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Homemade Pizza

Nothing tastes as good as a fresh, hot, homemade pizza!  Friday nights are pizza night at our house.  We ditched the fast-food pizza years ago and started saving money and our health by making it at home.

Homemade pizza is not hard to make.  I can made a large and small pizza from scratch, start to finish, in just under an hour, about the same amount of time it would take to call and order a delivery pizza.  The best part about making your own pizza, aside from saving money and the health benefits, is you get to choose what kind of toppings you want and how much of them you want to no additional cost 😀.

First you need to preheat your oven to 425 degrees.  Next, mix up your dry ingredients in a mixing bowl:  flour, instant yeast, and salt.  I don't add oil to my crust.  It keeps it nice and light and fat-free.

Next add the water and mix it into the dry ingredients until it forms a soft dough (I didn't get a picture of this).  Start with 3/4 a cup.   If the mixture is too dry keep adding warm water a little bit at a time until the dough is soft and comes together.

Then you want to decide how many pizza you are making.  I make a large pizza for my husband and a small pizza for me.  This gives us plenty of left overs. To make two medium pizzas, divide the dough in half.  To make one large thick crust pizza don't divide the dough.  To make two large pizzas you will need to double the recipe.  You get the idea.  Just play around with how thick or thin you want your crust and how many pizzas you want to make and divide your dough accordingly.

Roll out the dough on a well floured surface until it is big enough to fit the pizza pans.  We like our dough at "hand-tossed" thickness, so I don't let it rise.  If you like fuller dough, let it rise for about 30 minutes or so.

Now you want to top it with some sauce.  I make my own pizza sauce, but you can use store-bought as well.

Top your pizza with what ever kind of toppings you like.  Tonight we had supreme pizzas.  I like turkey pepperoni, olives, onions, mushrooms and my homemade cheese.  My husband likes regular pepperoni, olives, mushrooms and cooked hamburger.  We almost always have left over cooked hamburger from taco night.  Use those left overs!

Bake your pizzas in a hot oven at 425 degrees.  My husband's pizza gets cooked for 30 minutes and mine for 15.  So, I put his in first and 15 minutes later mine goes in.  That way they get done at the same time.  After the pizzas are cooked, remove them from the oven, slice them and enjoy!

Homemade Pizza
2 1/2 cups flour
2 tsp. instant yeast
1 tsp. salt
3/4 to 1 1/2 cups warm water
pizza sauce, homemade or store-bought
cheese and toppings of your choice

For the sauce:  1 6 oz. can tomato paste, 1/4 tsp each garlic and onion powder, 2 tbsp. dried Italian seasonings.  Whisk the tomato paste with two cans(measure in the tomato paste can) of water.  Whisk in remaining ingredients.  Spread on pizza dough.

First you need to preheat your oven to 425 degrees.  Next, mix up your dry ingredients in a mixing bowl:  flour, instant yeast, and salt.  Add the water and mix it into the dry ingredients until it forms a soft dough.  Start with 3/4 a cup.   If the mixture is too dry keep adding warm water a little bit at a time until the dough is soft and comes together.

Decide how many pizzas you are making and divide your dough accordingly.  Roll out the dough to a thickness that you like and large enough to fit your pizza pan(s). We like our dough at "hand-tossed" thickness, so I don't let it rise.  If you like fuller dough, let it rise for about 30 minutes or so.

Spread pizza sauce on the dough.  Add your favorite toppings.  Bake at 425 degrees for about 30 minutes.  Keep an eye on it and cook it until the crust is as brown as you like and the cheese and toppings are cooked as much as you want.

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Love life and be well,

Quick And Easy Salsa From Food Storage

Wednesday nights are always taco/Mexican nights at my house.  Our main dish varies from week to week but we always have homemade baked corn tortilla chips and homemade salsa.

In the summer months you may want to use fresh vegetables for this recipe, especially if you grow a garden.  But, if you don't have fresh vegetables on hand this recipe is really good and makes a great substitute for for fresh vegetables.

I add fresh green bell pepper to this when I have it.  I usually keep some frozen in the freezer.  If I am using frozen I will take it out and let it thaw before using in this recipe.  If you don't have bell pepper, just leave it out.

The great thing about this recipe is it can be made in the toughest of financial times if you have prepared your pantry ahead of time.  It is cheap, frugal and so tasty!  We also like mixing it with homemade nut-free vegan cheese sauce or this quick and easy vegan cheese sauce for a great queso dip.

Easy Salsa From Food Storage

3 15 oz cans of diced tomatoes, drained
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 tsp. onion powder
2 tsp. dried onion
1 tsp. dried cilantro
1 tsp. chili powder
1/2 tsp. cumin
1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
1/2 cup finely diced green bell pepper (optional)

Combine all ingredients into a medium size glass bowl.  Stir well.  Cover with plastic wrap and chill for several hours until time to serve.

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Love life and be well,

Meet Denise

In 2012, a minor illness quickly turned into a MAJOR problem.  After years of illness that should have resolved own it's own and didn't, I began extensively researching food, diets and eating habits that would help to restore my health.  And that's how The Healthetarian Woman was born.

health·a·tar·i·an helth-i-tair-ee-uhn

A person who does not eat or does not believe in eating McDonald's, Burger King, Popcorn for dinner, Pizza Pockets, or, in some cases, any food served in a Paper Bagor a Box. Will not drink pop (soda) as their main source of water intake. Typical routine involves reading ingredients in foods before consumption, dieting or abstaining from delicious snacks, paying more for less food and on occasion looking at my food diary in utter disgust.

For me, a healthetarian lifestyle means eating a clean, whole foods diet as much as possible.  I am NOT vegan or vegetarian by any means.  Although I do eat both types of meals from time to time.  I tend to stay away from foods that cause me digestive discomfort and love my body with foods that don't.    Sometimes it is gluten-free, sometimes it is meat-free, some-times it is dairy- or soy-free.  And sometimes it is none of those, because hey, I LOVE TO EAT, even if it's bad for me.  You will find that almost none of my recipes on this blog contain ground beef, regular beef or fish. Those are foods that causes me digestive discomfort.  I am mostly non-dairy consuming except for the occasionally very small amount on my pizza twice a month.

"There are days when I feel the best of me is ready to begin.  Then there are days when I feel I'm letting go and soaring on the wind.  But I've learned in laughter or in pain how to survive, I get on my knees...." Do you ever feel that way?  These are the lyrics to one of my favorite songs that basically sums up my life on a daily basis living with chronic illness.    Here is my story and how it all began........

In the fall of 2012 I started not feeling well.  I began to lose my appetite, having bouts of moderate to severe nausea, lethargy.  I went to the doctor and he ran some tests, put me on some medicines and told me to come back in a month.  A month later, I returned to my doctor and not only was I not any better I had lost about 20 pounds.  At this point, he was concerned and began running more tests.  It took about two and a half months to determine that my gall bladder needed to come out.  Since I wasn't experiencing typical symptoms of gall bladder disease such as stones and excruciating pain, it took some time to determine this needed to be looked into.

By Thanksgiving that year, it was determined that my gall bladder had died and basically quit working.  At this point I had lost another 10 pounds and my health was deteriorating rapidly as I was constantly nauseated and unable to eat much.  I was scheduled to meet with a surgeon to have my gall bladder removed on Dec. 3rd and I was assured by my surgeon that after my gall bladder was removed I would be "good as new".  However, that was NOT the case.  On December 10, 2012 I had the surgery and things only got worse.  I expected a 30 day recovery period and knew that it would take my body some time to adjust to living without my gall bladder.  But instead of getting better, my health continued to decline.  The nausea was worse than ever only now it was accompanied by endless trips to the bathroom.  I could barely eat any thing, I couldn't sleep good at night and at this point was experiencing severe anxiety over my declining health that was beginning to take it's toll on my not just my body but my mental health as well.

60 days after my surgery I had lost another ten pounds and found myself becoming a blubbering sobbing hot mess in my doctors office that afternoon.  It's amazing how fast your doctor will get you into a room without an appointment when you walk in having a nervous break down.  I couldn't take it anymore.  After nearly six months of living in misery I was DONE.  I couldn't live like this and I knew something had to change NOW.    After he got me to calm down, he examined me and talked with me about my symptoms.  I was diagnosed with Irritable Bowel Syndrome, anxiety disorder (go figure, I wonder why!) and a fancy word that I can't pronounce that basically means Post Gall Bladder Removal Syndrome (Google it.  YES it's a real thing).

About two years into my illness I found myself unable to hold down a job due chronic digestive issues that now included ulcers, gastritis and other unpleasant symptoms.  In addition to all of that I also deal with chronic pain from arthritis.  My inability to work outside of the home led me to re-start my journey working from home. Fast forward almost three years. After several years of chronic illness I began researching way to improve my health, get off of the rapidly growing list of multiple prescription medications that I was on for stomach issues, anxiety, depression, chronic pain and more, so I could have a normal life again AND I FOUND IT!  I also found a work from home business in the process that is a perfect fit for me.  That is KING if you are looking to work from home! Am I completely healed?  No, not yet, but for the first time in five years I have HOPE, REAL HOPE that it is going to happen.  And I am SO incredibly grateful I am not as chronically ill as I once was.  I have learned how to make improvements to my health by practicing healthy life-style choices and a healthy living program that has allowed me to manage my illness better, exercising regularly and living my life purpose to the best of my ability everyday.  
I have had to do a lot of soul-searching and talking with God.  He has allowed me to have these issues for a reason.  He has given me a story to tell and hopefully I can help other who are struggling in their lives.  There are some things that I have learned and had to accept in order to live my life as normal as possible.
It would be easy to curl up in a ball and not feel sorry for myself, which I have done on many occasions, wallowing in the fact that the deck of cards I have been dealt just plain STINK sometimes.  But, wallowing in my own self-pity doesn't do me any good.  I had to make a decision a long time ago that I was going to live as normal a life as possible NO MATTER WHAT.
I love the song my the Rory and the late Joey Feek "That's Important To Me".  What's important to me is being a good wife, taking care of my husband, being a good mother, being able to take care of my home, going to church, working from home and so many other things.  Joey not only had courage, she had wisdom to know the difference and she accepted her challenge that God had given her and fought her battle with cancer with such grace and dignity right up until her last breath, she LIVED.
My hope is to live my life with that kind of faith, that kind of courage, that kind of determination and not let my circumstances define me or confine me.  I want to be the vessel that God chosen for me to live this life in and use my story to change the lives of others, to be the light in your darkness and to make a difference.  If you are struggling, no matter what your circumstances are, YOU ARE NOT ALONE.  I am living out my purpose one day at a time and so can you.
Phillipians 4:13 "I can do ALL things through Christ who gives me strength."