Friday, March 19, 2010

Mixed Greens with Orange Vinegar, Fruit & Nuts

No arm twisting needed here!

On my latest trip to Trader Joe's I picked up a bottle of Orange
Muscat Champagne Vinegar. When I was ready to cook with it, I
realized the rest of the ingredients I chose from the pantry were
mostly from TJ's too! They have an great selection of dried fruit
and nuts and nice big bags of mixed greens. Here's what I
ended up with:

Mixed Greens with Orange Vinegar, Fruit & Nuts

2t olive oil
1 shallot, finely minced
2 garlic cloves, also finely minced
2T pine nuts, TJ's
2T golden raisins, TJ's
pinch of salt
1-2 large handfuls of mixed greens, TJ's
Orange Muscat Champagne Vinegar, TJ's
a pinch of brown sugar

Heat oil on medium and saute shallots and garlic. (Be careful
not to burn the garlic so it doesn't turn bitter.) Add raisins and
nuts and a pinch of salt. Saute a few more minutes. Add greens
and cover with a lid until they wilt, another minute, or so.
Sprinkle with vinegar and brown sugar. Turn with tongs to mix
everything up. And you're done! You can serve it over a whole
grain or eat it all by itself.

Trader Joe's vinegar.

You can sprinkle with parmesan cheese or make these delicious
breadcrumbs instead.

Garlic Breadcrumbs

1-2t olive oil
1 garlic clove, finely minced
2T breadcrumbs
pinch of salt

In the same pan the greens were cooked in, heat the oil on
medium. Saute the garlic for a minute, add the breadcrumbs
and salt. Continue to cook for a couple of minutes until the
breadcrumbs are slightly brown and deliciously toasty.

*You can use store bought breadcrumbs, but why bother? Just
freeze the heals of your bread and grate or whiz up in the food
processor to make your own!


Friday, February 26, 2010


Chef Brooke and Chef Chloe

The other day my daughter, Chloe, and her BFF, Brooke, wanted to make homemade pizzas. I checked out what we had in the fridge and whipped up some pizza dough. That afternoon we all had gourmet, personalized pizzas! (And I used up some leftovers in the fridge too!)

Mark Bittman has a very simple and basic pizza dough recipe in his absolutely awesome cookbook, "How to Cook Everything Vegetarian". The book is over 900 pages long and filled to the gills with vegetarian and vegan recipes... Love it!

Mark Bittman's Pizza Dough

3 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons instant yeast
2 teaspoons kosher salt
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, separated
couple pinches of cornmeal (for dusting the cookie sheet)

Combine flour, yeast, and salt in food processor. Process and add 1 cup water and 2 tablespoons of the oil. Process for about 30 seconds, adding more water, a tablespoon at a time, until mixture forms a ball and is slightly sticky.

Turn dough out onto a floured work surface and knead for a few seconds making a smooth, round ball. Put the remaining 1 tablespoon oil in a bowl, put the dough ball in the bowl, and cover with plastic or towel. Let it sit for an hour or two to rise until it doubles in size.

When the dough is ready, turn dough out onto a floured surface, form into a ball and cut into quarters. Cover and let rise again for an additional 20 minutes.

Their master pieces!

Now you can roll out and shape dough into pizzas! This is what we did with ours:

The girls topped each one with Good Grub Basil Pesto. Then they rummaged through the fridge and found some salami, parmesan cheese, a can of sliced olives, and a pack of sun-dried tomatoes. (Totally acceptable and equally delicious without the meat and cheese... of course.)  After baking the finished pizzas at 500 degrees for 8-12 minutes, they brushed the crust with olive oil and gave it a final sprinkling of kosher salt. (That way the crust gets eaten too!)

* Prepare cookie sheets by sprinkling them with cornmeal to prevent sticking. Place pizza doughs on the cookie sheets before adding the toppings.

Lunch for me and Marco.

For Marco and myself I topped ours off with the basil pesto, fresh slices of tomatoes, kalamata olives, and parmesan cheese for the hubby. We ate ours with a delicious salad of lettuce greens (from my very own veg garden!), blueberries, pine nuts, and a light lemon dijon vinaigrette (recipe to follow in a future post).

They go together quickly and bake quickly, but you have to account for the time it takes the dough to rise (up to 2 hours). Even though I call these "personal size" pizzas, they are super filling and can easily be shared.