Thursday, 26 March 2015


Mushroom Pitta Pizzas
Time taken: 45 mins
Ingredients: 2 wholemeal pitta breads, 100ml soft cheese, 4 tablespoons of tomato puree, ½ a pack of button mushrooms, a tablespoon of oil, salt & pepper.

This is the week that the world lost Lil’ Chris, the BBC sacked Jeremy Clarkson and the boyband One Direction finally broke apart. Capturing the news this week though, is the story of the Germanwings flight which has fallen from the sky in the French Alps, sadly killing everyone aboard.
This tragedy happened on Tuesday and I’ve been thinking a lot since about those who lost their lives. At work at the airport on Tuesday, I got a news update on my phone reporting that the disaster had happened. I got this update along with, I imagine, most of the passengers in the departure lounge with me, waiting to board planes. And so the afternoon passed in a very subdued and quiet way, with worried passengers not keen to fly.
Yesterday, I headed off again to the airport, and everything was back to normal. Sky Sports was on the TV screens reporting the midweek footy scores and a cricket result. If they’d shown Sky News, it would have been reporting that a British mother and baby are among the dead in the Alps. But, rather wisely, we kept up with the sports instead. And there was no mention of the air crash.
But I spent the day thinking… ‘Christ, work’s shit, but at least I woke up today and I’m living to see this day!’ Because one hundred and fifty people didn’t wake up yesterday. They didn’t land safely in Germany on Tuesday, collect their cases and their cars, drive home to turn off their burglar alarms. Buy fresh milk, collect pets from family, and stick the kettle on. They didn’t. And I think this is a terrible sadness.
I’ve read that these poor people plummeted for eight whole minutes before they lost their lives. Can you imagine this?? That being how your life ends?? With eight terrifying minutes spent falling from the sky, among a boxful of panicked strangers, not knowing what was happening. Without your loved ones there.
Eight minutes is nothing, no time at all! We live through eight minutes all the time without doing anything memorable or special with our time. We waste away our eight minutes. And then another eight. And we don’t even remember them! Eight minutes lost.
But, also, in eight minutes you can take a shower. Walk for the bus. You can eat a bowl of cereal. Read a blog post. And, readers, think of all the many, many thoughts that you might have in this time! So many thoughts! Is eight minutes enough time with which to comprehend your own death?? To think about your life and your loved ones? The things you’ve done? The times you’ve had?
Is it enough, readers, to think about the things that you’ll miss? The times you won’t live the see? The future without you? Have you the time to wonder where you might be heading after the plane crashes into the ground? Where you’ll find yourself in nine minutes time?
Eight minutes is so little. But also so long. I suppose that many people don’t see their death approach and so don’t have the chance to take eight minutes for final thoughts. But is a sudden and immediate death a mercy, compared with the terror of plunging to your doom??
Who knows.
I hope that, in the end, those aboard the plane found some peace. And came together to support each other and share their final moments of life. I hope that everything happens for a reason. And that each plane in the sky right now lands safely. I hope I hope I hope.
So. It’s a thoughtful week here in Newcastle, readers. There have been shifts to work and there’s work experience to gain, before I can head home for Easter. I get by. And I’m on a drive to use up foods before I leave. Which is how the following recipe came about. Readers, this was total improv in the kitchen. I had random ingredients and a will to eat pizza. And came up with an alright new recipe. Pretty good, in fact.

Here’s how to rustle up Mushroom Pitta Pizzas, in just ten easy steps…
1. Heat your oven to 200˚C.
2. Take out your pitta breads.
3. Spread evenly with tomato puree.
4. Then, spread with soft cheese.
ChefBeHere Top Tip: You can use an original cheese spread or you can mix things up. I used a reduced fat cheese here with onions & chives in it. Very moreish.
5. Chop your mushrooms into small pieces.
6. Heat some oil in a frying pan, and then fry your mushrooms for a few minutes until they begin to colour.
8. Sit your pitta breads on a baking tray. Top with your pieces of fried mushroom, and then season with salt & pepper.
9. Safely transport your tray into the oven and leave your pizzas to cook for 15-20 mins.
ChefBeHere Top Tip: I left mine just as long as I would a regular pizza. This varies oven-to-oven so just do what you normally do.
10. When your pizzas are hot and your cheese n mushrooms turn golden, serve up your pizzas!

Here are my pizzas from earlier this week…
And, I have to say, I was VERY chuffed with how these came out. They were a stroke of genius. Readers, my expectations of Mushroom Pitta Pizzas were rock bottom. It’s not a proper pizza base or actual cheese, so how could these ingredients make pizza?? The answer is… I don’t know. But somehow this works.
Mushroom Pitta Pizzas are a great healthy alternative to real pizza. They’re also a quick (cheat) way to hash together DIY pizzas, without the hassle of making dough. These pizzas are cheap, easy and fun to throw together, and they don’t taste bad! If you closed your eyes while you were eating one, without first knowing what it was that you were eating, I think there’s a chance you might say it was pizza. Win!
Readers, if you ever find yourself with little food in but with JUST THESE INGREDIENTS then I leave you with no choice but to give these babies a go. Mushroom Pitta Pizzas are really tasty! Let me know if you try them out. I’d love to hear what you think and if you have any tips on how you might change this recipe, or involve different ingredients that you have in?? Send your thoughts my way.

And fly safely,

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