Easy, Make Your Own Winter Veggie Pizza

Just about everyone loves pizza, myself included. However, traditional restaurant pizza is generally made with refined (white) flour, and loaded with saturated fat and sodium – things that can quickly lead to weight gain and harm your health. To make pizza something I can feel good about eating regularly, I’ve found ways to make my own healthier versions. The key is using whole grains, less cheese and loading up on lots of cancer-protective veggies.

This weekend I wanted to make a quick, personal-sized pizza using seasonal, winter veggies.

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Eating produce that’s in season helps you save money and also ensures you are getting a good variety of foods and nutrients.

This pizza included some of my favorite veggies and herbs: Brussels sprouts, butternut squash and fresh sage. Pizza can be fairly labor intensive if you are making the dough, but the whole wheat pita pockets in this recipe made this dish incredibly easy and was perfect for a personal-sized pizza. Continue reading


A Vegetarian Moroccan Stew To Savor

Mediterranean comfort food like this aromatic Moroccan stew makes a cheering antidote to January’s short days and roller coaster weather.

In Morocco, dishes like this show the difference between using a combination of spices like cumin, paprika, cinnamon and ginger to create comforting warmth rather than the fiery heat of chile peppers. When local cooks shared their recipes, I was stunned by the amount of spices they called for. And the liberal amounts of onions, parsley, and cilantro they use, as well. Simmered together, they blend exquisitely, giving Moroccan cooking robust, complex flavor.

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Tagines are an almost infinite variety of Moroccan stews. They are also the clay pot in which a tagine is made. Steam rises as these stews cook, hitting the convex sides of its cone-shaped top. The steam then condenses and falls back into the simmering food. This concentrates its flavors and keeps the dish succulent. I love using the tagines I hauled back from Morocco. Continue reading


How you can cook up cancer-fighting broccoli rabe (rapini or raab)

After many years of writing about new ideas and unexpected ways to enjoy familiar foods to appear in print, I am now sharing them as a blog. If you already know my Something Different recipes, I hope you’ll enjoy seeing them in living color and with even more detail. If it these recipes are catching your eye for the first time, welcome.

As a food writer, I get invited to some intriguing events. One of my favorites last year featured not Champagne, posh chocolates, or over-the-top desserts. It starred broccoli rabe, aka rapini, raab, and cima di rape.

Broccoli rabe’s distinctive, bitter and pungent taste is not for everyone, but at this event the family that distributes most of the rabe grown commercially in the U.S. served up dishes with wide appeal. Some were authentically Italian, like arancini, fried rice and cheese balls, filled with broccoli rabe, or a colorful combo of roasted potatoes and roasted rabe drizzled with lemon. More surprising was a vivid smoothie blending broccoli rabe with apple, banana, pineapple juice and yogurt.

But best of all was pasta tossed with broccoli rabe pesto.

Broccoli Rabe Fusilli-05At home, I tweaked the irresistible pesto to suit my taste, using less oil and sharp pecorino (sheep’s milk) cheese instead of Parmesan. This also made it better combined with the taste of whole-wheat pasta. Plus I topped my version with juicy cherry tomatoes rolled in a hot skillet until they sizzle and burst. Continue reading