Tag Archives: grilled

Flatbread Pizza a la American Flatbread

I’ve been embracing my inner DIY’er lately. My current unemployment status means I’ve had plenty of time to complete projects that have been on the to-do list for a while, go on long runs and read for pleasure… gotta find the positives right? Between a little bit of graduation money, prize money from an award I got right before graduation and my refunded college deposit check, I’ve got enough money to make it through the next couple months… which takes the pressure off for a little bit.

One of my projects was to give a little TLC and some new cushions to 4 kitchen chairs. These chairs are special… They used to provide seating at Flat Street Brew Pub, Mark’s Dad’s restaurant. Hurricane Irene brought tons of silty water into their basement dining room. They were able to reopen their upstairs bar area, but the basement has remained closed. These chairs were beautiful and in need of a loving home… so love them I did. I gave them 3 good scrubbings to get the silt off, I sanded down the rough areas and touched them up with a bit of black semi-gloss. Mark cut the plywood bases for the cushions and I attached batting and stapled on some beautiful teal canvas. They came out beautifully and for only $15 a chair!  And we get to have a little piece of Flat Street up here with us!

We also painted our bedroom this weekend! When we moved in, there was some pretty awful wallpaper and our landlord was more than willing to let us take it down. After all, we were doing him a favor. So, I decided to tackle removing the wallpaper while Mark was at work last week. He came home while I was working on the last wall. His jaw dropped when he walked in the room. “surprise” I yelled “look what I did!” I felt kind of like a three year old who had just colored on the walls, as I stood shin deep in strips of pink floral wall paper. Luckily, he wasn’t mad; I had done a good job!

We chose “wisdom”, an off-white with hints of green and blue. After 2 coats this weekend, it looks great!

On Saturday, we met our friend, Rachel, in Burlington for a walk along the lake and a drink at American Flatbread. After salivating over the specials board, we had to convince ourselves out of staying for dinner. I did, after all, have a large ball of whole wheat pizza dough sitting in the fridge. When we got home, I whipped up a massive pizza topped with local feta cheese and tons of veggies from the farmers market and cooked it up on the grill.

Things you should know about pizza

1. Grilled pizza is delicious… it is like the brick oven pizza from home, thin and crispy

2. Pizzas should be piled sky high with veggies

3. Using a small amount of a strong flavored cheese is way better than mounding on loads of cheap mozzarella. It’s less calorie-laden and way more flavorful in the long run

 4. If you make your crust thin, load it up with lots of veggies and only a little bit of cheese, you can justify eating multiple slices without feeling  guilty

Flatbread Pizza a la American Flatbread

makes 1 square pizza, roughly 10×14″

1 ball of pre-made whole wheat pizza dough

1 squash, cut into ¼” rounds

4-6 cups spinach, roughly chopped

1 red pepper cut into ¼” strips

1 Vidalia onion cut into ¼” slices and separated into rings

10 button or baby portabella mushrooms, wiped clean and sliced 1/4″ thick

Black pepper

1 teaspoon of Italian seasoning, divided

2 tablespoon olive oil

4 tablespoons of your favorite Italian dressing

½ teaspoon red pepper flakes, divided

Few dashes of dried garlic

½ cup of your favorite tomato sauce

1 cup of frozen corn

2 oz of fresh feta cheese

First preheat your grill to a medium heat. While the grill heats up, work the pizza dough until it is about ¼-1/2 inch thick and resembles the shape of a pizza. This is tricky, I like to use my fist, pulling the dough gently. I shaped mine into a square so it would fit on the grill. Place the dough on the grill and grill about 2-4 mins, until it has light brown lines on the underside. Flip (I used 2 spatulas), and grill lightly on the underside. (Don’t grill the second side as much as much as the top because the pizza ends up on the grill again later)

While the dough grills, chop the veggies and put them (minus the spinach and corn) in a zip top bag with the dressing, olive oil, 1/2 teaspoon of Italian seasoning, 1/4 teaspoon of red pepper flakes, garlic powder and black pepper. Close the top and shake to coat the veggies.

Once the crust is done, remove it and place it on a cookie sheet. Place the veggies on the grill and grill 5-7 mins on each side. While the veggies grill, spread a thin layer of sauces onto the crust leaving a 1″ boarder around the edge free of sauce. Then arrange the spinach, feta and frozen corn on top of the sauce. Sprinkle on the remaining Italian seasoning and red pepper flakes. When the veggies are cooked, arrange those on top of the pizza, I placed the pizza on the cookie sheet on the side of the grill and transferred the veggies with a pair of tongs. Then place the pizza (sans cookie sheet) on the grill for another 2 minutes so the crust can reheat and the cheese can get melty. Transfer the pizza back to the cookie sheet, slice up and enjoy!

Next kitchen investment… a pizza cutter!

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Grilled Veggie Pizza

So I just returned to the world of technology after spending 5 days at camp in Maine. Though I love blogging, it was so nice and refreshing to leave my phone and watch at home and unplug myself for a week. Living on “camp time” is great: you eat when you are hungry, go to bed when it’s dark and wake up when it’s light out. You “shower” in the lake with Doctor Bronner’s. And cooking is always an adventure (the grocery store is over an hour away) though I managed to run a pretty gourmet kitchen… tacos with fresh made guac, wild blueberry buckwheat pancakes, penne with veggies and a creamy chipotle sauce… just to name a few. Mark and I did a huge hike up Double Top Mountain in Baxter State Park and kayaked on the lake. And one day I went on a great 4 mile run.

This recipe is one of my favorites and is a regular in the dinner rotation, (and is easily do-able at camp). This healthier version of pizza uses whole wheat dough and is piled high with flavorful veggies and a small amount of cheese… and it’s grilled! When it comes to this recipe my philosophy is the higher you can pile the veggies on, the better. Feel free to use your favorite veggies, this is my favorite combination.

Grilled Veggie Pizza

Serves 2-4 people (depending on pizza size and hunger levels)

 

1 ball of pre-made whole wheat pizza dough

1 squash, cut into ¼” rounds

1 zucchini, cut into ¼” rounds

4-6 cups spinach

1 bunch asparagus, chewy, dry ends trimmed off

1 red pepper cut into ¼” rings or strips

1 Vidalia onion cut into ¼” slices and separated into rings

Black pepper

Dried basil

2 tablespoon olive oil

4 tablespoons of your favorite Italian dressing

½ teaspoon dried basil

Few dashes of dried garlic

½ to 1 cup of your favorite tomato sauce

4-6 oz of feta or fresh grated mozzarella cheese

First preheat your grill to a medium heat. Spray your grill pan with non-stick cooking spray. I like to put mine on a cookie sheet so the spray (and later the marinade) does not get all over the place. Then slice up vegetables. Place the prepared vegetables (minus the spinach) in a gallon size zip top bag. Add the oil, dressing, pepper, bail, and garlic into the bag. Close the top and shake the bag to coat the veggies. Dump the veggies out onto the grill pan and arrange into one layer. Place grill pan on the grill. Grill for about 10 mins, turning the vegetables occasionally. When the veggies start to get brown take them off the grill.

 

While the veggies grill, work the pizza dough until it is about ¼-1/2 inch thick and resembles the shape of a pizza. This is tricky, I like to use my fist pulling the dough gently. I made mine in the shape of a square to fit on the grill. Place the dough on the grill and grill about 2-4 mins, until it has light brown lines on the underside. Flip (I used 2 spatulas), and grill lightly on the underside.

Remove from the heat, spread a thin layer of sauce, leaving a ½ to one inch border around the edge. Arrange the spinach in a thin layer. Pile on the veggies and top with the cheese. Place the whole pizza back on the grill for 2-4 mins to melt the cheese. Take pizza off the heat, slice up, plate and enjoy!

 

 

You can also speed up the same recipe and make individual pizzas by using whole wheat pitas (8 pitas). Follow the same instructions for the veggies but while the veggies grill, lay out each pita and top with a thin layer of sauce. When the veggies are done divide them evenly among the 8 pitas. Top each one with 1 tablespoon of feta or mozzarella. Place the pitas on the grill for 2-3 mins until the bottoms start to brown and the cheese is melted. Take them off the heat, plate and enjoy!

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Grilled Mango and Bell Peppers

My new apartment has a little porch just big enough for a small grill and a small chair or two (with some clever arrangement). My family has a cute little grill, the Webber Q, (yes I just called my grill cute… not two words that go together often, but hey I’m a girly griller). This grill was bought on super sale maybe 7 years ago for our ski house in NH. Sad to say, we no longer have the house, but the grill was just sitting in the basement. So, after hinting that I had a porch the perfect size for this compact grill, my parents brought it up when they helped me move in. Its perfect size for Mark and me and it heats up in a flash because it’s so small. Did I mention it’s portable… the stand collapses down into a pull cart with a handle, much like that of a rolling suitcase. Grilling at Seneca Lake State Park (about 4 blocks away) on the weekends… I think so.

So now that I’ve bored you with my cute grill talk, let’s talk about what I grilled. My mom picked up a grill pan for me as a house warming present. These things are great; you still get the char from the grill, but none of the veggies fall through the grate. If you grill often… seriously, get one of these. They come in all shapes and sizes and are around $10. I decided to grill up some mango and red bell peppers, a great combination of flavors. I usually go with an Asian influenced marinade to top them. The salty bite from the glaze combined with the sweetness from the mango and peppers is divine. If you are a fish eater, throw some of the marinade on some tuna steaks and grill them up as well… my parents love it. It’s great for a light summer meal.

Grilled Mango and Bell Peppers

Serves 3-4 as a side

1 mango, peeled, pit removed and sliced into long strips or spears, it is best if this is only semi-ripe, the riper it is, the mushier it gets and the more it tends to fall apart on the grill. Fret not, the grill will concentrate its sweetness, making it taste like a ripe mango.

1 red bell pepper, cored, ribs and seeds removed, cut into strips

3 tablespoons (low sodium) soy sauce

1 teaspoon rice vinegar

1 tablespoon water

1 clove of garlic, minced or pressed through a garlic press

black pepper to taste

½ inch cube of fresh ginger, minced fine or grated on a micro plane or few dashes of dried/powdered ginger

Preheat the grill to medium-low heat. Spray grill pan with non-stick spray. Place soy, vinegar, water, garlic and ginger in a zip top bag. Slice the mango by removing the cheeks from the giant seed in the middle, by slicing down the length of the mango as close to either side of the seed as you can get. Then slice the two remaining sections of mango off of the seed. Cut each hunk of mango into long strips, remove the skin from each slice… this is the method I like for this but if you have a better method, then by all means use that. Slice the pepper into strips of similar size to the mango. I like to run my knife around the stem and pull that out, taking most of the ribs and seeds along with it. Then slice the pepper into strips, removing white ribs as necessary as you slice. Add prepared mango and peppers to the marinade. Zip the top of the bag and shake to coat. Place them in an even layer on the grill pan and put the pan onto the grill. Cook a few minutes on each side until the peppers start to blister and the mangos start to caramelize and brown. Remove from heat and enjoy!

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“Grilled” Asparagus and Apricot Glazed Tempeh

Last time I was home back in March, my mom gave me a box of  Taboule on my way out the door. She said, “here take this for dinner or something.” That was code for “I bought this by accident, I meant to buy couscous, so you take it because I won’t eat it.” So I finally got around to using it (don’t worry it’s not expired).

Now that I’d decide to use “the Taboule”, I needed to find something to go with it. I was thinking asparagus, which I absolutely love. Better yet, it is the beginning of asparagus season, and Wegmans had some nice looking pencil asparagus. I love the thin asparagus because it gets crispier and crunchier when grilled. I love to grill… name a vegetable or fruit and I’ve probably grilled it… peach, pineapple, mango, peppers, corn, you get the idea. Sadly, I am currently grill-less, so the stove top had to suffice. I picked up some soy tempeh as well. If you haven’t tried it, its a (distant) cousin of tofu. They basically smoosh (technical term) soybeans and brown rice together into a brick shape. You can slice it up and cook it in a frying pan. Just like tofu, it is a sponge for flavor, but lacks it on its own, so use a good strong marinade. Its rich in protein, calcium and iron (3 things vegetarians often lack in their diet). You can find it at the store next to the tofu.

So first I made the taboule because it takes a long time. I followed the package instructions, and let it do its thing for an hour and a half while I went to the store and prepared every thing else.

A while back I learned a neat trick for prepping asparagus. If you take a stalk of asparagus and hold one end in each hand and gently bend it, the dry woody end will snap off.

I will give you the recipe that involves grilling the asparagus, since that is my preferred method of cooking… for the fry pan technique: heat a few tablespoons of oil over medium heat, add asparagus and cook to desired doneness. I like mine super crispy

Grilled Asparagus

serves 3-4 people

1 bunch of Asparagus

1 tablespoon olive oil

2 tablespoons of your favorite Italian dressing

¼ teaspoon dried basil

Few dashes of dried garlic

Black pepper

First preheat your grill to a medium heat. Spray your grill pan with non-stick cooking spray. I like to put mine on a cookie sheet so the spray (and later the marinade) does not get all over the place. Then snap the ends off the asparagus. Place the prepared asparagus in a gallon size zip top bag. Add the oil, dressing, pepper, bail, and garlic into the bag. Close the top and shake the bag to coat the veggies. Dump the asparagus out onto the grill pan and arrange into one layer. Place grill pan on the grill. Grill for about 10 mins, turning them occasionally. When the asparagii start to get brown take them off the grill.

Apricot Galzed Tempeh

1/4 block of tempeh, sliced into 1/4 inch thick slices

1 tablespoon apricot preserves

1 tablespoon white wine vinegar

black pepper

2 tablespoons of olive oil

Heat the oil in a frying pan over medium heat. Place preserves, vinegar and pepper into zip top bag. Add tempeh and shake to coat. Put tempeh in frying pan and cook on each side until brown, about 3-4 mins. Then remove for pan. This marinade also goes great on grilled chicken

*I also made a balsamic reduction to drizzle over the aspargus and tempeh. I just reduced some balsamic vinegar over medium low heat by about half. This takes 5-10mins. You’ll know its done when it gets syrupy looking and if you dip a spoon in it and run your finger across the back, it leaves a track

Assemble and Enjoy!

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