Welcome to our weekly series called Texas Health-y Home Cooking!
You’re cooped up at home and well into the new reality of stay-at-home life. But despite the current state of crazy, dinnertime comes around as usual, the kids are hungry — and your hunger pangs are kicking in, too. So, what are you supposed to do?
Many have turned to social media for recipes from their favorite television chefs, such as Food Network veteran chef, Alton Brown.
Dry beans, grains, canned tomatoes, maybe some eggs. Oh, dry pasta and capers, tinned fish…gin. We can get through this.
— Alton Brown (@altonbrown) March 16, 2020
But we were inspired to take a look in our own backyard and asked some top chefs/restaurant owners and dietitians in North Texas for their recommendations on healthy meals that can be prepared with items you likely already have on hand — think canned beans or tomatoes, whole wheat pasta, or the fresh or frozen produce chilling in your fridge.
Ted Reemtsma, Stellini Trattoria
400 E. Dallas Rd. #100, Grapevine
Chef Reemtsma, CEC, CCE, is an eternal optimist. He believes we can make the most of this unusual time by cooking for ourselves and those we love. The Chef says cooking was a passion and source of great joy for him long before he was professionally trained.
“Eating together is a perfect opportunity for communion with family and friends, and preparing food for someone you care for is a great expression of love,” Chef Reemtsma says. “My grandmother used to say that it’s not what you made but that you made it for someone else. I couldn’t agree more, and with many of us spending more time at home together, now is a time to share a bit of ourselves with and for one another.”
The chef offered a simple recipe for preparing pizzas at home, subbing a whole wheat flour tortilla for the typical crust, and topping with ingredients you probably have in your pantry and refrigerator. Not only is this pizza nutritious, but it’s a great way to get the whole family involved in dinner making. With these smaller personal pizzas, the toppings are only confined by your imagination — the sky’s the limit. Make it a family contest, and have fun with it!
Easy Pantry Pizza
- Large, 12” flour tortilla
- Olive oil
- Tomato or pesto sauce
- Grated cheese — such as Parmesan, ricotta or mozzarella
- Savory toppings – such as diced peppers, olives, bacon or even breakfast sausage
- Greens — such as rocket, arugula or a bag of spring salad mix
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Put a tortilla on a baking sheet or pizza stone and brush with olive oil, diced garlic and/or your favorite herbs. Top tortilla with about 4 ounces of tomato or pesto sauce, and spread with a spoon using a circular motion. Add grated cheese and savory toppings and bake for 3-5 minutes, keeping an eye on the pizza so you don’t over-bake it (the tortilla should be crunchy). Once removed from the oven, top the pizza with a simple green salad and drizzle olive oil and salt and pepper on top.
Chef Reemtsma says if you don’t want to top your pizza with greens, toss them instead in a bowl with your favorite fresh or frozen vegetable, salad dressing and BOOM — you’ve got a pizza with a side salad.
Remember, now is an opportune time to get inspired, try something new, and expand your culinary skills. So grab the apron, open the pantry, ask the kids to help out, and enjoy some family cooking time!
Searching for ways to add some flair to breakfast? We’ve got three different spins on breakfast egg muffins in our next installment.