Tag Archive | cheese

Summer-Inspired Veggie Pizza

I know it’s not technically summer yet, but I just have to share this recipe with you. Have you ever had corn on pizza? I hadn’t…and now I never want pizza without it!

As a vegetable-lover, if I make pizza at home, 9 times out of 10, I’ll make a veggie topped pie. And if I order pizza at a restaurant…9 times out of 10, you guessed it, I order veggie. So I didn’t think much of it when I was scouring an old issue of Cooking Light  for pizza recipes, and stumbled across a veggie pizza. However, the addition of corn in this recipe had me intrigued. So I went for it. I bought corn on the cob (already shucked was the only available…shameful, I know!), red peppers, zucchini, summer squash, and onion…and this summer-inspired pizza was born.

The hardest part of this recipe is chopping the vegetables. After that, it’s a piece of cake. Make this, you won’t be disappointed!

Ingredients

-8 ounces store-bought pizza dough ( I used whole wheat)
-Cooking spray
-Store bought tomato sauce (I used fire-roasted tomato, Classico brand)
-Olive oil to coat pan
-2 garlic cloves, crushed ( I used a Tbsp. of minced garlic)
-1 cup sliced onion
-1 red bell pepper, sliced thinly
-1 cup chopped summer squash
-1 cup chopped zucchini
-2 ears corn
-1 tablespoon cornmeal
-3/4 cup shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese ( I combined this with 3-cheese Italian)
-1/2 teaspoon salt
-1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper (optional)

Preparation
1. Preheat oven to 425° (or temperature your dough specifies). Chop all vegetables.

2. Heat a small skillet over medium heat, spray with cooking spray. Add 2-3 teaspoons olive oil to pan, swirl to coat. Add garlic to pan. Then add onion, squash, zucchini, and bell pepper; sauté 5 minutes. (I always add I Can’t Believe it’s Not Butter Spray, too). Add salt and pepper to taste while sautéing. Cut corn from cob; add corn to vegetable mixture.

3. Scatter cornmeal over a lightly floured surface; roll dough into a circle on prepared surface. Transfer dough to a baking sheet; top with layer of tomato sauce ( I used about ¾ cup). Sprinkle with cheese, then top with vegetable mixture. Bake for 15 minutes or until golden. Cut into 8 slices.

Unfortunately, this was such a hit, there were no leftovers. So what did I do? I made it again less than a week later. It is so so addicting.  If you don’t feel like pizza, just make the vegetable sauté. I made it as a topping for my lunch salads last week, and it was fantastic!

What’s your favorite pizza recipe?

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Sunday Stuffed Shells

Sunday Stuffed Shells

It’s natural to think that since I’ve lived in the North End “Little Italy” of Boston for 4 years, I’d get sick of pasta…but it’s just not the case. Pizza, gnocchi, and Italian bread have become some of my favorite foods, and I let myself indulge in my favorites. The key is moderation! You can eat anything in moderation. Fortunately, it is possible to make your favorite Italian dishes healthier, without compromising the taste. With the help of part-skim ricotta, part-skim mozzarella cheese, 93/7 lean ground beef, and a healthy tomato sauce, I did just that with these stuffed shells. There’s absolutely no reason to feel guilty about this meal. Plus, it’s great to make ahead on a Sunday (or any day for that matter)and store it in the fridge for the work-week ahead. My taste-testers agreed, this one is a keeper!

Ingredients

1/2 box jumbo shells (you’ll need about 20 shells)
1 lb lean ground beef
2/3 cup chopped onion
1 clove garlic, chopped (I used canned garlic)
1 jar marinara sauce of choice (I used a “classic chunky tomato” sauce)
1 (15 oz.) container part-skim ricotta cheese
1/2 cup parmesan cheese
1 egg
2 cups part-skim mozzarella cheese, divided

Instructions

1)Cook shells according to package direction. Remove from water and spread on paper towels or wax paper to cool.

coolinggg

 

2)While the shells are cooking, cook lean ground beef, onion, and garlic; drain off the fat and return to the pot. Stir in pasta sauce.

saucey sauce

3)In a large mixing bowl, stir together ricotta, 1 cup mozzarella cheese, parmesan cheese, and egg.

the start of cheesy goodness

4)If shells are cool enough at this point, stuff the shells with the cheese mixture.
5)Cover the bottom of a 9×13 baking dish with a thin layer of meat sauce mixture. Now lay shells into the dish. Spoon remaining meat sauce mixture over the stuffed shells, and top with remaining 1 cup mozzarella cheese.

line em' up

 

ready to go!

6)Bake, loosely covered in foil, in a 350 degree oven for 30 minutes, or until sauce is bubbling and cheese is melted. Remove foil and broil for a few minutes until the cheese is golden brown.

cheesy goodness

Of course, like most any recipe, you can adapt the stuffed shells to your liking. Vegetarian? Don’t include the meat. Want to include some greens? Add spinach to the cheese mixture. Stuffed shells can be made in a variety of ways…but trust me, this way won’t disappoint!