Homemade Gyro Pizza

All the flavors of a gyro with 1/3 of the points? Yes please!

Today’s pizza was inspired by the bit of Greek heritage that I hold on to. I can barely claim any… it’s only like 1/16th or something, but it’s in there somewhere! Probably one of my Italian relatives got all lovey-dovey with a neighbor and BING! Baby making happened. And now I’m here, pulling it out for all you lovers of a damn good gyro.

Pizza in Weight Watchers world isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Usually, a slice of cheese pizza banks in at 6 PP per slice. But this woman can’t live on cheese alone. And when you start putting other toppings on a pizza, the points start piling up. So you’ve got to be creative.

Pizza + Olive Oil base + Red Sauce

Now, a gyro in Weight Watchers world can START at 16 PP. SIXTEEN. For one gyro. NO GOOD! Although I DID have one last night for dinner when we went to pick up the tzatziki sauce from our local Niro’s Gyros (sometimes it’s easier just to buy the sauce rather than make it). This gyro was a white bread puffy pita that was probably lightly fried on the grill, a big pile of mysterious meat, some tomato, some white onions, some sweet peppers (my addition) and some tzatziki. It was delicious and it filled me up, but still, it’s not exactly a “power food”. Well, I took home the leftover tzatziki and planned on making a healthier version into a pizza today.

I’d already planned this, though. That’s why I already had my eight ounces of trimmed lamb leg marinating in the fridge for a day. You’ll want to do this too. Trust me. Do NOT attempt to make the pizza with the local gyro shop’s lame-o gyro meat. It won’t be nearly as flavorful (or healthy for you!) This lamb was seasoned to perfection with a special mix of spices and herbs that I found, so you’ll want to do that. DO IT.

Everything in the last picture + TOPPINGS! Although the last 1/2 of the cheese still needs to be sprinkled on top.

A few pizza making tips before I give you this amazingsuperfantasticalculinarilydecadent recipe.
– Use this pizza dough recipe and add in the vinegar that I talk about towards the bottom. It makes it much more pliable.
– If you make it about 1/4 inch thick all around, your pieces will be larger. YAY!
– Brush your dough with olive oil and then sprinkle some garlic powder on it to pump up the flavor
– If you have too much of the “wet” ingredients, your pizza will be soggy, so be careful.  Limit the sauce, people.
– Cook it for half the time on the top rack and half the time on the bottom rack to make sure both the top and bottom of the pizza have been thoroughly cooked (this keeps away the soggy-ness too)

Homemade Gyro Pizza
Servings: 6
PointsPlus Per Serving: 6 (or 17 PP for half of the whole thing)


Greek Gyro Rub for Lamb, Beef, Chicken or Mushrooms (or pretty much anything else). This will make a small jar of seasoning, but you only need to use about 2-3 tsp per 8 oz of meat, along with 1-2 tsp lemon juice (and maybe some plain greek yogurt) mixed together in a bag for marinating. Let it marinate for 2 hours up to overnight, then grill in a cast iron skillet until cooked. Now you’re ready to use it!

  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon ground coriander
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 tablespoon paprika, hot or sweet
  • 1/2 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon dried parsley
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 2 teaspoons dried thyme (I didn’t have any, left it out and it didn’t make a difference)
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Baked and sliced. It was sooooo tasty.

For the Pizza

  • 6 oz pizza dough, 13 PP (store bought would probably work just fine too, but my recipe rocks!)
  • 5 oz Greek marinated lamb, grilled and sliced 6 PP
  • 2 oz shredded RF mozzarella cheese, 4 PP
  • 2 oz crumbled feta cheese, 4 PP
  • 1/4 cup pasta sauce of your choice, 1 PP
  • 6 large black olives, sliced, 1 PP
  • 1 medium tomato, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 white onion, thinly sliced (optional)
  • sweet or hot peppers (optional)
  • 2 1/2 tsp olive oil, 3 PP
  • 3 tbsp tzatziki sauce, 1 PP

1. Preheat the oven to 450.

2. Take out the dough and roll it to about 1/4 inch thick and put it on a pizza pan coated in cooking spray. Pour olive oil on and use your fingers or the back of a spoon to spread it over the whole thing. Then do the same with the pasta sauce.

3. Pile on your toppings next. I put half the cheese down first (mixed the two kinds together first, though), then the tomatoes, lamb and black olives. Next, I used my finger to dollop out the tzatziki sauce all around. Then I sprinkled the rest of the cheese over top.

4. Put in the oven on the top rack for about 10 minutes, then move it to the lower rack for another 5-6 minutes to ensure doneness. Take out, slice and enjoy!

Garlic-Orange Soy Marinade

Did you know that March is National Sauce Month? How appropriate! I just posted my Homemade Teriyaki Sauce recipe earlier this week and in the spirit of passing along good ju-ju, I’m reblogging a delicious sauce recipe from a blog I stumbled across this afternoon. If you reduce the olive oil by half and use low-sodium soy sauce, this marinade can definitely be counted as WWF. Enjoy!

Potlicker Blog

The weather has been so warm here in New England that I could almost be fooled into thinking it was summer. Around here, March would normally be considered “mud season.”

Mud season is late winter or early spring when the snow melts. The ground is still mostly frozen so snow melt can not be absorbed and it leaves dirt roads and driveways a muddy mess.

This year however, instead of mud and ice, I am treated to sunshine and an early insect season.  Along with most of the country we have been experiencing record high temperatures. Our temperatures have been something like 30 degrees warmer than normal.

I am fighting the urge to throw veggie seeds down everywhere because I am sure there will be at least one more snow, but it sure as heck isn’t going to stop me from busting out the grill.  Typically our grill is stored…

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Dress up that Lettuce!

Salads are back on the menu, people.  At least for the girlfriend and me.  I don’t think we ate a single one (except at restaurants) from about mid-October through the beginning of January.  Why?  Not sure.  I think we just needed a break from the leafy greens.  We still ate a LOT of veggies, just no salad.

Well, we’re back to eating those salads and making sure that they’re not boring and monotonous.  There’s nothing I hate more than eating the same salad day in and day out.  While we were doing the Game On! Diet with our friends, Jenna and Mike, Jenna emailed me the recipe for two tasty dressings.  I’m not sure where she got them, but I’m sure you could figure it out or ask her yourself over at her blog, Corgi Pants.

I figured I should try them out before I posted the recipes, so I did! For the Carrot-Ginger, I ended up using garlic instead of 1 small shallot because i didn’t have any on hand, and I used less oil and more water to make it a little lighter in points. OH. MY. GOD. If any of you in Champaign/Urbana have ever been to the restaurant “My Thai”, this dressing tastes EXACTLY like their carrot-ginger dressing! It’s sweet and tangy and just amazing. All you need is lettuce and this dressing and you’ll feel like you’ve just eaten a gourmet salad. This was also FANTASTIC over some broiled fish, as you can see in the picture below.  I tried it on both tilapia and salmon.  I liked it better over the tilapia, but it was still delicious on the salmon.

Carrot-Ginger Tilapia with Lightly Sauteed Zucchini and Peppers over Parmesan Brown Rice

Quick Carrot-Ginger Dressing
Servings: 16 servings of 2 tbsps each
PointsPlus Per Serving: 1!


  • 2 cups sliced carrots (about 2-3 large)
  • 2 cloves garlic, sliced
  • 1 2-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and sliced
  • 1/4 cup white miso (soybean paste; found in the refrigerated section of the supermarket), 3 PP
  • 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 3/4 teaspoon toasted sesame oil, 1 PP
  • 1/4 cup olive/canola oil, 14 PP
  • 6 tbsp water

1. Place the carrots, garlic, ginger, miso, vinegar, and sesame oil in a blender or food processor. Blend, scraping down the sides as necessary, until very finely chopped, about 1 minute.

2. Add the olive oil and blend until nearly smooth, about 30 seconds. Add the water 2 tbsp at a time until you reach the consistency that you want. 6 tbsp was perfect for us. The dressing will keep in the refrigerator for up to 3 days (but i’m sure it will last longer than that!)

Now, Jenna usually makes a 1/2 recipe, so she only uses 1 carrot. She also never has miso so she just leaves it out, and she usually uses very little oil, using water instead to thin it down.  Personally, I thought the miso added a fantastic flavor to it.  I love a little extra asian zing now and then!

Yogurt-Curry Dressing
Servings: 1 (1/3 cup)
PointsPlus Per Serving: 1!


  • 1 ½ teaspoons vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon curry powder
  • ¼ cup nonfat greek yogurt, 1 PP
  • 1 tablespoon low-fat milk
  • 1/4 teaspoon (or less) salt

1. Put all ingredients into a bowl and stir until well mixed. Spoon over salad or pasta. You could also put it in an egg salad for a flavorful twist!

I added a little cilantro flakes, ground pepper, lemon juice and turmeric to even out the flavor (because the original recipe calls for 1 tsp salt) and it worked. I think if I’d used less salt in the beginning, I wouldn’t have had to add all the other spices, so I made sure to lower the amount of salt in the recipe above! I can definitely see how this would be tasty in egg salad. YUM!

Cuban Marinated Steak

If you haven’t noticed already, one of my absolute favorite things to do during the summers is GRILL!! Last summer I used a lot of regular charcoal and lighter fluid to start my grill, but then I did some reading and learned about all the chemicals that can be cooked onto the food by doing that. So, I adjusted.

Now, I can get hot coals in half the time without using ANY chemicals! I use all natural wood lump charcoal, put a bottom layer into a charcoal chimney, put in two of my favorite 100% biomass firelighters and light them, fill up the rest of the chimney with the charcoal and then step away for about 10-15 minutes while it gets nice and hot.  All natural grilling perfection!  Seriously, no chemicals needed.

Since I’ve perfected the “all natural” grill set up, there’s been more grilling in our home than ever before.  This recipe was the second steak recipe we’ve tried this season and it was great!  I knew I wanted something a little different than my regular marinades and I wanted it to be something that didn’t necessarily have to marinate overnight (who remembers to marinate meat a whole day ahead of time unless you have your menu for the week written down and in a visible place!?!)  I came across this one on Kalyn’s Kitchen, it looked delicious and we loved it!  She used flank steak for her recipe, which looked amazing, but I only had three small shoulder steaks, so I beat them down with a meat tenderizer and it worked perfectly.  I had to make a few changes to the marinade based on what I had in my kitchen and it still tasted like heaven.  I highly recommend this recipe!  It’s delicious, different, and perfect for summer.

Grilled to perfection!

Cuban Marinated Steak (Adapted from Kalyn’s Kitchen)
Servings: 3
PointsPlus Per Serving: 9 (unless you cut the steaks in half. then it’s 4.)


  • around 1 lb of lean steaks, 19 PP
  • 3 tbsp fresh lime juice, 1 PP
  • 1/8 cup olive oil, 7 PP
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder (optional. i didn’t have any so i added more garlic powder.)
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1/4 tsp ground chipotle chile powder (or use your favorite hot sauce)
  • 1 tsp lime zest (optional. i didn’t use any as i’m not a fan of zest.)

1. Combine marinade ingredients. Take steaks (I used a package of three smaller shoulder steaks, covered them in saran wrap and beat them to about 1/2 inch thick with a meat tenderizer). Put meat into a ziploc bag and pour marinade in. Massage into meat before putting into refrigerator. Let marinate for at least 2 hours up to overnight.

2. Take meat out of refrigerator and let it come to room temperature before grilling. Oil the grill with a paper towel dipped in olive or grapeseed oil (or don’t. it’s not necessary), then preheat gas or charcoal barbecue grill to medium-high (you can only keep your hand there for a few seconds.)

3. Grill meat to desired done-ness, approximately 4-5 minutes per side for rare to medium rare or 6 minutes for medium. Cooking time will depend on the thickness of your steak, the best way to judge the done-ness is to use an instant-read meat thermometer, cooking to 140-145 for medium rare or 155-160 for medium (I just cut mine open to check the juices and that worked just fine.)

4. Remove meat from grill and let rest about 5 minutes. (You can cover with foil to keep it warm if needed.) Slice across the grain and serve hot, with slices of fresh lime to squeeze on the meat (if you have them).

PS – stayed tuned… I’m planning my first giveaway in the next week or two!

Hoisin BBQ Chicken

Succulent and juicy hoisin bbq chicken thighs!

Sometimes you just feel like making something special.  Last night was one of those nights.  I’d spent the day working from home since I was waiting for my internet guy to call me back (which didn’t happen until 5:30pm….) and I had the freedom to move around and catch up on various tasks in between projects.  I originally thought I’d try the Tequila Lime Chicken Thighs recipe I saw in the Cooking Light magazine I bought at the train station, but it called for pineapple juice and I didn’t feel like getting it!  So, I looked through my trusty cookbooks and found a recipe for Hoisin BBQ Chicken in The Complete Cooking Light Cookbook.

It looked delicious and I knew I had the hoisin sauce from a recent day trip to a neighboring town!  I knew I’d be using it in recipes soon!  I mixed in all the ingredients (with a few substitutions) and decided to grill it rather than broil it.  I paired it with lightly sauteed broccoli and berry couscous salad.  It was AWESOME.  The perfect blend of flavors!  The slight spice from the garlic went perfectly with the broccoli and the slight sweet from the hoisin went perfectly with the berry couscous salad.

I would make this meal again in a heartbeat.  I guarantee it will be a huge success at any party!  Try this sauce over any part of the chicken.  Try it over pork tenderloin.  Try it over grilled tofu.  Just try it.  You’ll love it.  I promise!

A beautiful, tasty dinner out on the patio!

Hoisin BBQ Chicken (adapted from Cooking Light)
Servings: 5
PointsPlus Per Serving: 4


  • 5 chicken thighs (or 3 halved chicken breasts), 10 PP
  • 1/3 cup soy vay hoisin garlic sauce (not even a full PP!), 6 PP
  • 1 1/2 tbsp light soy sauce
  • 1 1/2 tbsp ketchup, 1 PP
  • 1 tbsp mirin (or another japanese wine), 1 PP
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar, 1 PP
  • 1/2 tbsp minced garlic

1.  Mix together all ingredients except chicken.

2.  Cut a couple lines into each of the chicken thighs to ensure that the marinade soaks in.  Put chicken into a large ziploc bag.  Pour in 1/4 cup of mixture and let marinade for 30 minutes to overnight.  Place the rest of the marinade in a container until ready to grill.

3. Get grill to a medium hot heat (can hold your hand over it for about 3 seconds).  Place chicken directly onto grill and brush marinade on.  Leave half of it to brush on when you flip the chicken.

4. Cook for about 10-15 minutes, making sure to check for desired done-ness.  Serve immediately and enjoy!

Savory Marinated Pork

Photo Courtesy of: the Patio Daddio BBQ blog

First off, I have to say hello to all the new readers from the West Chester, OH Weight Watcher groups! My Mom told them all about this site and the Reluctant Losers group and the accountability factor that it provides, so maybe we’ll have even more people joining. Woot woot! I hope you all enjoy my little blog :)

Now, for a mini life update. I’m sick. Ooooh, I hate being sick (thanks, Mom, for sharing the bronchial love.) It totally cramps my style! I can’t eat what I want to eat (no dairy when I’m all congested), too exhausted to really exercise (so my back feels pooey) and I just don’t have the energy to much of anything at all (like clean).

But me being a sickie-poo doesn’t mean I’m not cooking! The girlfriend and I planned out a menu and we’ve stuck to it. The asian stir-fry on Monday was pretty good, but the tomato soup and grilled cheese naan last night was fantastic! Garlic naan that we picked up from Trader Joe’s and a few slices of american cheese in the middle…. total perfection. It was a perfect hot meal for a couple of sickie-poos.

Since I’m on a Z-pack now and I (hopefully) will feel better by this weekend, I’ve been searching for a tasty marinade for the pork we’re grilling on Saturday. I was tempted to just do it Teriyaki-style, but I’ve already put up a bunch of Teriyaki recipes. No to monotony! Well, unless it’s REALLY good…. but anyway…

I found this recipe on Kalyn’s Kitchen and it looked REALLY good! And as someone who used to do the South Beach Diet and did experience some short term success on it, I figured I would give it a shot. I will most definitely be using this marinade on Saturday.  It looks quite flavorful and the pictures that she posted on her blog looked DELICIOUS.  These with some mashed potatoes and peas?  Yeah, um, I’m excited.

Photo Courtesy of: the Dine and Dish blog

Savory Marinade for Chicken, Pork, or Beef
Servings: 6-8
PointsPlus Per Serving: 3, but I’d only count 1 PP per piece of meat because the leftover marinade is tossed and most of it cooks right off. (This is just for the marinade. Don’t forget to count 1 PP per ounce of meat!)


  • 1/3 cup olive oil (she used 1/2 cup), 19 PP
  • 1/4 cup white wine vinegar
  • 3 tbsp light mayo (she used full-fat mayo), 3 PP
  • 1-2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce (she used 1 T Worcestershire sauce for chicken but when she used it on pork or beef she increased it to 2 tbsp.), 1 PP
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice, preferably fresh squeezed
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp fresh ground black pepper
  • 1 tbsp Poultry Seasoning (I’m using McCormick Chicken Seasoning)
  • 1 tbsp garlic puree or garlic powder
  • 1 tbsp sweet paprika, preferably Hungarian paprika (I’m just using regular Paprika)
  • 1/2 tbsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp thyme (optional)

Photo Courtesy of: the Guilty Kitchen blog

1. Put all ingredients in jar with tight-fitting lid and shake well until all ingredients are combined. (Don’t worry if there are some beads of mayo that don’t combine; they will dissolve when you’re marinating the meat.)

2. Make shallow score marks on the surface of the meat to help the flavor penetrate. Put the chicken, pork, or beef in a Ziploc bag or a plastic container with a tight-fitting lid. Pour over just enough marinade to cover the meat, then let it marinate in the fridge for 6-8 hours or longer.

3. To cook, preheat gas or charcoal grill to medium heat. (You can hold your hand there for only about 3 seconds at that heat.) Grill meat 10-20 minutes until chicken or pork feels firm and is lightly browned (or until desired doneness for beef), turning a few times to get grill marks.

4. Extra marinade will keep in the fridge for at least a week, probably longer… if you can keep it around long enough!

Grill, Brine and Sunshine

Sunshine!  It’s here!  It might not stay too long, so we MUST take advantage of it now.  How am I going to do that?  GRILLING!!!  (Am I too excited about this?  I’ve noticed my intense use of exclamation points lately.)

Click here to go to this recipe from a fellow Cinci girl!

I love grilling.  I grill from the beginning of Spring to the end of Autumn with our cute red charcoal grill.  Charcoal is the only way to go in my opinion.  You just can’t get that awesome smokey flavor when using a gas grill (although they try to imitate that with fake briquettes).  It wasn’t until last Spring that I had my own grill and a patio to use it on, so I took full advantage.  I can’t even count how many times I grilled!  But I can list off what all I grilled…. burgers, roasts, hot dogs, chicken, brats, sausages, zucchini, corn, peppers, bread, shrimp, chicken wings, onions, snap peas and green beans, etc.  Anything that was in my fridge was grilled, really.  We even bought some hickory chips to add extra flavor.

Click here to go to this recipe from Sara’s Kitchen!

Out of all the things I grilled, my brined chicken breasts were absolutely the best.  I spent a good hour searching through BBQ chicken recipes until I figured out what I wanted to do.  I wrote it down, tried it out and was shocked at how delicious it actually was!  In fact, the first time I made it I used 3 whole chicken breasts instead of one (my girlfriend and I usually just split one since that’s all the meat we need for a day) and we ate all three.  It was just SOOO GOOD!  So juicy, flavorful and succulent… It seriously doesn’t get much better than this.

Tonight we’re going shopping for more chicken because we’re grilling tomorrow, but I had to give you the recipe today just in case any of you were planning on enjoying the warmer weather too!

Saucy Italian Chicken
Servings: 3 (1 breast per person) or 6 (if you cut each breast in half)
PointsPlus Per Serving: 8 for three servings, 4 for six servings


  • 3 chicken breasts, 17 PP
  • 1/2 cup your favorite BBQ sauce (I like Trader Joe’s All-Natural), 5 pp

Brine (No points for this because you drain the water and not even a points worth soaks into the chicken)

  • 1 bowl big enough to cover the chicken with water
  • 1/4 cup salt
  • 1/4 cup sugar


  • 1 tablespoon dried parsley
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano
  • 1 tablespoon dried basil (optional)
  • 6-8 cloves roasted garlic
  • 1/4 cup white wine vinegar
  • 1/2 cup olive oil (only about 1 tsp will actually stay on each breast so it’s only 3 PP)
  • 1/2 tablespoon red pepper flakes (less if you want, but I like more!)

Click here to go to this recipe from The Bitten Word!

1. Mix brine ingredients in bowl. Put chicken breasts in, cover with saran wrap and let soak in the fridge for at least 30 minutes to 1 1/2 hours. While it’s brining, mix together your marinade!

2. Once done brining, drain brine from bowl, leaving chicken in (or put it in a gallon ziploc bag). Pour marinade over chicken. Let marinate anywhere from 30 minutes to 3 hours. You can marinate it all the way up to 6 hrs if you want, but any more than that and the enzymes in the meat will start to break down (chicken = goo).

3. Get your grill ready during the last 20 minutes of the marinating. Once it’s nice and hot, pour the 1/2 cup BBQ sauce into a bowl and grab a marinade brush. Put each chicken breast on the nice, hot grill and generously spread BBQ over top. Leave lid down to get flavors soak into meat (make sure your vent is open!). After about 5 minutes, flip chicken and brush on the rest of the marinade. Close lid again and check every couple minutes until it’s reached desired done-ness (should be another 5 minutes).

4. Once it’s done, eat immediately! Your taste buds will thank you! This is fantastic paired with grilled vegetables of any kind and a potato dish! Personally, I’d recommend grilled zucchini and mashed potatoes for an out-of-this-world culinary experience.