Beetroot, feta & spinach pesto pizza

Beetroot, red onion, feta, spinach pesto and mozzarella on a semolina crust

Also known as “how to ruin a detox weekend”, but I’m just being a bit melodramatic. 🙂 Another Baking Society meeting, another theme – this time it was “Red.” Cue the comments of red velvet cupcakes, strawberry macaroons and berry flavoured things. BORING.

As I am on a quest to find the best pizza crust recipe (to my liking), I thought I’d attempt a semolina pizza crust recipe I found and then use Baking Society as a reason to not eat all of what I baked (or to share my glorious triumph of the perfect pizza crust). I’d stumbled across this set of pizza topping ingredients during the week, and thought it’d be perfect to represent “red.” I adapted the recipe a little as I didn’t have any rocket (arugula) and added a bit more pepper to compensate. I’m also not sure if I like goat’s cheese, and decided that it wasn’t appropriate to find out when feeding other people. So I used feta instead.

Verdict? Pizza topping combination was great. Definitely something I’ll do again (especially given that most of the ingredients can typically be found in my fridge/pantry, and it’s easy for me to keep a can of sliced beetroot on hand for this). Pizza crust wasn’t to my liking – I have another recipe that I prefer, but I think that this is a good crowd-pleaser recipe. It was a good crunch and is very chewy. It’s a crust that needs topping or otherwise may take a bit more effort to chew (unless you put butter on it… errr…)

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A detox weekend

Detox breakfast: fruit salad

I know I said I was going to ride more often, but I’d also been craving a detox weekend – where I generally feel too lethargic by the second day to go out for a ride. Also, I tend to really need food when riding and none of the recipes in the detox book are all that transportable…

Uni has been getting a bit more insane lately, and I completely acknowledge that I’ve been eating crap (although that’s also a result of not getting a fruit & veg box every fortnight as I have in the past, but there are various reasons for that). I refuse to do stupid detoxes which are based on fasting – so following Max Tomlinson’s Clean Up Your Diet plans (which include plenty of food) keeps me happy.

I picked the Weekend Detox Plan (there are three “diets” – Detox, Digestion Tune Up and Energy-boost – and three plans for each diet starting with a weekend, extending to a week and finally there’s a four-week plan), stocked up on the necessary ingredients and had a pretty enjoyable weekend. I went for a swim on Saturday morning (to bid adieu to any energy I may have had in reserve) and then stuck to the program… well, except for a bit of a bread and butter moment on Sunday involving a pizza crust (Baking Society meeting the next day + new pizza crust recipe = needing to sample the crust, and I added butter to help me chew it as it was a bit dry sans toppings.)

I did take photos of all the food, but my camera is old and sometimes does weird things in poorly lit conditions… so only my breakfast shots look good. And I had the same breakfast both days – a large helping of fruit salad.

Kiwifruit and lime macarons

Lime macaron shells

While I love butternut snap biscuits, I am yet to find a recipe that has yielded something that resembles the texture and taste of them… so today I am sharing my kiwifruit and lime macaroons, based on the ones in the Australian Women’s Weekly book titled Afternoon Tea. I prepared them for my uni’s Baking Society meeting, where the theme was “fruit.” I had lime zest in the freezer and plenty of kiwis in the fridge, so it seemed like a logical pairing.

Beat 3 aged egg whites to soft peaks and add 55g caster sugar. Fold in 200g sifted icing sugar, 120g sifted almond meal, the lime zest (to taste) and green food colouring gel. Pipe into 4cm rounds onto a lined tray, leaving about 2.5cm between them. Tap trays so mix spreads a little and stand for 30 minutes.

Bake at 150°C for 15 minutes. This was my second attempt at macaroons – my first batch were strawberry flavoured, and only some had developed feet. This time around, all the shells had feet – although I over-stirred the mixture (late in the folding I decided I wanted a more intense colour) so the shells aren’t that smooth! I’m sure my third batch will only get better.

Once cooled, I filled the shells with kiwifruit puree, that was heated and then had gelatine added.  Although I was impatient and added more gelatine, which sometimes clumped, rather than waiting for the mixture to cool. I’m not sharing that recipe as it still needs work! Lesson learnt, future batches = better.

Back to it

Blue Group start for the City2Surf

A few weeks ago I decided that completing this year’s City2Surf would mark the end of the little voice in my head saying, “You really ought to go out for a run.” Between finding running increasingly boring and the occurrence of the Olympic Games, I really didn’t get much running done. I did squeeze in a few short rides, although some should have been runs…

Turns out I ran 1 min faster than last year, making the run a PB. Not an impressive PB, but still my best.  That little “run-guilt” voice shouldn’t pop into my head in future rides now. 🙂 And with the Olympic Games over, I have no excuses in getting back onto the road and into the gym – aside from being a bit sore from today’s run (actually the run just made some other niggles I had noticed while riding obvious, so time to see the physio again).

Renewed attitude, new blog. Hello!