Monday, March 21, 2011

Tasty Chicken Pesto Pizza!

Happy Monday! My weekend was a blast and I'm sad that it had to come to an end. BUT, my sister's coming tomorrow to visit for the day, so that makes me happy.  I had a weekend filled with great food, good company, and a little bit of wedding planning. On Friday, I came home from work and made a chicken pesto pizza, all from scratch.  For my first pizza attempt, I'd say that it turned out to be a success. I think the only thing wrong with it was that I got a little pesto happy :-) I just love it so much.

Here's the recipe along with some pictures:

Ingredients for pizza dough
 (.25 ounce) package active dry yeast
1 cup warm water
2 cups whole wheat flour
1/4 cup wheat germ
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon honey

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
In a small bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water. Let stand until creamy, about 10 minutes.

In a large bowl combine flour, wheat germ and salt. Make a well in the middle and add honey and yeast mixture. Stir well to combine. (I also added in some shredded parmesan cheese and basil)  Cover and set in a warm place to rise for a few minutes.  Roll dough on a floured pizza pan and poke a few holes in it with a fork. Bake in preheated oven for 5 to 10 minutes, or until desired crispiness is achieved.(I didn't bake it until all the ingredients were on it).

Pesto Sauce
1 cup fresh basil leaves
1/4 cup fat-free ricotta cheese
2 tbsp. reduced-fat Parmesan-style grated topping
2 tbsp. pine nuts
1 tsp. olive oil
1 tsp. chopped garlic
1/4 tsp. salt, or more to taste
1/4 tsp. black pepper, or more to taste

Directions:Place all ingredients in a small blender or food processor, and blend/process until a smooth paste forms. If you like, add additional salt and pepper to taste. Refrigerate until ready to serve. For this recipe, I kept it out until I needed it.

For the chicken, I just cut it up into bite size pieces and cooked it on the stove with a little bit of garlic and pepper.  After the chicken was done, I spread the pesto sauce on top of the crust, then sprinkled on some shredded mozzarella and shredded parmesean cheese.  Then placed the chicken, as well as sliced mushrooms on top of the cheese.  After the chicken and the mushrooms went on, then I sprinkled a little bit more cheese.  I didn't use any specific measurements for the cheese or the chicken, just good judgement :-) After that I put it in the oven and baked it for about 15 or so minutes or until the cheese started to bubble.

This is something I would definitely make again.  I was a little hesitant to make my own crust, since I've never worked with yeast before, but everything worked out. 

On Saturday, I woke up super early in the AM, and drove up to Milwaukee.  I was scheduled to meet my mom at Pier Wisconsin for our table mockup at 10.  Since I got to Milwaukee a little early, I ventured around Milwaukee Public Market

And had a green giant juice (apple, cucumber, lime &wheatgrass)

After our table mockup, my mom and I enjoyed lunch at Swig.  I love coming here for lunch when I'm in Milwaukee. They have amazing food and even better service :-) I had the Mediterranean chicken pita- seasoned grilled chicken breast, feta, hummus, kalamata olives, cucumbers and sprouts with cucumber yogurt dip.  Very good recommendation made by our waitress!  

Later, I drove back to Chicago and LC and I got ready for our date night at Girl and The Goat.     

It is, hands down, one of my favorite restaurants in Chicago.  So much so, that it deserves its own post :-)  

After our wonderful dinner, we met up with some of our neighbors at English and reunited with old friends.    


On Sunday, LC and I made breakfast and snuggled on the couch and watched movies. It was the perfect rainy Sunday to be lazy.  I was supposed to go to a special Bar Method class they were holding benefiting Save the Children of Japan, but the rain kept me on the couch. I still made my $20 donation though, so the money went to a good cause anyway, even if I didn't make it to the workout class, right? Right!

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