Posts Tagged ‘mozzarella’
When I saw baby kale at my grocery store right next to the baby spinach I could not resist. Especially since I am making efforts to incorporate more vegetables into my diet (said while I munch on baby carrots). And what better time to add more greens than right before St. Patrick’s Day? With breakfast being the most important meal of the day I decided to start there by making a quiche with the baby kale. This quiche would’ve been even healthier if made crustless, but the crust is my favorite part of a quiche! I would not have been satisfied without it’s presence.
9-inch refrigerated pie crust, uncooked
1 Tbsp olive oil oil
1/4 cup diced white onion
2 cups fresh baby kale (or regular kale torn from the stems)
1/2 large red bell pepper, diced
1 turkey breakfast sausage, cooked and diced
3 egg whites, beaten
1-1/2 cups shredded Mozzarella cheese
3/4 cup shredded sharp Cheddar cheese
1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
4 tsp ground black pepper
- Preheat oven to 350. Fit pie crust into a 9-inch pie pan.
- Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion, kale and red bell pepper; cook, stirring occasionally, until kale is wilted and onion and pepper is softened. Stir in sausage. Let mixture cool slightly.
- In a large bowl, combine eggs, cheese and pepper. Add kale mixture and stir to blend. Scoop into prepared pie pan. Bake in preheated oven until eggs have set, about 30 minutes. Let cool for 10 minutes before serving.
Source: Adapted from Ingredients, Inc.
Last month for Secret Recipe Club, you may recall me resisting the urge to make a recipe from my assigned blog last month that was actually from another SRC member. As luck would have it, I am assigned to that other blog this month – Kudo’s Kitchen! Although it obviously has been featured on another SRC reveal day in the past, I thought it was worthy of a repeat.
This recipe makes one large pizza, but you could easily make two medium ones and is what I would have done if I had used my pizza stone (since it’s smaller than my pizza pan). Either way, this pizza is a garlic lover’s dream. Both the crust and the toppings are bursting with garlic, so vampires beware. I personally love garlic so I used 8 cloves in the toppings instead of the indicated 5 in the recipe. Who says garlic breath is a bad thing?
Two years ago: “Creamed” Berry Cheese Spread
GARLIC LOVER’S PIZZA
3/4 cup water
3/4 cup beef stock
1/4 cup unsalted butter
1-1/2 Tbsp dried minced onion
3-1/2 to 4 cups all-purpose flour
1 package active dry yeast
1 Tbsp garlic powder
2 tsp dried basil (I used 2 Tbsp fresh, minced)
2 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp dried thyme (I used 1 Tbsp fresh, minced)
1/2 tsp black pepper
1 tsp salt
2 Tbsp sugar
2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
5 (or more) freshly grated garlic cloves
4 red ripe tomatoes, sliced into 1/4″ thickness
1 log (16 oz.) fresh mozzarella cheese, sliced into 1/4″ thickness
Fresh or dried basil and oregano, to taste
- Over low heat in a small saucepan, heat the water, stock, butter, and onions until the butter is just melted. Allow to cool slightly so that you can comfortably stick your finger in and not be burned.
- In a large bowl, combine the remaining dry ingredients, starting with only 3-1/2 cups of flour. More may be necessary later.
- Add the liquid ingredients into the dry ingredients in the large bowl and mix until moistened. Stir in enough remaining flour (if needed) to form a soft but not sticky dough. Knead until the dough is smooth and elastic, about 6-8 minutes.
- Place the dough in a greased bowl, turning once to grease the top. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 1 hour. When dough has fully risen, punch down and allow to rest for at least 15 minutes.
- Meanwhile, pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees.
- After the dough has risen, add approximately 1 tablespoon cornmeal to the surface of your pizza pan. Using your fingertips, spread the dough out to fit the size of the pan (I used a large 16-inch pizza pan), pinching the edges to form a crust.
- Pre-bake the crust for approximately 15 minutes.
- After the initial pre-baking, take the crust from the oven and allow to cool for a few minutes. Using your fingertips, lightly dimple the top of the crust to form little wells.
- Using a pastry brush, and being liberal, gently brush the olive oil on top of the crust. Next, sprinkle garlic over the crust. Then arrange tomatoes on top of your crust making sure to cover as much or surface area as possible.
- Next, layer on the fresh mozzarella cheese however you choose and sprinkle the top with additional basil and oregano.
- Increase your oven temperature to 400 degrees and slip your pizza into the oven for approximately 20 minutes or until the cheese is browned and bubbly. Allow to cool slightly before cutting.
Source: Kudo’s Kitchen
There are times when I go to the grocery store and somehow leave without actually getting everything on my list. And then there are times when I cross every last thing off, only to get home and realize I didn’t buy enough of something or forgot to put something on the list in the first place. Enter improvisation. When making these stuffed shells, I substituted broccoli for shredded zucchini because I failed to buy any, and also some of the ricotta for Greek yogurt because I didn’t buy enough! Some people say you shouldn’t admit to screwing up and instead say it was all planned out from the beginning. However, I prefer admitting how awesome my creative skills under pressure because these shells were still awesome.
Two years ago: Butterscotch Haystack Cookies
PEPPERONI PASTA BAKE
15 oz. part-skim ricotta
5 oz. plain Greek yogurt (I used o% Chobani)
1-1/4 cups chopped broccoli
1/3 cup chopped fresh basil leaves, plus more for serving
1 egg, beaten
Salt and pepper
3 cups marinara sauce, divided
28 (7 oz.) jumbo pasta shells, cooked according to package drections
2 oz. mini turkey pepperoni slices
3/4 cup (3 oz.) shredded part-skim mozzarella
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Lightly grease a 9 x 13-inch baking dish and set aside.
- In a medium bowl, combine ricotta,broccoli, basil, and egg. Season with 1/2 teaspoon each salt and pepper.
- Spread 1 cup marinara in prepared baking dish. Fill each shell with 1 heaping tablespoon ricotta mixture and arrange in an even layer in dish. Top with remaining 2 cups marinara, then pepperoni and mozzarella.
- Cover with foil and bake until sauce is bubbling, about 30 minutes. Heat broiler, remove foil, and broil until cheese is browned in spots, about 3 minutes. Top with additional basil and serve.
Source: Adapted slightly from Everyday Food, October 2012.
Last week, Stephanie (another student in the lab who is planning to graduate this spring) and I attended an electronic dissertation formatting workshop. It was 3 hours long and we both wanted to strangle someone by the time it was over. Actually, we had that impulse before we even got to the workshop because we had an assignment to complete prior to the workshop which consisted of going through a 35 page mock dissertation and editing the formatting errors! Thankfully I did learn something from all of that, but think it could’ve been acquired less painfully. At the same time, neither of us now have very high hopes of finishing the write up of our dissertations in time to start the formatting review process the first of April. Especially since we both have lab work we’re still trying to finish up. It’s a good thing one can just finish whenever you’re done in grad school instead of only two days a year.
Anywho, pardon my rant. I will make it up to you with yet another recipe involving Meyer lemons. It’s cheese tortellini, mixed up with bacon and spinach then covered in a Meyer lemon cream sauce. Feast your eyes upon that plate of glory. (And watch as my frustration magically dissipates a little.)
One year ago: Lighter Pizza Dip
TORTELLINI SPINACH BAKE IN CREAMY MEYER LEMON SAUCE
12 oz. cheese tortelini (I used frozen)
4 oz. (4 strips) bacon
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 Tbsp all-purpose flour
2 cups milk
3/4 tsp salt
1/8 tsp black pepper
1-1/2 tsp dry basil
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
1/2 Meyer lemon, zested and juiced
2 cups loosely packed fresh spinach, roughly chopped
3/4 cup grated mozzarella cheese, divided
3/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese, divided
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Fill a large stock pot with water and bring to a boil. Add tortellini and cook according to package instructions.
- Meanwhile, place bacon in a medium sized skillet on the stove-top at medium-high heat. Cook until crisp. Remove bacon from pan with slotted spoon and set on paper towels to drain. Reserve two tablespoons bacon drippings in pan and discard the rest. Add garlic to pan and cook until fragrant and tender, about 30 seconds. Add flour to pan and stir with a whisk until browned, about 1 minute. Slowly add milk and continue to stir with whisk until smooth. Add salt, pepper, basil, and red pepper flakes and bring sauce to a simmer.
- Add Meyer lemon zest and juice to sauce. Continue to stir until thickened, 2-3 minutes. Remove from heat.
- Drain tortellini and place back in stock pot. Reserve 1 tablespoon of the cooked bacon and add the rest to the pasta mixture. Add spinach, 1/2 cup mozzarella cheese and 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese. Add sauce and gently stir to combine. Place pasta mixture in an 8×8 or 9×9 baking dish and top with remaining 1/4 cup mozarella and 1/4 cup Parmesan and also crumbled bacon.
- Cover pan with foil and bake for 15 minutes. Remove foil and bake for an additional 5-10 minutes, until cheese on top is melted and pasta is bubbly throughout. Remove from oven and cool for 10 minutes before serving.
Source: Adapted slightly from Our Best Bites.
Before I begin, let me preface today’s post by saying I 100% support the motivation of those people who have newly joined a gym and are actually using it and attending group fitness classes. I will always cheer on any person who makes a commitment to their health and well being. That being said…
At the beginning of each new year there is a large influx of new members to gyms everywhere, and the one at which I am a member is no exception. Parking spots have become a little harder to find, but who cares if I have to park further because I’m there to work out, what’s a few extra steps? Upon entering the gym, the cardio and weight lifting areas also have more people utilizing the space, but I purposely joined this gigantic Mecca because even with the influx there are still open machines here and there most of the time. If not there is a short wait.
However, I start to get annoyed when I have to show up at least 30 minutes early to the group fitness classes in order to get in. Thankfully (being a graduate student working in a lab), my schedule is flexible to an extent which allows me to leave a little earlier in order to stake a claim on a bike/mat/etc. But sometimes even getting there 30 minutes ahead of time isn’t enough and that’s when I get really annoyed. When that happens I try to make the best of it and use one of the ellipticals that may be open on the cardio floor instead. But it’s just not the same when no one is in front of you saying “FASTER”, “MORE RESISTANCE”, etc.
Anyway like I said in the beginning, I could never be mad at anyone who is trying to do the same thing as me. So hop on that spin bike and afterwards, make these awesome stuffed shells for dinner! Cause that’s what I would do . Serves with roasted brussels sprouts.
One year ago: Peanut Butter Fudge Brownie Bricks
Two years ago: English Muffins
BUTTERNUT SQUASH STUFFED SHELLS
Makes 20 shells, and serves approximately 4
20 jumbo shells
2-1/2 cups cubed butternut squash
1 tsp olive oil
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1/4 tsp nutmeg
2 Tbsp unsalted butter
1 shallot, chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
1-1/2 Tbsp mascarpone cheese (I used cream cheese)
1 Tbsp grated parmesan cheese
2 Tbsp unsalted butter
2 Tbsp all-purpose flour
2 cups milk
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
1/4 pinch of nutmeg
Salt & pepper to taste
1/3 cup mozzarella cheese
10-15 sage leaves
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place butternut squash on a baking sheet and toss with salt, pepper, nutmeg and olive oil. Roast for 20 minutes, flip, then roast for 20 minutes more. Remove from oven and mash with a fork or potato masher until almost pureed.
- Boil water and prepare shells according to directions. Mine called for 9 minutes. Drain pasta and set aside to cool. While pasta is cooking, heat a small saucepan over medium heat and add 2 tablespoons butter, garlic and shallots. Whisk until brown bits appear in the butter, then mash into the butternut squash, along with the mascarpone and and tablespoon of parmesan. Spray a baking dish (8×8) or pie plate with nonstick spray. Spoon about 1 1/2-2 tablespoons (depending on the size of your shells) of squash into each shell, then lay in the dish. Repeat.
- To make the bechemal, heat a saucepan over medium heat and add butter. Once sizzling, whisk in flour and cook until golden and a nutty aroma appears. Add milk and parmesan and let come to a simmer while whisking constantly. Once sauce has thickened, stir in nutmeg and taste – add salt and pepper if desired. Pour mixture over top of shells, then add mozzarella and sage. Bake at 400 degrees F for 20-25 minutes, or until cheese is golden and bubbly.
Source: How Sweet It Is
Tonight marks the end college football until fall. The BCS National Championship Game is my version of the Superbowl, since I don’t have a pro team that I am completely faithful to (I tend to lean towards the Buffalo Bills and the Dallas Cowboys). Although both are great reasons to bust out a lot of great food, which I definitely am faithful to.
Unfortunately, my Ohio State Buckeyes were ineligible for any BCS bowl game this year. If this were not the case, the 12-0 season would’ve lined up Ohio State to battle for the title against Notre Dame instead of Alabama. Boo hiss. Hopefully they will continue to play well next season when the ban is lifted. Until then… down with the SEC tyranny!
For those of you looking for a less glutinous choice while watching football tonight, try these quesadillas. The whole wheat tortillas are packed with chicken, artichokes, sun-dried tomatoes, avocado and mozzarella cheese. Then dip to your hearts content into the honey-balsamic sauce and be prepared to not want to share.
Two years ago: Red Velvet Shortbread Cookies
CALIFORNIA QUESADILLAS WITH HONEY-BALSAMIC DIPPING SAUCE
Serves 2 (as a meal)
4 whole wheat tortillas
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1 cup cooked, shredded chicken breast
1/2 cup chopped artichoke hearts (I omitted because I didn’t have any on hand)
1/4 cup julienned sun dried tomatoes packed in olive oil, drained
1/2 avocado, sliced
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 Tbsp honey
1 clove garlic, minced
Salt & pepper
- Prepare the honey-balsamic dipping sauce by combining balsamic vinegar, oil, honey, garlic, salt, and pepper in a jar with a tight fitting lid, or bowl. Shake or whisk until combined. Set aside.
- Place two tortillas on a flat surface and spread 1/4 cup shredded cheese on each one. Split cooked chicken, artichoke hearts, sun dried tomatoes, avocado, and remaining cheese between both tortillas, then top with remaining tortillas. Heat a large skillet over medium heat then spray with non-stick spray. Slide one quesadilla into the skillet then cook until golden brown, about 2-3 minutes. Flip then cook until the other side is golden brown. Slide onto a plate and repeat with remaining quesadilla. Cut into slices and serve with dipping sauce.
Source: Adapted from Iowa Girl Eats.
Cooking for one is a challenge. Normally I don’t mind leftovers because they are great for lunches, but I find myself overrun with leftovers these days. Both in meals and desserts. I am convinced at times my fridge looks like I am feeding a family of 4. I have been freezing as much as I can but at the rate I’ve been going, soon my ice maker will be filled with non-ice items.
Every now and then I run across a single-serving meal that is quick and easy to make, and it immediately goes on my to-make list. This simple yet delicious pasta dish is great for a busy weeknight or when the thought of adding another tupperware full of leftovers to your fridge makes you shudder.
Two years ago: Iced & Spiced Applesauce Cookies
CREAMY RICOTTA SPINACH & SHELLS
1/2 cup medium whole wheat pasta shells
4 cups chopped spinach
1/2 cup low fat ricotta cheese
2 Tbsp milk
1/2 tsp garlic powder
Salt, pepper, nutmeg
1/4 cup marinara
2 Tbsp shredded mozzarella cheese
- Preheat the broiler. Cook pasta according to package directions, about 7-8 minutes. During the last minute of cook time add in the spinach to let it wilt with the pasta. Drain the pasta/spinach and immediately return to the hot pot. Stir in the ricotta cheese and milk until completely mixed. Season with the garlic powder and salt/nutmeg/pepper to taste. Pour into a ramekin and top with marinara and mozzarella. Cook under the broiler until the cheese is golden and bubbly. Serve hot!
Source: Heather’s Dish
With cooler temperatures creeping up on me, I am desperately trying to use up all the basil leaves left on my basil plants before they start to freeze off at night. It will likely result in a freezer-full of pesto because new ones sprout up when I’m not looking. Any other basil-utilizing suggestions?
Of course I couldn’t freeze all of the pesto, so I made these lasagna rolls that I had bookmarked long ago. The homemade pesto in this was essential for me. Even though I’ve never made this recipe with store-bought pesto, I could definitely tell that there was fresh pesto rolled up in there. Good thing I have a stock-pile of homemade pesto to last me through the winter so I can make these lasagna rolls again. Maybe I’ll venture into the world of homemade lasagna noodles next time. Look at me living on the edge .
Also, don’t forget to add you favorite brownie/bar recipe to the #BYOBrownies link up party!
One year ago: Pesto Burgers
CHICKEN PESTO LASAGNA ROLLS
1 Tbsp unsalted butter
1 Tbsp whole wheat flour
1 cup milk
Salt & pepper
1 cup shredded chicken
15 oz container of low-fat ricotta cheese
1/2 cup homemade or store-bought pesto sauce
6 whole wheat lasagna noodles, cooked and drained
1 cup of your favorite chunky marinara sauce, divided
1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese, divided
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Lightly coat a 8×8-inch pan with non-stick spray.
- Melt butter over medium-high heat. Add flour and stir until mixed. Let cook for a minute. Stream in the milk, whisking until completely smooth. Add salt and pepper, and then cook until thickened.
- Place 1/4 cup of white sauce in the bottom of prepared pan.
- In a bowl, stir together the chicken, ricotta, 1/4 cup mozzarella, pesto, salt, and pepper. Spread ~1/3 cup of the ricotta mixture over each lasagna noodle and roll up. Place the roll in the prepared pan. Repeat for the remaining noodles.
- Spoon the remaining white sauce over the lasagna rolls. Spoon the red sauce over the lasagna rolls and top with remaining mozzarella cheese.
- Bake for ~30 minutes, until hot, bubble, and the cheese begins to brown.
Source: Adapted slightly from Confections of a Foodie Bride.
Exploring alternative pizza toppings is fun. Sometimes the toppings become so creative that the essence of pizza only remains in the crust upon which it all sits. This is one of those times, but you know what? I am perfectly okay with a completely unconventional pizza, especially after the revelation of kale and balsamic vinegar together. There’s just something about crispy kale and sweet & tangy balsamic that just get me.
Even went ahead and served it with a drizzle of balsamic reduction leftover from making a Caprese Pizza at the same time. Is there such a thing as too much balsamic? Of course, one cannot forget the presence of the seasonally appropriate sweet potato on this pizza. (I promise I have not forgotten about you, pumpkin.)
One year ago: “Don’t Judge Me” Mac & Cheese
SWEET POTATO KALE PIZZA WITH ROSEMARY & RED ONION
Your favorite pizza dough
1 large sweet potato, thinly sliced, about 1/4 inch thick
1/2 red onion, sliced
1-1/2 Tbsp olive oil, divided
Salt and pepper, for seasoning potato slices and onion
1-1/2 cups mozzarella cheese
1-1/2 cups chopped kale
1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 tsp, freshly chopped rosemary
1 cup balsamic vinegar
1-1/2 Tbsp brown sugar
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Place the sweet potato slices and red onion slices in a bow and toss with 1/2 tablespoon of the olive oil. Season with salt and pepper. Place on a large baking sheet and bake for about 20 minutes, or until the sweet potatoes are soft and tender. Make sure you turn them once during the 20 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool while you prepare the pizza dough.
- Turn the oven to 500 degrees or as high as your oven will go. If you have a pizza stone, place the pizza stone in the oven to get hot. On a lightly floured surface, roll out the pizza dough, using a rolling pin. Roll it out to about 3/8 of an inch. Place the pizza dough on a pizza peel or pan that has been generously coated with corn meal. Lightly brush the dough with the remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil. In a small bowl, toss the kale with balsamic vinegar. Top the pizza dough with mozzarella cheese, sweet potato slices, kale, red onion slices, and fresh rosemary.
- Place the pizza in the oven-directly on the pizza stone, if using one, or on the oven rack. Bake for 10-15 minutes or until pizza crust is golden and cheese is melted. Remove from oven and let cool for a few minutes before slicing.
- While the pizza is baking, add the balsamic vinegar and stir in the brown sugar in a small sauce pan on medium heat. Bring to a simmer and heat until the vinegar is reduced by half. Remove from the heat. Drizzle over the pizza as desired.
It’s amazing how much time goes by during the work day when you are starring at your computer screen, moving figures and text boxes around one pixel at a time in attempts to get everything fitted and sized nicely. This is how poster presentations are done in my world, in preparation for the upcoming research conference my lab is attending. And it’s a royal pain in my bottom. The scariest part is that even after making it pretty, my PI can undo everything by telling me to add one simple sentence, and thus offsetting everything. The horror! I feel like a magician by the end of it all because I will have more than once uttered the phrase, “There’s no way it is going to work”, and yet there it is in front of me. But for now I await the edits of destruction.
While I pull out my hair and eat plentiful amounts of dark chocolate covered mini pretzels (the most recent Trader Joe’s lab-obsession), I want you to sit back and enjoy a good healthy meal. How about some zucchini stuffed with Italian turkey sausage? I cannot be alone in still experiencing 98 degree weather despite the name of the month stated on the calendar, which means some of you probably still have some zucchini around from your garden (of which I am jealous). If not, it’s a good thing they invented a thing called the grocery store .
One year ago: Beermosa
SAUSAGE STUFFED ZUCCHINI BOATS
4 (31 oz total) medium zucchini
1-1/4 cups marinara sauce
14 oz lean Italian chicken sausage (I used turkey)
1 tsp oil
1/2 small onion, finely diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup diced red bell pepper
1/2 cup part skim shredded Mozzarella
8 tsp grated Parmesan cheese
- Bring a large pot of water to boil. And preheat oven to 400 degrees.
- Cut zucchini in half lengthwise and using a spoon or melon baller, scoop out flesh, leaving 1/4″ thick. Chop the scooped out flesh of the zucchini in small pieces and set aside. Drop zucchini halves in boiling water and cook 1 minute. Remove from water.
- Place 1/4 cup of sauce in the bottom of a 9 x 12″ baking dish, and place zucchini halves cut side up.
- In a large saute pan, brown sausage, breaking up as it cooks into smaller pieces until browned; set aside. Heat oil and add onion, garlic and bell pepper. Cook on a medium-low heat for about 2-3 minutes, until onions are translucent. Add chopped zucchini, season with salt and pepper and cook about 2-3 minutes. Combine with sausage and cook a few more minutes.
- Using a spoon, fill each hollowed zucchini with 1/3 cup cooked sausage, pressing firmly. Top each with 2 tablespoons each of sauce, 1 tablespoon each of shredded Mozzarella cheese and 1 teaspoon each of Parmesan cheese.
- Cover with foil and bake 35 minutes until cheese is melted and zucchini is cooked through.
Source: Gina’s Skinny Taste