Friday, April 22, 2011

Pizza Night! Arugula Mushroom Parmesan Pizza

I wasn't joking when I said I use arugula on a weekly basis!  This is a recipe that I put together with the rest of the ingredients in my fridge on a Friday night in when Marcus was out of town.

One thing I will not take credit for in this recipe is the dough.  I'm not a natural baker so I buy pre-made raw pizza dough that you can get at Trader Joe's or Whole Foods for about $1.99!  You can get plain, wheat, and I believe spinach.  I call them "dough balls".  So if you want to keep it healthier you have different options.  Pair it with a glass of nice Sauvignon Blanc (I recommend Hanna or Merry Edwards) and you're good to go!

Servings: 2
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes

*3 Tablespoons olive oil, divided
*1 small yellow onion, cut in half and sliced
*2 garlic cloves, chopped
*1 small carton white button mushrooms, sliced
*Salt & Pepper
*1 "dough ball"
*1/2 cup flour
*Garlic powder
*2 large handfuls of arugula
*1 cup grated fresh parmesan

First off, take your dough ball out of the fridge before you do anything.  It needs to sit for about 15 minutes before you can roll it out.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Heat 2 Tablespoons olive oil over medium heat and add onion, garlic, and mushrooms.  Season with salt and pepper to your taste (about 1 teaspoon of each I typically use).  Cook for about 5 minutes until just soft.

Spread flour on a flat surface and cover your dough ball with flour.  Start kneading the dough ball into a circle.  Take a rolling pin (or wine bottle if you don't have one :-) and spread the dough.  Try to roll it out as thin as you can, the thicker it is the higher it will rise and the longer it will take to bake.  I try to get it to at least an inch.  Don't worry about a perfect circle, mine never is.  Put dough on a sheet pan or pizza pan.

Brush the edges with 1 Tablespoon olive oil and sprinkle with garlic powder.  Add the mushrooms, onions, and garlic and spread around pizza.  Put in oven and cook for 15 minutes until crust is browned. Depending on your oven it might take a little longer.

Take out of oven and add the two handfuls of arugula on top.  Sprinkle the pizza with parmesan and you're done!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Couscous Stuffed Roasted Tomatoes

I'm sorry that I haven't posted a blog in a couple of weeks!  I've been reminded by a lot of you, and thanks for being loyal readers!

Even though I haven't been blogging, I have some great new recipes including this stuffed tomato.  This literally came together with what I had in my fridge and was one of the most flavorful things I've ever created.  To make things better it was very easy!  I served this along side my baked sea bass recipe as well if you're looking to have some sort of protein too.  Or a nice mixed salad if you're looking for something lighter.  Without further ado, here we go!

Servings: 2
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Bake Time: 15 minutes

*2 Tablespoons olive oil
*1/2 yellow onion, chopped
*1 carton baby bella mushrooms, chopped (or about 2 large handfuls)
*2 garlic cloves, chopped
*1 cup cooked couscous (cook according to package)
*1 teaspoon salt
*1/2 teaspoon pepper
*2 large tomatoes
*2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
*1/2 cup italian breadcrumbs
*Grated Parmesan

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Also, cook couscous at the same time according to package.  Typically for 1 cup it requires 1 1/4 cup of boiling water and to cook for about 10 minutes with lid on until done.

Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat.  Add onion and garlic and cook for 2 minutes.  Then add mushrooms and cook until soft, about 4 minutes.  Season with salt and pepper.  Lower heat to medium low.

Slice the top off of each tomato.  Scoop out the insides with a spoon so it leaves you with a little bowl.  Think of it like scraping out a pumpkin but gentler so you don't break the sides.

Once couscous is done cooking, add it into the skillet with the mushrooms and onions etc.  Then add balsamic vinegar and mix it in so everything is coated.  Taste it.  If you think it needs more balsamic, go ahead and add it.  Always taste your food as you go!

Fill the tomatoes with the mixture and put on a baking sheet.  (I line my sheet with foil for a faster clean up)  Mix the breadcrumbs with some grated parmesan and add it on top of tomato.

Bake in oven for 15 minutes and you're done!  Tasty tomatoes!!