Broccoli Arugula Pepperoni Pizza

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Eek! The day is speeding by and I needed to get this dish made and posted! Food ‘n Flix is celebrating its 5th birthday this month and to celebrate, we could make a recipe based on ANY of the past movies hosted by the fun monthly challenge. I’ve participated in and hosted a ton of the Food ‘n Flix months in the past.

The past movies I hosted included Eat Pray Love, Delicatessen, Elf, Like Water For Chocolate, and Lady and the Tramp. And! In October I’m hosting Hocus Pocus!

Anyway, Food ‘n Flix has been such a fun monthly thing to participate in. It’s truly one of my favorite food round-ups. Heather, our fearless leader, is hosting our big party this month.

I decided to watch a movie I’d seen before, but one that I didn’t cook from for Food ‘n Flix because it was before i found out about this community. I watched Mystic Pizza!

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Mystic Pizza (starring Julia Roberts who is always my favorite,) is about three girls who work at the Mystic Pizzeria. A true coming of age story, this movie follows sisters Kat and Daisy and their friend JoJo. When not following their own young loves, these girls work at a pizza parlor known for its secret (and delicious) sauce.

This was the perfect movie for me to watch, because I LOVE PIZZA. I love pizza so much. And I always have. When I was a little girl (probably around 3 or so,) my parents had ordered a pizza and brought it home for dinner. I sat down at the table and burst out crying. “What’s wrong Betta?” my parents asked.

“You can’t eat pizza! Pizza’s my friend!”

I didn’t cry over the chicken we ate or the cow or the pig – you know, living things. No, I cried because they were eating my dear friend Pizza. My friendliness with pizza has clearly changed, because now I’d eat it any day of the week.

I didn’t have time to make the dough for this pizza and tried the Pillsbury Pizza Crusts that were in a tube. It was surprising good and super easy! I need to get some more of those for some easy dinner nights.

FoodnFlix

Broccoli Arugula Pepperoni Pizza

Ingredients
pizza dough for one pizza
2 cups chopped broccoli
5 cups baby arugula
1/2 cup pesto
spicy pepperoni
1/2 cup white cheddar cheese, shredded
salt and pepper, to taste

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 450. Stretch your pizza dough on a baking sheet. Bake for 10 minutes.
  2. While the dough is baking, bring a pot of water to a boil. Add the broccoli and cook for 3 minutes. Add the arugula to the water and let wilt. Drain. Add salt and pepper to taste. Set aside.
  3. Spread the pesto on the pizza crust.
  4. Spread the broccoli and arugula over the pesto.
  5. Sprinkle the cheese over the top. Place the pepperoni on top of the cheese, covering the pizza.
  6. Bake for 10 minutes.
  7. Allow to sit for 10 minutes before attempting to cut.
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Spicy Roasted Vegetable Macaroni and Cheese

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This month’s Pasta Please theme was chilies and was hosted by Shaheen.

I’m looking at the picture of this dish, and I’m realizing there is way too many breadcrumbs on the dish. Once scooped out of the dish, they obviously got lost in the noodles – but oh my goodness – this picture looks like a breadcrumb dish.

Anyway, after poking around different corners of the internet and looking for something that would work for this challenge, I found a delicious looking mac and cheese. I didn’t venture out as much as I could have with this challenge. I should have bought a red chili to substitute the crushed red chili flakes – but alas, I did not. I like spicy food. I just really hate cutting chilies. Without a doubt, for as careful as I try to be, I touch my eyes or rub my nose or get the chili juices somewhere that just doesn’t feel great – and oh my goodness, it’s hard to get rid of it once you do it. Even when I wear gloves, I somehow manage to just create so much pain for myself. I love the taste, I just hate the process.

Because of this, I rely on red chili flakes to add the heat from a fresh chili (though.. obviously not the same, I know.)

Anyway, this was a yummy mac and cheese. It created a lot of dirty dishes, but was delicious!

Spicy Roasted Vegetable Macaroni and Cheese
(source)

Ingredients
1 cup broccoli florets, cut into pieces
1 yellow squash, diced
1 orange bellow pepper, diced
2 carrots, diced
2 cups elbow pasta
1/4 cup olive oil
1 clove garlic, minced
3 tbsp all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups skim milk
2 cups cheddar cheese, shredded
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp dried chili flakes
2 tbsp bread crumbs

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 400. Set a medium pot of water to boil. Cook the noodles per package directions. Drain and set aside.

2. Prepare a baking sheet with aluminum foil covering it. Toss the broccoli, squash, bell pepper, and carrots on a baking sheet. Coat with half the olive oil. Bake for 20 minutes.

3. Heat the remaining oil in a skillet. Once hot, add the garlic and cook for 30 seconds. Whisk in flour and cook for 1 minute. Slowly whisk in the milk, stirring until the mixture thickens.  Remove from heat. Stir in cheddar, allowing to melt. Add the red chili flakes and cayenne. Add the macaroni and vegetables.

4. Place the mixture in a casserole dish. Sprinkle with breadcrumbs. Place under the broiler for 4 minutes.

* serves 6
* Besides Pasta Please, this recipe is being shared with See Ya In The Gumbo

Chicken Broccoli Curry and Spiced Roasted Beets

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When I made the beet and potato salad I had intentionally roasted more beets than I needed for that dish. I had read somewhere that it was a good idea to roast the beets all at once, even if you didn’t intend to use them right away. Honestly, I have no idea if it made a difference, but it did make making this meal super easy since the beets were already roasted.

Yesterday was a very long, tiring day. I went on a prison tour with my class. It was about a 3 hour long tour of a local prison. While obviously touring prison isn’t as stressful as being in prison, the entire experience was exhausting. I’m so glad I got the opportunity to see it though, because with my future career path it’s crucial that I’m aware of everything. I’d like to go visit other prisons in the future.

But anyway, when I got home yesterday afternoon I was exhausted. I passed out for about 2 hours after it.

By the time dinner came around I wasn’t really feeling hungry (especially because I had a very late lunch after the tour,) but I wanted to make sure I ate dinner so I didn’t wake up at midnight with the gnawing in my stomach that would result in me chowing down on things in the kitchen which I shouldn’t be chowing on. For under 600 calories, this meal was better than cracking the Nutella at midnight. I mean, the Nutella would have tasted delicious.. But.. You know.

Chicken Broccoli Curry
(source)

Ingredients
1 boneless skinless chicken breast, cut into cubes
1/2 tbsp curry powder
1/2 tbsp peanut oil
1 head broccoli, cut into florets
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 tbsp ginger, peeled and grated
1 cup coconut milk
1 1/2 tbsp red curry paste
3/4 tsp cornstarch mixed with 1 tbsp cold water

Directions

1. In a small bowl toss together the curry powder and the chicken breast cubes, making sure the chicken is well seasoned.

2. In a skillet heat the peanut oil. Add the chicken breast pieces into the skillet and cook until no longer pink. Remove from the skillet.

3. Add the broccoli, garlic, and ginger into the skillet. Cook for several minutes. Add the coconut milk and simmer for 7 minutes. Add the curry paste and stir to combine. Stir the chicken back into the skillet. Bring to a slight boil and add the cornstarch. Boil for a minute and then reduce the heat and simmer for 2 minutes.

* serves 2

Spiced Roasted Beets

Ingredients
2 beets, peeled and roasted and cut into cubes
1 tbsp olive oil
1/4 tsp ground mustard
1/4 tsp coriander seed
1/4 tsp cumin seed
1/4 tsp garlic powder
2 tbsp plain yogurt
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1 tbsp lime juice

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 350.

2. Toss together the roasted beets and the rest of the ingredients. Make sure the beets are evenly coated with the spices.

3. Place in a casserole dish and bake for 15 minutes. Though the beets are already roasted, getting them hot and baking them into spices makes them all the tastier.

* serves 2
* shared with Weekend Cooking

Stir-Fry with Brown Sauce

I’m trying so hard to get back to cooking nearly every night! I never understood it before when my mom would tell me she was tired of cooking. I always have found cooking dinner to be so relaxing, so I couldn’t understand why someone wouldn’t want to do it. But over the last few months I totally started to understand it. But after standing on the scale and seeing what not cooking does to my gut is putting things into perspective and getting me back to cooking – so you should be seeing more stuff posted.

Stir-frys are easy. I love things I can cook quick but still taste delicious. My boyfriend said it would have been good with corn in it. This is definitely a dish I will remake and it will have corn next time.

Stir-Fry with Brown Sauce
(based on this recipe)

Ingredients
1/2 tbsp vegetable oil, or less
2 boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into chunks
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 tbsp soy sauce
3/4 cup chicken broth
1 1/2 tbsp brown sugar
1/2 tbsp cornstarch
1/2 cup chopped broccolini
1/2 cup sliced mushrooms
1/4 onion, diced

Directions

1. In a small amount of oil brown the chicken on all sides. Don’t worry about cooking through. Remove and set aside.

2. Add the garlic, soy sauce, brown sugar, and 1/2 cup chicken broth. Stir together and bring to a simmer.

3. Add the chicken and vegetables. Cover with a lid and let simmer in the liquid for 20 minutes.

4. Stir the remaining chicken broth with the cornstarch.

5. Pour the broth and cornstarch into the stir-fry. Stir and simmer until the liquid thickens.

* serves 2
* 234 calories per serving (excluding the rice)
* Shared with What’s Cooking Wednesday

Broccoli-Cheddar Soup

Despite this rather warm winter, I’m still shivering. Here in Sacramento this winter has been mild. Unfortunately for the snow businesses in California there hasn’t been much snow. My brother works at a sports store in the ski and snowboard section and had his hours cut because of the lack of snow, therefore the lack of business. While it sucks for the economy that there has been no snow and it will probably result in a drought, the fact that I’m shivering when it isn’t even cold makes me happy that the mountains aren’t white. But really, when I say it isn’t cold I mean that it’s above freezing. It’s still only about 50 degrees out right now, which I think is painful.

So while I’m sitting here shivering with my heater on and covered in blankets, I get to tell you all about my soup recipe that warmed me up from the inside out. I think that’s the best part of soup; it makes you soooo warm. This recipe was yanked out Food Network Magazine‘s October 2011 magazine on page 108. The soup is actually featured on the cover of the magazine also. It’s easy to make, it’s hearty, it warmed up my belly, and it tasted incredibly delicious.

Broccoli-Cheddar Soup

Ingredients
2 tbsp olive oil
1 medium onion, diced
2 stalks celery, diced
2 cups chicken broth
2 cups half-and-half
1 lb russet potatoes, peeled and chopped
1 lb yams, peeled and chopped
1 bay leaf
kosher salt and ground black pepper, to taste
2 cups chopped broccoli florets
1/3 lb sharp cheddar cheese, shredded

Directions

1. Heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add the onion and celery. Cook and stir until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the chicken broth, half-and-half, potato, yam, broccoli, bay  leaf, 2 cups of water, 1 tsp salt, and 1/4 tsp pepper. Bring to a boil.

2. Reduce the heat to medium low and simmer until the potatoes are tender, for about 10 minutes.

3. When the potatoes are tender, remove the bay leaf and transfer the soup to a blender.  Puree until smooth. Return the soup to the pot. Simmer over medium-low heat and season with salt and pepper.

4. Add the cheese and stir until melted.

* serves 4
* 607 calories per serving
* This recipe is being shared with Kahakai Kitchen‘s Souper Sundays and with Cream Puffs in Venice‘s Magazine Mondays.

Sausage Broccoli Noodles

Sausage Broccoli Noodles

Ingredients
4 oz uncooked pasta
2 links of sausage, I used a spicy chicken sausage
2 1/2 oz mushrooms, sliced
1 tbsp Brummel&Brown, yogurt spread or other butter substitute
1 tsp garlic, minced
1/2 tbsp cornstarch
3/4 cup milk
3/4 cup broccoli
1/2 cup shredded Cheddar cheese

Directions

1. Cook the pasta according to the directions on the package. Cook the broccoli in another boiling pot of water. Meanwhile, in a large skillet saute the sausage and mushrooms in the butter substitute, until the mushrooms are brown and tender. Add the garlic and cook 1 more minute.

2. Combine the cornstarch and milk until smooth; gradually add to the skillet with the mushrooms and garlic. Bring to a boil and cook for 2 minutes, until thickened. Drain the pasta and broccoli and add to the sausage mixture. Stir in cheese and cook until melted.

* 518 calories per serving
* serves 2