Instead of using pizza crust, why not try pita bread? This recipe is great topped with Italian sausage, green peppers and mushrooms, but feel free to use your own favorite toppings. These pizzas can also be grilled easily. Grill over medium heat 7 minutes or until cheese is melted and crust is lightly browned. Not only are these pizzas delicious, but they are economical and child-friendly. 


Mushroom Pita Pizzas

Prep time: 10 minutes

Cook time: 10 minutes

Yield: 4 servings


3/4 lb. spicy Italian sausage

1 cup marinara sauce

4 (6-inch) pita bread rounds

1 cup sliced fresh mushrooms

1 cup diced green bell pepper

11/3 cups shredded mozzarella cheese


1. Brown sausage in a medium pan over medium heat 5 minutes or until meat crumbles; drain, if needed

2. Spread each pita round with 1/4 cup marinara sauce. Top evenly with sausage, mushrooms, green pepper and cheese.

3. Bake at 350F 15 minutes or until pita is browned and cheese is melted.


Ginger, Beef, and Green Bean Stir-Fry

So, a typical evening at my house consists of me racing around the kitchen to get dinner on the table as fast as possible because the kids are starving and going nuts. Does this sound familiar? I have a great answer to making dinnertime somewhat simpler – stir-fry recipes. Preparing stir-fries are the perfect way to get protein and vegetables all in one. Here, the sweet spice of hoisin sauce combined with the kick of chili-garlic sauce make this flavor combination great. I developed this recipe last year for Cooking Light Magazine for their “Superfast” column, and all of the recipes had to be under 20 minutes from start to finish. Ready, set, go.

Gingered Beef and Green Bean Stir-Fry

Prep: 10 minutes

Cook: 10 minutes

Yield: 4 servings


4  teaspoons cornstarch

1  tablespoon hoisin sauce

2  to 3 teaspoons chili garlic sauce (such as Lee Kum Kee)

1  (14-ounce) can fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth

2  teaspoons  dark sesame oil, divided

1/4  cup  finely chopped green onions

2  tablespoons  minced peeled fresh ginger

3  garlic cloves, minced

1  pound boneless sirloin steak, cut into 1/4-inch strips

5  cups  (2-inch) cut green beans (about 1 1/4 pounds)

1  cup  red bell pepper strips

3/4  cup  (2-inch) slices green onion tops

2  cups  hot cooked white rice


1. Combine first 5 ingredients in a bowl, stirring well with a whisk. Set aside.

2. Heat 1 teaspoon oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add 1/4 cup chopped green onions, ginger, and garlic to pan; sauté 30 seconds. Add beef to pan, and sauté for 4 minutes or until browned. Remove from pan.

3. Wipe pan dry with a paper towel. Add remaining 1 teaspoon oil to pan; heat over medium-high heat. Add beans and pepper to pan. Cover and cook 3 minutes. Uncover and cook 3 minutes, stirring frequently. Add 3/4 cup green onion tops; sauté 1 minute. Return beef mixture to pan. Stir in broth mixture; bring to a boil. Cook 1 minute, stirring constantly. Remove from heat. Serve with rice.