Posts tagged pizza

back to the grind

Things have been so busy around here, but it’s hard to believe I haven’t had time to write even one short post. Considering that I’ve spent on average 10-12 hours per day working since last Thursday, I guess it’s not such a surprise. And taking pictures has been pushed even farther down my list of priorities. Mostly this is because at the end of a long day I just don’t even think about taking shots of my food – I just want to eat. But also we don’t have a very camera-ready set up where we live now, and I’m hoping that when we move we’ll be able to fix that.

Meantime I don’t think I’ll give an accounting of what all I’ve eaten since last I posted. This weekend I wasn’t very assiduous because finding places to work outside the house that also offer food I considered acceptable on the diet was pretty difficult. And at the end of the day, I started to get a little tired of salad. But I’m back at it now, and I think Monday was a pretty good day.

Day 15 (of 42)

  • Breakfast: skipped
  • Lunch: some trail mix (made it myself, with: mixed nuts, pistachios, coconut shavings, goji berries, dried mango, dried cherries, pumpkin seeds, sprouted watermelon seeds, date pieces), and an apple
  • Dinner: portobello mushroom pizzas, 1/2 c pineapple
  • Late Night Snack: peach crisp with topping of pumpkin spice granola (with pumpkin seeds, watermelon seeds, and coconut instead of oats)

Day 16 (of 42)

  • Breakfast: 1 c. pineapple, an ounce or so of aged cheddar cheese
  • Lunch: salad (chickpeas, kidney beans, peas, corn, carrots, cheese, hard-boiled egg, spring mix, red cabbage, romaine lettuce, ranch dressing)
  • Afternoon Snack: hot chocolate made with whole milk, cocoa powder, and coconut sugar
  • Dinner: mushroom-chard enchiladas
  • Late Night Snack: chocolate chia pudding (coconut milk, cocoa powder, a spoonful of coconut sugar, and chia seeds)

 

Portobello Pizzas

(serves 2)

Ingredients:

  • 4 portobello mushrooms
  • 1 c. pizza sauce
  • 4 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1/2 c. chopped onion
  • 1/2 c. chopped bell pepper
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 2 c. grated mozzarella cheese
  • 4 oz. pepperoni

Directions:

  1. Scrape gills from portobello caps and remove stems. Drizzle each with olive oil, and broil for 5 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, heat remaining tablespoon of olive oil in a skillet. Add onions and cook several minutes, or until fragrant and beginning to become translucent. Add garlic and bell peppers and cook, stirring frequently, about five minutes or until vegetables have softened.
  3. Divide pizza sauce between portobellos, then divide onion and bell pepper mixture between them, and finally top with mozzarella cheese and pepperoni.
  4. Broil until cheese has melted and pepperoni is crisp around the edges.
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pesto chicken pizza

Okay, so, this is barely a recipe.  But it is delicious – a combination that I wouldn’t have believed I would be eating a few years ago, back when I didn’t like pesto and had never heard of goat cheese.  I suppose the only interesting thing about the recipe is that my husband made it.  Now, I’m not going to launch into some stereotypical nonsense about men being idiots in the kitchen.  It just so happens cooking is not really where his best skills lie – more from lack of interest than lack of ability.  I keep assuring him he could learn to cook, and he keeps cutting up onions the long way.

So, he’s rarely in the kitchen.  That said, he didn’t really need any direction on this, so that means that anyone looking to throw together something quick and easy (and green) need look no farther.

Pesto Chicken Pizza (serves 2-4)

Feel free to add more vegetables and/or omit the chicken.

Ingredients:

  • 1 ball of whole-wheat pizza dough
  • 1 package of pre-made pesto, or about 3/4 c. homemade
  • 2 boneless, skinless, chicken thighs
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 4 oz. goat cheese

Directions:

  • Preheat the oven to 425.  Sprinkle a baking sheet with cornmeal and stretch the dough out onto the surface.  If it begins to shrink back before it has reached your preferred size, let it rest 10-15 minutes, and try to stretch it further.
  • Meanwhile, set a pot of water to simmer.  Poach the chicken in the water until fully cooked, and then dice.
  • Spread pesto sauce on the pizza dough, then arrange chicken pieces, goat cheese, and diced onion on top.  Bake for 10-20 minutes, or until crust is a deep golden brown.


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Breakfast Pizza

Dinner for breakfast… for dinner?  Breakfast pizza seems to be experiencing its “15 minutes,” so to speak.  I became obsessed with the concept of trying it out after I saw a breakfast pizza mentioned on Food Network’s “Best Thing I Ever Ate,” by some chef or another.

Entertainingly, this pizza didn’t even come out quite like I meant it to.  I was planning on having provolone cheese, canadian bacon, regular bacon, shallots, tomatoes, and eggs.  I was so exhausted last night that I completely forgot about the shallots and tomato, and the regular bacon was still in the deep freeze.  So it was more a ham, egg, and cheese pizza, but still totally delicious.

I’ve heard that most people don’t have problems with their eggs running all over the place, but I sure did!  This time I tried anchoring them by putting slices of cheese over the eggs, but I’ll have to work something out next time.  I might use shredded cheese and try to create little “nests” for the eggs, or a bell pepper ring, an onion ring, something.

Breakfast Pizza (serves 2-4)

Ingredients:

  • 1 12-16 oz. ball pizza dough (I used whole-wheat from Whole Foods, and when I find a nice, chewy, whole-wheat recipe, I’ll share it)
  • 1 c. your favorite pizza sauce
  • 6 oz. thinly sliced or shredded Provolone (or your favorite)
  • 4 oz. Canadian bacon, cut into large pieces
  • 4 oz. bacon, cooked and cut into pieces
  • 1 onion or 8 shallots, sliced thinly and briefly sauteed
  • 2 tomatoes, thinly sliced
  • 4 eggs

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 450, or heat up the grill.  Roll out pizza dough and lay on a baking sheet.  Spread pizza sauce over the dough.  Place two-thirds of the cheese over the pizza sauce.
  2. Evenly spread Canadian bacon, bacon, shallots, and tomatoes over the cheese.  Crack the eggs directly onto the ingredients.  Add the remainder of the cheese.
  3. Cook in the oven 10-15 minutes, or until crust has browned, eggs are cooked, and cheese is melted.
  4. If you’re going to grill the pizza, roll out the dough, oil lightly, and place on the grill for about 7 minutes.  Flip the crust over and lay out the ingredients as specified above, then close the grill over and cook another 7 minutes or so.

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Two Squash Recipes and a CSA Box

(Do feel free to scroll down to get to the recipes)  Yet again, our CSA farm has outdone itself, providing us with not the promised 7-8 types of produce, but a whopping 11 types!  If I hadn’t told the guy at the farm what size box we had this week, I would swear this was a large box.  Amazing!  In it:

  • 1 bunch carrots
  • 1 bunch celery
  • 1 bunch very dark kale
  • 1 bunch bok choy
  • 1 head cauliflower
  • 1 carnival winter squash
  • 4 sweet potatoes
  • 3 tangerines
  • 2 grapefruits
  • 1 pouch of sugar snap peas
  • lots of little sunchoke roots (aka Jerusalem artichokes)

Now, this box made me apprehensive for a few reasons.  I am ambivalent about grapefruit, though still interested in trying the cakelets + broiled supremes from last week I haven’t tried yet, and looking for some way to use the additional ones.  Sunchokes are something completely foreign to me, so I am opting to do what I do with things that scare me as well as things I love – pickle them!

But finally, I was a little dismayed to see J’s and my arch nemesis, kale.  It is one of the few vegetables that we agreed will never cross our threshold because we just find it unbearably bitter and unredeemable.  However, because we received it, we’re going to try incorporating it into mashed potatoes, and making the apparently ubiquitous kale chips.  Also on the menu:

  1. Chicken Teriyaki with Bok Choy and Snap Peas
  2. Barbecue Chicken Salad with Kale Mashed Potatoes
  3. Burgers with Charred Vegetables with Salt and Vinegar Kale Chips
  4. Cauliflower “Rice” and Black Beans
  5. Carnival Squash Pearl Barley Risotto

Also, this week is Passover, the Jewish festival celebrating spring (oh, yeah, and the Jews’ escape from slavery in Egypt).  I’m having my family over for dinner on Monday night to celebrate (even though it doesn’t officially start until Tuesday, so says my calendar) and I’m making:

  1. homemade matzoh bread (and, therefore, meal)
  2. homemade gefilte fish
  3. homemade matzoh ball soup (are you beginning to see a theme here?)
  4. roasted hard-boiled eggs
  5. charoset (more on this later)
  6. horseradish with beets
  7. roasted chicken
  8. roasted potatoes, carrots, and onions
  9. coconut macaroons
  10. chocolate sponge cake roll with orange frosting

Acorn Squash and Goat Cheese Pizza (12 slices)

Pizza crust recipe from “Fields of Greens,” by Annie Somerville; Pizza toppings adapted from Smitten Kitchen

For the crust:

  • 1 1/2 tsp. active dry yeast
  • 6 tbsp. warm water
  • 6 tbsp. milk
  • 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 tbsp. cornmeal
  • 1/2 tsp. salt (next time I would probably increase this amount)
  • about 1 3/4 c. whole-wheat flour

Directions:

  1. Dissolve yeast in warm water and set aside in a warm place for a few minutes.  In a large bowl, combine milk, oil, and cornmeal.   Add yeast, then salt and flour, gradually, until dough is soft and becomes difficult to stir.  Turn out onto a floured board, and knead in additional flour as needed until no longer sticky.
  2. Put the dough into an oiled bowl, turning once to coat.  Cover with a kitchen towel or plastic wrap, and let rise until doubled, about 35 to 40 minutes.

Note: This makes 1 medium-thick 15″ crust or 2 thin 15″ crusts.  I found this dough to be extremely soft, almost bread-like.  I have read that whole-wheat flour has a lower gluten content, so next time I plan to add a tablespoon of wheat gluten to see if I can get a chewier result.

For the pizza:

  • pizza dough
  • 1 acorn squash
  • 2 tbsp. maple syrup
  • 1 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 c. mozzarella cheese
  • 1/2 c. crumbled goat cheese
  • 1 c. spinach
  • red wine vinegar, for sprinkling

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Slice squash in half and scoop out seeds.  Slice in approximately 1/2″ slices.  Toss with maple syrup, olive oil, salt and pepper.  Arrange on a baking sheet and bake about 20 minutes, or until tender.  Peel squash pieces and set aside.
  2. Turn oven to broil.  Roll out pizza crust and transfer to baking sheet sprinkled lightly with cornmeal – I do this as I do with pie crusts: roll the dough around your rolling pin, then lift the pin, position over your baking sheet, and unroll, letting the dough fall lightly on the sheet.  Brush lightly with olive oil.
  3. Arrange squash slices on pizza dough, then sprinkle cheeses on top.  Turn oven to 500 degrees, and bake pizza 8-12 minutes, or until cheese is melted and crust is lightly browned.  Remove from oven, pile spinach on top, and sprinkle over red wine vinegar, salt, and cracked pepper to taste.

Stuffed Squash (2 servings)

Ingredients:

  • 1 medium squash
  • 1/2 lb. button mushrooms
  • 1/4 – 1/3 lb. Italian-style sausage
  • 1/4 c. bread crumbs
  • 1 c. greens (spinach, chard, etc.), wilted

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Cut squash in half and scoop out seeds.  Lightly brush olive oil over cut side of squash, and place on a baking sheet.  Place in the oven while you prepare the stuffing.
  2. Heat a little olive oil in a medium saute pan.  Mince the mushrooms and add to the pan.  Cook, stirring frequently, about five minutes, or until mushrooms have shrunk and are soft.  Add the sausage, and cook until cooked all the way through.  Add enough bread crumbs to bind the filling together.
  3. Remove squash from the oven.  Place stuffing in the cavity of each squash half and return to the oven for another 5-10 minutes.

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