Trying to eat less pizza has been a struggle since I started meal planning to prevent heartburn. As a native Chicagoan, I used to eat pizza many times each week. Now the acidic tomatoes, pungent garlic, and high-fat cheese make pizza a GERD problem. Still, I refuse to stop my experiments.
I thought I had figured it out. Schoolhouse Pizza in Quincy has a surprisingly highbrow menu for the South Shore of Boston. I haven’t found any other neighborhood joints with arugula, grilled pears, and truffle oil as toppings or salad fixings. I thought the CPA pizza would be perfect: pesto, artichoke hearts, grilled chicken, and a bit of cheese.
I miscalculated on this one, however. I expected a light smear of pesto on the crust, but instead, the pizza came with red sauce and with a generous helping of pesto. There must have been a half-cup of the green stuff on this pizza, and it oozed oil everywhere. Check out the leftovers on my plate.
Sadly, I have to label this meal a restaurant FAIL for heartburn. However, I recommend Schoolhouse Pizza to anyone who’s not trying to prevent GERD. You won’t find better pizza or salad in the neighborhood. This one caused me GERD grief, but it certainly tasted great.
At-home cooking classes are great! Cook & Party brings ingredients, dishes, and wine to your NYC apartment and helps you make delicious Italian food. I wouldn’t have thought to make gnocchi at home, but it was easy to do. If you’re willing to clean up the flour later, this makes for a really fun evening.
These gnocchi have ricotta cheese instead of potato—which Chef Chiara said actually makes them lighter. Although cheese is high in fat, a small portion of these gnocchi won’t irritate heartburn. The difficult part is deciding how to serve them. We made a Sicilian sauce with tomato, eggplant, and basil.
The tomatoes (along with all of the wine I drank) made this a very bad night for GERD. I should have set aside some of the sauteed eggplant before the tomatoes were added. The gnocchi would be delicious lightly dressed with eggplant, a little olive oil, and fresh basil. Chiara also suggested the combination of olive oil and sage.
I’m going to experiment with this recipe to see if I can make the gnocchi more reflux-friendly. Adding some whole-wheat flour and reducing the cheese are on my to-do list. But even as is, these are a great option for impressing dinner guests, as long as you choose an appropriate sauce.
- 1/2 lb ricotta cheese
- 2 eggs
- 1 1/4 cups flour, plus more for kneading
- 1/2 cup parmesan cheese
- 1/4 tsp nutmeg
- 1/2 tsp salt
- Mix all ingredients in a large bowl and knead until a dough forms. If it’s very sticky, add a bit more flour.
- Flour the surface of a clean counter and knead the dough until completely smooth. Roll it into logs about 1 inch thick, and use a floured knife to cut them into 3/4-inch pieces of gnocchi. Arrange them on a floured baking sheet as you go.
- Boil a large pot of water and add a pinch of salt. Add the gnocchi in batches and cook briefly (2 to 3 minutes), just until they float to the surface. Drain and serve with your favorite sauce.
Serves 6. Recipe courtesy Cook & Party.
I’m on a breakfast kick, and mini frittatas are my favorite outcome from this morning-food extravaganza. They solve the problem of how to serve eggs to a group—bake them all at once! Also, the mini size is so darn cute.
These are easy to make; the only difficulty is in removing them from the pan. Use cooking spray, even if your muffin pan is nonstick. Allow the frittatas to cool for a few minutes after cooking, and use a rubber spatula to pop them out. If you leave them in the pan too long, they’ll be difficult to remove. Try running a toothpick around the edge of each frittata before prying them loose with the spatula.
Basil and piquillo peppers are the stars of this dish. That makes the flavors a bit Italian, but you could serve these alongside anything at a brunch. None of your dining partners will guess that these are low in fat, with only two egg yolks in the entire batch!
- 1/2 tsp olive oil
- 3/4 cup shredded carrot
- 2 whole eggs
- 8 egg whites
- 1/2 cup low-fat milk
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp onion powder
- 3 tbsp parmesan cheese
- 2 pieces piquillo or roasted red pepper (2 tbsp chopped)
- 2 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
- 3 tbsp chopped fresh basil
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease a standard-sized muffin pan with cooking spray.
- Heat the olive oil over medium in a nonstick skillet. Add the carrots and cook for about 7 minutes until softened.
- Rinse the piquillo peppers under cool water and dry very well. Chop and set aside.
- In a medium bowl, beat the eggs, milk, salt, and onion powder until very well blended. Add cheese, peppers, parsley, basil, and carrots; mix well. Spoon or pour evenly into the muffin cups. Each cup should be about two-thirds full.
- Bake until just set, 20 to 22 minutes. The tops will not be browned, but the edges will be when you take the frittatas out of the pan. Cool for 5 minutes before removing from the pan with a rubber spatula.
- Cover and refrigerate any leftovers. Reheat in the microwave for about 60 seconds.
Makes 12 mini frittatas; serves 4 to 6. Adapted from http://www.incredibleegg.org/recipes/recipe/muffin-frittatas