Cauliflower Crust Spinach & Feta White Pizza

Cauliflower Crust Spinach & Feta White Pizza.

I love pizza!

But I’ve been trying to avoid it in an attempt to lose some weight.

I also adore cauliflower, so I finally jumped on the cauliflower crust bandwagon, and O M Geee!  It is awesome!

Have you tried yet?

I did some reading on it before trying and found an important tip that causes many people to be unsuccessful and create a soggy crust…   It is super important to squeeze the water out of the cauliflower rice.  I got almost a whole cup of water out of my large head of cauliflower rice, and the crust turned out so nice and so delish!

I made this last weekend when the family came over for Father’s Day brunch.  It is quite healthy and low fat/calorie.  I used fat-free mozzarella cheese, fresh sauteed spinach and crumbled feta for my toppings.  YUM!

Here is how I made it.  Would love to hear your thoughts if you try it and/or your tips if you’ve made it other ways.

I loved it hot and also loved it cold the next day for lunch at work.  (Though I am one of those crazy peeps who loves everything cold as well!)

Cauliflower Crust Spinach & Feta White Pizza

Ingredients:

Crust:

  • 1 large head cauliflower
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup shredded fat-free mozzarella cheese
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano
  • salt and pepper to taste

Topping:

  • 1 lb fresh baby spinach
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 cup shredded fat-free mozzarella cheese
  • 6 oz. feta cheese
  • olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.

Cut cauliflower into florets and “rice” in food processor in batches.  Place in microwave-safe glass bowl with lid and cook for 8 minutes on high.  Allow to cool slightly and place cooked riced cauliflower in 3-4 even batches at a time in a dry tea-towel.  Roll up and squeeze water out of the riced cauliflower.  Squeeze hard and get as much out as you can.  This is an important step in creating a crust that will not be soggy.  You may get up to a total of a cup of liquid out.

Add eggs, cheese and seasonings to cauliflower and blend well using your hands.  Place on a parchment-lined baking stone, and pat into a crust.  Bake for about 15 minutes until golden brown.

While crust is baking, saute minced garlic in about a tablespoon of olive oil until soft and fragrant.  Add fresh baby spinach and cook until just wilted.  It only takes a minute or two.  Remove from heat and set aside..

When crust comes out of the oven, top it with the shredded mozzarella followed by sauteed spinach and then topped evenly with crumbled feta and seasoned with salt and pepper.

Place back in oven for about 10 more minutes.  Tastes wonderful hot (and cold!)

You can also add other favorite toppings like sun-dried tomatoes, roasted red peppers, grilled chicken – the possibilities are as endless as your personal palate!  

Enjoy!

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi

 

Prosciutto Apple Gorgonzola Pizza

Prosciutto Apple Gorgonzola Pizza.

We went out to dinner with friends a few weeks ago to an amazing local Italian restaurant  near us (Della Terra) that served a too-die-for 5-course dinner with wine pairings that included appetizers, salad, pizza, pasta, and dessert.

One of the things we all went nuts over was a pizza that had apples, prosciutto and  Gorgonzola cheese.

Well – who am I kidding?!  We loved EVERY single course we had, but this pizza was something I thought I might be able to recreate at home.

And O. M. G!!  This turned out so delicious!

It really went together pretty quickly and easily, and it so satisfied my pizza craving!

We often order in pizza on Friday nights at our house.  Just one of our routine guilty pleasures.

But this pizza is worth going to the trouble of making.

Be flexible with it, and make it with ingredients you love.  Add some spinach.  Switch out the apples for pears.  Throw on a few roasted pine nuts.  Add some rosemary and garlic to the pizza dough.

Have fun and be creative!

Here is the recipe for how I made it.  Hope you’ll give it a try.

Prosciutto Apple Gorgonzola Pizza

  • Servings: 1 large pizza
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Ingredients:

Pizza Crust:

  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 Tbsp yeast
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 Tbsp sugar
  • 3/4 cup lukewarm water

Pizza Topping:

  • 2 Tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 2 Tbsp honey
  • 8 oz ball fresh Mozzarella cheese, thinly sliced
  • 1 large apple, thinly sliced (I used Gala)
  • 1 large sweet onion, caramelized with 2 Tbsp butter
  • 6 oz. Prosciutto, thinly sliced and fried
  • 1/2 cup Gorgonzola cheese, crumbled

Other:

  • 1-2 Tbsp corn meal

Directions:

Prepare crust by mixing 1 cup flour with yeast, salt, sugar, and water.  Gradually add 2nd cup of flour until a ball is formed.  Knead dough for 2 minutes.  Let rest 10-15 minutes in a bowl covered with dish towel.

Preheat oven to 450 degrees F, and prepare toppings while dough is resting.

Whisk mustard and honey to form sauce, slice Mozzarella and apple, caramelize onions, fry prosciutto, and crumble Gorgonzola.

Sprinkle corn meal on a large round baking stone, press dough on top until thin, using fingers and/or rolling pin.

Spread mustard/honey sauce on dough.  Top with Mozzarella, apple, caramelized onions, prosciutto, and Gorgonzola cheese.

Bake approximately 12 minutes or until crust is golden brown and cheese is bubbly and brown.

Remove from oven, and let rest 2-3 minutes before slicing and serving.

Enjoy!

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi

Butternut Squash, Caramelized Onion, & Feta Cheese Pizza

Butternut Squash, Caramelized Onion, and Feta Cheese Pizza.

I am always looking for new ways to enjoy butternut squash, so I did a quick search and found a variety of pizzas using butternut squash.  Yum!

The one I found that had the flavors I love (and ingredients I had on hand), called for mashing the butternut squash as the “sauce” on the pizza, but I prefer the taste of cubed and roasted butternut squash, so I changed it up.

Each roasted chunk gets a bit browned and even a bit crispy on the outside corners, but is soft and sweet and tender on the inside.   I prefer that texture to mashed.

And I might just possibly eat anything with caramelized onions on top.  Just saying…

Add feta cheese – and SCORE!

We had this for dinner with a tossed green salad.

If you are looking for a new twist on pizza or a meatless meal, this may just be the ticket!

Here is how I made it.  Hope you will give it a try.

Butternut Squash, Caramelized Onion, and Feta Cheese Pizza

Ingredients:

  • 1 medium butternut squash, cubed
  • 1 large sweet onion, sliced
  • 1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil, divided
  • 1 Tbsp butter
  • 2 tsp brown sugar, divided
  • 1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • Pizza dough or Pillsbury crescent roll tube

Directions:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.  Place cubed butternut squash on stoneware baking pan or baking sheet.  Drizzle with 1 Tbsp olive oil, 1 tsp brown sugar, salt and pepper.  Roast approximately 20 minutes, turning once midway through roasting, until slightly browned and tender.

While squash is roasting, saute onions in 1 Tbsp olive oil and 1 tsp. butter, salt and pepper over medium heat until onions begin to caramelize, approximately 10-15 minutes.  Add balsamic vinegar and brown sugar, and continue to cook for another 5 minutes.

Bake pizza crust five minutes short of done on a round baking stone.  Remove from oven, and layer butternut squash cubes, caramelized onions, and feta cheese on crust.  Return to oven for 5-10 minutes.  Serve immediately.

Enjoy!

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi

 

 

Zucchini Pizza Casserole

Zucchini Pizza Casserole.

Are you enjoying the abundance of garden fresh zucchini squash in new and creative ways?

There are oodles of zoodles.  There are breads and brownies.  There are soups and sticks,  fries and fritters  and frico.  There are even planks and boats.

Well – here’s one that is sure to be a crowd pleaser.  It is Hubby tested and two thumbs up approved here!

A version of this recipe was recently posted by a friend on Facebook in one of those hyperlapse videos that make everything look easy.  And in this case, it was!

This is a wonderfully delicious, cheesy, gluten-free, low-carb way to get your protein and veggies all in one wonderful casserole.

Serve it with a fresh green salad, and you will be all set.

We really, really, really loved this, and it made enough that we’ll be happily enjoying it for a few days!

Give it a try, and let me know if you like it as much as we did.

Zucchini Pizza Casserole*

Ingredients:

  • 4 cups shredded zucchini (do not peel)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup freshly shredded Parmesan cheese
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1 lb fresh Mozzarella cheese, sliced thinly
  • 1 lb ground beef or turkey
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 (15oz.) jar of your favorite pizza or tomato sauce
  • 1 medium sweet red, yellow, orange, or green pepper, chopped
  • Salt and Pepper
  • 2-4 leaves fresh basil, chopped

Directions:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.  Place grated zucchini in a colander, sprinkle with about  1 tsp salt.  Let set for 10 minutes.  Squeeze out water.

In medium bowl, combine zucchini, eggs, 1/2 cup Parmesan, and 1/2 cup cheddar cheese.  Mix well and press into a greased 13×9″ baking dish.  Top with half of the mozzarella cheese slices.  Bake for 20 minutes.

While that is baking, brown ground beef or turkey with onion and garlic, and salt and pepper in a large saucepan.  Add pizza or tomato sauce, and stir well.

Spoon meat mixture over top of baked zucchini mixture.  Top with remaining 1/2 cup Parmesan, 1/2 cup cheddar, sliced mozzarella and chopped peppers.  Sprinkle with chopped basil.  Bake for 20 more minutes until browned and bubbly.

Let stand for 5-10 minutes before serving.

Enjoy!

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi

*Slightly adapted from Taste of Home.

Summer Vegetable Tart

Summer Vegetable Tart Baked

My sweet friend Janet found a recipe for this amazing summer vegetable tart, and I told her she had to come over so we could make it together and enjoy.

And that we did one evening this week.

Besides being so great to see her and spend time in the kitchen slicing and chopping and chatting….

O. M. G. –  this turned out so delish!

Summer Vegetable Tart Before Baked

With summer coming to an end and the abundance of zucchini and red-ripe tomatoes and eggplant and squash, this recipe is a must-do for a hot August evening dinner or Sunday lunch or brunch – or anytime really!

Summer Vegetable Tart Before Baked with Cheese

Anything smothered with Parmegiano Regianno is a winner in my book, but this savory summer vegetable tart is seriously a new favorite.  Dare I admit I had 4 pieces?!

I think you are going to want to try this, so here is the recipe.

Summer Vegetable Tart

Ingredients:Summer Vegetable Tart Baked

  • 1 medium zucchini squash, thinly sliced
  • 1 medium yellow squash, thinly sliced
  • 1 medium eggplant, thinly sliced
  • 2 large tomatoes, thinly sliced
  • 1 sheet frozen puff pastry, thawed (or pie crust or crescent rolls)
  • 1/4 cup tomato or pizza sauce
  • 1 cup freshly grated Parmegiano Reggiano Parmesan cheese
  • Olive Oil
  • Salt

Directions:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.  Roll out puff pastry or pie crust or crescent rolls on a baking stone or cookie sheet to rectangle or circle to form “pizza” tart crust.

Thinly slice vegetables with mandolin or sharp knife.  Lay out on parchment paper or paper towel.  Sprinkle with salt, and let set for 15 minutes.  Pat dry with paper towel to absorb excess moisture.

Spread tomato sauce on pastry.  Layer with vegetables.  Drizzle with olive oil.  Top with Parmesan cheese.

Bake for 30-40 minutes until crust is golden brown, vegetables are tender, and cheese is melted and browned.  Let set for 5-10 minutes, cut, serve, and enjoy!

Happy Eating!

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi

Friday Night is Pizza Night

pizza 2

Friday night is often pizza night at our house, and although we often order in, sometimes we make our own homemade pizza.  It really is a fun way to get the whole gang engaged in the kitchen, and allows everyone to make their pizza just they way they like it.

pizza 1

This is a great, quick and easy fool-proof recipe for dough that you can top with any toppings you like.  It can be made ahead or right when you are ready to eat.

pizza3

One of my favorites is to spread roasted garlic on the dough, top with fresh mozzarella, fresh basil, and fresh tomatoes.  Sometimes simple is the best.

Other times, we spread with tomato sauce and top with pepperoni, crispy crumbled bacon, sauteed onions and peppers, mushrooms, banana pepper rings, and/or black olives.

The only rule is the cheese MUST be fresh sliced mozzarella – no pre-packaged, shredded cheese allowed.  There simply is no comparison.

What is your favorite pizza topping?

Homemade Quick & Easy Pizza Crust

Ingredients:pizza 1

  • 1 (.25 oz) pkg active dry yeast
  • 1 tsp white sugar
  • 1 cup warm water (approx. 110 degrees F)
  • 2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 3 3/4 tsp. baking powder
  • 3/4 tsp. salt
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp corn meal

Directions:

Dissolve yeast and sugar in warm water.  Let stand 10 min.

Stir in flour, baking powder, salt, and oil.  Combine well by kneading until smooth.  Let set for at least 5 min., or up to several hours.

If you have let the dough rise, punch down.  Stretch and toss or roll dough out onto baking stone or pizza dish sprinkled with corn meal.

Spread with desired toppings and bake in preheated 450 degree F oven over for 15 -20 minutes.

Enjoy!

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi

A Diaper Pizza Baby Shower Gift

Diaper pizza baby shower gift 1

Yesterday, I went to a baby shower for a sweet young lady who is expecting a baby girl in June.

I’ve made other diaper gifts  before, but I’ve never tried a diaper pizza.

diaper pizza baby shower gift

It was really quite easy and turned out cute.   The theme was Winnie the Pooh, so I gathered every Pooh bear and friends onsie, rattle, teething ring, toy, bib, and pacifier I could find.  I then took a dozen Size 1 diapers, gentle shaped them into triangles, wrapped them in a baby wash cloth and taped them on the bottom.

Diaper pizza baby shower gift 2

I then tied a different little gift on top of each “pizza slice” and put a little plush Tigger in the middle.  I wrote a greeting on the inside of the top of the box, and attached a soft little book as the “card.”

It was a fun way to celebrate and welcome this new little one.

Thanks Luciano’s Brick Oven in Mars for the clean pizza box.  (And thanks Chris for getting it for me!)

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi

Chicken Caprese Pizza

chicken caprese pizza 2

A fun, fresh, delicious way to use a rotisserie chicken is to make it into a pizza!

Chicken Caprese Pizza.

chicken caprese pizza

A tube of Pillsbury Pizza Crust, some red, ripe campari tomatoes, fresh mozzarella, basil, garlic and balsamic vinegar, along with the chicken make an amazing quick and easy weekday or weekend dinner.

chicken caprese pizza 1

Served with a fresh green salad, and you are ready to rock in 30 minutes or less.

We made this last night for dinner and absolutely loved it!

What is your favorite way to use a rotisserie chicken?

Chicken Caprese Pizza

Ingredients:chicken caprese pizza 2

  • 1/2 rotisserie chicken, diced
  • 1 Pillsbury pizza crust or your favorite
  • 1 lb fresh mozzarella cheese, sliced
  • 3-4 campari tomatoes, sliced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil, chopped

Directions:

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.  Spread pizza crust out on baking stone or cookie sheet.  Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with minced garlic.  Bake for 5 min.

Remove pizza crust from oven and spread chopped rotisserie chicken evenly on top.  Layer sliced campari tomatoes, followed by sliced mozzarella cheese and chopped basil on top.  Drizzle with balsamic vinegar.  Return to oven, and bake an additional 10-15 minutes until cheese is melted and beginning to brown and crust is golden brown.

I hope you will enjoy this yummy pizza as much as we did!

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi

 

Chessy Caprese Tarts

caprese tarts 2

In honor of National Cheese Lovers Day today, (you knew that – right?!) I am sharing a yummy new Cheesy Caprese Tart recipe I made this past weekend for the family while we got together to watch football playoff games.

caprese tarts cut

This recipe could also be great for brunch, lunch or even a light dinner.   It would be a well-received snack to take to a Super Bowl Party too, I am certain!

caprese tarts

Does anything beat ooey, gooey, chewy fresh melted mozarella cheese?!  Especially when topped with sweet juicy tomatoes and some lovely fresh basil?!  And everything is yummy when on top of golden, flaky puff pastry – right?

This recipe is really simple, yet it turns out looking so impressive, you are going to be a Cheese Lover’s ROCK STAR when you make this!

Caprese Puff Pastry Tarts

  • Servings: depends on how hungry you are!
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Ingredients:caprese tarts 2

  • 1 sheet of frozen puff pastry, thawed
  • 1 lb fresh mozzarella cheese
  • Fresh ripe Campari  (my favorite!) or cherry tomatoes
  • Fresh basil
  • Olive Oil
  • Salt
  • Pepper

Directions:

Roll out the puff pastry sheet and cut into four squares.  Top with sliced fresh mozarella and then sliced tomatoes.  Drizzle with olive oil, then salt and pepper to taste.  Bake in 375 degree F oven for approximately 15 minutes or until puff pastry begins to puff and turn golden brown and cheese is melted and bubbly brown.  Remove from oven and top with freshly chopped basil.  Tastes wonderful hot or cold.

For small bite-sized tarts, you could cut into 16 squares and do same.  You could also do one large “pizza” by not cutting the pastry sheet at all.

ENJOY, and Happy Cheese Lover’s Day!

Cheers & Hugs,

Jodi

 

Homemade Margherita Pizza with Roasted Tomatoes

homemade margherita pizza with roasted heirloom tomatoes 1

The other day, our sweet friend and master gardener, Jack, gave us a generous box full of his amazingly beautiful heirloom tomatoes freshly picked from his garden.

Jacks Heirloom Tomatoes

Not only are they practically works of art how beautiful they are, but there is nothing like the taste of these gems!  (I do believe I would trade an entire box of chocolate covered salted caramels for one of these super sweet garden goodies!)

Roasting Heirloom tomatoes

When trying to decide what I could I make with them to give them the showcase they deserved (and eating one for breakfast while contemplating!), I decided to roast them up for fresh homemade Margherita pizza.

Roasting Heirloom tomatoes close up

If EVER I wished for scratch and sniff or “smell-a-computers,” I so wish I could share how my entire house smelled while garlic and fresh basil and thyme infused with these golden and crimson chunks of lusciousness.

roasted heirloom tomatoes

And I even decided to sacrifice one of them to ferment and save some seeds to see if I could master growing these in my own garden next year.

Fermenting heirloom tomato seeds

And then…..

After making some fresh dough, I rolled it out and placed a generous portion of these precious concentrated bursts of flavor atop.

homemade margherita pizza with roasted heirloom tomatoes

I topped that with slices of fresh Mozzarella, finely grated, salty Parmesan cheese, and coarsely chopped fresh basil right from the plant in the garden.


homemade margherita pizza with roasted heirloom tomatoes 2

And just for a bit of extra yumminess (and because I had some in the fridge), I topped it off with some chopped up thickly sliced smokey bacon ( O…. M….. G!!!)

homemade margherita pizza with roasted heirloom tomatoes slice.

This is the BEST pizza I ever ate in my life!  My son Nick took what was leftover for lunch, and I had the one solitary piece that was left in the refrigerator for breakfast the next day – stone COLD – and it was even better than I remembered the night before!

It had to be those tomatoes!  Thanks Jack!

Homemade Margherita Pizza with Roasted Tomatoes

Roasted Tomatoes:homemade margherita pizza with roasted heirloom tomatoes

  • 6-8 large tomatoes
  • 6 cloves garlic, coarsely chopped
  • 1/4 cup coarsely chopped fresh basil
  • 1 Tbsp fresh thyme
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • Salt & Pepper to taste

Cut tomatoes into quarters and spread in a baking dish.  Add garlic, basil, thyme, salt and pepper.  Drizzle all with olive oil.  Bake in 350 degree F oven for one hour.  Turn oven off and leave tomatoes in until ready to use.   (I roasted in the morning and let them set all day).

Dough:

  • 4 cups flour
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 cups lukewarm water
  • 2 tsp (1 envelope) active dry yeast

Mix flour and salt in a large bowl.    Mix water and yeast until dissolved in a measuring cup or small bowl.  Combine both until well incorporated.  Turn dough out onto counter and knead for several minutes.  Place in oiled bowl covered with towel, and let rise until ready to use.  (It really doesn’t matter whether it is an hour or several.)

Toppings:

  • Roasted Tomatoes
  • 1 lb Fresh Mozzarella cheese, sliced
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 cup fresh coarsely chopped basil
  • Any other toppings you like (or not)

Punch down dough and divide into 2 balls.  Stretch and roll out onto two baking stones to form thin crust.
Top with Roasted tomatoes, cheeses, basil, and anything else you like.
Bake at 425 degrees for approximately 20 minutes until crust is done and cheese is browned and bubbly.
Let set for 10 minutes before serving.
ENJOY!  

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi