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We make pizza in my house about once a week, often playing around with different toppings and sauces. Pizza is a great way for everyone to get something that they like. For my non-sauce loving daughter, it’s simply dough and cheese. Occasionally, she’ll throw some peas or carrots on there as a joke. My husband loves the meatier pizzas and I love mushroom or spinach. When it was time to create my last recipe for Smart Balance as part of the Battle of the Blogger’s contest I won a year ago, I decided on pizza. It’s something we love and most everyone does as well and it’s quick and easy as everyone gets back into the Fall grind. I’ve made this combination before, usually opting for a thicker sauce that also yields a lot more calories and fat, so I lightened it up and we were really happy with the end result, so much that we haven’t gone back to the heavier version since!

This is an easy recipe to whip up if you have your kitchen stocked with lots of frozen shredded chicken and pizza dough just ready to go. No need for take-out or processed frozen pizzas. Make a gourmet pizza in your house any night of the week in less than half an hour!

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Chicken & Garlic White Pizza

Ingredients

  • 3 Tbsp Smart Balance Original Spread
  • 3 cloves garlic, finely minced
  • 1/2 cup 1% milk
  • 1 Tbsp flour
  • Pizza dough (store bought or can use my recipe http://www.thewaytohisheartblog.com/pizza-dough/)
  • 1 cup shredded chicken
  • 5 oz fresh part-skim mozzarella, sliced
  • 2 or 3 basil leaves
  • corn meal for dusting

Pre-heat oven to 450F. Place pizza stone in oven to heat.

In a small saucepan, simmer butter and garlic until melted and aromatic. Stir in milk to combine. Turn heat to medium, bring just to a boil and whisk in flour until combined. Remove from heat and allow to thicken.

Roll out pizza dough to desired thickness. Sprinkle corn meal on pizza peel. Carefully, transfer dough onto pizza peel. Spread garlic butter sauce onto dough. Top with chicken and cheese. Cook for 10 to 12 minutes or until golden brown. Tear basil leaves and place on top of pizza.

Serves 8

Nutritional Information

Per serving: 238 Calories, 9g Fat, 27mg Cholesterol, 353mg Sodium, 27g Carbohydrates, 1g Fiber, 14g Protein

The Way to His Heart

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I think this summer I’m officially a fresh, made from scratch pickle convert. While I will never let a pickle be lonely on a plate and will do my best to eat all of the pickles, at home I’ll be making my own from here on out. A couple of weeks ago I posted these easy Bread and Butter Pickles and today I’ve got an even easier recipe for Dill Pickles. While I’ll be on the hunt for a great dill pickle recipe that I will be able to can to have on hand in the winter months, these refrigerator pickles hit the spot and just seem that much fresher. They have a wonderful crisp bite and there is something to be said about opening a jar and looking into the clear liquid and seeing the still beautiful dill. I like pretty food and had never thought of pickles that way before. Even before you take a bite you know that they will be refreshing! I hadn’t heard of refrigerator pickles until some of you asked for a good recipe on Facebook and I am so thankful to those that did. I had a lot of fun sampling out a few recipes and this one was the winner!

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Refrigerator Dill Pickles

Ingredients

  • 1 1/5 cup distilled white vinegar
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 4 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 tsp mustard seeds
  • 1 tsp coriander seeds
  • 3/4 tsp dill seeds
  • 2 cups hot water
  • 2 lbs cucumbers, sliced or cut into spears
  • 3/4 cup coarsely chopped fresh dill
  • 3 cloves garlic, coarsely chopped

In a large, heat proof measuring cup combine the first seven ingredients, up to the hot water and stir until the sugar has dissolved. Allow brine to cool to room temperature.

In a large bowl, mix cucumbers, fresh dill, and garlic. Add cooled brine and toss cucumbers. Place a small plate over cucumbers to keep submerged and then cover with plastic wrap. Refrigerate over night or until cooled, stirring once or twice. Since I like my cucumbers in jars I placed cucumbers, dill etc. into jars and then poured the brine directly into the jars, making sure a fair amount of all ingredients went into each jar.

Pickles will remain fresh for up to one week in the refrigerator if stored in an airtight container.

Yields 2 pints

Source: Food & Wine ~ Bobby Flay

 

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I was recently asked to create a recipe using Nature Valley™ Protein Crunchy Oats n’ Honey Granola and my mind started going in a bunch of different directions. I wanted to show that granola doesn’t always have to go in a snack bar, cookie, or atop yogurt. I also wanted to have fun with it. Finally, it hit me. Ice cream! It’s no surprise that we love ice cream. The ice cream maker is always in the freezer ready to go and I try to keep cream in the refrigerator just in case we want to whip up a batch. I had a few different thoughts of what ingredients I wanted to use, but in the end the final concept and first batch created some of the best ice cream I’ve made.

My husband gave me the side-eye when I told him I wanted to add granola to the ice cream. He was afraid that I had lost my mind and that the granola would either be too crunchy or that it would get soggy after a few days. He was the first to admit that the ice cream was delicious, with just the right amount of crunch. There is the perfect hint of vanilla and cinnamon and the honey and chocolate add the right amount of sweetness. Besides the great taste, by adding one full cup of granola, I added 20 grams of protein into the ice cream. So, it’s kind of good for you! Right?

I love creating new and fun dishes like this and I love when they turn out to be winners with my toughest critics. Check out more Nature Valley™ recipes here.

1/2 cup Nature Valley™ Protein Granola provides 10 grams of protein and 22-26 grams of whole grain, at least 48 grams of whole grain recommended daily.

This post was sponsored by Nature Valley™ through their partnership with POPSUGAR Select. While I was compensated to write a post about Nature Valley™ Protein Granola, all opinions are my own.

Honey Granola and Chocolate Swirl Ice Cream

Ingredients

In a large bowl, whisk eggs until light in color and fluffy, about 1 to 2 minutes. Gradually, pour in sugar and continue whisking until well blended. Add cream, milk, cinnamon, and vanilla and stir until combined.

Pour into ice cream maker and follow manufacturer’s instructions. Add granola in the last minutes before ice cream has finished processing. Pour ice cream into an air-tight container a few scoops at a time. Drizzle about a tablespoon of chocolate sauce in and fold into ice cream. Repeat until ice cream and chocolate sauce is used. Freeze until desired consistency is reached.

Yield 1 quart

Source: The Way to His Heart

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Early on this spring I had deemed this the “Year of the Pickles.” I was going to concentrate on cucumbers in my garden rather than tomatoes. Tomatoes have been giving me a hard time lately with weather conditions and pests and cucumbers are so easy to grow. Plus, everyone in the house eats them so there are never too many. We also eat a lot of pickles in the house. Whether it be adorning a great sandwich or just a quick snack out of the fridge, we love pickles. You’ll often find three jars in my refrigerator, not even counting relish!

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Finally, a use for my fruit punch bowl!

As with most things, I started to think about the cost and the health benefits of canning our own. Frankly, the cost isn’t too bad if you use coupons, but the health benefits are more than enough reason to start making your own if you can. We have enough pickles for the year and only planted three cucumber plants. We also have used plenty of cucumbers as a dinner side or to go with salads. The biggest major benefit is the sodium factor. Canning your own you can really adjust your sodium to your own liking. This recipe from Cooking Light is about half the sodium of store-bought. As always, you are also avoiding the preservatives and the best part, it’s fun to make them!

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It’s really easy if you’ve canned before and if you haven’t you’ll get the knack quickly. It’s so much fun growing them, harvesting, slicing, and canning them.The two week wait was a little brutal since we were eager to taste them, but they were well worth the wait. My husband wasn’t too keen on pickling one evening after work, because I make him do the actual canning because I am a wimp and an accident waiting to happen, but when he took a bite he was glad we went through the process. Just opening the jar my mouth started watering.

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Bread & Butter Pickles

Ingredients

  • 8 cups water
  • 1/2 cup pickling salt
  • 1 1/2 cups thinly vertically sliced yellow onion
  • 5 lbs pickling cucumbers (thin skinned), cut into 1/4-inch thick slices
  • 4 1/2 cups white vinegar
  • 3 cups sugar
  • 2 1/2 Tbsp mustard seeds
  • 1 1/2 tsp celery seeds
  • 1 1/2 tsp turmeric

Combine water and salt in a large container and stir. Add onion and cucumber and let stand at room temperature for 3 hours. Drain brine and rinse with cold water.

Combine vinegar and remaining ingredients in a large pot. Bring to a boil. Add the cucumber mixture and bring to almost a boil. Using a slotted spoon, remove the hot cucumber mixture and divide into 6 (1-pint) hot, sterilized jars. Divide the hot vinegar mixture among the jars, filling to 1/2 inch from the top.

Remove air bubbles and wipe jar rims. Cover with metal lids and screw on bands. Process in boiling-water bath for 15 minutes. Remove jars from water bath. Cool completely, checking for a proper seal.

For best flavor, allow 2 weeks before eating. Store in a cool, dark place for up to 1 year.

Nutritional Information

Serves 24 ~ serving size about 1/3 cup

Per serving: 42 Calories, 0.1 g, 1 g Protein, 11 g Carbohydrate, 1 g Fiber, 0 mg Cholesterol, 0 mg Iron, 194 mg Sodium, 17 mg Calcium

Source: Cooking Light August 2014, adapted from The Foothills Cuisine of Blackberry Farm