Hummus Pizetta with Cucumber Tomato Salad

Addictively tasty healthy food.  That’s what toasted lavash with lemon hummus and tomato cucumber salad is.  Crunch. Yum. Pick up the crumbs.  Repeat.

Ingredients

1 lavash(9 x 12 inch)

1 T olive oil

2/3 C hummus *

Salad Ingredients

1/2 C cucumber diced

1/2 C tomato diced

2 T shallot diced

1 T mint chopped

2 T Kalamata olives chopped

Dressing Ingredients

1/2 t salt

Pinch of pepper

1/3 C white balsamic vinaigrette plus 2 T set aside

Last Ingredient to Add

2 C Little Gem (baby romaine) lettuce **

Directions

Serves 2 or 4.

Preheat oven to 450º F.

Line baking sheet with parchment paper.

Make Salad

Chop and prep all salad ingredients.

In small bowl, combine all salad ingredients (except romaine).

Set aside.

In a container, combine salad dressing ingredients and toss.

Make Dressing and Dress Vegetables

Make white balsamic vinaigrette.

Add 3 tablespoons of  dressing to vegetables and marinate for 1 hour. Set aside.

Flatbread Prep

Place flatbread on baking sheet and paint both sides lightly with olive oil.

Transfer to oven and bake about 3 minutes per side and remove from oven and cool.

Assemble

Spread flatbread with hummus.

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Add romaine to marinated salad mixture and toss.  More olives could also be added.

Add mixture to flatbread and drizzle 1-2 tablespoons of dressing on top.

Cut and serve.

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Notes

* I use lemon hummus or caper hummus in this recipe.

** If I am out of romaine, I use arugula. This changes the crunch factor and the taste profile.

This is a favorite luncheon meal–vegetables and protein on lavash.

Roasted Beets*

Roasted beets have beauty and sweetness–a great combination for any meal. They are especially good in salads. They also are a good source of minerals and vitamins.

Ingredients

4 beets small size

3 beets medium size

1/3 C olive oil

Salt and pepper

Directions

Preheat oven to 375º F.  Cover baking sheet with aluminum foil.

Cut greens about two inches above top of beet.

Gently clean the skin in water and then dry.

Paint with olive oil, and season with salt and pepper.  Brushing the olive oil on reduces wasted use of olive oil in the bottom of the pan.

Wrap each beet individually in foil.

For Small Beets:

Bake for about 35-40 minutes.

For Medium Beets:

Roast for 55-60 minutes.

Test for doneness by sticking knife or fork into beet. If the beets puncture easily, they are done.

Remove from oven and rest for 10 minutes.

Using paper towel remove skin.

Ready to serve as vegetable or in a salad.

Notes

*This is not a roasted carmelized beet.

To boil or roast is the debate for best flavor. I have done both — boiled beets with stems on and roasted beets. I have not been able to discern a taste or texture difference between the two ways of cooking, My grandmother taught me to leave the whole beet intact before boiling. I boiled beets using her technique and I did have some bleeding.  To me, roasting is less messy, and I have barely any bleeding. Either way I get al dente, sweet flavored beets.

 

 

 

Southwest Lavash (Flatbread) Pizza

Use lavash as a flatbread to make  fun fresh pizza salad that has great flavor and a light texture.  This recipe is great for cutting carbs and making veggies more fun to eat.

Ingredients

1 lavash flatbread (9 x 12″)

1/2 C chèvre

1/3 C mozzarella

1/2 – 3/4 C black bean corn salsa

1 tomato diced

1/4 C black olives sliced

1 shallot thin sliced

1/4 -1/3 C cilantro sliced

1/2 C lettuce fine sliced

1/4 C sour cream

1/4 C cheddar shredded (optional)

Directions

Serves 2 for lunch

Preheat oven 450º F. Line baking sheet with parchment paper.

Combine veggies:

Mix tomatoes, shallots, olives, and cilantro in small bowl and set aside.

Make pizza:

For sauces, the flatbread is prenaked.  For a soft cheese spread, you can prebake or move to the next step.  For prebaking, place flatbread on baking sheet and apply thin coat of olive oil to both sides. Bake for 3 minutes and turn over and bake for another 3 minutes.*  The flatbread should crisp and somewhat flexible.

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If prebaked, remove flatbread from oven. Otherwise, gently spread chèvre (or other soft cheese) and then sprinkle mozzarella on the flatbread. Bake for 3-4 minutes and remove from oven.

Add the black bean corn salsa and then the tomato mixture to the prepared flatbread. Sprinkle the lettuce and sour cream to finish dressing the pizza. (If desired, add shredded cheddar cheese.) Cut into quarters and serve.

Notes

* With cheese, I may not prebake the flatbread.  For sauces, prebaking is important since sauces can make flatbread soggy. I recommend experimenting to find what works for you.

Blackened chicken, cod, or halibut can be added.

Do not add so many ingredients that the flatbread breaks from the weight of the toppings.

Black Bean Corn Salsa

An easy to make salsa that is big in flavor and colorful. Fresh tomatoes, corn, and chilis add crunch  Great served with Mexican favorites.  We also make a fresh-mex pizza with this salsa.

Ingredients

3/4 C black beans drained and washed

3/4 C corn*

1 roma tomato deseeded and diced

1 shallot diced

2 serrano chilis diced*

1/2 C cilantro chopped

1/2 lime juiced

1/8 t cumin

Salt

Directions

Mix all ingredients in small bowl and season to taste with salt. Can be used immdeiately but tastes better if marinated 4 hours to overnight. Serve as side, a dip, or use in burritos, tacos, quesadillas, and Southwest Pizza.

Note

*I use fresh roasted corn. Canned or frozen corn can be substituted. I also use fresh tomatoes and chilis.

*I am finding that sometimes the chilis I buy have no heat, that includes poblanos, jalapeños, and serranos. They taste like a green pepper, disappointing. I add cayenne when this happens.

Roasted Salsa Verde

Tomatillos are an incredibly veratile ingredient that really stand out in a simple salsa verde.  In this recipe, the tomatillos are roasted anf then pureed into a wonderful tangy sauce.  This recipe can also be made without the roasting, but the sauce should be eaten same day.  This salsa can be combined with avocado for a wonderful salad dressing or dip.

 

What is a tomatillo?

Tomatillo is a tart fruit that is native to Mexico.  It is bright green in colot and grows within a husk. When I was growing up, we had a gooseberry plant with produced tangy (mouth-puckering) berries.  The gooseberry plant is related the tomatillo.

Ingredients

6 tomatillos

3 garlic cloves

2 Serrano chilis

3 T cilantro

1 shallot diced

Directions

Husk, wash, and slice tomatillos.  Fresh tomatillos can feel sticky to the touch, but the stickiness washes off.

Remove skin from garlic cloves. No need to chop.

Place cut tomatillos and garlic cloves in non stick skillet over medium high heat. Cook about 7-9 minutes until browned and then turn them over and repeat step.

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Once browned and softened put ingredients into a food processor. Add diced serranos (or other peppers) and blend.

If using immediately, add cilantro and onion. If storing, add cilantro and onion when ready to use.  Cilantro or onion can be fresh choped and added or pureed in a belnder.

Notes

We add serrano peppers for some extra heat, but other peppers can be used for more heat, or peppers can be avoided for no heat.

Peppers such as poblanos can also be roasted and added to the sauce.  This changes the sauce flavor to a more earthy, savory and less fruity sauce.

Roasted Brussel Sprouts

Roasting brussel sprouts turns them from a bitter despised vegetable into a delicious carmelized vegetable. They are sweet with some crunchy leaves. 

Ingredients

2 C sliced brussel sprouts

3 T olive oil

Salt and pepper.

Fresh squeezed lemon juice and 1 t lemon zest(optional)

Directions

Preheat oven 400º F. Foil cover baking sheet. Serves 4

Rinse and dry brussel sprouts. Cut off the tip end and remove outer layer of leaves. Slice in half and place on baking sheet. Pour olive oil over them and toss until all sides are coated  in oil.*

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Sprinkle with salt and pepper and place in oven. Roast 8-10 minutes then toss and roast another 8-10 minutes on other side until outer surfaces are carmelized. Remove, add lemon juice and zest. Toss and serve.

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Note:

*This step could be done in a bowl.

Lemon adds brightness to the dish.

Brussel sprouts have become the favorite vegetable of out family and our guests. We enjoy them year round. In the warm months when we have the grill going, this is an easy to grill vegetable.

 

Romaine, Pear, and Manchego Salad

An easy to make salad with few ingredients that delivers a crunchy texture with sweet and salty flavors. It goes well with meat, fish, and pasta dishes.

The salad ingredients below are for a two-person salad.  Increase the salad ingredents for a larger salad with more servings.

Salad Ingredients

2 small  bunches romaine lettuce

1 pear

1/3 C Manchego cheese shaved

Dressing Ingredients

1/2 C olive oil

1/4 C lime juice

4 t maple syrup(real)

1/2 C Fromage Blanc or sour cream

1/2 t cumin

1/4 t red pepper flakes

Directions

Wash and dry 6 whole romaine leaves.  Line salad bowl with 6 romaine leaves.  You may need more romaine leaves for a larger bowl.

Chop remaining lettuce and place in bowl.

Make a light dressing such as a the dressing above or use a vinaigrette.

Toss lettuce with dressing.

Add Manchego and pears. Drizzle light amount of dressing over the top and serve.

How to Serve

We served this salad as part of an easy-to-fix meal with grilled steak, roasted fingerlings, lemon sorbet and fresh blueberries. Big flavors, little cleanup.

Notes

Use firm pears to add more texture.  The Manchego should be an aged manchego that easily slices.

The dressing was made with Fromage Blanc which is a fresh cheese.  Sour cream may be substituted, but will increase acidity.  Balance acidity with more or less maple syrup.

Tarte Pizza with 4 Cheese Artichoke Hearts and Sun-dried Tomato

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An easy to make 4 cheese pizza with delicious toppings. It is a no yeast pizza dough that cooks up crispy in 10 minutes or less.

Ingredients

Dough

1 1/4 C flour

3 T cano;a oil

1/4 t salt

5 T water

Sauce

2/3 C creme fraische

2/3 C fromage blanc(can substitute sour cream)

1/4 t nutmeg

Topping

2 artichoke hearts chopped

1/4 C thin sliced red onion

2 sun-dried tomatoes thin sliced

Handful of chopped spinach leaves

3/4- 1  C mozzarella shredded. Apply

1-2 slices provolone diced

3 T grated Parmesan

1/4 C feta crumbles

Salt and pepper

Directions

Oven temperature 550º F Baking sheet 13″ by 18″ lined with parhment paper Appetizer or serves 2

Mix flour,salt and oil until crumbly. Add water until dough comes together. Knead until smooth. COver and rest for 1 hour.

Sauce: Mix in small bowl and set aside

ssemble

Roll  and pat dough until paper thin.  Spread sauce, half of the mozzarella and provolone. Add onions, artichokes, tomatoes. Top with remaining cheeses. Season with salt and pepper.

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Bake about 10 minutes on lowest rack in oven.. Remove, slice and eat. Serve with green salad

Arugula Salad With Watermelon and Blueberries with Lime Dressing

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A salad full of flavorful textures. It looks good and tastes even better with spicy arugula and pecans with sweet watermelon and blueberries.

Salad Ingredients

5 ounces arugula

3 C watermelon diced

1 C blueberries, rinsed and dried

1/2 C blue cheese crumbled

1/3 C spiced pecans, recipe below

Lime Vinaigrette Ingredients

1/2 C olive oil

1/4 C  lime juiced

1/2 C fromage Blanca or sour cream

4 t maple syrup or honey

1/2 t cumin

1/4 t red pepper flakes(optional)

Salt and pepper

Spiced Pecans Ingredients

8 ounces pecan halves

4 T sugar

1/4 – 1/2 t cayenne pepper

2 T butter, melted

Directions

Set over temperature to 350º.

Mix vinaigrette ingredients and set aside.

Line baking sheet with parchment paper. Spread pecans out on baking sheet and bake for 15 – 20 minutes.

Melt butter and mix sugar and cayenne. Remove pecans from oven and toss with melted butter and dry mixture. Let the coated pecans cool. Store in an air tight container.

In large bowl, add arugula, watermelon, blueberries, cheese, and sliced pecans. Drizzle with lime vinaigrette. Toss and serve.

Note:

This salad goes well with grilled salmon, especially sockeye(red) or chinook(king). We love this in the summer when the salmon are running.

 

My Favorite Pancakes

 

An easy to make breakfast dish from scratch that lets you enhance flavors with any number of fillings or toppings.

Ingredients 

1 C all purpose flour *

1 1/4 t baking powder

1/4 t baking soda

1 T sugar

1/2 C sour cream

1/2 C milk

1- 2 eggs **

2 T butter melted

Canola oil

Directions

Makes 6 pan cakes.

In medium bowl, mix dry ingredients and set aside.

In small bowl add sour cream, milk, and eggs whisk until combined.

Melt butter. (I use the microwave and 20 – 30 seconds.  Better to use less time and couple rounds of microwaving to melt.)

Add wet ingredients and butter to flour mixture and gently stir. Do not over stir or you will have flat pan cakes. Dough should be lumpy. ***

Heat skillet on medium high. Lightly oil skillet with pastry brush with canola oil.

Add 2-3 tablespoons of batter for each pancake and cook until bubbles form. Turn and finish cooking.  (If your pancakes are browning too fast, lower the heat.)

Wipe the pan between batches and coat pan with a little butter or light layer of vegetable oil.  This keeps pancakes from blackening.

Repeat process until completed.

Serve immediately with warm maple syrup* with fresh berries on the side.

Notes:

* Can add couple tablespoons of what germ or flax seed, 1/2 – 1 C blueberries, apples and cinnamon, peanut butter or Nutella, choclate chips

** 2 egg batter will taste more eggy.

*** Dough is very thick.

Managing the pan during cooking helps to avoid overly dark or blackened pancakes.  Strategies to try include remove pan from heat and let pan cool. Clean the pan between batches and redcoat pan with butter or vegetable oil.  Lowe the heat and let pancakes cook a little longer.

My preference is real maple syrup or whipped cream and strawberries.  The family also loves blueberry and chocolate chips.