Monday, February 15, 2010

Cooking Italian Bread- Eating Healthy

I have always wanted to learn how to bake bread.  It is one of those earthy, connecting with the homemaking part of me that yearns to leap out in the middle of all of my techie interests...

I think NyGirl caught my bread-baking bug, and she decided one school morning she wanted to help me bake italian bread sticks for that day's dinner.
Forming the dough into shapes

Finally on the pan (not perfectly shaped, but the best we could do!)

Oh, and the pot on the back of the stove top is lentils.  We have begun a new healthy eating regiment in our family that I think is working out okay...though, I won't say perfectly.
The way it works is very similar to the ideas found in Deceptively Delicious.

The basic philosophy behind the book and my ideas of how to incorporate veggies into my kids' diets is pretty much all about camouflage.

For example, today I used one of the recipes found in the book that helped me to get some spinach into my girls' tummies.  Here is a paraphrase of the Pita Pizzas recipes and how I got my kids to eat spinach for lunch today:

Pita Pizzas (with hidden spinach)

  • Whole wheat pita pockets
  • About ½ cup spinach puree
  • About 2 cups of tomato sauce or pizza sauce
  • About ½ bag of mozzarella cheese
  • About ½ bag of cheddar cheese

Set the oven to 400 degrees.  Spread spinach puree  on each pita (if you don’t want your kids to detect the spinach only spread it to about ½ inch from the edge).  Spread the sauce over the spinach.  Cover the sauce with cheese.  Bake for about 10 minutes.  Let the pizzas cool for about 5 minutes so the cheese doesn’t pull off and expose the spinach!

My kids love these, I like it...and I even think hubby likes it too- which makes it a hit in our house!

As for the Italian turned out really well that evening last week. We paired it with plates of spaghetti and pasta sauce (blended with a puree of steamed broccoli- another hidden green!)  Turned out well :-)

And though I haven't turned full fledge into a bread baking mama, I am enjoying skirting around the idea of it.  Meanwhile, I get a kick out of baking up cupcakes, cookies, and other sweet treats.  My next goal: to find fun ways to "healthify" our sweets.  I think I may try some sweet potato purees...

We shall see.

And I promise, in one of these next few posts I am going to get back to the techie stuff!  So hang tight. :-)


  1. Oh girl, I am so going to have to get some tips from you. I make the worst...worst bread ever. A month ago I tried making homemade bread sticks before our guest came, and after all the hard work, my husband described them as-doughy,yet overcooked thingys:)

  2. LOL! I am definitely no expert at this thing either -- all new to me! Let me tell you, I bought an italian bread mix from Winn Dixie and that's what made the difference for me. I had to follow instructions - step by step. Promise! :-)

  3. I just went out today and bought some Rhodes frozen dinner rolls. I'm a good cook and can bake mostly anything, EXCEPT BREAD:) I'm going to humbly go and find a baking class sometime in the next month.


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