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

Tri Tip Mississippi Roast

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Slow cooking meat is one of my favorite ways to prepare meat. It is easy, the meat comes out tender, and various flavors marry beautifully when slow-cooked. This recipe was so good, my kids even ate it. This, in my opinion, is the greatest kitchen success. Most nights I am tasked with cooking kid dinner and adult dinner, which can eat up a lot of time. When the whole family can enjoy the same meal it means more time spent together at the dinner table. Another bonus to this recipe is the simplicity of the ingredients. I will admit that the original recipe called for only 8 pepperoncini peppers and I used the entire contents of a 16 oz jar… That is the beauty of cooking though, tailor it to your own taste! I will say that this is one keeper of a recipe that I will not modify from the card below. Truly this savory melt-in-your-mouth tri-tip doesn’t need any fixin’. I paired it with various sheet pan roasted veggies like onion soup potatoes, herbed asparagus, and parmesan carrots.

Ingredients:

  • 3-ish lbs of tri-tip roast or your favorite cut of roast
  • 1 tbsp cooking oil, I used coconut oil
  • 1 packet of dry onion soup and dip mix
  • 1 packet of dry ranch salad dressing and seasoning mix
  • Anywhere from 8 pepperoncini peppers to an entire 16 oz. jar. I used the whole jar and served the peppers on the side (yummy!)
  • 1/2 cup of butter, salted

Directions:

  1.  In a large skillet, heat oil over high temperature. Once hot, add the tri-tip roast and sear on each side for about 3 minutes, or until golden brown.

  2. Transfer the roast to your slow cooker.

  3. Sprinkle the roast with the ranch and dry onion soup packets. Lay the 1/2 cup of butter on top and disperse the peppers around the roast.

  4. Cover and cook on low for 8 hours.

  5. Once cooked, shred the roast with two forks.

  6. Serve with your favorite sides and enjoy!

Digital Recipe Card:

Dark Blue and Pink Abstract Artists Influencer Instagram Story Set

*Photo is an original belonging to me

** Recipe adapted from The Country Cook

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/

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

Cauliflower Pizza Crust

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This is only my second attempt at cauliflower pizza, and this recipe will become a weekend staple in my home. The crust is fairly light and crunchy, the veggie spread is savory, and the toppings were a perfect pairing. I’ve already started thinking about other topping combinations and think that next I’m going to try sun dried tomatoes, spinach and artichoke hearts. My stomach is growling simply at the thought of it! The recipe you’ll find below is for the crust and veggie spread. I use the veggie spread as a sauce of sorts so if you would rather have sauce, skip the veggie spread ingredients and directions. Finish it off with our favorite toppings, and you’ll have a delicious and healthy pizza! I got this recipe from a magazine put out by my local grocery store, Ralphs.

Serves: 8 slices     Time: 1 hour     Calories: 146/slice (this does not count toppings)

Ingredients for Crust:

  • 1 large head of cauliflower
  • 1/2 cup of shredded pizza blend cheese
  • 1/4 cup of grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 large eggs, beaten
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp Italian seasoning
  • any toppings you would like for your pizza. We used sliced red onion, black olives and cilantro.

Ingredients for Veggie Spread:

  • 2 tbsp cooking oil, I used canola
  • 3 medium/large zucchinis, shredded
  • 1 carton of grape tomatoes, sliced
  • 4 cloves of garlic thinly sliced
  • salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit, and line a baking sheet or pizza stone with parchment paper
  2. If you have a food processor, pulse the florets of cauliflower until finely chopped.
  3. If you don’t have a food processor, use a cheese grater to “rice” the cauliflower florets.
  4. Place the chopped/riced cauliflower into a microwave safe bowl and microwave on high for 3 minutes. Once it is cool enough to handle, squeeze out moisture from the cauliflower with a clean towel. It will essentially make a ball of cauliflower.
  5. Transfer the “moisture-less” cauliflower to a large mixing bowl and stir in the pizza blend cheese, Parmesan, eggs, salt, onion powder and Italian seasoning.
  6. Spread this mixture onto your prepared baking sheet or pizza stone in a thin, 12-inch circle.
  7. Bake for about 30 minutes until the crust is firm and crisp at the edges.
  8. If you plan to use veggie spread instead of sauce, start preparing this while the crust is cooking (directions found below).
  9. Top with all your favorites and bake again until your toppings are melted and/or properly heated through.

Directions for Veggie Spread:

  1. Using a cheese grater, shred your zucchini.
  2. Heat 2 tbsp of cooking oil over medium-high and add the shredded zucchini, stirring frequently.
  3. After about 3 minutes of cooking the zucchini add the sliced grape tomatoes. Note, the juices from the tomatoes will  make a paste like spread with the zucchinis. Cook for an additional 2 minutes until tomatoes start to wilt.
  4. Add in the sliced garlic and cook for an additional 30 seconds until the fragrant.
  5. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  6. Remove from heat and spread on your crust as if it was sauce after the first 30-minute bake.
  7. Top with your favorites and enjoy!

* Photo is an original belonging to me

*Recipe adapted from Ralphs

 

 

 

Baked Garlic Honey Pork Chops

 

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I won’t lie, pork chops scare me. You walk a fine line between nice tender meat or a dry jerky like patty. Every once in a while Perry will ask for something other than beef or chicken. He will suggest I try my hand at pork. Since he doesn’t ask for it too often I oblige. This is only one of two pork chop recipes on this blog right now. I hope to diversify my catalogue of recipes, and this is a delightfully delicious start! These chops are tangy, sweet and savory. The combination of flavors is fabulous and I’m willing to bet that you’ll be lapping up the sauce with with whatever side you pair these chops up with. I have to give credit to the blog who inspired me to try this recipe. If you like these chops check out other tasty recipes on Mama Hen’s Kitchen.

Serves: 4      Time: 40-50 minutes       Calories: 186/pork chop

Ingredients:

  • (4) 1 inch thick boneless pork chops (size matters here, friends. Otherwise you may end up with dry chops)
  • Salt and pepper to season the chops
  • 2 tbsp cooking oil (I used canola)
  • 1/4 cup of honey
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 3 tbsp minced garlic
  • 2 tsp soy sauce
  • (Optional) If you like spice throw in some red chili flakes to taste

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Season the pork with salt and pepper on both sides.
  3. Heat the oil in a pan over medium heat. Brown the pork chops (about 3 minutes per side).
  4. Set the pork chops in a baking dish.
  5. Whisk together the remaining ingredients. Be sure that the honey is well combined.
  6. Brush this mixture over the pork chops on both sides. Pour the remaining sauce all over the pork.
  7. Cover the baking dish with foil and bake until the internal temperature reaches your favored tenderness. This is approximately 30-40 minutes. For your reference Medium-Rare (145F-150F), Medium (150F-155F), Medium-Well (155F-160F), Well (160F).
  8. Bathe these babies with sauce before serving, and plate with your favorite sides!
  9. Enjoy 🙂

*Photo is an original belonging to me.

*Recipe is adapted from Mama Hen’s Kitchen

Tex Mex Potato Chowder

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To celebrate the start of “-ber month season,” I bring you this wonderfully hearty potato chowder recipe. This has become a fall time favorite as it is easy to throw together on busy school nights, and it is packed with flavor that lasts a couple of meals. This recipe is great as is, but I think that there are so many things you can add to customize the taste. The next time I make this I may add some jalapenos or maybe a serrano to heat things up.  I bet a topping of queso fresco and/or seasoned tortilla strips would set this chowder off as well. I’ve also considered adding extra broth and thickening it up with some Masa flour to enhance the dish with a “tortilla-esque” flavor. The possibilities are endless. I was inspired to give this dish a try by Aunt Bee’s Recipes which is a great recipe blog that I recommend checking out. Aunt Bee’s recipe (found through the above link) offers a slow cooker version of this recipe. If you are interested in making this in a slow cooker her recipe is the way to go. Keep in mind that her ingredients and directions will be slightly different from mine.

TIME: approx. 45 minutes

SERVES: 8-10

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1 tbsp vegetable or canola oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 5 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 packet of taco seasoning (I used reduced sodium)
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tbsp chili powder
  • 1 (10oz) can of rotel tomatoes, drained
  • 1 (15.25oz) can of corn, drained and rinsed
  • 1 (15.25oz) can of black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 (28oz) bag of potatoes O’Brien, frozen not thawed
  • 2 (32 oz) cartons of chicken broth
  • 3 cups of milk
  • 8 oz bar of cream cheese, softened/room temperature
  • 1 bunch of fresh cilantro, reserve a few sprigs to top when you dish
  • salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. In a large pot heat oil over medium flame. Add the chopped onion, salt and pepper. Saute for about 3 minutes. Add the ground beef and minced garlic. Cook until beef is no longer pink. Drain any excess grease.
  2. Stir in taco seasoning, cumin, and chili powder until the beef mixture is well coated. Next, add rotel tomatoes, black beans, corn, potatoes, chicken broth and milk.
  3. Bring to a boil then reduce heat.
  4. Simmer while covered for 20 minutes.
  5. Stir in softened cream cheese and fresh cilantro.
  6. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  7. Dish topping with the reserved cilantro and enjoy!

Digital recipe card:

Tex Mex Potato Chowder (1)

*Photo and recipe card are originals belonging to me