Grilled Vegetable Pizza

by Jennifer

This recipe makes 2 12-inch pizzas, which may serve anywhere from 4 – 6 people.  I made a quick cucumber salad on the side:  I sliced some cucumbers lengthwise, scooped out the sides, sliced them into pieces, then tossed them with a little extra-virgin olive oil, sherry vinegar, salt and black pepper.

  • about 1 1/2 lbs pizza dough, divided in two, homemade or storebought
  • Garlic Oil (chop a bunch of garlic, cover it generously with olive oil, store in fridge until you need it, keeps well so make a lot!)
  • 1 large red onion, thickly sliced into rounds
  • 2 small zucchini, each sliced lengthwise into thirds
  • 1 red pepper, cut into 4 pieces
  • 1 yellow pepper, cut into 4 pieces
  • 1 cup pitted kalamata olives, divided
  • 3 cups shredded mozzarella cheese, divided
  • 1 large tomato, seeded and chopped
  • handful of basil, chopped

Prepare grill;  if you plan to cook the pizzas on a stone in the oven, preheat the baking stone at 450 degrees for a good 30 minutes.

Toss zucchini and peppers with a little Garlic Oil;  brush some on the onion rounds.

Grill until tender, turning once, about 3 – 4 minutes per side, a little longer for the onions.

Transfer vegetables to a cutting board and when cool enough to handle, chop into bite-size pieces.

Making one pizza at a time, roll out pizza dough and place dough on a cornmeal-dusted pizza paddle or the reverse side of a baking sheet.

Slide dough onto the grill and grill, covered if gas, for about 3 minutes, or until the top is puffed and there are grill marks on the bottom.

Slide the crust out back onto the paddle, flip it over and brush it with Garlic Oil.

Scatter half of the vegetables over the crust, followed by half the olives

and half the cheese, then slide it back onto the grill for another 3 – 4 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and there are grill marks on the bottom.  (Conversely, brush dough with Garlic Oil and put toppings on first before sliding dough onto the baking stone in the oven;  bake for 10 – 15 minutes, or until cheese is melted and the crust is cooked through.)

Sprinkle half the tomatoes and half the basil on top of each pizza before slicing and serving.  You can keep one pizza warm in a 200 degree oven while you bake the second one, or you could start eating the first one while the other is baking!

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Roasted Eggplant & Feta Dip, Better-than-Pita Grill Bread, Crudites

by Jennifer

This dip, adapted from Eating Well, is supposed to be an appetizer, but it made a wonderful summer dinner.  My husband doesn’t even like eggplant and had three helpings!  My youngest son declared the grill bread “better than naan”, and that’s saying something.  Serves 4.

Roasted Eggplant & Feta Dip

  • 1 medium eggplant (about 1 lb)
  • 2 TBS red wine vinegar
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 4 oz. crumbled feta cheese
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped red onion
  • 1 red pepper, finely chopped
  • 1 jalapeno, seeded and minced (optional….I included this, and it was spicy, but delicious)
  • 2 TBS chopped fresh basil
  • 1 TBS chopped parsley
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • pinch of sugar (optional…I included this)

Preheat broiler with oven rack 6 inches away from heat source.  Prick eggplant multiple times with a fork, then place on a foil-lined pan and broil, turning every 5 minutes or so,

until the eggplant’s skin is charred and a knife inserts easily near the stem, about 20 minutes total.  Set eggplant aside to cool.

Meanwhile, combine vinegar and red onion in a medium-sized bowl and let macerate for 20 minutes.  When eggplant is cool enough to handle,

slice it lengthwise and scoop out the flesh into the bowl with the onion and vinegar, and mash with a fork.

Add the olive oil and continue to mash, leaving some texture to the eggplant.

Stir in the remaining ingredients, and serve with grill bread and crudites.

Better-than-Pita Grill Bread – adapted from Gourmet magazine

Keep the grill bread warm in a kitchen towel as you cook them, or you can make them up to a day ahead, cool them completely, and rewarm them, wrapped loosely in foil, in a 350 degree oven until warm.  This recipe makes 10 pieces of grill bread, but honestly, my family of 5 could have happily eaten another 10!

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour plus extra for kneading and rolling
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp yeast
  • 1/4 cup plus 1 TBS warm water
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 TBS beaten egg

Whisk together the flour, sugar, salt and yeast in a medium-sized bowl.

In a smaller bowl, whisk together the oil, water and egg.

Add the liquids to the flour mixture and stir until combined.  Knead the dough, using additional flour to keep it from sticking, for 2 minutes (dough will not be smooth);

transfer dough to a clean oiled bowl, turning to coat, cover with plastic wrap, and place in a warm place for 30 minutes.

Divide dough into 10 pieces.  Heat a ridged grill pan or cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat.

On a lightly floured surface roll out one piece of dough at a time into a very thin, roughly 6” round (mine are pretty rough).  Brush the skillet with a little oil and grill one round at a time, about 1 minute per side,

until there are grill marks on both sides and the bread is cooked through.

Transfer breads to a kitchen towel and wrap loosely as you cook the rest.  Serve warm.

Chickpea Salad with Cumin Dressing; Spicy Shrimp

By Ira

You can make this salad the day before. It’s very satisfying because of the chickpeas and feta, and it has a bright flavor because of the lemon, cilantro, and mint. The spicy shrimp is a nice addition and very easy to make.

You can start by marinading the shrimp, then making the salad, and finally cooking the shrimp.

Chickpea Salad with Cumin Dressing

Serves 5-6 – Adapted from Clean Eating magazine

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons cumin
  • salt and pepper
  • 2 15oz cans chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 1 large carrot, peeled and julienned
  • 3 green onions, thinly sliced
  • 1 large tomato, or 2 plum tomatoes, diced
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
  • 1/4 cup chopped mint
  • 6 oz crumbled feta cheese

In a small bowl, add the olive oil, lemon juice, cumin, salt, and pepper. Whisk and set aside.

In a large bowl, add the rest of the ingredients, then add the dressing, and gently stir to combine. Taste to check the seasonings and add extra salt accordingly. You can serve it immediately, or refrigerate for up to 24 hours.

Spicy Shrimp

Serves 4

  • 24 uncooked shrimp, peeled
  • 2 tablespoons grapeseed oil
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 tablespoon sriracha sauce
  • salt and pepper

You can halve this recipe, or use just 18 shrimp where you can still use the same amount of marinade like I did.

If the shrimp is frozen, defrost it according to package directions, and dry it with a paper towel.

In a medium bowl, combine the grapeseed oil, garlic cloves, lemon juice, sriracha sauce, salt, and pepper.

Add the shrimp and let it marinade for 15 to 30 minutes.

In a large skillet over medium heat, add the shrimp one at a time without the marinade.

Cook on one side for 2-3 minutes, turn each one, and cook on the other side until pink.

Beef and Cabbage Stir-Fry with Peanut Sauce

By Ira,

This is a tasty stir-fry that comes together very easily.

Serves 4 – Adapted from Eating Well

Marinade

  • 3/4 pound sirloin steak, trimmed and thinly sliced
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon orange juice
  • 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon sriracha or hot sauce

Sauce:

  • 1/4 cup smooth peanut butter
  • 1/3 cup orange juice
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 4 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon sriracha or hot sauce
  • 1 tablespoon rice vinegar

Stir-fry:

  • 4 teaspoons coconut oil or canola oil (divided 2 and 2)
  • 1 10 ounce bag shredded green cabbage or 1/2 head of a cabbage, shredded
  • 2 medium carrots, cut into matchstick pieces
  • 1 red pepper, cut into matchstick pieces
  • 1 onion, sliced
  • 3 garlic cloves, cut fine
  • 1 cup Brown or white rice

Note: if you put the meat in the freezer for half an hour, it will be easy to slice it thinly. You can also increase the amount of beef to 1 pound.

Start by cooking the rice according to package directions.

In a small bowl, mix together all the marinade ingredients and set aside. You can marinade the beef up to 1 hour in advance, but even 10 minutes is enough.

In another small bowl, mix together all the sauce ingredients and set aside.

In a wok or large non-stick skillet, heat 2 teaspoons of the oil over medium-high heat, add the meat, discard the marinade, and stir-fry until the meat is cooked. Transfer it to a plate, cover it with foil, and set aside.

In the same wok or skillet, add 2 teaspoons of the oil, over medium-high heat. Add the onion and carrots and stir-fry for 2 minutes.

Add the red pepper and stir-fry for 1 minute.

Add the cabbage and garlic, and stir-fry for 2 minutes.

Add the meat to the cabbage mixture,

followed by the sauce (mix it once more before adding it in). Serve it with the rice.

Sweet and Sour Stir-Fry with Coated Walnuts

by Jennifer

I made just a couple of adaptations from the original recipe in Mollie Katzen’s Still Life with Menu cookbook.  While the walnuts are baking and cooling, prepare the sauce and vegetables (don’t forget to cook some brown rice, too!).

Walnuts:

  • 2 egg whites
  • 4 – 5 TBS sugar (I used 4)
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 4 cups walnut halves

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

In a large bowl whisk together egg whites, sugar and salt.  Stir in walnuts, coating them well.  Spread walnuts out over a rimmed baking sheet coated with cooking spray.

Bake them for 15 – 20 minutes, or until golden brown and crisp, stirring often.  Let cool.

Sauce:

  • 1 cup orange juice
  • 2 TBS low-sodium soy sauce
  • 2 TBS cider vinegar
  • 3 TBS honey
  • 2 TBS cornstarch
  • 1/2 tsp freshly grated orange peel
  • crushed red pepper, to taste
  • 3 – 4 garlic cloves, chopped

Whisk all ingredients together.  Leave the whisk in the bowl as the cornstarch will settle on the bottom, and you’ll need to re-whisk the sauce right before you pour it into the wok.

Vegetables:

  • 3 TBS neutral high-heat oil (peanut, grapeseed, etc.)
  • 1 large onion, cut into chunks
  • 2 large carrots, cut into 1” diagonal pieces
  • 3 medium bell peppers, whichever colors you choose, cut into 1” pieces
  • 2 cups fresh pineapple chunks
  • 8-oz. can water chestnuts, drained and sliced
  • 3 – 4 tomatoes, cubed
  • 2 – 3 TBS minced fresh ginger
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Heat oil in a large wok over medium-high heat.  Add onions and stir-fry for a few minutes.

Add carrots and stir-fry for another 5 minutes.

Add remaining vegetables, salt and pepper to taste, and stir-fry for 5 minutes.

Re-whisk the sauce and pour it over the vegetables, continuing to stir-fry for 5 more minutes,

until the vegetables are tender and the sauce is thick.  Serve over brown rice, generously sprinkled with walnuts.

Rainbow Stir-fry over Brown Rice

By Jennifer

Rainbow Stir-fry over Brown Rice

This is an adaptation of a recipe from Vegetarian Times magazine.  I don’t know about your grocery store, but it was impossible to find a tiny head of purple cabbage…I’m left with a gallon-sized Ziplock bag full of thinly sliced cabbage in my fridge.  I’m planning on stir-frying it, along with some garlic, scallions, the left-over edamame and some store-bought stir-fry sauce, for a quick weekend lunch one of these weeks….

Serves 4 adults.

  • 3 TBS orange juice
  • 2 TBS hoisin sauce
  • 1 TBS low-sodium soy or tamari sauce
  • 1/2 tsp. chile-garlic sauce
  • 2 tsp toasted sesame oil
  • 2 tsp peanut oil
  • 10 oz. frozen organic green beans
  • 2 cups thinly sliced purple cabbage
  • 1 15-oz. can baby corn, rinsed and drained
  • 1 8-oz. can sliced water chestnuts, rinsed and drained
  • 1 red pepper, thinly sliced
  • 1 cup frozen, shelled edamame
  • 4 scallions, chopped
  • Brown rice

Get the rice cooking, ideally in a rice cooker or steamer.

Ingredients at the ready

Combining sauce ingredients

In a small bowl whisk together the orange juice through sesame oil.

Vegetables ready to stir-fry

Have all of the veggies ready to go in a bowl, save for the green beans which go in first, and the scallions which will go in at the end.

Start with green beans in the wok

Heat the peanut oil in a wok over medium-high heat.  When a drop of water flicked into the pan sizzles, add the green beans.  Stir-fry for a few minutes, then add 3 TBS water and stir-fry for a couple more minutes.

Add the rest of the vegetables

Add the remaining vegetables except for the scallions, stir-frying for another 4 – 5 minutes.

Adding sauce to stir-fry

Add the sauce and scallions, tossing the vegetable mixture to coat it well.  After another minute or so, when everything’s good and hot and bubbly, serve it over the brown rice.

Steaming hot stir-fry is ready!