Saturday, May 29, 2010

The Next Best Pizza

I can't believe I got something other than the dishes done (which consisted of turning on the dishwasher). I had such an awesome lazy day, and so it was doubly awesome when Justin helped me make my last recipe for this week, a grilled vegetable pizza. Not only were the veggies grilled, but we cooked the dough on the grill as well! I didn't make the dough, but I did make the sauce. Very garlicy, very yummy.

Oh, and the color difference of the cheese is because Justin decided to "improve" my recipe with some store brand light mozzarella. My side (the right side) only has the artisan fontina cheese on it.

Yield: 5 servings (serving size: 2 pieces)


Fresh pizza dough

Cooking spray

2 tablespoons yellow cornmeal

12 ounces baby eggplant, cut crosswise into 1-inch-thick slices

1 medium zucchini, cut crosswise into 1-inch-thick slices

1 large red bell pepper, quartered and seeded

3 garlic cloves, minced

2/3 cup Basic Pizza Sauce (recipe follows)

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1 cup (4 ounces) shredded fontina cheese


1. Pour 3/4 cup warm water in the bowl of a stand mixer with dough hook attached. Weigh or lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups and spoons; level with a knife. Add flour to 3/4 cup water; mix until combined. Cover and let stand 20 minutes. Combine remaining 1/4 cup water and yeast in a small bowl; let stand 5 minutes or until bubbly. Add yeast mixture, 4 teaspoons oil, and 1/2 teaspoon salt to flour mixture; mix 5 minutes or until a soft dough forms. Place dough in a large bowl coated with cooking spray; cover surface of dough with plastic wrap lightly coated with cooking spray. Refrigerate 24 hours.

2. Prepare grill to high.

3. Remove dough from refrigerator. Let stand, covered, 1 hour or until dough comes to room temperature. Punch dough down. Press dough out to a 12-inch oval on a lightly floured baking sheet sprinkled with cornmeal. Crimp edges to form a 1/2-inch border. Cover dough loosely with plastic wrap.

4. Brush eggplant, zucchini, and bell pepper with remaining 2 tablespoons oil. Grill eggplant 4 minutes on each side or until tender; place in a bowl. Grill zucchini 3 minutes on each side or until tender; add to eggplant. Place pepper quarters, skin side down, on grill rack; grill 6 minutes or until blistered. Place peppers in a zip-top plastic bag; seal. Let stand 10 minutes. Peel peppers; add to vegetable mixture. Coarsely chop vegetables. Add garlic to vegetables; toss to combine.

5. Place pizza dough, cornmeal side up, on grill rack coated with cooking spray, and grill for 4 minutes or until blistered. Turn dough over; grill 3 minutes. Remove from grill. Spread Basic Pizza Sauce evenly over top side of crust, leaving a 1/2-inch border. Arrange vegetable mixture evenly over sauce; sprinkle evenly with remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt and black pepper. Top with cheese. Return pizza to grill rack, and grill for 4 minutes or until thoroughly cooked. Cut pizza into 10 pieces.

Basic Pizza Sauce

Yield: 6 servings (serving size: about 1/3 cup)


2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

5 garlic cloves, minced

1 (28-ounce) can San Marzano tomatoes

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

1/2 teaspoon dried oregano


1. Heat oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add garlic to pan; cook 1 minute, stirring frequently. Remove tomatoes from can using a slotted spoon, reserving juices. Crush tomatoes. Stir tomatoes, juices, salt, and oregano into garlic mixture; bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

New Post of Wimsy

Just wanted to mention that I love pizza. Also, 550 degrees F is really hot. I think I burnt my eyebrows putting this in the oven.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Another Try to Catch Up

I thought I would start the post with an updated picture of the garden. The lettuce is out of hand, and I cannot eat it fast enough! Those huge plants? The broccoli. And apparently they don't flower until July. I can't believe how large they've gotten!

The main recipe for this post is an Indian inspired dish that also saves money on meat. As I mentioned before, you don't have to give up meat to eat more balanced. Ground meat, no matter what animal, is one of my favorite ways to have meat in a dish, but increase the amount of grains and vegetables.

The Greek yogurt and cucumber give this dish a really fresh bright flavor, and the pitas just make it fun to eat. It's a fun way to introduce new flavors into dinner.

Sloppy Lentils in Pita

Yield: 4 servings (serving size: 2 filled pita halves)


1 tablespoon olive oil

3/4 cup finely chopped onion

1 tablespoon minced garlic

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

8 ounces lean ground lamb

3/4 cup dried brown lentils

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1 teaspoon dried thyme

1 cup water, divided

2 cups diced plum tomatoes or boxed diced tomatoes, undrained

1 bay leaf

4 (6-inch) whole-wheat pitas, cut in half

1/2 cup plain 2% Greek-style yogurt

1 cup thinly sliced cucumber

Chopped fresh mint (optional)

1. Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion, garlic, salt, pepper, and lamb; cook 5 minutes or until lamb is browned and vegetables are tender, stirring occasionally to crumble lamb.

2. Add lentils, cumin, and thyme; stir until seasonings become fragrant. Add 1/2 cup water, tomatoes, and bay leaf; bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat to medium, and cook 15 minutes. Stir lentil mixture; add remaining 1/2 cup water. Cover and cook 15 minutes or until lentils are tender and mixture is thick (add additional water as needed). Discard bay leaf. Fill each pita half with 1/2 cup lentil mixture. Spoon 1 tablespoon yogurt into each pita half; top with 2 tablespoons cucumber. Sprinkle with mint, if desired.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Long time no update

Oh, I know, it's been a while. The end of classes for the semester was such a welcome break, I forgot to do anything on the computer! However, I never stopped cooking. I started a vegetable garden:
(you should see it now!)

Grilled some kabobs:

Made some awesome steak tacos:
(key is the sauce that can double as a salad dressing. combine one avocado, 6oz fat free greek yogurt and 1/4 cup cilantro in a food processor)

Made an insane gourmet-style grilled asparagus salad:
Had time for gorgeous black bean burgers:

And even played some beer pong with sis!

Tonight we had a veggie-tastic meal. I want more vegetables, but I can't give up meat. To me, meat is another wonderful taste to add to food, one of many. So I've been trying dishes that have meat, but it isn't the solo player. The first dish was with pork. Later this week we'll try one with lamb and lentils!

Spanish Pork with Redskin Potatoes

2 redskin potatoes, cut into 1-inch pieces (we did three smaller ones)
1 zucchini (we had two for added veggies)
1 medium onion
3 tsp extra-virgin olive oil, divided
4 cloves garlic, chopped into slivers
3/4 lb extra-lean ground pork
1 cup frozen peas
1 cup frozen corn
1 tbsp sweet paprika
1 red bell pepper, minced
1 medium tomato, chopped
Juice 1/2 lemon
1/2 tsp dried sage
1/2 tsp dried thyme
sea salt and fresh ground black pepper, to taste
1 oz goat cheese

Fill a medium pot with water and bring to a boil. Add potatoes, cover, reduce heat to medium-low and cook for 10 minutes. Pierce potatoes with a knife to make sure they're tender, then remove from heat and drain.

While potatoes are cooking, saute zucchini and onion in 1 1/2 tsp oil over medium heat for 3 minutes. Add garlic and cook for another minute, stirring constantly to prevent garlic from burning. Stir in pork, peas, corn and paprika. Cook for 5 more minutes, making sure that all ingredients are evenly distributed across surface of pan.

Remove pork mixture from heat and stir in bell pepper, tomato and lemon juice. Cover with lid to keep warm while finishing potatoes.

Gently toss potatoes with remaining 1 1/2 tsp oil. Add sage and thyme and season with salt and black pepper. Place about 1/2 cup potatoes alongside quarter of pork mixture on each plate, then crumble quarter of cheese over top before serving.