Pillsbury Gluten Free Pizza Dough: Easy, But Plain

Pillsbury Gluten-free pizza dough. Photo by Angela Tague
Going gluten-free isn't simple. That's why I get really excited when I see allergy-friendly products at the grocery store.

During my weekly visit to Fareway, I was happy to see three new products from Pillsbury nestled between the tubes of pop-up biscuits and chunks of fancy cheese in the cooler section.

The food giant recently released Gluten-free pizza dough, chocolate chip cookie dough and pastry dough. After a quick scan of the ingredient lists, I decided to give the pizza dough a try. There were no 16-letter chemicals or fillers to be found, so it fits into my approach to eating healthier. Yes, pre-packaged dough isn't a whole food, but it's a quick food, which everyone needs on occasion. With that said, every time I can make dough from scratch, I do it. But, convenience foods are practical on days when there's only a few minutes to prepare a meal.

Let's Bake!
So, back to the dough. I cut the 13oz. dough ball in half to make a smaller, individual-size pizza for myself for lunch. It as easy to work with and had a great consistency. Some gluten-free doughs are crumbly or overly sticky. This was simple to work with.

I flattened the dough into a small circle and placed it on a lightly-oiled cookie sheet. After pre-heating the oven to the recommended 400 Degrees Fahrenheit, I pre-baked the plain dough for 6 minutes. Pillsbury recommends 12-14 minutes, but I knew it would burn in that amount of time. After 6 minutes, it was still a little dark on the edges.

Then I loaded the dough with homemade sauce, chopped veggies and shredded mozzarella. Back into the oven it went for another 6 minutes. (Pillsbury recommended another 10-12 minutes.)

And The Results Are...
Although my pizza came out with slightly burnt edges, I didn't mind. I'm that girl that likes her s'mores marshmallows charred and her toast a little dark! The crust had a good chewy texture with crisp edges. But, the flavor was very plain. The dough needs some seasonings (like garlic or oregano) mixed in to give it an Italian taste.

Overall, the dough was very simple to use and held up well to baking. Will I try it again? Yes. Will it be my new go-to pizza dough? No. My homemade dough is lighter and more flavorful. But for a quick pizza, this works.

I do plan on trying the chocolate chip cookie dough and pastry dough in the coming weeks.

So, what's your go-to pizza dough? A homemade recipe or a mix?

Until Next Time,
Choose Healthy!

Angela Tague
Whole Foods Living

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Hummus at the Pub? Oh, Yes!

Veggies and hummus at Doyle's. Photo by Angela Tague
Not all pub food is crispy fried, covered in cheese or drenched with salt.

During my recent trip to Boston, I was overjoyed to find healthy options on the menu at Doyle's Cafe, a pub in the Jamaica Plain neighborhood of Boston. You might have heard of (or seen) Doyle's talked about by Emeril on his TV show The Originals or used as a backdrop in a movie (Mystic River, 21, Celtic Pride, My Best Friend's Girl).

I settled on the veggie plate appetizer, and asked the server if I could sub the ranch dressing for hummus. Without a blink of an eye she said "Sure thing!"

As I sipped on my Angry Orchard cider (let's think of it as a serving of apples for the sake of this healthy blog, shall we?) the hubby and I admired the Samuel Adams decor in the pub. After all, this was the first pub to take on Sam Adams as a client, which gave the brewery a huge boost in sales and launching point for success.

Not long into our admiration of the bar, the appetizer arrived. My veggie plate was a crisp, fresh mix of grape tomatoes, celery sticks, sliced bell peppers, plump mushrooms, yellow squash slices, chunks of zucchini and carrot sticks. A creamy, zesty hummus was served on the side, perfect for dipping.

So, who says you can't eat healthy at the pub? I did!

Do you look for healthy options when eating away from home? Tell me about your delicious, nutritious discoveries in odd places!

Until Next Time,
Choose Healthy!

Angela Tague
Whole Foods Living

O'Hare's Little Green Secret

Fresh produce for sale at O'Hare. Photo by Angela Tague
When you think of O'Hare International Airport in Chicago do you envision hallways packed with travelers, the sound of jet engines firing up every few seconds and the dreaded TSA security checks? I do.

On a recent business trip to Boston, with a layover in Chicago, I discovered something I never knew about the world's busiest airport. It has an aeroponic garden.

In 2011 the soil-less garden was installed on the mezzanine level of the O'Hare Rotunda Building. This is located in Terminal 3. The garden has a series of 26 vertical towers with over 1,100 planting spots. The greens are misted with a nutrient solution and no chemical fertilizers are needed.

Read more about this amazing garden HERE on the airport's website.

Unfortunately I didn't get to see the garden itself, but I did pass by a "farmer's market" style food shop where you could buy some of the fresh produce. A few of the restaurants in the airport even use the greens in their dishes.

Now that's some locally grown whole foods! Way to go, O'Hare!

Until Next Time,
Choose Healthy!

Angela Tague
Whole Foods Living

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Smoothie Basics: Easy as 1-2-3!

Smoothie! Photo: SXC.HU
I think my jaw dropped when a friend asked me how to make a smoothie. Really? Doesn't everyone know how to do this?

I guess since I make them almost daily I take the basics for granted. She mentioned putting a bunch of fruit in a blender, but it just didn't work. Well... no.

OK, so here's a basic 1-2-3 equation for making a great smoothie!

1 - You need a liquid. I like to use 100% fruit juice, homemade juicer juice, soy milk, almond milk or rice milk. Regular old cow milk is fine too. For one smoothie, start with 1 cup of liquid in the blender.

2 - Add frozen fruit. Why frozen? This gives the smoothie a cold, creamy texture without using ice cubes. Ice simply waters down the smoothie and doesn't add any nutritional value. I like to use strawberries, blueberries, peaches, bananas, mango, pineapple or raspberries. Add 2 cups of frozen fruit to the blender for one smoothie.

3 - Toss in extras. Now add some nuts, milled flax seed, honey, shredded coconut or whatever your want to give the smoothie a little extra flavor or nutritional boost. Limit this to 1-2 tablespoons.

Blend and taste! If it's too thick, add a little more liquid and blend again. That's it!

What do you like to toss in your smoothies? A few of my favorites are a Chocolate-Covered Banana Smoothie and a blend of several tropical fruits (pineapple, coconut, mandarin oranges and mango).

Until Next Time,
Choose Healthy!

Angela Tague
Whole Foods Living

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