Smoked Salmon Flatbread

I know I’ve said before that I have kind of a weird memory. But like, y’all don’t even know the extent.

An example:

I remember the first time I ever ate a caper. It was the summer after 7th grade and my mom and I were in Florida with my best friend, her mom, and her sister and two of her friends. We all went out to eat before the mothers headed back to the condo and the rest of us went to a club for some sort of teen night – which turned out to be hilariously sketchy.

For dinner, I ordered Chicken Picatta. I was hesitant about the little green pod looking things, but figured, meh, what the heck. I ate one and loved it. It reminded me a little of a green olive (I also love all things olives). In that moment, I fell in love with capers. I’m not even sure how to describe them other than “like a green olive, but not as potent.” Yes, they are salty. Maybe with a hint of citrus?

Anyways, I feel that they are underutilized. I mean, other than my eating them straight of the jar (hey – this is a judgment-free zone) – what else do I really use them with other than my “picattas”?

Smoked salmon. But I never actually make that at home. I do love it when I’m out for Sunday brunch somewhere and there’s a table with smoked salmon and all of the fixings. Chopped egg, red onion and, obviously, capers. Any excuse to load up on capers/olive/pickles in public and you can count me in! (Again – no judging!)

So the other night, after attending my workplace’s annual chili cook-off at lunch, I needed something a bit lighter for dinner. I decided on smoked salmon flatbread and I think I have found a new favorite! This version is super easy because I went with a pre-made version but I am sure you can trim off some WW points making your own dough!

Smoked Salmon Flatbread (1 Flatbread = 13 WW Points)

1 piece whole wheat Naan

Olive oil spray

Garlic salt

2 Tbsp. reduced-fat cream cheese

1 1/2 Tbsp. chopped red onion

2 Tbsp. capers

1 1/2 oz. smoked salmon

Dried dill

Salt and pepper

This is so embarrassingly easy that I didn’t even take step-by-step shots! Spray the flatbread with olive oil or cooking spray and sprinkle with garlic. Bake on a cookie sheet at 350 for 5 minutes.

Spread cream cheese on top, sprinkle onion and capers evenly on top of the cheese. Bake another 5 minutes.

Remove from the oven and layer the salmon on top. Sprinkle with dill, salt and pepper.

Smoked Salmon Flatbread

Slice, serve and devour. I enjoyed this deliciously light meal with a glass of crisp chardonnay and liked it so much I did it again 3 nights later.

Give it a try and tell me what you think!

Have a great weekend y’all!

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Pizza Casserole

I realize I may be a little ahead of myself, but I am so excited that Fall is upon us.

Not only does it mean that college football is almost here (single digits!) but it also means cooler weather, delicious smells, beautiful colors, cozy clothing and of course, comfort foods.

Comfort foods vary for everybody – for some it may be grilled cheese. For some it could be chicken pot pie. For some (like me) it’s soup. Notice a theme here? A lot of comfort foods are best served hot! (Okay, except for ice cream, but that’s just in a class of its own, right?)

One of our favorite comfort foods is pizza. Sometimes we try to be good and make our own using whole wheat crusts and lighter ingredients. Sometimes the ease of picking up the phone and ordering enhances the comfort. But sometimes, we just want that comforting flavor of pizza, without the uncomfortable thought of putting on jeans the next day.

I know I’ve shared my ultimate comfort food recipe with you before (Pizza Soup – the most requested meal in our household of 2), but today I have another combo deal for you – Pizza Casserole!

Pizza Casserole (Serves 6 / 7 WW pts. per serving)

Ingredients

6 oz. whole wheat rotini pasta

1 cup Ragu Pizza Sauce

8 oz. fat-free cottage cheese

2 1/2 links Italian turkey sausage, hot

24 slices Turkey pepperoni

1 cup shredded reduced-fat mozzarella

1 Tbsp. Italian seasoning

1/2 tsp. salt

1/4 tsp. black pepper

Preheat oven to 350.

Bring medium pot of water to a boil and cook pasta according to directions.

In a medium skillet, cook sausage (casing removed) and break into small pieces.

Mix pizza sauce, salt and pepper with the cooked noodles and spread into your baking dish. In a separate bowl, mix together cheeses with Italian seasoning. Spread cheese mixture over the top of the noodles. Top with favorite pizza toppings – we just went with pepperoni this time (and, of course, added some black olives after it was done cooking) – but make it your own!

Process

Bake for 20-25 minutes until lightly browned and bubbly.

Slice and serve…

Pizza Casserole Plated

and if you have picky eaters, you can top the individual pieces after baking like we have to do so my olives don’t “contaminate” the husband’s portion…

Bite

Hope y’all have a great weekend!

Decision 2012 – What’s for Dinner?

I feel like there’s something big going on today…anybody else?

That’s right – it’s Election Day! I remember 4 years ago was my first time to actually vote at a poll location (the previous election I was in college out-of-state!) and there is just something about standing in line and voting in person that makes you feel proud to be a part of a process that makes our country great.

(I also remember 4 years ago texting back and forth with “some guy” as we were watching the results come in. At least we know how that one turned out, right?)

So today, my friends, presents you with a decision to make: What’s for dinner?

Okay, so maybe you have another decision to make today! But if you’re going to be standing in line after work or glued to the coverage on TV, the last thing you want is to be stuck in the kitchen. You need something quick!

Pizza! No, put the phone down. Just make your own – your waistline will thank you!

Recently, we had our first garage sale and I knew I’d be crazy busy and knew we needed a quick dinner the night before. On my grocery run, I ran across Canadian bacon and immediately had a craving for a Hawaiian pizza. Just something about the little bit of sweet from the pineapple combined with the salty, smoky flavor from the cheese and meat…yum! This pizza totally gets my vote! (I’m sorry, you know me – I couldn’t resist!)

Now, for the steps below I made my own wheat dough, which you can find the recipe for here – but if you want to make this a super quick meal like I did before the garage sale, just grab a pack of naan (an Indian flat bread) from your local grocery store. It’s the perfect size for a personal pizza! I like the Stonefire Whole Grain Naan when I don’t have time to make my own dough!

Homemade Hawaiian Pizza (serves 2 / 13 pts. per pizza)

1 batch wheat dough (or your favorite store-bought – make sure to adjust the points!)

1/4 cup Ragu pizza sauce

1/2 cup pineapple tidbits in juice, drained

1 cup reduced-fat shredded Mozzarella cheese (I was out of fat-free – if you use it, the points per pizza drops to 11 pts. per pizza!)

4 slices Canadian bacon, cut into small pieces

Olive oil spray

Garlic salt

Heat your oven to 375. Have your dough/prepared crust on a baking sheet. Spray lightly with olive oil and sprinkle with garlic salt.Next, add your pizza sauce – spreading out in a thin layer with a spoon.

Then, take your pineapple tidbits and arrange them evenly over your pizza(s). I like to make sure I’ll get a piece in almost every bite – buuut I’m also a freak. At least I own it.

Now, sprinkle your cheese on top of your pineapple.

Then add your Canadian bacon – again, arranging evenly over your pizza(s). We decided we liked this on the top instead of under the cheese so gets some direct heat!

Bake for 12-15 minutes (depending on the crust you use). I also let ours sit under the broiler for a minute or two to get good coloring on the cheese (ours maybe went a few seconds too long but there was a kitchen emergency as somebody spilled coffee granules EVERYWHERE!).

Now it’s time for the 3 S’s – Slice. Serve. Shove in your face.

So go stand in line and cast your vote today – cause you know dinner is taken care of!

Special Occasions

Today is a very special occasion in my household.

One year ago today, on a beautiful Fall day in Memphis, I put on my white dress and my red shoes and married my best friend. It was truly an amazing day from spending the morning with my parents, the afternoon with my favorite ladies, the evening with my husband – and the later hours with our dear friends and family.

Cheers to 1 year and to many more! Love you babe!

 

And then of course ditching everybody to spend a week basking in the sunshine and drinking margaritas on the beaches of Mexico! Hee hee.

Well, in honor of a special day – I thought I’d share a recipe that my husband loves. I’m making a special meal for us tonight – but the hubby recently requested this dish, so I decided to be a good wife and oblige. And okay, I think it’s pretty delicious too! I ran across this one on one of my favorite blogs.

Clams Casino Pizza (Adapted from “How Sweet Eats”)

Crust

3/4 cup white whole-wheat flour

1/2 tsp. yeast

1/8 tsp. salt

1/4 cup warm water

1/2 Tbsp. olive oil

1/2 Tbsp. honey

Pizza Toppings

4 slices turkey bacon, cooked and crumbled

1/2 Tbsp. olive oil

1 small red onion, chopped

1 green bell pepper, chopped

1 red bell pepper, chopped

2 tsp. minced garlic

2 tsp. Italian seasoning

A few dollops of Tabasco (we like it spicy people – I’d say we rocked 10-12 shakes)

8 ounces fat-free mozzarella cheese

1/3 cup reduced-fat parmesan cheese

2 cans of minced clams, drained

In a small bowl, add warm water, yeast, honey and olive oil. Mix and let sit 3-5 minutes. Add flour to a medium bowl with salt. Add liquid to flour and mix well until combined. Knead  2 minutes, cover and let sit 1-2 hours to let dough rise.

When dough has risen, spread out on a lightly floured surface and form into a circle.

While dough is rising, chop your vegetables. Preheat your oven to 375.

Heat olive oil in a medium skillet over medium heat. Add your vegetables and saute 5-7 minutes. Add in your garlic and your hot sauce. Then add your clams and half of the crumbled bacon and cook for 3-4 minutes. Remove from heat and prepare to assemble your pizza.

Brush pizza dough with olive oil. I added a few shakes of garlic along with my Italian seasoning.

Sprinkle half of the mozzarella on the dough. Top with the vegetable/clam mixture.

Then add Parmesan and remaining mozzarella.

Bake for 25-30 minutes, removing after 10 minutes to top with remaining bacon.

Serve and devour – I know we certainly do! A great twist on a favorite food of ours that super easy to make.

Hope you all enjoy – now I’m gonna go whip up a deliciously sinful feast for the hubby and I that we’ll chase down with year-old wedding cake! (Hopefully better than it sounds!)

 

 

Barbecue Chicken Pizza

T.G.I.F. people! And welcome the return of some faux-bar food Friday deliciousness!

Now, you know the husband and I love our homemade pizza creations – but sometimes, there’s just not enough time to make the dough and let it rise in time for dinner!

So on those evenings, I usually stop by the store and grab a 2-pack of Naan – which is an Indian flat bread. You can also grab a pre-made pizza crust. I just love the “rustic” shape of flat breads. And my co-workers can testify that any time we go out to lunch, if there’s a flat bread on the menu, I will be ordering it!

You can obviously throw anything on this and make it your own, but here is a variety that we love! Try it this weekend – there’s so much going on this Saturday (Grizzlies playoff game, Kentucky Derby, Cinco de Mayo celebrations!) so this might be a great meal to throw together between gatherings and parties!

Barbecue Chicken Pizza (serves 2)

2 pieces whole wheat Naan

1 4-oz chicken breast (I made 2, but didn’t need it all!)

Barbecue seasoning

Olive oil spray

Garlic salt

1/2 cup barbecue sauce + more to drizzle

3 slices red onion, diced

1/2 cup fat-free shredded cheddar cheese

1/2 cup fat-free shredded mozzarella cheese

Heat a skillet on medium. Coat chicken breasts on both sides with barbecue seasoning. Cook chicken in skillet.

Preheat oven to 375.

Once chicken is cooked, add to food processor and shred.

Spray Naan with olive oil and sprinkle garlic salt.

Pour barbecue sauce over Naan and spread.

Add red onions on top of the barbecue sauce.

Add shredded chicken on top of the onions.

Mix cheeses together and sprinkle on top of the chicken.

Bake for 12-15 minutes until crispy and cheese is melted. Drizzle with additional sauce and serve!

Slice and wash down with a cold beer. Or mint julep. Or margarita. Like I said, it’s a big weekend!

Oh – and Happy Star Wars Day – May the 4th be with you!

(I know, I know…)

 

Cheese Steak Pizza

It’s time for another edition of “Faux Bar Food Friday!” Get excited. No really, are you excited yet?

I’m sure a lot of people will be gathering at their local watering hole for a cold beverage (or 2 – hey, I don’t judge) this weekend for one of several reasons:

A) It’s the weekend. Duh.

B) St. Patrick’s Day. Green beer. Good luck. And kissing for various reasons, like being Irish. Kiss me, I cook. Pucker up hubby! 😉

C) Um, March Madness? (Go Tigers Go!)

D) Spring Break ending or beginning. In which case I hate you because you still have spring break. Not really…more like I’m really jealous.

E) All of the above. Which really makes me miss my last spring break…a week during which a small group of my fellow classmates were surprisingly studious, but still managed to forge some great friendships over classwork, college basketball and cold beer. Ah, the good ol’ days.

I digress.

Regardless of which category you fall into – and even if you decide to hang out in the comfort of your own home – you gotta eat, right?

So I think you should make a delicious and very filling pizza. Because I care about you. And because well, it’s just so darn good! We’ve surpassed the traditional sauce and pepperoni pizza. I throw on steak sauce. And, um, steak. And vegetables – because they make this “healthy”. And of course, cheese. Even my cheese-loathing sister might approve of this recipe.

Do yourself a favor and make plans to throw this one together. There are many things you might regret while enjoying spring break, St. Patty’s or hours of watching basketball in a bar…but at least this recipe is one thing you can look back on with pride.

Cheese Steak Pizza (serves 2)

Pizza Crust

3/4 cup white whole-wheat flour

1/2 Tbsp. olive oil

1/2 Tbsp. honey

1 tsp. salt

1/4 cup warm water

1/2 tsp. dry active yeast

Mix together flour and salt in a medium bowl. Pour warm water in a small bowl. Add olive oil, yeast and honey and whisk with a fork. Let sit 7-10 minutes until “foamy.” Add liquid to flour and mix until combined. Cover and let rest in a warm area to rise, usually 1-2 hours.

Cheese Steak Topping

6 oz. tenderized cube steak (it has the “lines” in it)

1 1/2 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce

1/4 tsp. salt

1/4 tsp. black pepper

1 bell pepper, sliced

1/2 small onion, sliced

Steak Sauce (I used A1)

5 slices reduced-fat Provolone cheese

1/2 cup fat-free mozzarella cheese, shredded

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Heat your skillet to medium and add Worcestershire sauce. Slice your steak along the lines.

Add steak to hot skillet with salt and pepper. Cook 2-3 minutes and flip.

Add your sliced bell peppers and onions. Saute with steak for 5-7 minutes until vegetables are tender and steak is cooked through.

Roll out your pizza dough and stretch out onto a lightly greased pan.

Add 4 tablespoons of steak sauce and use a spoon to spread out evenly on the pizza crust. (I also sprayed my crust with a little olive oil and sprinkled with garlic salt before adding the sauce.)

Then, add your steak and vegetables.

Take your slices of provolone cheese and arrange on top, covering as much surface area as you can.

Fill in the gaps with your shredded mozzarella.

Cook pizza for 15-20 minutes until crust is crispy and cheese has melted.

Slice, serve and enjoy! It’s the weekend after all, and we all have a reason to celebrate!

Happy Friday everybody!

Shaved Asparagus Pizza

So we may have gotten a little out of the habit the past few months, but I’ve started bringing back “Meatless Monday.” Just a little break to appreciate your fruits and veggies!

When we first started doing this, I relied heavily on black bean burgers. That’s not a bad thing – because they are delicious! A few months ago, I decided to make a vegetarian pizza – but I was allll out of pizza sauce. What’s a girl to do?

Um, use cheese. Duh.

I originally used Light Boursin cheese – which is oh so amazing. However, I had purchased  some of the Philadelphia cooking creme (used it in my pierogi recipe) so I decided to test it out. Verdict? You can’t lose. Honestly.

Shaved Asparagus Pizza (serves 2)

Wheat Crust

3/4 white wheat flour

1/2 Tbsp. olive oil

1/2 Tbsp. honey

1/8 tsp. salt

1/2 tsp. yeast

1/4 cup warm water

Mix together flour and salt. In a small bowl, add yeast, honey and olive oil to warm water and mix, then let sit 5-7 minutes. Add liquid to flour and mix until well blended. Cover and let rise 1-2 hours.

Topping

4 oz. shaved asparagus

1/4 cup Philadelphia Italian Herb and Cheese Cooking Creme, reduced fat

1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese, fat-free

Olive oil spray

Black pepper

Garlic salt

Italian herb seasoning

Preheat oven to 375.

Roll out your dough either into one large pizza, or two individual pizzas. (We like our own pizza for some reason!)

Spray each with olive oil and sprinkle with garlic salt and Italian herb seasoning.

Spread about 2 Tbsp. cooking creme on each pizza, just a light layer. This serves as your “sauce” – yes, that is as amazing as it sounds.

Next, add your shaved asparagus. To shave asparagus, you just need a basic veggie peeler. Peel the asparagus until it is in pretty little slivers and curls! You can add a lot more if you want because it cooks down!

Top asparagus with some cracked pepper, and then add mozzarella cheese.

Bake for 15-17 minutes, until crust is crispy and cheese has melted.

Slice and serve. This is such an easy dish to throw together – and I’m sure it would be great cut into multiple slivers and served as an appetizer!


Now try to tell me you even miss meat in this dish…