American

Pizza Crust (for the GRILL!)

The weekend is here, AGAIN plus summer officially started this week.  Hallelujah!  You know what that means, right?  You should…its time to break out the grill again!

If you haven’t figured it out yet, Branden and I have some sort of sick obsession with grilled pizza.  Maybe its because the possibilities are endless?  I also really enjoy anything that involves gooey cheese.  Or maybe we just enjoy grilling.  For some strange reason, grilled pizza to us always feels like its going to be less involved than say, burgers.  That’s not normally the case.  Our kitchen gets messy when we make grilled pizza (its probably my fault, when I cook, I’m a tornado).  I’m going to stick with this reasoning: the kitchen gets messy because there’s no time to clean as you go – everything comes together REALLY fast and right at the end.  You have to have all your ducks in a row when you make grilled pizza.  There is no forgiveness if you’re not prepared.  Usually…

Normally we tell you to just grab one of those handy, dandy refrigerated crusts (Pillsbury has a decent one) and if you haven’t planned ahead, these work perfectly fine.  But if you’re not making pizza on a whim, this crust recipe is super simple and CHEAP (and sooooo much better tasting).  I have a really bad track with getting bread to rise in a timely fashion at our house, but even I couldn’t screw this one up.  Easy, peasy my friends.  Good news too is that you really only need an hour’s notice if you play your cards right.  There’s not a lot of involvement with this crust and it doesn’t “knead” a million rises (sorry for the lame joke).

Need some inspiration for you naked crust for GRILLED pizza?  Check out these past posts!

Poblano & Chicken Grilled Pizza with Avocado (this is a new fan favorite)

Thai One on Pizza

Queso Fundido Grilled Pizza

Grilled Hawaiian Pizza

BBQ Chicken Pizza

Lemongrass-Chicken Pizza with Sweet Potatoes & Onion Marmalade

  • 1 c. lukewarm water, plus extra as needed
  • 1/4 c. olive oil
  • 1 tsp. honey
  • 1 pkg. active dry yeast (2 1/4 tsp.)
  • 3 c. unbleached all-purpose, plus extra as needed
  • 1/4 tsp. kosher salt

Place the water, oil, and sugar in a large bowl.  Sprinkle the yeast on top and let sit until foamy, about 5 minutes.

In a medium bowl, combine with the flour and salt.  Add to the water mixture, 1/2 cup at a time, until well incorporated.  If the dough is still, add more water.  If it is very sticky, add extra flour, 1 tablespoon at a time, until the dough is soft and slightly sticky.  Continue to mix until it feels elastic.  Turn the dough out onto a well-floured work surface.  Knead for just about 1 minutes, until just smooth and easy to work with, adding extra flour to the surface to prevent dough from sticking.  Do not over work the dough or it will be tough!

Place the dough in an oiled clean bowl, turn it several times to coat all over with the oil, then drizzle the top of the dough with a little oil.  Cover tightly with plastic wrap, place in a warm spot, and let rise until it more than doubles in volume, about one hour.

Punch the dough down and knead on a lightly floured surface for 1 to 2 minutes, until smooth.  Divide into two equal-sized balls and proceed with pizza making.

The dough may be made ahead, frozen for up to a month, and thawed at room temperature before using.

Recipe from Pizza on the Grill by Elizabeth Karmel and Bob Blumer

 

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Categories: American, Breads, Recipes | Tags: , , | 1 Comment

Slow Cooker Coconut-Banana Oatmeal

Coconut, bananas, and oatmeal, OH MY!!  And guess what – this really isn’t all that unhealthy either (as long as you don’t go too nutz-o with yummy toppings…which might actually be worth the calories if you ask me).  This is one of those really simple breakfasts that easy for a crowd, or yourself, I won’t judge you.  We’re talking, throw everything in the slow cooker, give it a good stir, turn that puppy on low for 8 hours, and BAM: Breakfast!  This is even fun group food because everyone can make it their own!!  Lay out toasted coconut, sliced bananas, chopped nuts (maybe peanuts or macadamia nuts), maple syrup, coconut milk, maybe some peanut butter (we always put peanut butter in our oatmeal when I was a kid…am I the only one that really enjoys this??) and the list goes on!  Slumber party!

So this is goooood.  Creamy, banana-y….delicious!  You will honestly feel like you’re eating something really bad for you, but this has got fiber, protein, potassium, the whole bit.  And I KNOW I’ve mentioned this before, do not, do NOT use fat free coconut milk (the stuff is gross and flavorless) – low-fat is decent and still less fattening than full fat.  If you’re looking to indulge, by all means, get full-fat!!

What are you waiting for?!?  Invite some friends over for a slumber party and serve them this party in a bowl for breakfast – you won’t even lose sleep or miss out on any party action prepping it!  WIN!

Enjoy!

  • 2 medium ripe bananas, sliced (approx. 2 cups)
  • 2 (14 oz) cans light coconut milk*
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 cup steel cut oats
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1-1/2 tablespoons butter, cut into 5-6 pieces, optional (omit or substitute margarine for lactose-free, vegan)
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 tablespoon ground flax seed
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

Coat inside of 3-1/2 quart (or larger) slow cooker with cooking spray. Add all ingredients to slow cooker. Stir, cover, and cook on low for 7 hours (it is going to look NASTY when its done and before you stir it – have no fear!!). Spoon oatmeal into bowls; add optional toppings, if desired. Store leftovers in refrigerator.

To reheat single servings: Put 1-cup cooked oatmeal in microwave proof bowl. Add 1/3 cup milk or water. Microwave on high for 1 minute; stir. Continue cooking for another minute, or until hot.

Recipe can be doubled in 6-quart or larger slow cooker. Increase cooking time 1 hour.

Recipe from The Yummy Life

Categories: American, Breakfast, Entrees, Recipes | Tags: , , , , | 1 Comment

HAPPY BIRTHDAY! Say it with Carrot Cake!

FoodIsTherapy is a year old today!  ONE YEAR!  I can’t believe it!  The last year has been an interesting one and I thank you so much for following me along on my journey as a foodie.

So how about we celebrate?  Birthdays call for cake and boy oh boy do I have a cake recipe for you!  My father in law LOVES carrot cake, so I’ve been on the hunt for a really good recipe…and now my search is over.  Seriously.  This is the BEST carrot cake I’ve ever had!  YUM!!!

Enjoy!  And thank you again for your support over the last year – I hope you stick around for the next year (and maybe invite your friends, too)!

The BEST Carrot Cake (believe it or not, this is a Southern Living recipe – that I ever so slightly tweaked!)

  • 2 c. all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 2 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 3 large eggs
  • 2 c. sugar
  • 3/4 c. vegetable oil
  • 3/4 c. buttermilk
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 2 c. grated carrot
  • 1 (8-ounce) can crushed pineapple, drained
  • 1 (3 1/2-ounce) flaked coconut
  • 1 c. chopped pecans or walnuts

Line 3 (9-inch) round cakepans with wax paper; lightly grease and flour wax paper. Set pans aside.

Stir together first 4 ingredients.

Beat eggs and next 4 ingredients at medium speed with an electric mixer until smooth. Add flour mixture, beating at low speed until blended.

Fold in carrot and next 3 ingredients. Pour batter into prepared cakepans.

Bake at 350° for 25 to 30 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Drizzle Buttermilk Glaze evenly over layers; cool in pans on wire racks 15 minutes. Remove from pans, and cool completely on wire racks. Spread Cream Cheese Frosting between layers and on top and sides of cake.

Buttermilk Glaze

  • 1 c. sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 c. buttermilk
  • 1/2 c. butter
  • 1 TBS light corn syrup
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract

Bring first 5 ingredients to a boil in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Boil, stirring often, 4 minutes. Remove from heat, and stir in vanilla.

Cream Cheese Frosting

  • 3/4 c. butter, softened
  • 1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, softened
  • 1 (3-ounce) package cream cheese, softened
  • 3 c. sifted powdered sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract

Beat butter and cream cheese at medium speed with an electric mixer until creamy. Add powdered sugar and vanilla; beat until smooth.

Categories: American, Desserts, Recipes | Tags: , , , , , | 5 Comments

Artichokes with Roasted Garlic & White Wine Sauce

Artichokes were on sale the other day at the grocery store (four for five dollars!) and I wanted to experiment.  I hadn’t had whole artichokes in such a long time and honestly had never cooked them myself.  To be completely honest with you, these things really aren’t that scary at all.  Don’t be intimidated my friends, there’s just just one good whack with a knife to trim the top off and then some boiling action in a large pot.  Tada: Artichokes for dinner!  I served mine with some whole wheat spaghetti tossed in fresh pesto.

How do you eat them?  Simple!  Rip off the leaves and drag your teeth along the inside edge, scraping away the soft flesh.  As you get closer to the center, you can actually eat the leaves entirely.  Whatever you do, do NOT discard the center of the artichoke!  Seriously, the center is the grand prize – its the heart and is fabulously delicious!

I got this recipe from Cooking Light…shocking, I know.  I’ve got some new stuff coming for you soon!  I’m finally finding some time to spend in the kitchen again and have been up to some yummy stuff (spoiler alert: I’ve got THE BEST carrot cake coming your way).

Enjoy!

  • 2 whole garlic heads
  • 4 medium artichokes (about 3 1/2 pounds)
  • 1/2 c. dry white wine
  • 1 c. organic chicken broth
  • 1 TBS butter
  • 1/4 tsp. kosher salt
  • Chopped fresh parsley (optional)

Preheat oven to 400°

Remove white papery skin from garlic heads (do not peel or separate the cloves). Wrap each head separately in foil. Bake at 400° for 45 minutes; cool 10 minutes. Separate cloves; squeeze to extract garlic pulp. Discard skins.

Cut off stems of artichokes, and remove bottom leaves. Trim about 1/2 inch from tops of artichokes. Place artichokes, stem ends down, in a large Dutch oven filled two-thirds with water; bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 45 minutes or until a leaf near the center of each artichoke pulls out easily. Remove artichokes from pan.

Combine half of garlic pulp and wine in a small saucepan; bring to a boil. Cook 2 minutes. Add broth; cook until reduced to 1/2 cup (about 8 minutes). Remove from heat; stir in butter and salt. Pour mixture into a blender; add remaining half of garlic pulp. Remove center piece of blender lid (to allow steam to escape); secure blender lid on blender. Place a clean towel over opening in blender lid (to avoid splatters). Blend until smooth. Sprinkle dip with parsley, if desired. Serve dip with warm artichokes.

Categories: American, Recipes, Sides | Tags: , , , | 4 Comments

Super Fast Dinner: Gnocchi with Red Pesto and Asparagus

For some weird reason, I had a hankering for Gnocchi the other night and decided to get a tiny bit creative with it.  Normally, I just boil it and serve a yummy meat sauce over it.  Delish!  Not tonight, folks!!  Here’s somewhat fancy looking dish that came together quicker than the amount of time it takes to bring 2 quarts of water to a boil.  Seriously.  We’re talking minutes here, friends.  Minutes.

Enjoy!

  • 1 lb. package Gnocchi (found in the frozen foods section)
  • 1/4 c. sundried tomato pesto (can sub pre-made basil pesto too its you’d like)
  • 1 bunch asparagus, cut into 1″ pieces
  • Asiago cheese for garnish
  • Fresh lemon zest for garnish, optional

Boil 2 quarts water and cook frozen gnocchi according to package directions (usually 3 minutes – do NOT thaw the gnocchi).  During the last minute of cooking, add asparagus pieces to pot to par boil.  Cook for additional minute and strain.  Return gnocchi and asparagus to pot and stir in pesto.  Serve immediately topped with freshly grated Asiago and lemon zest.

Categories: American, Entrees, Pasta, Recipes | Tags: , , , , | 2 Comments

Sauteed Veggies with Gorgonzola Polenta

Happy Leap Day!  I mean seriously, its weird to me that every four years we get an extra day.  So bizarre.  Who figured that out anyways?!?!?

Here’s another fast weeknight dinner that is great for you vegetarians out there.  I’m clearly not one, but I do enjoy a meatless meal from time to time.

Enjoy!

  • 2TBS extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 8 oz. sliced portabella mushrooms
  • 1 tsp. chopped fresh thyme
  • 1 1/2 c. thinly sliced sweet onion
  • 1 red bell pepper, thinly sliced
  • 1 tsp. minced garlic
  • 1/2 tsp. kosher salt, divided
  • 1/4 tsp. black pepper, divided
  • 3 c. 1% low-fat milk
  • 1/2 c. water
  • 2/3 c. quick-cooking polenta
  • 3/4 c. (3 ounces) crumbled Gorgonzola cheese
  • 1/4 c. chopped fresh parsley

Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add 1 tablespoon olive oil to pan, and swirl to coat. Add mushrooms and thyme; sauté for 4 minutes or until the mushrooms are tender. Add remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil, onion, bell pepper, garlic, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/8 teaspoon black pepper; sauté for 8 minutes or until vegetables are tender.

Combine milk, 1/2 cup water, the remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt, and remaining 1/8 teaspoon black pepper in a medium saucepan; bring to a boil. Stir in polenta; cook 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Remove from heat, and stir in cheese. Serve with vegetables. Sprinkle with parsley.

Adapted from Cooking Light

Categories: American, Entrees, Recipes | Tags: , , , | 1 Comment

Pumpkin Bread with Cream Cheese Swirl

This recipe is going to blow your mind.  For real.  You may have been weary about reading this post because the title just sounds so calorie-laden.  While the title accurately describes the picture, it also leads you astray – this is LOW calorie bread, folks.  Like, we’re talking around 50 calories per slice.  And a slice is an EIGHTH of a loaf, not some scrawny piece that you could see through because its so thin.  Seriously.

I didn’t believe it when I found this recipe on Pinterest but the woman who blogged about it first said she actually ate the whole loaf in a sitting because it was so good.  I was curious, so I decided to try it out on friends this week.  Surprisingly, there is a lot of flavor here and my friends were pretty impressed.

Enjoy!

Batter:
  • 1 1/2 c. pureed pumpkin
  • 1/2 c. unsweetened applesauce
  • 1 whole egg
  • 3 egg whites
  • 1 c. all-purpose flour
  • 2/3 c. whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 c. Stevia Cup For Cup sweetener
  • 1/2 c. granulated sugar
  • 1 t. baking soda
  • 1/2 t. ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 t. ground nutmeg
Cream filling
  • 8 oz. reduced fat cream cheese
  • 1/4 c. granulated sugar
  • 1 T. all-purpose flour
  • 2 egg whites
  • 1 t. vanilla extract
1. For the Batter: With an electric mixer, beat the pumpkin, applesauce, egg, and egg whites on medium speed until smooth. In a separate bowl, combine the flours, Stevia, sugar, baking soda, cinnamon and nutmeg. Slowly mix the flour mixture into the pumpkin mixture.
2. For the cream cheese filling: Beat the cream cheese, sugar, vanilla, egg whites and flour until creamy and smooth.
3. Grease 2 8x4x2″ loaf pans. Divide half of the batter between the two pans. Pour half of the filling in one pan and the other half in the second pan and smooth with the back of a spoon. Top with the remaining batter.
4. Bake in a 350 degree oven for about 40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Don’t overbake or your bread will be dry on the edges. Cool and remove from pans. Store in the refrigerator in an airtight container.
Categories: American, Breads, Desserts, Recipes, Snacks | Tags: , , , , | 1 Comment

Blueberry Pancakes…from Scratch.

So I’m 12 hours late but its still Friday!!  Can I make it up to you by showing you something super yummy you should make for breakfast tomorrow morning?!  I mean, seriously, what says Saturday morning better than Blueberry Pancakes.  And no, put down the Bisquick!  These are SO much better and honestly, just as easy!  Promise!

Happy Weekend!

  • 1 1/2 c. all purpose flour
  • 3/4 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 1/2 TBS sugar
  • 1/4 tsp. fine sea salt
  • 1 3/4 c. buttermilk (plus more as needed)
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3 TBS unsalted butter, melted (plus more for serving)
  • 2 c. blueberries
  • Pure Maple Syrup for serving

Preheat oven to 200°.  In a large bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, sugar, and salt.  In a medium bowl, whisk together the 1 3/4 cups buttermilk, the eggs, and 3 TBS melted butter.  Pour the buttermilk mixture into the flour mixture and stir just until combined.  Fold in the blueberries.

Place a griddle over high heat until hot.  Lightly oil the griddle.  For each pancake, pour about 1/2 cup of the batter onto the griddle and cook until bubbles form on the surface (about 2 mins).  Flip the pancakes and cook until the bottoms are golden brown, 1-2 minutes more.  Transfer to a baking sheet and keep warm in the oven.  Repeat until all the batter is used.  If the batter begins to thicken, thin it with a bit more buttermilk.  Serve pancakes hot, with plenty of butter and syrup.

Recipe courtesy of Rick Rodgers

Categories: American, Breakfast, Recipes | Tags: , , | 2 Comments

Lightened-Up Spinach & Artichoke Dip

In a last minute effort to create something delicious and nothorribly unhealthy for the Superbowl last week, I found a lightened-up version of Spinach and Artichoke dip…with bacon.  Yes, bacon.  Yum.

This recipe was delicious and was a hit at the party probably because most didn’t even know that it was low fat (my kind of party food).  It was also super easy, so watch out, you may be finding yourself making this on a regular basis.

Enjoy!

  • 1/3 cup fat-free mayonnaise
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 (8-ounce) package 1/3-less-fat cream cheese, softened
  • 1 (8-ounce) package fat-free cream cheese, softened
  • 2/3 c. (about 2 1/2 ounces) grated fresh Parmesan cheese, divided
  • 5 center-cut bacon slices, cooked and crumbled
  • 1 (14-ounce) can quartered artichoke hearts, drained and chopped
  • 1 (10-ounce) package frozen chopped spinach, thawed, drained, and squeezed dry

Preheat oven to 350°.

Arrange baguette slices in a single layer on 2 large baking sheets, and coat bread with cooking spray. Bake at 350° for 10 minutes or until crisp and lightly browned.

Place mayonnaise, garlic, 1/3-less-fat cream cheese, and fat-free cream cheese in a large bowl; beat with a mixer at medium speed until well blended and creamy. Stir in 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, bacon, artichoke hearts, and spinach. Spread mixture into an 11 x 7-inch baking dish coated with cooking spray. Sprinkle with remaining Parmesan cheese. Bake at 350° for 25 minutes or until thoroughly heated.

Serve with toasted baguette slices.

Cooking Light

Categories: American, Appetizers, Breads, Recipes, Snacks | Tags: , , , , | 2 Comments

Quinoa & Onion Risotto with Crème Fraîche and Hazelnuts

I hardly ever cook dinners these days that aren’t one dish entrees.  It’s not that I don’t like dinners with side dishes, I just really like the simplicity of my meals being one complete dish (USUALLY it means less clean up is involved).  I also have a big issue with food touching that shouldn’t be (you know, like gravy spilling out of your mashed potato boat and getting all over your green beans?  Ick).  All said, I found a side dish recipe that I found worthy of my time since I had some salmon and asparagus I wanted to make for dinner: Quinoa Risotto.

The ingredients sound really weird but I have to say, this was an excellent side dish!  It had tons of flavor and Branden and I both scarfed down a second helping (it reheats well too the next day!).

Don’t expect this to be super creamy like rice risotto but definitely cook it with the same method and you won’t be disappointed!

Enjoy!

  • 1 1/2 c. uncooked quinoa
  • 6 c. water
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 2 thyme sprigs
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 tsp. butter
  • 1 1/2 c. finely chopped Oso Sweet or other sweet onion
  • 2 TBS white wine vinegar
  • 3 TBS crème fraîche
  • 3 TBS chopped hazelnuts, toasted

Place quinoa in a fine sieve; place sieve in a large bowl. Cover quinoa with water. Using your hands, rub grains together for 30 seconds; rinse and drain. Repeat procedure twice. Drain well.

Combine 6 cups water, salt, thyme, and bay leaf in a large saucepan; bring to a simmer over medium heat. Cover and cook 5 minutes; discard thyme and bay leaf. Keep warm over low heat.

Melt butter in a medium sauté pan over medium heat. Add onion, and cook for 10 minutes, stirring frequently. Add quinoa; cook 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Add warm seasoned water, 1/2 cup at a time, stirring frequently until each portion of warm seasoned water is absorbed before adding the next (about 30 minutes total). Stir in vinegar. Spoon 2/3 cup risotto into each of 6 small bowls or plates; top each serving with 1 1/2 teaspoons crème fraîche. Sprinkle each serving with 1 1/2 teaspoons hazelnuts.

Cooking Light

Categories: American, Recipes, Sides | Tags: , , , | 2 Comments

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