Four-Cheese Zucchini Pizza Boats

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Two weekends in, I feel like I can declare this August downright leisurely.  Lily and Jake camped outside in the back yard this past Friday and they both survived the whole night without coming inside.  They didn’t, however, survive without the iPad.  At one with nature, huh?  I didn’t care; I was inside spread out over the entire bed watching old episodes of Suze Orman in peace.

Lily also had the chance to ride a horse (well, half horse, half pony) for the first time and solidified her love for everything equine.  Anything and everything in our house is now a pretend horse.   She was funny because she was SO excited and fidgety the whole way there and after she was done riding, but while she was with the horses she was calm and focused.  It was incredibly sweet.

 All summers should be so lovely.  

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I call these 4-cheese pizza boats because that title fits, but the filling and marinara make it taste like lasagna to me.  Granted, cheese and marinara are the basis for a million different Italian dishes, so I could have called them zucchini stuffed shells for all it matters.  But pizza boats are a fairly common term, so I went with it.

I really liked this recipe.  I mean, there’s four cheeses!  What’s not to like?  Jake said that he liked the cheese mixture, but didn’t like that you could taste the zucchini.  So, I should give a disclaimer: the zucchini isn’t intended to be hidden!  If you hate zucchini, this probably isn’t the dish for you.  But trust me, for normal people it’s delicious.

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Four-Cheese Pizza Zucchini Boats

3 fresh zucchini
1/4 cup marinara sauce
8 oz ricotta cheese
1 egg
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1/2 cup shredded provolone cheese
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
salt and pepper to taste
Fresh basil or parsley for garnish

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

Wash the zucchini and slice it in half lengthwise.  Scoop out the seeds.  Put about 1 heaping tablespoon of marinara onto each zucchini half and spread it out evenly.

In a bowl, mix the ricotta, egg, and garlic powder until combined.  Stir in the mozzarella, provolone, and Parmesan.  Add salt and pepper to taste (I don’t use much).  Spread evenly onto the 6 halves.

Bake for 15-20 minutes until the cheese is warm and the zucchini is a little soft.  I then throw the broiler on for a minute to brown the top, but that’s optional.

Sprinkle with fresh herbs and serve warm.

Source: Inspiration from Cooking Classy

Cheesy Mashed Potato Pizza

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In college, I lived right down the street from Pizzaria Uno and I loved going to get the mashed potato pizza (I think they have a fancy name for it).  It’s just so  comforting in indulgent and filling and perfect.  My friend, Allie, and I would take my meal plan card and share this pizza, followed by the crispy chicken salad with noodles on top, and we thought we were living the high life.  Which, in a lot of ways, we were.   We were young, carefree, and could eat a ridiculous amount of calories without worrying about gaining weight.  Eventually, Jake got wise to this meal plan and decided that it made me an excellent candidate for a girlfriend.  By the end of college he had literally $0 in his bank account (don’t feel bad for him; he spent it on a month-long trip to Europe) and he had me to use as his sugarmama to at least get a half-decent meal every once in awhile.  I guess there was something about my meal plan that was irresistible because he ended up proposing to me not long after graduation.  :)   I haven’t been to an Uno’s in years, but it’s fun to make this dish and reminisce.  And even without the memories, it’s quite delicious.  Almost like potato skins, but so so so much better.

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Cheesy Mashed Potato Pizza

1 store-bought or homemade raw pizza dough
2 Tbsp. paremsan cheese (vegetarian parm if desired)
4 slices provolone cheese
2 cups prepared mashed potatoes
1 garlic scape (or roasted garlic will work)
1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
4 strips of crispy bacon (vegetarian bacon if desired)
Sour cream for topping

Preheat the oven to 475 degrees with a pizza stone/baking stone  inside.

Let the dough come to room temperature if it is refrigerated and then spread it out on a floured surface to an even, thin layer about the size of the stone.  Once the oven is preheated, take the stone out and carefully spread the dough out on the stone.  Sprinkle the parmesan cheese on the dough and then top with the provolone.  Put the stone and dough into the oven and bake for about 5 minutes.

Meanwhile, mix about 2 Tbsp. of diced garlic scapes into the mashed potatoes.

Take the dough out of the oven and spread the mashed potatoes in an even layer over the cheese.  Top the potatoes with the cheddar cheese, and then top with the bacon and about 1 tbsp of scapes.  Cook in the oven until the cheese is bubbly and starting to brown on top and the crust is golden brown.

Remove from the oven and let cool for a couple of minutes before slicing and serving topped with sour cream.

Source: Inspired by Pizzaria Uno (though it looks like they call themselves “Uno Chicago Grill” now)

Vegetarian Southwest Pizza

*Note: Don’t forget that the Oxo Food Scale Giveaway is still going on.  Click here!*

I don’t have a blogroll (a posted list of my favorite blogs) because a) I read waaay too many to ever possibly include everyone, b) it’s hard enough to get posts written, so the frills are hard to come by these days, and c) I don’t like to play favorites with anything except ketchup.  Heinz is obviously the best.  That being said, if I DID have a list of favorite blogs, Prevention RD would be on there.  Nicole’s recipes are healthy, easy to make, and meals that I actually look forward to eating.  And she has Meatless Mondays!   Perfect!

Which leads me to this pizza.  I saw it on her site and immediately loved it.  Then I made it and both Jake and I ate… uhhh… more than one slice each.  Maybe more than two.  The heat of the adobo  is cooled off by the avocado and sour cream.  And the corn adds an awesome texture.  Of course, you can use lower fat versions of the cheese and sour cream.  Summer is coming, after all!

On a side note, if you are making this pizza and have extra shredded cheese to give to your baby, try to remember that it is much more fun to eat off the couch than out of a bowl.  Just sayin’.

Vegetarian Southwest Pizza

1 ball raw pizza dough (bought or homemade)
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 chipotle chile en adobo, minced + 2 tsp adobo sauce
1/2 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp salt
1 small tomato, diced
1/2 small red onion, diced
1/2 cup frozen corn kernels (no need to thaw)
1/2 cup monterey jack cheese, shredded
1/2 cup cheddar cheese, shredded
1/4 cup cilantro, roughly chopped
1/2 avocado
2 Tbsp sour cream
1 Tbsp lime juice

Preheat your oven to 425 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and unroll pizza dough, stretching and pressing to create a rectangle reaching the sides of the baking sheet.  Bake the dough for 5-6 minutes. Remove from the oven and set aside.

Meanwhile, place the black beans in a microwave-safe bowl and microwave them for 45 seconds. Add the chile en adobo, sauce, chili powder, cumin, and salt to the bowl and smash them into a thick paste.

Spread the black bean mix on the pizza dough, followed by the tomatoes, onions, and frozen corn. Bake the pizza for 8 minutes or until edges of the pizza are just starting to turn golden. Remove the pizza, sprinkle the top with cheese, and bake for another 3-4 minutes until the cheese is melted.

While the pizza bakes, mash the avocado with the sour cream, lime juice, and a pinch of salt in a bowl. When the pizza is done baking, smear the avocado cream across the top and sprinkle with the cilantro. Serve immediately.

Source: Very slightly adapted from Prevention RD

Caprese Pizza

I was lamenting with Austin the other day about how it is impossible to walk into Costco without buying everything in sight.  I now have 27 kitchen towels, 12 sticks of deodorant, half of a cow (or so it feels), a deluxe clothes drying rack, 50 pounds of dog food, and, of course, 10 pounds of sugar.  AND I seem to need mozzarella cheese and tomatoes every single time I go.  Why?  I don’t know.  Because it’s there and it’s good.  And, of course, Trader Joe’s just happens to be on the way to Costco, so I naturally stop there for 99 cent whole-wheat pizza dough.  Every single week.  I never knew I was such a predictable creature of habit.  But look at this happy little pizza consequence!
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Grilled Hot Dog BBQ Pizza

 

Jake and I went to a picnic for the local PanCAN affiliate and we took hot dogs.  Lots and lots of hot dogs.  And the turnout was… eehhh… not so great.  So, needless to say, we had a bunch left over and I have spent the past week trying to figure out how to cook them in different and interesting ways.  There are only so many meals in a row that you can open up the Hebrew National bag and throw a dog on a bun with ketchup and relish, right?  So, that’s how this pizza was born.

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