Category Archives: Uncategorized

Best of: Grilled Southwest Pizza

This is a great “party trick!” It was originally posted in October, 2011.

So, today I am going to share a method rather than a recipe. A few years ago, Eating Well magazine published an article on grilling pizza. I was skeptical, but tried it anyway. It was so much fun (and good), and I’ve been making it ever since. Black Bean Nacho is my favorite, but you really can use just about anything to top this pizza. I wanted to use green chile and red onion this time, so I looked at pizza restaurant menus and decided on a Southwest flavor combination.

When grilling a pizza, you want to make sure you have all your ingredients ready to go before you turn on the grill. The basic procedure is to grill one side of the crust, flip it, and then quickly top the pizza so the toppings can heat and the cheese melt before the crust burns.

I use this recipe from Eating Well for the whole wheat dough. If you are going to grill your crust, you need a pretty stiff dough. Otherwise, it will sink into the grate of the grill and you will have a mess. The dough has to rise for an hour. I use cornmeal to dust a cookie  sheet, and roll out the crust about 1/4 inch thick. I dust a little extra cornmeal on top so that it doesn’t stick when I transfer it to the grill. To make the transfer, I gently fold the crust in half lengthwise and then slide it over onto the preheated grill. You should use low heat to grill the pizza; otherwise the crust will burn. Close the grill cover and cook until the bottom of the crust starts to brown.

grilling the pizza crust
This is my pizza crust, just ready to turn.

OK, here’s the tough part. I slide the biggest spatula I have under the crust (it will be pretty firm) and gently flip the crust over.

Now comes the fun part-topping the pizza. You want to have all your toppings ready to go, right next to your grill, so that you can start topping as soon as you flip the crust. I used this recipe from allrecipes.com for the sauce. It made enough for 3 pizzas, so I froze the extra for next time. After the sauce, I topped the pizza with leftover shredded chicken breast, green chile, roasted red onion, chopped tomatoes, black olives, and cheddar and mozzarella cheeses.

grilled Southwest pizza
The finished pizza.

This was SO good! You could use whatever toppings you like. Once you have all the ingredients ready, it only takes 10-15 minutes total to grill the pizza.

Happy eating!

Ruth

Best of: Cantaloupe Ginger Ice Cream

cantaloupe ginger ice creamThis was the first of my posts to make an online newspaper.

Summer is coming to a close, and I was thinking about making ice cream again this week. I still had the cantaloupe from our box, and found this recipe from What’s Cooking, Mexico? for a cantaloupe and ginger flavor. However, the original recipe calls for heavy cream, sweetened condensed milk, and evaporated milk. Pretty heavy on the fat and sugar. I found a recipe at Recipe Secrets.net for a lighter version of sweetened condensed milk. I also substituted half and half for the heavy cream, and used 2% evaporated milk. I certainly won’t call this healthy, but if you have a taste for ice cream, this is really tasty, and a lot healthier than going to the ice cream store.

Cantaloupe Ginger Ice Cream-Light Version
Recipe Type: Dessert
Prep time: 5 hours
Cook time: 10 mins
Total time: 5 hours 10 mins
Serves: 6-8
Ingredients
  • 1 cup half and half
  • 1/4 cup peeled and grated gingerroot
  • 4 egg whites
  • 1 1/3 cup non fat dry milk powder
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 cup Splenda
  • 1 small cantaloupe, chopped (approximately 4 cups)
  • 1 can 2% evaporated milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Instructions
  1. Place half and half and gingerroot in a small saucepan. Heat over medium low heat, stirring constantly, until it just starts to boil. Remove from heat. Transfer to a bowl. Whisk in egg whites.
  2. In a glass measure, mix dry milk powder and 1/2 cup water. Microwave for 45 seconds, until hot but not boiling. Stir in Splenda.
  3. Place both mixtures in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours.
  4. Blend cantaloupe, evaporated milk, vanilla, and the Splenda mixture until smooth. (I used an immersion blender.)
  5. Pour the ginger mixture through a sieve. Discard the ginger and whisk the milk into the melon mix. Let cool at least 2 more hours.
  6. Freeze ice cream in ice cream machine according to manufacturer’s instructions.

This would make a great dessert for your Labor Day barbecue tomorrow!

Happy eating!

Ruth

Best of: Harvest Box Goes to the Lake

Remembering our fun times in 2011.

My husband and I spent Memorial Day weekend at Caballo Lake State Park with our niece and her fiance. We had a great time wading in the lake, reading, relaxing, and, of course, eating! Our harvest box came a couple of hours before we left, so I brought several items out of the box to use for our meals at camp.

shish kabobs
Chicken Shish Kabobs on the Grill

On Friday night, we made shish kabobs on our small propane grill. I cut up the chicken breasts at home and marinated them in store brand fat free Zesty Italian salad dressing. I also cut up a couple of green peppers into squares at home. When we were ready to eat, we cut up the onion from our harvest box and then skewered the meat, onion, peppers, and cherry tomatoes; and grilled them until the chicken was cooked. I served the kabobs with boiled baby potatoes with butter and rosemary.

foil roasted corn
Corn, Roasted in Foil

For Saturday dinner, we made “Cougar Burgers.” (Our niece is a Washington State grad, and brought some cheese made by their Ag Department.)  We also roasted corn over a charcoal fire. I shucked the corn, lightly buttered it, and wrapped each ear in foil. We set them on the grey coals until soft, which took about 20 minutes. While everything was cooking, we made a fruit salad using the apples, some of the oranges, and the strawberries out of the harvest box, as well as peaches and bananas. I also made a cherry cobbler in the dutch oven.

fruit salad
Fruit Salad

We kept that fruit salad going for 24 hours! We added pears and more bananas to the leftovers on Sunday morning and served it with pancakes. We had leftovers again, so we added some more oranges and finished it up Sunday night for dinner. The apples were turning a little brown, but it still tasted good.

Caballo Lake State Park
Caballo Lake State Park

We always eat well when we camp, whether we car camp or backpack. I usually dehydrate fresh foods when we go out on the trail. What do you eat when you go camping?

Happy eating!

Ruth

Best of: Crock Pot Oatmeal

crock pot apple oatmealWhy not try this for a New Year’s Day Brunch! Originally posted in May, this recipe has also been posted on my friend Terri’s website.

Last fall, I took a class on an eating plan called the Full Plate Diet. The concept of the plan is to eat more fiber, feel full, and therefore eat less. It has actually worked pretty well for me.

Several members of the group were big on steel cut oats. I was initially hesitant, because they take a long time to cook. I’m a “fix it quick” person at breakfast time, so that was a big problem. Then, I found this recipe from Meals Matter for cooking them in the crock pot. Since sugar and butter didn’t seem like diet food, I’ve modified the recipe to be higher in fiber and lower in unnecessary calories.

I make up a pot of this and freeze it in 1 cup portions. When I heat it up for breakfast, I often add some ground flax seed (for extra fiber) and almond milk.

Crock Pot Apple Oatmeal
Recipe Type: Breakfast
Prep time: 10 mins
Cook time: 9 hours
Total time: 9 hours 10 mins
Serves: 7
Ingredients
  • 1 cup steel cut oatmeal
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 4 apples, chopped (I leave the peels on them)
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/2 cup chopped nuts (I use almonds, walnuts would be good, too.)
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 cups low fat milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
Instructions
  1. Spray the inside of a 3-4 quart slow cooker with non-stick cooking spray. (This is very important.)
  2. Mix all ingredients in the crock pot.
  3. Cover and cook on low for 8-9 hours. Stir well, scraping the sides of the crock pot as necessary.

 

What do you eat for breakfast? I hope you eat breakfast, because it is the most important meal of the day!

Happy eating!

Ruth

Best of: Breakfast for Dinner

Mediterranean style Swiss chard quicheThis post originally ran in April. I have posted a couple of other versions of the recipe: Crustless Swiss Chard Quiche-Taco Style, and Crustless Swiss Chard Quiche, Italian Version. Any of these would be a great day after Christmas meal.

I’m not a big egg eater, but over the past couple of years I have learned to enjoy eggs baked with vegetables. Call it frittata, quiche, or egg bake; eggs make a great “blank canvas” for vegetables, spices, and cheese in any number of combinations. I usually serve a salad (often a fruit salad) with the baked eggs.

The basis for this crustless quiche came from Food.com. The day I found this recipe, the only cheese I had in the house was feta. So, I decided to go with some Mediterranean spices and give it a shot.

Mediterranean Style Crustless Swiss Chard Quiche
Recipe Type: Main
Prep time: 10 mins
Cook time: 1 hour
Total time: 1 hour 10 mins
Serves: 6
Ingredients
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1 small red onion, sliced thinly
  • 1 bunch Swiss chard, coarsely chopped, include stems
  • 4 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 2 cups crumbled feta cheese
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Coat a 10 inch deep dish pie plate with non stick cooking spray.
  3. Saute onion and chard in olive oil until the stems are soft.
  4. Whisk the eggs, cheese, and milk. Add chard and spices.
  5. Pour into prepared pie dish.
  6. Bake for 35-45 minutes, until golden brown and set.

 

fresh fruit saladYou don’t need a recipe for fruit salad. I just cut up whatever fruit we have in the house. I don’t use a dressing, just a cut up fruit. I do like to make sure there is some sort of citrus fruit, to keep the apples from browning.

Let me know what you think.

Happy eating!

Ruth