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Thursday, April 29, 2010

Findings: Street Art Shout out to Momma Neeny


As is evidenced by my many Flickr photos (see the flash badge to the right side of the blog), and from previous posts about my obsession with the underground graffiti art scene in Philadelphia, I've been photographing and documenting, tracking and treasure hunting these for well over two years.  As I post more of my findings to Flickr and join Street Art and Philly Sticker groups, I seem to acquire more the collaborators and artists as  "friends and contacts".  So imagine my surprise when I was streaming through some of these guys photos when I find a picture of this on the artist known as DASHDOE's photo stream feed.  He calls it "Shout Out Mini Style".  My Flickr handle is Neenyd03 - and that's what I'm hoping Nate will call me as he gets older, Momma Neeny or just Neeny.  The artists don't personally know me, but I feel a sort of connection to them, especially as I find more and more of their works.  Well you could have knocked me over with a paint brush when I saw this little creation.   I've been beaming for over 24 hours now!  The exact location wasn't listed but it was noted that the installation was in South Philly on 7th Street.  Now, as I find most of these pieces on my two mile commute to work and all around Rittenhouse Square, I had a good idea that it might be located fairly close to where I live.  
So I bundled up Nate and strolled him down 7th Street, taking photos, finding other street art installations, random old signs and other oddities along the way.  I had a feeling it would be located before Washington Avenue and sure enough, there it was at 7th and Federal Streets.  Little old me, a 43-year old mom, triathlete and food blogger, having graffiti and street art painted in my honor!  I feel so pleased and touched.  Thanks guys!

Monday, April 26, 2010

Do you know the way to Beauty Town?


This is what I look like a lot of the time.  Tired, pensive, deep in thought, and kinda old looking, at least late at night when I'm blogging or on Facebook!  Not exactly beautiful.  I'm trying to get my head into the exercise and training game.  I know that I've written a few update posts about my triathlon training, and mostly, it has been going well.  Up until last week, when I was struck with a bout of strep and completely lost my voice for 4 days.  A potent round of antibiotics knocked the virus and just about everything else out of me for the whole week, so I lost not only a day of work, but an entire week of exercise.  I'm trying hard not to beat myself up and dislike myself; it's bad enough I was so so tired and sick for a week, I don't need to add any more insults to my injuries, so to speak.  But it's hard for me as I'm sure it is for most women to accept ourselves as we are in the moment and not dwell on the fact that I'm 10 pounds (15 pounds if you count my peak of weight loss) heavier this year and not in the peak performance physique that I was in last July/August.  I struggle with self-acceptance and not caving in to my carb and sugar cravings.  I struggle with accepting the fact that I will, as long as I work hard, exercise and make 80% to 90% healthy eating choices, that I will be a solid size 12, Large, Normal-sized woman, with curves.  For the most part, I truly do like my body.  I just liked it a bit more when I had less of a poochy stomach and more muscular arms and legs and one or two less rolls in my mid-section.  Of course, I love my life a lot more this year than I did last year now that we have Nate in our lives; his morning smiles and full light-up-the-room brightness emanating from his gorgeous blue eyes, his silly faux-hawk Mohawk hair, his giggles and the general I can't believe how much in love I am with this child of mine feeling I feel each and every day.  Gush.  

Having a 6 month old son will change a person, making it getting to the gym or out on the bike seem harder or not so important.  My biggest struggle of late -  finding the inner motivation and belief that I can get myself ready for the triathlon in August; realizing that I don't have to have an amazing finish time, but that it's more important to do the tri and to finish it.  I still worry about the swim; the bike and run come naturally to me.  Heck, I'm kind of like a biketaur creature, half woman, half bicycle wheels and gears.  Running, more like jogging, isn't so hard, if I get tired, I power walk.  But that swim! In the Schuylkill, with all those other women and upstream - it still freaks me out.  But I did do it once before and I lived to tell the tale with no discernible side effects.  Tonight when I swam my 1/2 mile at my gym's small pool, I tried to focus on each lap and not the entire amount I needed or wanted to swim.  It's what I do when faced with a physical challenge, I only concentrate on the immediate road before me, not the entire path ahead.  Otherwise, I get too freaked out worrying about how will I get through the task/drive/swim.  I can't think about what's too far ahead, what's already behind me or the things around me; those will have to be let go or let them take care of themselves.  I made it through learning to drive and now I'm kind of comfortable driving on the highway or expressway.  I managed to swim my laps tonight feeling stronger towards the end and not feeling out of breath or too shaky when I was done.  Back to my earlier post in the New Year - I need to be kinder and more gentle with myself and not hold myself to some unrealistic goal. I'm going on three years strong of being a healthier person and it comes naturally to me.  I may never be a 10, but then again, it's just a number

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Greek Yogurt Parfaits with Fruit and All Bran Buds


File this under fun and tasty things to do with cereal: I've been making really scrumptious Greek yogurt parfaits with fruit and the Kellogg's All Bran Cereal Buds I received from FoodBuzz, the advertising sponsor on my blog.  The other day I made that awesome strawberry rhubarb crisp with the All Bran Flakes - we ate every scrap, practically licked the baking dish clean (well, the dog would have if I had let him...)  So for an easy and wholesome breakfast I thought I'd step up my fruit and yogurt combos and make it a little more special.  The All Bran Buds are like a cross between Grape Nuts and Wheat Germ, crunchy and full of texture but they have a slightly sweet nutty taste.   I like them a lot and would buy them again as a good filling cereal topping.  I bet they would be good sprinkled over oatmeal or a multigrain hot cereal too, as a little extra crunch. Hmmm...

Anyway, this isn't a recipe, more of an idea to spark your interest.  By the way, the container I used was my new Lock & Lock from QVC.  It's so awesome! Nothing leaks and the sizes are great for lunches and left-overs; I've taken miso noodle soups, salads and these parfaits to work and everything stays neat and tidy.  Greek style yogurt is higher in protein and is thicker than traditional style yogurts.  I find a 6 ounce container of it along with a banana and some cereal sprinkled in is enough to fill me all morning. To sweeten the non-fat plain Greek yogurt, I used a bit of this low-fat lemon curd I made last week for Liz's birthday cake.  The batch I made was enough for the cake, a few puddles on our cake plates and some left-over to flavor my yogurt.  Good Stuff.  Honey or the juice from macerated strawberries should also do the trick if you can't quite get used to the tang of plain yogurt.  I like to control the sugar, so I opt for the plain variety.  Fat-free vanilla works well too.

Greek Yogurt Parfaits with Fresh Fruit and All Bran Buds
Ingredients:
  • 1 -  6 ounce container Non-Fat Greek Style Plain Yogurt
  • 1/2 or 1 Small Banana - sliced
  • 5 Strawberries - sliced
  • 1/2 Cup Kellogg's All Bran Buds
  • 2 Tablespoons Honey or Low-Fat Lemon Curd (click or see recipe here!)

Directions:

  1. Layer half of the banana slices in the bottom of a dish/container or glass bowl, then add a few sliced strawberries over the banana slices.  Drizzle half a tablespoon of honey or low-fat lemon curd over the fruit.  Next, layer over the fruit half of the All Bran Buds.  Top with half of the container of Greek yogurt.
  2. Drizzle a bit more of the honey or lemon curd over the yogurt layer.
  3. Layer the remaining All Bran Buds on top of the first layer of yogurt.
  4. Spoon the remaining yogurt on top of the layer of All Bran Buds and top with the remaining banana and strawberry slices.  Drizzle the remaining honey or lemon curd over the fruit. 
  5. Parfaits can be made in advance and enjoyed later - will hold for up to 1 day, refrigerated. 

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

RIP Beloved Beach Cruiser


Tricked out Basket
Tricked out Basket,

originally uploaded by neenyd03. Well, the terrible day has come, my beloved beach cruiser was stolen this evening, right outside of my house. I came home late from work, in the rain and forgot to take the bike inside right away. I was so busy with the baby and the baby sitter that I forgot about it. About an hour went by and when I went to get it, it was gone! UGH! Now really, who else but me wants to ride this crazy character bike? I suppose the parts are worth more than the entire bike - as I just added new rims, new white wall tires and tubes, a new seat and a seat pack filled with tools. Had I decorated the basket to match the season, it would be impossible not to know that this bike belongs to the Bicycle Chef. ARG! I suppose it could be worse, but the for me, the loss of a bicycle is intense. 

My life is so bicycle identified and bike-centric. I've been riding a bike since learned to ride a bike at age 5 or 6.  My earliest bicycle memories is of having learned to ride a bike and not wanting to get off of it! I would "borrow" the neighborhood boy, Johnny's, bicycle, without permission, just so I could ride it around and around my grandparents block in Southwest Philly. During my teenage years, having a bicycle meant freedom to escape the confines of my neighborhood.  I would bike from neighborhood to neighborhood, never feeling trapped in one particular place or having to stay with any one crowd of friends.  In the summers, I would ride a few miles to the Tinicum aka John Heinz Wildlife Refuge in Southwest Philly, out by the airport, and spend a serene morning by myself, watching the sun rise and the planes fly over-head.  On hot, boring summer nights, I would ride 8 to 10 miles, sans helmet, lights or other safety equipment from my neighborhood, out past derelict refineries, car part lots and scary open fields and wastelands into the magical world of Center City and down to South Street, where there was life.  I wanted to be a part of the 80's New Wave scene and hang out with the cool kids, alternative folks and find myself and my people.  Occasionally I'd have a special evening, meeting up with the South Street  Regulars and gaining some sort of recognition and acceptance.  The long scary ride home would be a blur, as I was high on my latest life experience.
Up until this past year, a bicycle for me was my only means of my personal transportation - I only just learned to drive and have had my driver's license for six months.  Bicycles have been more than  transportation, they've been my  ride to freedom, allowing me an easy escape, allowing me to reclaim my health through exercise, find my sanity through the repetitive motion of bicycle revolutions. My bikes have been workhorses and pack mules letting me haul gear, groceries and goods from home to work and back again.  My bike was as dear to me as my friends.  There have been countless bikes of mine stolen - from my early Stingray Schwinn with stick shift gears; three or four 1970 and early 1980's 10-Speeds; a beautiful Trek 800 Cross-breed City/Mountain Bike that was a graduation present  when I finished cooking school and now this heavy, clunky, character-making Schwinn Panther Cruiser. I feel like a dear friend has passed.  I hope to see you again someday, and if not, I hope my next ride is as fun and faithful as you were for these past seven years. RIP.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Strawberry Rhubarb Crisp with All-Bran Cereal

I received several boxes of Kellogg's All-Bran Cereals the other day, from FoodBuzz, the website that is a consortium of food bloggers from all over the globe.  I have advertising with them, in case you hadn't noticed that cool changing banner add above the postings and below my header blog photo.  A little full disclosure is necessary here. I probably would not be using this particular brand of cereal in a recipe, though I have been known to use cereal in my baking and cooking experiments.  I've tossed in a few handfuls of Oatmeal Raisin Crisp into a banana bread when I've been low on flour and oats.  I like using cereal in addition to the oats and flour, as it adds great texture. Crushing the flakes, buds and twigs and you can make a fine or crumbly grain again.  As I was charged with some new food products that I never before tried, I thought I'd turn into them into a recipe or two.  A strawberry rhubarb crisp was already planned so I decided to toss the All-Bran Flakes into my crisp topping.  I figured the added fiber and texture would be a good thing.  Spring is here and the rhubarb is in abundance.  Last spring I had a fair amount of it in my CSA farm share and found I really enjoyed cooking and eating it.  The unsung fruit/vegetable in the early spring garden.  It's a good for you plant; it provides a lot of calcium, acts as a diuretic and as an astringent.  The astringent quality is noticeable on your palate - like when you eat spinach, your mouth feels a like it's been stripped of a layer, but in a good way!  I fell in love with rhubarb in the past two or three years, previously I did not have an appreciation of this fine and versatile vegetable/fruit.  It's now become a Spring staple in my culinary repertoire, as ubiquitous as my asparagus and pasta or balsamic strawberries.
This crisp is a variation on an old fashioned recipe from the 1968 Edition of the Better Homes and Garden Cookbook.  My baking expertise is fairly limited - I tend to like to experiment more than baking generally allows; therefore I took some cues from the old-timey cookbook and remembered some mishaps from last year's rhubarb baking and adjusted accordingly.  Notably, I used extra cornstarch and less sugar for the thickener and scattered some of the crisp topping into the bottom of the baking dish to help absorb some of the excess liquid the rhubarb and strawberries create, as well as to give a layered texture to the finished product.  The over-all dessert is high in fiber, low in fat and somewhat low in sugar.  A dessert you can feel good about!

Strawberry Rhubarb All-Bran Cereal Crisp Ingredients:
  • 1 Quart Fresh Strawberries - rinsed, hulled and cut into slices
  • 1 Bunch (up to 1 pound) Fresh Rhubarb - leaves removed & discarded, stems rinsed and cut into 1/2 inch pieces
  • 3/4 Cup Sugar
  • Pinch of Salt
  • 2 Tablespoons Cornstarch
For Crisp Topping Ingredients:

  • 2 Cups All-Bran Flakes - lightly crushed
  • 1 Cup Whole Wheat Flour or All Purpose Flour
  • 1/2 Cup Quick Cook Oats
  • 1/2 Cup Light Brown Sugar (packed)
  • Pinch of Salt
  • 1 Tablespoon Ground Cinnamon (optional)
  • 1/4 Stick (2 Tablespoons) Cold Unsalted Butter - cut into small pieces
  • 1/4 Cup Unsweetened Applesauce

Directions:
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Prepare strawberries and rhubarb; clean and cut into slices and pieces.  Add both the strawberry slices and rhubarb pieces to a large mixing bowl.  Mix in the 3/4 cup of sugar, pinch of salt and the cornstarch. Stir to combine and let sit for 15 minutes to macerate; this allows the fruit juices to develop and for the sugar to start to dissolve.
  3. In another mixing bowl, combine the crushed All-Bran Flakes cereal, whole wheat flour, oats, light brown sugar, pinch of salt and cinnamon.  Stir to combine.
  4. Next, cut in the 2 tablespoons of cold butter pieces - either using your fingers, fork or a pastry cutter.  You want to make the mixture resemble coarse meal.  The butter pieces should start to stick to the All-Bran Cereal/Flour/Oats combination.  
  5. Stir in the 1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce to the butter/cereal/flour/oat mixture.   The mixture should clump together but don't form a solid mass, make sure the mixture is still in pieces. 
  6. Scatter 1/3 of the crisp mixture on the bottom of a shallow oven-safe baking dish.  Pour the strawberry rhubarb that's been macerating into the baking dish; top the strawberry rhubarb mixture with the remaining crisp topping, scattering it over the top until it's well covered.  Bake at 350 degrees for 45 to 55 minutes, checking on the crisp to see if the top is browning and the juices are bubbling.  Remove from oven and allow to cool for 20 to 30 minutes before serving, warm, with ice cream or whipped cream if desired.  Makes 8 servings.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

I swim, bike and run because I have to

SheRoxTri / She Rox Tri / SheRox Tri updates:  it has been another good week for the triathlon training and mentoring.  I had the chance to swim once, bike three times and run twice, once on a treadmill and  again along the Wissahickon Trail towards Valley Green (allowing me another driving opportunity along Kelly and Lincoln Drives.)  In our morning rides, there's a new addition to the Sue Crew Cyclists, a friend of Sue S's named Ellen, who has been nick-named Sue-Ellen.  She's a fast rider - long legged and an excellent cyclist and athlete.  The morning rides are  more challenging having a faster rider to set the pace.  I'm not sure if I'm slower because it's early in the season and it's been cold and windy, but I find that I need to step up my cycling and figure out how to become more efficient.  It's similar with my swimming and running, I need to work on them both to become better at all of my triathlon sports.  That's the good thing about being a SheRox Mentor this year, I'll have to work on myself in order to be able to help the women whom I'm mentoring.  Something I've thought and talked about often, once I start something, I'm usually fine, seeing the task through to the end.  I don't have any trouble finishing a project, my problem is starting.  When I got back in the pool last week, I realized I remembered most of the tips I learned from my swimming lessons.  Same thing with the running - once I get out onto the street/trail/path, I'm fine, I even enjoy running.  It's just starting that is a problem for me.  The motivation to get up at 5 am on a Saturday and drive 30 or 40 minutes up to Chestnut Hill along Kelly Drive because someone is relying on me to be there is a powerful force.  Yesterday, I was the "lead mentor" for the group run.  I'm really glad I went, as there were two new women who were there for the run.  Had I not shown up, there wouldn't have been a mentor or representative there for them.  I had a morning mitzvah that served several of us well - I got some driving practice, an early morning run and was home by 9 am, in time to have the whole day with Liz and Nibblet.  The women I met got some tips, a run and hopefully some inspiration to take them through with their tri-training.  A friend told me that you learn a lot about yourself when you are training for an athletic event; for my third tri, I'm sure there's a lot I'll learn from this new experience of being an insider/mentor.  

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

A blessing in disguise

A funny thing happened the other day on this blog, I received a comment from someone asking me for a "blogger's interview."  Naturally I was intrigued and flattered.  So I clicked around on a few links and found a site called Blogger Interview.  It's pretty neat, as they feature and promote hundreds of blogs in countless categories.  A blogger's emporium so to speak.  The catch, getting people to vote for your blog, so you can win prizes and generate advertising.  I was, and still am, a bit skeptical about this forum, but if I can get more readers and interest in my  photos, recipes, biking and triathlon tips all the better.  Here's the link to my interview.  Read on and vote for me - hey you never know we could all win something.  By the way, my offer still stands - if you become a follower of my blog by clicking on the "Follow My Antics" button to the right sidebar, I'll send out some cool swag to a random person once I reach my 25th follower. Cross my heart, for real, no lie, not strings attached...

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Seared Tuna Steaks with Succotash and Brown Rice

I've been wanting to post some high protein and complex carbohydrate recipes to share for anyone interested in training foods or newer tasty vegetarian-friendly recipes.  I've been working on an easy paella which I'll be posting soon and recently, I made this extremely flavorful succotash power food.  While the seared tuna isn't part of the vegetarian-friendly category, the complex carbs from the brown rice, corn and edamame that I used are completely vegetarian or even vegan.  The combination of the soy beans, corn and rice make a complete protein, a perfect meal to eat the night before a run or bike event and as a great recovery meal for your post workout.  Making the tuna steaks is up to you - the real recipe is for the succotash and the brown rice.

Succotash with Brown Rice Ingredients:

  • 1 Cup Uncooked Brown Rice - rinsed and drained
  • 2 1/2 Cups Water
  • 4 Tablespoons Olive Oil - divided
  • 1 Large Onion - small dice (about 2 cups loosely packed)
  • 1 Medium Red or Green Bell Pepper - small dice (about 1 cup loosely packed)
  • 4 Garlic Cloves - minced (about 1 tablespoon)
  • 2 Cups Fresh or Frozen Shucked Corn Kernels
  • 1 Medium Carrot - finely shredded
  • 2 Cups Cooked and Shelled Edamame (Soy Beans) or Lima Beans
  • Salt and Freshly Ground Black Pepper to taste
  • 1 Tablespoon Smoked Paprika (optional)
  • 2 Tuna Steaks

Directions:

  1. Rinse and drain the brown rice in a fine mesh strainer.  Add it to a 3 quart sauce pot along with a generous pinch of salt and the 2 & 1/2 cups of cold water.  Bring the water to a rolling boil, put a lid on the pot and reduce the heat to a bare simmer.  Cook the rice for half an hour, checking to see if the water is evaporating and the rice is absorbing it. Turn the heat off after 35 minutes and keep the pot tightly covered while the rice continues to cook - steaming and absorbing the remaining water.  
  2. In a large saute pan, heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil over medium-high heat.  Add in the diced onions and saute for 3 minutes, or until they turn translucent.  
  3. Add in the diced bell peppers; lower heat to medium and continue to saute the onions and peppers until they begin to caramelize - about 10 minutes; cover loosely with a lid and reduce heat to low if the onions or peppers begin to burn.
  4. Once the onions and peppers have turned golden brown, add in the garlic and saute for 30 seconds; add in the corn, shredded carrots and edamame.  Heat the mixture thoroughly for 5 minutes. 
  5. Season to taste with salt, freshly ground black pepper and the smoked paprika.  Reduce heat to low and continue to cook and heat through.  Remove from heat, cover and set aside until ready to serve.
  6. If making the tuna steaks, preheat a stainless steel saute pan over high heat.  Generously season the tuna steaks on both sides with freshly ground black pepper and a generous pinch of salt.  Pour in two tablespoons of olive into the saute pan and carefully lay in the tuna steaks.  Sear on first side for 5 minutes.  Carefully flip the tuna steaks over and sear the other side for 1 minute more.  Cook tuna steaks until they are slightly pink in the center - medium rare.  Serve hot immediately on a bed of brown rice and top and plate with the succotash.  
  7. Makes two servings of tuna steak and four portions of brown rice and succotash.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Morning Rides Commence

We've begun our morning riding and I'm officially in "training" mode for the SheRox Tri.  I had an extraordinary week of riding, swimming and running and I feel sore and great!  The Sue Crew and I rode our bikes three times this past week, and depending on how you look at a week, either ended or started the week with a 30 mile ride out to Conshohocken.  I'm feeling every mile of today's ride, and am realizing it's not the number of miles you ride but the kind of miles you ride.  Our morning ride is a double loop around the Schuylkill River; door to door it's a tad short of 25 miles.  An easy 2 hour ride.  Some mornings I break a sweat, breathe heavy, feel sluggish, but the ride is flat with nary a steep hill to tax my muscles.  Back in the saddle three times this week fooled me into thinking I'm in better shape than I am.  Today proved that I have some work to do, but I'm not at ground zero, maybe at 58.6% in shape!  So I pushed myself a bit today by riding solo out to Manayunk and up one of the big (but not THE WALL) hills on Umbria Street and out to the Conshohocken Trail.  The test of my muscle stamina and breathing capacity came right as I headed up Umbria Street and struggled my way past Marchiano's Bakery and Tomato Pie emporium.  I made it but I was huffing and puffing.  

At the next major hill, I ran out of steam mid-way up and had to stop before chugging up to the top.  Again, I did it but it was humbling. I'm not beating myself up though, two years ago I could barely make it that far without having to walk or pedal a dismal 5 miles an hour.  I pedaled a slow 9 or 10 mile pace, dipping down to 8 miles at the hardest interval.  With the wind in my face and the real hills, this 30 mile ride was more like 40 on the flats.  All in the name of training and building up my "impressively defined" calf and quad muscles!

As for the swimming, I've had a mental block about it since the end of August.  Finally forced myself to get into the pool on Thursday, making it a double work-out day, biking in the morning, swimming in the evening.  My whole body was tight and sore immediately after and all day Friday.  Total body work-out.  The updside of this double work-out, my stamina and muscle memory in the pool was better than I expected.  Whew!  

Saturday brought a few firsts: I took my first solo drive out to Chestnut Hill via Kelly and Lincoln Drives, two roads I've been feeling anxious to drive upon alone.  There was a run clinic sponsored by the SheRox Tri Mentor Program.  I knew I needed to attend one before I volunteer as one of the Mentors.  So up at 5:15 am I awoke, and out the door by 6:15.  Perfect time to travel on the Philly Autobahn.  I'm sure my slow, steady cautious driving was the reason it took me close to 40 minutes to get to the run start in The Wissahickon at the start of the Valley Green trail.  Only 4 other women were there but we ran nevertheless.  Two women, clearly runners and fine triathletes ran faster and further ahead of us, while the two other women, Katie and Bernadette and Katie's dog, Bella, and I ran a slow pace for about half an hour to 40 minutes.  My knees felt every pebble, stick and piece of gravely trail but once again, I persevered.  I think I was more proud of the driving accomplishments than my getting up so early and running two or three miles before 8 am.  Next week's goal, a longer swim, another outdoor run in Chestnut Hill and adding an extra morning to the bike riding. 

Friday, April 2, 2010

Grilled Turkey Meatball Pizzas

This is more of a recipe "idea" than an actual recipe.  I'm still into grilling pizza dough before I finish them in the oven, or if weather permits, finishing them with toppings on the outdoor grill.  A few nights ago I made turkey meatballs and Liz thought that they would be great on a pizza.  Inspired, I decided to make a meatball pizza and a barbecue chicken pizza with the left over rotisserie chicken we had.  I used whatever cheese I had in the fridge.  Luckily I had shredded mozzarella, cheddar and grated "pasta cheese", a good aged Romano.  Grilling pizza is so simple, especially if you take a few shortcuts and use a store-bought pizza dough (like the very good kind you can purchase at Trader Joe's for 99 cents.)  As previously posted, grilling pizza dough on an indoor grill pan or on actual fire, coal or gas grill is easy and tasty.  The kinds of pizzas you can create are only limited by what you have in the kitchen. 

Meatball Pizza Ingredients:

  • 1 Cup of Flour - use only as much as you need to roll out the dough and keep it from sticking to the rolling surface, rolling pin and sheet trays
  • 1 Pound of Pizza Dough - either homemade or store-bought - cut into 2, 3 or 4 pieces, depending on the size you want each pizza
  • 2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
  • 8 Meatballs of choice, cut into slices - I used Turkey Meatballs made with lean ground turkey, Italian seasonings and some grated carrots.  Click here for a recipe.  
  • 3/4 Cup of Prepared Low-Salt Tomato or Pizza Sauce
  • 1/4 Cup Grated Aged/Dry Cheese such as Parmesan, Romano or Locatelli
  • 2 Cups Grated Part-Skim Mozzarella Cheese (about 1 package)
  • Salt and Freshly Ground Pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. Preheat an oven to 400 degrees.  Preheat a stove-top grill pan until it's roaring hot - hot enough that you can feel the heat on your hand within a few seconds as you hold your hand over the grill pan.
  2. Prepare one or two sheet trays for the pizzas.  Either line them with parchment or sprinkle enough flour over them to keep the pizzas from sticking to the sheet trays.
  3. Roll out your pizza dough - I cut my dough ball into three or four smaller pieces, and roll it out thin, about 1/8-inch thin, on a well-floured surface.  I grill one side, give it a half-turn to create cross hatch marks.  I keep it on the grill pan until air bubbles surface and then I peek to see if the grilled side is crisped and taking on some color.  Next, flip the pizza over and grill the other side, turning it half-way to create grill marks.  Remove from grill, set aside and continue grilling remaining dough pieces.
  4. When all the pizza dough has been grilled on both sides, start topping them.  Place the grilled pizza onto the prepared sheet trays. Spread a little bit of olive oil over one side of the grilled pizza.  Next, spread some tomato/pizza sauce over the grilled pizza dough, not too much but enough to cover the surface lightly.  Layer some of the sliced meatball slices over the tomato sauce.  Season with a pinch of salt and a few grinds of freshly ground black pepper.  Sprinkle some of the grated aged cheese over the meatballs and then top with the shredded mozzarella. Continue in this manner until all the pizza's are topped.  Bake the pizza at 400 degrees until the cheese is melted and bubbling and the pizza dough is crisped and browned, about 15 minutes.  
  5. Remove from oven and allow to cool slightly before cutting - about 5 minutes to let the cheese set.