My husband and I are pizza lovers. (Is there anyone who isn’t?!) In the past we would order in or go out for pizza, or occasionally we would enjoy a Kashi frozen pizza. But last December when I was testing recipes for We Can Cook, I made pizza at home and we really loved it. (The only other time I have ever made pizza at home is on Passover when I make matzo pizza.) Although I didn’t make the dough from scratch, it was still really fun to make the pizza – rolling out the dough, choosing the toppings, and seeing it turn into a delicious meal. Not to mention that it was so much cheaper than getting it ready made!
Last week when I made the cucumber soup I decided to make pizza to round out the meal. I had beautiful farm-fresh cherry tomatoes, basil, summer squash, and some leftover roasted broccoli on hand as toppings. I bought the whole wheat pizza dough from Trader Joe’s, divided it in two to make two pizzas, topped each crust with tomato sauce, part-skim shredded mozzarella cheese, and veggies, and watched it cook. Ten minutes later we had two Nutritioulicious pizzas (plus enough for lunch leftovers).
Margarita Pizza with Cherry Tomatoes and Basil
Summer Squash and Broccoli Pizza
If you’re going out for pizza, be sure to check out my tips for how to make it a healthy slice!
Have you ever made pizza at home? What are your favorite pizza toppings?
Posted in Cooking, Dinner, Lunch, Recipes, Seasonal Eating
Tagged basil, cherry tomatoes, cooking, CSA, healthy pizza, healthy recipes, homemade pizza, margarita pizza, Recipes, Seasonal Eating, Summer Squash
It’s that time of year again – lots of cucumbers available fresh from the farm. A couple of summers ago I shared a recipe for a new twist on traditional cucumber salad. With the plethora of CSA cucumbers that have piled up I decided to try another new recipe showcasing this nutritioulicious vegetable.
My cucumber soup recipe was inspired by the one from Eating Well, with just a few modifications. It was really easy to make, and quick too!
Chilled Cucumber Soup
Serves 4; Serving Size: ~1 cup
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 shallot, diced
- 1 small onion, diced
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice, divided
- 4 cups peeled, seeded, and thinly sliced cucumbers, plus 1/4 cup chopped cucumber for garnish
- 1 1/2 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
- 1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt
- Freshly ground pepper
- Pinch of chili powder
- 1 avocado, diced
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley, plus more for garnish
- 1/2 cup nonfat plain Greek yogurt
- Diced tomatoes for garnish
- Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add garlic, shallots, and onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender, 1 to 4 minutes. Add 1 tablespoon of lemon juice and cook for 1 minute. Add the 4 cups of cucumber slices, broth, salt, pepper, and chili powder and bring to a simmer. Reduce heat and cook at a gentle simmer until the cucumbers are soft, 6 to 8 minutes.
- Transfer the soup to a blender. Add avocado and parsley and blend on low speed until smooth. Add the second tablespoon of lemon juice to taste and blend. (Use caution when pureeing hot liquids.) Pour soup into a serving bowl and stir in the yogurt. Refrigerate until chilled.
- Serve the soup garnished with diced cucumber and tomato and the chopped parsley. Enjoy!
Nutrition Note: Cucumbers are in the same family of fruit and vegetables as squash, watermelon, and cantaloupe. Nutritionally, cucumbers are a good source of phytonutrients that have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant benefits. They are also a good source of the antioxidants vitamin C and beta-carotene. Because they are water-rich, cucumbers are excellent low-calorie vegetables.
What are your favorite ways to enjoy cucumbers?
Posted in Cooking, Dinner, Lunch, Recipes, Seasonal Eating
Tagged cooking, CSA, cucumber recipes, farm-fresh vegetables, healthy eating, healthy recipes, Recipes
As you may know from summer’s past, I love farm-fresh tomatoes. What I love even more is the simple yet nutritious and delicious combination of tomatoes and basil. Lucky for me I have both from my CSA this week, which makes me so happy! This afternoon as I was looking in my fridge and pantry for an afternoon snack, I thought “Why not make a little tomato and basil salad?” In less than three minutes I had this beautiful salad, which paired with some cheese made for a filling and balanced snack!
How good does that look?!
- Handful cherry tomatoes
- 2-3 basil leaves
- Extra-virgin olive oil
- Aged balsamic vinegar
- Salt & freshly ground pepper
- Rinse tomatoes and basil in cold water and pat dry. Slice tomatoes in half and add to a small bowl. Tear basil leaves and add to tomatoes. Drizzle olive oil and vinegar on top of tomatoes and basil. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Enjoy the fresh flavors of the summer!
Looking for another tomato recipe? Try the Tomato Jam I made last fall.
Do you like tomatoes? What’s your favorite way to enjoy them?
What do you do when you have a handful of uneaten CSA vegetables and another delivery coming the next day? Roast them up and make them into a dip! At least that’s what I did the other night. I had one fennel bulb, a handful of garlic scapes, and three small sweet red onions. I also had half a dozen farm-fresh eggs to use. I decided to roast the vegetables and make a pesto with them, but in the end it came out more like a dip. A very tasty dip that was used to top the eggs and spread on some leftover challah bread.
I don’t have a very measured recipe for the dip since I was adding ingredients as I went along, but here’s basically what I did:
Roasted Fennel, Garlic Scape, and Sweet Onion Dip
- 1 fennel bulb, cut into chunks
- 4 garlic scapes
- 3 small sweet red onions, cut into chunks
- olive oil (about 1/3 cup plus more for roasting)
- Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
- Parmesan cheese, grated, to taste (I used about 1/4-1/3 cup)
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Toss the fennel, garlic scapes, and onions in olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Lay on a foil-lined baking sheet and roast for about 20 minutes until soft.
- Let vegetables cool slightly and then transfer to a food processor. Pulse for about 30 seconds to 1 minute until big chunks have broken down. Add in the cheese and continue pulsing until combined. Drizzle olive oil slowly and pulse, stopping to scrape the sides, until you get to desired consistency. You may want to add more cheese as you go. Flavor with salt and pepper.
What do you do with leftover vegetables?
Posted in Cooking, Recipes, Seasonal Eating, Uncategorized
Tagged cooking, CSA, farm-fresh eggs, farm-fresh vegetables, fennel, garlic scapes, pesto, Recipes
You all know I love eating based on what’s in season, so when it comes to the summer months I’m basically in foodie heaven. There is so much produce available in these warmer months and I start getting my CSA deliveries, which I’m always excited about!
Some of my favorite fruits of the season are stone fruits, including cherries. As you could see from my Recipe ReDux post yesterday, I have already been busy using cherries to make cherry chutney and I love having a handful with breakfast and for an after dinner snack too.
There are different varieties of cherries, some of which are sweet and some sour. All cherries are a good source of vitamin C and beta-carotene, although sour cherries have higher amounts of these nutrients and are a little lower in calories. Cherries have been shown to help improve arthritis and gout thanks to their level of anthocyanins, antioxidants found in red, purple, and blue fruits and vegetables. Half a cup of sweet cherries provides 45 calories, 11 g carbohydrate, and 2 g fiber.
Do you like cherries? How do you enjoy eating them?
Now that the cool, crisp fall weather is here, I am always in the mood for meals that will warm me up. People often gravitate toward so-called comfort foods when the cold weather hits, but many of those foods are full of fat and too high in calories for an average meal. So instead of feasting on heavy meals that may warm the belly but also make it expand, I often make soups that are light, yet filling and satisfying.
Recently I had a bunch of kale from my CSA and instead of making kale chips like I have in the past, I decided to make white bean and kale soup — a popular combo, but one I have never made. I found a recipe that sounded good and gave it a try (with a few modifications). Unlike most white bean soups I have had, which are white and creamy in the end, this one had a reddish-orange colored broth and was more of a vegetable soup.
White Bean Soup (original recipe from Cooking Light, March 2002)
Serves: 12; Serving Size: About 2 cups
- 2 whole garlic head
- 8 teaspoons olive oil, divided
- 2 cup finely chopped onion
- 1 1/2 teaspoons Kosher salt
- 1 cup finely chopped carrot
- 1/2 cup finely chopped celery
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary or 2 teaspoons dried rosemary
- 1/4 cup tomato paste
- 12 cups low-sodium vegetable Stock
- 1 (16-ounce) can no salt added cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 (16-ounce) can no salt added navy beans, drained and rinsed
- 4-6 cups chopped fresh kale
- 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese, divided
- Preheat oven to 350°.
- Remove white papery skin from garlic heads (do not peel or separate the cloves). Brush each with 1 teaspoon olive oil and wrap in foil. Bake at 350° for 1 hour; cool 10 minutes. Separate cloves and squeeze to extract garlic pulp. Discard skins.
- Heat the remaining oil in a large saucepan over medium-heat. Add onion and salt; sauté 5 minutes. Add carrot and the next 3 ingredients (carrot through tomato paste); cook 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Add vegetable stock and beans; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, for 30 minutes.
- Stir in garlic and kale; simmer 10 minutes or until kale is tender. Stir in lemon juice and pepper. Sprinkle each bowl with 1 tablespoon Parmesan cheese and serve hot.
Nutrition Facts (per serving): 173calories, 7 g protein, 25 g carbohydrate, 6 g fiber, 5 g fat, 1 g saturated fat, 3 mg cholesterol, 476 mg sodium
Posted in Dinner, Lunch, Meals, Recipes, Seasonal Eating
Tagged cannellini beans, comfort food, CSA, healthy soups, kale, kale chips, navy beans, Recipes, roasted kale, white bean and kale soup, white bean soup, white beans, winter soups
Last week I told you about my CSA dinner and shared the recipes for my Grilled Corn, Basil, and Tomato Salad and Roasted Red Potatoes, Kohlrabi, and Spring Onions. The third side dish I made for that meal was inspired by Food & Wine’s Quick White Bean Stew with Swiss Chard and Tomatoes. Since I had Swiss chard, green beans, garlic scapes, and onions, I figured I’d make my own version of this stew:
Swiss Chard and Green Bean Stew
- 1 bunch Swiss chard, large stems discarded and leaves cut crosswise into 2-inch strips
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 3-4 garlic scapes, chopped (woody ends removed)
- crushed red pepper, to taste
- 1 medium onion, sliced into half moons
- 1 bunch green beans
- 1 cup reduced-sodium vegetable broth
- 1/2 cup water
- Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
- Bring a pot of water to a boil. Add the chard and simmer over moderate heat until tender, about 8 minutes. Drain the greens and gently press out excess water.
- In a medium saucepan, heat the oil. Add the garlic scapes and crushed red pepper and cook over moderate heat for 1 to 2 minutes. Add the onions and sauté until they are translucent. Add the green beans and sauté for another 2 to 3 minutes.
- Combine the broth and water and add to the saucepan. Simmer for about 3 minutes. Add the chard and simmer over moderate heat until the flavors meld and most of the liquid has absorbed. Season the stew with salt and pepper.
Posted in Dinner, Recipes, Seasonal Eating
Tagged CSA, dinner, Food & Wine, garlic scapes, green beans, Recipes, seasonal ingredients, Swiss chard, Swiss chard stew