Dave and I, after much painful trial and error, have declared Sundays “socializing-free zones,” which means that except for major occasions – like Valentine’s Day’s Austin Marathon cheer zone – we don’t make plans with other humans on Sundays. It’s our day to sleep late, do laundry, cook for the week, read books, make plans to conquer the world, … or scrap all of that and just lie on the couch to watch Sunday sports.
Once the chores are done, we reward ourselves with Dinner & A Movie™. Our dining room table faces the TV, so we dim the lights and sit side-by-side, just like the Alamo Drafthouse, but Paleo-Zone-friendly and free.
This week, we had Meatza Pie and watched the 2010 Vancouver Olympics. In honor of the Olympics, I give myself a Gold medal for the dinner, and Dave a 9.9 for eating style. The Olympics get a perfect-10 for the awesome competition and inspiring athletes. The South Austin judges give the music chosen by the ice skating pairs teams a meager 2.4 (out of 6.0) and to the increasingly annoying and stunningly lame commercials, we award just a 1.4.
A few things you should know before reading further:
1. My recipe for Meatza Pie below is adapted from this blog post called Meatza Meatza which is grain-free, but includes lots of cheese. Sorry, cheese. You’re not welcome here.
2. When the Olympics are on TV, I am parked. Even for sports I “don’t really care about.” I’ve always loved the Olympics, but now that I’m an athlete myself, my admiration for the Olympians has increased beyond all reason. Now that I know how hard it is, for example, to skate our little Roller Derby track for a 2-minute jam, I have a much better idea of what Apolo Ohno is doing during his Short Track race. While watching the male partner in a skating team throw his tiny female partner across the ice, Dave and I wondered if we would be capable of catching and throwing a sandbag while on ice skates, let alone looking confident and graceful while doing it (and wearing sequins)!
Meatza Pie w/ Red Peppers, Broccoli, and Homemade Tomato Sauce
Raspberries & Cream w/ Chocolate Pecan Red Tea
The Movie: The 2010 Vancouver Olympics“The most important thing in the Olympic Games is not winning but taking part; the essential thing in life is not conquering but fighting well.” – Pierre de Coubertin (founder of modern Olympic Games)
My favorite Olympic moments so far:
- Watching Kearney and Bahrke win Gold and Bronze, respectively, in women’s moguls. They were so obviously filled with joy and were, of course, totally badass at their sport.
- Working in the kitchen and hearing Scott Hamilton’s voice on the TV in the other room and getting really excited to see Johnny Weir skate.
- Being totally stressed out by the Short Track race and seeing Apolo Ohno celebrate his Silver medal finish (instead of pouting over the missed Gold. I HATE pouting over the missed Gold.)
- Biathlon = cross-country skiing and shooting = BAD.ASS.
- Dave and I screaming at the TV, “Stop looking behind you! Stop looking behind you!” as American Johnny Spillane was streaking toward the finish line at the end of the Nordic Combined medal race, only to be passed with a margin of four-tenths of a second by French athlete Jason Lamy Chappuis. Johnny Spillane’s Silver medal (awesome Silver medal) is the first EVER Nordic combined medal for an American. Video here; totally worth watching.
- Both announcers, yelling simultaneously, “And he sticks it!!!” with XTREME enthusiasm during a jump in the men’s moguls competition.
The following recipes make enough for two people, with a little Meatza Pie leftover for a snack or lunch the next day.
Enjoy the delicious flavors of pizza, without the poison of regular crust or the high-fat, potentially sugar-craving inducement of almond flour crust.
1 lb. ground beef
1 tablespoon Penzeys Italian Sausage Seasoning*
1 cup fresh grape tomatoes
2 teaspoons coconut oil
1 teaspoon Penzeys Pizza Seasoning
assorted vegetables for topping
*If you don’t have Penzeys Italian Sausage and/or Pizza Seasoning (yet!), you can substitute some dried oregano, a sprinkle of hot pepper flakes, salt, pepper, and some garlic powder. It won’t be exactly the same as mine, but it will still be tasty.
1. Preheat oven to 400F.
2. Mix ground beef and sausage seasoning until well-combined.
3. Press the meat into a 8- or 9-inch round pie pan or into a rectangular roasting pan. Try to make it an even thickness. Bake for 10-15 minutes, until the meat is cooked through and the edges are starting to brown.
4. While the meat is baking, chop the grape tomatoes. Heat the coconut oil in a skillet, then add the tomatoes and pizza seasoning. Sauté until the tomatoes are very soft and the sauce is starting to thicken. Set aside.
5. Prep vegetables. Steam or sauté veggies of your choice until they’re tender. I used a little leftover frozen collard greens, steamed broccoli, and red pepper strips that were stir-fried in a really hot pan with garlic powder.
6. When the meat is ready, spread with the tomato sauce and top with your veggies. Pop it back in the oven for 10-15 minutes, or until it looks delicious.
I was skeptical of the kale chips until I tried them. And I know they don’t look like the answer to your snacking prayers, but I’m telling you: They’re really good. They’re salty, crispy… and if you leave ‘em in the oven long enough, they mimic the taste of the burnt edges of potato chips. (Y’all know how I like all my food on the verge of burnt!) These are very, very good and – important for me – taste like “junk food.” But they’re not! They’re kale! Kale, people.
4 cups raw kale, washed, dried, torn into 2-inch pieces
1 tablespoon coconut oil, melted, or olive oil
1. Place kale in a bowl and toss with oil.
2. Spread the kale on a baking sheet in a single layer and sprinkle generously with salt. (For a BBQ chip flavor, add a sprinkle of chili powder and paprika.)
3. Bake in a 350F oven for 7-10 minutes – keep an eye on them! (If you’re making the Meatza Pie, too, you can bake the chips and Meatza Pie together, then let the chips cool and crisp up while the Meatza Pie is baking for the second time.)
Raspberries & Cream
2/3 cup fresh raspberries
4 tablespoons coconut milk
a sprinkle of dried, unsweetened coconut
1. Place 1/3 cup raspberries in two dessert bowls.
2. Pour 2 tablespoons in each dish and sprinkle with coconut.
3. Place in the fridge while eating the Meatza Pie and Kale Chips so the berries and cream and get very cold (and the coconut flakes can soak up some of the coconut milk and become tender).
A note about the Chocolate Pecan Red Tea: It’s made by the Republic of Tea, “exclusively for Central Market.” We picked some up over the weekend while the sample pushers at Central Market were hawking chocolates galore. It’s very delicious, caffeine-free, and contains no sugar or calories or anything except essence that flavors the hot water. I tried to find it online and had no luck, but the Republic of Tea does have other interesting-looking chocolate teas.
The meat crust, ready for the oven.
Homemade tomato sauce… takes about 5 minutes and it’s 100% sugar- and junk-free.
The meat crust after the first round of baking.
The meat crust, topped with sauce and prepped veggies.
The finished Meatza Pie. Note the nice, crispy brown edges.
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