Monday, June 29, 2009

Meatless Monday - Veggie DIY Pizza

I'm sorry for the delay in this post - it's migraine season for me, and it slows me down a LOT. Better late than never, though...On to today's meal!

I love, LOVE pizza. Since being diagnosed with celiac disease a few years ago, it's been something I sorely missed. The only decent GF frozen pizza I found was Foods By George cheese pizza, and they were nearly $6 for a single serving size!

Recently, though, I discovered Whole Foods GF Bakehouse frozen pizza crust, and it's delicious! So I've been catching up on my pizza cravings. For those who don't need their pizza to be gluten-free, a Boboli or other pizza crust will do just fine - I've even seen some places that carry the raw dough!

- 1 pizza crust - I heat mine through once before putting toppings on - makes it less likely to be soggy.

- sauce of choice - I'm making a white pizza today; instead of a red sauce (which I normally buy in a can), I'm just starting with a brush of olive oil and some crushed garlic across the crust.

-veggies! Possibilities include green and yellow squash, eggplant, olives, onions, mushrooms, fresh tomatoes, sun-dried tomatoes, bell peppers, spinach, pine nuts, pineapple, broccoli, cauliflower. If you want a meat substitute, try scrambling some firm tofu with sausage seasonings: fennel, oregano, salt, pepper, red pepper flakes.

Top with plenty of cheese (or cheese substitute), and bake according to crust directions.

Tip: Make sure that all veggies are well-drained before using as a pizza topping. For eggplant, salting to expel water, rinsing and patting dry may be appropriate.

We'd love to read any pizza-making stories you care to leave in the comments!

Monday, June 22, 2009

Meatless Monday - Butter Beans, Greens & Cornbread

This is such a simple meal to be so satisfying and delicious. It's one of my favorites.

Note: butter beans are another name for fava beans.

- 2 cans precooked butter beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 medium head of collard greens
- greens from approximately 4 beets
- red wine vinegar
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 3 cloves of garlic (sliced thin)
- freshly ground nutmeg
- 6-10 fresh basil leaves, chiffonade
- salt & pepper to taste

- cornbread recipe or mix of your choice (I use Whole Foods 365 Gluten Free mix, omitting the sugar and adding 2 teaspoons molasses)

Get your cornbread cooking first. Then, in a skillet or saute pan on medium heat, put the butter, the butter beans, and the basil. Cook until the butter starts to bubble, then cover and remove from heat. Just before serving, add several grinds of fresh nutmeg and a couple of black pepper.

Clean the greens and cut into ribbons. In a skillet on medium heat, sweat the garlic in olive oil until garlic is mostly cooked. If you find it is getting toasted, turn down the heat. When the garlic is mostly done, add the greens and cover with lid. Give them a few minutes to mush down, then remove the lid and stir, coating the greens thoroughly with the garlicky oil. When they have reduced to about 1/3 of the original volume, remove from heat, sprinkle with the red wine vinegar and salt lightly.

Serve with a nice chianti. :)

Friday, June 12, 2009

Freebie Friday - Music & more!

In Philly, the Meat Puppets will be playing a free concert at WXPN, part of WXPN's Free at Noon concert series.

In Michigan, drivers can get tires inspected at Discount Tire for National Tire Safety Week.

And for everyone on the web: get a free bottle of Country Bob's All Purpose Sauce.

Happy Weekend, everyone!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Book of the Week - Sharing the Harvest

This week, I'm exploring (mostly online) how Community Supported Agriculture works, and what its benefits are. In keeping with that theme, this week's book is

Sharing the Harvest: A Citizen's Guide to Community Supported Agriculture, Revised & Expanded

I haven't had a chance to read it yet myself, but it looks interesting, and I'd love to hear from any of you who have.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Meatless Monday - Giant Dinner Salad

One of my favorite summer meals is a big summer salad, made from fresh local produce. If I'm really lucky this summer, my later ones will include tomatoes from my own backyard garden.

Start with your favorite lettuce blend. I'm partial to a combo of iceberg & romaine, but you can add mesclun, dandelion, or whatever your local market and budget allow.

The fresh produce:

Whatever is in season that you like; tomatoes, cucumbers, bell peppers, squash, carrots, thin-sliced red onion or scallion, celery, sliced fennel bulb, jicama, radishes, mushrooms.

The canned:

Chickpeas! Sliced black olives! Miniature corn! Water chestnuts!


I don't personally care for boiled eggs, but if you like them in salad, go for it! Shredded cheese can be good, too, croutons if you like 'em. Fresh herbs: basil, mint, parsley, cilantro - all are great flavor-boosters.

Delicious with garlic toast.

I prefer my dressings to be simple, and I often make them myself. For this salad, I think I'm going to try out this recipe. I'm also partial to a simple lemon juice/olive oil dressing, with a little salt & freshly ground pepper.

Enjoy, and please feel free to report back with any suggestions or improvements!

Friday, June 5, 2009

Freebie Friday - Movies!

Regal Entertainment's Family Film Festival offers free movies for the summer:

Between 6/23 and 8/18, Regal will show G and PG rated movies on Tuesdays and Wednesdays at 10:00am. Tickets on first come, first served basis, to capacity. Check for your local schedule here:

Regal's Family Film Festival

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Monday, June 1, 2009

Meatless Monday - Broccoli & Walnut Quiche

Ah, quiche. One of the most wonderful applications of custard. I'm going to start by giving you a basic quiche formula, that will serve you in good stead for many, many recipes. It will also make it easier for you to adjust your recipe to the size of pan that you have available.

The magic formula is:

1/3 Cup milk product per 1 egg.

My pie pans are fairly deep, and I make my quiche crustless (for gluten, carb and laziness reasons), so my recipe uses 6 eggs, and a cup and two-thirds milk item. Like many of my recipes, this one is very versatile, and you can mix and match ingredients to your own taste preferences.

6 eggs
1 2/3 cups milk product (this can be actual milk, cream, sour cream, plain yogurt, or any combination thereof.
2 cups shredded or chunked cheese (if you do chunks, they should be small)
2 cups broccoli pieces(raw or frozen, but if you use frozen, be sure to thaw and drain completely)
1/2 lb walnut pieces
1/4 tsp thyme
salt & pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

If you prefer a crust for your quiche, you're on your own. Back when I could eat gluten, I usually bought the ready made ones. So we pick up at the filling the pan point.

Start by putting a thin layer of cheese on the bottom of the pie pan. It doesn't have to completely obscure the pan bottom, just get a good, even coat. Next lay in the broccoli and walnut pieces evenly in the pan, and add another layer of cheese over the top.

In a large bowl, beat eggs until frothy. Add your preferred milk item (I like to use a combination of 4% milk and plain yogurt), and the seasonings, and blend thoroughly (this does not require an electric mixer of any kind - a whisk or even a briskly wielded fork works just fine). Pour gently over the mixture in the pan, and top with another thinnish layer of cheese.

Put in the oven on a middle rack and bake for 50 minutes. Take out and allow to cool for at least 1/2 hour before cutting and serving.

Pair it with a nice salad or some rice (or both), and enjoy!