A while ago I read about Pillsbury coming out with a line of gluten-free doughs. As much as I love making my own doughs, I wanted to test out the doughs and see how they held up to my own. My first test was with their thin crust pizza dough. It’s hard to find a good gluten free thin crust pizza and I’ve yet to find a gluten-free one that is on par with gluten filled dough.
Straight out of the oven, the crust was great. Super thin and crunchy. I have never had a gluten-free pizza crust get this crispy before. After a few minutes, the quality of the crust went down hill. The pizza turned rock hard, almost to the point of being too hard to even eat. With the leftovers, it was probably the one time I was happy to zap the pizza in the microwave so the crust would soften up a bit. This was my first time using this dough, so it could be entirely my fault for rolling it out too thin. I will definitely buy the dough again in the future because the convenience is nice, but I might leave the dough a bit thicker next time and see how it fares.
The toppings on the pizza were absolutely delicious. This was more of a ‘clean out the fridge’ kind of meal than a planned recipe, but it made for a great lunch. The caramelized onions can be a time consuming addition to the pizza, but caramelized onions make everything better so I think they are worth the effort. I wanted to get a bit more color on the goat cheese, but as you can see the crust was already quite brown, so I decided not to risk burning it.
Disclaimer – I wasn’t compensated in any way for this post. I just like trying out new to me products and thought I would pass along my thoughts.
Gluten-Free Pizza Bianca with Caramelized Onions, Goat Cheese, and Spinach
1 container of Pillsbury Gluten Free Pizza Dough (or pizza dough of choice)
1 Tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, divided
3 large garlic cloves, minced
1/2 cup grated mozzarella
1 large onion, thinly sliced into half moons
2 cups baby spinach
1/2 a log of goat cheese, cut into slices
In a large skillet, heat 1/2 Tablespoon of oil over medium-high and add onion when oil is heated. Stir to coat onion with oil and allow onion to cook for 10 minutes. Reduce heat to low, sprinkle in a bit of salt, stir again and allow onions to continue darkening and caramelizing stirring every 10 minutes or so, until desired color has been reached. Remove from oil.
Add spinach to remaining oil in the skillet and sauté until slightly wilted, then remove from skillet.
Heat oven to 400°F. Grease cookie sheet and hands. Press dough into 11-inch round on cookie sheet.
Sprinkle the minced garlic over the dough and lightly brush with half the olive oil. Bake 12 to 14 minutes or until edge is beginning to brown.
Sprinkle mozzarella over the crust, top with onions and spinach and goat cheese slices.
Return crust to the oven and bake 8 to 10 minutes longer or until crust is deep golden brown and cheese is melted. Top with basil leaves. Cool 5 minutes before serving.
This salad is sweet, tangy and delicious. I originally read a similar recipe in a magazine while sitting in the waiting room at my dentist’s office. I was intrigued because I lovelove pineapple, but it had cucumber in it, which I absolutely abhor! Cumber is one of the four foods in the world that turn me into a picky eater toddler throwing a tantrum at the dinner table. I will not eat them. I do not like them touching my food and I will sit and pout if they are near my plate (bananas, celery and eggplant would be the others). I have been using a lot of jicama this summer and thought that it would make a great substitute for cucumber. It has the same kind of crunchy texture.
I served this salad with a side of chips for a super chunky chips and salsa kind of thing. You could also serve it over a bed of mixed greens or it would also go great with some grilled shrimp or tequila lime chicken as well.
Pineapple Jicama Salad with Cilantro Vinaigrette
For the Vinaigrette:
2 Tablespoons fresh lime juice
2 Tablespoons rice vinegar
1 bunch fresh cilantro, minced
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
2-4 Tablespoons olive oil (I used 3)
For the salad:
1/2 fresh pineapple, peeled, cored, and cut into chunks
1 small jicama, peeled and diced into cubes
1 small red onion, finely diced
1 (15-ounce) can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
1 avocado, pitted and diced
For the Vinaigrette:
Combine all the ingredients in a bowl and whisk together until well blended. Set aside. (Vinaigrette can be made ahead of time and will keep in the fridge for about 1 week.)
For the salad:
Combine all ingredients, except the avocado, in a bowl and mix together. Add desired amount of vinaigrette and toss to coat. Salad can now be kept in fridge for up to 4 hours or served immediately.
Right before serving add avocado and gently toss to to coat avocado with dressing, but be sure not to mush it too much.
This salad has it all; sweet, salty, cheesy, and all delicious. Mango, blue cheese and broccoli are some of my favorite foods, but never in a million years would I think of combining them. Ever. But somehow, it totally works. The flavor combinations definitely make for a very unique meal.
I definitely plan on making this salad again, but next time I think I might add a couple of other things to make it even better. Adding some toasted cashews or almonds would add a great crunch to the salad. I could also imagine substituting the chicken for shrimp (maybe even coconut shrimp for more of a tropical twist).
Combine all ingredients in a bowl and whisk together. Season to taste and set aside.
For the Salad:
On a serving platter place romaine lettuce. Top with blueberries and mango; set aside.
Season chicken breast with salt and pepper. In a large skillet cook chicken in 1 tablespoon of the butter with minced garlic over medium heat for 6 to 8 minutes or until no longer pink, turning once. Transfer to a cutting board; slice. Allow to cool slight and arrange atop salad.
In the same skillet cook broccoli in the remaining tablespoon garlic butter over medium heat for 4 to 6 minutes until tender. Place atop salad.
Drizzle salad with blue cheese vinaigrette. If desired, sprinkle with blue cheese.
Disclosure: The Veggetti®, gift card, information, and additional gift pack have been provided by Ontel. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
I have wanted to get a spiralizer for a while now, but the cost, size and valuable kitchen storage space it would take up always prevented me. Enter the Veggetti! The Veggetti is a handheld device that quickly turns your veggies into veggie noodles. Veggie noodles offer not only a healthier, lower-carb alternative to regular pasta, but a gluten free one too. The Veggetti is also quick and easy to use and it’s dishwasher safe, which makes clean up a breeze.
I have used my Veggetti with zucchini, squash, potatoes, and carrots. All of them worked out perfectly, except for the carrots. I think the carrots I tried to use were too narrow. So far I am really impressed by how easy the Veggetti is to use, how sturdy it is and how small it is. It fits perfectly in a kitchen drawer. The only downside I have found, and it’s kind of a silly one, is how insanely long the noodles are. I would definitely recommend cutting them up once you are done spiralizing them.
If you would like to get your own Veggetti® , you can go here to learn more at www.getveggetti.comOR you can enter my giveaway! One reader will win a Veggetti of their very own – plus a $25 Visa Gift Card to stock their vegetable crisper!
Use the Veggetti to spiralize the zucchini and squash and set aside.
In a medium skillet, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. When oil is shimmering, add halloumi and cook until golden brown, about 3 minutes. Flip and repeat on the other side. Place on a paper towel to drain.
In a large bowl, toss the zucchini noodles with as much cilantro pesto as you like and the rest of the ingredients, except the halloumi. Divide between two plates and top with halloumi and serve.
For the Pesto
Place the almonds in a food processor until they are finely ground. Add the remaining ingredients and pulse until desired consistency is reached.
Sticking with this week’s loosely Asian inspired theme, this is a fairly quick , easy and very delicious recipe.
The shrimp stir-fry makes for a quick meal and is great for a weeknight meal. These shrimp are absolutely delicious. I thought the shrimp and their sauce was the perfect topping for the fried rice, but noodles or even a salad could work just as well. I used this recipe to clean out my vegetable door. I just used whatever I had on hand, but you can use any veggies you want.
Gluten Free Drunken Shrimp with Veggie Fried Rice Shrimp adapted from this recipe from Chow.
For the Rice:
2 Tablespoons sesame oil
1 large onion (I used 1/2 red and 1/2 white to clean out the fridge)
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 carrots, peeled and diced
1/2 red bell pepper, diced
1/2 green bell pepper, diced
1/2 cup frozen peas, defrosted
10 green beans or snap peas, chopped
2 cups cooked brown rice
2-3 Tablespoons gluten-free Tamari
1 Tablespoon rice vinegar
3 green onions, finely sliced
1/2 teaspoon toasted sesames
For the Shrimp:
3 Tablespoons low-sodium gluten-free Tamari sauce
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 jalapeño pepper, stemmed (seeded if you don’t like spice) and thinly sliced
2 Tablespoons cilantro, finely chopped
1 lime, juiced
1 Tablespoon olive oil
12 jumbo shrimp, peeled and deveined
1 lemongrass stalk, tough outer layer removed and cut into 4 pieces
1/4 cup vodka
For the Rice:
Preheat a large skillet or wok to medium heat. Add sesame oil. When oil is heated onion, garlic, bell peppers, peas and carrots and sauté until tender.
Add the rice to the veggie mixture. Pour the soy sauce on top. Stir and fry the rice and veggie mixture until heated through and combined. Top chopped green onions and sesame seeds and serve.
For the Shrimp:
Place the soy sauce, garlic, jalapeños, cilantro, lime juice, oil, and sugar in a shallow dish and stir to combine. Add the shrimp and lemongrass and stir to coat. Let marinate for 10 minutes at room temperature.
Heat a large frying pan over high heat until hot, about 3 minutes. Add the shrimp mixture and cook until the shrimp are bright pink, about 3 minutes. Remove from heat and carefully add the vodka. Return the pan to high heat and cook for 1 minute more or until the alcohol smell has dissipated. Remove the lemongrass pieces and serve the shrimp and sauce over rice.
I have a tendency to buy things in bulk. It’s next to impossible to say no to three pounds of baby spinach at Costco for under 4 bucks. The only downside is three pounds of baby spinach is a lot of baby spinach. So in another effort to clean out the fridge, I have attempted to add spinach to everything. This isn’t a recipe so much as it is an idea of flavor combinations and the possibilities are really endless.
I really love this dressing, especially when paired with the sweet mandarins. It was a great combination. I also found this salad to be surprisingly filling. It made for a great lunch. I think the addition of grilled chicken or shrimp would easily make it into a wonderful dinner. If I was to make this salad again, I think adding crumbled feta and dried cranberries would be delicious. Strawberries, granny smith apples, or pecans would also be good substitutes (or additions too).
Mandarin, Almond & Spinach Salad with Gluten Free Asian Vinaigrette
For the Salad:
2 large handfuls spinach, washed
1 mandarin orange (or clementine), peeled and broken into segments
1 small red onion, thinly cut into circles
2 green onions, chopped
2 Tablespoons sliced almonds, toasted
For the Asian Vinaigrette:
3-5 Tablespoons olive oil
3 Tablespoons rice vinegar
1 Tablespoon low-sodium gluten free Tamari or soy sauce
1 lime, juiced
1 teaspoon sesame seeds
freshly ground pepper to taste
For the Salad:
Place spinach on plate. Top with orange segments, as many onions as desired and almonds. Top with vinaigrette.
Serve and enjoy!
For the Asian Vinaigrette:
Combine all the ingredients in a small bowl and whisk together until throughly mixed. Use immediately. Will keep for 1 week in fridge.
This week I am sharing some of favorite brunch recipes. I absolutely love brunch and summer weekends seem to just demand them. These recipes don’t demand too much cook and can mostly be prepared ahead to time, which gives you more time to relax, enjoy your weekend and enjoy some extra mimosas with your friends.
This frittata is pretty much perfect if you ask me. It’s easy to make, it can help you clean out your vegetable drawer and it reheats wonderfully. I just used the vegetables I had on hand, but you can add just about anything you want to this frittata. Broccoli, bell peppers, jalapeños or fresh herbs, like basil or chives, would all be great additions.
Easy Vegetable Frittata
1 Tablespoons olive oil
1 onion, diced
1 bunch green onions, chopped
2+ cloves garlic, minced
6+ large mushrooms, cleaned and sliced
1 tomatoes, chopped with seeds removed
1 cup baby spinach, roughly torn or chopped
1 cup shredded cheese (I used extra sharp cheddar)
6 large eggs
salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Heat the oven to 375 degrees F. Grease a baking dish (I used a 9 inch pie dish).
Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onions and sauté until beginning to brown. Then add the green onions, mushrooms and garlic and cook until mushrooms begin to soften, about 5 minutes. Add tomatoes and spinach. Sauté for an additional 1 to 2 minutes or just until the spinach is wilted. Season the vegetables with salt and pepper.
In a medium bowl, beat together the eggs, cheese, salt, and pepper.
Finish cooking in the oven for 25-35 minutes, until the eggs have completely set in the center.
Last weekend I popped up to San Francisco for a quick visit with friends and my blog and computer decided they wanted a vacation too. Technical problems seem to be resolved for the most part, so let’s get back to it. Cinco de mayo is rapidly approaching and since I like any excuse to eat Mexican food, I plan on taking full advantage of the fact this week. Most of these recipes aren’t super traditional or exactly authentic, but they are delicious enough for any fiesta.
This queso is super tasty. I added some of my favorite spring ingredients (mushrooms, leeks and spinach) and they really added a lot of flavor to the queso. They mushrooms added a great earthy flavor, which worked really well with the tangy goat cheese. I served my queso with tortilla chips, but it would also go well with veggies, crackers or bread.
My oven, like all the other machines in my life, has also been a bit temperamental lately (had to get the igniter replaced… again…), which has changed my oven’s personality somewhat. It seems to be cooking a bit lower or slower (I’m still trying to figure it out). After 25 minutes the queso was definitely bubbly and ready to serve, but there was absolutely no color to the top of it, which made it look like a blob of boring, white cheese. It’s not a requirement, but I like a little bit of a brown crust on my baked dips. It took me at least 35 minutes to get any type of color to the dip and as you can see in the picture it still came out a bit splotchy. Despite my odd requirements for baked dip coloration, the end product was delicious.
Gluten Free Green Chile & Mushroom Goat Cheese Queso Adapted from Whole Foods.
2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
1/2 pound mixed mushrooms, thinly sliced
6 ounces goat cheese, crumbled
6 ounces shredded Monterey Jack cheese (about 1 3/4 cups)
1 1/2 cup sliced baby spinach leaves
1 large leek, cleaned and thinly sliced
1/2 cup diced red onion
1 (10 ounce) can green chiles, diced (chop finely if using whole chiles)
Preheat oven to 375°F. In a large skillet, heat oil over medium heat. Add leeks and onion cook until softened and starting to brown, about 10-15 minutes. Add mushrooms and cook, stirring frequently, until mushrooms have released their liquid and are dry and lightly browned, about 10 minutes. Add chopped spinach and cook until just beginning to wilt, about 1 minute. Spread leeks, mushrooms, spinach over the bottom of a small ovenproof casserole or gratin dish. In a large bowl, combine goat cheese, Jack cheese, and chiles and mix until combined. Spread cheese mixture evenly over mushrooms and bake until bubbling, about 25-35 minutes. Serve hot.
This dish is pure comfort food if you ask me. It’s hearty enough for a cold winter’s night, but still light enough to be a great transitional meal when spring hasn’t quite decided if it wants to be hot or cold yet. The meat and vegetables make it both filling and nutritious. You will get a lot of leftovers out of this recipes, which is a plus in my book. I also thought that the ragout tasted even better then next day.
Polenta is not everyone’s favorite food, but I happen to really like it. I think it makes a great base for a meal and keeps amazingly well for leftovers. You can top it with just about anything. I really like making my polenta with added goat cheese. It gives it both a creamy and tangy bite that I think goes really well with tomato based sauces.
1 medium zucchini, halved lengthwise and cut into 1/4-inch-thick slices
For the Polenta:
1 cup quick-cooking/instant polenta
4 ounces soft goat cheese, slightly crumbled
1 Tablespoon unsalted butter
Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
For Serving (optional):
Fresh basil, chopped
Freshly grated parmesan cheese
In a large skillet, cook ground beef until brown. Drain off any extra fat.
In the same skillet, heat olive oil. When heated add onions and bell pepper. Cook about 5 minutes until starting to soften. Add in carrots, zucchini and garlic, along with undrained tomatoes, broth and salt and pepper.
Cover and cook on low-heat until all the vegetables are cooked through and tomato and broth have slightly thickened.
Meanwhile, prepare polenta according to package directions. I recommend using low-sodium vegetable broth for extra flavor. When polenta is almost cooked through, stir in goat cheese and butter.
Spoon polenta into individual serving bowls and top with ragout mixture over polenta. Top individual bowls with pesto and garnish with basil and freshly ground pepper.
Oh, haloumi, how I love you! Let me count the ways! I really, really love haloumi. I also really, really love caramelized onions and tomatoes and arugula. I basically just really, really love this salad. There is something about the salty (and squeaky) haloumi and the kind of sweet, kind of not caramelized onion dressing that just makes for the most amazing flavor combination. The peppery arugula was also a flavorful addition that worked really well with the rest of the ingredients.
I’m not going to lie, making the dressing is going to take you a bit of time. To get really delicious, rich, sweet caramelized onions, you are going to need about an hour. Don’t believe anyone that says it will only 10 to 20 minutes, that’s a lie. And don’t believe anyone that says you can add sugar to caramelize them, that’s just gross. (I am very passionate when it comes to caramelized onions and these two points, if you couldn’t tell….) The onions will get naturally sweet and it is definitely worth the effort, you just need to give them time. You can definitely blend the onion dressing in a food processor if you prefer a more vinaigrette-like dressing. I left the onions un-blended (more like a chutney almost) because I felt it would make for a heartier salad.
Haloumi Salad with Caramelised Onion Dressing
For the Salad:
1/2 Tablespoon olive oil
1 block of halloumi, sliced
1 tomato, sliced
1 bag of salad greens (I used arugula)
salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
For the Dressing:
1 Tablespoon olive oil
1 large onion, thinly sliced
1 Tablespoon Dijon mustard
3 Tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 pinch red pepper flakes
Freshly ground pepper, to taste
For the Dressing:
Heat oil in large pan over medium-high heat. Add onions when oil begins to shimmer. Let onions sit for 10 minutes and sprinkle with salt. Reduce heat low and continue to stir onions every 10 minutes until they are a rich, caramelized brown. It’s going to take about 1 hour, give or take 10-20 minutes either side.
When onions are caramelized place in bowl and add the rest of the ingredients. Adjust flavors and spice to your taste. If you prefer a smoother dressing this can be done in a food processor.
For the Salad:
Wash and prepare lettuce and tomatoes. Divide between two plates
Heat oil in pan over medium-high heat (you can reuse the same pan you caramelized your onions in). Once oil is hot add haloumi slices and cook until starting to brown, about 2-3 minutes, then flip the haloumi and repeat on the other side.
Top tomatoes with halloumi, then add the onion dressing and freshly ground pepper.