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.

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.

Chorizo With Black Beans and Cheddar Polenta

13 06 2014

Tonight’s yummy Mexican dinner was made with nearly all Fresh Fork Market ingredients from our share this week, and was a labor of love! While not too complicated, there are multiple parts to this which did take some time. Like the black beans for instance….I used dried for the first time and am now converted! The most time-consuming part of making dried beans is soaking them, so just plan ahead, and either soak overnight or in the morning before you head to work.

Chorizo with black beans and cheddar polenta

The following serves 2-4 (compliments of This Girl’s Gotta Eat):

  • 1 cup organic dried black beans
  • Water
  • 1/2 Tbsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 Tbsp dried oregano
  • 2 dried bay leaves
  • 3 smashed garlic cloves
  • 1/4 cup onion, chopped
  • 1 can (4 oz) diced green chilies
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 1 pound bulk ground chorizo
  • 1 bell pepper, whatever color you like, chopped
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 2-3 garlic scapes, chopped or garlic cloves minced
  • 1 small head fresh spinach leaves
  • 2 cups low-sodium, reduced-fat chicken broth, plus more for deglazing
  • 1/2 cup corn meal
  • 1/4 cup reduced-fat cheddar cheese, shredded
  • Fresh chopped cilantro
  • Fresh salsa
  • Corn crackers or tortilla chips for garnish

Rinse black beans well, in a strainer. Soak 1 cup of dried beans in 3 cups of water for 6-10 hours. You can either do this overnight, or in the morning before you head to work. After 6-10 hours, drain the beans, add to a medium pot and add 3 cups of water or chicken stock and bring to a boil. Add the cumin, oregano, bay leaves, smashed garlic cloves, and 1/4 cup chopped onion. Cook over medium heat for 60 minutes, or until tender, stirring occasionally. If your liquid starts to evaporate before the beans are done, just add some more water or stock. During the last 5 minutes of cooking, add the diced chilies, juice of 1 lime and salt to taste.

Start the chorizo part after the beans have been cooking for about 30 minutes. In a large cast iron skillet, heat a little olive oil over medium-high heat and add the small chopped onion and bell peppers. Saute for a few minutes until beginning to softened. Add the garlic scapes or garlic, cook until fragrant about a minute. Add the chorizo, breaking up with a wooden spoon. Saute until the meat crumbles and starts to get a nice brown on it, stirring occasionally. Deglaze the pan with a little chicken stock, a turn or two of the pan. Be sure to scrape up any brown bits that have formed on the bottom of the pan. Add spinach to the chorizo and cook until wilted. Season lightly with salt to taste.

Next make the polenta, just note it cooks fast. Also note this portion is for about 2 people. Bring 2 cups chicken broth to a boil. Slowly whisk in the corn meal. Reduce heat to low and continue to whisk the polenta constantly for 5 minutes. Remove from heat and vigorously stir in the cheddar cheese until fully melted and incorporated.

Right before serving, garnish both the chorizo mixture and the black beans with some chopped cilantro.

To serve, dish out the polenta, the black beans and the chorizo mixture onto plates. Top with a dollop of fresh salsa and some corn crackers or tortilla chips for some crunch and for scooping.

Cindy’s Midday Smoothie

3 05 2014

This is a bright smoothie recipe, packed with antioxidants. You can bump up the amount of spinach in smoothies like this because of the fruit, which masks the taste of spinach itself. Leaving it both delicious, and nutritious!

Cindy's Midday Smoothie

The following makes 3 cups (adapted from Vitamix Whole Food Recipes):

  • 1 orange, peeled and halved
  • 1 banana, peeled
  • 1 apple, quartered and seeded
  • 2 cups packed fresh spinach
  • 4 frozen strawberries
  • 1/2 cup ice

Put all ingredients in a high-powered blender – if using a Vitamix, be sure to put them in the order listed. Secure lid and turn on high. Blend until smooth, about 45 seconds, or until desired consistency is reached.

Transfer to glasses and either serve immediately, or keep cool in the fridge until ready to serve.

Warm Barley and Spinach Caprese

7 04 2014

Caprese is a classic Italian salad of tomatoes, mozzarella and basil, dressed with olive oil. I took this simple starter up a notch, turning it into an easy, meatless main or side dish made with healthy barley.

Warm Barley Caprese

Warm Barley and Spinach Caprese

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

  • 3/4 cup uncooked pearled barley
  • 3 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 heaping Tbsp minced garlic
  • Pinch of red pepper flakes
  • 1/3 cup halved cherry tomatoes
  • Salt to taste
  • Couple handfuls of fresh spinach
  • 1/4 cup reduced-fat Italian cheese blend or mozzarella, shredded
  • Grated parmesan
  • Fresh basil
  • Balsamic vinegar

Rinse barley thoroughly with water, drain. Cook according to package directions. Mine called for cooking the dried, rinsed barley in a large pot of water for 35-45 minutes. Then drain and return to the pot, much like pasta.

After the barley is cooked, make the sauce. In a medium skillet, heat the oil over medium heat until shimmering and add the garlic. Cook garlic a few minutes, stirring constantly so it doesn’t burn. Add a pinch of red pepper flakes and the tomatoes. Cook tomatoes 5 minutes, stirring often. Season with salt to taste. Next, wilt in the spinach over low heat. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Add the cooked barley and stir well to combine.

At this point you could enjoy the dish as is if you wanted, garnished with parmesan and basil. Or you could mix in a little shredded Italian cheese blend and some basil, then transfer to a small casserole dish sprayed with nonstick spray. Top with a little parmesean and bake for 10-15 minutes at 350 degrees.

Dish out the barley, top with more basil and a drizzle of balsamic vinegar just before serving.

Spinach Pancakes

9 03 2014

You never know where you’ll find meal inspiration. I was sitting in a waiting room flipping through a random magazine when I stumbled on this recipe. I knew this would be great for St Patty’s Day, so I whipped out my phone and took a pic before I forgot the ingredients. This is a fabulously healthy addition to a lucky green breakfast/brunch menu, that even the kiddos will enjoy!

Spinach Pancakes

Spinach Pancakes

The following makes 6 medium-large pancakes (adapted from Parents Magazine):

  • 1 cup packed fresh spinach
  • 1 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk
  • 1 large organic egg
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp light agave nectar
  • 1 cup whole wheat or almond flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • Organic maple agave syrup

In a blender or food processor, combine the spinach, milk, egg, oil and agave nectar until smooth.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Whisk wet ingredients into the dry ingredients until just combined.

Spray a large skillet with non-stick spray and heat on medium. Fill 1/3 cup with batter and pour into skillet, leaving enough space in between each for the pancake batter to spread, I did two batches of three each. Cook for a few minutes per side, until browned, turning once.

Serve with organic maple agave syrup.

Baked Eggplant With Spinach and Olives

5 03 2014

Baked eggplant is an Italian classic, and a great meatless meal option especially if you observe Lent. There are so many great versions, and here, I add a layer of chunky spinach and kalamata olives. A delicious, healthy Italian dinner with a boost of veggies and an extra salty bite, what’s not to love?!

Baked Eggplant With Spinach and Olives

Baked Eggplant With Spinach and Olives

Baked Eggplant With Spinach and Olives

Baked Eggplant With Spinach and Olives

The following serves 2-3 (compliments of This Girl’s Gotta Eat):

  • 1 large eggplant, sliced into rounds
  • Kosher salt
  • Extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup marinated kalamata olives, with some of the oil
  •  2 cups fresh baby spinach
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • Marinara (I had some leftover from a previous dinner, but see below for how to make an easy marinara)
  • Reduced-fat, shredded Italian cheese blend (Sargento is a good option)
  • Parmesan cheese, grated
  • Fresh basil, torn into pieces

Lay sliced eggplant on a non-stick baking sheet in one layer and sprinkle with salt. Set aside until eggplant starts to sweat. Pat it dry with a paper towel.

Preheat oven to 350. Drizzle eggplant with a little oil and bake until it starts to loosen slightly, about 15 minutes. Remove from the oven.

Meanwhile, add olives, spinach and garlic to a food processor and pulse slightly, until chunky.

Spray a medium casserole dish with non-stick spray. Add a little marinara to the bottom of the casserole. Next, add a layer of eggplant. Top eggplant with a layer of the spinach-olive mixture, and top that with some more marinara (add a glob on top and around each eggplant slice). Top with a layer of shredded cheese as well as a sprinkle of parmesan. Repeat layering: eggplant, spinach-olive mixture, marinara and finally, both cheeses.

Cover with foil and bake for 30-35 minutes. Remove foil, raise the oven to 400 and continue baking, uncovered, another 5-10 minutes until the cheese is golden and bubbly. Remove from the oven and allow to sit for 5 minutes before serving.

Garnish with basil and serve.

This Girl’s Easy Marinara:

In a saucepan, add a Tbsp or so of oil and heat over medium-high heat. Add half an onion, diced and cook for a few minutes until soft. Add 2 cloves of minced garlic and a pinch of red pepper flakes, cook for another minute. Add 1 large can crushed tomatoes (28 oz) and few leaves of basil, chopped. Bring to a boil, season with salt and pepper to taste, then reduce heat, cover and simmer 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Off heat, use an immersion blender to puree the sauce slightly. Store any extra in a covered tupperware container in the fridge.

Blueberry-Spinach Smoothie With Chia Seeds

2 03 2014

Delicious blueberry smoothie packed with nutrition and tons of taste coming right up. This recipe says it serves 2, but I chug this down all by my little lonesome! 😉

Blueberry Spinach Smoothie With Chia Seeds

Blueberry Spinach Smoothie With Chia Seeds

The following makes 2 servings (adapted from Alaska From Scratch):

  • 2/3 cup non-fat strawberry greek yogurt
  • 1 ripe banana
  • 2/3 cup frozen blueberries
  • 1/4 cup frozen strawberries
  • 1 cup (packed) spinach leaves
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk
  • 1 tsp chia seeds
  • 1 Tbsp of honey

Add everything to a blender and process until smooth. You can adjust the consistency with more milk or more frozen fruit, as well as the sweetness with more honey. It was perfect as is for me though!

Whole Wheat Spinach-Banana Bread

5 02 2014

OMD….Oh My Delicious! And brilliant; a take on a green smoothie! This moist and nutritious bread has a minimal amount of sugar, which I love. It’s the perfect balance of savory and sweet…great for breakfast, mid-day snack or post-workout. Like any great bread, it’s so yummy right out of the oven, with a little butter alternative or spread with avocado.

Whole Wheat Spinach-Banana Bread

Whole Wheat Spinach-Banana Bread

The following makes 1 small loaf, about 10 slices (adapted from Fun & Food Cafe):

  • 1 medium-sized banana
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 egg
  • 1/3 cup white or brown sugar
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1/4 cup plain Greek yogurt
  • Zest of 1 small lemon
  • 1 cup packed baby spinach leaves
  • 1/4 cup chopped walnuts or pecans

Preheat oven to 350. Spray a loaf pan with non-stick spray.

Mash the banana and set aside.

In a large bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.

In another bowl, whisk the sugar and egg until creamy and fluffy. Stir in oil, yogurt, lemon zest and mashed banana.

Next, mix the dry and wet ingredients together.

In a food processor, blend the spinach leaves until very finely chopped (will look sort of pesto-like). Fold the chopped spinach into the batter.

Back in the food processor, coarse grind the nuts. Fold half of the nuts into the batter.

Fill batter into prepared loaf pan. Garnish the top with the remaining nuts. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Store covered in the fridge.

Baked Chicken Milanese With a Mushroom, Spinach and Sherried Tomato Ragu

30 01 2014

Milanese is a breaded meat cutlet that is traditionally dredged in an egg, flour and breadcrumb mixture and pan-fried. I’m offering a healthier version on this Italian classic. By only dredging in oil and panko, and baking verses frying, you can still achieve a deliciously, crunchy coating.

You’ll find milanese often served with an arugula and/or tomato salad on top. But in addition, I was craving something a bit warmer on this cold night. This mushroom and spinach ragu pairs very nicely with the chicken cutlet. Overall, this is a delicious meal that you can feel good about enjoying! 🙂

Baked Chicken Milanese With a Mushroom, Spinach and Sherried Tomato Ragu

Baked Chicken Milanese With a Mushroom, Spinach and Sherried Tomato Ragu

The following serves 2 (compliments of This Girl’s Gotta Eat and Cuisine For Two):

  • 3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, butterflied open
  • Zest and juice of 1 lemon
  • Extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cup panko
  • 1/2 cup parmesan cheese, grated
  • 1 large shallot, sliced
  • 3 containers (8 oz each) sliced baby bella mushrooms
  • 3/4 cup diced fresh tomatoes, use whatever you have
  • 1/2 cup reduced-fat, low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup dry sherry
  • 2 tsp balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tsp tomato paste
  • 3/4 bag (9 oz) baby spinach
  • 1 Tbsp chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 tsp minced fresh thyme, or a dusting of dried thyme
  • Arugula
  • Salt and pepper to taste

To butterfly the chicken, cut breasts in half lengthwise almost to the end, just be careful not to cut all the way through. Unfold the top half to lay flat. Whisk 1/3 cup of olive oil with the lemon zest in a medium bowl. Add the cutlets and marinate in the fridge for 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 450.

Combine the panko and parmesan in a shallow dish. Dredge the marinated chicken breasts in the panko mixture, pressing the chicken into the mixture to adhere. I eyeball the measurements here – you can always add more panko and cheese if needed to completely cover all the cutlets. Transfer to a baking sheet sprayed with non-stick spray. Bake chicken for 20-25 minutes, or until browned on both sides and cooked through, turning half way through.

While the chicken bakes, work on the ragu. In a large saute pan over medium heat, saute shallots in the leftover flavored oil you used to marinate the chicken in until soft. Increase heat to medium-high, add the mushrooms and saute until brown, stirring occasionally. Stir in tomatoes, broth, sherry, vinegar and tomato paste. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low and simmer for 15 minutes. Wilt in the spinach and season ragu with salt and pepper to taste. Finish with parsley and thyme.

To serve, plate the ragu and top with a little parmesan cheese. Add a piece of chicken, garnish with a squeeze of lemon juice and fresh parsley. Top with a little arugula dressed with lemon juice, olive oil and a salt and pepper to taste.