Personal Pizza in 10 minutes

Personal Pizza in 10 minutes

I teased you with the idea of a 10-minute pizza in an earlier post, and here are the step-by-step instructions and photos.

NOTE: I am a fan of the Bread in Five Minutes a Day books. This series (Bread, Whole Wheat and Flatbread versions) promotes creating a large amount of knead-free dough, stored in the fridge and ready to make bread instantly. The base for this pizza is made in a skillet from the basic pizza recipe in the Flatbread book (for a sample, see the Master Recipe for bread, which would work just fine in this recipe).

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Recipes or no recipes

Real food recipe photo
This is exactly the wrong image for successful cooking with real ingredients on a regular basis. .

I have a well-defined vision for what I want to accomplish with this site. My goal is to move more people to cook with more real ingredients, more often. Simple idea, but complex in delivery. In generations past, the cooks learned slowly and deliberately, usually under the watchful eye of an experienced cook — Mom.

We’ve lost that natural learning environment over the past couple of generations, as more and more food arrived partially or fully prepared into the family home. Cost and health concerns have brought many people, often in middle age back to the kitchen. But real cooking can be tedious when you do not have basic skills, or a real-ingredients pantry and a kitchen set up for cooking from scratch. When the desire to cook better food hits, the first reaction is to hit the Web, or recipe books and find a recipe.

I do that myself. However, I find following a recipe is time-consuming.

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Real food flavor in a rush

Real food spices faster photo

How many times does a recipe, or food idea seem like a great idea … until you read the final entry: Place in the fridge for at least two hours before serving. Groan! I can’t solve every instance of this mood-killing statement, but I can help when you are working with blending dehydrated spices or herbs into your meal.

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Freezing meat with options

Freezer full of real food ingredients
Freezer full of real food ingredients
With a selection of single serving meats in the freezer, cooking real food becomes quick and easy.

Freezing meat allows you to keep real ingredients on hand. You can save plenty of money when buying in bulk quantities, or stocking up at special prices. Purchase extra amounts of specialty or hard-to-find cuts and save time and travel costs.

But how do you know what portion of any one item you will need? Small families sometimes have guests, and even large families can need just a bit of a frozen meat.

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Your special sauce made while the pasta cooks

Real food pasta photo
In the time it takes to cook pasta, you can make a healthy sauce that matches your current mood.

There are times when I don’t have a clue what I am having for dinner, beyond that it is pasta. I choose the noodle type by how much time I have, put the water on to boil, and only then do I decide what the sauce will be.

Note: I deliberately present this dish as a concept, rather than a recipe. Recipes take a long time to follow, and you often don’t have the exact ingredients cited in the recipe. You will make more real-food meals at home if you have concepts stored in your memory, and can work with the ingredients you have on hand.

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Spice control for real cooking

Real food spices in a market

Real food spices in a marketYou can’t make real food without spices. Period! Real food ingredients come in a naked state. That’s what makes them perfect. A blank canvas to paint your next meal, reflect your mood and custom-tease your senses. But you need a good method to store and use spices to unlock the full potential of spices in your cooking.

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Quick and easy separate freezing

Real food freezing: ground chicken patties ready for the freezer.

Quick and easy separate freezing

I outlined the process for freezing individual portions of meat after a major shopping trip, but this is an everyday alternative.

Real food freezing: ground chicken patties ready for the freezer.
Three ground chicken patties on a plate, using the original packaging to protect the meat.

I used one quarter pound of ground chicken, which left three portions. I simply formed  three patties (wet your hands so the chicken does not stick), and placed them on a plate lined with the plastic from the chicken container.

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Real food Eggs Bendict (not necessarily authentic)

Easy recipe for eggs benedict photo
A version of Eggs Benedict anyone can make -- healthier, too.

Have you ever noticed that Eggs Benedict is expensive, even in restaurants that specialize in cheap, hearty breakfasts? And it’s not a dish that most people make at home. Hollandaise Sauce, the heavenly topping that turns poached eggs into Benedict, is a royal pain to make. It’s one of those sauces that involves plenty of stirring over a hot water bath, and has 17 different ways to fail. OK, there are probably fewer than 17 ways to mess up this sauce, but one recipe comes with its own “fix the sauce” page. See here — I am not joking. However, I have a “faux” Hollandaise sauce that is healthier and works every time. Even better, you make it in the microwave.

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Creative license creates family favorite pitas

Pita with tomato, onion and cheese on a pita image
A few ingredients, and ten minutes puts this on your table.

This pita recipe was a staple through most of the time I raised my kids, and is a family favorite. Read the family story behind the dish. It takes around 5 minutes to cook and little time to put together. Use this idea as a launch for your own ideas, maybe even your own family tradition.

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Reducing the Grr! Factor: Garlic skin

What’s a Grr! Factor? When preparing a meal, something happens that is not bad enough to warrant a launch into your best expletives, but definitely reduces any pleasure you are having with your work … that’s the Grr! factor.

The first one up is garlic skin. When you cook real food, your hands are often wet, or sticky, and your work surface is cluttered. Introducing a garlic head into this scene can cause Grr! to occur. Garlic skin sticks to everything. It flakes, it flies. Trying to pick a garlic skin out of the chopped garlic with fingers that have garlic skin sticking to them … well, need I say more?

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