Cauliflower Pizza Crust

My kitchen hasn’t been calling to me lately. It’s a weird feeling, and it’s a constant struggle to open the fridge and realize I’m going to be piecing together a lunch of crackers, cheese and tomato slices.

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Finally, I jumped on this cauliflower pizza crust bandwagon to end the home-cooked meal drought.

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It was tasty! And the gluten-free part is pretty awesome. It’s not every day you can shove multiple slices of pizza into your mouth and be eating mostly vegetables. Well, and cheese, but there’s nothing wrong with cheese.

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Needless to say, this pizza didn’t last long at all. I would highly recommend doubling this recipe if you’re feeding more humans than just yourself and/or if any of you have even an inkling of an appetite.

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What You Need:

  • One head cauliflower, florets chopped off
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 4 oz. goat cheese
  • 1 tsp. dried oregano
  • 1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 tsp. garlic salt
  • 1 tsp. dried basil

What You Do:

Preheat oven to 400F

In a food processor, lightly “pulse” the cauliflower florets to create cauliflower “rice”. It’s best to add the florests one batch at a time to ensure they all get chopped up.

Now it’s time to cook the “rice.” In a medium saucepot, boil about 3 cups water and add the rice. Cover the pot, and let cook about 5 minutes.

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Drain thoroughly using a fine mesh strainer.

Transfer the drained cauliflower rice to a clean dish towel or several paper towels and pat well to dry.

In a large mixing bowl, combine the rice, egg, cheese and spices and mix thoroughly, kneeding with your hands until it forms a dough.

Now it’s ready to be made into a crust!

Sprinkle cornmeal onto the surface of a pizza stone and lay the dough ball on top. (If you don’t have a pizza stone, still use cornmeal and see below for alternate baking times).

Smooth the dough ball out with your hands, flattening to make a crust about 1/4 of an inch thick.

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Bake for about 20 minutes if using a pizza stone, 30-40 if using a baking sheet.

Remove from oven and cover with your favorite toppings. I used sliced zucchini, minced garlic, jalapeno slices, tomato slices and cheddar cheese.

Then, bake for another 5 minutes for a pizza stone, or 10 minutes for a baking sheet.

Slice it up, and serve!

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Chicken, Broccoli and Quinoa Bake

There’s something incredibly satisfying about effectively using all of the vegetables in my fridge, their fate otherwise sealed inside my crisper drawer.

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I feel like a good Samaritan almost – freeing the plastic-bag-strangled vegetables from dark corners under less time-sensitive items like onions and unripe avocados. They’re getting their moment to shine, finally, in a dish worthy of their waiting.

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Now I know my vegetables don’t have feelings. But I do feel responsible for their happiness and I want them to have a full and meaningful life. And that of course means rescuing them from the cavernous black hole my refrigerator can become if I don’t watch it closely.

What You Need:

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  • 1 cup uncooked quinoa, cooked according to package directions and set aside (I used Trader Joes Tri-Color Quinoa, which looks super pretty!)
  • 1 lb. fresh broccoli florets
  • 1 lb. brussels sprouts, halved with stems cut off
  • 2 tbsp olive oil, divided
  • 2 large skinless chicken breasts, washed and diced into chunks
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1 1/2 cup scallions, chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 cup almond milk
  • 2 cups vegetable broth
  • 2 oz. (about 1/4 cup) Parmesan cheese, freshly grated
  • 2 oz. (about 1/4 cup) cheddar cheese

What You Do:

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Preheat oven to 400F

In a medium saucepan coated with olive oil, add chicken and cover, heating until soft and cooked through. Set aside.

In the same pan, add olive oil and heat over medium heat. Add scallions and garlic and saute until soft and fragrant.

Add milk, Parmesan cheese, salt and pepper and stir well, bringing to a simmer. Remove from heat.

In a large baking dish with a cover, add broccoli, Brussels sprouts, quinoa, chicken and scallion/milk/cheese mix and stir well.

Ladle the vegetable broth over the veggies, cover and bake for 15 minutes or until the bake is bubbly and soft.

Top with cheddar cheese and serve! I hope you find this as enjoyable as I did.

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Tofu Honey Chili with Gluten Free Jalapeno Cornbread

So back in the day when I was a budding foodie, I had a food blog on Blogger called Two Peas in a Pot. I was pretty excited about it and posted quite a few recipes. Then I stopped keeping up with it as life got busier, and I let it fall into the great Internet abyss.

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However, I uncovered it recently thanks to Facebook alerting me to the fact that I hadn’t posted in awhile (5 years – thanks Facebook). Having advanced somewhat in the food blogging world at this point in my life, I got a good laugh about the amateurish quality of the food photos I had been posting with my recipes. The whole blog left a lot to be desired, but we all have to start somewhere, right? And the recipes themselves aren’t bad. This honey chili and cornbread is an adaptation of a recipe I had posted on my old blog. However, for comparison’s sake, here’s the photo of this dish that I originally took:

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Appetizing, right? It’s nice that my hand is in the shot, and I’m also pretty sure I had already taken a bite out of that cornbread before snapping this photo. Mike definitely chuckled when I showed him – thank goodness I’ve improved my food photography at least marginally since my old blogging days.

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But like I said, the recipes aren’t bad. As soon as I came across the honey chili and jalapeno cornbread, I wanted to make it again and see what I could do with it. And honey chili 2.0 has come out fabulously. I love making dinners like this because of the leftovers and because they’re basically just super easy but pack a healthy and filling punch. Plus, this entire meal is 100% gluten free. Even the cornbread. (Honestly for something made primarily of corn you would think it would always be gluten free, but it’s not).

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What You Need for the Chili:

  • 1-14oz package firm tofu
  • 1 tbsp coconut or olive oil
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 3/4 cup chopped bell pepper
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 12 oz can diced tomatoes (or chop 1 1/2 cup fresh tomatoes)
  • 12 oz can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 12 oz can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 2 tbsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. dried oregano
  • 1 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • 2 tbsp. red wine vinegar
  • 1/4 cup freshly grated cheddar cheese

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What You Need for the Cornbread (adapted from GlutenFreeOnAShoestring):

  • 2 cups coarsely ground yellow cornmeal
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 egg
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 1/2 cups plain Greek yogurt*
  • 4 tablespoons honey
  • 2 jalapenos, finely chopped (seeded if desired)

What You Do:

Preheat oven to 400F

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Before doing anything, shred the tofu into a strainer using a cheese grater. This will help remove excess water from the tofu and you can set it aside to drain while you cook.

Make the cornbread first, as you can make the rest of the dish while it bakes.

In a small bowl, whisk together the cornmeal through baking powder.

In a separate bowl, mix together the remaining ingredients, including jalapenos.

Add dry ingredients to the wet mixture and mix well. The batter will be fairly fluffy in texture.

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Scrape batter into a well-greased 8-or-9-inch baking pan. I used a round cake pan.

Bake for 20 minutes. The top of the cornbread will be a lovely golden brown and the bread is done when a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.

While the cornbread is baking, heat oil in a large skillet. Add the onion, bell pepper and garlic and saute until soft.

Add the tomatoes and beans and mix well, stirring occasionally until well heated. Then add the spices, honey and vinegar and mix well.

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Finally, add in the shredded tofu and mix well. The cool thing about this dish is that the shredded tofu adds a hearty meat-like look and feel while keeping it 100% vegetarian.

Serve with a slice of cornbread and a sprinkling of cheddar cheese.

*Pro Tip: Don’t have plain Greek yogurt on hand for the cornbread? Substitute with an equal amount of sour cream or buttermilk.

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