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! –  

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.

Summer Veggies & Pasta

 

 

Lightly tossed with extra virgin olive oil and S&P

Zukes and cherry tomatoes ready for roasting.

 

Just look at them! Aren’t they beautiful?? I have been craving summer veggies like crazy. Maybe it’s because I have been eating out way more than I would like lately.

During the last few weeks of the spring semester, I had all these wonderful plans of how I would cook and bake and write blog posts and take lots of pictures because I would have all this newly acquired time, right? …wrong. I have been just as busy now but in a different way. So my goal is to post once a week, and it will probably happen on Sundays. Be on the look out and feel free to call me out if I don’t stick to it.

Ok, let’s talk summer veggies. Saturday night I waited way too long to figure out what I wanted to eat for dinner. Honestly, I was avoiding it because I knew that no matter what I decided to make, it would require a trip to the grocery store. That’s a bad place to be when you’re hungry. And here in Texas, where “everything is bigger”, it takes so long to get anywhere…Ok I must admit my concept of “long” might be a bit skewed – in Indiana we live less than 5 minutes away from the nearest grocery store. On the flip side, Austin has some really great natural food stores that make the extra drive well worth it (I’m looking at you, Whole Foods). 🙂

Anyway, I was lacking some serious motivation but I did make it to my laptop to start searching for what would satisfy my palate. I started with Gena’s vegan and raw food blog, Choosing Raw and landed me on this delightful dish. My dinner search was over and my motivation found! I made it to the grocery store and back with all my items just before 11pm. The only thing left to do was eat a bowl of cold cereal with almond milk and call it a night. The zukes, tomatoes, and fresh corn would have to wait.

Sunday afternoon, I prepped all the veggies while Christi, my partner in crime (and sister), made us pink smoothies (beets, carrots, strawberries, dates, water, and cashews) to get us through our hangry hankerings.

Pink smoothie - hangry crises averted. Thank you, Christi!

Pink smoothie – hangry crisis averted. Thank you, Christi!

We needed that smoothie too because the veggies require some serious oven time – 45 mins to be exact. I was pretty tempted to just sauté the veggies to speed up the process but that would have been a serious mistake. The oven time (and a little patience) allowed the veggies to marinate in the extra virgin olive oil and freshly crushed garlic. Mmm…. the smell radiating from the oven was divine.

The final fare was even better.

fulldish

 

 

straighton

 

It took some serious self-control to wait long enough to snap a couple quick photos of this and not just shovel it all in my mouth.

What’s to love about Gena’s penne with sweet summer vegetables, pine nuts, and herbs recipe @ChoosingRaw:

  • it’s easy to make
  • fresh summertime veggies, including zukes, cherry tomatoes, and corn (off the cob)
  • the fresh basil really brings it to the next level and the oregano too (you can settle for dried oregano if you don’t have the fresh stuff on hand but don’t skip out on the fresh basil)
  • it’s sauceless but you won’t miss it one bit
  • pine nuts – so the recipe clearly calls for it and I had them but…I forgot about them. They’ll make their first appearance in the left overs though
  • it’s vegan!

Subs or suggestions:

  • the recipe calls for onions but I opted out because sometimes they don’t agree with me.
  • try a yellow squash or another one of your favorite veggies.
  • the recipe recommends adding the corn in to roast for the last 15 minutes of oven time, but I think our corn could’ve had a little more roasting time. Maybe try adding them in a bit sooner.

So what’s the final consensus? I think it’s obvious by all my raving but just in case any shadow of doubt remains, it was an absolute hit. You should try it. Check out the recipe here.

Dessert: vegan chocolate chip cookies

xo