Sausage and Roasted Cauliflower Flat Bread Pizza

30 03 2016

This pizza was a vehicle to use up the leftover Creamy Apple-Shallot Vinaigrette I made for Easter, and it was every bit as tasty as I thought it would be! Roast the cauliflower and make the dressing over the weekend, so you can get a weeknight din on the table in a flash!

Sausage and Roasted Cauliflower Flat Bread Pizza

The following serves 2 (compliments of This Girl’s Gotta Eat):

  • 2 pieces Mediterranean-style flat bread, I used wheat
  • 1 lb ground pork sausage
  • Olive oil
  • 1/4 cup ricotta
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • About 1 cup fresh spinach
  • About a 1/2 cup or so of roasted cauliflower florets (toss florets with a little olive oil, salt, pepper, garlic powder and lemon zest and bake in a single layer at 375 degrees for about 20 minutes)
  • 1/2 cup goat cheese
  • Creamy Apple-Shallot Vinaigrette

Preheat oven to 400.

In a large skillet, saute the pork in a little olive oil until browned, breaking up into bite-size pieces with the back of a wooden spoon.

Mix ricotta with a heaping Tbsp or so of the grease from the cooked pork and salt and pepper to taste, then spread evenly among the flat bread. Next, add a layer of spinach, the cauliflower and the pork. Bake on a pizza stone for 12-15 minutes. Remove from the oven, top with goat cheese and continue baking another 5 minutes or so until the cheese is warmed.

Drizzle some Creamy Apple-Shallot Vinaigrette on top before serving.





Creamy Apple-Shallot Vinaigrette

28 03 2016

I just started introducing pureed fruits to my son (he mostly eats veggies), and I thought my homemade apple puree/applesauce would have been gobbled up. It was, but only after I added it to a combo of yams and squash….leaving me with a good bit of apple puree leftover. Enter this deliciously tart and creamy vinaigrette, which I made for an elegant Easter salad this past weekend. It would be great on lots of things though, like chicken or a roasted cauliflower and pork pizza which I’ll be making for dinner this week.

Creamy Apple Shallot Vinaigrette

The following is compliments of This Girl’s Gotta Eat and The Stem Blog: 

  • 1/2 cup applesauce or 2 Fuji apples, chopped
  • 1 shallot, chopped
  • 3 Tbsp golden balsamic vinegar
  • Juice of half a lemon
  • 1 heaping Tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 3/4 – 1 cup olive oil

Add everything but the oil to a Vitamix or high-powdered blender and blend until smooth. Stream in the oil, starting with 3/4 cup. Taste and adjust vinegar, seasoning and the oil based on your liking (I for instance, like my dressing with more vinegar/acid than most people so I tend to use less oil).

Store this dressing in a mason jar in the fridge, and quickly shake up before serving.

The salad I served this with was made up of spinach, roasted cauliflower, apple slices, goat cheese and homemade croutons. Delicious, and great for spring!





Rockfish Tacos with Carrot-Bean Slaw and Avocado Cream

24 03 2016

So here I am, This Girl is back…from a LONG break after having a baby! Bare with me as I get back to real cooking and blogging (enough with the frozen pizza, to-go orders and week-old leftovers, although I can stretch a leftover now like you wouldn’t believe)!

These tacos were inspired by last night’s baby food, homemade of course, and admittedly my son has been eating better than me lately. I made him pureed avocado and corn. I love the silky smooth texture, which is different then my usual chunky guac. Here I pureed avocado with sour cream making a “sauce” for these tacos, although his combo with the corn would be delicious as well. Too bad he ate it all! Next time I’m doubling, half for him and half for us!

Rockfish Tacos with Carrot-Bean Slaw and Avocado-Sour Cream

The following makes 4-5 large tacos (compliments of This Girl’s Gotta Eat):

  • 1 large poblano pepper
  • 1 lb skinless rockfish, cubed
  • ½ Tbsp ancho chile powder (you could use regular chile powder, I just wanted to match the smokey flavor in the poblano)
  • ½ tsp each ground cumin and garlic powder
  • ¼ tsp each salt and onion powder
  • Olive oil
  • 1 heaping cup matchstick carrots
  • 1 can (15.5 oz) blank beams, rinsed well
  • ½ cup sliced green onions
  • 1 lime
  • 1 Tbsp rice vinegar
  • 1 avocado
  • 2 Tbsp sour cream
  • Salt and pepper
  • Tortillas (I used multi-grain soft taco tortillas)
  • Shredded Mexican cheese blend

Char the poblano pepper over an open flame on your stove. Continue to turn and char until all sides are done. Place in a medium bowl and immediately cover tightly with plastic wrap. This will trap the steam to make peeling easier.

Combine chile powder, cumin, garlic, salt and onion powder in a small bowl. Season fish liberally all over using spice blend. Add olive oil (few turns of the pan) to a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add seasoned fish and saute until cooked through, about 5-6 minutes.

While the fish is cooking, uncover the pepper once cool enough to handle and peel the skin. Don’t take too much time removing, leaving some of the char on will add flavor. Cut in half, remove seeds and rough chop/large dice. Add back to the bowl along with the carrots, beans and green onions. Season to taste with salt and pepper, any spice blend you have leftover from seasoning the fish, juice of half the lime and the rice vinegar. Mix well and set aside.

Add the avocado and sour cream to a small food processor along with salt and pepper to taste and juice from the rest of the lime. Pulse until smooth and set aside.

Warm tortillas in the microwave, or if you have time you can char them over an open flame on your stove or on the grill.

Finally, build your tacos. Spread some of the avocado-sour cream on the bottom of a tortilla, top with some cheese, the carrot-bean slaw and fish. Enjoy any leftover slaw as a side dish along with the tacos.





Pasta Salad With Pineapple-Zucchini Salsa

21 06 2015

This pasta salad is light, fresh and super tasty – great for serving in the summer! I love taking ideas I see on in my fav cooking shows or magazines and making them my own. This recipe is a great example, thanks to the Food Network’s The Kitchen for the pineapple-zucchini salsa idea!

Pasta Salad With Pineapple-Zucchini Salsa

Pasta Salad With Pineapple-Zucchini Salsa

The following serves 6-8 (compliments of This Girl’s Gotta Eat and The Kitchen):

  • 2 small to medium-size zucchini, cut in half lengthwise
  • 1/2 of a peeled and cored pineapple
  • 1/2 cup diced cucumber
  • 1 lb gemelli pasta
  • 2 small to medium-size shallots, finely chopped
  • 1/2 tsp minced fresh ginger (save yourself time and use it from the tube)
  • 2 tsp finely diced jalapeno or your favorite hot sauce, use more or less depending on how much spice you like
  • 6 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 4 Tbsp Champagne or Chardonnay Wine Vinegar
  • 1/2 cup minced fresh cilantro or mint
  • Kosher salt and pepper to taste

Preheat grill to medium. Grill the pineapple and zucchini for a few minutes on each side until beginning to char. You still want the zucchini to have a little crunch. Remove from the grill and set aside. Once cool enough to handle, diced the pineapple and zucchini and add to a large bowl or casserole dish. Toss with the cucumber, and season lightly with salt and pepper to taste.

In a small bowl, whisk the shallots, ginger, jalapeno or hot sauce, oil and vinegar. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Add dressing to the pineapple-zucchini mixture and toss to combine.

Meanwhile, bring a large pot of water to boil. Season with salt and cook pasta to al dente, according to package directions. Drain and return to pan to cool slightly.

Add the slightly cooled pasta to the dressed pineapple-zucchini mixture. Add the cilantro or mint and toss everything well to combine. Season with a little more salt and pepper to taste if needed. You can also add more oil or vinegar if you’d like.

Store covered in the fridge for at least an hour before serving.





Fruity Orzo Salad

8 06 2015

Saw this fruity salad idea in my latest Rachael Ray Mag and had to give it a try! It’s pretty versatile too, you can switch up the pasta, the fruit and the herbs – perfect for quick summer meals!

Fruity Orzo Salad

Fruity Orzo Salad

The following serves 2-3 (adapted from Everyday with Rachael Ray):

  • 1 cup whole wheat orzo
  • 4-5 strips of thick-cut bacon, chopped
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Golden balsamic vinegar or white wine vinegar
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 nectarine, chopped
  • 1/2 cup drained mozzarella pearls (small, fresh mozzarella balls)
  • 1/4 cup sliced chives or basil
  • Zest of half a lemon

In a large pot of boiling, salted water, cook orzo to al dente according to package directions. Drain, cool and set aside.

In a medium skillet over medium-high heat, cook chopped bacon until crispy. Remove bacon to a paper towel-lined plate to dry.

In a medium bowl, whisk together some vinegar and olive oil. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Next add the cooled orzo, the chopped nectarine, mozzarella balls, chives (or basil) and lemon zest. Toss everything to coat in the dressing. Taste and adjust vinegar, oil and/or seasoning if needed. Add in the bacon and toss to coat.

Serve salad with a protein of your choice. Pictured here is a salmon burger.





Chorizo and Ramp Pizza

27 04 2015

I recently enjoyed a tasty chorizo and ramp pizza at Michael Symon’s Lolita restaurant. When I received ramps in our CSA grab bag this past week I knew instantly I’d be recreating that Lolita pizza! Thanks for the idea, Michael!

Chorizo and Ramp Pizza

The following makes one pizza (compliments of This Girl’s Gotta Eat):

  • Ground chorizo
  • Whole wheat pizza dough
  • Cornmeal
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Ricotta
  • Fresh basil
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 shallot, sliced
  • Ramps
  • Sharp white cheddar cheese, shredded
  • Eggs
  • Hot sauce for garnish, optional

Preheat oven to 450.

Brown the chorizo in a skillet until just cooked through. Remove from heat and set aside.

With some cornmeal on your counter, roll out the pizza dough to your desired thickness.

Put a little cornmeal on a pizza stone, then carefully transfer the rolled out dough onto the pizza stone and brush with olive oil. Bake the crust for 5-7 minutes. Remove from the oven to add your toppings.

Mix a little ricotta with olive oil and chopped basil. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Eyeball it, you just need enough ricotta to spread on the pizza to create a sauce.

Spread the ricotta evenly on the pizza dough. Top with cooked chorizo and the sliced shallots. Use as much of each ingredient as you like.

Return to the oven and bake for 5 minutes or so. Remove and add the ramps and shredded cheese, again as much as you like of each. Return to the oven to finish baking, another 5 minutes or so. Just keep an eye on the oven to make sure everything is cooked through, hot and the cheese has melted. Remove from the oven.

Fry up some eggs to your desired likeness, I recommend one egg per slice of pizza and making sure to leave it runny to help create a sauce.

Slice pizza and serve each slice with a fried egg on top and hot sauce if desired.





Creamy Pesto-Chicken Lasagna

24 03 2015

Traditional lasagna can be time-consuming, but in this version you can save time by using store-bought or pre-made pesto, and no-boil lasagna sheets. Just because you’re saving on time though, doesn’t mean you’re skimping on the flavor. Trust me, this lasagna is totally decadent! You can make this two days in advance if you want, just store covered in the fridge and bring to room temperature before baking.

I made this for a family Sunday supper and was feeding a crowd, so I doubled the recipe. If you end up having some leftover ricotta filling like me, you can toss it with some whole wheat pasta and a little of the pasta water for another great meal or side!

Creamy Pesto-Chicken Lasagna

The following makes 10-12 servings (adapted from Cuisine at Home):

  • 4 Tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3 cups whole milk
  • 1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg
  • 1 cup basil pesto
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 lb cooked ground chicken
  • 1 package (15 oz) whole-milk ricotta cheese
  • 1 cup grated parmesan
  • 1 box flat, no-boil lasagna sheets
  • 4 cups shredded part-skim mozzarella

Preheat oven to 350.

For the bechamel, melt butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Whisk in flour and cook 2 minutes. Slowly whisk in milk and nutmeg, bring to a simmer, and cook 2 more minutes. Off heat, stir in 1/2 cup pesto; season with salt and pepper. Stir in cooked chicken (simply season with salt, pepper and granulated garlic and saute in a little olive oil until cooked through) and set aside.

For the lasagna, stir together the ricotta, parmesan, and 1/2 cup pesto; season with salt and pepper.

To build, spread 2/3 cup bechamel in the bottom of a 9 x 13-inch baking dish. Using a rubber spatula, spread some of the ricotta mixture on 3 lasagna sheets making sure they’re fully covered, then lay them side by side in the baking dish. Top lasagna with more bechamel, making sure to cover the noodles. Next top with 3/4 cup mozzarella. Repeat laying three times or until your ingredients run out, making sure that the ingredients are evenly dispersed. Top the final layer with 1 and 1/2 cups mozzarella.

Cover lasagna with foil and bake until bubbly, about 45 minutes. Remove foil and bake lasagna 15 more minutes, then broil on high until golden, 2-3 minutes. Let lasagna rest 15 minutes before serving.





Banana Pudding Trifle

23 03 2015

I served this trifle at a dinner party this weekend and it was a nice success! It’s easy enough to whip up for a backyard party, but pretty enough to serve at the end of a nice Sunday supper too! Make it easier on yourself my doing the pudding and the whipped cream a day ahead, then on the day you’re serving, simply slice the bananas and assemble.

Banana Pudding Trifle

The following makes one large trifle, about 14-16 servings (adapted from Cuisine at Home):

  • 2 boxes instant banana cream pudding
  • 4 cups whole milk
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup cream of coconut
  • 1/2 cup shredded coconut, toasted
  • 3 large bananas, sliced
  • 1 box vanilla wafers

Whisk pudding mix and milk in a large bowl according to the package directions. Chill covered, following package directions, or overnight.

For the whipped cream, beat the heavy cream and the cream of coconut with a mixer on medium speed until soft peaks form.

To build the trifle, assemble a layer of banana slices on the bottom of a trifle or large glass bowl. Top bananas with a layer of pudding, then a layer of wafers, then a layer of whipped cream. Repeat layering until you run out of ingredients, or fill the bowl, finishing with a layer of whipped cream. Top with shredded coconut and add a ring of wafers if you’d like to finish decorating (as shown above).

You’ll want to assemble the trifle at least a few hours before serving. Store covered in the fridge until ready to serve.





Italian Chicken and Veggie Cobbler

17 03 2015

This is a savory and fun take on a fruit cobbler, made with chicken and veggies. The original version topped this with cornmeal dumplings, but I substituted with polenta. You could switch out different veggies for what you have on hand, or could also use Italian sausage in place of the chicken, making this a versatile dish.

Italian Chicken and Veggie Cobbler

The following serves 4-6 (adapted from Cuisine at Home):

  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cubed
  • Granulated garlic
  • 2 cups diced onions
  • 2 cups broccoli florets
  • 1 cup diced red bell pepper
  • 2 Tbsp minced garlic
  • 1 Tbsp tomato paste
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 1 can cannellini beans (15.5 oz) drained and rinsed
  • 1 tsp Italian seasoning
  • Salt, pepper and red pepper flakes to taste
  • 2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 Tbsp cornstarch
  • 8 oz of fresh spinach
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup milk (unsweetened almond milk or skim milk)
  • 1 cup cornmeal
  • 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • Parsley, chopped

Preheat oven to 400.

Heat oil in a large cast-iron skillet over medium-high. Add chicken, season with a little Italian seasoning, salt and granulated garlic. Saute until just beginning to brown, then transfer to a plate.

Add onions, broccoli and bell peppers to the skillet; cook 5 minutes. Stir in garlic and tomato paste and cook 1 minute.

Deglaze the pan with wine, scrapping up any brown bits, and reduce until nearly evaporated. Stir in beans, 1 tsp Italian seasoning and the cooked chicken. Season with salt, pepper and red pepper flakes to taste.

Whisk together 1 cup of broth with the cornstarch and add to the skillet. Reduce heat to medium-low and cook until thickened, 5 minutes. Add the spinach and stir until the spinach is wilted and cooked down. Season lightly with salt to taste. Remove from the heat and make the polenta.

In a small-medium saucepan, heat the water, milk and remaining cup of broth over medium-high. Bring to a slow boil, then whisk in the cornmeal. Whisk well and bring to a boil. Lower heat and stir with a wooden spoon, constantly until thick, about 10 minutes. Stir in the parmesan cheese, mixing well, then remove from heat.

Pour the polenta evenly all over the chicken and veggie mixture, smoothing out if needed. Bake for 25 minutes. Remove cobbler from the oven and allow to stand 10 minutes. Garnish with parsley before serving.





Blueberry and Sweet Corn Oatmeal Bake

1 03 2015

Here’s an easy baked oatmeal that you can whip up over the weekend and enjoy for breakfast throughout the week. While the corn may seem like a strange ingredient, it’s a creative way to sneak in a serving of veggies. If it’s too strange for you, just leave it out and it won’t affect the dish.

Blueberry and Sweet Corn Oatmeal Bake

The following serves 4-6 (adapted from Fresh Fork Market):

  • 2/3 cup fresh or frozen sweet corn (you’ll just need enough to line the bottom of the casserole dish)
  • 1 to 1 and 1/2 cups fresh or frozen blueberries
  • 2 cups rolled oats
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 cups unsweetened almond milk
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 2 Tbsp unsalted butter, diced
  • Plain yogurt for topping

Preheat oven to 375.

Spray a 1.5 or 2 quart casserole dish with nonstick spray.

Spread corn in an even layer on the bottom of the casserole. Then top with a layer of blueberries, making sure to reserve some for the top. Note: if you use frozen corn and/or blueberries, be sure to thaw and drain them first.

In a bowl mix together the oats, baking powder, cinnamon and salt. Pour the mixture over the corn and blueberries in the casserole.

To save on dishes, use the same bowl and whisk together the milk, egg, vanilla and honey. Whisk well until the honey is fully incorporated. Pour the milk mixture evenly over the oats.

Top with the diced butter and the remaining blueberries. Bake uncovered for 35 – 50 minutes, until baked through and bubbly, but not runny and also browned on top.

Allow to rest for a few minutes before serving. Garnish with yogurt.