I have had requests to include more of my eating plan for the Geocache Diet, and in particular, recipes. I have hesitated to post recipes in the past because this is not what this site is all about but when I thought about it for a while I decided that a few recipes would be a good compliment to the Geocache Diet blogs. What I am going to do is include recipes at the end of some of the Geocache Diet blogs as I go forward. A lot of the time this will just be links to recipes on other sites as I am not a chef and we use other people’s recipes often and I want the credit to go where it is deserved. On other occasions if I have created the dish or adapted the recipe enough that I can call it my own then I will put the whole recipe on the website. Again these recipes are only meant to compliment the other blogs about the Geocache Diet.
The recipes we are using are an important part in creating a healthier lifestyle. The goal of the diet is to create an everyday eating plan which we can adopt as a permanent routine for the whole family. I do not agree with eliminating food groups for the purpose of losing weight as I should be able to eat balanced meals that I enjoy eating. I do not like cooking separate meals for the kids so I try to find recipes that everyone will like.
I thought I would start with a biggy and one of our family’s favourite meals. Pizza is normally not considered diet food but if made correctly it can be quite healthy. Pizza in North America is considered bad for you due mostly to a thick white crust, lots of processed meats, and gobs of cheese. If you improve on those ingredients you really are left with a pretty good dinner. Here are the steps I take to make a great healthy pizza meal for our family.
I make my own bread so it just makes sense to make my own pizza crust as well. I use a simple 55% whole wheat crust which I got from Allrecipes.com. This recipe gives instructions to make by hand but I tend to use the bread maker to make this dough. I simply put the ingredients into the bread maker (first wet then dry then yeast) and start the dough cycle. Once complete I divide the dough into portions depending on the size of pizza I am going to make. We used to have a thicker crust but now we prefer to limit the amount of bread so we make thin crust pizzas out of it. We usually divide the dough into 2 or 3 portions. In the past I have made larger batches of dough and put some of the portions in a freezer bag and froze the dough for future use. I will roll out the dough as thin as I can get it and place it on a baking sheet. I could care less if it is perfectly rounded or square so my pizzas are usually ‘amoeba’ shaped. I will brush olive oil on both sides of the dough before putting any sauce or toppings on the pizza.
As you will see not all of our pizzas use a tomato sauce base but most of the time I use this simple sauce. We like our tomato sauce thick so we use a lot of tomato paste to avoid the sauce to be too thin and runny.
- 50 – 70 % tomato paste
- 30 – 50% crushed tomatoes (canned or fresh ripe tomatoes)
- Healthy portions of fresh or dried basil, oregano & Thyme (less of this one)
- Fresh garlic to own personal taste (we use a lot of garlic)
Depending on what toppings you will use I will sometimes add some cayenne pepper or red wine to give it different flavours.
This is the fun part. Lisa and I have fun making creative pizzas. We usually will make one for us and one for the kids. If we do not mention sauce then assume we use our Standard Tomato Sauce
- Our Kids Favourite Pizza – While each of our children will like other pizzas as well this is the best one to make to make all three happy – Black Olives, Mushrooms, light ham, small amount of mozzarella cheese (none for Annika)
- FamilyNavigation House Special – Roasted Garlic, marinated artichoke hearts, marinated mushrooms, raw shrimp, fresh tomato, fresh basil, small amount of mozzarella cheese
- Greek Pizza – Kalamata Olives, red pepper, fresh tomato, spinach, feta cheese
- Garlic Chicken – pre-cooked (roasted or bbq) chicken, roasted garlic, sun-dried tomato, artichoke hearts, small amount of mozzarella cheese
- Pesto Chicken Pizza From the Mediterrasian Way by Ric Watson and Trudy Thelander – basil pesto sauce instead of tomato sauce, precooked chicken breast, fresh tomato, red onion, black olives, small amount of mozzarella cheese
- Thai Shrimp Pizza from the Mediterrasian Way by Ric Watson and Trudy Thelander – sweet Thai chilli sauce instead of tomato sauce(you can usually buy this in the store, bottled), raw shrimp, red pepper, green pepper, green onion
Once assembled I will bake for around 12-15 minutes at 425 degrees F (220 degrees C) or until it looks and smells great. Let cool for a few minutes and then call the kids for dinner and let the dinner chaos begin. We tend to make big pizzas and have them for other meals in the coming days. Enjoy!!!!