Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Pizza Sandwiches

Last night we made pizza sandwiches.  I named them pizza sandwiches simply as a way to get my kids to not turn their noses up at it.  My oldest daughter told me (on the way home to make them) that she made pizza sandwiches at camp one day (during edible art week) and they were 'nasty.'  I assured her they were not the same as the ones we were having at home.

This was inspired by some leftover marinara sauce from a pasta night last week.  I love Newman's Own Organic Marinara, it has almost a little kick to it.  The bread I used was artisan bread from The Fresh Market, I had them slice it for me.
Pizza Sandwiches
1 loaf of sliced multigrain artisan bread (not TOO crusty)
1/2 cup marinara sauce
1 large fresh mozzarella ball, sliced 1/4" thick
Fresh basil leaves
1 fresh tomato, sliced
Spray some olive oil on a large nonstick frying pan and warm up to medium heat.  Meanwhile, spread a tablespoonful of marinara sauce on each slice of bread (for both sides of your sandwich).  Layer slices of mozzarella, tomato, and a couple of basil leaves, snipped on each sandwich.  Assemble and cook just like a grilled cheese sandwich.  Eat while warm.
By the way, the girls loved it!
VBS is going on this week, and I'm in charge of crafts for K-5th grades.  Fun stuff (and pure craziness, at times)!

Monday, June 14, 2010

Snack Time!

I am a snacker.  I have to.  Usually every couple of hours my body is telling me it's time to have a little something to eat.  I've had to learn to go for healthy snacks, because in reality I'd really rather have anything that looks good, like Peanut M&M's or some cookies or something.  I still occasionally have those things, but I've trained myself to eat better during snack times.  This has really helped me to feel healthier.

Some simple snack ideas (no real brilliant ideas, mostly common sense, but maybe there are some you haven't thought to try):
Choose piece/serving of FRESH fruit (apple, orange, pear, banana, peach, cherries, blueberries, strawberries) and combine with raw, unsalted almonds (~16) or walnut halves (~5).

Combine 1-2 Tbsp hommus with celery sticks or some Kashi 7 Grain crackers (~6-8). Don’t like regular hommus? Try Red Pepper Hommus- or if you love garlic, then try Garlic Hommus (Fresh Market carries these by Greek Gourmet and they’re delicious).

Don’t have time or pocket space for fresh fruit? Try some of the newest “fruit leather” by Fruitabu or Stretch Island Fruit Co., small like a thick credit card. It’s a little like Fruit Roll-up but with all natural fruits, some organic brands, and some interesting flavor combos. Combine with nuts to get some protein.

Head over to and buy some freeze dried veggies- the peas and corn are great for snacking on, and they also offer a “hot” seasoned version in snack size portions. Not to mention that many of their freeze-dried fruits are wonderful when fresh fruits are not in season.

Smucker’s Natural Peanut Butter is great on celery, whole grain crackers, apples… limit the PB to 1-2 Tbsp.  Bored with peanut butter?  Almond butter is also really delicious!
Eat a Hard-boiled egg with a single serving No-Sugar-Added applesauce or pear sauce of your choice. Trader Joe’s has an amazing organic pear sauce that is a little chunky and FULL of flavor! Also good: Mott’s Summer Strawberry applesauce.

Buy an “air popper” for making popcorn without oil. Add a MINIMAL amount of butter and salt. Switch up seasonings occasionally- instead of butter and salt, add a shake of Cajun seasoning or another seasoning that sounds yummy to you. To feel more full with the popcorn, have some water with a Crystal Light lemonade packet mixed in. The sweet/salty combo is great, and popcorn is a WHOLE GRAIN food!

Sargento now makes some great snack cheese sticks in different cheese flavors, pre-portioned. They look like string cheese but are not. Combine this with a fruit, carrot sticks, or some whole grain crackers.

Caprese salad as a snack! Buy some REAL mozzarella (that looks like a ball or several small balls), eat with some fresh basil leaves, tomato, add some olive oil and balsamic vinegar.

Boar’s Head Turkey (or chicken) – 2 slices combined with whole grain crackers. Boar’s head meats and cheeses contain no fillers, gluten, artificial colors, flavors or trans fat, and have been recommended by the American Heart Association. They also have some ideas for 100 calorie snacks:

Buy cottage cheese in the individual serving sizes. Combine with a handful of grapes, a peach, apricot, etc.

See my theme? Most of them combine a protein with healthy carbs (fruit, veggie, whole grain).

Happy snacking...