Archive | Pizza RSS feed for this section

#BetterGoodThings: Colorful Veggie Bars

20 Feb #BetterGoodThings- Colorful Veggie Bars

This month for Better Good Things (on the Third Thursday… because Evin loves alliteration!) Evin, the mama in charge at Food Good Laundry Bad, and I decided to tackle a recipe that makes its rounds pretty frequently on Pinterest and holds a place near and dear to my heart.  Sometimes it’s called “veggie pizza”… sometimes “veggie bars”… but it always shares some commonalities- ranch dressing, mayo, and icky supermarket crescent rolls.

When I was little, my mom used to make this as one of her go-to potluck appetizer recipes.  It was oh-so yummy and stands as a fabulous nostalgia food for me but- despite the veggie variety on top (my mama used to do stripes of diced carrot, cauliflower, on broccoli)- it’s been a no-no in our house given the traditionally super-processed base ingredients.  Which means this one was destined for a makeover…

At first glance, it probably seems like the first thing to go should be the canister of crescent roll dough- I know that is the first thing Evin axed on her end- and that was my plan as well (because homemade crescent roll dough does sound like a fun baking adventure) until I happened on a serendipitous discovery… my favorite “cheat” brand of ready to bake goods –Immaculate Baking– makes crescent roll dough.  The best part is that a roll of Immaculate crescent roll dough is only $4.95 at Whole Foods making it $0.05 less than the $5 cap for specialty ingredients that Evin and I set for Better Good Things.  The grocery gods are smiling upon me!

#BEtterGoodThings: Colorful Veggie Bars made with kale, purple cauliflower, broccoli, bell pepper, and tomatoes at gorunningmama.com

For the most part, the rolls of crescent roll dough you purchase at the supermarket contain soy (tons and TONS of soy), red 40 (which has suspected links to cancer, ADHD, and allergies/irritants), and tertiary butylhydroquinone- a form of butane used as a preservative with links to tinnitus, asthma, ADHD, nausea, stomach cancers, and interruption to estrogen levels in women.  No biggie, right?  My lovely friends at Immaculate Baking leave out all of those nasties!  And just to be clear, they’re not really my friends… they just make a great product that is a better choice for my family.  Which makes them feel like family!  Full disclosure… this product does contain canola oil which is not my favorite choice, but here and there I excuse it in the name of brief and infrequent convenience.  And because I had a stomach virus last week which morphed into a cold this week and I just can’t imagine having to work through the rise and rest periods for yeast dough at this moment!

But if you’re standing firm on no canola oil (because you probably should), check out Evin’s Real Food Veggie Pizza that totally boycotts dough-in-can…

#BetterGoodThings- Real Food Veggie Pizza

Regardless of your crust choice, jump on board with me for my ranch dressing better choice-  In place of the usual ranch dressing topping (soybean oil, phosphoric acid- lowers bone density, calcium disodium EDTA- can cause kidney damage…) I opted for a kale pesto-esque spread made with cream cheese.  Want to keep it vegan?  Forgo the cheese; up the kale content; and add some olive oil, nuts, nutritional yeast and a pinch of salt!

#BEtterGoodThings: Colorful Veggie Bars made with kale, purple cauliflower, broccoli, bell pepper, and tomatoes at gorunningmama.com

(Note: This images show a half portion of the recipe I below)

Instead of doing my mama’s standard veggie stripes so beloved from my childhood, I tossed the veggies together so that no one has to miss out on any goodness.  The purple cauliflower?  A total essential in our house!  Not only does it look simply gorgeous, but it is also a surefire way to get my little girly girl to down veggies on even the pickiest toddler days!  (Need a go to girly snack? Pink hummus dyed with beet juice served with purple cauliflower for the win!)

#BEtterGoodThings: Colorful Veggie Bars made with kale, purple cauliflower, broccoli, bell pepper, and tomatoes at gorunningmama.com

If you’re like me and have a fridge stuffed with veggie leftovers that constantly need using, having a roll of family friendly crescent roll dough on hand could help you create and easy meal out of those leftovers by customizing the toppings.  Even better- it’s one of those meals that feels like an art project for little hands which can be a huge lifesaver on fridge cleanup day.

Sometimes playing with your food is such a good decision!

#BetterGoodThings- Colorful Veggie Bars made with kale, purple cauliflower, broccoli, bell pepper, and tomatoes at gorunningmama.com

Colorful Veggie Bars

(In the pictures above, I reduced my recipe by half to make a manageable size for just us three… the recipe I’ve included here will make an entire jelly roll pan worth which is perfect for take along snacks for your next playdate or extended family game night… or just a bigger family in general!)

Ingredients:

  • 2 rolls of Immaculate Baking crescent rolls
  • 8 oz organic cream cheese
  • 6 oz parmesan cheese
  • about a half a bunch of kale, ribs removed and torn into small pieces
  • 2 tbs plain kefir
  • 2 large garlic cloves
  • 1 1/2 cup purple cauliflower florets
  • 1 1/2 cup broccoli slaw
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes
  • 1 yellow bell pepper

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Line a jelly roll pan with parchment paper.  Roll the crescent roll dough out to cover the pan and press seams together.  Bake for 12 minutes.  Remove from the oven to cool.

In the bowl of a food processor, pulse the kale and garlic together they form a paste.   Add cream cheese, parmesan, and kefir and pulse to an even, spreadable consistency.  Spread kale mixture on the cooled crescent roll base.

Finely dice the cauliflower, tomatoes, and bell pepper.  Toss with the broccoli slaw and sprinkle evenly across the kale spread, pressing lightly into the spread to keep in place.

Slice with a pizza slicer and serve immediately. Or store in refrigerator in layers separated by parchment.

Bean and Greens Pizza with Purslane + Amaranth Greens and Aduki Beans

25 Jul Go Running, Mama!- Beans and Greens Pizza

We took a fabulous little min-vacation this past weekend to the Hyatt Hill Country Resort for a little resting, running, and relaxation which was a very welcome pick-me-up for my ultra-busy husband.  Knowing that we would be gone for the weekend, my grocery and CSA basket usage the past week was geared towards using up the most perishable local produce before we left and only shopping for healthy snack items that we could tote to the resort.

When we got home on Sunday, I pulled out the item in the fridge that needed to be used that night for dinner which happened to be a beautiful bunch of purslane and amaranth greens.  You see them in the photo?  With the heart around them?  Yeah, I kinna love purslane and amaranth greens.  Like… a bunch.  Holy salad awesomeness!

Go Running, Mama!- Beans and Greens Pizza

Our default meal on Sunday nights is homemade pizza.  It’s a great way to use up leftovers or unused produce and any leftover slices make an easy lunchbox meal that can be packed quickly on busy Monday mornings.  We’ve enjoyed greens on salads many times before, so I was excited to give it a go with some of my current favorite greens.  I wasn’t disappointed.

Go Running, Mama!- Beans and Greens Pizza

While I baked the pizza, hubs dry-hopped an IPA with citra hops and cardamom pods in his Randall Jr.  as his contribution to our relaxing Sunday dinner.  You see that- I’m not the only kitchen creative in this house!

The results were splendid- wilted greens, caramelized onions, and seasoned adzuki beans could have stood alone (as they do in the photo above) but we decided to up the comfort factor with a little cheese.  (Feel free to go sans-cheese to keep it vegan or dairy free.)

Pizza and beer make for a happy Sunday meal- especially when the pizza is topped with ingredients that are going to fuel you the right way on Monday morning.

Go Running, Mama!- Beans and Greens Pizza with Purslane, Amaranth, and Aduki Beans

Beans and Greens Pizza with Purslane + Amaranth Greens and Aduki Beans

For the crust:

  • 2 1/2 heaping cups of flour
  • 1 tsp coarse salt
  • 1 packet Rapid Rise yeast
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 tbs olive oil
  • cornmeal

For pizza toppings:

  • 1 bunch purslane and amaranth greens mix, tough stems removed and roughly chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 2 yellow onions, thinly slices
  • 1 can aduki beans, rinsed and drained (Eden Organic uses BPS-free cans)
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/2 tsp ume plum vinegar
  • 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 c mozzarella cheese, shredded
  • 1/4 c grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
  • olive oil
  • salt pepper

To make crust:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

Whisk flour, undissolved yeast, and salt in a mixing bowl.  Heat water to between 120-130 degrees F and add to dry ingredients.  Add olive oil and stir until well combined.  Turn out onto a lightly floured surface and knead gently until smooth and elastic and turn into a ball to rest.Cover with a clean dish towel and allow to rest 10 minutes.

Line a full sheet baking pan with parchment paper and sprinkle with cornmeal.  Roll with a rolling pin or hand stretch to fit the capacity of the pan (this will make a rectangular pizza- use a pizza stone if you desire a round pizza).  Carefully pinch and turn up the edges all the way around the dough to form a slight lip on your pizza crust.

Bake for 10 minutes and then remove to top before continuing the baking process.

To make toppings for pizza:

Pour beans into a colander and rinse thoroughly.

While crust is rising and par-baking, coat a saute pan with olive oil and heat pan to medium/medium-high.  Add onions and season with 1/2 tsp salt.  Throughout preparation of crust cook onions, stirring occasionally.  Once onions begin to brown, reduce heat and continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until onions are golden brown.  Season to taste with salt and pepper.  Remove to a bowl and set aside.

Coat the saute pan with olive oil once again and hear pan to medium-high heat.  Add beans, ume plum vinegar, apple cider vinegar, and oregano and season with salt and pepper.  Saute for 3-5minutes until heated through and then add one clove of garlic, thinly sliced.  Saute for 2 minutes more before adding greens mix to pan.  Saute until wilted, stirring frequently, and then remove from heat.

To assemble pizza:

While par-baked pizza crust is still warm crush the second garlic clove, slice it in half and rub the crust with the cut portion of the clove.  Using a pastry brush, brush entire crust with olive oil.  Spread caramelized onion across crust evenly.  Add beans and greens mixture to pizza crust.  Sprinkle with cheeses.

Remove from baking pan and bake directly on the oven rack in the 400 degree oven for 12-15 minutes until cheese is bubbly and crust is crisp.  Remove to a cutting board.

Allow to cool for 5 minutes before cutting with a pizza wheel.

Serves 4 adults and one toddler.