Summer Veggie Pizza

Summer Veggie Pizza

I recently acquired a free subscription to Better Homes and Gardens. As a 25-year-old woman this is not my normal magazine of choice but it came with a comforter I purchased this past spring and if it’s free it’s me!

In the August edition of BHG I found an article of ideas to use zucchini and yellow squash in ways that would be more exciting for your family such as a full veggie pizza. The article didn’t have a recipe but rather a short list of ingredients, including Alfred sauce, mozzarella cheese, sliced zucchinis and squash and basil. This recipe seemed easy and quick allowing for room for creativity and that’s just up my alley so I invited some friends over for dinner and ran off to the grocery store with my meager list. I grabbed two pizza crusts with Sherree, two jars of Alfredo sauce, 3 zucchinis and 3 yellow squashes and shredded mozzarella cheese.

First I used my mandolin to slice the zucchini’s and yellow squash, as it turns out I needed about one of each veggie for the two pizzas. Next I spread the Alfredo sauce over the pizza crust and layered the zucchini as the first level, the squash as the second layer. I added a generous layer of mozzarella and parmesan cheese.

What I failed to do was add any seasoning and thus my friends and I enjoyed a rather bland pizza. My friends decided to add crushed red pepper or hot sauce to add flavor post-cooking. These items may be good to have on hand even if you do add seasoning because they are beloved condiments and hot sauce is a crowd pleaser any day.

Ingredient List:

  • 1 store bought pizza crust
  • 1 jar of Alfredo sauce
  • 1 tsp Italian Seasoning
  • 1 Zucchini
  • 1 Yellow Squash
  • Mozzarella cheese (one store bought bag)
  • Parmesan cheese

Directions:

  • Preheat oven to 450 degrees
  • Spread a layer of Alfredo Sauce on top of the pizza crust (expect to use 1/3 to ½ of the jar)
  • Sprinkle Italian Seasoning over the Alfredo sauce
  • Spread zucchini directly over the Alfredo sauce with little separation between the zucchini slices
  • Spread yellow squash over the layer of zucchini with little separation between the squash slices
  • Liberally sprinkle mozzarella cheese on top of the veggies, sprinkle parmesan cheese as a second layer of cheese on top of the mozzarella
  • Place in oven and allow to cook for 20 minutes

Prepping the Veggies

Step 1 Veggie Pizza Step 1.5 Veggie Pizza

Step 2 Veggie Pizza

Last Step, Veggie Pizza

I hope this summer veggie pizza provides you a delicious meal to share with your family or friends and that you submit comments on how to improve this recipe as you experiment.

– Enjoy! –  

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Stove Top Chili Lasagna

Here in Houston I have minimal kitchen supplies as I left my whole kitchen in Indiana for the summer. I didn’t have the time or space to move it down and that makes me really sad now…but I’ll be really happy when I have to move back North in 5 weeks. I guess you can’t win ‘em all.

 

I have one pot and one 8” skillet to make it through the summer so I have to get creative if I want to eat food that isn’t take out or microwaved. I am an avid Pinterest user and I make a point to actually attempt the recipes I pin along with the arts and craft ideas. Understandably, not everything turns out well when I first try it so I took two trials to test out this recipe from Mel’s Kitchen Café, to my great surprise even though I had a tiny 8” skillet and had to break the recipe in half and mix it together in my one pot, it turned out perfectly!

 

If you’re looking for an easy and quick dinner that will save nicely for further lunches and dinners then BOOM-BABY, this is your dish!

In total you’ll spend 25-30 minutes with prep work, cooking and plating this meal, I spent about 7 minutes eating each serving throughout the week. Let’s get to the good stuff…

Skillet full of yum

Skillet full of yum

 

Ingredients

2 tbls. Extra Virgin Olive Oil

1 tsp. Chili Pepper *Suggested: Chipotle Chili Pepper

1 Chopped Yello Onion

4 tsp. Minced Garlic

2 cans (28oz.) Diced Tomatoes *Suggested: Fire Roasted Style

10+ Curly Edged oven ready lasagna noodles

2 small chopped zucchini

2 small chopped yellow squash

1 chopped Japanese Eggplant

1 cup Skim ricotta cheese

Sprinkle Parmesan Cheese

Chopped Veggies

Chopped Veggies

Supplies
–       12” skillet

Directions

  1. Heat the extra virgin olive oil in the skillet at medium heat
  2. Add onion & cook until soft
  3. Add garlic to skillet and cook for 1 minute
  4. Drain cans of diced tomatoes and add to skillet
  5. Break Lasagna noodles and place on top of the diced tomatoes, allow mixture to simmer then reduce to a medium heat and cook for 10 minutes. Stir occasionally
  6. Mix in chopped zucchini, squash and eggplant. Cook for 8-10 minutes on medium heat.
    1. You want the veggies to be tender
  7. Remove skillet from heat and add ricotta cheese, plate and sprinkle parmesan cheese for serving
Fully cooked and fully cheesed stove top lasagna.

Fully cooked and fully cheesed stove top lasagna.

Love & Food – S+J Anniversary 2

6.21.12 That was the day. Exactly two years ago yesterday, James and I got married. Last year, we threw our bikes into the back of the van and we drove to Navy Pier in Chicago. We left the van at the pier and rode our bikes all around downtown Chicago and ate whatever we wanted. It was perfect. Here we are:

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This year is a little tougher – James is in Indiana doing research and I’m here in Texas for my summer internship – but we made the most of it through a FaceTime movie date and eating a lot of great food for breakfast and dinner. We took it easy for lunch.

S. Breakfast: Green pancakes
J Breakfast: German pancakes

S Dinner: red potato & pork sausage hash
D Dinner: sushi at Majé

I know what you’re thinking – James really out did me on both accounts. I can’t compete with German pancakes but stay with me for dinner though, you gotta see this. It was so good! But first, we will start with breakfast.

German Pancakes

These are, no joke, my favorite kind of pancakes. They’re quick and easy to make and absolutely delicious. First time I tried German Pancakes was my freshman year of college. Meridith Marie Petty – a kindred spirit – introduced me to this family tradition of hers and it quickly became a forever favorite of mine.

Best part of german pancakes, second only to shoveling them in your mouth, is seeing them right when they come out of the oven. They’re so fluffy and buttery and crispy!! Mmm. James chose well.

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Ingredients:

1/4 cup of butter
1 cup flour
1 cup milk
6 eggs
Pinch of salt

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Put the butter in a 9×13 glass dish and place it in the oven while it preheats so the butter can melt.
  2. Meanwhile, place all the other ingredients in the blender. Blend until smooth.
  3. Once the butter is melted, pour the batter into the glass dish and bake for 35 minutes.

Now, if you’re anything like me and get excited about taking pictures with/of food, then you need to be ready and I mean ready. These beauties only stay puffy for a minute. Snap a few shots and then let it go. Serve with pure maple syrup or maybe fresh fruit.

Green pancakes

I have to apologize, I don’t have a photo of the green pancakes. I promise you’re not missing much though. They look like normal pancakes, but they’re green. Basically, they’re just another “creative” way to get greens into your mouth before noon. Brit showed the family this recipe a while ago and I’ve lightly adapted it:

Ingredients:

1 cup milk alternative (I use almond milk)
1/2 cup coconut oil (make sure it’s melted)
3 eggs
1 tbls agave nectar
1/2 tsp salt
3 large handfuls of Spinach (or whatever fits into the blender on top of the other ingredients)
1 cup wheat kernels

Directions:

  1. Put everything into your high speed blender (I use a Blendtec) in the order listed above and blend on the Whole Juice setting twice. Just make sure it’s well blended.
  2. Allow the batter to sit for 5 minutes to thicken.
  3. Drop about a 1/2 cup of batter into a heated pan. Flip pancakes when little air bubbles start to form on the top.

I recommend spreading some of your favorite nut butter on top and drizzling with pure maple syrup.

Fast forward 8-9 hours and dinner time it is! James had sushi. I’m sure it was good. But let’s talk about my dinner…

Fresh Garden Veggies & Pork Sausage Hash

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Evidently this a breakfast dish but I know very few people that wouldn’t jump at the opportunity to eat breakfast twice in one day. Just look at it. Isn’t it beautiful! This dish was inspired by Celeriac and Sausage Hash from the Against All Grain cookbook by Danielle Walker. You can check out her blog here.

Ingredients:

1 tbls coconut oil
2 cups red potatoes (leave the skin on, it’s good for you!)
1/2 lb breakfast sausage
3/4 cup finely diced carrots
3/4 cup finely diced zucchini
1/2 cup chopped cremini mushrooms
1 tsp chopped fresh parsley
1 tsp chopped fresh rosemary
1/4 tsp sea salt
black pepper to taste

Add-ins/toppings:

chopped radishes
chopped tomato
fried egg
chopped rosemary for garnish

Directions:

  1. Heat the coconut oil in the skillet over medium heat
  2. Place the potatoes in the skillet and cook for 5 minutes
  3. Add in the sausage and carrots, cook until the meat is fully cooked through
  4. Add the in the remaining ingredients and cook until the mushrooms and zucchini are tender
  5. Top with your add-ins: radishes, tomato, fried egg and rosemary.

Enjoy! I’m sure this would be good with a number of different veggies. Use whatever you have in your fridge at the time. I honestly could’ve gone without the sausage but my siblings really liked the flavor it added.

I rounded out the night with dessert, of course, because anything less than that would just be unacceptable. Luckily for me, Brit had this frozen little delight ready for me (recipe cred: Angela Liddon at OhSheGlows):

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I think it’s safe to say that James and I ate well this year for our anniversary, even if we weren’t able to eat together. It would have been nice to go on some sort of adventure but the delicious food and our FaceTime movie date (The Secret Life of Walter Mitty) made it manageable. 🙂

What do you and your significant other do to have fun when spread miles and miles apart?