translucent. Add shrimp and remaining 1 tablespoon seasoning. Cook 3-4 minutes or until shrimp are no longer opaque.

Add enchilada sauce and cream cheese. Toss to incorporate and melt the cream cheese.

Add the drained pasta to the skillet and toss. Note: If the skillet is too small, toss pasta with the shrimp mixture, tossing to combine. Serve immediately.

Yield: 7 servings (about 1 3/4 cups each).

Nutrition Information (per serving): 401 calories; 9.1 g. fat; 140 mg. cholesterol; 618 mg. sodium; 52.9 g. carbohydrate; 7.4 g. fiber; 28.7 g. protein

Fajita Seasoning Mix
Adapted from:

2 teaspoons chili powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/4 teaspoon cumin


Combine all ingredients in a small bowl. Use as needed in recipes calling for fajita seasoning.

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Posted in 500 Calories or less, Seafood Dishes | 3 Comments