peach proscuitto pizza

I’m not sure there’s a more perfect food than pizza.

 

You can literally do anything with pizza. Top it with fruit. Top it with cheese! With veggies! With meat! You can make a salad on top of a pizza, you can make an incredibly unhealthy pizza, you can even make a dessert pizza.

 

True story – one time I heated up leftover pizza until it was gooey and soft, sliced it into tiny pieces, and put each piece atop a tortilla chip. Pizza nachos. It happened. I’m not ashamed.

 

Another beautiful aspect of pizza? It’s a relatively easy dinner.
Say you’ve just walked in the door at 8 p.m. and you’re tiiiired. You’ve spent the day walking all over down, traipsing through D.C., shopping and people-watching and sipping cold drinks. And then you played a softball game with some friends, got good and dirty, even made it onto base once, but it took an hour to get home from that and now it’s Sunday night, nothing is ready for dinner and you’re hungry to boot.

 

Pizza.

 

Pre-oven, ready to be cooked!

Pre-oven, ready to be cooked!

 

You can make your own dough or you can use store-bought (I’m hopelessly addicted to the multigrain dough you can buy at Harris Teeter.)

 

Here’s a tip: while the oven preheats, put a cookie sheet inside of it. Meanwhile, roll the dough out into a piece of floured parchment paper. Make the pizza on top of the parchment paper. And then slip that paper onto the cookie sheet (use oven mitts!) and that way, when it’s done cooking, you can slide that parchment paper – with the pizza on top – right off! It cools much faster, meaning you can eat much faster. Excellent.

 

Last night, I made this peach prosciutto pizza. I’ve made it before. It didn’t make it to the blog for some inexplicable reason. So now, accept my apologies, and go make this fast, easy dinner for someone you want to impress.

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Peach prosciutto pizza (or Triple P Pizza) (P Cubed Pizza) (I’ll Stop Now)

 

  1. Crush two garlic gloves into ¼ cup of olive oil. Stir, and let it infuse while you prepare the dough.
  2. Preheat the oven to 500 degrees, and place a large cookie sheet or pizza stone inside the oven while it preheats.
  3. Make, or defrost, your dough. Roll it into your preferred shape, onto a floured piece of parchment paper that’s roughly the same size as your cookie sheet.
  4. Spread the garlic olive oil over the dough
  5. Top with shredded mozzarella cheese
  6. Slice two peaches and three slices of prosciutto. Scatter evenly over the dough.
  7. Sprinkle dried basil over the top
  8. Bake for 8-10 minutes and enjoy!

balsamic glazed tomato and feta chicken roulade

Roulade.

It’s a very fancy name for a deceptively easy meal. It’s like a chicken roll-up, which makes me think of Fruit Roll-Ups. But it’s healthier and more delicious.

No, really. I made these for the number one junk food lover I know and he was a huge fan. Seriously!

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The steps can essentially be boiled down to this:

Slice chicken. Season. Make filling. Roll. Bake. Reduce balsamic. Throw it all together.

But because I’m nicer than that, I’ll give you a little more information.

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balsamic glazed tomato and feta chicken roulades

1. Slice three chicken breasts in half, length-wise. Rub with olive oil. Season each side with dried basil, oregano, salt and pepper.

2. Open a can (12 oz) of diced tomatoes into a pan. Cook over medium heat until the liquid is reduced by half. Midway through, add in half of a Vidalia onion, sliced. Cook until the onion is translucent.

3. Let cool slightly. Mix in a handful of crumbled feta cheese.

4. Place a few spoonfuls of the tomato mixture on each chicken breast half. Starting at one end, carefully roll each breast half up, securing with a toothpick through the middle.

5. Place all chicken rolls on a baking sheet. Bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes.

6. While baking, gradually reduce about 1/4 a cup of balsamic vinegar.

7. When the chicken is ready – should be slightly golden on top – remove and plate by glazing the top of each piece of chicken with the reduced balsamic.

summer salad

World, don’t get me wrong. I love me a good, decadent baked product.

peaches

I die for carbs and a freshly grilled burger? Point me in that direction. Now. But there’s something to be said for fresh fruits and vegetables, and not just because my body starts craving them like candy when I’ve done something like eat a bag of Cape Cod potato chips for dinner (hypothetical, of course).

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The best part about summer, aside from the cute fashion and the ability to head to the beach, is how many fruits and veggies are in season! Throwing together summer salads is one of my favorite fast and easy seasonal meals, and hopefully I’ll be able to share a couple of my best combinations over the next few months.

corn

Look, I’m not reinventing the wheel here. I’m not even making some fancy dressing to boast about. I’m grabbing what looks good in the grocery store, tossing it all together and patting myself on the back for not resorting to instant pasta for dinner. Again.

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So try this – or throw together another combination and let me know what your favorite “summer salad” is! And aren’t they great? Better than a cupcake!*

pear

*just kidding.

Pear, peach and corn salad

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1. Slice a peach any way you want. Thin or thick. Get crazy!

2. Add a thinly sliced tomato to the mix

3. Add some corn – I used about 1/4 of a cup, but do it up!

4. Plus lettuce. Toss.

5. Slice a pear and arrange it around the top of your salad. Or, if you’re not taking pictures like an annoying blogger, just toss it all in there.

6. Whisk together some balsamic vinegar, olive oil and dried parsley (just a pinch.) Pour over the top.

7. Sprinkle some cheese of your liking – I used feta – and enjoy. Happy summer!

caramelized onion & goat cheese quesadilla

This is easy, simple and delicious. It can all be made in one pan (which is a bonus for lazy cleaners like me, who hate doing dishes), and it’s a fast meal that, with some veggies, a salad or some yogurt, makes a simple, healthy lunch.

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Ingredients:

1/2 medium yellow onion, sliced

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 tablespoons goat cheese

Handful of romaine lettuce or spinach

Sugar

Salt

Salsa

1 whole wheat tortilla

 

Directions

Slice the onion. Heat the oil in a medium pan, add the onion, a tablespoon of sugar and a pinch of salt. Caramelize the onion slices until golden brown, stirring occasionally.

Spread half of the tortilla with the goat cheese. Add the onion.

Throw the handful of lettuce into the still-hot pan and cook until just wilted. Put on top of the onion.

Spread salsa over the veggies. Fold the tortilla in half and return to the pan, cooking each side until just crisp (about a minute/side).

Slice in half and enjoy!

parmesan quinoa and edamame

I know.
You guys, I know.

I stopped posting again. This has happened before, and each time I come back with the excuse that I have right now: I’m sorry. I’m really busy. But now I’m back!

I’m happy to announce that I have my first postgraduate job (!), that I’m beginning the soul-sucking processes known as taking finals and apartment hunting (anyone know anyone looking for a roommate/renting in the District? holla!) and that I’ve been cooking. A lot.

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Just, you know, not blogging.

But I have recipes coming your way! DIY dry rubs for chicken and yogurt sauces for veggies and really, really sinful candy-cookie-cheesecake bars! I promise.

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Today’s recipe, even if you’re a quinoa hater (hi, Dad) is delicious. It’s an easy and filling lunch or dinner, savory and healthy. It’s got veggies and protein, and it’s the best of all worlds.

DSCF7259It feels sort of weird to transition back into regularly scheduled programming, but I’m not sure how else to go about this except to say that Boston is a damn fine city and now the entire world knows that.

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Anyway.

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Parmesan quinoa and edamame! 

Cook 1/2 cup of quinoa and 1/2 cup edamame together (follow instructions for both. I just cook them in the same pot because I’m lazy.)

Remove, drain. Add 2 tablespoons of olive oil and mix. Add grated parmesan, salt and pepper to taste. I literally sprinkled, stirred, tasted and went from there.

Scramble, or fry, an egg. Serve together. Optional: sliced avocado with salt and pepper.

roasted strawberry buttermilk cake//swimsuit season is coming

It’s coming.

Can you feel it? Do you dread and welcome it as much as I do?

Swimsuit season.

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Also known as the season of sun, shorts, breezy tops and floaty dresses. I mean, I love it. But it’s also hard to embrace when you’re not feeling at your 100 percent best. Which I haven’t been.

I’ve just been feeling slow lately. Some days, it feels like my head is encased in a fog all day- that no amount of coffee will fix. And I feel sluggish and unhealthy, despite my frequent gym trips.

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Sometimes, the baking and eating out and pizza and pasta and candy catches up to you. Funny how that works.

So I’m instituting a healthy eating challenge for myself, as an effort to re-set my system and feel confident as swimsuit season approaches, bringing with it graduation and pictures that will Be Around Forever.

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I’m limiting myself to one day a week for sweets (so don’t worry, I’ll still be baking). I’m drinking more water, emphasizing lean protein, focusing on fruits and vegetables. And perhaps most daunting? I’m cutting out carbs – gasp – after lunchtime.

This is going to be hard. But hopefully, it’ll help me embrace other dinner and cooking options without falling back on pasta. Or pizza. Or burritos. You get the drill.

I’m not a nutritionist or a dietician. I’m not a professional. This is what works for me, but it’s probably not right for everyone.

Anyway, on my last night of carbs after noon, I went big. You have to. I started with a huge bowl of pasta and one of my favorite sauces: pepper-caper tomato sauce, which is as easy as it sounds (Add peppers and capers to tomato sauce, stir.)

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Then I moved onto the big guns, as you can see from the above photos.

Roasted. Strawberry. Buttermilk. Cake.

It’s light. Sweet. Warm. Comforting.

It made me sigh as I considered the no-carb challenge I’m taking on.

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Recipe below, adapted from Joy the Baker.

Stick around for the no-carb adventures, won’t you? Should be fun.

Roasted Strawberry Buttermilk Cake

Strawberries:

16-ounces medium strawberries, hulled

4 tablespoons maple syrup

2 tablespoon olive oil

pinch of salt

3 teaspoons balsamic vinegar

Place a rack in the center of the oven, to 375 degrees.

Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.

Cut each strawberry in half and place in a mixing bowl.  In a small bowl, whisk together maple syrup, olive oil, and salt and toss the mixture with the berries.

Roast for 10-15 minutes. Put the berries in a bowl, toss with balsamic vinegar, set aside.

Cake:
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1 tablespoon baking powder

1/2 cup granulated sugar

1/4 cup granulated sugar (you’re going to use these two different amounts at different times)

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 large eggs

1 1/2 cups buttermilk

1/4 cup milk

1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted and slightly cooled

1 teaspoon vanilla

Heat oven to 400 degrees. Butter or spray a pyrex dish, set aside.

Whisk together flour, baking powder, sugar and salt.

In another bowl, whisk together buttermilk, eggs and butter. Then add vanilla.

Combine the two, mix until fully incorporated. Then add remaining 1/4 cup sugar, 1/4 cup of milk (not buttermilk). Mix.

Pour into dish and scatter the roasted strawberries on top. Sprinkle generously with sugar.

Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until a skewer inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean.

Allow cake to cool to room temperature before slicing to serve, top with powdered sugar.

peanut chicken stirfy

Please don’t delete me from your browser’s history because of the chicken explosion. I have giant (half a cookie sheet-sized) sugar cookies coming your way. I promise.

This recipe is a chicken stirfry, yes, but it’s really about the sauce. This sauce is amazing. It’s revolutionary. You can use it as a chicken dipping sauce. Put it in marinades. Put it over veggies. Swirl it over a steak.

Eat it straight. With chips. There’s no judging here.

First things first, let’s assume that you’re going to make a chicken stirfry with this sauce.

Rinse your chicken breasts in cold water. Cut into cubes.

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Heat a skillet and olive oil over your stove. Add chicken, 2 cloves of minced garlic, pepper flakes to taste, and your choice of veggies. I sliced up some peppers and onions and used those. Stir-fry until tender and chicken is cooked.

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You can serve the stirfry with rice or noodles. I chose noodles, and made little nests prior to plating.

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Set stirfy aside and make The Sauce- recipe below.

Toss it all together. Plate the stirfry on top of the noodles. Add chopped peanuts, cilantro and basil.

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Enjoy. Celebrate. Be excited about the peanut sauce goodness.

Peanut Sauce

4 tablespoons chunky PB

3 tablespoons soy sauce

3 tablespoons honey

1-inch ginger root, peeled and minced

1 crushed clove of garlic

1 teaspoon of red pepper flakes

Juice of 1/2 an orange

Heat all ingredients over low heat.

Stir until combined.

 

That’s. It.