Posts Tagged ‘pesto’

Leprechaun Pizza

If a leprechaun ordered a pizza, this is what it would look like. Green spinach crust, pesto, mozzarella, goat cheese, and four-leaf clover bell peppers.

Leprechaun Pizza 2

St. Patrick’s Day is a whirlwind of corned beef, rainbows, green food, and Guinness. This recipe is no exception from that list, with a green spinach pizza crust, topped with green basil pesto, mozzarella and goat cheese, followed by green and yellow bell peppers cut to look like four-leaf clovers. I actually tried to find green cheese but decided the white was a nice contrast for the appeal factor.

Using half the spinach pizza dough, this recipe makes one medium pizza. If you want to use it all, make a larger pizza or two medium ones but make sure to double your toppings. Or you could make dinner rolls with the other half. How about cheese stuffed spinach dinner rolls?

In other news my pizza stone and peel are just big enough to make a 13-inch pizza (therefore making this one medium pizza). Although I do have a 16-inch pizza pan, I am now in the market for a 16-inch or larger pizza stone and peel. Because pizza stones rock. If you don’t already own one I strongly suggest adding it to your wishlist. Assuming you like to make homemade pizza on a regular basis.

Leprechaun Pizza 1

One year ago: Kale Quiche
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Mini Lasagna Stacks

My cat Brady lost his mind upon seeing me yesterday. My parents said they had only caught sparse glimpses of him since they released him into the basement a week ago, but the second I opened the door he came flying. This cat knows the sound of my footsteps, it’s crazy. Now that he knows I’m here he meows at the basement door until I come to hang out, which means many posts will be written down here (this one included) with him purring loudly at my side. Such an attention whore. I just hope he doesn’t meow too long at bedtime or else I’ll end up sleeping down here on an air mattress.

I love having homemade pesto in the freezer. The freshness of homemade basil year round! I actually made and photographed this almost a year ago, which is very evident to me now that I’ve been enjoying a fancy camera and paying more attention to lighting (I’m digging into the bottom of the barrel because I haven’t been in the kitchen with the move). But I digress. These little lasagna stacks are made easy by using wonton wrappers instead of traditional lasagna noodles and you can layer whatever you want between them. I used alternating layers of pesto and sausage marinara.

Mini Lasagna Stacks

Three years ago: Homemade Hazelnut Chocolate Spread (Nutella)
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Greek Yogurt Gnocchi with Spicy Pesto

I’m at it again, mixing Greek yogurt into places where it doesn’t belong. Or maybe I’m just uncovering places where it does belong? This time I made gnocchi and they turned out great! It didn’t hurt that I tossed them in my homemade pesto with crushed red pepper (I have a serious weakness for fresh pesto). But whatever sauce of choice you use, these gnocchi will happily join the party.

Greek Yogurt Gnocchi with Spicy Pesto 1

In other news, I have submitted my second first author paper to be published! Hopefully this one will go through easier than the first one (which was conditionally accepted with the final revision is to be submitted soon). You cannot PubMed me just yet but I will let you know as promised. Once one of these babies goes to print, it will definitely strengthen my CV for this whole job hunt thing.

Greek Yogurt Gnocchi with Spicy Pesto 2

Two years ago: Cajun Chicken Alfredo Pizza

Three years ago: Black Cherry Vanilla Almond Smoothie
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Chicken and Pesto Stuffed Shells

It’s official, my cold-resistant Northern-raised skin has grown weak and I am already tired of temperature below 40. It doesn’t help that our office at lab is below 70 every day. I actually put my gloves on (winter gloves, not lab gloves) to work at my desk yesterday. Yet on the other end of the spectrum I still cannot handle high humidity and heat, resulting in a narrower range of tolerable temperatures. Southern California weather is looking mighty appealing.

Chicken and Pesto Stuffed Shells 1

If the temperatures refuse to keep me warm, them I will just warm myself up from the inside with yummy food. Stephanie and I recently cooked two meals together so that we could have two different kinds of leftovers to eat for lunches or dinners. She made a meatballs with a great pork sausage marinara sauce and I made stuffed shells. Remember the Chicken Pesto Lasagna Rolls? These stuffed shells reminded me of those lasagna rolls stuffed into a different pasta shape, being just as flavorful and comforting.

Chicken and Pesto Stuffed Shells 2

One year ago: Sugar Cookie Spoons for Hot Cocoa

Three years ago: Blueberry-Almond Turtles
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Homemade Italian Bread & Garlic Bread

Did anyone happen to watch the OSU-Michigan and Alabama-Auburn games this weekend? Talk about intense! Rivalry games are always exciting but those two games kept me on the edge of my seat the entire time. Not only did we just barely hold off Michigan to win in the last minute, but Auburn took over Alabama with only 1 second! Guess who’s ranked #2 in the country now!? I’ll give you a hint – I am currently investigating tickets for the National Championship Game. Eeee!!! I am trying not to get ahead of myself as we still have to tackle Michigan State for the Conference Championship this weekend. Excited!! But I digress…

I rarely whip up homemade bread products but lately I’m a human bread machine. Outside of the normal occurrence of pizza dough, in the past few weeks I’ve made gluten-free corn bread muffins, peanut butter cinnamon rolls, Greek yogurt-rosemary rolls, and cranberry-walnut oat bread. Continuing this trend I made a loaf of Italian bread and even braided it so it looked fancy, then took it a step further and made garlic bread out of it. With a little bit of pesto mixed into the garlic mixture, it was as good as it gets. I failed to take a picture of the finished masterpiece, but trust you know what garlic bread looks like!

Homemade Italian Bread

One year ago: White Chocolate Cranberry Shortbread Cookies

Two years ago: Cauliflower Pizza Crust

Three years ago: Homemade Applesauce
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Eggplant Manicotti with Creamy Pesto Filling

Every day is a battle to actually prepare a meal at dinnertime for myself instead of opening a blue box of mac and cheese or swinging by Taco Bell. I am actually impressed by only caving once thus far. Oddly enough I spruced up that blue box by topping it off with some lentil soup and fried okra. That is what happens when you are hungry and rummage through the pantry and freezer for random items. Oddly enough it was quite delicious and I may have to do it again the next time I cave.

But on the days I do manage to cook it is rarely anything that takes more than 30 minutes of preparation. And yes, this recipe today falls into the category. It may look fancy and difficult but the hardest part is slicing the eggplant, unless you’re smart and pull out your mandoline (I own one but always forget). The next hardest part? Not eating the entire pan by yourself in one sitting. The creamy pesto was freaking amazing and I wanted to bathe in it.

Eggplant Manicotti with Creamy Pesto Filling

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Creamy Pesto with Mini Ravioli, Asparagus and Sun Dried Tomatoes

On one of my most recent adventures to Nashville, I (of course) stopped in to Trader Joe’s to stock up on old and new favorites. This particular journey I found myself flinging all kinds of newly found items into my shopping cart. One item that became a projectile happened to be dried mini cheese ravioli. Just like a girl, I got all excited over their small cuteness.

Once I got them into my kitchen I found I couldn’t just throw them into just any old sauce – they were just too special. So I made a creamy pesto sauce by mixing pesto and Greek yogurt together and tossed in some roasted asparagus, garlic, and sun dried tomatoes. Roasting vegetables has become my go-to vegetable cooking method and the combination definitely did the mini raviolis justice. But feel free to use regular (less exciting) sized ravioli if you cannot find minis.

Creamy Pesto with Mini Ravioli

Two years ago: Guiltless Cajun Chicken Alfredo
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Skinny Creamy Italian Chicken Skillet

To make up for yesterday, I am giving you a skinny chicken pasta dish for dinner tonight. That way you won’t feel guilty about all those cookies you will then eat for dessert! For those of you who did not make an eating-habit resolution (like myself), you still need to make this. It’s always a good time to eat something healthy AND delicious.

I’m at a loss of what else to say, because after two weeks of mental freedom I am back to the grind getting ready to set up more 12 hour experiments while attempting to write up two papers to be published on my research and then my dissertation in time to graduate this spring. Eeeek! Hopefully the food juices will not run completely dry inside of my brain in the meantime.

Skinny Creamy Italian Chicken Skillet

One year ago: Sweet ‘n’ Spicy Hawaiian Pizza

Two years ago: Spinach Tomato Tortellini
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White Cheddar and Arugula Pesto Mac & Cheese

Remember how I mentioned I wanted to make something else with the leftover arugula pesto on Monday? Well here it is! It’s another pasta dish, but this has white cheddar int it – one of my favorite cheeses. While preparing and practicing my presentation for my committee meeting today, I was in serious need of some comfort food. White cheddar macaroni and cheese was already super comforting by itself, but the addition of the pesto added great flavor. I even served this mac and cheese with some chicken sausage. It’s an adult version of hot dog mac and cheese.

My meeting is at 10am central today. Here’s to hoping I will be super relieved and happy when I talk to you tomorrow!

One year ago: Bean and Cheese Taquitos
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Chicken Pesto Lasagna Rolls

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 :-P.

Also, don’t forget to add you favorite brownie/bar recipe to the #BYOBrownies link up party!

One year ago: Pesto Burgers
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