Kay Wheeler Moore

Welcome to my blog

Hello. . .

The Newfangled Country Gardener is for anyone who has a garden, would like to have a garden, or who simply enjoys eating the garden-fresh way. I don't claim to be an expert; in this blog I'm simply sharing some of the experiences my husband and I have in preparing food that is home-grown.

About the author

Kay Wheeler Moore is the author of a new cookbook, Way Back in the Country Garden, that features six generations of recipes that call for ingredients that are fresh from the garden. With home gardening surging in popularity as frugal people become more resourceful, this recipe collection and the stories that accompany it ideally will inspire others to cook the garden-fresh way and to preserve their own family food stories as well. The stories in this book center around the Three Red-Haired Miller Girls (Kay's mother and aunts) who grew up in Delta County, TX, with their own backyard garden so lavish that they felt as though they were royalty after their Mama wielded her kitchen magic on all that was homegrown. Introduced in Kay's previous book, Way Back in the Country, the lively Miller Girls again draw readers into their growing-up world, in which a stringent economic era--not unlike today's tight times--saw people turn to the earth to put food on the table for their loved ones. The rollicking yarns (all with recipes attached) have love, family, and faith as common denominators and show how food evocatively bonds us to our life experiences.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Pizza with a south-of-the-border accent is piled high with healthy stuff

Pizza is Italian in origin, right? Then whoever heard of a Mexican Mini-Pizza—and one invented by the Chickasaw Indians, as well? What a melange of cultures.

But my new recipe for these mini-pizzas, provided by the ever-handy and clever source, the Chickasaw Nation Nutrition Services, is a winner indeed. I’ve never eaten anything with the name of pizza attached to it that was so nutritious.

Start with a storebought tostada shell (Ortega brand was the lowest in sodium of all those on the shelf, I found.) On it goes a smearing of fat-free refried beans that have been mixed with some (from-scratch) taco seasoning. Top each with reduced-fat cheese, fresh corn, shredded spinach and carrots (whoever heard of using carrots as pizza topping?), sliced avocado, salsa, and fat-free sour cream.

Colorful and healthy, these made a delightful presentation on the serving plate. Two tostadas (they were so filling, I couldn't even finish the second one and had to save half of it for another meal), served with some red grapes alongside them, for me made for a complete and easy-to-prepare dinner.

A special word about the taco-seasoning (recipe also provided below). Health-conscious shoppers sometimes shy away from storebought taco-seasoning packets for fear they contain a high sodium content. This Get-Fresh! Taco Seasoning Mix is salt-free. I quadruple the recipe and store the mixture in an airtight container, so I can keep some on hand and cook future Tex-Mex items with a clear conscience.

Mexican Mini-Pizzas

1/2 packet taco seasoning, Get-Fresh recipe (below)
3/4 cup refried beans, fat free
4 tostada shells
1/2 cup corn, fresh off the cob
3/4 cup Mexican-blend cheese, reduced fat
3/4 cup shredded spinach
1/2 cup shredded carrots
1/2 cup salsa
1/2 large avocado, sliced into chunks
1/2 cup fat-free sour cream

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a small bowl mix together taco seasoning and beans. Spread 3 tablespoons beans on each tostada. Sprinkle 2 tablespoons corn on each tostada. Top each tostada with 3 tablespoons of cheese. Place tostadas on a baking sheet and bake until cheese is melted, about 2 minutes. Remove tostadas from the oven and place on a plate. Top each tostada with 3 tablespoons spinach, 2 tablespoons carrots, 2 tablespoons salsa, 2 tablespoons avocado chunks, and 2 tablespoons sour cream. Serve. Makes 4 servings.

Get-Fresh! Taco Seasoning Mix

1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon cumin powder
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1/2 teaspoon instant minced garlic
1/2 teaspoon cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon oregano

Combine all ingredients. Store in airtight container. (Above recipe constitutes 1 packet. For the Mexican Mini-Pizza recipe, 1/2 packet is called for.)

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