Roasted vegetable pizza.

Roasted veggie pizza with fresh buffalo mozzarella was a huge hit.  Love roasted veggies!  Everything can be prepped ahead of time and then assembled and baked in a preheated oven right before you wish to eat :)  Perfect weeknight, or weekend, meal.

For the roasted veggie portion of the meal – take whatever vegetables you have on hand.  Wash and slice them to about the same size (for similar cooking times).  Drizzle with olive oil and your favorite spices.  Place on a baking sheet and bake in a preheated oven (375 degrees) for about 30-40 minutes or until fork tender.  I fire-roasted my pepper on the grill stovetop.  You want them to get charred up.  Once nicely blackened, remove with tongs and set aside until completely cooled. Remove the charred skin and slice into strips.  Refrigerate your vegetables until you are ready to assemble your pizza.

Pizza dough ingredients:

1 c whole wheat flour (I use King Arthurs)
1.5 c all purpose unbleached flour (King Arthur)
2 and 1/4 tsp of yeast
1/2 tsp of sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup warm water
1 tablespoon olive oil
Cornmeal, for sprinkling

Pizza dough directions:

Mix the sugar into the warm water. Stir to dissolve. Then sprinkle the yeast on top and let sit until foamy, about 10 minutes. Pour into your mixer bowl. Then add flours, salt and olive oil. Combine. Knead the dough (with your mixer attach the dough hook) for 8 minutes. Then place the dough in a bowl that has been sprayed with a nonstick olive oil spray. Let rise for one hour.

Punch down. Then divide the dough in half. Turn out onto a flour surface and roll until you achieve the desired thickness. This crust is great rolled out really thin.  I then prick the dough with a fork all over the surface.  Brush olive oil on top and sprinkle with your favorite pizza herbs (I use a mix of Italian seasonings).  Bake for about 5-7 minutes or until lightly golden.  Remove and top with sauce and your favorite toppings. Sprinkle the cornmeal onto your peel before you place in the oven for easy sliding.

Please note: I preheated my oven at 425 degrees for one hour with my pizza stone. I pre-bake the crust for 5-7 minutes.  I then bake the topped pizza for an additional 8-10 or until the cheese is perfectly melted.  Keep an eye on it, of course so it you get the desired crunchiness that you prefer.

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Turkey Italian Sausage Meatballs with a Chobani Wasabi dip.

Easy dinner tonight.  I had to use my Italian hot turkey sausage I purchased at the farmer’s market on Tuesday.  I was in a mood for something spicy and thought of wasabi!  Easy, fast and yummy dinner.

Meatball Ingredients:

1-2 lbs of lean, turkey sausage
1 tbl of olive oil
1 tsp of fennel seeds

Directions:

In a fry pan over medium heat, add the olive oil.  You then need to remove the casing on the sausage.  Lay the link or links out on a cutting board and using a filet knife, make an incision down the entire link.  Remove the turkey mixture carefully.  Cut that into chunks and roll into balls.  Then add to the fry or sauté pan and cook until no longer pink.  Toss in the fennel seeds in the last few minutes of cooking.

Wasabi sauce:

3/4 c of non fat plain Chobani
3 tbl Wasabi paste

Directions:

Mix well and refrigerate for about 1 hour or more.  Remove prior to serving.

Fast & easy dinner :)  Enjoy!

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Roasted tomato soup.

Okay it clearly isn’t tomato season yet but I’ve been craving roasted tomato soup.  What to do, what to do?  Roast them!  Roasting tomatoes will take even the most horrid, hard, normally tasteless tomatoes and make them pure perfection!  Here’s how…

Set your oven for 275 degrees.  On a large cookie sheet take 6-8 larger tomatoes and quarter them.  Make sure your cookie sheet has sides to avoid dripping.  Drizzle them with olive oil, salt and pepper.  Then add 6-8 smashed garlic cloves.  Place in the oven and let roast for 4-6 hours.  If you don’t have that kind of time on your hands or are more impatient, bump the temp up to 325 for about 3 hours.  You’re house will smell incredible while roasting!!!  It is the most intoxicating smell :)

Once you’ve removed the tomatoes from the oven, simply set aside.

Soup ingredients & directions:

Roasted tomatoes (about 3-4 lbs)
2 tbl olive oil
1 tbl sea salt
Ground black pepper
1 large onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 tbl butter
1/2 tsp of red pepper flakes
2 c of chopped fresh basil
1 tsp of dried thyme
1 tsp of Rosemary
1 qt of chicken stock or vegetable stock (vegetarian option)

Directions:

In a large Dutch oven, pour 2 tbl of olive oil & butter in the pan.  Let this heat up and then add the onions and garlic.  Cook until translucent over medium flame.  Add the remaining ingredients.  With a stick blender, blend the soup until completely pureed.  You can also use a food mill or work in batches with your blender.  Season to taste.  To serve, top with Asiago shavings.  Enjoy!

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Farl bread.

This is a super beautiful dough to work with & the end result is quite lovely.  A must try for even the most timid bread bakers.

Ingredients:

4 c of white bread flour, (I used King Arthur’s)
1 tbl salt
1 oz of yeast –  which is 2 tbl for a conversion
2/3 cup butter (11 tbl)
1 1/4 c of warm water

Directions:

In your stand mixer, with the paddle, add all of the ingredients for 5 minutes.  Remove and place in an oiled bowl and cover with a towel.  Place in a warm location (I typically use my microwave) to rest for 1 hour.  Bake this in a preheated oven at 425 degrees for 40 minutes or until golden brown.  Prior to baking, I did dust with flour and slash the top with a filet knife for more interest.

 

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Chocolate Peanut Butter Dream Cake.

Got milk?  You’ll need it!  I’ve had & made this recipe for about 15 years now.  I always seem to break it out for special birthday celebrations.  Tomorrow is my sweet neighbor Ellie’s 5th birthday.  I couldn’t resist making this, especially when she told me that she loves Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups!  Hopefully her & her sweet family enjoy this with a huge glass of very cold milk tomorrow :)

Ingredients:

1 box of devil’s food cake
3 eggs
1 c of buttermilk
1/2 c of vegetable oil
3 c of chopped up Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups (divided 2 c/1 c)
8 oz of dark chocolate, chopped
1 c of heavy cream
3/4 c of peanut butter (smooth)

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 350.  Spray two round 9 inch cake pans with non stick spray (I also lined the bottom of my pans with wax paper if you care to do that as well).

In your stand mixer with the paddle attached, mix the cake mix, eggs, buttermilk and oil for 1 minute.  The increase the speed to med/high for 2 minutes.  Fold in 2 c of the chopped peanut butter cups by hand.  Pour 1/2 of the batter into one pan and then repeat with the second pan.  Bake for about 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.

Let the cakes cool completely before removing.

In the meantime, chop up your chocolate bar or chips (whatever you’re using) and set aside in a bowl.  In a small sauce pan heat the heavy cream until it starts to boil.  Remove from the heat and pour over the chopped chocolate. Whisk until it is completely melted.

Add the peanut butter to a bowl and microwave for 1 minute.  Set aside.  Add your first cake layer to your decorative dish.  Pour the peanut butter over the top of the first cake (layer in between). Then place the second cake over top.  At this point you will pour the melted chocolate over top and let it drip down the sides.  Then you will top the cake and sides with the remaining 1c of chopped peanut butter cups.  Enjoy!

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Cilantro Lime Jalapeño Vinaigrette.

 

 

This dressing recipe is my absolute favorite… hands down!  It has just a bit of a kick for impact.  Refreshing, zesty… LOVE LOVE LOVE it!

Ingredients:

3 tbl of Extra Virgin Olive Oil
2 tbl of red wine vinegar
2 tbl of freshly squeezed lime juice
1/2 jalapeño, diced up with seeds
2 cloves of garlic, peeled
1 tsp of a good Dijon mustard
1/8 tsp of honey
Fresh ground pepper
Pinch of salt
1/2 tsp of ground cumin
1 handful of cilantro leaves, washed with stems removed

If you have a hand immersion blender, add everything except for the cilantro leaves and blend until creamy.  Then add the cilantro.  Blend until combined.  Serve with your favorite fish, salad, chicken or pork.

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Berry Avocado Chobani Smoothie.

Breakfast is served!  This power packed breakfast will be well-received by both adults and children.  So easy to make, so utterly delicious.  You can’t go wrong!

Ingredients:

1/2 of an avocado, pitted, flesh removed
1/2 c of almond milk, or orange juice
1/3 c of vanilla Chobani
1 c of frozen berries
1 tsp of chia seeds
1 tbl of honey

Directions:

Blend on the smoothie or highest setting on your blender.  If too thick, add additional milk or juice to loosen it up.  Enjoy!

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No Bake, Gluten Free Chocolate & Peanut Butter Dessert/Energy Bites.

I thought it would be fun to do a spin-off of my energy balls with a dessert-ish type of variation.  I made two batches last night (almost gone) and one batch this morning to test the recipe out again.  LOVE them!  They are rich and quite decadent!!

Ingredients:

1/4 c of creamy or crunchy peanut butter (I used Smart Balance crunchy)
1/3 c of dried tart cherries (I’m thinking pitted prunes would also be wonderful – I’ll be trying those next)
3 tbl of roasted unsalted or salted peanuts
1/4 tsp of salt (you can omit this if you decide to use salted peanuts)
1/8 tsp of vanilla extract
2 tbl of shredded and toasted coconut
2 tbl of dark cocoa powder
1 tsp of chia seeds (optional)
1/4 c of chocolate chips (optional)

Directions:
In your food processor, blade attached, blend all of the ingredients until they form a ball.  Looks similar to dough.  This takes about 1-2 minutes or until completely blended.  I then refrigerated for 10 minutes to chill.  Then roll into balls and store in an airtight container on your counter.

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Spinach Basil Pesto.

Happy National Spinach Day!  Who would’ve known?  Ha!  I love spinach and try to eat it as much as I can.  The color, the vitamins… so good for you!  So I thought on this Meatless Monday that I should do a mainly spinach (with a tiny bit of basil) pesto.  My oldest can’t get enough and has been asking me for it daily.  I indulged.

Ingredients:

4 cloves of garlic, peeled
2 c of baby spinach leaves (regular are fine)
1/2 c of fresh basil leaves
1/4 c of olive oil
Palmful of walnuts
1 tbl of grated parmesan
1 tbl of lemon juice
1 tsp of salt

Directions:

This recipe is so easy!!!  In your food processor, pulse up the garlic cloves.  When finely minced add spinach and basil.  Let the machine run.  When everything is chopped up drizzle into the pour spout, the olive oil.  Only use what you need to make the mixture into a creamy consistency.  Then add your walnuts, parm, salt and lemon juice.  Pulse to mix.

Boil  your pasta according to package directions.  Then toss with the pesto.  Coat to cover.  Garnish with either walnuts, pine nuts or some extra parmesan.  Whatever you like!  Enjoy! If you have extra, freeze it and use it later :)  Makes a great dip, topping for chicken etc.

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Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Chobani Muffins.

Hands down… our favorite muffins ever!  Pumpkin, is so tasty and so good for you!  These moist, thanks to the vanilla Chobani, are decadent, filling and oh so good!  A must try recipe.

Ingredients:

1/2 c of I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter
3/4 c of sugar
2 eggs, room temperature
1 tsp of vanilla
1.5 c of unbleached all purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp of salt
1 heaping cup of pumpkin puree
1/2 c of vanilla non fat Chobani
2 tsp of ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp of ground nutmeg
1/4-1/2 c of dark chocolate chips

Directions:

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.  Spray your muffin or loaf pans with baking non stick spray.

In your stand mixer, with the paddle attachment, cream sugar and butter.  Then add the eggs and vanilla.  Then add to that same mixing bowl, flour, baking soda and salt.  Blend until combined.  Stop and scrape down the bowl and mix again.  Add the pumpkin, Chobani, cinnamon and nutmeg.  Mix well but avoid over-mixing.  By hand, add the chocolate chips.  Mix well.

Spoon into prepared pans.  I made this batch for regular sized muffins.  Baked for 18-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted came out clean.

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