Grilled Veggie Naan Pizza With Cauliflower-White Bean Spread and Balsamic Glaze

1 07 2014

I love making pizza out of Naan, healthy and still delicious! Last week’s CSA grab bag from Fresh Fork Market brought us beautiful green cauliflower and squash, which I knew would be tasty grilled and on a pizza. I turned half the grilled cauliflower along with beans into the spread to create the “sauce” for this pizza, then put the rest on top. Prep and grill your veggies over the weekend to save time during the week, say, for meatless Monday!

Grilled Veggie Naan Pizza With Cauliflower-White Bean Spread and Balsamic Glaze

The following makes 2 pizzas (compliments of This Girl’s Gotta Eat, with inspiration from Martha Stewart and Better Homes and Gardens):

  • 2 whole wheat naan
  • 2 small yellow squash, cut in half lengthwise
  • 1 small head green cauliflower (or any color you like), cut in half down the center
  • 1 medium red bell pepper
  • Extra-virgin olive oil
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 can (15 oz) cannellini beans, drained and rinsed well
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1/4 cup reduced-fat, low-sodium chicken broth
  • Zest and juice of half a lemon
  • Fresh mozzarella, sliced
  • Red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar

Preheat grill to medium. Drizzle squash and cauliflower with a little olive oil and salt to taste. Grill, flipping occasionally, until beginning to char. Remove from the grill and allow to cool.

Meanwhile, grill the red pepper whole until charred well all over. Remove from the grill to a bowl and cover tightly with plastic wrap. This will trap the steam and help to peel the skin. Once cool enough to handle, peel the skin and remove the seeds from the pepper – do not run under water. Slice into bite-size strips.

Place half of the grilled cauliflower in a food processor along with the beans, garlic, chicken broth, lemon zest and juice.  Pulse to combine. Stream in 1 Tbsp of oil or so. Process until smooth. Season with salt and pepper to taste, add additional oil if needed.

Preheat oven to 425.

Place naan on a pizza stone. Spread some the cauliflower-bean dip on the naan, as if it were a sauce. Top with the remaining grilled cauliflower, squash and red pepper (if you have leftover veggies that won’t fit, no worries, enjoy on a salad for lunch the next day!). Top with cheese. Bake for 15-20 minutes until cheese is melted and beginning to brown.

While the pizza bakes, heat balsamic vinegar over low heat in a small saute pan, stirring often, until reduced by half. Remove from heat and allow to cool, it will turn into a syrupy consistency.

Remove pizza from the oven and garnish with red pepper flakes and the balsamic glaze.

Store leftover cauliflower-bean dip in a covered container in the fridge. Enjoy as a snack with veggies, whole grain chips or use as a sandwich spread.


Creamy Tuscan Beans With Mushrooms and Kale

21 05 2014

This rustic Tuscan bean side dish is deliciously creamy and loaded with both flavor and nutrition! It whips up pretty quickly too. Get some chicken or steak on the grill while you prepare this, and before you know it you’ll have a lovely weeknight meal ready to enjoy.

Creamy Tuscan Beans With Mushrooms and Kale

The following serves 4 (compliments of This Girl’s Gotta Eat):

  • Extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 3 garlic, minced
  • 1/2 tsp dried rosemary
  • Pinch red pepper flakes
  • Pinch kosher salt to taste
  • 1 (8 oz) package sliced baby bella mushrooms
  • 2 cans (15 oz each) cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1/2 cup of low-sodium, reduced-fat beef stock
  • Kale, stemmed and roughly chopped
  • 1/2 cup kalamata olives, sliced in half
  • 2-3 oz fontina cheese, cubed (you want to use fontina because it melts really well)
  • Fresh parsley, chopped

In a medium saucepan, heat a few Tbsp of oil over medium-high heat. Add onion and cook until beginning to soften, 3-5 minutes. Add garlic and cook until fragrant, stirring, a minute or so. Add rosemary, red pepper flakes and just a pinch of salt. Next add the mushrooms and cook until beginning to brown, 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add beans, stock, olives and cheese. Cover and simmer for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. The cheese will melt nicely into the stock, creating a nice creamy dish.

Meanwhile in a large saute pan, heat some oil and saute kale until wilted and cooked, 5-10 minutes. You can make as much as you like, I filled the pan (remember it shrinks when it cooks). Transfer sautéed kale to the beans and finish cooking together the final 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Dish out beans, top with parsley and enjoy alongside a protein of your choice. I served with grilled chicken breasts.

Farro, Beans and Spicy Sausage Simmered in Red Wine

9 04 2014

This rustic dish is a twist on Panissa, a one-pot meal well known in the northwest Italian town of Vercelli, made with rice, beans, dried sausage and simmered in red wine. So deliciously savory and comforting! I went rogue on the ingredients, using farro as my grain of choice in place of rice. Because farro has a rather long cooking time, I make it over the weekend to save on cooking time during the week.

Farro, Beans and Spicy Sausage Simmered in Red Wine

Farro, Beans and Spicy Sausage Simmered in Red Wine

The following serves 3-4 (compliments of This Girl’s Gotta Eat with heavy inspiration from Piatto Unico):

  • 1 lb hot Italian turkey or pork sausage, casings removed (you could also use sweet or mild)
  • Extra-virgin olive oil
  • Half a large red onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1/2 tsp dried rosemary
  • 1 Tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 and 1/4 cup red wine, I used Chianti (although Barbera is the wine of choice in Vercelli)
  • 1/2 cup low-fat, reduced-sodium chicken broth
  • 2 (15.5 oz) cans white beans, drained and rinsed
  • 2 cups cooked semi-pearled farro
  • Kosher salt
  • Grated parmesan

Heat a Tbsp or so of olive oil in a dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add the sausage and break up into small pieces with a wooden spoon. Continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until well browned, about 8-10 minutes. You should have a good amount of brown bits on the bottom of the pan, which will help add flavor to the dish.

Next, add the onion and cook until softened and beginning to brown, 5 minutes. Add garlic and rosemary and cook until fragrant, a minute or so. Add the tomato paste and stir to combine.

Deglaze the pan with 3/4 cup of wine, scrapping up all those browned bits on the bottom. Cook for a minute or two, then add the chicken broth and mix well. Bring to a bubble. Add the cooked farro and beans, and reduce heat to low. Season with a little salt to taste.

Simmer for 20 minutes, adding a splash of the rest of the reserved wine every 5 minutes. Stir often. Taste, and adjust salt before serving if needed.

Divide among plates and garnish with a good amount of grated parmesan. Serve with a side salad (pictured above is baby arugula dressed with a little olive oil, fresh lemon juice, salt, pepper and garlic powder). Serve with a glass of the wine you used to cook with. 🙂

Tuscan White Bean and Kale Gratin

22 02 2014

While the technique of making a gratin is French in nature, the ingredients here are Tuscan at their finest…and cheap. Beans, kale and tomatoes are just a few bucks. So to make this rustic side dish feel more elegant, I paired it with steak. Delectable!

Tuscan White Bean and Kale Gratin

Tuscan White Bean and Kale Gratin

The following serves 3-4 (compliments of This Girl’s Gotta Eat):

  • 2 cans (15.5 oz each) cannellini beans, or any other white bean, drained and rinsed
  • Extra-virgin olive oil
  • Half an onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • Pinch red pepper flakes
  • 1 tsp dried thyme, plus more for sprinkling
  • Few leaves of kale, stemmed and chopped
  • 1 can (15 oz) crushed tomatoes
  • Kosher salt and pepper
  • Dry white wine
  • 1/2 cup panko
  • 1/4 cup parmesan cheese, grated

Preheat oven to 425.

Heat a little oil in a medium pot over medium-high heat. Add onion and cook until softened, 5 minutes. Add garlic, red pepper flakes and thyme. Cook until fragrant, about a minute. Add tomatoes and season with salt and pepper to taste. Bring to a boil, reduce to simmer and cook another 5 minutes. While the sauce is cooking, add the kale, mix well. Remove from heat and mix in the beans.

Spray a 1.25 qt. casserole with non-stick spray. Transfer bean and sauce mixture to the casserole dish.

In a bowl, mix together the panko, parmesan, a Tbsp or so of oil and a sprinkle of thyme (enough to see the specs of thyme throughout the panko mixture).

Top the beans with the panko topping and transfer to the oven. Bake for 20-25 minutes, until golden and bubbly.

Serve alongside a protein of your choice, or with a big salad for a meatless option.

Tuscan Skillet With Chicken, Beans, Shrooms and Greens

14 02 2014

Whipped this one skillet beauty together by rifling through my fridge and pantry for goodies to cook with! It may not be fancy for Valentine’s Day, but in true Tuscan fashion, this dinner is simple and delicious. It’s all about building flavors one layer at a time.

Tuscan Skillet With Chicken, Beans, Shrooms and Greens

Tuscan Skillet With Chicken, Beans, Shrooms and Greens

The following serves 2 (compliments of This Girl’s Gotta Eat):

  • Extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 large boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cubed
  • Herb salt
  • 4 pieces of turkey bacon, chopped
  • 1 shallot, thinly sliced
  • 2 large
  • garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 package (10 oz) baby bella mushrooms, sliced
  • Dry white wine
  • 1 can (15 oz) cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
  • 2 oz arugula
  • 8 oz dry orzo
  • Fresh parsley, chopped
  • Grated parmesan cheese
  • Optional: lemon oil and red pepper flakes

Bring a pot of water to boil.

Season chicken liberally with a herb salt (or whatever seasoning and dried herbs you like, I use a combo of kosher salt, rosemary, garlic powder, paprika and lemon zest). Heat a Tbsp of oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat and add chicken. Saute, stirring occasionally until heated through and starting to brown, 5-6 minutes. Remove to a plate.

In the same skillet add the bacon. Cook until to browned and crisp. Remove to another plate.

Next, add a little more oil and the shallots and garlic to the same skillet. Cook another minute or so until beginning to softened and fragrant. Add the mushrooms and cook until starting to brown, stirring occasionally, about 5 minutes. Season with salt to taste.

While the mushrooms saute, cook the orzo according to package directions in the pot with the boiling water. Save a little of the cooking water, then drain. Return to the pot you cooked it in and toss with a little lemon oil.

Once the mushrooms are starting to brown, add some white wine to deglaze, a good turn of the pan, scrapping up all the browned bits on the bottom. Add the beans, chicken and orzo, stirring everything together. Add a little of the cooking water, cook a few more minutes until beans and chicken are heated through. Remove from heat and toss in the arugula to wilt slightly.

Dish up and top with bacon crumbles just before serving. Garnish with parsley, parmesan and red pepper flakes (if you like a little heat).

Slow-Poached Fish With White Beans and Sauteed Spinach

20 05 2013

This dish using mild fish oven-simmered in a punchy tomato and bean broth is so good, it may change the way you think about poached fish forever! With the technique of oven poaching, fish is surrounded with gentle heat, making it virtually impossible to overcook.  A healthy meal that’s easy to cook, don’t mind if I do! 🙂

Slow-Poached Fish With White Beans and Sauteed Spinach

Slow-Poached Fish With White Beans and Sauteed Spinach

The following serves 2-4 (compliments of Cuisine Lite):

  • 1/4 cup chopped shallots, or red onion
  • 2 tsp chopped garlic
  • 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 1/4 cup dry white wine
  • 1 and 1/2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 cup quartered grape tomatoes, or canned tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup canned cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
  • 2 tsp red wine vinegar
  • 4 halibut fillets or tilapia, skinned
  • 1/2 tsp each kosher salt and black pepper
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp sliced garlic
  • 8-10 cups of escarole, trimmed or baby spinach
  • 1/4 tsp each kosher salt and black pepper

Preheat oven to 250.

Saute shallots (or onion), garlic and red pepper flakes in 2 tsp olive oil in a 10-inch nonstick ovenproof skillet over medium heat, 1 minute. Deglaze with wine and simmer until liquid is nearly evaporated, about 2 minutes. Add broth, tomatoes, beans and vinegar; simmer 3-4 minutes.

Season filets with salt and pepper, nestle fillets in the tomato-bean mixture, and transfer skillet to the oven. Poach until fish flakes easily with a fork, about 20 minutes.

While the fish is poaching, saute the escarole or spinach. Heat 1 Tbsp oil in a saute pan over medium-high until shimmering. Add garlic, saute 30 seconds, then add escarole or spinach, tossing with tongs to wilt, about 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.

Divide the spinach among plates or shallow bowls and top with fish, beans and tomatoes. Finish with a few ladles of the fish broth. I recommend eating with a spoon so you can fully enjoy the delicious broth! Also, you may want to serve with a salad or crusty bread for mopping.

Pasta, Kale and White Bean Soup

25 02 2013

Looking for ways to increase your calcium intake? Use fresh kale, it’s very rich in calcium! And an easy way to incorporate more kale into your diet is to use it in soups, such as this recipe, which used kale along with pasta and beans.

Pasta, Kale and White Bean Soup

Pasta, Kale and White Bean Soup

The following serves 4 (compliments of Food Network Magazine):

  • 3 slices bacon, chopped (I used turkey bacon)
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 3 carrots, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 Tbsp tomato paste
  • 3/4 tsp chopped fresh thyme (or a few pinches of dried)
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup grated parmesan, plus 1 small piece rind
  • 1 and 1/2 cups (about 8 oz) small pasta, such as ditalini
  • 1 (15 oz) can white beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 cup frozen chopped kale, thawed and squeezed dry

Put the bacon in a large pot or Dutch oven over medium heat and cook, stirring occasionally, until crisp, about 4 minutes. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until slightly softened, about 3 minutes. Add the carrots, garlic, tomato paste, thyme and 1/2 teaspoon each salt and pepper and cook until the carrots begin to soften, about 2 minutes. Add the chicken broth, 6 cups water and the parmesan rind. Increase the heat to high; cover and bring to a boil.

Add the pasta and beans and cook, uncovered, 5 minutes. Reduce the heat to medium and add the kale. Simmer, uncovered, until slightly thickened, about 7 minutes. Remove the parmesan rind, stir in half of the grated cheese and season with salt and pepper. Ladle into bowls and top with the remaining cheese.

This Girl’s tips:

  • I used a little more chicken broth then what the recipe called for – 4 cups chicken broth and 4 cups water
  • Rather than ditalini, I used whole wheat orzo
  • Also, rather than frozen kale, I used 1 bunch of fresh kale, chopped
  • Since fresh kale is on the tough side, I decided to cook that first – so once the broth came to a boil, I added the kale and the beans and cooked together on medium-high for 5-7 minutes. Then I added the orzo and cooked for 8 more minutes.