Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Eating Healthy Tips and Pizza From Scratch

Jared Tubbs is currently enrolled in the Culinary Arts Management program at Art Institue of California- LA, Santa Monica. Here he shares with us some tips he learned in his nutrition course and a delicious recipe for homemade pizza.

1. REPLACE butter with olive oil. Olive oil is like magic. If you use it on anything you would normally use butter, you will increase your HDL's (healthy cholestrol) and lower your LDL (lousy cholesterol). Seriously... like magic.

2. If you eat a VARIETY of foods daily, your health will benefit a great deal. We've learned that VARIETY is the key to a healthy lifestyle. Switch up the colors of veggies, and proteins, and you will be on the right track.

3. When you're making your own things from scratch, you know what's going into your body. For example if you used whole wheat flour, the below recipe would be healthier.

4. Anything refined is bad. It just strips away all the goodness from the grain. Always buy things unrefined.

5. One thing my nutritional science teacher said she made for her nieces & nephews was chicken nuggets, but breaded with a whole grain cereal that was ground up in a food processor. Be creative in the kitchen!



Top one has Pesto, Artichoke Hearts, Cherry Tomatoes mixed with basil- garlic & olive oil, and pine nuts.

Bottom is my take on a BBQ Chicken pizza. Red sauce, chicken marinated in BBQ sauce from scratch, caramelized red onion.


Pizza From Scratch

The Pesto Veggie- I made pesto using a lb of basil (leaves only); 1 cup of both pine nuts and parm; 3-4 cloves of garlic; 3 cups of oil. If you make your own basil oil, that would be preferred. Put everything minus the oil in the food processor and turn it on... then drizzle the oil in while the food is spinning.

I then made a cherry tomato salad- two pints of cherry tomatoes, washed and halved; 6-8 basil leaves, cut into a small ribbon (chiffanade), minced ~3 cloves of garlic (to taste), drizzled a bit of olive oil over the top (a light amount), and then mixed together with my hands.

The artichoke hearts came out of a can, but we spruced them up a bit with a vinegraitte and marinated them in that for a bit. Finally, spread the pesto on the dough, added the tomatoes and artichoke hearts and topped with a very light amount of cheese.

The BBQ chicken- We made homemade red sauce and BBQ sauce. First, we sauteed the chicken in olive oil, then placed the chicken in the simmering BBQ sauce. Next we carmelized some red onions. To finish, we spread the red sauce down, put some cheese on it, then added the chicken and the onions. Then after it's out of the oven... top with some freshly chopped cilantro (we forgot to do that part for the photo).

The dough is a basic dough...

1 TBS active dry yeast
60 ml water (90-100 degrees)
420 g bread flour (remember to be whole grain if you can)
180 ml water, chilled
6 g salt
30 ml olive oil
20 g honey


Procedure to make dough:

1. Dissolve the yeast in the warm water.
2. In a mixer (or by hand, but that gets messy!) and the flour... add the yeast mixture.
3. Add the remaining ingredients in order on the recipe.
4. You want the dough to get to pass the "windowpane" test.... mix together in the mixer until you can take a piece of the dough, hold it up to the sunlight and when you stretch it- it becomes almost translucent, like you can see through it. Basically until it can stretch without tearing. You can also see the gluten form... looks like spider webs inside the dough. This takes about five - eight minutes, depending on the mixer's strength.
5. Once it reaches this stage, take it out of the bowl and form a ball by hand.
6. Place the dough in a greased bowl, cover and let it proof. Humid hot spaces work... or on top of your gas stove.
7. Let it double in size.
8. Once doubled, "punch" the dough down.
9. Seperate into desired size (we made two 6" pizzas with this, so cut the ball into two).
10. Form into ball again, and then place in fridge until you are ready to make the pizzas. The longer it waits in the fridge, the more flavor will develop. I think you can have it in there for up to 3 days. We waited about half hour to one hour.
11. Shape the dough into the desired shape on a floured service. We chose a circle.
12. Top it off with your toppings.
13. Bake at 400 degrees F, and we didn't time it. We went by look. When the crust is golden brown, it is ready. Probably took 8 minutes.

Send me your homemade pizza photos and I will post them here.

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