Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Curried Pumpkin & Chickpea Pizza Crust

It's been a long time since I tried a new veggie crust pizza. 
All you have to do is type "pizza" into the search bar in the upper corner of the screen and you'll see we really like our veggie crust pizzas. We have tried cauliflower, spinach, zucchini, carrot, spaghetti squash, black bean, beet, and others - Click HERE to get to the links to those versions. 
Seeing as how it is fall, I thought I would give some pumpkin a try. I basically took our spaghetti squash version and our black bean version and used that as my jumping off point to create this tasty curried pumpkin and chickpea version.
You are going to need to break out the forks for this one..... it is too fragile to pick up with your hands. If you like curry and all those delicious spices then you will probably be a fan of this creation.
So much fiber.
So much protein.
So little fat.
So incredibly filling.
According to Myfitnesspal the nutritional count for 1/4 of the pizza is:
460 calories, 66 carbs, 13 fat, 31 protein, and 26 fiber.
That's ONE QUARTER of the pizza people!! 
I ate a full quarter for lunch and just about exploded. 

Curried Pumpkin & Chickpea Pizza Crust

1 (540 ml) can chickpeas, rinsed & drained (Reserve 1/2 CUP for topping)
2 cloves garlic
1 can pumpkin 
1 egg
2 egg whites
1 Tbsp curry powder
1 tsp mustard seeds
1/4 tsp tumeric
1/4 cup coconut flour

1 large tomato
1 slice of onion
1 clove garlic
1 tsp coconut oil
1 tsp curry powder
1/2 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp ginger
salt & pepper
squeeze of lime juice

1 small potato, diced
1/2 medium head of cauliflower, chopped
1/4 cup frozen peas
1/4 cup onion
1/2 cup chickpeas (reserved from can used in crust)
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, shredded
1/2 cup partly skim mozzarella, shredded

Preheat oven to 400 Line a 12" pizza pan and a cookie sheet with parchment paper, set aside.
Prepare crust - In a blender or food processor, pulse chickpeas and garlic until garlic is well chopped. Add in pumpkin, egg, egg whites, and spices and process until smooth, scraping sides as necessary.
When smooth, add in coconut flour and pulse until well combined. 
Scrape mixture onto prepared pizza pan and evenly spread out to edges of pan,

Bake in 400 oven for 20 minutes.
While crust is baking prepare sauce and toppings.
Prepare sauce - In the same blender or food processor you just used (no need to clean it), place the tomato, onion, garlic, coconut oil, spices, and lime juice. 

Process until smooth, scraping sides as necessary. Pour into small bowl and set aside.

Prepare toppings - Fill a medium saucepan halfway with water and bring to a boil. Add in diced potato and boil 10 minutes. Add in the cauliflower and continue to boil for another 5 - 10 minutes, until veggies are soft. Add in your frozen peas and remove pan from heat. Let sit about 5 minutes and then drain off water.
Add in onions and the reserved chickpeas.

Stir about 1/4 cup of the prepared sauce into the toppings.
Let sit on the burner you just shut off to keep warm.
When pizza crust has reached the 20 minute mark -- very carefully remove it from the oven and gently flip it onto the prepared cookies sheet. (I do this by holding the pizza pan on the bottom with one hand and placing the cookie sheet upside down on top of the pizza crust. Then I put my hand on top of the bottom of the cookie sheet and quickly flip the pans in my hand so the cookie sheet is now on the bottom. You can then remove the pizza pan and parchment paper.)

Smooth out any cracks that may appear. Place back in oven for another 10 minutes.
Remove from heat and spread with the sauce and sprinkle with the Parmesan cheese.

Top evenly with the cauliflower/chickpea mixture and then sprinkle with the Mozza cheese.

Return to oven to bake an additional 10 minutes - until cheese is bubbly.
I then like to turn on my broiler for 2 or 3 minutes just to brown things up.

Let sit 5 minutes before cutting.

As mentioned above, this crust is a little fragile. You will need to serve it with a flipper and eat it with a fork.
That being said - we think this is such a cool recipe. 
So different, so tasty, and pretty healthy to boot.

This will take about an hour and a half from start to finish as it takes a good 40 minutes or so in the oven with all the flipping and topping and what not. 
IMO - Totally worth the extra little bit of effort though.
Oh, yes, if you are wondering, this is gluten free too. 

Check out these fun linky parties - Cookin and Craftin, Feeding Big, Carole's Chatter

Monday, November 24, 2014

Skinny Chicken Enchiladas

I don't get a lot of opportunity to eat Mexican food around my house. I'm not sure why. We eat a lot of different types of food. I'm thinking it's because I'm not that well versed in Mexican cooking so I'm usually too scared to experiment because I'm afraid it won't turn out. 
That being said.... I'm really happy I gave this recipe a try. 
I'm not sure how authentically Mexican it may be as I did make changes to lower calories and fat and used some shortcuts to cut down the time to make them. 
They did turn out delectably divine and, even more good news, they are only 297 calories, 15 fat, 38 carbs, and 23 protein per serving!! (1 serving= 2 enchiladas) 
(*nutritional info according to Myfitnesspal)
Great dinner recipe when you want something lighter but still full of creamy goodness and just enough spice to keep things interesting.

Skinny Chicken Enchiladas

Sour Cream Sauce
1 cup fat free sour cream
1/4 cup 1% milk
1 can (~10 oz) low fat cream of chicken soup
1 tsp dried cilantro
salt & pepper

Chicken Filling
1 medium onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 small jalapeno, finely diced
1 can (~10 oz) finely diced tomatoes (I used garlic & olive oil flavored)
1 can (~4 oz) diced green chilies
2 cups shredded, cooked chicken

12 small corn tortillas
1/2 cup Kraft Tex Mex shredded cheese

Preheat oven to 350.
Lightly spray a 9 X 13 pan and a small casserole dish with cooking spray, set aside.
Prepare sour cream sauce - In a saucepan over medium heat, stir together the sour cream, milk, cream of condensed soup, dried cilantro, and salt & pepper. 

Stir until smooth and heated through.. Set aside.
Prepare chicken filling - In a medium saucepan over medium/high heat, stir and cook the onion, garlic, and jalapeno until onion is translucent. Stir in tomatoes, chilies, and chicken and stir until heated through.

Prepare enchiladas - briefly heat the corn tortillas in the microwave for about 30 - 60 seconds. (Just enough to get them more flexible. It may be helpful to only do half the stack at a time so they don't cool off while you are filling them.)
Place a generous scoop of the sour cream sauce into the bottom of the prepared pans and spread it around to cover the bottom as best you can. Set sauce aside again.

Place 2 generous spoonfuls of the chicken filling down the center of each tortilla.

Roll the tortilla up as best you can and place, seam side down, in the prepared pans.

*As you can see I only got 9 tortillas into my 9 X 13, this is why I also used a small casserole dish, to hold the remaining 3 tortillas. 
Drizzle the remaining sauce evenly over the tortillas in the dish and then sprinkle with the Tex-Mex cheese.

Bake at 350 for approx 25 or so minutes, until sauce is bubbling and cheese is melty. 

Let sit for 3 - 5 minutes and then serve.

Two of these bad boys for only 297 calories! 
FYI - These are also fantastic as leftovers the next day for lunch. 

The shortcut I used for the chicken was to buy half of a rotisserie chicken from the deli and it yielded almost exactly 2 cups of shredded meat once I stripped the bones. 
If you are like Sue and don't like corn tortillas you can, of course, make this with flour tortillas. I'm not sure how that would affect the nutritional counts though - you'd have to recalculate them. 
So much flavor packed into delicious little packets. 
If you want less spice then leave out the jalapeno, more spice, add more jalapeno. 
If you give them a try, please let us know what you think. 

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Depression Era Cake

Our mother finds the most interesting recipes when she is reading.
This one was in the novel "Friends And Family" by Susan Page Davis. 
It is, as the name suggests, a cake from the depression era that does not use any eggs, butter, or milk. It is dense and spicy, almost like a fruit cake, except different. 
See.... I don't like fruit cake but I like this cake. I find it to be like a dense spice cake with raisins. 
Apparently I need to start reading more books. 
Who knew?

Depression Era Cake
(From "Friends And Family" by Susan Page Davis)

1 cup brown sugar, packed
1 1/2 cups water
1/3 cup oil
2 cups raisins (dark)
2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground cloves
1/2 tsp nutmeg

2 cups flour
pinch salt
1 tsp baking powder

1 tsp baking soda
2 tsp water

Preheat oven to 250. Lightly spray a 9 X 9 pan with cooking spray (I also lined mine with parchment paper.) Set aside.
In a saucepan, combine brown sugar, water, oil, raisins, and spices. Bring to a boil over medium high heat, stirring frequently, and then boil for 3 minutes.

Remove from heat and let cool while you prepare other ingredients.
In a small bowl, stir together the flour, salt, and baking powder. Set aside.
In another small bowl, dissolve the baking soda in 2 tsp of water and then stir into the raisin mixture (it will foam!).

Stir the flour mixture into the raisin mixture until well combined.
Spread the batter into the prepared 9 X 9 pan.

Bake at 350 for 45 - 55 minutes, until toothpick inserted near center comes out clean.

Serve warm or room temp.

My mother brought this to her senior's center for a Remembrance Day get together and everyone loved it.

This is a super quick and easy recipe to whip up. 
I find it interesting that it has no eggs, butter, or milk and the texture is still very cake-like. 
Looking for an interesting conversation starter that also happens to be a delicious treat?
Have we got a deal for you!

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Greek 'Meat"ball Salad

Hallelujah!! I have a computer again.
I've been without my computer for almost 2 weeks and, let me tell you, not fun.
Not fun at all.
But, things will hopefully be getting back to normal again around here as I adjust to the newness of my awesome new machine. We've only posted twice in the past 2 weeks which is just plain weird for us. Let's see if we can't get back up to our usual amount of deliciousness sharing.
I'm going to start with this tasty (and healthy) salad recipe.
Strange choice from me to celebrate with, I know, BUT it really is a celebratory kind of salad. 
I took our Greek "meat"balls from our Greek Veggie "Meatball Pita post and turned it into a hearty, vegetarian, gluten free, ready in under 30 minutes salad. 
According to Myfitnesspal, the huge serving you see in the photo above is:
280 calories, 26 carbs, 12 fat, and 18 protein.
What are you waiting for?

Greek "Meat"ball Salad

1 can chickpeas, rinsed and drained (about 2 cups)
3/4 cup fresh spinach, finely chopped
1/3 cup light feta, crumbled
1 egg
1/4 cup quinoa flour
2 tsp lemon juice
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp dried oregano
salt & pepper

12 cups torn Romaine lettuce
1 cucumber, diced
1 medium tomato, diced
1 small onion, finely diced
1/4 cup light feta, crumbled
1/2 cup tzatziki 

Prepare "Meat"balls - In a medium bowl, mash chickpeas with a fork. It's okay if there is a few chunks left - it doesn't have to be completely smooth.
Stir in chopped spinach, feta, egg, quinoa flour, lemon juice, garlic, oregano, and salt & pepper until well combined. 
Using a small cookie scoop, scoop out small meatballs onto a plastic wrap lined tray. (You can also use your hands to shape about 1 Tbsp into a ball.) (You should end up with 32 balls)
Spray a large, non-stick skillet with cooking spray. Place over medium heat.

Place veggie balls into frying pan so they are not touching. Cook approximately 5 minutes on one side, then carefully flip over and continue cooking another 5 minutes or so, until both sides are browned and ball is heated through.
Remove from heat, cover and keep warm while you prepare salad.
Prepare salad - Equally divide the torn Romaine lettuce among 4 serving plates plates (about 3 cups each) Top each with approximately 1/4 cup diced cucumber, 2 Tbsp diced tomato, 2 Tbsp diced onion, 1 Tbsp crumbled feta, and 8 "meat"balls.

Drizzle each salad evenly with about 2 Tbsp tzatziki. 
(FYI - You can, of course, put more toppings on if you want to. I used the above measurements to determine the nutritional values!)

Serve immediately.
Note - if you want to prepare this ahead of time simply store the cooked  "meat"balls covered, in a separate container in the fridge until just before serving. Reheat them for a minute or two in the microwave and then assemble salad as per above instructions. 
I always bring a serving to work the following day and reheating the "meat"balls works like a hot darn. You certainly don't have to have them hot though, I just like them that way. You could toss it altogether and then just dress it with the tzatziki before serving if you prefer.
Enjoy these healthy meatballs in this lovely salad OR enjoy them in a sandwich following our Greek Veggie "Meat"ball Pita recipe by clicking HERE.
Be sure to stop by these fun linky parties - The Chicken Chick, Carole's Chatter

Monday, November 17, 2014

Triple Almond Cinnamon Bread

I tell you, you don't realize how much you use a computer until yours dies on you.
And running a blog without a computer?
Forget about it.
Anyway, I have stolen borrowed Sue's computer because I was just too excited to share this recipe with you. By the way, using other people's computers is not cool. They set theirs up differently and have different programs and *wow* what a pain in the patootie.
Totally worth it to bring you this crazy good recipe though.
This is our second Almond Breeze almond milk recipe. 
(**We were compensated for our participation in this Almond Breeze venture but, as always, our opinions are our own!**)
This recipe has 3 steps to it and has 2 options for presentation. (Well, I'm sure there is many more than 2 options for presentation but we're going with our favorite two.)
Step 1. Prepare custard.
Step 2. Prepare dough.
Step 3. Decide how you want to present this and bake it.
See..... easy peasy.
And these turn out like cinnamon buns sprinkled with magic fairy dust carried down a rainbow by a unicorn.
Not even lying.

Triple Almond Cinnamon Bread

2 Tbsp Bird's Eye Custard Powder
1/4 cup sugar
1 Tbsp butter 
2 tsp vanilla

1/4 cup butter, room temp
3 to 4 cups flour
1/3 cup Bird's Eye Custard Powder
1 pkg Rapid Rise Yeast (2 1/4 tsp)
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1 egg, beaten

Cinnamon Filling
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 Tbsp cinnamon
1/2 cup butter, super soft but not melted

Almond Drizzle
1 cup icing sugar
1/2 tsp almond extract

about 1 cup slivered almonds

Prepare custard - In a medium saucepan, whisk together custard powder and sugar. Slowly whisk in almond milk. 

Place over medium high heat and, stirring often, bring to a low boil. Whisk until thickened.
Remove from heat and whisk in butter and vanilla.
Chill in fridge, stirring about every ten minutes to help speed cooling process.
While chilling, prepare bread.
Prepare bread - In a medium saucepan, heat almond milk over medium high heat until bubbles start to form around edges. Remove from heat and stir in butter, set aside.
In a large mixing bowl, stir together 2 cups of flour, custard powder, yeast, sugar, and salt. Stir in the almond milk and beaten egg until soft, sticky dough forms.
Add in flour, a little at a time, until soft but not-sticky dough forms. Knead on a lightly floured surface for 2 - 3 minutes.
Place into a lightly oiled bowl.

Cover and let rise in a warm spot for approximately 40 minutes - dough should be about double in size.

While dough is rising you can prepare the cinnamon filling - mix together the brown sugar, cinnamon, and butter until smooth and creamy. Set aside.
When dough has risen - punch down and decide how you are going to finish your bread.
If you are going to go with Option 1: Triple Almond Cinnamon Bread Bites, follow these instructions:
Cut dough in half. Cover the half left in the bowl and set aside.
Place the other half on a lightly floured work surface. Cut into 18 equal pieces.
Flatten out one piece of the dough into a circular shape in the palm of your hand. Place about 1 tsp of the brown sugar mixture into the center of the circle. Top with about 1 tsp of the chilled custard. Top that with a sprinkle of almonds.
Fold the dough over and pinch edges together tightly. Shape into a ball as best you can. Place into a mini muffin tin sprayed lightly with cooking spray OR, as we have done, into a cake pop pan.Repeat until all 18 pieces of dough have been filled. 
Repeat with second half of dough still in bowl.
(Note - you will probably have custard left over. You can discard this or reserve it for another use.)
If using a cake pop pan, top with the lid and set aside to rise in a warm place for another 30 minutes. (If using a mini muffin pan simple cover with a tea towel, place in a warm place, and let rise for 30 minutes.)
Preheat oven to 375. 
After dough has risen, bake at 375 for approximately 15 - 20 minutes, tops should be nicely browned and appear cooked.
Remove to wire rack to cool for a few minutes. While they are cooling, prepare drizzle.
Prepare drizzle - in a small bowl, stir together icing sugar, almond extract, and almond milk.

Using a spoon, drizzle mixture over the balls while they are on the cooling rack. (For easier clean up, place some plastic wrap under the cooling rack.) Sprinkle with slivered almonds, then drizzle a bit more of the mixture over the balls to help the almonds stick. 
Let cool completely or eat warm!

Now, if you want to follow Option 2: Triple Almond Cinnamon Bread Roll Up, then follow these instruction here:
Cover a cookie sheet with parchment paper, set aside.
 Cut dough in half. Cover the half left in the bowl and set aside.
Roll out half the dough on a lightly floured surface to about 1/4 inch thick rectangle. 
Spread with 1/2 of the cinnamon/butter filling mixture, spreading as well as you can.
Top with about 1/3 of the custard filling, drizzling the custard in a line down the length of the dough, not spreading it out. (See photo)
Carefully roll up dough, jelly roll style, being careful not to let the custard squish out. 
After dough is rolled into a log, roll the log into a loose "snail shell" type shape and pinch the ends under.
Gently move the dough onto a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. (See photo)
Make small slits around top of "snail".
Repeat with other half of dough.
(Note - you will have some custard leftover. You can discard this or use it for other purposes.)
Cover with a tea towel and let rise for 30 minutes.
When dough is risen, preheat oven to 375.
Bake at 375 for approx 15 - 20 minutes, until top is golden and dough feels hollow when tapped.
Let cool on cookie sheet for 5 minutes then carefully slide the roll up onto a cooling rack to cool.
Drizzle with the almond milk drizzle mixture and sprinkle with slivered almonds.

Serve warm or room temp.

Of course, you can always do option 3 - which is what I did - half the dough into little balls and half the dough into 1 roll up.
Can I just say that I knooooooow this may seem like a lot of work.
Yeast bread usually is a bit fussier than most things.
BUT... but...but.... this is totally worth it.
The custard adds the most interesting texture without being too "weirdly" creamy. It kind of half cooks into the bread making for an incredibly moist and chewy (in a good way) yeast bread.
The almond milk definitely adds a little different taste than "normal" milk. So good when you are looking for something different than the norm.
If you want to make something that will totally have people thinking you are a kitchen super genius, then this is the recipe for you.

We're sharing at Carole's Chatter - pop by and say hi!