Thursday, September 26, 2013

Pizza on a spaghetti squash crust-carb free!

Here is a step by step w/pics if you want it Part 2
 

Alright kids...let me blow your mind.
Pictured you see pizza. Cheesy, meatly, delicious pizza. What you might not see..is there are no carbs. No 'white' flour. No 'wheat' anything. So I can call it gluten free too, right? I'll have to ask some of my gluten free pals. Either way...you can pretty much eat this pizza guilt free. AND sneak in veggies on the kids while you do it.
Kinda detailed..so bear with. Also..make sure you have plenty of time. I mean..good pizza takes a while..right?
Ok..you are going to start with a spaghetti squash. It's in the veggie section. Pale yellow. Super hard. You'll cut that sucker in half, scoop out the seeds, and put it cut side down on a parchment covered 1/2 baking sheet and roast in the oven for about 30-40 minutes.
Then once it's roasted, you'll let it cool for a bit. Then scoop out the center into a big bowl and think "wow..this DOES look alot like spaghetti!" because it totally does.
To that you'll add 2-3 eggs (I whisk up 2 first, and add, then see if I need the third. Depends on the size of your spaghetti squash). You'll also add about 1/2 a cup of whatever sauce you are using. I vary between actual 'pizza' sauce or just jarred marinara.
In your bowl you'll be looking at a very wet and confusing pinkish mix of veggie/egg/and sauce. And you'll likely think..no..this isn't going to work..stick with it.
You know that baking sheet you roasted on? It's already covered in parchment...so spray it down with some Pam and pour your crust onto it...and squish, erm..pat it out as thin and evenly as you can. Then put it into the oven at 425 and let it go for about 45-55 minutes. Not kidding.
I told you this was a longer process.
But chin up, because while it is baking..you can work on your topping. Our topping (this time around) was cooked/crumbled spicy italian sausage, chopped red bell peppers, minced garlic, and a provolone/mozz mix of cheese.
Toward the end of cooking for the crust..I broil it for a few minutes. Get that top nice and brown.. not burnt..just brown.
Take it out and add your toppings. I usually do a  decent layer of my sauce, sprinkle of cheese, then my meats/veggies then top with more liberal amounts of cheese.
Return to the oven and let bake another 15 minutes, or until your toppings look all melty and happy.
Remove and let cool for about 5 minutes...this pizza will scald the roof of your mouth just like regular carb filled pie will.
But it's just pizza. There is NOTHING about this pizza that tastes anything but pizza-y. If you don't tell people..they won't know it's a squash crust. Seriously...try it out on people and don't tell them. I mean, don't lie to them. Just say "we're having pizza" because you are. Then sit back and smile at the fact that it's carb-free and full of veggie goodness!
Now...the longer you let the crust bake/broil...the 'firmer' it will be. I've made this pizza..alot..and have yet to have it sturdy enough to be able to pick up big pieces w/out them getting floppy. So eat it with a fork...be civilized. And be warned...it will be made ALOT in your house. :)

You can also mess with this recipe to suit your needs. Make pizza YOUR way! You can do about anything you want with toppings. You can also add cheese and cooked meats INTO the crust. It's really hard to mess this up and have it not taste good!

Would it be helpful for you guys for me to do more step by step pics on this one? Let me know!


Deen shrimp with bell pepper salsa

This is another one of those 'diet' meals. But whoa..was it good!

Let's start with the shrimp...
the other day I was watching an episode of Home for Dinner with Jamie Deen. I mean..I gotta get my Deen fix SOMEHOW since Paula isn't on anymore! But since I'm doing the diet thing..we tweaked the recipe a little...like..we didn't wrap it in bacon. That's about the only change. :)

Jamie Deen Shrimp (tweaked from here)
1lb raw shrimp, peeled and deveined
3 Tablespoons Sriracha sauce
3 Tablespoons honey
1 Tablespoon smoked paprika
skewers
hot grill

In a bowl mix together the sriracha sauce, honey, and paprika. Add shrimp. Toss to coat. Allow to sit for about 15 minutes, then put onto skewers*, however many you can fit on there. Then grill until done!

Serve over/with a bed of this awesome Bell Pepper salsa! Another weird thing I can't have on the diet (what have we covered so far? pork/bacon, pears..the list continues) white onions. What? I know, right? But I can have green onions/scallions (if you are fancy). I can also have bell peppers..so yay! Also..not a huge tomato fan here..so I was happy to find a recipe I could work around to make work for me.

Bell Pepper Salsa (adapted from So, How's it Taste?)

2 Yellow Bell peppers, seeded and chopped finely
2 Orange Bell peppers, seeded and chopped finely
8 radished, chopped finely
8 scallions, chopped finely
1 1/2 Tablespoon chopped garlic**
1-2 small stalks of celery and leaves (the stuff in the middle of the celery, know what I mean?)
4 Tablespoons apple cider vinegar
2 Tablespoons Extra virgin olive oil
2 teaspoons brown sugar

I ran all my veggies through a food processor (you could also use a mini chopper)...but I ran them in batches. Peppers first, then put them in a big bowl, repeat with radishes, scallions, and celery.
In a separate little bowl mix together the vinegar, garlic, oil and brown sugar.
Toss to combine. Try to let it sit for awhile..it truly gets better after a night in the fridge!

We served the grilled shrimp over the salsa (as pictured). We also ate the heck out of the salsa on blue tortilla chips. Did NOT taste like diet food. Tasted amazing!

*skewers-if you are working with wooden ones..soak them in water for a bit before you put your food on it, so they don't just burn up on the grill.

**I cheat and keep a bit ol jar of the chopped garlic in oil in the fridge and just use scoops as needed. Great shortcut!





City Slicker Pear Butter



Conversating with a friend the other day went like this-
He said: I'm canning salsa that is totally from my own garden.
I said: I made pear butter the other day in the crock pot...
He said: But did you grow the pears?
I said: No, bought them..what's your point?
He said: Then you can't take credit for it. It's City Slicker Pear Butter. It doesn't count.

"It doesn't count"...well that's where he's wrong (he's also a colossal ass btw). B/c this butter counts, it counts big time! And it's all crockpotted and super simple!

Now...here is the pitiful backstory on the pears. I'm on this diet right? And we go to the store and I see these pears, and I buy said pears, to get home and look at my approved foods list..and 'no pears'. What tha? I had to do something with them.
So I scanned through some recipes, and when I didn't find one that fit my needs..I just made my own.
The reason pears aren't on my food list..they are sweet. Like super sweet. So I didn't want to add any more sugar.
I also didn't have an extra hour or so to stand in front of the stove stirring.

This is going to be more of a 'walk through' recipe. Less 1 cup of this, 2 tsp of that..more 'these are the things I did'-
Crock pot? check
Pears? a bag of em'..approx 8-12. peeled, cored, and chopped up into pretty little pieces
Pears into the crock!
3 heavy squirts of local honey (approx 3 tablespoons)
liberal sprinkle of powdered ginger (approx 1 tablespoon)
slight sprinkle of powdered cinnamon (approx 1 teaspoon)
Lid on the crock. Crock on low.
How low can you go?
I kid...
I let mine go a long time. For reals. I put the stuff in the crock before Husband got home from work (about 5pm-ish) and didn't mess with it again until the next afternoon.
My crocks longest time setting is 10 hours, then after that it will 'warm' for like 2...so I just let it go. And when the 'warm' kicked off. I let it sit to cool off.
I had a crock full of wonderful smelling pear stew..but I wanted it 'butter'. So once it was cooled more..I ran it through the food processor (you can use a blender as well).
Then I packed it up in jars. My batch made almost 2 quarts of Pear Butter. Not overly sweet, slightly spiced (from the ginger), great deliciousness.
Now...I can't really eat it..but the kids dig it. It's got more of a applesauce texture..so that's what I sub it for. If I really wanted it traditional 'butter' I could have cooked down the pureed mix for another few hours.
Whether you grow it or not...it can still be homemade..and delicious. :)

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Beer Mini Muffins

It's that time of year...fall is coming..and the "seasonal" crafts have been released. Now myself..I'm not a huge beer drinker. However when I do..it's Blue Moon..(I blame my attorney on that one)...and I was very excited to see this year they came out with a Caramel Apple Spiced Ale.
What do I do with it? I bake with it!

Beer Mini Muffins-(featuring Blue Moore Caramel Apple/butterscotch chips)
Oven at 350

3 cups self rising flour
1 bottle Blue Moon
1/3 cup milk
1/2 bag butterscotch chips
1/2 jar (approx 6oz) apple jam/jelly

Combine all in a bowl. Drop by spoonfuls into a greased mini-muffin tin and bake for about 10 minutes.
Let cool...devour!

They aren't overly sweet, they aren't really savory..and you can get the hint of the ale. Since they are in mini form though..it's hard to stop at one. Or 6.
I'm excited to play around with this recipe..and the other seasonals! I'm thinking Harvest Pumpkin Ale with white chocolate and cranberries. Or maybe even a Chocolate mini muffin with the Belgian White and orange zest.

Yay for fall!