Clever Tuesday Tips

Don’t have a pizza cutter on hand? Use scissors to cut pizza!

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Amplify phone speakers by putting them in a ceramic bowl

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Can’t quite finish your iced coffee? Put it in the freezer overnight and fill it up with cold-brewed coffee the next day. Voila- just like a coffee ice cube!

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on the menu for the week

 Little squish squash assembly

Crawfish, corn on the cob, and red potatoes {my first crawfish boil experience!}

Half and half gluten-free pizza {half sorrel, leek, & potato pizza and half oriental squash & pepper jack cheese pizza}

Quinoa stuffed pattypan squash {I can finally use up some of my saffron!}

Tri-colored pepper salad

Gallery Place burger {recreation of a spicy burger from Clyde’s; fajita spice rub, caramelized jalapenos and onions, pepper jack cheese, and spicy ranch sauce}

Korean pickled vegetables

black bean & corn mexican pizza

The other day my friend spontaneously decided to come by, so I promised said friend a homemade lunch without checking my fridge first. Upon inspection, I realized I had a fairly limited selection of choices- leftover gluten-free pizza crust, a Tupperware of rather thick black bean soup, and half a can of corn. Frugality and creativity took over and I decided to combine the ingredients to make a Mexican-inspired black bean and corn pizza (I made a basic tomato sauce and mozzarella half too!).

For the black bean sauce: in a small skillet, heat olive oil over medium. Add a chopped clove of garlic and saute until golden brown. Add 1/2 can of rinsed and mashed black beans, 1/2 a chopped jalapeno, a small handful of cilantro, and a dash each of salt, pepper, red chili peppers, and garlic powder. Allow to simmer over low, adding vegetable or chicken broth as needed. The sauce should be thick but moist. 

Spread prepared black bean sauce/soup over pre-cooked pizza crust. Sprinkle with canned corn, canned green chilies, and chopped cilantro. Add chopped red onion and mozzarella cheese if desired! Cook at 425 for 15-18 minutes.

Such an easy way to use up leftover ingredients! From experience, this pizza is best enjoyed with a friend on a balcony on a beautiful North Carolina day with an adorable dog at your feet and a Starbucks iced coffee by your side 🙂

tuscan white bean gluten-free pizza

When I was trying to figure out pizza toppings, I remembered my recent Tuscan white bean soup soup and decided to go with a Tuscan theme again. I had leftover cannelli beans from my spicy sriracha bean dip, so I turned to Google for inspiration and found a great recipe on Vegan Planet.
 First I prepped my gluten-free Red Mill pizza crust. I only used half of it, which filled my whole pizza pan.
 I wrapped up the other half for later use!
 Pizza toppings laid out and ready to go

  • White cannelli beans
  • Garlic
  • Tomato paste
  • Chopped roasted red pepper
  • Sun-dried tomatoes
  • A sprinkling of dried red chili peppers
  • Caramelized onions
  • Feta

Roast red pepper in a 400 degree oven. Bake for 20 minutes on each side; remove from oven and wrap in tin foil. After about 30 minutes, peel skin off {it should come off easily}. If you’d like, buy jarred roasted red peppers.

Caramelize onions {mine were already prepared, which cut down on prep time}.

In a small skillet, heat olive oil over medium. When the oil is hot, add chopped garlic and saute until it becomes aromatic. Add cannelli beans and heat for 5-8 minutes, stirring occasionally. Mash with a fork. 

Spread bean mixture and tomato paste onto pre-cooked pizza crust. Layer with other ingredients except feta. Bake for 10 minutes at 425. Sprinkle with feta; bake for 5-8 more minutes.

Enjoy!

split pizza: sweet potato sauce + chicken meatballs

When I stumbled across “Rustic Pizza with Sweet Potato Sauce” on Caroline’s blog, I was intrigued. I generally only like sweet potatoes in savory dishes, so this was right up my alley.

And what’s better than testing a new kind of pizza? Making it on gluten-free cauliflower crust!

I love to maximize variety when I cook, so I often end up making split pizzas- half with one set of ingredients, the other half with a completely different set of flavors! Admittedly, splitting the flavors makes the process slightly more labor and time-intensive, but I end up with meals for a few days- definitely worth it.

This time, I opted for half Sweet Potato Pizza, half a more traditional mix based around Al Fresco chicken meatballs. Their products {and Twitter strategy!} continue to impress me!

Sweet Potato Pizza

  • Kale
  • Turkey Bacon
  • Mashed sweet potato
  • Caramelized onions
  • Mozzarella slices

Tomato & Basil Chicken Sausage Pizza

  • Sliced Al Fresco Tomato & Basil Chicken Meatballs
  • Tomato paste
  • Sun-dried tomatoes
  • Mozzarella slices

Prepare a cauliflower pizza crust according to these directions.

Bake a sweet potato (skin on) at 400 for 55-60 minutes. In a skillet, caramelize about half an onion. In another skillet, cook two or three strips of turkey bacon. Let cool then break into small pieces. In the same skillet (no need to wash!), saute washed, destemmed, and chopped kale until crispy and bright green. When the sweet potato is soft, peel off skin (it should fall off easily) and mash with a fork until smooth. Layer all ingredients on half of the pizza; top with slices of mozzarella cheese.

{Ooooh, we’re halfway there!}

Spread the other half of the crust with tomato paste. Top with chicken meatballs, slices of mozzarella, and sun-dried tomato.

Bake at 450 for about 15 minutes or until cheese is melted and bubbly.

Both sides are have such delicious combinations of flavors, but I loved the uniqueness of the sweet potato, kale, cheese, and bacon combo. Thanks for the inspiration, Caroline!

Good thing my roommate hasn’t moved in yet- look what a mess I made:

Tip: minimize dishwashing by reusing skillets. They’ll still have some of the original oil and flavor of the first ingredient! I promise, it’s not dirty or gross 🙂

P.S. I didn’t realize how cheap kale is! I bought a big handful for $.14 at Harris Teeter.

P.P.S. For other delicious pizza combos, go here and here!

cauliflower pizza crust?!

If you’re a person who eats gluten-free {wait, did I say gluten-free? I meant eats, period}, I’m about to change your life.

As I was searching for something to stuff pizza toppings into {this seems to have become a hobby of mine recently} that wasn’t a zucchini or a green bell pepper or a Red Mill gluten-free crust, I came across a clever alternative: cauliflower pizza crust!

If you’re like me, you’re in doubt right now. You might think it will taste mediocre but not mind-blowing delicious.

You’d be wrong. And it’s low-carb, if you’re into that.

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Ingredients

  • 1/2 large head cauliflower (or 2+ cups shredded cauliflower)
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 cup finely shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried minced garlic (or fresh garlic)
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion salt

Instructions

    • Preheat the oven to 450 degrees
    • Grate the cauliflower. Place the cauliflower crumbles in a large bowl {do not add water} and microwave for 8 minutes
    • Spray a cookie sheet or pizza pan with nonstick spray
    • In a medium bowl, mix the cauliflower crumbles with the other ingredients. Pat the crust into a round shape on the prepared pan. Spray the crust lightly with nonstick spray and bake for 12-15 minutes {or until golden}. Remove the crust from the oven and turn the heat up to broil.
    • Top as desired {I used tomato sauce, ricotta, sun-dried tomatoes, onions, pepperoni, and mozzarella} and broil until cheese is melted and bubbly
    • Cut into pieces and serve {you may need a fork, but it’s stil better than eating a pile of sauce and cheese!}

Learn from my mistakes: I spread the crust on the pan then realized I forgot to add the egg- then I didn’t respray the pan, so it was difficult to get the crust off the pan after baking. And I didn’t cook the crust for long enough, so it wasn’t quite crispy enough. Just keep an eye on it so it doesn’t burn!

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Recipe inspiration: Via The Recipe GirlEat Drink Smile, and Daily Dish Recipes

recipe variations

Rumor has it that variety is the spice of life…and it certainly is the spice of cooking! So what easier way to infuse variety (both literally and figuratively) into your cooking than to make slight alterations to your go to recipes?

Here are a few easy swaps that I often make:

Sun-Dried Tomato & Feta Chicken: Prepared as outlined but served on a “bed” of mashed potatoes!

Mashed Potato Vegetable Pie: Swapped out feta, added grilled chicken and Garlic & Herbs Alouette Spreadable Cheese; added yellow squash in addition to zucchini

Creative Salad Mixes: Swapped out feta and Trader Joe’s Balsamic Vinaigrette for Parmesan cheese and homemade Italian dressing

Spiced Tomato Chickpea Soup: Swapped out chickpeas for potatoes

Pizza Alternatives: Swapped out zucchini boats for green bell peppers or a gluten-free cauliflower crust {that I gotta try}

For more inspiration on versatile ingredients, check out my posts on quinoa bowls and tofu.

What are your recipe staples that you feel comfortable adjusting? 

Photo credits: 1, 2, 3, 4 Continue reading

grown up pizza alternatives

When my sister and I were little, we would eat pizza bagels (bagels with tomato sauce mozzarella cheese) all the time. Now that I’m grown up (who am I kidding?! I’m not a grown up), I make quick and easy tortizzas for a relatively healthy snack on the go. And occasionally, I buy Trader Joe’s pizza dough and make homemade pizza!

But I recently discovered an even better pizza alternative- zucchini pizza boats (via Budget Bytes). I made them for the first time last night and they are great- a guilt-free way to get pizza taste with vegetable nutrients. And depending on how long you bake them for, they maintain a nice, satisfying crunchiness. Follow the link above for the super simple recipe!

on the menu for next week

This insanely hot weather has me craving light, healthy foods with colorful, fresh ingredients, so I am planning my menu accordingly.

chilled gazpacho from oh she glows

creative salad mixes

caprese salad

corn with japaleno lime butter

healthy smoothies in my magic bullet

creamy avocado pasta via oh she glows

eggplant sandwich inspired by the rockford

zucchini pizza bites from budget bytes ($1.32 per serving!)

productivity out the window

I’m supposed to be doing work with a friend. She’s diligently typing away on her class assignment while I diligently blog 🙂

So far this evening, we have:

  • Made home-made pizza
  • Roasted red, orange, and yellow peppers
  • Sipped wine
  • Drank vanilla caramel truffle tea
  • Baked carrot spice cupcakes
  • Finished up Kiva Days materials for tomorrow
  • Laughed a lot
  • Facebook stalked
  • Looked at cute babies
  • Applied to a babysitting job
  • Been silly and weird
  • Avoided homework

Perhaps not the most productive evening, but definitely full of fun!