Zucchini Pizza

The title probably confuses most. I am not talking about a pizza made with zucchini on top. Instead, I am talking about a pizza made where the base/crust is zucchini. Yes, you did read that right. And, no, I am not crazy (promise). I saw Zucchini pizzas on Pinterest a long time ago and have wanted to make it ever since. The only thing holding me back…finding a zucchini that was large enough.

Well friends/family/followers, the time finally came when I found a large enough zucchini! This last weekend when visiting the in-laws, my mother-in-law gave me a zucchini from her garden that was big enough (woohoo)!!! Not only was it home-grown, it was also big. Man, I wish I would have taken a picture of the zucchini before I cut it up. But of course I forgot. This thing was at least a foot and a half long and at the fattest part probably 6+ inches wide. Absolutely perfect for me to test this newest recipe.

Like my 10 minute peach pita pizza, this recipe was super easy and fast. Perfect for a night where you need something in a hurry.

I started by cutting the zucchini into about 1/2 inch thick slices. Next, I chose to place the zucchini slices on a pizza stone and broil them, however, recipes I read recommended putting them on a grill. If the Mr. had been home I might have asked him to head up the grill, however, it was just my good friend Meg and I so instead I chose to broil as it was quick.

After about 10-12 minutes I pulled the zucchini slices out as they were just starting to soften and had turned slightly brown on top. Next up was putting the toppings on. I started by spreading about a tablespoon or two of tomato sauce over the zucchini slice. Next, I put a layer of shredded mozzarella cheese (probably 2 or so tablespoons). Then I placed about six slices of turkey pepperoni on top of the cheese, and sprinkled on some sliced black olives. Finally, I topped it with about a tablespoon of shredded sharp cheddar cheese.

After all the toppings were put on, I transferred them back in the oven (still on broil) for about 5 or fewer minutes. Just long enough for the cheese to melt.

Man were these good. I will definitely make them again. In fact, I am tempted to make them as an appetizer for something. You could totally use the smaller zucchini’s you usually see in stores for bit size pizzas πŸ™‚

With the pizzas I also served a cucumber, tomato, feta salad. My mother-in-law also sent me home with tomatoes and cucumbers from her garden. All I did was slice the tomatoes and cucumbers up and toss them with a little bit of feta, olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Simple and absolutely delicious!

Today is my Friday! Can’t wait for the LONG weekend. Tomorrow is a girl day with my mom. Shopping and golf. Husky Football starts on Saturday and I am beyond excited for that. I do love my Huskies πŸ™‚ We also, have two BBQ’s and a golf tournament this weekend. Like typical Piep style, we will be BUSY. Just how we like it!

I do have some cooking to do this weekend so will be back next week with some more exciting stuff (well I find it exciting!).

Have a great weekend!

My version of a Fresh Spring Roll

Wow, how has over a week come and gone and I still haven’t posted about the rest of my dinner with the XO ladies? As you can tell, I am still getting used to posting and making a habit of it! πŸ™‚ Sorry for the long delay!

So, as I mentioned, I needed two posts to explain this dinner. The first, as I already wrote about, was the peach, ricotta crostini appetizer (which as I previously mentioned was delicious!).

For the main dish, I went in a completely different direction. Well, the main dish I had planned first and then decided to throw the appetizer in their last minute…anyhow…the main dish was build yourself fresh spring rolls. I love making fresh spring rolls for dinner. There are so many different ingredients you can use and they are packed with veggies so you don’t feel bad/unhealthy after dinner (at least I don’t)! πŸ™‚

The picture below is how I set the table for the ladies and gives you an idea of what all I include in my spring rolls. Below is my attempt at a recipe.

Note: This meal is one where you basically cut up all the vegetables and set them in bowls on the table. Cook the tofu, meat, shrimp, etc. and also then place it on the table. Set out any sauces. Fill bowls, pie dishes, or whatever dish you think will work. with boiling water and also then set them on the table. Have your guests sit down, grab a sheet of rice paper, dunk it in the water for about 10-15 seconds (until soft) then stuff with whatever they want, fold it like a burrito and then EAT! πŸ™‚

Ingredients (just my suggestions…you can use almost anything you want in these!):

  • 1 Package Firm Tofu
  • Shrimp (I used already cooked frozen shrimp from Trader Joe’s)
  • 1 Bell Pepper (thinly sliced)
  • 2 Roma Tomatoes (thinly sliced, seeds removed)
  • 1 Cup Sliced Mushrooms
  • 1 Cup Shredded Carrots
  • 1 Cup Bean Sprouts
  • 1 Cucumber
  • 1 Avocado (sliced)
  • 10-12 Rice Wrappers/Paper
  • Peanut Sauce (I used one from Trader Joe’s)
  • Plum Sauce

Directions: Slice Tofu into 1 inch pieces. Heat pan over medium heat with 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Cook tofu until slightly brown. While tofu is cooking, slice all the vegetables and place each of them as well as sauces and shrimp in a separate bowl/dish or arrange on a platter. Bring water (about 8 cups) to a boil then transfer to pie dishes and set on the table. Have guests dunk a sheet of rice paper in the hot water for about 10-15 seconds. Lay on plate and stuff with any of the available items (veggies, shrimp, tofu, sauce). Then wrap the bottom up and then each of the sides (like you would a taco/burrito). Eat and enjoy πŸ™‚

With this dinner, I also served edamame and Trader Joe chicken gyoza. Overall, I think this meal was a big hit. And I love when there are leftovers as it makes a great salad the next day!

Hope you are all doing well! Have a great day!

Dinner in 10 – Peach Pita Pizza

Last night was crazy! Between working until after 6:30pm, rushing home to walk Leo and rushing straight to my condo Board meeting at 7:30pm, I didn’t have much time for dinner. In fact, I didn’t even get to think about dinner until 8:45pm when I got home from my Board meeting!

When I got home I really didn’t want to make anything, however, we didn’t have anything easy to grab. Well I guess we had granola and yogurt but that just didn’t sound like dinner to me. Right now, our fridge is a miscellaneous mix of food. There are a lot of good items, however, not the easiest combination of ingredients to come up with dinner options. Side note: I am still trying to learn how to grocery shop. I always say I am going to make a list and have meals for the week planned, however, that has yet to happen! Some day I will figure it out πŸ™‚

Sorry, got distracted, back to dinner…after looking in the fridge for inspiration I decided I again needed to do something with peaches as we have a lot and a few are getting SUPER ripe! I know, hard to have to eat peaches πŸ™‚ I also noticed we had some pita bread in the fridge that really, really, really needed to be used. Based on those two items it all of a sudden hit me…Peach Pita Pizza!!!

I have been wanting to make a peach pizza for a while now. I saw it on Pinterest a few weeks back and ever since it has been on my mind so last night was my chance. Well, OK, it wasn’t really pizza, however, it was a pizza style dish. Here is a picture I snapped on my phone of how dinner turned out. Not the best picture but it gives you an idea of what it looked like. See below for my recipe.

image

Recipe:

  • 1 Pita
  • 1 Peach (cut into 1 in chunks)
  • 1/4 cup ricotta cheese (total guess as I didn’t measure – probably was a little less or more depending on how you like it)
  • Honey (to taste)
  • 5 basil leaves (thinly sliced)

Instructions: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spread ricotta on pita and top with peaches. Drizzle a little bit of honey over peaches and pita. Cook for 5-7 minutes or until heated. Top with basil.

I wasn’t sure how this was going to turn out, but thankfully it was good! Felt like I was having dinner and dessert all at once! This was super easy and quick. I think it took me about 10 minutes in total (not counting the time it took me to figure out what the heck to make).

If you want a quick easy dinner, I highly recommend giving this a go. I still want to try an official Peach Pizza one of these days but until then this totally hit the spot!

Enjoy!

Peach, Prosciutto and Ricotta Crostini

On Monday night, my XO (Chi Omega) family came over for dinner. We were celebrating two things. First, it was Megs 31st birthday and second, Karen was in town from NYC! Being that I love any excuse to entertain, I volunteered to host a dinner so that we could all spend some quality time together as it doesn’t happen often enough! Sadly a few of the other XO family members couldn’t make it but thankfully this coming Friday night we get another chance to hang out again before Karen heads back to NYC! Note: I do not call it her home as I am convinced she will move back soon (fingers crossed) πŸ™‚

Anyhow, back to the dinner and the reason for this post. I am actually going to split it into two posts. This one is all about the appetizer. Based on how it turned out, I felt it deserved its own post! All I can say is you must try this appetizer. One word describes it – incredible! It is melt in your mouth amazing! And, it is SUPER easy!

I can’t remember where I first saw this recipe but I saw it again on a friend’s Facebook page. Her and her girlfriends had made a version of it on a recent trip of theirs. The picture looked too good for me not to try to do it myself πŸ™‚

Peach, Prosciutto and Ricotta Crostini

Ingredients:

  • Ciabatta bread (approx. 12 slices)
  • 1-2 ripe peaches
  • 1 cup fresh ricotta
  • 12 thin slices prosciutto
  • Honey (1 teaspoon and extra for drizzle)
  • 1 tablespoon lemon Juice
Directions: Grill bread slices (note: I lightly brushed each of mine with olive oil, however, this is not necessary, and then put them on a baking sheet under the broiler for about 5 minutes flipping once). Halve, pit, and thinly slice each peach. Combine ricotta, lemon juice and about 1 teaspoon (or to taste) of honey. Spread about 1 tablespoon (or a little more) of the ricotta mix onto each piece of bread. Top with a slice of prosciutto and 2-3 peach slices. Drizzle each with honey. Enjoy!
I loved these so much that last night for dinner I made a few for myself. They worked perfect as a meal!!! And was excellent with a glass of Malbec πŸ™‚ The only change I made was I used a nectarine instead of a peach. It was just as delicious! Be back later with a post on the dinner I put together! Have a great day!

S’mores Brownies

When asked what my favorite dessert is, I pretty much always say BROWNIES! I L-O-V-E brownies! I am however, a picky brownie lover πŸ™‚ The ones I like (1) never have nuts (pretty much all desserts in my opinion shouldn’t have nuts), (2) do not have frosting and (3) are always corner pieces. Number 3 is huge – in fact, I like corner pieces so much that one year I asked for an all edge brownie pan as a gift for Christmas (best pan ever)! πŸ™‚

Anyhow, now for the point of this post, a while back, when looking for food ideas for a 4th of July party the hubs and I were attending (yes, I know that was forever ago), I came across a fun twist to brownies on Pinterest and I knew immediately that I had to try it! They were S’mores Brownies. Let me tell you, amazing idea, and they turned out amazing as well. I just love what people come up with. And thank goodness for Pinterest as it makes my recipe hunts so easy! Don’t they look yummy???

S’mores Brownies (found on Prevention RD via Pinterest, originally from Betty Crocker)

1 pack brownie mix and water, oil and egg as called for on brownie mix box

2 cups miniature marshmallows
4 graham crackers, cut into chunks
2 Hershey’s Milk Chocolate Bars, cut into each segments

Directions: Preheat the oven to 350 F. Spray 9Γ—9-inch baking pan with non-stick cooking spray. Prepare the brownie mix according to the directions on the box using the oil, egg, and water.

After baking, remove the pan from the oven and set the oven to broil at 500-550 F.

Cool brownies for about a minute then sprinkle the marshmallows over the warm brownies. Make sure to cover most of the area. Sprinkle the graham crackers on top of the marshmallows. Broil about 4-5 inches from the heat for 30 seconds to a minute until the marshmallows are golden brown. Watch carefully so that they don’t burn. Sprinkle with Hershey’s milk chocolate bars.

These were a huge hit at the party we went to! I didn’t follow the directions above completely. Instead, I made the brownies in the morning before the golf tournament we were in that day and then when we arrived at our friends home, I added the marshmallows, graham crackers and chocolate and broiled right before dessert time.

Sadly, my brownies were a little crumbly…not sure if it was the mix I chose or if I didn’t bake properly, however, despite them being messy, they still tasted delicious!

These will definitely be made again. Perfect for a tailgate this fall possibly πŸ™‚

Hope you are all well! Until next time…

Is It Possible…A Healthy Cookie???

I do think it is possible that a cookie can now be “healthy”…well OK, so maybe not healthy but the cookies I am writing about in this post are as close as you are going to get! In my opinion, these cookies are a must try! They were delicious! I brought some on the boat with us for Seafair and they were well liked. And, as I was eating way too many at home I brought a lot in to work a few days later and they were gone by the end of the day! People devoured them.

They are super moist (man, I hate that word but just not sure how else to describe them!) and extremely tasty (bet you are happy I didn’t use extremely with my least favorite word above..ha). And, although they are a cookie, I didn’t feel all that bad about eating a second one as there is NO oil/butter in these babies…instead there is applesauce. I have heard of substituting applesauce for oil in cakes however not that I recall in cookies. So glad my packet of Bob’s Red Mill Muesli had this recipe on it because I am in love πŸ™‚

Chocolate Chip Applesauce Muesli Cookies (From Bob’s Red Mill Website and on side of Muesli package)

  • 1 Egg
  • 1/2 tsp Vanilla
  • 1/2 tsp Salt
  • 1/2 tsp Baking Soda
  • 6 oz Chocolate Chips
  • 3/4 cup Brown Sugar
  • 2/3 cup Applesauce
  • 3/4 cup Whole Wheat Flour
  • 1 cup Bob’s Red Mill Old Country Style Muesli

Directions: Sift flour, baking soda, and salt together and set aside. Blend applesauce, sugar and vanilla together. Beat in egg. Add flour mixture and mix. Stir in Muesli and chocolate chips. Drop by tablespoons on lightly greased cookie sheet. Bake at 375Β°F for 10-12 minutes. Makes 24 cookies.

Enjoy!

Peppers “Almost” Gone Bad

Last night I really, really, really needed to use up some green bell peppers that we had in the fridge. They were almost to the point of having to toss but not quite yet there. Although I was really craving going out and having a Queen Margarita Pizza (if you haven’t been this is a great little pizza place in Magnolia), I knew I needed to force myself to think of something to do with them! Not sure why, but I am so bad at using up bell peppers even though I love them!

As I needed to use so many (well at least 3), and as I had just done fajita’s the week before, I had no idea how to prepare them in an exciting way which would make me look forward to eating them. After searching online and remembering that the hubby really wanted to make something that would allow us to use and try a rice & quinoa mix we had purchased from Costco a while back, I decided on stuffed peppers. I also remembered I had some onions and celery that needed to be used up as well as some leftover cooked chicken from the night before. Basically, stuffed peppers were screaming my name…all the ingredients were available πŸ™‚

Overall, I say they turned out pretty dang good. My only comment while eating dinner was “I could have probably cooked these a little longer.” Although the pepper was cooked, it wasn’t as soft as I would have liked. Oh well, it still tasted good. And, as the Mr. ended up eating at church at the Community Dinner that was taking place while he was volunteering at the food bank, we have TONS of leftovers that will work for lunches the next few days. In fact, it I had one today and it reheated very well!

I am impressed with myself – I took a lot of stuff we had on hand and came up with these…don’t they look yummy???

Rice & Quinoa Stuffed Bell Peppers

1 medium sweet onion, chopped
2 ribs celery, chopped
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 Tbsp ground cumin
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 (15 oz) can diced tomatoes, drained, liquid reserved
1 (15 oz) can black beans, rinsed, drained
3/4 cups cooked shredded chicken
1 cup Tru Roots Organic Rice & Quinoa Mix (Cooked according to package)
1/2 cup Shredded Mozzarella Cheese
5 large bell peppers (any color), tops cut off and ribs removed
~1/3 cup Tomato Sauce
Salt and pepper to taste
Heat oil in saucepan over medium heat.Β  Saute onion and celery for about 5-7 minutes, or until soft, then add cumin and garlic and cook for an additional minute.Β  Stir in drained tomatoes, chicken and black beans and cook for 5 minutes until most of the liquid has evaporated.

Stir in rice & quinoa mix as well as 1/4 cup of cheese and season with salt and pepper, if desired.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and pour reserved liquid from tomatoes in the bottom of your baking dish along with 1/4 cup tomato sauce. Fill each halved bell pepper with rice & quinoa mixture and place in baking dish. Top each pepper with 1 tbsp tomato sauce. Cover with foil and bake 40-50 minutes. Remove foil and top with remaining cheese. Cook until melted.Β  Transfer stuffed bell peppers onto serving dish and drizzle pan juices over top.
I recommend giving these a try. If you aren’t able to get the Costco mix we used, regular quinoa or rice would work just fine! Enjoy!