Pizza – 21 Day Fix Approved!

Does anyone else just feel like pizza on a Friday night is a necessity?  I always grew up eating pizza on a Friday night, as did my husband.  So when we got married, what did we do?  We ordered pizza on Friday night of course!  We both looooove a big ole white pizza with lots of garlic, cheese, and veggies.  Mmmm…that just screams Friday night to me.  Garlic breath and carbs.  Sign me up!

Now, let me assure you that my husband and I treat ourselves within reason.  But we found that there were so many ways to recreate our favorite unhealthy foods and make them a bit more waist line friendly, and pizza just so happened to be one of them.

I pulled out Fixate, a cook book written by the creator of the 21 Day Fix, Autumn Calabrese and I started flipping the pages.  PITA PIZZA.  Boom shaka laka.

As per the usual, I couldn’t just follow the recipe.  I had to make the recipe…mine!  Below is how we now make our garlicky, cheesy, veggie loaded, delicious, pita pizza….every Friday! Enjoy!

*Note:  21 day fix containers are used to prep and complete the meal.

Ingredients:

2 tsp. herbed oil

1/4 tsp dried parsley

1/4 tsp dried basil

1/4 tsp onion powder

1/4 tsp garlic powder

2 pitas

2 blue containers mozzarella cheese (1 per pie)

2 green containers chopped broccoli and onions (1 per pie)

2 red containers pulled rotisserie chicken (1 per pie)

3 tbsp. part skim ricotta cheese (1.5 tbsp. per pie)

Directions:

Start by laying out your pitas on a baking sheet.  No need to spray the baking sheet!  Below is the pita we have been using, but feel free to use the pita of your choice.  Remember to take into account the size of the pita if you are counting containers for the 21 day fix.  A small pita would account for 1 yellow, where are larger pita (like we use), would account for 2 yellows.  I go for the larger pita because…yum.

 

Next, mix up your oil and herbs.  Start by pouring 2 tsp. of the herbed oil into a small bowl.  I LOVE Wegman’s Basting Oil.  It’s a bit expensive, but it is just so perfect on these pita pizzas.  It really kicks up the flavor.   Next, add in your herbs.  This is where you can play a bit if you’d like.  You want oregano?  Go for it.  You want more garlic? Go for it.  Hate parsley?  Cool, leave it out.  Make the oil yours!  After you have added in all of the herbs, mix it thoroughly until you have a thicker liquid.

 

Next, start to spread the oil and herb mixture onto your pitas.  Half of the mixture on one pita, the remainder on the second pita.  You will notice that it is difficult to spread.  This is because we are not slathering our pitas with oil!  This is simply to adding some flavor and, when baked at a high temperature, some crunch.  I use the back of a spoon to spread the mixture across the pita.

 

After you have spread the oil mixture as even as possible over both pitas, it’s time for the CHEESE.  Love me some cheese.  Mmmm.  Fill up your blue container and spread the mozzarella evenly across the pita.  This will create a very thin layer of cheese.  You will look at it and say, “Umm…I need more.”  You don’t.  I promise.  Once it melts, you will see that it is plenty.  And I LOVE cheese.  So much.  So just trust me.  After you have put your cheese on pita #1, repeat with pita #2.

Okay, it’s veggie time.  Chop up your broccoli and onions into small pieces.  Remember, this is going on top of your pizza so the smaller, the better.  You want to chop up one full green container of broccoli and one full green container of onions.  I used a white onion, but if you like more of that bold onion-y flavor feel free to use something that packs more of a punch.

After you have chopped your veggies, steam ’em up!  You can absolutely saute them, but this typically calls for more oil, and let’s remember this pita pizza should be waist line friendly, so I steam mine.  Steam those veggies until they softness you desire.  We like them to be rather soft, so I keep them in the steamer for a bit longer than most probably would.

 

When your veggies are steaming, pull some rotisserie chicken off the carcass (HATE THAT WORD).   We get our rotisserie chicken from Wegman’s or Costco.  Honeslty, Costco rotisserie chicken is BANGIN’.  It’s bigger, more moist (another word I hate), and just totally succulent.  Both are $4.99 so you just can’t beat NOT having to cook your own chicken at that price.  So much easier.  

After your veggies are done, fill your green container with a mixture of the onions and broccoli and put it onto your pita.  Repeat with pita #2.

Then, add 1 red of pulled rotisserie chicken to each pita as well.

Next, top each pita with 1.5 tbsp of ricotta.  I’m classy and usually just use my finger to plop little bits all over the pizza.  Ricotta MAKES this pizza!  Don’t skip this step!

 

Last, but not least, pop those pita pizzas into the oven at 425 for 9 minutes to crisp up the pita and melt that cheese.  I top mine with some Frank’s hot sauce because I top everything with Frank’s hot sauce.  And….voila! You have yourself a delicious Friday night pizza that is not going to leave you feeling like a walking carb!  You’ll still have the garlic breath.  Just rock it.  It’s worth it.

21 Day Fix Containers:

2 yellow (depending on size of pita)

1 green (veggies)

1 red (chicken/ricotta cheese)

1 blue (mozzarella)

1 tsp. (oil)

 

Submission

Submission is defined as “the action or fact of accepting or yielding to a superior force or to the will or authority of another person.”

Does that make you cringe?  Doesn’t it make you feel uncomfortable and almost immediately defiant?  Why should I have to submit to ANYONE?

Because the bible tells you to.  And because when you finally do, it will change your life.

Submit therefore to God.  Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.

James 4:7

We are instructed to submit to God.  We are told that if we do so and resist the devil, he will flee.  We are promised that through submission to God, we will be granted peace, grace, and mercy.

But holy moly it has got to be just about the hardest thing to do.

If you’re like me, you like to have a kung fu grip on your life.  You like to live life on your own terms.  You like to determine what is best for you.  You like to dictate your destiny.  You like…no, you LOVE control. You crave control.  You need control.

But guess what?  We aren’t in control.  Not one bit.  And when we TRULY decide to accept that fact, we can slowly surrender to Christ and submit to Him in the way He desires.

So what does this look like?

Learning to submit, for me, was learning to be still.

Be still and know that I am God…

Psalm 46:10

When my counselor (yep, counselor – no shame in my game) instructed me to “be still” I genuinely did not understand what this meant. I eventually realized that being still essentially came down to one thing — TRUST.

I had to trust that God’s will for my life was infinitely better than my own.  That His plans would outdo mine every single time.

Surrendering control, something that I have white knuckled for YEARS, felt impossible.  I cried.  A lot.  I got angry.  I questioned.  I fought it tooth and nail.

But the way I was living my life was not sustainable.  I was hurting.  I needed change.

So I finally told God that I was putting my trust in Him.  That I didn’t want to, but I was.  I was giving him control of my marriage, my family, my finances, my career, my hopes, my dreams, my future.  My e v e r y t h i n g.

After I said that prayer, I was pretty nervous.  What now?

I wish I could say that I felt this immediate weight lifted off my shoulders and trusted that God’s will for my life was infinitely perfect and I could let go of all the lovely plans I had manifested in my brain…..but that’s not how it worked for me.

I have to choose to submit to God every single day.  But I can honestly tell you that I have seen him rain blessings upon me in return.  Blessings that continue to cement the fact that He is in control, NOT me.

He has restored my marriage, he has taken care of my family, he has made financial impossibilities a reality, he has given me fulfillment in my work place, he has given me hope, he has enabled me to work daily toward my dreams, and he has given me promises of a future that is unimaginably lovely.

Submission is a scary word.  But when you learn to submit, you learn to live a life you love.

Mexican Lasagna!

I love cheese.  I love Mexican food.  And I love to eat healthy.  So when I found this 21 day fix approved Mexican Lasagna, I was intrigued.  Intrigued soon turned to OBSESSED after making it for the first time.  Now, after having made it AT LEAST 10 times in the past year, I am HOOKED.

Right here folks is my very favorite 21 day fix dinner recipe!

 

Ingredients:

1 package lean ground turkey

1 can Rotel diced tomatoes and chiles (I use mild but if you like it spicy, go for medium!)

8 ounces pico de gallo (I use Wegman’s freh pico – delish!)

2 tbsp. taco seasoning (making your own is always best, but if you are in a pinch – be sure to get low sodium!)

1 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese

1 can black beans

12 corn tortillas

Steps:

  1.  Saute your ground turkey with the taco seasoning until it is a golden brown.  I do not use any oil, I simply spray my pan with cooking spray.
  2.  After the turkey has browned, add in your can of drained/rinsed black beans, the fresh pico de gallo, and the Rotel tomatoes and chiles
  3.  Stir together and let simmer so flavors mix.
  4. Next, lay six corn tortillas in the bottom of a 9X13 baking dish (they will overlap slightly).
  5. Scoop HALF the meat mixture onto the tortillas and spread out evenly.
  6. Top meat mixture with 3/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese.
  7. Repeat.  Six corn tortillas, meat mixture, cheddar cheese.
  8.  Bake in oven at 350 degrees for 15-20 minutes until cheese is melted.

Serve hot, and enjoy!  Makes 6 servings.

*Optional toppings:  Greek Yogurt, Franks Hot Sauce, Cilantro.

 

21 day fix container equivalents:

1 yellow

1 red

1 blue

1 green

Surviving vs. Thriving

I think most of us simply survive.  And I whole heartedly believe this is NOT the way we were intended to live.  It doesn’t mean that life should always be rainbows and butterflies, but it does mean that our purpose in life is not to solely survive.

We dread Sunday nights because we know the week to come will be a long one.  We all get caught in the, “I can’t wait until Friday” mentality.  We check the calendar repetitively for our next day off.

How much of our time and energy do we waste being…miserable?  How much of our time and energy to we use simply stating how much we despise our circumstances? How much time and energy do we waste wishing the day away?  Too much time.  Too much energy.

I fully believe that I was not created to simply survive, I was created to THRIVE.

And so were you.

If we want to thrive, then we need to make changes in our lives NOW.  We need to make sacrifices TODAY so we can get where we want and where we need to be.

It’s easy to say, hard to do, right?  You’re thinking – okay, great but I HATE my job.  Or – okay great, but I’m just so depressed, I can’t get out of this funk.  Maybe it’s – how can I thrive when my sister has cancer?

Start by making small lifestyle changes.  I recently began waking up early before the baby wakes up to get in some professional development with a cup of coffee.  In silence.  Or mostly silence.  She’s crying now.  Go figure.  Anyway… make small changes.  Do something that fills your cup.  Find something that centers you and makes your heart happy.

Professional development books (You Are A Badass is AMAZING), exercise, massages, hair appointment, yoga, meditation, reading, coloring, baking, WHATEVER.  Do it.  Make time for it.  Even if it means waking up at 5am.  Trust me, 5am doesn’t look good on me either, girl, but it is SO worth it!

You’ll find that by doing small things daily that fulfill you will permeate into the rest of your day, changing your demeanor, changing your mindset, and creating an opportunity to THRIVE, not just SURVIVE.

“My mission in life is not to merely survive, but to thrive; and to do so with some passion, some compassion and some style.” -Maya Angelou