Stromboli

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Pizza, in all its shapes and forms is always a welcome dish at our table. This blog has inspired me to experiment with pizza recipes. I’ve done freshly made dough, tested various toppings and have even tried grilling it. I’ve gotten so crafty that I realize I have skipped some very foundational pizza recipes. Here we have a Stromboli. It is easy and quick to make, and just as importantly, it is delicious. I chose to stuff this one with pepperoni and salami as the original recipe suggested, but obviously you can stuff it with whatever you like. I think next time I will attempt a spinach and artichoke variation with white sauce. This works well as a weeknight recipe if you use store-bought dough like I did. I was pretty impressed that it took at most 30 minutes to make this beautiful Stromboli. I will strongly suggest that if you are cooking for more than three people it would be wise to double the recipe. If you have little ones this is a fun recipe to get them involved in the kitchen. They can put the toppings on and even help you roll the Stromboli if you are brave. As always, I want to give credit to the original source of this recipe. I found this recipe at http://www.therecipecritic.com . I did make some variations to the original recipe, but I do recommend looking at the original to see if it fits your tastes better than my adaptation.

 

Makes: 1 Stromboli; approx. 6 servings

Calories: 387 per serving (keep in mind this is with the exact ingredients I used, and will change if you use different ingredients.)

Time: 30 total minutes -10 minutes prep; 20 minutes cooking

Ingredients:

  • 1 refrigerated thin crust pizza dough
  • 2 tbsp flour
  • 1 (14 oz) jar pizza sauce, about 1/2 cup for the Stromboli and the rest for dipping
  • 1 (3oz) package of dry Italian sausage
  • 1 (3oz) package of sliced pepperoni
  • 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
  • Parmesan cheese to taste, I only used a light sprinkling
  • 1 egg beaten
  • Garlic powder to taste, I only used a light sprinkling
  • Italian seasoning to taste, I only used a light sprinkling

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Sprinkle your working surface with flour and stretch out your pizza dough.
  3. Spread pizza sauce over the dough being careful not to get too close to the edges. When you roll the Stromboli it will be messy if you have sauce oozing out of the edges. You will not use the entire jar
  4. Sprinkle 1.5 cups of mozzarella over the sauce followed by a sprinkling of Parmesan cheese to your personal taste. Once cheese is laid start placing the pepperoni and salami.
  5. Roll the Stromboli length wise being careful not to tear the dough. Pinch the ends and place on a baking stone or cookie sheet seam side down.
  6. Brush the beaten egg over the top of the Stromboli, then slice a few little vents on the top. Distribute the remaining mozzarella cheese on top and finally sprinkle the garlic powder and Italian seasoning over the top (to taste).
  7. Bake for about 20 minutes or until golden brown.
  8. Let sit for a few minutes before slicing as it will be piping hot.
  9. Enjoy with the remaining pizza sauce for dipping!

*The photo is an original belonging to me

**Original recipe adapted from http://www.therecipecritic.com

 

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Baked Mac-n-Cheese (My childhood and adulthood favorite)

As a kid my mom would ask us what our favorite dinner was so she could make it on our birthday. Year after year my favorite never changed, and on November 10th everyone in the house knew that we’d be having baked mac-n-cheese for dinner. This recipe is amazing in its original form and I am happy to say that my changes to it have not taken much away. It is a healthier version with whole wheat pasta, less cheese, spices, and less salt. My mom used to also make stewed tomatoes to put over the mac-n-cheese but I have come to love the herbed taste and don’t want to smother it. This dish is so good for left overs that when we make it my husband is pretty much set with lunch at work for the week… I hope you love it as much as I do ❤

Serves:  9

Ingredients: (You will notice I did not put measurements for the spices. We do this recipe in 2 layers and you top each layer with the spices so it’s really just a sprinkling of the spices.)

2-13.25oz packages of whole wheat pasta (We like to use penne, my mom liked to use elbows, you decide what you like best 🙂 )

– 1 tsp olive or canola oil

– 2-8oz packages of shredded cheddar and monterey jack cheese blend. (My mom used to buy a 16oz block of each and dice it up. That is twice as much cheese and you get “cheesy” spots which are awesome but can pack in the calories. That was how I always loved it but I’m learning to use less cheese and more spice to kick up the flavor. Very worth it.)

– black pepper

– salt

– dried parsley

– garlic powder

– onion powder

– thyme

– 1 cup of milk

– 1 can of stewed tomatoes *OPTIONAL*

Directions:

1.) Preheat oven to 350 degrees

2.) Add a pinch of salt and 1 tsp of oil to a  large pot of water. Bring to a boil. (I like to boil with a little bit of oil to keep pasta from sticking together.)

3.) Cook pasta.

4.) When pasta is cooked strain and add half into an oiled 14.5x11x2in pan.

5.) Sprinkle one bag of cheese over the pasta and lightly season with spices/herbs.

6.) Put the rest of the pasta over the first layer and sprinkle second bag of cheese ontop. Lightly season with spices/herbs. Pour 1 cup of milk over the whole dish

7.) Bake in the oven for 25mins if you don’t want it to be too crispy or for 30 minutes if you are like me and love the crispy top.

8.) Dish and enjoy! (Optional- dish stewed tomatoes on top of mac-n-cheese for even more flavor)

**All photos are originals taken by me.**

Blackened Chicken Alfredo Bake with Whole Wheat Pasta

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Last night we had a couple of friends over for an early dinner. I decided that they would be my guinea pigs and taste a new recipe. This dish was a hit and the best part was that they had no idea they were eating hearty vegetables. My husband, the avid cauliflower hater, licked his plate clean and was shocked when I told him that he just ate a serving of cauliflower. What’s more shocking was his response saying “And I’d do it all over again!” Even our 16 month old son cleaned his plate.  I’m sure this would be awesome for left overs but the problem is that it is so good that I can almost guarantee it will be gone in one night.

***As always remember when cooking raw meat to be careful about cross contamination. It is very easy to get someone sick by not sanitizing the utensils used to handle raw meat (including your hands.) You want to enjoy your food, not spew it. Wash your hands and kitchen tools!***

Serves: 8     Carbs: 530 per serving

Ingredients for Chicken Seasoning (You can buy Montreal seasoning in the store or make it with seasonings you already have like I did.):

  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 2 tsp coarsely ground coriander seeds
  • 1 tbsp coarse salt
  • 2 tsp paprika
  • 2 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 2 tsp black pepper

Ingredients for Dish:

  • 1 pkg whole wheat spaghetti
  • 1 lb boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • chicken seasoning
  • cooking spray
  • 2 tbsp olive or canola oil
  • 1 cup yellow squash, cubed
  • 1 medium onion, chopped (TIP:I chop onions with sunglasses on and oven fan on high to avoid tearing up)
  • 1 cup of cauliflower, chopped
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 jar of store bought Alfredo sauce (Vicky Bryant gave us a great tip to make this dish even more healthy. Make your own Alfredo! I have never tried it but when I do I will update this post to include the recipe and directions. Stay tuned!)
  • Parmesan cheese (to coat top)
  • Breadcrumbs (to coat top)

Directions:

  1. Move oven rack to top, preheat oven to 350 degrees and spray 13 X 9in dish with cooking spray.
  2. Boil a large pot of water to cook spaghetti.
  3. Trim and dice chicken
  4. Coat a large skillet with cooking oil. Season chicken and cook until it starts to blacken. Set chicken aside.*** If you make your own seasoning with the recipe above be aware that you will have some left over. Do not feel like you need to use the whole batch of seasoning b/c that will just make it REALLY spicy and unless you like that it will ruin the recipe. Save what is left over for the next time you make the meal***
  5. Place chopped cauliflower in a microwavable dish, add 2 tbsp of water. Cover with plastic wrap and microwave for 4 minutes on high.***The dish will be EXTREMELY hot. Please take precaution when removing dish from microwave***
  6. In the same skillet you cooked the chicken in add 1 tbsp of oil and saute the onion until it clear. Add squash and cook until soft. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  7. Add chicken to casserole dish with all the vegetables. Pour Alfredo sauce over the chicken and veggies. Top with Parmesan cheese and bread crumbs. Don’t go too crazy with the cheese because the sauce is pretty rich by itself.
  8. By this time your water should be boiling. Cook pasta while dish is baking.
  9. Put dish on top rack in your oven. Bake for 20 minutes and then broil for about 10 minutes until top is browned. Keep an eye on the dish while broiling because the only thing you want blackened in this recipe is the chicken 🙂
  10. Strain pasta and toss with the remaining 1 tbsp of oil.
  11. Dish pasta onto plates and top with the blackened chicken alfredo bake.
  12. Indulge 🙂

This is the face of a happy eater :

**All photos are originals taken by me**