Archive for the 'Healthy Living' Category
This recipe looks like it has a lot of steps (and it does), but the steps are all fast and easy and if you start with a premade crust, your pizza will be done in no time. However, before you go straight to using a store bought crust, let me spend a second convincing you of how easy it is to make it at home, especially if you have a kitchen aid. You literally just put everything in the mixer and blend. If you’re really lazy (as I often am), you can even let those last two minutes of kneading happen in the mixer. I also always use the mixing bowl to let the dough rise in. I just take it out for second, oil the bowl, replace and rise.
Whenever I make pizza dough, I almost always also make a double batch and then par bake the left over dough and freeze it for later use, it’s like having “store bought” pizza dough at home and ready to use all the time. You can also make the dough ahead and store it in your fridge covered in an oiled bowl or a storage bag for up to two days. If this is still too much work for you, I recommend asking your local pizza joint to buy some fresh dough from them. You can usually get some for a few bucks, and the results are totally worth it.
For this recipe, I do par bake the dough, since the topped pizza doesn’t have to stay in the oven for very long, but for traditional marinara sauce pizza, I just use the dough in it’s completely raw form.
As for the two sauces in the recipe, both are fascinatingly simple, in one you just blend all the ingredient, and the other, you let sit on the stove for a little while, while your pizza is baking, and both sauces are excellent to have on hand. I always make homemade pesto in the summer months when basil is abundant, but during the winter, I like to use arugula, which stays relatively inexpensive and is easy to get all year long. The peppery flavor is perfect with the sweet pears and I spoon it on fresh to get the full impact of the arugula. The sauce is also great to use like traditional pesto on pasta, or to top roasted potatoes, spread on to sandwiches, or spooned onto roasted chicken, fish, or a good steak.
The honey balsamic reduction is just as versatile, and I often use it to jazz up grilled chicken or to top bruschetta or roasted veggies.
Once you have all the pieces ready, it really is just assemble and bake. The ingredients are few and simple and so each one really shines. You get the smoky notes of bacon and creamy tartness of the goat cheese with the bright peppery arugula all there to support the sweet complexity of the Comice pears.
This is an easy recipe to have in your back pocket for a quick meal to have for guests, and the bacon can easily be replaced with toasted walnuts for an equally delicious vegetarian option. The walnuts and pears are so good together, that it’s sure to please even your most devout carnivores.
1 large pizza crust
1 large Comice pear, thinly sliced
12 oz. goat cheese crumbled
8 oz. thickly sliced bacon, cut into 2 in. squares (about 5-6 slices)
(or 1 c toasted walnuts, for a vegetarian version)
1 c. Arugula Pesto
3-4 T Honey Balsamic Glaze
Preheat oven to 475°F
Prepare a 14 or 16 in. pizza pan by lightly coating with cooking spray or scantly dusting with cornmeal
Roll out pizza crust thinly and place on prepared pan.
Par bake crust for 4-5 minutes on 475°F
Meanwhile, cut bacon into large 2 in. pieces and cook on medium high heat until lightly browned, but not cooked completely. Bacon will continue to cook and further crisp in the oven.
Once crust is par baked, crumble on goat cheese then evenly place on the bacon and thinly sliced Comice pears.
Baked at 475°F for 7-9 minutes or until cheese is slightly browned and pears are golden around the edges and roasted through.
Remove from oven and let cool for a minute before spooning on arugula pesto and drizzling on the honey balsamic glaze.
Pizza Dough: makes 2, 14 -16 in. thin crust pizzas
1 T (or 1 package) or dry yeast
½ c warm water
1 t. sugar
3 – 3 ½ c All Purpose Flour
2 t salt
¾ c milk
¼ c olive oil
Mix yeast, warm water, and sugar in a small bowl and let proof for approximately 5 minutes or until the yeast starts to bubble.
In a medium sized mixing bowl or in a kitchen aid with a dough hook or similar appliance with a dough attachment, blend flour and salt, then after yeast is proofed, mix in remaining ingredients starting on low to medium speed, then increasing to a faster speed till all ingredients are well combined or until the dough forms a ball and begins to slightly pull away from the sides.
Remove from the bowl onto a slightly floured surface and knead for a minute or two.
Place the dough in a lightly oiled bowl and cover loosely with plastic wrap and let rise at room temperature for about an hour or until the dough has approximately doubled in size.
After the dough has risen, punch it down, divide in two and it’s ready to use.
Arugula Pesto: makes approximately 2 ½ c of finished pesto
2 c packed arugula (approx. a 5 oz. container)
¾ c extra virgin olive oil
½ c freshly grated parmesean
½ c toasted pine nuts
2 T lemon juice (about half of a large lemon)
1 small clove garlic
salt to taste
Wash and dry your arugula well. Even a few teaspoons of water left on the leaves will substantially water down the flavor of your pesto.
To toast the pine nuts, place nuts in a dry sauté pan on medium high heat shaking or stirring the nuts continuously until they are lightly browned in color and their aroma intensifies.
Place all ingredients except the olive oil into a blender or food processor (I prefer a food processor), and pulse while drizzling the olive oil in a slow but steady stream.
You are looking for a smooth, but not liquid consistency. The sauce should be of medium thickness, adjust with more or less olive oil (or lemon juice) to your desired consistency.
Honey Balsamic Glaze:
1 c balsamic vinegar
¼ c honey
Place ingredients in a small saucepan and on medium heat reduce by half.
The sauce will thicken as it reduces and should coat the back of a spoon when done. Be careful when it’s cooking not to get it on your skin as the reduced sugars in both the honey and balsamic will act like caramel and can stick to and burn your skin.
The reduction will thicken more as it cools and you may need to reheat it on low heat before using if it thickens too significantly.
About the Author
A former baker, chef, caterer, and a forever foodie, John is now a writer and essayist, who has written for newspapers and magazines across the country, and enjoys spending his spare time traveling and collecting bow ties.
1 small apple
1 small celery rib, sliced
1 tsp. lemon juice
1 small onion, chopped
1 (7-ounce) can tuna
1 Tbsp. fresh dill weed (or 1 tsp. dried dill weed)
1/2 cup mayonnaise
4 small pita pockets
4 large lettuce leaves
1) Core and chop the apple into a medium-size bowl. Add celery and sprinkle with lemon juice. Add onion. Drain tuna and add to bowl with dill and mayonnaise. Mix well. Cut the top off each pita bread and place a lettuce leaf in each. Stuff with tuna mixture. Serve.
2) Prep time: 15 minutes
3) Recipe courtesy of US Apple AssociationNo comments
This just in! Summer is a great time to enjoy tasty fresh fruit! That’s right, you can celebrate fresh fruit and vegetables by adding a tasty fruit to each meal. Whether it’s as a main course, side dish or a tasty dessert, fruit is a great part of your diet. Below are five ideas on adding tasty fruit into your day. Enjoy!
Apple Slice Snack: A great idea for any time of year! Start the day by coring and slicing two apples. Take two Ziploc bags and put an apple into each bag. Put them in the fridge and use as a nice cold snack during the day or grab one for your drive in the afternoon!
Cubed Tomatoes: Yes tomatoes are fruit and the great thing about this fruit is that it goes great with most dinner dishes. Whether you are eating Enchiladas, Spaghetti, or a tasty garden, salad cube a tomato up and serve it as a topping to any of these dishes. The flavor and acidity of the tomato adds a great taste combination for any palate.
Fruit Salad: A great treat for breakfast or dessert is a delicious fruit salad that is simple and easy to make. Find a small watermelon, a cantaloupe, a honeydew melon, and a carton of strawberries. Cube the melons and slice the strawberries. Mix them together gently in a bowl. Quickly put them in the fridge to chill. That’s it. Now you have a perfect summer breakfast side dish or dessert for a nice summer evening.
Frozen Blueberries: Summer is generally warm. A great way to enjoy a nice cool treat is to freeze blueberries! Either pick or purchase enough blueberries to fill a one pound Ziploc freezer bag. Rinse the blueberries and let them dry for about fifteen minutes. Place the blueberries in the Ziploc freezer bag and place them in your freezer. After one day any time you want a sweet icy cool treat, grab a handful or fill a bowl and enjoy the tasty flavor. Perfect for a summer afternoon and for kids!
Fruit Recipes: One of our favorite things to cook here at The Fruit Company is main courses that involve a strong fruit flavor. A recent recipe that we made here and featured on our blog was a tasty Pan-Seared Pork (or Chicken) with a Pineapple-Kiwi Salsa. This mixture of fruit and protein was a delightful main course that had a great balance between the ingredients! Try it out and see for yourself!No comments
The world. Its existence we experience daily. We breath, see, smell, feel, a live surrounded by the home we call Earth. Every year we take a day to think about what we can do to keep humanities impact efficient, safe, and clean.
Here at The Fruit Company we take this to heart and are constantly working towards a healthy impact in our environment. Here are just a few of our current practices:
Fruit Waste Program: The Fruit Company has partnered with Dirt Hugger, a regional composting company that supports a sustainable, local economy by collecting, processing, and utilizing valuable organic nutrients locally. Dirt Hugger is a member of the United States Composting Council.
Shipping Materials: 93% of our wood fiber corrugated boxes (gift boxes) are made with material supplied by Sustainable Forestry Initiative® (SFI) program participants. The SFI® program participants are committed to sustainable forestry on their own forests and follow strict industry regulations. We use paper fill instead of shipping peanuts or bubble wrap. These efforts are a simple, inexpensive way to help our customers reduce the environmental impact of shipping their Fruit Company purchase. We remind consumers to reuse the shipping materials from all products received.
Shipping: 95% of our products are shipped via FedEx. In 2011 FedEx was ranked 8th in the Top 50 by Fortune 500 “World’s Most Admired Companies” in regards to Green Initiatives. FedEx is currently deploying electric vehicles in urban areas where their trucks drive fewer miles and the frequent braking recharges the electric batteries.
There is always room to grow as a company and we continually work towards bettering our world through new initiatives and ideas. Take some time today to think about your home environment and what you can do to promote a healthy Earth!
Things have begun to slow down here at The Fruit Company since the Mother’s Day rush. During Mother’s Day the fruit was flying, the production line buzzing and the phones couldn’t be tamed. Everyone was asking the hard questions: Does Mom want apples this year? Did she like the chocolate covered blueberries, or was it the cherries? Did she love the cheese or was that what she claimed gave her gas till Father’s Day? In the midst of the whirlwind, it can suddenly seem as if the world will grind to a halt and fall off its axis if Mom doesn’t get the perfect gift. It’s enough to put a ring of sweat on your upper lip and have you spontaneously sobbing to the Fed-Ex man.
Gift giving is the ultimate revenge on an already tired and sleep deprived world. It’s also an opportunity to remember a few things: It really is the thought that counts, being re-gifted isn’t the worst thing on the planet, and taking a few minutes to relax may be the most healthy and productive gift you ever give yourself. Read more1 comment
Need some inspiration to get out and move that body? Wondering where to start? Look no more! National Senior Health & Fitness Day is coming up on Wednesday, May 26. Every last Wednesday in May during Older Americans Month, hundreds of thousands of seniors in over 1,000 events nationwide, will be participating and promoting the value of fitness for older adults. This is an opportunity for seniors of all fitness levels to participate in small group exercise demonstrations in community senior centers to walking tours and outdoor health fairs. Look for events planned for your local area at venues including hospitals, park and recreation departments, senior centers, health clubs, retirement communities, houses of worship, health departments and other community locations. Read moreNo comments
There is nothing more peaceful here at The Fruit Company, than taking a stroll through the Webster Family orchard. As soon as your feet move from the hot pavement on to the soft grass you instantly sense the change of environment.
The rows stretch on for quite a bit. Everywhere you look are gorgeous Webster Royal Comice pears, still young and basking in the warmth of the summer sun. If you stop you can hear the sounds of the wind rustling through the short bushy leaved branches, keeping you cool as you take in the view. Towering above, sits Mt. Hood. Her year round snow covered peak adds a beautiful backdrop to the already splendid environment.
And then the hard part, stepping out of the quietness and back to the hustle and bustle of the busy world.No comments
by Jed, eCommerce/CS
When I first moved to the Hood River area my wife and I spent several weekend days driving around aimlessly trying to find somewhere to explore. We had talked with several people who had passionately tried to explain all the glories to be seen in the area that surrounds The Fruit Company. But after multiple hours of directions explained, and eventually forgotten, we gave up with our search.
Within a week a close friend of ours was listening to me express my disappointment and failure as a directional specialist (Guy), when he clued me into the best kept secret in the gorge. Curious Gorge.
At first I was not interested. Why would I want to read a book with a play on words of a children’s classic? After moving past that I began thumbing through the book. And to my amazement all the information that we had been searching for was laid out in front of me. Organized and including all the facts we needed to know. It included directions to many locations all over the Gorge area. All the hiking and biking trails leading to lakes and running along streams explained and rated as to the difficulty of the endeavor.
Still skeptical I found a hike that didn’t look too hard. We set out the next Saturday only to find the directions given accurate and easy to translate. After a great afternoon hike I was ready to go buy my own personal copy.
So if you’re in the area and looking for things to do that doesn’t involve windsurfing or all the in town amenities that Hood River, White Salmon, and Bingen have to offer I would recommend adding this book to your visit.
It’s a little more difficult to find but I did find it at Dog River Coffee in downtown Hood River. If you’re planning ahead of time you can order it online at REI.
Happy Explorations!No comments
Oh dear blog, how we’ve neglected thee. In the midst of brewing up healthy recipes, mountain bike riding, running, sampling our amazing grapefruit and kiwis, spring skiing, walking with our teammates through nearby orchards, oh, and Easter, we’ve been busy. We’re still rocking the Live Healthy America competition. In fact Team Oregon Booty De-Lite was ranked #1 in Oregon last week and this we’re #2. We had a tug-of-war on Friday as our friendly, halfway-mark, in-office activity (literally, in-office!).
We’re also happy to announce our Flickr photostream. There you’ll find photos of our favorite fruit and gifts taken in-house, photo shoot outtakes, exclusive behind-the-scenes information and captions, breathtaking shots of the Hood River Valley, and even a few faces of us, friends, and family. Consider it another way you can get to know the people behind those lush, fabulous gifts that arrive at doorsteps around the nation. Please, feel free to click here and see more!No comments