Nomato Sauce St Louis Style Pizza

I found the dough recipe in a cookbook and it was labeled St Louis style pizza.  I liked the fact that the dough is not yeasted- so you can pull this dinner together in an hour on a weeknight (instead of having to plan ahead with the yeasted dough!).

I combined it with my version of Nomato sauce, which is tomato-free tomato sauce. On the pizza I really couldn't tell it wasn't pizza sauce! I haven't tasted it on pasta yet to know yet if it passes that test, but I suspect it might. It is really quite tasty.

Mix together:
1 C all purpose flour
1 C whole wheat flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp fine sea salt

Now add and knead a few times:
1/2 C + 2 TB water
2 TB olive oil

Cut into two balls and set aside.

Saute in olive oil and cook with a lid on until softens:
1 diced onion
3-5 carrots, chopped
3 stalks celery, chopped
2 small or 1 medium beet, peeled and diced

Blend in a blender until smooth.

In the pan, saute mashed garlic briefly in a TB olive oil. Now add the blended sauce back in, along with italian seasonings like black pepper, oregano, parsley, basil etc.

Season with salt and lemon juice to taste. 

Roll the dough out thin and place on a baking sheet. It will make two 12" pizzas.
Ladle sauce over the dough.
Top with cheese and your favorite toppings. I like thin sliced mushrooms.

Bake at 475 F for 9-12 minutes.

Right as the pizza comes out of the oven, I like to sprinkle it with a little bit of parmesan cheese and chopped herbs like parsley and basil.  The combination of toppings that are fresh and cooked is nice on pizza.


I like the idea of portable lunches and started thinking about empanadas, tamales and pasties. I was inspired by a cookbook and some blog posts including this one for cheese onion and potato pasties. 

I figured this a good way to get the hubby to eat vegetables, since they will be warm and covered with starchy goodness once microwaved for lunch.  And they freeze well after being cooked. Just thaw in the microwave and eat.

If you make this with butter then it is vegetarian.  I'm not sure the best way to veganize it- I suppose most folks would try margarine but I don't keep that in the house.

I honestly ran out of butter that the original recipe called for, so I grabbed some leftover beef fat from the last batch of slow cooked beef (it was cooked simply without liquid added and no flavorings. Once the meat is done, I strained the liquid of any chunks and refrigerated. Once chilled, the fat rose to the top of the jar, and I saved it off figuring I'd find a use for it eventually). The result was dough that was more pliable and easy to work than the standard butter crust. So perhaps I will start doing it this way intentionally!

Prepare a cup with water and ice cubes. Set aside to chill the water.

In food processor, blitz:
2/3 C fat (butter, bacon grease or beef fat)
2 C all purpose flour
1/4 tsp salt

Now slowly add the cold water while running the food processor until it comes togehter into a ball.

Fold into thirds, pressing the dough down on a cutting board.  Turn and repeat 4 more times. Wrap in wax paper and refrigerate for 30-60 minutes.

You could do just about anything here I suppose. Leftovers or simply cooked veggies? Just make sure they have some flavor

I cooked up 3 cubed potatoes and 1 diced onion with a little water in a covered pan, until the potato softened.  Then I added leftover grated zucchini shreds, salt, pepper, mustard powder and turmeric for color and stirred, leaving the lid off to evaporate some of the liquid. Once it was sufficiently soft, I took it off heat and put into a container to use later once the dough was ready.  At assembly I add cheddar and peas (noted in the instructions below). But if you are using your own filling omit those.

Cut the dough into 4 pieces. Roll each one out to an 8" circle using wax paper and a rolling pin.

Put filling into one half of the dough circle, leaving 1/2" of a clean edge.

Sprinkle diced cheddar and thawed green peas over the filling. Fold the other half of the dough circle over and crimp the edges shut.

Repeat for all 4 pasties. Set on a baking sheet.  Brush with egg wash (beaten egg white + 1 TB water).

Bake at 375 F for 25-35 minutes or until golden brown.

Cooked Chicken Breast strips for the Freezer

I guess buying already cooked chicken breasts is becoming a thing these days?

I don't eat much meat but wanted some chicken on hand to top on my hubby's salads. I often do a salad for the two of us, and mine is topped with beans and his with meat.  This way I can pop some out of the freezer and warm it up just like I do with my frozen cooked black beans.

Brining is the secret to getting juicy and flavorful chicken breasts. If you just cook them plain they are kinda blah.  But the brine makes them taste like a restaurant cooked it, which in this case is a good thing.

UPDATE on 3/4/2014: I further reduced the salt and sugar in the brine. Skinless chicken breasts really soak it up (as compared to a whole chicken with the skin on). These new proportions are just right, and still allow for a little salt in the sauce or other ingredients paired with the chicken.

Pound chicken breasts with a meat mallet until they are even thickness.  This helps them cook evenly without getting overcooked in spots.

Marinate in a brine of salt and sugar water for 4 hours or overnight. I started with my standard brine for whole chickens which was much too strong and too salty.  So try this instead:
2 cups water
1 TB kosher salt
1/2 TB sugar

Cook.  I broiled the brined chicken breasts on a broiling tray in the oven - flipping over once and checking frequently to avoid overcooking (we check by slicing into thick part of chicken with a clean knife and looking at the color). You could alternatively grill these.


Put in a freezer bag, seal and freeze.

Enjoy by warming up in microwave, then using on salad, in sandwiches, burritos or on top of rice with teriyaki sauce. It's great for making up quick work or school lunches.


Vegan Blueberry Streusel Coffee Cake

I found a recipe for a blueberry streusel cake in a vegan cookbook. But I didn't like the extra oil and almond milk (since I was making this for C who isn't currently eating nuts). And I absolutely had to decrease the sugar-- this version is perfectly sweet for our taste (which is more like the Japanese version of sweetness).   I've been cutting wheat flour with gluten-free flours in order to decrease the gluten load (C has a threshold after which he gets gluten headaches), so thus the rice flour in addition to the wheat flour. Rice flour is sandy and chewy which is a great fit for this cake.  This is vegan and nut-free (FYI- from reading around the internet, coconut is typically not considered a nut, but a drupel?).


155 g wheat flour
100 g brown rice flour
1/8 C sugar
1.5 tsp baking soda
0.5 tsp kosher salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg

Wet: blend in a blender:
1/2 banana
1 C water
1 TB white wine vinegar (or use apple cider vinegar)
vanilla extract

Topping: combine by mashing with a fork
1/4 C rice flour
1/8 C sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
2 TB cold coconut oil
pinch salt

Combine dry and wet ingredients in a bowl. Add 1 C blueberries (I thawed frozen blueberries by soaking in hot water in a mug, then draining the water off).

Pour batter into an 11x7" pyrex baking pan.  Crumble the topping over, distributing evenly over the surface of the batter.

Bake at 350 F for 30-45 minutes (??) until it is done.  (sorry I didn't take good measurements of the time on this one).