Roasted BSBRO Pizza

When trying to decide what to make for dinner yesterday, my mind scanned through the items I had on hand and came up with the most amazing combination: Roasted Brussel Sprout, Broccoli and Red Onion Pizza.  Abbreviated title: Roasted BSBRO Pizza.  I used english muffins instead of taking the time to make pizza dough.  Normally we do some sort of meat pizza but I opted for a veggie pizza as a healthier and less expensive alternative.  I am trying to eat through everything in our freezer and cupboard by the time we move to help cut down on the grocery bill and eliminate waste.  You should see some interesting food combinations on here as a result.

Cost Saving Strategies:

  • I had everything on hand.
  • The mozzarella that I had in the fridge was not pre-shredded.  By shredding my own cheese, I saved some money.  (I learned from my mom to freeze small portions of it and take out a little at a time.)
  • The dish was meatless.  Meat always adds $ to the bottom line.

Healthy Choices:

  • The english muffins I had on hand were fat free.  I also think that whole wheat english muffins or whole wheat pizza dough would make a nice substitute.
  • Can you really get more healthy than brussel sprouts?  I have recently come to appreciate these green little gems.  I think it is best when you keep it simple and roast them with a little olive oil, salt and pepper.  Unfortunately Marc hates brussel sprouts.  When I made his pizza, I only used the red onion and broccoli.
  • I used part skim mozzarella cheese.  I have seen healthy pizza recipes that eliminate cheese all together.  I would like to try this in the future as a way to reduce fat but this time I was pleased to be using the reduced fat mozzarella.

You may be sitting here saying, “I don’t classify pizza as a health food.”  And you’re right.  But if this is your criticism, then you didn’t understand the tone of my last blog post.  I know the type of people Marc and I are.  If we switch immediately to eating only tofu and wheat grass, then it will last about a week.  Instead I want to make changes that are sustainable.  This recipe happens to be a lot better than the usual pepperoni Digiorno frozen pizza or even a night when we grab In & Out.  And because of that, I consider it a victory on both the nutrition and budgeting front!

Marc and I both LOVED this recipe.  It was flavorful and very easy to make.  I am most proud of getting creative with the ingredients we had on hand.  The vegetables became very sweet and tender after roasting them in the oven and the crushed garlic added amazing flavor to the toppings.  I never thought veggie pizza could compete with a good old fashioned pepperoni, but it did!

Roasted BSBRO Pizza Recipe

Preheat the oven to 450° F. Line a baking sheet with foil or parchment to assist with clean up.  Chop into bite size pieces:

½ cup Brussel Sprouts

½ cup Broccoli, stems removed

¼ cup Red Onion, thinly sliced


Combine vegetables in a bowl.  Season with:

 kosher salt to taste

freshly ground pepper to taste

crushed garlic (optional)

1 tablespoon olive oil

Spread the vegetables on the prepared baking sheet in a single layer.  Roast at 450° F for 10 minutes until the vegetables start to brown slightly.   Allow vegetables to cool on baking sheet.

Top each english muffin with the following ingredients:

Pesto sauce or Marinara sauce

Roasted vegetables

Part skim mozzarella cheese


Bake for 10 minutes at 450° F.  Bake until the cheese is bubbly and golden brown. Let stand for 3 minutes before serving.  Enjoy!

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Chicken Pot Pie

Chicken Pot Pie was what kicked this all off for me.  This summer after we moved in to our new apartment and I unwrapped all of our wedding gifts, which included every kitchen gadget I could ever dream of, I set out to cook and bake as much as possible.  I started with a recipe from Joy of Cooking, biscuits.  That same day I decided to actually make something.  The biscuits were delicious but I really wanted to cook something and Chicken Pot Pie sounded delicious!  It came out looking picture perfect.  I was amazed that I hadn’t messed it up somehow.  It was that confidence booster that led me to try other recipes and ultimately begin this blog.  Since that day I have made the Chicken Pot Pie several times. Twice for company and few times just for Marc and I.  It makes amazing leftovers- it reheats wonderfully.  I haven’t made it in awhile because I was afraid of overdoing it and getting sick of it.  But this last Friday it seemed like the perfect dinner after Marc had a long week at work.

There are quite a few steps involved in making the pie.  Cooking the chicken, creaming the chicken, the veggies and the pie crust.  But it is so worth it.  I usually save chicken from a large roasted chicken I made earlier in the week and use it for this recipe.  Or if you don’t have the time for that, a rotisserie chicken bought from the grocery store works nicely.  Recently, a cookbook that shall remain nameless suggested using alfredo sauce as the filling for chicken pot pie to save a step.  I almost threw up when I read that.  The filling is what makes or breaks the pie, my friend.  It is so worth it to make your creamed chicken from scratch.  And really, it doesn’t take more than ten minutes.  So here are the recipes and steps below. All of this comes from Joy of Cooking, a cookbook I continue to go back to time and time again.

Chicken Pot Pie Recipe

Leftover or store bought, precooked chicken breast is perfect here.

Prepare:

Creamed Chicken (see recipe below)

Prepare the dough for:

Pie Dough (see recipe below)

Set aside.  Position a rack in the upper third of the oven.  Preheat the oven to 400°F.  Grease a pie pan. Heat in a large skillet over medium-high heat:

2 tbsp. butter

Add and cook, stirring often, about 5 minutes:

1 medium onion, chopped
3 medium carrots, sliced
2 small celery ribs, sliced

Stir the vegetables into the creamed chicken, along with:

3/4 cups frozen peas, thawed
3 tbsp. minced parsely

Pour the mixture into the prepared dish. Roll out the pie dough on top of the dish and tuck the edges down in against the dish sides. Brush the top with:

2 tbsp. beaten egg

Bake until the sauce is bubbling and the topping is browned, 30 to 40 minutes.

Creamed Chicken Recipe

Melt in a large saucepan over medium-low heat:

4 tbsp. butter

Add and whisk until smooth:

1/2 cup all-purpose flour

Cook, whisking constantly, for 1 minute. Remove the pan from the heat. Add:

1 1/2 cups milk or half and half

Whisk until smooth. Increase the heat and bring the mixture to a simmer, whisking constantly. Remove the pan from heat, scrape the inside of the saucepan and which vigorously to break up any lumps. Return the pan to the heat and whisking, bring to a simmer and cook for 1 minute. Stir in:

cooked chicken

bring to a simmer and cook for 1 minute more. Remove from the heat and season to taste with:

fresh lemon juice
salt and pepper
grated or ground nutmeg

Pie Dough Recipe

I prefer to use my food processor to make my pie dough.  It makes the process of cutting in the butter and shortening much more hassle free.  For the ice water, make sure it is super cold by placing ice cubes in the bowl of water.  Pie crust is so temperamental when it comes to temperature.  Because of this, make sure also to chill your shortening.  This recipe make double the amount needed for Chicken Pot Pie, so freeze the other half for another time or just half the recipe.

Sift together:

2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
2 tsp. sugar
1 tsp. salt

Add:

6 tablespoons cold unsalted butter
1/4 chilled vegetable shortening

Cut half the shortening into the flour mixture until it has the consistency of cornmeal. Cut in the remaining half until it is pea-sized. Sprinkle the dough with:

6 tbsp. ice water

Blend the water gently into the dough until it just hold together. If necessary to hold the ingredients together, add:

1 tsp. to 1 tbsp. ice water

Divide the dough in half, shape each into a disk, and wrap in plastic wrap. Chill in the refrigerator or freeze for later use.

Carrot Nut Bread

Carrot Nut Bread is wonderful because it tastes very similar to carrot cake, but you don’t feel as guilty eating it. Carrot Nut Bread doesn’t have the word “cake” in the title and it’s not smothered in cream cheese frosting.  You can actually taste and enjoy the flavors of the carrot, nutmeg and cinnamon.

I adapted this recipe slightly from the Joy of Cooking recipe to include nutmeg, slightly more cinnamon and contain less sugar.  I recommend using a food processor to grate the carrots.

Carrot Nut Bread Recipe

Preheat the oven to 350. Grease a 9 x 5- inch loaf pan.
Whisk together:

1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg

Blend well in a large bowl:

1/2 cup sugar
2 large eggs, beaten
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 tsp. vanilla
1/2 tsp. salt

Stir in the dry ingredients. Blend with a few swift strokes:

1 1/2 cups grated carrots
1 1/2 cups walnuts

Scrape the batter into the greased pan. Bake until the bread pulls away from the sides of the pan, about 45 minutes. Cool in the pan on a rack for 10 minutes before unmolding to cool completely on the rack.

Lazy Meals

Hi everyone.  I haven’t posted in a few days because our meals have been highly un-impressive.  I got so excited when I started this blog last week that I was cooking up a storm and posting all the time and then I burnt myself out.

What have we been eating?

Spaghetti

Homemade Pizza

Stuffed Bell Peppers

Baked Potatoes

Here’s some pics of the stuffed bell pepper and a baked potato:

Our secret to the best baked potatoes: run the skin in olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Our toppings of choice: cheese, chives, bacon.  YUM!

The stuffed bell peppers are filled with raw meatloaf mixture and topped with a ketchup & worcestershire sauce and baked.

Better posts to come…I am attempting my first tilapia recipe tomorrow!