Spinach and Roasted Red Pepper Pizza Canoe

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I could tip-toe around quarantine and COVID-19 talk but that would be unfair to those who have suffered, died, or faced the beast on the frontlines. This is a recipe blog, but I feel it is important to pay respect to all of the aforementioned groups. Thank you to all the essential workers. You keep our world moving forward. From the cashier who rings up my groceries, to my sister and all healthcare workers who are helping patients find comfort, the thousands of families in mourning, and those who are currently fighting the virus in their bodies. You are all in my thoughts and most importantly in my prayers.

This week the shelves at my grocery store had more to offer and we were able to pull this recipe together. Two of the biggest missing players were pre-made pizza dough and fresh garlic bulbs. This recipe describes how we made our own pizza dough, but you can skip this step if you would rather purchase the dough already made.

Serves: comfortably serves 5-6.   Time: 2h 27m if making your own dough; 1h 15m if using premade dough

Ingredients for Pizza Dough:

  • 4 cups flour, plus more for rolling

  • 1 teaspoon sugar

  • 1 envelope instant dry yeast

  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt

  • 1 1/2 cups water, approximately 110 degrees F

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, plus 2 teaspoons

Ingredients for Pizza canoe:

  • You can make your own pizza dough or you can purchase 1 lb. of ready-made pizza dough. Divide the dough in half.
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 3 cups of fresh spinach, stems removed
  • 2 tablespoons + 2 tsp olive oil, divided
  • 2 medium red bell peppers
  • pinch of salt and pepper
  • 1 (8 oz) bag of shredded pizza cheese
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • Marinara sauce to serve

Directions for pizza dough (Takes about 1hr 15min):

  1. Combine the flour, sugar, yeast and kosher salt in a bowl and combine.
  2. Add the water and 2 tablespoons of the oil and beat until the dough forms into a ball.
  3. Transfer the dough onto a lightly floured surface and gently knead into a smooth, firm ball.
  4. Grease a large bowl with the remaining 2 teaspoons olive oil, add the dough, cover the bowl with plastic wrap or a tea towel and put it in a warm area to let it double in size, about 1 hour. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and divide it into 2 equal pieces. Cover each with a clean kitchen towel or plastic wrap and let them rest for 10 minutes.

Directions for pizza dough (Takes about 45min):

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
  2. In a large bowl, toss your bell peppers with 2 tsp of oil and a pinch of salt and pepper. Roast the peppers in your oven for about 15 minutes.
  3. Remove the peppers from the oven and place them back into the bowl you seasoned them in. Cover the bowl for about 15 minutes.
  4. Once cooled peel as much of the skin off each pepper as you can,  remove the stem, ribs, and seeds. Slice each pepper into thin strips. Set aside.
  5. Add 2 tablespoons of oil to a large skillet over medium heat. When hot, add the garlic and cook until fragrant. Add the spinach and red pepper flakes. Toss to combine. Cook, stirring until the spinach is wilted.
  6. Remove the pan from the heat and set aside.
  7. Roll out the first half of the pizza dough on a floured work surface. Form the dough into an oval shape, about 12-inches long by 7-inches wide.
  8. Spread half of the spinach mixture over the dough, leaving about 2 inches around the edges. Next, sprinkle 1/4 of the cheese on top. Add half of the roasted pepper strips on top followed by another 1/4 of the cheese. Next, add the rest of the spinach mixture followed by 1/4 of the cheese, then add the rest of the roasted peppers, and the last of the cheese.
  9. Roll out the second half of the pizza dough on a floured work surface. Make the dimensions as close to the other dough as possible. Drape this over top of the pizza and press together the edges of the top dough with the bottom dough.
  10. Use a sharp knife and cut 3 or 4,  slices into the top of the pizza canoe to serve as air vents.
  11. Brush the top of the canoe with the remaining olive oil.
  12. Bake for 25-30 minutes, until golden on top. Remove from the oven and let stand for 5-10 minutes before slicing and serving with your favorite marinara sauce
  13. Plate, serve, and enjoy!!

Digital Recipe Card:

Gnocchi and Vegetable Soup (2)

*Photo is an original belonging to me.

*Recipe adapted from Food Network and Grab a Plate

Wendy’s style chili

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Oh baby, Wendy’s chili is something that holds childhood memories. My best childhood friend, Misty, had a family vacation spot down the shore. Every summer her poppy would load us up in the car and drive us to the shore. On the way, we would stop at Wendy’s as we neared our destination. We always got chicken nuggets and chili. This chili took me back to those days so vividly I even remembered the one trip that we made her amazing poppy play Britney Spears’  “baby one more time” album on repeat. This is not necessarily the quickest recipe to whip up, but it is incredibly easy. The most difficult part was chopping up the fresh veggies. Truly, it is mainly dumping in cans of saucy goodness and stirring occasionally over the course of 2 hours. This recipe made SO much that we were honestly eating it for a week. Make this chili for a crowd!

Ingredients:

  • 2 lbs. ground beef
  • 30 oz can of tomato sauce
  • 30 oz can of kidney beans, not drained
  • 30 oz can of pinto beans, not drained
  • 15 oz can od ranch style beans
  • 28 oz can of diced tomatoes
  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • 2 jalapenos, de-seeded/de-veined and diced
  • 3 stalks of celery, chopped
  • 2 green bell peppers, chopped
  • 1 tbsp cumin
  • 1/4 cup chili powder
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 cup of water
  • 1 tbsp butter, unsalted
  • OPTIONAL: toppers like sour cream, cheddar cheese, cornbread, cilantro, avocado, etc.

Directions:

  1. In a large pot brown the ground beef. Drain the fat.
  2. Add in the rest of the ingredients and bring the pot to a boil.
  3. Once boiling, reduce to a simmer and cook uncovered for 2 hours. Be sure to stir occasionally.
  4. Dish into a deep bowl and serve with your favorite toppers.
  5. Enjoy!

Digital Recipe Card:Wendy's Style Chili

Photo is an original belonging to me. 

Greek Burgers

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We are one of those families that buys chicken and ground beef in bulk. My task each week is to find a chicken recipe a beef recipe and maybe a veggie recipe as an extra meal. I’ve found myself bogged down with meatloaf and meatball recipes on Pinterest. That’s all that seems to catch my eye as I am looking for recipes. When I came across this one I knew I had to give it a try. Man, am I glad I did! This recipe is fresh, flavorful and easy. I felt safe trying this burger recipe as it has all my favorite Mediterranean elements. How does one go wrong with sundried tomatoes, black olives, feta, and Tzatziki?!  You just don’t… I will admit that I ended up cooking these patties on the stove because my grill was out of propane. That said, I will be cooking these on the stovetop moving forward because I think that they do have the potential to crumble over the grates of a grill. I would also suggest using sandwich thins instead of traditional burger buns because these patties have such bold flavor that I felt the traditional bun muted more subtle flavors (i.e. tzatziki). In all, this recipe is a new family favorite and it will be a regular in my weekly recipe rotation.

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*Photo is an original belonging to me

**Recipe adapted from https://www.savorytooth.com/greek-burgers/

Black Pepper Chicken

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Chinese takeout is one of my favorite kitchen cheats, but with recipes like this, I can prepare the salty deliciousness myself. Yes, friends, this is another fakeout-takeout recipe. I will admit that Panda Express got me through my long Tuesdays on campus at Cal State Long Beach. I would arrive at 9am and my last class would end at 10pm. Truly, I owe my degree to Panda for fueling me through my last semester. Upon graduation, I needed to find a way to satisfy my Tuesday cravings. That is where the adventure for this recipe began. Before I knew it I was whipping it up myself! This recipe is fairly easy and features that super savory pepper sauce. If you don’t feel like fussing with fresh ginger, you can substitute it with ground ginger powder. However, I will advise that it’s very much worth fussing over the fresh stuff.  Recipe For.png

*Photo is an original belonging to me

**Recipe adapted from https://sweetcsdesigns.com/panda-express-black-pepper-chicken-copycat-recipe/

Chicken and Green Chile Enchiladas

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I know I am not alone when I say that it is a huge annoyance when I click on a Pinterest recipe only to receive a 20-page annotated essay. For the sake of everyone’s nerves, I’ll keep this short. This enchilada recipe is incredibly simple, with few ingredients and no need for a ton of elbow grease. For me, this dish feels like “comforts of home.” You’ve got a thick flavorful sauce, stringy cheese, and a bit of protein wrapped up in a corn tortilla… What more can you ask for? I suggest that you make this at the start of the week and have left-over lunch or dinner for a few days (depending on the size of your family.). Credit goes to Kristyn from Lil Luna. It was her recipe that inspired me to cook these babies up!

Chicken and Green Chile Enchiladas

*Photo is an original belonging to me

**Original recipe adapted from Lil Luna

Gnocchi and Vegetable Soup

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My husband and I recently returned from a dive trip to the Philippines. It was an amazing trip filled with great diving, good friends and TONS of delicious food and drink. That said when we returned home from a week of lush eating and drinking we needed to incorporate a healthy dose of vegetables into the week’s menu. It is not necessarily soup weather where we live at the moment but I could not pass this recipe up. As is my pattern, this is a super easy dish to throw together. Seriously, the most difficult part is prepping the veggies. This recipe will be ideal for brisk fall and brutal winter nights to warm up your core and fuel your body with nutrients. This recipe was adapted from Umami Girl who hosts a wonderful recipe blog.

Serves: 8

Time: 45m to 1h

Ingredients:

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 large yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 bunch of celery, rinsed and sliced
  • 1 lb bag of carrots, peeled and sliced
  • 4 cloves of garlic, chopped
  • 3 (32 oz) cartons of vegetable broth
  • 1 tsp Italian seasoning
  • 1 (15 oz) can of white beans
  • 6 oz baby spinach
  • 16 oz package of gnocchi
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • Parmesan cheese to sprinkle on top
  • crushed red pepper flakes to top

Directions:

  1. In a large pot heat olive oil over medium-hot heat. Add the onion and celery. Saute until tender/crisp (about 5 minutes) then add the carrots and garlic and cook until garlic becomes fragrant (about 30 seconds).
  2. Add the three cartons of vegetable broth and Italian seasoning. Bring it to a boil. Once boiling turn down the heat to create a simmer.
  3. Once simmering stir in the white beans and spinach. Once spinach begins to wilt add in one gnocchi and cook it until it pops up to the top. I do this in order to taste the broth. Taste your tester gnocchi with a healthy spoonful of broth and veggies. Add salt/pepper to your taste at this point. Once you have the broth up to your standards add in the rest of the gnocchi and cook until they pop up to the surface of the soup.
  4. Dish the soup and top with Parmesan cheese and red pepper flakes.
  5. Serve and enjoy!

*Photo is an original belonging to me

Digital recipe card:

Gnocchi and Vegetable Soup (1)

Sriracha Beef and Cabbage Stir Fry

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My husband and I will soon be entering a transition period in which our “home roles” reverse. I will be launching a career and he will be staying home with our kids more frequently to accommodate my work schedule. This means that I will be letting him take the reigns in the kitchen a little more often. This is a beautiful thing and is one of the reasons why I started this blog. I wanted a place where all of our favorite recipes could live and be accessed from anywhere by anyone. I will admit that I am a little concerned about this transition as my dearest husband has trouble making mac-n-cheese from a box with clearly listed instructions… That said, I took on the hunt for this recipe as a challenge to find a dish similar to the meals my husband makes when he has to cook. There are a few things he can whip up for dinner really well and his go-to dish is ground beef tacos. This recipe is as easy as ground beef tacos, takes about the same amount of time, and the flavor is phenomenal. I am confident that my husband can pull this recipe off. This recipe was adapted from a fabulous recipe blog called Budget Bytes. I highly recommend Budget Bytes to everyone as the dishes look delicious and the author, Beth, breaks everything down financially for people like me who like to eat under budget.

Time: 30 minutes  Serves: 6-8

Sriracha Beef and Cabbage Stir Fry

*Photo is an original belonging to me