Posted in Quick Dinners, Recipes, The Market

The Problem With My Diet Is…

It’s time I come to terms with this. I have a tendency to eat the same ingredients in different forms/combinations at least once a day. So, as I sit here and watch tonight’s episode of “The Voice,” I am going to share the meal that I made tonight, my weekly shopping trip to Trader Joe’s (I mean, have I posted yet without mentioning TJ’s?), some more Whole Foods Woes and also the hilarity that is my dietary tendencies.

First and foremost, I should have gone to yoga. I was supposed to go to a 6pm class, but my grandmother – who is a licensed yoga teacher!! – was tied up, and this should have resulted in my attending the 4:15 therapeutic yoga class, but I chose to be lazy. That being said, I finally pulled myself away from the re-runs of Friends that air from 3:30 – 5:30 every afternoon (it’s a problem that I know that off the top of my head) and travelled to Trader Joe’s. I sat in some serious traffic on the way there as a result of a car accident – yet another reminder to myself that I should have gone to yoga first, then I would have been driving a different route to Trader Joe’s. As usual, I am amazed by the prices — today I was able to fill my largest reusable shopping bag for just under $30. I bought ingredients for tonight’s dinner, along with some snacks and some soy creamer. I will continue to marvel at this since last night’s trip to Whole Foods with the same shopping bag rang up at $65+ for dinner and a few different things my boyfriend and I needed. Go figure.

Before I begin to describe what I put together for tonight’s “quick meal,” I have to explain myself. I am addicted to any combination of the following ingredients: tomatoes, mozzarella cheese, basil with some form of bread/carb and sometimes the addition of proscuitto. I cannot stop myself. When I can’t think of something to make, these ingredients always end up in my shopping bag by the time I leave the market. I have had them in a caprese salad, I have had them in pasta, on a sandwich, and – like tonight – on pizza.

The contents of my shopping bag.
Most of the contents of my shopping bag.

When I got home, I arranged all of my ingredients on the kitchen counter and prepped while I let the pizza dough get to room temperature. In addition to pizza, I made a quick Greek-style salad with some tomatoes, cucumbers, feta cheese and baby spinach. Instead of dressing the whole salad, I decided that I would dress each portion due to the fact that the spinach can get very soggy. This salad is one of my favorites and requires hardly any prep, which is perfect for the weeknights. Once the salad was made, I started to get my pizza toppings prepped and ready to be added to the crust.

I set the oven to 425, used my hands to work the pizza dough into a rectangular shape and then took some previously chopped garlic from the refrigerator to spread around the top of the crust. (Storing chopped cloves of garlic in canola or vegetable oil in the fridge is sometimes helpful – garlic is then already chopped ahead of time and oil takes on the flavor of the garlic, making the flavor more prominent.) I took some of the oil and just a little bit of the garlic and made sure to go all the way to the edge of the dough, giving the ends a little bit of flavor. I popped the crust into the oven to crisp up while I prepared the rest of the toppings – about 5 minutes. I had already thinly sliced the tomatoes and tossed them with some more garlic, oil, salt and pepper (next time I might also toss the fresh mozzarella with these seasonings) and the fresh mozzarella came pre-sliced, so I only had to spread them evenly around the pizza and put it back in the oven to bake. The heat can go down to 400 or 375 once the cheese has started to bubble and slightly brown, just to make sure the crust gets nice and crispy.

Once the pizza was cooked to my personal desired coloring, I took it out and added the proscuitto and basil. The proscuitto I just tore into smaller pieces with my hands – the Trader Joe’s proscuitto was nice and soft and sticky, the only way I like it – and the basil I cut into small slivers with scissors. I then let the pizza sit for about 5 minutes before cutting it, this way the proscuitto could melt into the mozzarella a bit and I would not burn myself trying to cut it too soon. After cutting it into squares and devouring 3 pieces in addition to the small salad that I had while the pizza was in the oven, I can officially say that I am now completely stuffed and yet looking forward to having the leftovers for lunch tomorrow.

The finished product.
The finished product.

So, in the meantime I will try not to have this combination of deliciousness too many more times this week. I will also be better about sharing my dining OUT experiences, since I have not been. Tuesday is date night, so hopefully I will have something wonderful to share come Wednesday. But for now, food snob signing off.

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