Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Whole Wheat Garden Pizza

I'm calling this my garden pizza because almost all of the ingredients were grown at home, in my garden, which makes me very happy!  It's a (mostly) whole wheat crust, the sauce is a homemade pesto with garden vegetables on top. This was a particularly fun pizza for me to make, because I used a new method in cooking it.  Normally, after stretching out the pizza dough I put it directly on my pizza stone and it goes into the oven.  This time, I heated up the stone in the oven and made up the pizza on a pizza spatula, then transferred it to the hot stone (it makes the crust crispier).  It was crisp and fresh and really tasty! 

I make my pizza dough in a bread maker, I like that it's hands off and super easy.

Whole Wheat Pizza Dough

1/2 tsp salt
2 cups whole wheat flour
1 cup white flour
1 1/2 tsp active dry yeast
1 cup water
2 tbsp olive oil

Place all of the ingredients in your bread maker.  Keep in mind that each bread maker is different, so there may be a particular order to place in your ingredients.  After the dough is made (it takes about 1 1/2 hours), form into a ball and either roll it out, or stretch it out gently (if you know how to make pizza dough that way, if not, you could probably look it up or just roll it out).  Preheat the oven to 400 degrees, and place your pizza stone in the oven to heat up.  I made my pizza on a pizza peel (spatula) covered with corn meal, to prevent the dough from sticking and then transferred it to the hot pizza stone.  You could also just make up the pizza on the pan or baking dish you are going to be cooking it on.  Then for the sauce, I made a pesto with fresh basil from my garden.

Garden Fresh Pesto Sauce

3 cups basil
1 cup parsley
2 cloves of garlic
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup almonds
salt and pepper to taste
 1/2 cup olive oil

In a food processor, blend together everything but the olive oil, until it forms a paste.  Scrape down the sides of the bowl, and with the processor running slowly pour in the olive oil.  Taste to see if you need more salt or pepper.

Top with fresh, seasonal veggies (I used zucchini and peppers) and shredded mozzarella and Parmesan cheeses.

Bake for about 15 minutes, or until crust is golden brown and cheese is melted.   Enjoy!

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Instant Oatmeal packs

We are camping this weekend, and while I was trying to figure out what to bring for breakfast, I remembered a blog post I'd seen about making instant oatmeal packs.  These will be perfect for camping, all we'll need to do is boil water (yay for easy camping meals).  They were super easy to put together, and I had all of the ingredients in my pantry, so no additional cost or time spent at the store.  Also, you can play with the ingredients and add more or less of what you would like or different dehydrated fruit.  I think I'll keep a couple of packs made up in the pantry too for busy mornings. 

Apple Cinnamon Instant Oatmeal Packs
Recipe adapted from

2/3 cup instant oats
2 tsp milk powder
2 tsp brown sugar
pinch of salt
3/4 tsp cinnamon
3 tbsp dehydrated apples (finely chopped)

Assemble ingredients in a small sandwich bag.  When you are ready to eat the oatmeal, pour dry ingredients into a bowl and boil 1 1/3 cup of water.  Add water to bowl and let sit for one minute, enjoy!

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Grilled Zucchini

Well, it's mid-August, and the most prominent vegetable in my garden is zucchini, loads and loads of it.  I am picking one or two a day.  If I go too long without checking on my zucchini it gets a little out of hand.

One lemon cucumber, two normal sized zucchini, and one ridiculously large zucchini.

I'm always looking for ways to use up my zucchini before it gets either too big, or gets too old in my fridge.  The next few posts, I'll have ideas for how to use up your zucchini.  For today's post, grilled zucchini!  This is an incredibly easy way to use up your fresh from the garden (or grocery store) zucchini. 

Grilled Zucchini

1 large zucchini or 2 medium zucchini (cut into 1/2 thick slices)
1 tbsp olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
Parmesan cheese (optional)

Slice zucchini lengthwise, and try to get uniform slices so they cook evenly.  Either spray or brush on olive oil and coat both sides.  Sprinkle both sides with salt and pepper.  Place on the grill, and cook for about 3-4 minutes, flip over and cook for an additional 3 minutes.  Remove from grill and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese, enjoy!

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Healthy Peanut Butter Brownies

Healthy brownies?!?!  If you are craving a yummy dessert, and want to skip the flour and processed sugar, then these light and chewy and ridiculously tasty brownies are for you.  They are sweetened with honey and are gluten free.  Next time you get the hankering for brownies, instead of reaching for the overly processed box of brownie mix,whip up a batch of these, you probably have the ingredients in your kitchen already. 

Peanut Butter Brownies:
Recipe adapted from Fly through our window

16 oz of peanut butter (I use natural peanut butter)
2 eggs
1 cup honey or agave
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
5 ounces dark chocolate bar , chopped, or chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 350.  Mix peanut butter, eggs, & honey. Add in cocoa powder, salt, & baking soda. Fold in chopped dark chocolate/chips.
Spread into a greased  9×13 pan.
Bake for 20 to 25 minutes. Let cool before cutting.


Sunday, August 5, 2012

Peas for Fall

I haven't had a garden post in a while, actually I haven't had many posts this Summer at all, we've been having way too much fun for me to find the time to post recipes and gardening adventures.  Sowing peas in late Summer for a Fall harvest though, is one that I would like to document and record.  I've dabbled a bit in Fall and Winter gardening, but I'm excited to venture out a little more this year.  So, last week the peas were pulled, compost was added, and I planted seeds today (with high hopes for a Fall harvest).  Can't wait to see how they do!!

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Asparagus with Dijon Vinaigrette

Asparagus can be tricky to cook without getting overdone.  I've prepared asparagus many ways....steamed, roasted, sauteed, and blanched.  The easiest and most fool-proof way, at least in my opinion, is to blanch it.  It stays bright, slightly crunchy and is super flavorful.  After blanching you can add it to a stir fry, in a salad, or eat it as a side.  I like it as a side dish with a vinaigrette on good!

Blanched Asparagus with Dijon Vinaigrette:
1 bunch asparagus
bowl of ice water
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp white wine vinegar
1 tsp Dijon mustard
pinch of sugar
salt and pepper to taste (couple shakes of each)

In a small bowl whisk together olive oil, vinegar, mustard, sugar, salt and pepper.  Trim ends off and then cut asparagus into bite size chunks.  Place in medium sized pot with water and a pinch of salt.  Bring water and asparagus to a boil and only boil for 30 seconds (asparagus should be bright green).  Take asparagus out of the pot and put immediately into the ice bath.  Once cooled, transfer to bowl and pour vinaigrette on top of asparagus, toss and serve!