Saturday morning procrastination

Standard

Ever have those Saturday mornings when you have a big to-do list to tackle but barely feel like getting out of bed? That’s certainly the type of day I’m having! On the agenda for today is completing a 12-miler, cleaning my kitchen, doing some wash, and church later tonight.

Since I don’t want to run, clean, or do wash yet, I’m coming your way with an early morning post! I made this recipe when we had friends over last weekend, and it was a hit. It’s super easy and a great appetizer or part of dinner.

Pepperoni pizza balls

Pepperoni Pizza Balls
Makes 24 balls
Adapted from Lick the Bowl Good

  • 1/2 c. whole wheat flour
  • 1/4 c. all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 Tbsp. Italian seasoning (I used Tastefully Simple’s Italian Garlic Bread seasoning)
  • 3/4 c. skim or 1% milk
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 c. part-skim mozzarella cheese
  • 1/4 c. parmesan cheese
  • 1 c. cubed pepperoni
  • 1/2 c. marinara sauce
  1. Preheat oven to 375, and grease a mini muffin tin with cooking spray. 
  2. In a large bowl, mix your flours, baking powder, and Italian season. Next, add milk and egg, and mix well.
  3. Stir in your pepperoni and cheeses, mix, and let stand for 10 minutes.
  4. Spoon evenly into mini muffin tins. Put in oven and bake for about 20-25 minutes, or until pizza bites are browned and cooked through.
  5. Meanwhile, warm up marinara sauce and serve bites with sauce. Enjoy!

How to “level up” this recipe:

  • Use turkey pepperoni instead of regular.
  • For an extra punch of flavor, add in 1/2 c. chopped red pepper.

How to “level down” this recipe:

  • Use all all-purpose flour instead of wheat. 

A no-hassle, homemade, healthy dressing!

Standard

Good morning, everyone! After a great weekend, I challenged myself to finish some leftovers (not hard when they’re this delicious!)…

Salad + Pizza

…and try something new for dinner last night. The result? Healthy, homemade Dijon dressing!

Healthy Homemade Dijon Dressing

Healthy homemade Dijon dressing
Makes enough for two salads

  • 1 tbsp. Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1/2 tbsp. cider vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp. Worchestershire sauce
  • Dash of lemon juice
  • Dash of pepper
  1. In a small bowl, combine all of the above ingredients. Mix well.
  2. Serve over a fresh salad or store in fridge for up to four days. Enjoy!

How to “level up” this recipe

  • I thought all of the flavors were fantastic! I wouldn’t change a thing on this one. 

How to “level down” this recipe

  • For a creamier dressing, add 1 tbsp. of plain Greek yogurt (or fat-free mayo if desired). 

Party pleasers

Standard

Remember when I said this was a busy, food-filled weekend? Well, besides the chocolate chip pumpkin banana bread, I whipped up a whole wheat pasta salad with greek yogurt dressing, pumpkin spice dip, Loaded Turkey Santa Fe potato skins, and skinny mozzarella sticks. (Don’t worry; I didn’t eat it all myself! I had to make the dip for church and the potato skins and mozz sticks went with me and Andy to a Saturday night hangout with some friends. Good food is always better in good company — right?!)

I can’t take all the credit for these yummy concoctions, so if you want to try them out, you can see the recipes here…(But, keep on reading for a Levels original!)

Pumpkin Spice Dip via Six Sisters’ Stuff

  • How to “level up” this recipe: Cut down the sugar to 1/2 cup & add a tablespoon of honey instead for some natural sugar flavor. In addition, be sure to serve it with “healthy” sides like I did, such as cut apples and low-fat graham crackers.
  • How to “level down” this recipe: I haven’t tried this, but I have a feeling that adding some low-fat cream cheese to this recipe would make it delicious and add some extra creaminess.

Loaded Turkey Santa Fe Potato Skins via SkinnyTaste

  • How to “level up” this recipe: I chopped up some red and green peppers and sauteed them to pump up the veggie count in these. (They are so good!!)
  • How to “level down” this recipe: Swap a lean beef for the ground turkey OR skip the turkey mix and fill with some bacon and cheese instead. (I made a few like this, and they were the first to go!)

Skinny Mozzarella Sticks via SkinnyTaste (I’ve made these a few times before, and they’re always a hit!)

  • How to “level up” this recipe: I’ve got nothing. I tried to bread these with an egg white rather than a whole egg, but the breading doesn’t stick nearly as well. This is a pretty “top level” recipe!
  • How to “level down” this recipe: You could use a full-fat cheese rather than the part-skim.

These were all fairly easy and definitely crowd pleasers!

But, now that it’s Monday, and we’re five, far days away from another weekend, it’s time to focus on a weekday favorite. I whipped this up last week for my lunch on Friday, and it was a delicious, easy way to use up some vegetables for a light, but filling, lunch.

Whole wheat pasta salad with greek yogurt dressing
Serves 1

  • 3/4 c. whole wheat pasta, cooked
  • 5 cherry tomatoes, chopped
  • 1/4 c. red pepper, chopped
  • 1/4 c. cucumber, chopped
  • 2 Tbl. onion, chopped
  • 1/4 c. plain Greek yogurt
  • 1 tsp. olive oil
  • 1 tsp. balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tsp. dill
  • 1 tsp. minced garlic
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  1. Mix cooked pasta and vegetables together in a bowl.
  2. In a separate bowl, add Greek yogurt, olive oil, balsamic vinegar, dill, minced garlic, and salt/pepper and mix.
  3. Pour over pasta and vegetables. Cover and refrigerate overnight so flavors meld.

How to “level up” this recipe:

  • As always, add more vegetables! Green and yellow peppers would be great in this, too.

How to “level down” this recipe:

  • If you don’t love Greek yogurt like I do, you could use mayo and/or sour cream as a base.