Entertaining Healthy Eating Reading Recipes

How to Build a Delicious (and Healthy!)Pizza

We hosted our first patio happy hour Friday night with DF Helen.  It might have been a bit more than happy hour, because we added an assemble-yourself pizza bar, so I guess you can call it dinner.  Can pizza be delicious and healthy? Well, we built and grilled them on the patio. I can attest to delicious and possibly as healthy as you can get.

Ingredients I used for a low fodmap friendly pizza including mozzarella, olives, green onion tops, tomato and red pepper
Pizza Bar Ingredients

I love the theory of “bars” when entertaining.  I prepare ingredients ahead of time and then folks can add what they like to their meal and avoid what they don’t.  This works well with tacos which I’ve shared before (coincidentally also a meal we had with Helen).  So for this meal, I prepped all the pizza ingredients ahead of time, created a bar and we assembled them together.

DF Helen is assembling her own pizza with her favorite ingredients.
Adorable Helen Assembling Her Pizza

It’s easy to accommodate picky eaters or special diets – which everyone seems to be on these days.

It’s simple and fun because you get the guests involved.

Corral Everything Together

I like to prep and corral all the ingredients in one spot so I don’t forget anything during all the hoopla of settling guests.  Here I used new (for me) pizza crusts imported from Italy I purchased from Trader Joe’s freezer section.  These are delicious!  To accommodate my Low Fodmap diet, I used tomatoes, green onion tops, red peppers, Kalamata olives and mozzarella cheese.  John and Helen used pizza sauce from a jar.

Pizza cooking on a stone in the grill - 10 minutes on a preheated stone and good to go
Pizza Cooking on a stone in the Grill

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John preheated a pizza stone (similar) on the grill for about 30 minutes, we each assembled our own pizza and baked for about 10 minutes.  It was really nice to sit on the patio enjoying a glass of wine while the pizza baked.  No fuss and very little muss.

Here is the finished version of the arugula salad I make with minimal dressing and maximum taste
Arugula Salad with Minimal Dressing and Maximum Taste

To complement the meal and make it more delicious and healthy, I made the arugula salad I like which minimizes the amount of dressing needed, but still packs a powerful taste punch.  Here’s how I do that:

Arugula Salad

Red Wine Vinaigrette (Low Fodmap Friendly)

  • 1/4 cup olive oil or avocado oil
  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1 Tbs fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tsp water
  • 1/2 – 1 tsp honey
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Dried basil, oregano and thyme to taste

Salad

  • 4 cups arugula
  • 1 cup diced tomato
  • Sliced radishes
  • Green onion tops
  • ½ cup diced cucumber
  • Add any other vegetables you like

At the bottom of a salad bowl, place chopped vegetables and a small amount of vinaigrette and let sit for 10-15 minutes while the vegetables marinate.  The onion flavors the dressing and the juices from the tomato add to the taste which mean less dressing is needed.

Add a Small Amount of Dressing to Chopped Veggies to Marinate

Add the arugula and additional dressing if needed to coat all the leaves.  Let sit another 10-15 minutes.

What I’m Reading

My sister Monique suggested the audio version of Those Across the River by Christopher Buehlman because she knows how much I love listening to Mark Bramhall narrate.  It reads like solid literature, but it’s a scary story.  I have been on the hunt for a good horror for so long, I was beginning to think “good” and “horror” were oxymorons. Though it wasn’t the scariest story I ever read, it did check the boxes for me. 

Literature – Young Adult Genre

Speaking of reading, I was looking over a list of the top 20 novels of the past decade, and  I was shocked to see that a whopping 11 of the 20 are Young Adult (YA) genre.  What?!  That brings up so many questions for me.  Questions I am sure nobody else in the world would probably ask, nor care to ponder.  But is there no “adult” fiction out there that is compelling?  Are there no adults out there reading?  Is this indicative that our population can only read as high as a YA?

I don’t mean any of this to demean the genre, or in fact, to disparage the work. I love YA.  Harry Potter was one of my favorite series. J.K. Rowling sort of kicked off the past two decades (can you believe Harry Potter was released 23 years ago?) of YA popularity for all.  It’s just good stuff.  I’ve read almost every single one of the books on the list and one of my favorites was Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children.  It is so well written with interesting characters, a creative premise and a great backdrop in Florida.  It was made into a movie directed by Tim Burton.  I didn’t like it as much, but would highly recommend this book.

The Set of Once Upon an Island

What I’m Doing

We saw the Broadway production of Once Upon an Island with friends Cindy and Kevin on Sunday and then had dinner at Taphouse Kitchen. As always, theater day is a fun day. We watched Judy on video and I continue to binge watch Chuck, but I’m ready to dive into a good book this week and maybe come up for air around Saturday or so. Just in time for my next blog post!

4 Comment

  1. What a great way to entertain which you do so well. Pizza was delicious and the company amazing. Thank you for including me. Helen

    1. We always have so much fun with you. You should see how beautiful the daffodils are this week! Thank you 🙂

  2. What a great idea! I am going to look for the pizza dough rounds at Trader Joe’s and the Pizza Grilling stones. Where did you get yours? We had a long walk today ending with sitting outside and have a glass of wine the second or third time already this year. Our weather has been great, for this early in the season. Thanks for the great ideas my friend. 😘

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