Friday, October 28, 2011

Margherita Pizza

After a suggestion from Mallory, my husband and I sat down to watch the documentary Forks Over Knives. After watching the documentary Troy and I decided that we should go on a 7 day vegetarian diet. The documentary suggests to cut out all animal products, but I have a relationship with cheese. I love dairy, especially cheese. I don't think I could live a happy fulfilling life without it.

For our week long vegetarian diet we decided to make a Margherita Pizza. My personal opinion is that tomatoes, basil, and garlic is the most wonderful tasting flavor combination. Tomato + basil + garlic + pizza = ah-may-zing! The best part of this pizza would have to be the homemade sauce. I will never buy pizza sauce again. It's sooo easy and extra tasty!

Pizza Margherita
Slightly adapted from A Sweet Pea Chef

1 pizza crust/dough

1 14oz. can whole peeled tomatoes, not including juices
1 tbs olive oil
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp dried basil
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/4 ground black pepper

2-3 roma tomatoes, thinly sliced
8 oz shredded mozzarella cheese
1 oz fresh basil torn in to pieces

Preheat over to 450 degrees.

To make sauce. Drain tomatoes and puree in a food processor (or blender). Add olive oil, oregano, basil, garlic, salt and pepper. Pulse to combine.

Spread sauce evenly over pizza dough leaving a 1/2 inch border around the edge for the crust. Evenly sprinkle shredded mozzarella over pizza sauce. Add sliced tomatoes, creating a layer of tomatoes on top.

Bake pizza for 12-15 minutes or until crust turns a golden brown and cheese has melted. For an extra yummy crust mix a little olive oil, garlic powder and kosher salt together. Brush on the crust the last few minutes of baking.

Toss fresh basil over cooked pizza and let stand about 3 minutes. Slice and serve.

Makes 1 large pizza.

Notes: I'm sort of a cheater and I like to buy already made dough from my local bakery. Making dough intimidates me for some reason. One of the bakers let me in on a little pizza dough secret. When you're making pizza, if the middle of the crust keeps coming out doughy bake the dough for 5 minutes in the oven before adding toppings.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Butternut Squash Soup

I'm alive, I promise. And I have been cooking meals, but honestly nothing that's blog worth. We've been busy. The husband is interviewing like crazy. And so far has four more interviews that he has to fly to. So when he's gone I don't really make dinner.

A couple weeks ago we had a few days of cooler weather, like in the 60s. It was time for soup. Squash are my favorite vegetables. They are cheap, last a long time and you can dress them up so many different ways. This time I used a butternut squash. They are tricky to cut, so unless you are strong I recommend letting the husband/boyfriend cut it for you. This soup had a nice kick to it because of the jalapeno, but it's not too bad.

2 T butter
1/2 onion, diced
2 t ginger
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and diced
1 butternut squash-peeled, seeded and cubed
2 c chicken broth
1 evaporated milk
1 t sugar
salt and pepper
1 c sour cream

Melt the butter in a large pot over medium heat. Stir in onion, ginger and jalapeno pepper; cook and stir until the onion has softened and turned translucent, about 7 minutes. Add the butternut squash and chicken broth, and bring to boil over high heat. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer until squash is tender. Stir in evaporated milk, sugar, salt and pepper. Cook and stir 5 minutes. CAREFULLY, pour soup into a blender. Hold the lid of blender with towel and start to blend. Puree in batches (I was able to do it all at once in my blender), or if you have a hand blender you can blend it in the pot. Serve with sour cream.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Chicken Taco Soup

We love this soup. We made this awhile ago and I literally ate taco soup every meal for about 4 days. I got this recipe from my neighbor Ruth Boulton. She brought us this as a meal after I had my baby this past January. I had to have the recipe. The best part is you probably already have most of the ingredients in your pantry right now!

Chicken Taco Soup
From Ruth Boulton

1 can diced tomatoes with juice
1 can corn with juice
1 can kidney beans with juice
1 can black beans with juice
2 cans cream of potato soup
3 chicken bouillon cubes
2-3 cups water
1/2 - 1 package reduced sodium taco seasoning
4 chicken breasts cooked and shredded

Cook and shred chicken breasts. Add all ingredients in to a crock pot. Cook on high for 3 hours. Serve. If desired top with cheese, Fritos, and sour cream.

Serves 4-6

Notes: This can taste pretty salty with all of the ingredients especially if you add cheese and chips. Go for the reduced sodium items. Check labels and make sure your canned items don't have any unnecessary sodium added.