Corn, Squash, and Green Onion Flatbread

IMG_3768It has been a busy week, and I was wrong about having more time to write.  With the start of school and my wanting to catch up on some errands and get ready for a busy weekend of parties, I feel as if the days have gotten away from me.  Of course we have been eating and I have been in the kitchen, but I have not found the time to sit down and write about our meals.  I know as we settle in to our new school schedule this will change.  In the meantime, I thought I would share a recipe off our must try list that I finally got around to making, per the instructions.  Well almost.

Several weeks ago I wrote about a chard naan pizza that I made.  The flatbread came about as I did not have all the necessary ingredients for this recipe for a corn, squash, and green onion flatbread that Little Miss Mixture had placed on our must try list.  This past weekend, I decided to try the recipe that helped to create those chard pizzas.  The reviews online at cookinglight.com were slightly mixed, but I read the recipe and a couple reviews and decided to give it a go.

I love pizza and these individual type flatbread, naan bread pizzas are great for an easy meal during the week.  I find this especially true during the school year when on occasion we eat in shifts.  As I stated I followed the recipe sort of.  I felt the need to make a few changes that would enhance the flavor.  The recipe is very basic in that it calls for yellow squash.  I love most vegetables and prefer many of them raw, but I just could not imagine raw squash with cheese melted on it.  The recipe does not indicate cooking the squash, but I chose to sauté it with some garlic as I knew the green onions would add some crunch.  I also chose to leave out the black pepper, salt, and thyme the original recipe called for.  I rarely add salt to anything as I find it is not necessary with most recipes and having sautéed the squash I wanted that sweetness of that to shine rather than thyme or black pepper.

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Corn, Sautéed Squash, and Green Onion Flatbread

1 Frozen Naan Bread per serving

1-2 pieces yellow squash, cut into chunks

1 clove garlic, minced

1 ear of corn

2 green onions, cut into 1/4″ pieces

1 cup Fontina cheese

3 Tbsp. Butter

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Directions

Preheat oven to 400 degrees with pizza stone in it.

In a medium skillet heat 1-2 Tbsp butter over medium high heat.  Add the garlic and squash and sauté until browned and soft.  Meanwhile cut the corn from the cob.  I chose to use grilled corn as I had some extra for meals such as this, but you can boil it if you prefer.  Remove the squash from the skillet and add another 1 Tbsp butter.  Heat each of the naan breads to lightly coat each side with some butter.

On your heated pizza stone place the naan bread.  Top with corn, squash, and the green onions.  Lightly cover with cheese and heat in the 400 degree oven until the cheese melts.  Cut into small pieces and enjoy.

Okay so as I am writing my version of Corn, Squash, and Green onion Flatbread, I am realizing that once again I really did not follow the recipe.  However the idea was based on this cooking light recipe and the meal turned out well.  I consider that a win and another type of pizza has been added to our list of dinner ideas.

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Gazpacho

DSC_0519Gazpacho is one of those things that I live for in the summer. It is the perfect meal on a hot summer night. For years it has been one of the reasons I needed a blender.  In fact there were probably a few years when I only used that trusty kitchen aid for a batch or two of this delightful summer concoction.  Of course that was before smoothies became more common in our breakfast rotation, and I broke down and got a Vitamix.  Regardless when the kitchen aid gave out last year around mid March, I knew I had to find a replacement before gazpacho season.  Thankfully when July rolled my kitchen was more than equipped to make gazpacho.

Over the years, I have tried several recipes.  For several years, I found no matter what combination of vegetables I used, I could not replicate the flavor of the wonderful bowls I would order at restaurants.  I did not like the recipes that used canned tomato juice, but found the need to try them in my search to find that perfect blend.  Then after having had a wonderful bowl at a Jose Andres restaurant in Washington D.C., I stumbled upon a recipe of his.  Funny thing was it was actually his wife recipe.  Well Thank you Patricia Andres because of you I no longer find myself searching recipes each summer, but rather I make batch after batch of this wonderfully refreshing cold soup.

I have always been a fan of gazpacho, and you will still find me ordering traditional gazpacho or other varieties when we dine out.  But I think this recipe is the one that made Mr. Mixture a believer in the soup as well.  No one complains when this version is served alongside some fresh bread.  I often toss a few cold shrimp in it as well like a gazpacho cocktail.

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GAZPACHO

Ingredients

      • 2 lb ripe red tomatoes(original recipe calls for about 10 plum tomatoes, I prefer 2-3 large red tomatoes and 1 heirloom)
      • 8 oz cucumber (about 1 cucumber or 2 kirby cucumbers)
      • 1/2 bell pepper (I prefer red, orange, or yellow)
      • 1 Tbsp sherry vinegar
      • 1 garlic clove, peeled
      • 3/4 Cup extra virgin olive oilIMG_3450IMG_3454

Directions
1. Cut out and discard the core at the top of the tomatoes, chop the tomatoes into quarters and place in blender and liquify.
2. Peel the cucumber(s) and cut into chunks. Add to the blender and liquify.
3. Cut the pepper in half, removed the core and the seeds and cut into large chunks and add to the blender mixture.
4. Once all the vegetables are liquified. Add the garlic and sherry vinegar. At this time you can taste for acidity. Based on the sweetness of the tomatoes the flavor may vary. If you think it is not balanced add a small amount more of vinegar. Sometimes I have added as much as another 1/2 Tbsp.
5. Add the olive oil and reblend to ensure it is mixed well. The original recipe calls to run the gazpacho through a strainer at this time. I have always omitted this step as I do not mind a slightly chunky gazpacho, and I find the Vitamix can liquify anything so it is the perfect texture for me.
6. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes before serving.
7. Top with any of the recommended garnishes or just enjoy plain and simple.

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You can garnish with any of the following:

          • 1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
          • chopped tomatoes
          • green onions or chives
          • Shrimp
          • rustic bread or croutons

* adapted from Gazpacho al Estilo de Patricia that appeared on delish.comIMG_3462

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Grilled Peach, Goat Cheese, & Arugula Salad Pizza

IMG_3528The other night I had some friends over and I seem to always over think the food thing, but that is just who I am.  I knew it would be a small crowd, but I find often this is the only chance I get to try what may be considered more girly type foods or appetizers and desserts.  Don’t get me wrong Mr. Mixture is typically game for trying most things, but I know there are certain foods that I enjoy more than he would.  I could easily make a dinner out of cheese, crackers, and other pick me up type things.  Add a glass of wine and a sweet bite and I am a happy girl.

To make myself happy, I put out some food and decided I would make a simple dinner for the family that I could use for my guest as well.  I had thought about making a basic pizza as we love pizza and really have not had one in awhile, but then I got creative and things got more appropriate for a ladies night.  I had some grilled peaches that I had planned to use for a salad, but then our menu got moved around a bit, so I decided a pizza with peaches would go perfect with some good friends and wine.  I figured Little Miss Mixture would enjoy it as her dinner as well.

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Grilled Peaches, Goat Cheese and Arugula Salad Pizza

1 Pizza dough (I used Trader Joe’s)

2 oz. Arugula Pesto (optional – this could be substituted with olive oil)

3 Grilled Peaches, Halved and sliced

2 oz. Goat Cheese

2 oz Mozzarella Cheese

6 oz Arugula

1 Tbsp. Balsamic Dressing

1 tsp. Olive Oil

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Prepare pizza dough as per package directions.  I always allow dough to set out in order to get to room temperature so it is easier to roll.  Preheat oven to 425 degrees and allow to heat for 15-30 minutes with pizza stone.  This will help to cook the dough thoroughly in a shorter time when it is placed on a hot pizza stone.

Roll out pizza dough and transfer to hot pizza stone that has been prepped with about 1 tsp. olive oil.  Place pizza dough in preheated oven until it begins to rise and start to turn golden.

Remove pizza dough and brush with arugula pesto.  Dollop the goat cheese around the pizza dough and sprinkle with mozzarella cheese as well.  Place grilled peaches around the pizza dough and return to oven.  Cook for about 15 minutes or until cheese is melted.

Meanwhile toss arugula and balsamic dressing together.

Remove pizza from oven and top with arugula salad.  Slice and serve.

IMG_3530IMG_3523IMG_3526Well the pizza was a success.  Everyone enjoyed it including Mr. Mixture who arrived home late and was hungry.  Lucky for me since I have way too many peaches from our family adventure peach picking this weekend.  Looks like we may be seeing this again soon.  Might be perfect for our next meatless monday meal.

Tortellini with Snap Peas & Pesto

IMG_2833Looking for a quick and easy light summer meal, well look no further.  I took this recipe from my Recipe Must Make list, as it was one of the Cooking Light recipes that Little Miss Mixture picked.  I am a fan of Trader Joe’s refrigerated ravioli and tortellini.  Yes I would prefer if they were whole wheat like the dried pasta I use, but for a weeknight meal they are perfect.  I find they cook quickly whether you store them in your refrigerator or freezer and with some added vegetables, meats, or sauces they can quickly be transformed into a satisfying dinner.

Here is a great recipe to pair with refrigerated tortellini as you can prepare the sauce ahead of time and then you can get dinner ready in less than 10 minutes.

Tortellini with Snap Peas & Pesto

Ingredients
1 pkg Refrigerated Cheese Tortellini
8 oz sugar snap peas, trimmed and halved diagonally (about 1 1/2 cups)
1 Cup fresh mint leaves
1 Cup fresh basil leaves
3 Tbsp sliced almonds, toasted
2 Tbsp grated Parmesan cheese
1 tsp grated lemon rind
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1/8 tsp kosher salt
1 garlic clove, minced
3 Tbsp olive oil
1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice

Directions
1. Cook tortellini according to package directions, omitting salt and fat. Add snap peas to pan during last 3 minutes of cooking; cook 3 minutes. Drain.
2. Place mint and next 7 ingredients (through garlic) in a food processor or Vitamix; process until finely chopped, scraping sides of bowl once. Combine oil and juice in a small bowl, stirring with a whisk. With processor on, slowly pour oil mixture through food chute; process until well blended. If using Vitamix simply add oil before other ingredients and process to combine (to get more detailed instructions on making pesto in the Vitamix refer here.  Combine tortellini mixture and mint mixture; toss gently to coat.

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* this recipe first appeared in Cooking Light

As I mentioned this recipe is on our must make list and we decided it deserved 4 out of 5 stars.  What does 4 out of 5 mean?  It means we will definitely use our fresh mint and basil plants again this summer to enjoy this fresh pesto dish.

Grilled Fattoush – Meatless Monday, What we ate this week

With the local produce starting to filtrate the markets I start to change over to my warm weather recipes. Warm weather recipes involve less using the stovetop and oven because when the Carolina heat hits the last thing a person wants to do is heat their house up more.  I like to have big salads and a lot of food made on the grill during this time of year.

I tore this recipe from Bon Appetit years ago when I first started to become queen of the grill. Over the years I have made some changes to it and it has become a constant during the summer months.  It is a great mix of grilled vegetables, cold vegetables and fresh herbs.  This is just another reason to grow your own herbs as you have what you need when you need it.  And nothing is more fresh than cutting it and washing it yourself for dinner.

Fattoush is in fact a salad of Levantine bread that is fried or grilled.  When I initially made the recipe I decided to use the naan bread I had in the house rather than buying a pack of pita breads.  Naan bread is slightly doughier than pita and after trying it both ways, we preferred the naan bread as it was more similar to pizza dough that is crisp on the outside and chewy in the middle.

Grilled Fattoush

2 Medium orange or red bell peppers , stemmed, seeded, halved
2 Medium zucchini , trimmed, cut lengthwise in half
2 – 3 Naan Bread
Olive oil (for grilling)
1 cucumber, peeled, halved, seeded, cut into 1/2 – inch cubes
20 cherry tomatoes, each halved or 1 tomato cut into small pieces, about 1/2″
3 green onions, thinly sliced
1 Cup pitted Kalamata olives, halved
1/2 Cup fresh mint leaves (packed)
1/3 Cup chopped fresh cilantro
1/2 Cup olive oil
1/4 Cup fresh lemon juice
1 tsp ground cumin
5 oz Feta cheese, cut into chunks or crumbled per your preference

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Directions

  1. Prepare barbecue (medium heat). Brush peppers, zucchini, and bread on both sides with oil or place in gallon size lip lock bag with olive oil and shake to coat.  Grill peppers and zucchini until slightly charred and just tender, turning often, about 6 minutes. Transfer vegetables to foil-lined baking sheet. Grill bread until lightly charred and just crisp, turning often, about 3 minutes. Transfer to sheet with vegetables and cool. Cut bread into 2 inch pieces. DO AHEAD Vegetables and bread can be made 2 hours ahead. Let stand at room temperature.
  2. Cut grilled peppers into slices then cut the slices in half.  Cut zucchini lengthwise in half, then crosswise into 1/2-inch pieces. Place in large bowl. Add cucumber, tomatoes, green onions, olives, mint, and cilantro and toss to combine. Add bread pieces. Whisk 1/2 cup oil, lemon juice, and cumin in small bowl to blend. Add dressing to salad; toss to coat. Add feta and gently mix into salad
Note: You can easily make this meal without the feta cheese.
Printer Version :  Grilled Fattoush
Recipe adapted from Grilled Zucchini and Bell Pepper Fattoush in BonAppetit
What we ate this week ( May 12- May 18)Monday – Grilled FattoushTuesday – Jambalaya – Recipe to be posted this week

Wednesday – Salad & Leftover Pizza

Thursday – Mixture of Stuff – Mr. Mixture surprised us by coming home from a business trip early. Love that but no real dinner had been planned for him. He happily ate leftover Jambalaya while Little Miss Mixture and I had Mushroom & Pepper Quesadillas

Friday – Date night, so my night off

Saturday – Artichoke Pizza

Sunday – Mushroom Swiss Burgers and Grilled Okra