Kale, Green Garlic and Mushroom Pizza

Kale, Green Garlic and Mushroom Pizza

This pizza is outstanding. We are getting a lot of kale and green garlic from our CSA and I was thinking of ways to use it all. This one worked brilliantly. The kale gets crunchy on the top but tender below. The subtle flavor and aroma of the green garlic permeated the pizza. The mushrooms add an earthy richness that really completed this meal.

We make pizza just about every Friday night. I usually cut the store bought dough in half and make two, that way I can eat the leftover the next week. This is the most interesting pizza I’ve made in a while. Give it a try and let me know what you think.

INGREDIENTS

  • Pizza dough
  • 1 bunch kale, stemmed and torn in bit size pieces
  • 1 green garlic, stem sliced and head minced
  • Baby portabella mushrooms, sliced
  • Shredded reduced fat mozzarella cheese
  • Shredded seven cheese Italian mix
  • Pasta sauce (I prefer Mario Batali’s)
  • Crushed red pepper
  • Olive oil
DIRECTIONS

  1. Place your pizza stone in the oven on the middle rack and heat it for 20-30 minutes at 500 F. If you don’t have a pizza stone and you make pizza more than twice a month, get a pizza stone. Seriously, it makes a big difference.
  2. Depending on the size of you doubt, I usually cut it in half. Flour and roll or stretch the doubt. For me I like them super thin and I could not care less what shape it is (round, rectangular, square, whatever). If you like pizza that way, be patient and keep rolling and stretching. Once you have one rolled out, place it on a bake sheet and place in the oven on the top rack. Watch it closely and pop any big bubbles that may rise from the dough. Cook until the dough is slightly browned and firm. Remove and place the other in, remember the oven is getting hotter so keep an eye on it.
  3. Meanwhile, heat a large pan over medium heat. Add olive oil to cover the pan and watch for it to simmer. Add the green garlic and mushrooms and cook until slightly softened and until the mushrooms have released most of their liquid. Add kale and toss continuously until the kale is just wilted. Remove from heat and allow to cool.
  4. Spread a thin layer of sauce on the pizza crust and sprinkle with crushed red pepper to taste. Add a thin layer the two cheeses (don’t add too much, be judicious). I like to add a few dollops of sauce in a few different places. Add the kale, garlic and mushroom mixture, spreading it evenly across the pizza.
  5. Turn the oven down to 450 F and carefully slide the pizza on to the pizza stone. Cook until the cheese is melted and the crust has a desired doneness. Again, I like them thin and crusty.
Kale, Green Garlic and Mushroom Pizza

Vegetables, Tofu, Pasta and Cheese (Healthy Mac’n Cheese)

Vegetable Tofu Pasta and Cheese

Amy’s Country Cheddar Bowl frozen dinner is awesome. This is my take on it. As another blogger called it, this is Mac ‘n Cheese for Grown-Ups (wish I could take photos as beautiful as them). Rarely does a frozen lunch inspire me to emulate it, but this one does. It is very light and health with the vegetables, tofu and whole wheat pasta yet hearty with the cheesy and potatoes. By adding peppers and carrots at the last minute and barely cooking them, the staying super crunchy, as did the broccoli. The crispy potatoes still had tooth to them. Seriously, this dish is so filling, you don’t miss the meat. I served this with charred garlic bread but it is a meal all by itself. I’ll be making this over and over.

For leftovers I added some Fontina cheese on the top and reheated in the oven. I also nuked in the microwave at work for lunch once.

 

INGREDIENTS

  • 10-12 oz tofu, drained and cut into ¼ inch slices
  • 8 oz whole wheat rotini pasta
  • 1 head of broccoli, cut into small florets
  • 1 red bell pepper, sliced thin
  • 2 carrots, sliced thin (I have a fancy peeler tool, just cut then thin as you can)
  • 8-10 red new potatoes, quartered
  • 1 green garlic, mince head, slice the stem (you can use regular garlic, I just had this from our CSA)
  • Dale’s steak seasoning
  • 1 cup milk (or cream)
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon AP flour
  • 10 oz aged English cheddar cheese, grated
  • Panko bread crumbs
  • Salt and pepper
  • Olive oil
DIRECTIONS

  1. Pre-heat oven to 450 F.
  2. Heat an oven safe pan over medium high heat. Add enough oil to coat the pan then add the quartered potatoes. Toss and continue cooking until starting to brown. Transfer pan to the oven, tossing occasionally until crispy. Remove and set aside also reduce the oven heat to 350 F.
  3. Reduce the heat on the pan to medium. Make sure the tofu is dry and season with a little salt. Add more oil to the pan if needed. Cook the tofu until slightly browned on both sides. Let the tofu cool on a cutting board, then cut into cubes.
  4. In a large pot (with a steamer attachment) over high heat, bring water to boil. Add the broccoli to the steamer and steam for just a few minutes. When just tender, rinse with cold water and let drain and dry, set aside.
  5. Season the water with salt and add the pasta to still boiling water and cook to al dente according to the package instructions. Drain and set aside.
  6. In a bowl combine Dale’s, milk, onion powder, garlic powder, Dijon and flour. Whisk out any lumps.
  7. In the same pasta pot over medium heat add the milk mixture and simmer for a few minutes. Next add everything else. Seriously, add every single thing including the cheese. Season to taste. Toss to combine the mixture and add to a baking dish. Top with panko bread crumbs (I just used a cup or so) and drizzle with a little olive oil.
  8. Place in the oven until all the cheese is melted and the sauce has thickened. Switch the oven to the broiler and cook the top of the mixture until golden brown (carefully not to burn).
Vegetables, Tofu, Pasta and Cheese (Healthy Mac’n Cheese)

Triggerfish, Succotash and Fried Polenta Cakes

Triggerfish, Succotash and Fried Polenta Cakes

Light and refreshing, this meal has it all. Triggerfish has become very trendy at least here in the south. It has a meaty consistency that holds together well whether you grill it or sauté it as I did. It has some of the richness you get from Sea Bass but not as oily. And of course my succotash which I’ve made a million times and posted once here. Each time I make the succotash it will vary depending on what is fresh. This time I used edamame and green garlic. Whenever I need to add a little crunch and starch, I go to grits (or polenta). These polenta cakes are easy to make yourself or you can buy premade polenta to speed the process up. I’ve also posted them several times here, here and here.

 

INGREDIENTS

  • 2-4 triggerfish filets
  • Polenta (make your own or purchase)
  • Egg + milk for egg wash
  • Flour
  • Panko bread crumbs
  • 4 ears fresh corn
  • 1 small onion, minced
  • 3 strips applewood smoked bacon (I prefer Niman Ranch)
  • 2 bell peppers, chopped (I used 1 red and 1 yellow)
  • 1 large green garlic, mince the bulb and slice the stem
  • 1 larger jalapeno, minced (I leave the steam and seeds for heat)
  • ½ bag of frozen edamame (or fresh if you can find it)
  • Heavy cream (or half and half)
  • Salt and pepper
  • Smoked paprika
  • Olive oil
DIRECTIONS

  1. For the polenta, I had some left over, cooked and cooled polenta but you can use the pre-made polenta logs. Most grocery stores will have them, check near the vegetables or the pasta isle. Cut polenta into desired shapes and thicknesses. I prefer circles and about 1/2 an inch thick.
  2. In a bowl combine the egg and a splash of milk and whisk to combine. In two more bowls add the flour and panko and season with salt and pepper. Dip the cut polenta into the flour, then the egg wash then the panko.
  3. Heat large skillet to medium high heat and add oil to cover the pan. Sauté polenta cakes until golden brown and crispy on both sides. Place in oven at 200-250° to keep warm.
  4. Pre-heat a large pan over medium-high heat. Add the bacon strips (you can pre-cut them into lardons or you can leave the strips whole and cut them after). Reduce to medium and cook bacon until crispy and most of the drippings (fat) has been rendered. Remove bacon with a slotted spoon and place on a paper towel to drain. Depending on how much bacon you use, you should probably remove all but a tablespoon of the fat (but I leave it in).
  5. Add onions, green garlic and jalapeno to the pan with the bacon fat. Sautees the mixture until softened and then add the bell pepper, corn and frozen edamame (they’ll thaw and be nice and crunchy by the end). Season with salt and pepper and toss in pan until of the vegetables are coated and warmed. Pour in heavy cream and continue to toss or stir allowing mixture to simmer until thickened. Add the crispy bacon and toss. Taste for seasoning and re-season if necessary.
  6. Trim the Triggerfish if necessary and pick any pin bones. In a large zip top bag, add just a little flour, salt, pepper, smoked paparika and the fish. We aren’t looking to add enough flour to create a breading, just enough to crisp and brown a little. Toss lightly until coverd.
  7. Meanwhile, in a large skillet (I used the same that I cooked the polenta cakes in) over medium heat add olive oil. Cook fish on both sides until desired doneness is reached. If necessary, finish cooking in the oven. Fish should slightly flake when done.
Triggerfish, Succotash and Fried Polenta Cakes