Potato Pizza with Rosemary & Garlic Thyme Beurre Blanc and a BONUS – Crispy Baked Potato Chips!!

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All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2014

To see images of my past posts & get links to the recipes – look on my Pinterest board – HERE.

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vromans back

 

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OK – so – I will post my accidental first homemade chip recipe.  I was roasting some thin-sliced potatoes for my potato pizza & accidentally overcooked them.  WAY to crunchy for a pizza but amazing just on their own.

Homemade Crispy Salt & pepper Baked Potato Chips

1 medium potato makes one serving of chips

INGREDIENTS

Potatoes – sliced about 1/8 inch thick

Olive Oil

S&P

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DIRECTIONS

Heat the oven to 350 degrees.

Cut the potatoes about 1/8 inch thick.  Toss with just enough olive oil to coat & some S&P.  Lay them on a silicone mat or parchment paper in a single layer – no overlapping.

Bake for about 25-35 minutes – depending on the thickness of the chips & the variety of potato you used.

They are done when they look about like this & are crispy as they are supposed to be.  They are ready right out of the oven.

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Potato Pizza with Rosemary & Garlic Thyme Beurre Blanc

INGREDIENTS

Pizza dough (I use this HERE)

Grated mozzarella (or vegan alternative) – I used about 1 cup

Olive oil

1 potato – washed & sliced 1/8 inch thick

Fresh rosemary

4 TBS butter (or vegan alternative)

1-2 shallots – minced (I used about 1/4 of a small red onion)

4 garlic cloves – minced

Fresh thyme

1/4 cup white wine

1 TBS fresh lemon juice (never use that chemical stuff they sell jarred or in that plastic lemon)

1 vegetable bouillon cube

S&P

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DIRECTIONS

Heat the oven to 350 degrees.

Cut the potatoes about 1/8 inch thick.  Toss with just enough olive oil to coat & some S&P.  Lay them on a silicone mat or parchment paper in a single layer – no overlapping.

Bake for about 20 minutes – or until they are soft & JUST beginning to brown a bit – maybe a tad browner than I let mine get (as I was spooked my the chip mishap – despite the happy ending).  Remove from heat & set aside.

Increase oven heat to 500 degrees (or the highest temperature it goes to).

In a stock pot, melt ONE TBS of the butter over medium heat & add the shallot (or onion), garlic & thyme.  Stir & let it cook until it begins to brown.  Add the white wine, bouillon cube & lemon juice.  Let it reduce a bit & get thick.  Then – add the remaining 3 TBS butter – one at a time – & whisk them in.  Set the beurre blanc aside.

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Assemble the pizza!

Grease a cooking sheet or use parchment paper.

Roll out the dough & put it on the cooking sheet.  Pierce the dough here & there to avoid it bubbling up too much.

Layer with the beurre blanc, then cheese, potato slices & some rosemary.

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Bake this for about 10-12 minutes or until the crust is crisp & golden & the cheese is melted.

Slice it up & rejoice in this garlicky goodness!

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Cauliflower Noodle Lasagna with Herbed Goat Cheese Bechamel and Garlicky Brussels Sprouts and Mushrooms and Arugula Pistachio Pesto (No Carb – No Pasta)

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All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2014

To see images of my past posts & get links to the recipes – look on my Pinterest board – HERE.

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All my posts now have a VERY customizable PRINT & PDF option.  Create a PDF & save the recipe to your computer or print it out.  It offers a “remove images” option & you can delete any part of the post you do not need before printing.  The button is below by the Twitter & Facebook links.

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vromans back

Did you happen to miss my appearance on Nicole Richie’s show –#CandidlyNicole @VH1? No worries! Here it is! I show up HERE after the break – about 16 minutes in!
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AND – if you missed my hour-long Oh, Mary! Show appearance this week – well – you are in LUCK! Here are all four segments! LOTSA dirty talk! Many laughs!

Here you go!

http://jlcn.tv/shows/oh-mary/mary-episode-26-segment-01/

http://jlcn.tv/shows/oh-mary/mary-episode-26-segment-02/

http://jlcn.tv/shows/oh-mary/mary-episode-26-segment-03/

http://jlcn.tv/shows/oh-mary/mary-episode-26-segment-04/

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OK – in all fairness – this recipe has a lot of steps.  Without a food processor – it might be too much of a pain in the ass to attempt.  If you have a food processor & an afternoon to kill – this might be a fun project.  It is pretty delicious – though not particularly healthy – despite the no-carb noodles made from cauliflower.  This could be made vegan by subbing out the animal products with vegan alternatives but I will leave that to the motivated vegans out there.  I don’t think I have to say “or vegan alternative” after every egg, butter or cheese ingredient for the vegans to work it out.

I used leftover arugula & pistachio pesto that I still had from my Arugula Pistachio Pesto Pasta with Goat Cheese and Ricotta Salata.

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You can make this or any other pesto – or use a store-bought one.

Arugula Pistachio Pesto

This makes enough for at least a pound or two of pasta but it keeps well in an air-tight container in the fridge.

INGREDIENTS

6 oz fresh arugula

2 garlic cloves

1/2 cup Parmesan

1/4 cup pistachios (or other nuts)

1/4-1/2 cup olive oil

DIRECTIONS

I used 1/4 cup olive oil & 1/4 cup of water to thin the pesto.  1/2 cup of oil just seems crazy to me – but you can go all oil if you want to.

Blend into a pesto in a food processor – starting with just the 1/4 cup of olive oil.  Drizzle more (or water) in as it purees until you get the consistency you like.  Set aside.

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I made a homemade bechamel but you could use a store-bought alfredo & get much the same results.

I used chopped mushrooms, leeks & Brussels sprouts – but any mix of sauteed vegetable would work.

I used this pink Himalayan salt that I have become obsessed with but any salt will do.  And I used the Dash Onion & Herb seasoning but any Italian seasoning (or mix of onion & garlic powders) would be fine.

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I used cauliflower “noodles” in this but real lasagna noodles work, too.

No-Carb Lasagna Noodles

INGREDIENTS

1 large head cauliflower – riced (about 10 cups)

3 eggs

1 tsp salt

1 TBS seasoning (see above)

1 TBS oregano

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DIRECTIONS

Heat the oven to 350 degrees.

I used a silicone cooking mat treated with cooking spray but greased parchment paper should work, too.  Know that this stuff STICKS  – even to the greased silicone mat – so – slather your cooking shit up.

Take the cauliflower & grate it up with the grater blade of a food processor – or with a manual grater – or get to chopping by hand until it has a rice-like look.

You can zap this in the microwave in 2 minute increments – stirring in between – until it softens but I loathe nuking things.  I submerged the cauliflower in boiling water for about 5 minutes & then drained it in a colander under cold running water.

Once it is cool, in small batches, twist the cauliflower up in a kitchen town & wring as much moisture out of it as you can.

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Then simply mix it up in a large bowl with the other ingredients & press it onto your well-greased cooking sheet (see images above).  Bake it for about 45 minutes or until it begins to brown & is cooked pretty dry.  Set aside & allow it to cool.

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Garlicky Sauteed Brussels Sprouts, Mushrooms & Leeks

I made the mushrooms & leeks first & then decided to add Brussels sprouts so my photos might show a different cooking sequence but it can be done as I will outline now.

INGREDIENTS

Olive oil

2 leeks – white sections only – chopped small

1/2 lb mushrooms – diced

1 lb Brussels sprouts – chopped or sliced fine

1 tsp each S&P

2 garlic cloves – minced

1/4 cup fresh parsley – chopped

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DIRECTIONS

It is important to cut the leeks & mushrooms & Brussels sprouts small so they do not stay too chunky & impede clean slicing of the lasagna.

I chopped the mushrooms & leeks & ran the Brussels sprouts through the slicer of my food processor.

Heat 2 (or so) TBS olive oil in a large saute pan over medium-high heat & saute the Brussels sprouts until they begin to brown a bit.  Add /4 water & steam them soft.  Once the water is absorbed or evaporated – add the leeks & mushrooms & saute until tender – maybe 5 minutes.  Stir in the S&P & the minced garlic and the parsley.  Saute another minute & remove from heat.  Set aside.

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Herbed Goat Cheese Bechamel

INGREDIENTS

2 cups almond (or other) milk

3 TBS butter

3 TBS flour

2 garlic cloves – minced

8-10 oz goat cheese – room temp

2 TBS chives (or other herb) – minced (optional)

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DIRECTIONS

Melt butter in a soup pan over med-high heat.  Add the flour & garlic & whisk constantly until it thickens, begins to brown & becomes aromatic – maybe 2 minutes.

Add the milk in 1/4 cup increments & whisk it in until it incorporates & thickens before adding more milk.  This should take maybe 5 minutes.

Add the goat cheese & chives & whisk until the goat cheese melts.  Set aside.

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Cauliflower Noodle Lasagna with Herbed Goat Cheese Bechamel and Garlicky Brussels Sprouts and Mushrooms and Arugula Pistachio Pesto

INGREDIENTS

Cauliflower “noodles” (recipe above) or real (cooked) lasagna noodles

1 cup pesto (recipe above) – or any pesto you prefer

Garlicky mushrooms, leeks & Brussels sprouts (recipe above) – or any cooked veggie mix you prefer

2-3 cups grated cheese (I used mozzarella)

Several hunks of fresh (packed in water) mozzarella (optional)

Parsley – chopped (as garnish)

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DIRECTIONS

Heat the oven to 350 degrees.

My photos show this lasagna cooked once & photographed & then reheated for a new photo session – hence the paler & more golden cheesy tops.

Prep your ingredients.  Cut the cauliflower “noodles” into three equal portions – or however you can to get some layer-able “noodles.”  Never fear if they break apart & stick a lot.  Patch the pieces in & nobody will ever know the difference.

Assemble the lasagna.  I started with a layer of bechamel (whisk it smooth if a skin has formed while it waited).  Then I added the layers in this order:

1/3 of the cauliflower noodles

1/2 of the pesto

1/2 of the veggies

1/3 of the bechamel

another 1/3 of the cauliflower noodles

the other 1/2 of the pesto

the other 1/2 of the veggies

another 1/3 of the bechamel

Grated cheese – in an amount that looks good to you – I used about 1/2 – 3/4 cup

the final 1/3 of the cauliflower noodles

the rest of the bechamel

More grated cheese & some fresh mozzarella – if you are using it

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 Bake that son-of-a-bitch fr 25-45 minutes or until the cheese is melted & bubbly & looks the color you want it to look – whether JUST starting to brown at the edges – or a bit golden all over.
Let it rest for 10 minutes or so.  Garnish with chopped parsley & eat it up!!!!

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Arugula Pistachio Pesto Pasta with Goat Cheese and Ricotta Salata

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All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2014

To see images of my past posts & get links to the recipes – look on my Pinterest board – HERE.

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All my posts now have a VERY customizable PRINT & PDF option.  Create a PDF & save the recipe to your computer or print it out.  It offers a “remove images” option & you can delete any part of the post you do not need before printing.  The button is below by the Twitter & Facebook links.

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This is not a vegan dish but the goat cheese & ricotta salata are just nice additional touches to the arugula pesto & could be eliminated – and the dish would still be yummy.  Ricotta salata is described like this on Cheese.com:

The words ‘Ricotta’ means re-cooked and ‘Salata’ means salted. Ricotta Salata is an Italian cheese made from the whey part of sheep milk, which is pressed, salted and aged for at least 90 days. It is milky white in color with firm texture and salty taste. The cheese is often used in salads and ideal for slicing, crumbling and grating.

It is just an elegant garnish here.  The goat cheese I added was so insignificant in quantity as to hardly matter.  I used real Parmesan – but they do make vegan ones so, if you are vegan, I still recommend this arugula pistachio pesto pasta.

Easy as easy gets – you just whip up the pesto in a food processor, boil some pasta & mix the shit up.  Add the cheeses if you are a cheese eater and that is that.  It can be ready in a little more time than it takes to cook the pasta.

I used this non-vegan stuff I found recently at my personal happiest place on Earth – Super King.  They were smaller than your average bow tie pastas & I liked that they call them butterflies.  🙂

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Arugula Pistachio Pesto

This makes enough for at least a pound or two of pasta but it keeps well in an air-tight container in the fridge.

INGREDIENTS

6 oz fresh arugula

2 garlic cloves

1/2 cup Parmesan

1/4 cup pistachios (or other nuts)

1/4-1/2 cup olive oil

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DIRECTIONS

I used 1/4 cup olive oil & 1/4 cup of water to thin the pesto.  1/2 cup of oil just seems crazy to me – but you can go all oil if you want to.

Blend into a pesto in a food processor – starting with just the 1/4 cup of olive oil.  Drizzle more (or water) in as it purees until you get the consistency you like.  Set aside.

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Arugula Pistachio Pesto Pasta with Goat Cheese and Ricotta Salata

OK – this is a dish where the ration of ingredients is up to the chef.  But here is a loose guide:

INGREDIENTS

Pasta enough to feed your guests

Arugula pistachio pesto (recipe above)

Additional fresh arugula

Goat cheese (less than an ounce per person) – optional

Ricotta salata as garnish (or Parmesan) – optional

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DIRECTIONS

Make the pesto.

Boil the pasta.  Drain it & return it to the pan.  Toss with pesto (starting in small increments because too much pesto gets yucky!).   If using goat cheese – add some here now & toss well.  Add some fresh arugula & toss.

Serve garnished with either shaved or grated ricotta salata or Parmesan.  Or not.

Lots of fresh pepper & you are done!  SEE HOW EASY?

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Healthy Spicy Vegan Red Beans and Rice

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All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2014

To see images of my past posts & get links to the recipes – look on my Pinterest board – HERE.

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All my posts now have a VERY customizable PRINT & PDF option.  Create a PDF & save the recipe to your computer or print it out.  It offers a “remove images” option & you can delete any part of the post you do not need before printing.  The button is below by the Twitter & Facebook links.

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OK – I decided I had to make these for two reasons.  1) Sir Mix-a-lot & his Baby Got Back song.  Is there EVER a time when this song doesn’t sound great?  For a novelty-sounding song – it really holds up over time.  Anyway – one line is “Red beans & rice didn’t miss her.”   While that makes it sound like red beans & rice give you a huge ass – this recipe is clean & healthy.  I hear this song at the gym rather frequently & it always makes me crave red beans & rice.

2) It has been hot as FUCK this week and these can be made stove-top (or in a crock pot) – minimizing the heat added to my already sweltering kitchen.

I am sitting at my desk in my un-air-conditioned office (the hottest room in my house) – I will simply show what it was like outside before 10AM today:

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Yes.  That says 100 degrees at 9:58 am.  UGH!!!!!!!!

So – I will keep this brief & slink down to my kitchen – the coolest room in my house – for the remainder of the day.

One note – I used two kinds of veggie sausage here but I am not 100% certain either is vegan (though I think they are).  Just check the brand you use to be sure – assuming you are vegan.

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Also – I browned the two Field Roast links you see there before adding the other ingredients & that was sort of a waste of time because they just got sort of soggy after the stock was added.  So – I browned additional sausage:

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and set it aside & just added it at the end – sort of like a garnish.  That way, it retained it seared qualities.  You can do this – or not – your call.  Combined – the two varieties of sausage made this a “meatier” dish than it need be but those fake sausages are yummy – so fuck it.  I did add a couple of zucchinis to lighten the beans up a bit.

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QUICK SOAK METHOD

Presoaking beans overnight not only cuts down on cooking time by up to 25 percent, it also helps the beans cook evenly without splitting. It’s easy, too (if you remember to do it). Still, we prefer the “power soak” method. Not only is it faster than soaking beans overnight, it also breaks down more of the complex sugars that can make beans hard to digest. The process is simple: Place beans in a pot and cover with water by three inches. Bring to a boil and simmer briskly for two minutes. Remove from heat, cover, and let stand for one hour. Drain. Your beans will be ready to use in your favorite recipes.–Kay Chun

Healthy Spicy Vegan Red Beans and Rice

Feeds a lot – 6 or more

INGREDIENTS

Cooked rice ( I used brown basmati)

1 lb dry small red beans (soaked overnight or quick-soaked as outlined above) – try to use small red but kidney will do in a pinch

Olive oil

4 celery stalks – chopped

1-3 chipotle peppers in adobo (I used 3 & these beans were SPICY!) – minced

1/2 large onion – diced

2 zucchinis – cubed (optional)

1-2 jalapeno peppers – seeded & diced (I used two)

4 garlic cloves – minced

1 bell pepper – diced (traditional in the dish – but I didn’t have one & I didn’t miss it)

2 tsp dry thyme

3 bay leaves

1 TBS dry rub (I used that Road Kill stuff above but any rub you like will do)

1-3 tsp Creole seasoning (I used Zatarain’s)

Vegan sausage (I ended up using 6!) – in a quantity you feel suits your taste – sliced

5+ cups vegetable stock

Scallions for garnish

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DIRECTIONS

Quick-soak the beans if you did not soak them overnight (instructions are above).  The soaking helps to stop the gas beans are famous for giving us.

As I explained above, you might want to brown your sausage & set it aside – and add it at the very end – so it retains its texture better.  If texture doesn’t matter to you – just add it with the onions.  Or – divvy it up & do a little of both – as I ended up doing.

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Cook your rice.

Heat 2-3 TBS olive oil in a LARGE stock pot & saute the sausage until browned & either set it aside or just continue.   Some vegan sausage is pretty dry & you might need more olive oil.  Add onions, celery, bell pepper (if using), jalapeno & saute til softened a bit.  Again – add more olive oil if you think it is getting too dry.  Add chipotle, zucchini, dry rub, thyme, Creole seasoning, bay leaves & garlic & stir to incorporate & then add the red beans & 5 cups of stock.

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Then bring this all to a boil.  Lower the heat & cover & simmer for 2 hours or so – or until the beans are tender.  Stir every once in a while & add water if it gets too thick.  I added 1-2 cups of water by the time it was all said & done.  At some point – when the beans are soft – smash a cup or two with a wooden spoon against the pot – or (as I did) – drop an immersion blender in there & mash a cup or two – so there is a thick broth.

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When you are ready to serve, put some rice on each plate, add the red beans & garnish with sausage (if you set some aside) & chopped scallions.  A cold beer or two – and you are good to go!

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Southwestern Taco or Nacho Style Mac and Cheese

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All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2014

To see images of my past posts & get links to the recipes – look on my Pinterest board – HERE.

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All my posts now have a VERY customizable PRINT & PDF option.  Create a PDF & save the recipe to your computer or print it out.  It offers a “remove images” option & you can delete any part of the post you do not need before printing.  The button is below by the Twitter & Facebook links.

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I don’t know what is wrong with me but I have a definite pattern of opting to make comfort food on the hottest of days.  Yesterday was no exception.  One hundred degrees out?  Turn on the oven & get baking!

This dish is pretty simple & very customizable.  I used ricotta because I had some left over from my Zucchini Squash Blossom White Pizza with Goat Cheese and Ricotta and Mozzarella.

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Ricotta is better suited to lasagnas though & I might not use it if I didn’t already have it around.  I also opted to roast 5 jalapenos because 1) I have a convenient stove-top grill and 2) it was another opportunity to have another heating element cranking away in my already unbearably hot kitchen.

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Roasting peppers (or eggplant) can be done directly on the burners of your stove.  Just put them on a flame & turn until they are black everywhere.  Put them into a covered container for a few minutes so they “sweat,” and then rub the blackened skins off under cool running water.  Seed & mince the jalapenos & you are ready to go.

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I also made my own taco seasoning (more than I ended up using) but you could just use a packaged kind – if you prefer.

Homemade Taco Seasoning

Blend:

1/2 tsp dry oregano

1 TBS chili powder

1 tsp ground cumin

1 tsp ground coriander

1 1/2 tsp cornstarch

1/2 tsp onion powder

1/2 tsp garlic powder

1 tsp salt

1 tsp pepper

1 tsp cayenne pepper

1/2 tsp paprika

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This is a pretty spicy recipe so go easy on (or eliminate) the spicy parts if you prefer a milder dish.  Also – if there is an ingredient or two that you do not have or do not like – lose it.  Or – like corn in your tacos or nachos?  Add some!   Want some cooked meat in there?  Add it.  This is a very forgiving dish.

Southwestern Taco or Nacho Style Mac and Cheese

Feeds a lot – 6 easily

INGREDIENTS

8 oz dry macaroni

9 oz vegan beef crumbles (or real beef)

1/2 red onion – diced

1/2 red bell pepper – diced

1-5 roasted (or raw) jalapenos – (I roasted mine as explained above & I used all 5) – minced (optional)

1 (4 oz) can chiles (I used hot ones)

1 (15) oz can black beans – drained & rinsed

1 (10 oz) can Rotel (or diced tomatoes)

2 TBS taco seasoning (packaged or use the recipe above)

Olive oil

1-4 chipotle peppers in adobo sauce – minced (optional)

3 cups cheese (I used 1 cup ricotta & 2 cups grated cheddar/mozzarella blend but 3 cups of grated cheese is fine (maybe better) and pepper jack would be great) – or VEGAN alternative

Extra grated cheese to top the casserole (1-2 cups or so)

1 (4 oz) can sliced black olives (as garnish)

Raw jalapeno – sliced – as garnish

Cilantro – as garnish

Tomato – diced – as garnish

Avocado – as garnish

Pico de gallo or salsa as garnish

Corn chips – as garnish

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DIRECTIONS

Heat the oven to 350 degrees.

Cook & drain the macaroni.

Make the taco seasoning – if you are not using packaged.

Roast the jalapenos – if you are using them roasted.  Mince & set aside.

Heat 2 TBS olive oil in a large saute pan.  Saute the onion, bell pepper & canned chiles & fresh jalapeno (roasted or not) and chipotle peppers and heat until the onions & peppers are softened.  Add the beef & heat through.  If using real meat – be sure it is cooked through.

Add the seasoning & the macaroni & stir around.

In a large bowl, mix the black beaks & Rotel (or diced tomato) & then add the macaroni beef mixture.  Add the cheese you are using & mix it all up well.

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Grease a large casserole dish & put the mix in there.  Top with additional cheese & some sliced olives & jalapeno.  Cook for 30-45 minutes or until the cheese is all melted & bubbly & beginning to turn golden.

Garnish with your choice of olives, jalapeno, avocado, tomato and cilantro.  Corn chips might be a nice touch, too.

Crack a cold beer & get your eat on!

 

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Vegan Horseradish Chicken Salad with Pecans and Jalapeno Potato Salad in Baked Wonton Cups

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All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2014

To see images of my past posts & get links to the recipes – look on my Pinterest board – HERE.

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All my posts now have a VERY customizable PRINT & PDF option.  Create a PDF & save the recipe to your computer or print it out.  It offers a “remove images” option & you can delete any part of the post you do not need before printing.  The button is below by the Twitter & Facebook links.

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vromans front

vromans back

 

It is another hot motherfucking week here in LA & I am in no mood to cook.  Still – I was tasked with bringing an appetizer to a little gathering & I was up early enough today to get the little cooking these recipes require done before the heat set in.

You can really stick any old thing in these baked wonton cups – like flavored mashed potatoes & cheese or taco fillings or pizza fillings but I did not want to have to use the oven at my destination to reheat or melt anything & cold salad fillings just sounded better today, anyway.   I will have to assemble these at the destination because I do not want the cups to get soggy but that is no big deal.   I only mention this to explain why I do not have photos of a bunch of these assembled.  I just made one of each & photographed them – and then ate them up!  This is the curse of a blog made of exclusively foods I am eating myself or feeding others.  I do not have the funds to waste on food that won’t be eaten nor the heart to throw good food away nor the family around to each a bunch of extras that I might create.   What you see here is typically my day to day menu – and these little party treats are no exception.

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Baked Wonton Cups

INGREDIENTS

1 package small wonton skins – round or square

cooking spray

mini cupcake pan

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DIRECTIONS

Heat the oven to about 325 degrees.

Spray the mini muffin pan with cooking spray & press a wonton skin in each.

Bake for between 6-9 minutes or until they are nicely browned.  Check the first batch frequently – because I burned mine.

Set out to cool.

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Vegan Horseradish Chicken Salad with Pecans

 

INGREDIENTS

9 oz vegan chicken (I really recommend the awesome Beyond Meat version)

1/2 cup scallions – chopped (do not forget to regrow the ends – like HERE)

2 celery stalks – minced

1/4 pecans – chopped

1/2 cup lettuce (romaine is best) – chopped with extra for garnish

1 TBS prepared horseradish

1/2 cup vegan mayo (or real – if you are not vegan) – more if you like a wetter chicken salad

1 TBS of Dijon

S&P

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DIRECTIONS

Cube the chicken up small so it will fit in the wonton cups.  Then – just mix all the ingredients up & season with S&P.  Chill until you are ready to put it into the cups JUST before serving.  Maybe add some freshly cracked pepper & a shred of lettuce as garnish.

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Jalapeno Potato Salad

INGREDIENTS

3 medium potatoes – boiled until tender & cubed small

2 scallions – chopped (do not forget to regrow the ends – like HERE)

1 large jalapeno – seeded & diced

1/2 red bell pepper – diced

1/2 tsp (or more) chili powder

1/2 tsp ground cumin

1 cup mayo (vegan or not)

1/4 cup yogurt (vegan or not – and you can change the ratio of mayo to yogurt to suit your taste)

3/4 cup cilantro – chopped

S&P to taste

OPTIONAL – add 1/2 cup corn kernels (I try avoid corn that is not from a local farmers’ market because of GMO)

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DIRECTIONS

Mix that shit all up & season with S&P.  Chill (as with the chicken salad) until just before serving.  Maybe garnish with extra cilantro & freshly cracked pepper.

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Smoked & Spicy Indian Eggplant Curry (Vegan – Vegetarian)

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All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2014

To see images of my past posts & get links to the recipes – look on my Pinterest board – HERE.

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All my posts now have a VERY customizable PRINT & PDF option.  Create a PDF & save the recipe to your computer or print it out.  It offers a “remove images” option & you can delete any part of the post you do not need before printing.  The button is below by the Twitter & Facebook links.

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vromans back

OK – this dish is really easy to make & wildly delicious!  And – you get to smoke it yourself in just five minutes!  This is a really cool new trick I learned & I cannot wait to find new ways to use it.

All you need is a piece of natural charcoal (without lighter fluid or chemicals) – like this:

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You heat it up on the stove – like this:

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There is one more step but I will get back to that later.  There are a few steps involved in the overall recipe but all are very easy!  And the only “exotic” ingredient is the garam masala.  If you cannot find it or don’t feel like looking for it – you can make it from stuff you likely already have.  Look for recipes HERE.

 

This recipe really makes quite a lot of this stuff – enough for four – more if you serve it with rice or naan or roti.   If you don’t have lots of folks to feed & don’t want yummy leftovers – cut the recipe in half – at least.  I like my Indian food very flavorful & I tend to double or triple the amount of spices that traditional recipes typically suggest.  I will post this recipe with a suggested amount of each thing & then tell you what I used.  This dish is spicy but not crazy spicy – but I do like heat.  If you have a more tender palate – be conservative.

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Oh – and check out this tip on how to cut an onion without crying!

Smoked & Spicy Indian Eggplant Curry

Feeds 4 generously – served with rice

INGREDIENTS

2 small onions – diced

1 red bell pepper – seeded & diced

6 medium tomatoes

30 raw almonds (or raw cashews)

3+ TBS ghee (or butter or olive oil if you are vegan)

2 lb eggplant (any variety) – cubed

1-2 TBS ginger – minced (I used 2 but mine was jarred.  Maybe go lighter if you are using freshly grated ginger)

4-10 garlic cloves – minced (I used 10)

1-2 TBS garam masala (I used 2)

1-3 tsp chili powder (I used 3)

Cilantro – as garnish

(serve with steamed rice or naan or roti or tortillas)

for smoking the eggplant curry

1 lump of coal about the size of a lemon or larger

2 TBS olive or vegetable oil

1 small METAL bowl to safely hold the hot charcoal

You also need a large saute pan & some sort of cover.  I used my wok cover.

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DIRECTIONS

Soak the nuts in some water for 5 minutes.  I used this metal dog food dish & used it again later in the smoking process.

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Meanwhile – poke some holes in your tomatoes with the tip of a knife & drop them into boiling water.  After a few minutes – you will see the skins curling off.  Drain & run under cool water until you can handle them without burning yourself.  Then core them.

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Drain the nuts & then puree them in a blender with the tomatoes.  Set aside.

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Heat 3 TBS of the ghee or butter or olive oil in a large saute pan – large enough to hold ALL the ingredients.   Over med-high heat – saute the onions & red bell pepper & eggplant.  Saute until the eggplant begins to brown.  Add more ghee (or butter or olive oil) if needed.  I probably added another 1-2 TBS in the process.  This should take about 10 minutes. Raise the heat a bit if the eggplant doesn’t begin to brown after 10 minutes.

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Add the garam masala & chili powder & the ginger – stir to incorporate.  Add the garlic & stir for one minute – then add the tomato puree.  Boil this for about 5-7 minutes until it thickens.  If it gets too thick – add a bit of water.

When it looks about like this:

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TURN OFF THE HEAT & put your metal bowl in the center of the pan.

Now – heat up the charcoal – like this:

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When it is red hot or graying on the outside – USE METAL TONGS & put it in the bowl in the center of your curry.  Then pour some olive or vegetable oil on it  It will immediately begin smoking so – if you have a hood with vents – turn them on.   Quickly – cover it up with a pot cover of some sort.  I used my old & very beaten up wok cover.

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Let this sit for 5-10 minutes & let the smoke work its magic.  I went 6 minutes because I was afraid it would be too smoky.  It wasn’t.  In the future – I will go for ten minutes.  CAREFULLY remove the metal bowl – with two pairs of tongs.  DO NOT BURN YOURSELF!

DEFINITELY season this with salt.  Do not be shy – but add it in increments.  Salt is under-rated as a spice.

Then – just serve this over some rice or with naan or a tortilla or roti – garnished with some cilantro.

Awesome?  Right?

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Pasta with Crispy Brussels Sprouts and Creamy Gorgonzola and Pear

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All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2014

To see images of my past posts & get links to the recipes – look on my Pinterest board – HERE.

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I saw these odd looking apple pears at the awesome Super King (the one in Van Nuys is FAR roomier than the San Fernando location & much more civilized) – and thought they would make a nice pizza topping.

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Ultimately – I burned out on pizza before using them so – using what I already had around – I came up with this pasta.  I made homemade spaghetti noodles – like the kind I used in this Salmon Carbonara.

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Homemade pasta really is a completely different experience than boxed but it isn’t always realistic.  I just happen to have invested in nearly every pasta making device there is & I really enjoy the process…so I make it a lot.

Anyway – this comes together in the same time it would take you to cook some dry pasta & it is full of surprising flavors.  The garlicky Brussels Sprouts & the sweet pear & the rich Gorgonzola – it is really yummy.

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You can control how much cheese to use.  Blue cheeses are really powerful & I recommend going light-handed with them – and then you get the added benefit of a fairly healthy dish that still tastes decadent.

Pasta with Crispy Brussels Sprouts and Creamy Gorgonzola and Pears

Serves 2

INGREDIENTS

1/2 lb pasta – cooked & drained

1 pear – any variety – seeded & cubed

10 Brussels Sprouts – sliced thin

2 garlic cloves – minced

Gorgonzola or other blue cheese – crumbled in the quantity that suits your taste

Olive oil

S&P

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DIRECTIONS

Cook your pasta.  Drain & set aside.

Meanwhile – heat a little olive in a pan that is large enough to hold all the ingredients – including your pasta.  Saute the Brussels Sprouts over medium heat until they begin to brown – maybe 5 minutes.  Add the garlic & pear & saute another minute or so.  Stir to warm through & then add the pasta.  Cook long enough to incorporate & warm everything & then stir in the cheese.  Stir to get the cheese creamy & incorporated & then season with S&P.

Serve!  See?  EASY!

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Fresh Vegan Pasta Dough and Spaghetti with Broccoli Pesto

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All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2014

To see images of my past posts & get links to the recipes – look on my Pinterest board – HERE.

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All my posts now have a VERY customizable PRINT & PDF option.  Create a PDF & save the recipe to your computer or print it out.  It offers a “remove images” option & you can delete any part of the post you do not need before printing.  The button is below by the Twitter & Facebook links.

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vromans front vromans back

 

I am not vegan but I like to minimize my egg consumption.  I make homemade pasta all the time & I adore it.  I have posted recipes here for regular pasta dough, spinach pasta dough, kale pasta dough, beet pasta dough, cilantro & serrano pasta dough and arugula pasta dough but each of these used eggs.

I hunted around a bit & found THIS recipe on The Passionate Parsley blog.  Many of the other recipes I found seemed really to just be this one – so I tried it.

Vegan Pasta Dough

5.5 c all purpose flour (more as needed)
1.5 c water (more as needed)
1/2 t turmeric
1 t sea salt
2 t olive oil

I just mixed all this in my bread machine & then, after I let it rest a bit, I made spaghetti from it using my stand mixer & THIS awesome attachment.

To be honest – I prefer the non-vegan pasta substantially.  I found that this vegan version has a less pleasant texture & a far stronger flavor of flour.  So – where I recommend delicate toppings for the egg pastas so their subtleties can be appreciated – I think this vegan pasta needs more powerfully flavored sauces – even more flavorful than this broccoli pesto – but that is just me.

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(photo stolen from HERE)

You could do this or, if you are ambitious, make it all by hand as instructed by The Passionate Parsley blog.

I added a but more turmeric than suggested & my spaghetti looked like this as it sat out drying.

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I happened to have a boatload of broccoli around & decided to make a vegan pesto from it to top the noodles.

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Vegan Broccoli Pesto

INGREDIENTS

2+ cups broccoli (steamed or boiled for 3 minutes or until vibrant & tender – drained & rinsed with cold water)

1/4 cup raw almonds

1/2 cup parsley

1/2 cup fresh mint

3-4 tsp lemon juice

1/2 tsp lemon zest

4 garlic cloves

1/4 cup olive oil

S&P

water

1/2 cup vegan (or real) Parmesan (I did not use this but I think it needs it)

Parsley or basil as garnish

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DIRECTIONS

Blend everything in a food processor until smooth.  Add water if need be to thin it.  Or olive oil but I feel water is just fine.  S&P to taste.

If you want to – add some vegan (or real) Parmesan & blend it in.  Keep at room temperature because this is a raw pesto that just mixes in with the warm pasta.

When you are ready to eat – boil the pasta until it floats & drain.  Drizzle some olive oil on it & toss to prevent it from sticking.  Then toss with a small amount of pesto & add in increments until it is the way you like it.

Garnish with grated vegan (or real) cheese & chopped herbs.

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Zucchini Squash Blossom Pizza with Garlic Zucchini, Tomatoes & Herbs

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All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2014

To see images of my past posts & get links to the recipes – look on my Pinterest board – HERE.

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Zucchini blossoms!  I fucking love zucchini blossoms!  Look how gorgeous they are!  Delicate & delicately flavored – they are a lovely addition to many dishes – if only for the splash of color they add.  They do have a flavor, though, and finding a dish that uses them that is tasty but doesn’t overwhelm the blossoms can be tricky.  I have posted another pizza yesterday, my Zucchini Squash Blossom White Pizza with Goat Cheese and Ricotta and Mozzarella.

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It was yummy – but I think I prefer the one I am posting here now.  Today’s pizza is colorful & flavorful & moist & easy & wonderful.  With pizzas, I seldom give quantities for the ingredients because I feel that is really up to you.  Some folks like lots of cheese – others do not. I used a lot of LARGE chunks of garlic in this.  Some might find that heavy-handed.  So – use this as a guideline & make your own decisions but – if you find zucchini blossoms – buy them & try them in something because they are a pure delight & only around for a few weeks.

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Zucchini Squash Blossom Pizza with Garlic Zucchini, Tomatoes & Herbs

INGREDIENTS

Pizza dough (I use THIS & make it in my bread machine)

Zucchini blossoms (I used about 10)

1 tomato – diced

1 zucchini – sliced thin

4-5 cloves garlic – roughly chopped

Grated mozzarella (or vegan alternative)

Fresh mozzarella (or vegan alternative)

Olive oil

Salt (you gotta try the Pink Himalayan)

Herbs (I used a mix of chopped basil, mint and parsley – with the fresh MINT being extra special here)

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DIRECTIONS

Heat the oven to 450.

Remove the stems & center thingy from the blossoms.

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Chop the blossoms up.

Heat some live oil in a saute pan & saute the zucchini rounds & chopped garlic over medium heat until the rounds soften.   Reserve the olive oil & garlic & drain the zucchini on a paper towel.

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Roll the dough out & place it on a cooking sheet with either parchment paper or treat the pan with cooking spray.

Brush the olive oil from the zucchini onto the crust & add the garlic.  Pierce the crust in several places so it doesn’t bubble up & bake for 5-10 minutes.

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Take it from the oven & top it with a layer of grated mozzarella, the zucchini rounds (add a little salt here), some diced tomato, fresh mozzarella & most of the chopped blossoms (reserve some for garnish).

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Bake this pretty fucker for another 10-15 minutes or until it is cooked to your liking.  Garnish with more chopped blossoms & the chopped herbs.  Yyyyymmmmm!

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Zucchini Squash Blossom White Pizza with Goat Cheese and Ricotta and Mozzarella

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All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2014

To see images of my past posts & get links to the recipes – look on my Pinterest board – HERE.

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All my posts now have a VERY customizable PRINT & PDF option.  Create a PDF & save the recipe to your computer or print it out.  It offers a “remove images” option & you can delete any part of the post you do not need before printing.  The button is below by the Twitter & Facebook links.

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Untitled

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My favorite place on Earth, Super King, carries unusual & seasonal produce & now is the season for zucchini blossoms.  I LOVE ZUCCHINI BLOSSOMS!  Almost irrationally.   They have a flavor so subtle as no almost be indiscernible & easily overwhelmed.  They are most frequently served stuffed, breaded & fried but that is just so unhealthy – I can bring myself to do it anymore.

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So – I made this pizza – because I had leftover, homemade dough & just felt like pizza.  Does anyone ever NOT feel like pizza?  I blended the goat cheese with an equal part ricotta in an effort to add subtle flavor but nothing so strong it overwhelmed the zucchini blossoms.  This is a very delicately flavored & mild pizza.  Pretty to look at & yummy to eat.

I also used the last bit I had of this shitty grated cheese.  A fresh mozzarella is infinitely more desirable.  PLEASE use some of that instead.

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Zucchini Squash Blossom White Pizza with Goat Cheese and Ricotta and Mozzarella

INGREDIENTS

Pizza dough (I make THIS in my bread machine & use it over several days)

Zucchini blossoms

Goat cheese

Ricotta cheese

FRESH mozzarella cheese

Chives and/or micro greens as garnish

S&P

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DIRECTIONS

Heat the oven to 450-475.

The amount of cheese you want it up to you but I mixed equal parts goat & ricotta & then added a bit of S&P to that.

Carefully, snip out the pistol with scissors or by pinching with your fingers.  The pistol is the nubby thing growing out of the center of the flowers.  Pinch off the stems.  Don’t worry if they tear.

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Now – just assemble your pizza.  I have really come to love parchment paper.  Nothing really sticks to it & it is nice to photograph, as well.  Anyway – get your pizza pan out & spray it with cooking spray or line it with parchment.

Roll the dough out & put it on the cooking sheet.  Then – assemble.  I started with my bullshit grated mozzarella.  You should use fresh stuff (the sort sold in water), if you can.  I added some blossoms, randomly, & dolloped the whole thing with the ricotta/goat cheese blend.  I cooked it about 12 minutes but you cook it until it looks done to your liking.

Garnish with snipped chives or micro greens & maybe more S&P.  Mmmmmmmmmm!!!!

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Roasted Zucchini and Potato White Pizza with Gorgonzola and Mixed Herbs

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All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2014

To see images of my past posts & get links to the recipes – look on my Pinterest board – HERE.

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All my posts now have a VERY customizable PRINT & PDF option.  Create a PDF & save the recipe to your computer or print it out.  It offers a “remove images” option & you can delete any part of the post you do not need before printing.  The button is below by the Twitter & Facebook links.

~

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I have REALLY been underachieving here lately & these pictures of this pizza are no improvement – but – the pizza was yummy so I am posting it anyway.

I decided to make use of my bursting herb garden here & use some of the fragrant herbs there.  See my scallions there – regrown from the cut off ends?  Impressed?  You can do it, to!  Just put the white, rooted end in a glass of water & watch the tops regrow!  Then – stick’m in some dirt.  VERY satisfying!

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Anyway – pizza never really feels like a recipe exactly.  It feels like a suggestion.  So – here is the combination I am suggesting today.   Also – the quantities are up to you  – as in – how much Gorgonzola & herbs.  It is very much a matter of personal taste.

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Roasted Zucchini and Potato White Pizza with Gorgonzola and Mixed Herbs

INGREDIENTS

Your favorite pizza dough (I make THIS in my bread machine)

1 zucchini – cut into thin rounds

1 potato

Gorgonzola cheese – crumbled

Parmesan cheese – grated

Fresh chopped herbs (I used a mix of lemon thyme, thyme, rosemary, oregano & parsley)

Olive oil

1 head of garlic (optional)

Salt (I am currently infatuated with pink Himalayan salt)

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 DIRECTIONS

Heat the oven to 350 degrees.

Toss the zucchini rounds with some olive oil & salt & spread on a cooking sheet in a single layer.

Peel the potato & rub it with olive oil & wrap it in foil.

If using the garlic – cut the top of the head, drizzle with olive oil & wrap in foil.

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 Roast the zucchini for about 20 minutes or until it is softened & just starting to color.  Drain on paper towels.

Bake the potato (and the garlic – if you are using it) for about 45 minutes & then let it cool enough to handle.  Slice the potato into thin rounds.  It is OK if the potato is not completely cooked through.  The baking was just to soften it a bit.  If using the garlic – squeeze the soft cloves out & mash a bit.

Raise the oven temperature to 475.

Roll the dough out, place it on a greased pizza pan or on parchment paper on a cooking sheet & assemble the pizza.  I did not add the roasted garlic but – if you are using it – smear it on the dough.  I drizzled olive oil & some salt on the dough & then topped it with circles of potato & zucchini.  Add the cheeses & herbs.

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Bake for about 12 minutes or until the cheese is melted & the crust is cooked to your liking.

Eat it up!  🙂

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Spicy Vegan Miso Sesame Chicken

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All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2014

To see images of my past posts & get links to the recipes – look on my Pinterest board – HERE.

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All my posts now have a VERY customizable PRINT & PDF option.  Create a PDF & save the recipe to your computer or print it out.  It offers a “remove images” option & you can delete any part of the post you do not need before printing.  The button is below by the Twitter & Facebook links.

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Untitled

Labor Day!  September 1st – and I haven’t posted since July 31st.   I have never dropped the ball for so long and I apologize.  But – I was out of town for a few weeks – in Mississippi shooting

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and then celebrating the third anniversary of meeting the badass, Miles Miller, at Sidewalk Film Festival in Birmingham.

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The film promises to be fantastic & Sidewalk is always a perfect experience.

That said – back to food.

This recipe can be tweaked to accommodate a carnivore or a vegan.  Easy, quick & spicy – it is just another great way to use Beyond Meat’s amazing vegan chicken.

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Spicy Vegan Miso Sesame Chicken

Feeds 2 with rice & a steamed vegetable

INGREDIENTS

9 oz vegan (or real) chicken

1/4 cup rice vinegar

2 TBS agave nectar (or honey – if you are not vegan)

3 TBS miso paste

2 TBS sambal oelek (or other hot sauce)

4 garlic cloves – minced

2 TBS toasted (or other) sesame oil

Cooking spray or olive oil

cilantro or scallions or micro greens for garnish

cooked rice

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DIRECTIONS

Steam some rice.  I used brown Basmati.  I also added some broccoli to the cooking rice in the last 5 minutes.

Mix the rice vinegar, agave or honey, miso paste, hot sauce, garlic & sesame oil in a bowl & pour over the chicken.  I did this right in the bag the chicken came in.  Marinate for an hour or more, if you can – but that isn’t totally necessary.

Remove the chicken from the marinade & put the marinade in a pan & heat over high heat until it thickens – maybe 5 minutes.

Meanwhile, treat a pan with cooking spray or olive oil & cook the chicken until it browns.  If using real chicken – be sure to cook it through.

Now – simply serve the chicken over some rice & drizzle with the glaze or add the chicken to the pan with the glaze & then put some on the rice.  Your call.

Garnish with scallions or cilantro or some greens.  Eat it up!

HAPPY LABOR DAY!!!!!!!

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