Black Bean Pizza

Sunday, July 28, 2013

I am always looking for filling, tasty, meat free pizzas. This recipe is the BOMB! I had to add freshly chopped cilantro, it was just begging for it. I didn't have an avocado, but it was great without it!

Black Bean Pizza

1 15 oz can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 c. thawed frozen corn kernels
4 plum tomatoes, chopped into ¼ inch pieces
½ c. chopped scallions
1 t. ground cumin
1 t. chili powder
1 avocado, diced into ¼ inch pieces
½ t. salt
¼ t. black pepper
16 oz pizza dough, regular or whole wheat (I used this recipe, it was perfect!)
1 c. shredded sharp cheddar

  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.
  2. In medium bowl, combine the black beans, corn, tomatoes, scallions, cumin, chili powder, avocado, salt and black pepper; set aside.
  3. Spread pizza dough out on baking pan or lightly floured surface if using preheated baking stone.
  4. Top with black bean mixture, sprinkle with cheese and bake for 15-20 minutes or until crust is golden brown.

    Source HERE

    Make sure to rinse and drain your black beans very well.

    Mix everything up in a bowl

    Gotta get some cilantro ready-this pizza was made for it!

    Pre-Cilantro, and...

    Post-Cilantro! YUM!

    Leftover slices freeze very well. Just reheat a slice in the oven at 350 for 15 or so minutes when you get a hankering for some filling, delicious black bean pizza!

Red Beet Pancakes

Thursday, July 18, 2013

I have a big confession to make. Besides the obvious fact that I have tried yet another pancake recipe (soon I'll need to make a category here on the blog for just pancakes). No, my confession is more devious than that: No one who consumed these pancakes knew they contained beets.

Rylee, one of my older daycare girls, wandered up as I was mixing up the batter and I tried to shoo her away. I knew if she caught on to what that red puree was, it would be the end of the story. It would taint her, and anyone she tattled to, from even trying the pancakes once they were finished. I had no success shooing her away, but was pleasantly amused when she exclaimed "Oooh, this is so pretty!" as she started stirring the batter herself. "What's in this?" I pretended not to hear. She sniffed the batter, and I expected her to wrinkle her nose. Instead she cried "I know! It's mulberries! Guys, we are having mulberry pancakes!!!" We do have mulberries on the brain right now, as you can see here on our garden blog, so I understood why she connected that color to our precious berries. I tried very hard not to giggle. Inside a maniacal laugh echoed, as I made my decision not to come clean about the secret ingredient (which made the batter such a gorgeous pink).

I could not have anticipated a more receptive lunch crowd. There are 9 kids here today, and each of them ate at least one pancake. Rylee, seeking a mulberry flavor, said "Hmm, these just taste like normal pancakes." I'll take 'normal' over 'gross, what is in these?' I ate two, myself, and quite honestly I could taste the beets. But barely. The bottom line is, these pretty pink pancakes are just really, really delicious. I'm not going to give away the secret, ever!

*note: I used three small beets that I had roasted and skinned (once roasted, the skin comes off easily).

Red Beet Pancakes (Serves 6) Weelicious

1 Cup All Purpose Flour
3/4 Cup Whole Wheat Flour
3 Tbsp Light Brown Sugar
1 Tbsp Baking Powder
1/2 Tsp Kosher Salt
2 Medium Beets, roasted & pureed (about 3/4 Cups)
1 1/4 Cup Milk
1/3 Cup Plain Greek Yogurt
1 Large Egg
3 Tbsp Unsalted Butter, melted
1 Tsp Vanilla extract
Accompaniments: honey, maple syrup, butter, raspberry sauce
1. Sift the first 5 ingredients into a bowl.
2. Place the rest of the wet ingredients in a separate bowl and whisk thoroughly to combine.
3. Add the dry ingredients into the wet and stir until just combined (you don’t want to overstir the batter — some lumps are good).
4. Drop about 2 tbsp of the pancake mixture onto a greased griddle or pan over medium heat and cook for 3 minutes on each side.
5. Serve with desired accompaniments.
* To freeze: Place the pancakes in labeled zipper bags and freeze for up to 3 months

Wheat Pizza Dough

I seem to collect pizza dough recipes (just like I collect granola bar and pancake recipes). Here is another really awesome and easy dough. I used it for the first time when I made Black Bean Pizza. So quick and easy, and tasty! It's not as dense as some of my other pizza doughs. I'll be using this one a lot!

Homemade Wheat Pizza Dough
Based on Master Pizza Dough recipe from Aimster aka Amy

Makes 1 (14-inch) thick-crust pizza or 2 (12-inch) thin-crust pizzas.

1 cup whole wheat flour
2-2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 package FLEISCHMANN'S RapidRise Yeast *see note below
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup very warm water (120 to 130 F)
2 tablespoons olive or vegetable oil
In large bowl, combine 1 cup wheat flour, 1 cup AP flour, undissolved yeast, and salt. Stir very warm water and olive oil into dry ingredients. Stir in enough remaining flour to make soft dough. Knead on lightly floured surface until smooth and elastic, about 4 to 6 minutes. Cover; let rest on floured surface10 minutes. Lightly oil 1 (14-inch) or 2 (12-inch) round pizza pan(s). Sprinkle with cornmeal. Shape dough into smooth ball. Divide and roll to fit desired pan(s). Bake in preheated hot oven (450) for about 10-15 minutes.

Amy’s Notes: Honestly, I think this recipe is so easy, I just mix it with a spoon at first and then switch to using my hands. I only knead until it is smooth --probably about 4 or 5 minutes. Test it after a few minutes to see if you can pull a piece of the dough into a thin, tight membrane that you can see light through. If it breaks before you can get it there, knead some more.

*Note: There are several types of yeast available for baking. Make sure you buy Rapid Rise yeast for this...that’s what makes the rising time so short.

Rhubarb Custard Bars

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Much to my surprise, my husband loves rhubarb. How I never knew that in the 15 years we've been together, I'm not sure. But, it's piqued my interest in finding recipes for a ...veggie? Fruit?... that I've never really been very interested in. Now that I've found some good recipes, I'm finding that I love rhubarb, too!

These bars are freaking amazing. Got huge thumbs up from everyone in the family! If I'm making it for just us 5, I cut the recipe in half (using 2 eggs). And I never have whipping cream on hand, so that only goes in if I'm making for a special occasion.


Makes 18 large bars.

Plan to eat these bars up within two days. If you don’t think you can eat them that quickly, cut the recipe in half and bake it in an 8×8-inch square pan.
1-1/4 cup all purpose flour
1/4 cup whole wheat flour (try whole wheat cake & pastry flour)
½ cup cool butter
½ cup sugar
¼ tsp salt
Preheat oven to 375 F. Butter the bottom and sides of a 9″ x 13″ (approx) metal or glass pan.
In a large bowl combine all ingredients.  Mix with your fingers until the mixture resembles fine crumbs.  Butter should be completely incorporated. You can use a food processor for this step, if you like.
Press crumbs (not too too firmly, but firm enough) into the bottom of the prepared pan. Press a tiny bit up the sides of the pan as well. Place pan on lower-centre rack of the preheated oven. Bake for 20 to 30 minutes, until golden. Remove from oven and reduce oven heat to 350 F.
1½ cups sugar
3 eggs
5 Tb all-purpose flour
2 tsp vanilla
¼ tsp salt
1/4 cup whipping cream (I have left this out sometimes and the bars are still great)
4 to 5 cups diced fresh rhubarb, diced small
While the crust is baking, mix the topping ingredients together.  In a large bowl, mix the sugar, eggs, flour, vanilla, salt, and whipping cream, whisking well to eliminate lumps.  Stir in the diced rhubarb. Once the crust comes out of the oven, pour the topping over it (the crust should still be warm).  Return to the oven and bake for 30-40 minutes, until custard no longer jiggles and toothpick inserted in the middle comes out mostly clean.
Let cool. Cut into bars.
Note: the first bar is hard to cut, but after that, they should be pretty easy to cut.
Found the recipe HERE

Three Sisters Soup

Saturday, July 6, 2013

This simple, unassuming soup is so good! The first time I made it, I was skeptical all the way until my first bite. I've made this many times and everyone loves it. We had it again last night and even the 4-year-old wanted seconds and thirds. If that doesn't indicate a successful family soup, then I don't know what does!

Three Sisters Soup
(adapted from

2 c. golden hominy (can use corn instead if desired)
2 c. fresh or frozen green beans (trimmed and snapped if fresh)
2 c. winter squash (i.e. butternut or acorn), peeled and cubed
1 1/2 c. peeled and cubed potatoes (I rarely ever peel potatoes for any recipe)
5 c. vegetable broth
2 T. butter
2 T. flour
1/4 t. pepper

Place the hominy, green beans, squash, and potatoes into a pot, and pour in the vegetable broth. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low. Simmer until the vegetable are soft. Melt the butter in a bowl and blend the flour into it with a fork, then stir into the soup (I dip the bowl into the soup a few times to get all the buttery goodness out). Increase heat to medium, and cook until the soup thickens. Season with pepper and serve.

Peeling and chopping a squash can be challenging. I find it easiest to cut the squash into  small sections that are more easily peeled, then dicing up the flesh of the peeled sections.

Chicken Spinach Stromboli

Friday, July 5, 2013

I had this recipe tucked in my 3 ring binder full of recipes and had forgotten how much the family liked it. I revised it to include ingredients that I almost always have on hand. The original recipe called for pizza dough in a tube, which would be great if you are in a super big hurry, but honestly, making homemade dough is second nature to me by now (and healthier, to boot). I used a doubled batch of Perfect Pizza Dough, because it's the easiest dough I have to roll out super thin. I was able to whip this baby up and into the oven in about 30 minutes, which is great, because we were once again running behind on a T-ball night and everyone was starving. This recipe could be changed up with many different ingredients and flavors!

Chicken Spinach Stromboli
(makes 2 strombolis-enough for our family of five if served with salad or other side)

1 c. white whole wheat flour
1 c. bread flour
1.5 t. yeast
1/2 t. salt
1 t. sugar
1 T. olive oil
3/4 c. water

1 c. shredded cooked chicken
1 c. pasta sauce
handful or two of spinach, chopped (I like to soften it up in the microwave for 15-30 seconds--without water, so it won't make the stromboli soggy)
1.5 c. sharp cheddar cheese

For the top:
little bit of milk
grated parmesan cheese

Dough: Stir all dry ingredients. Make a well in the middle and add water and oil. Stir until dough comes together, then knead for 5-6 minutes. Set aside.

Preheat oven to 400.

After dough has rested for about 10 minutes, divide it in half, and roll each half into a thin 12x6 rectangle. Place each rectangle on its own lightly oiled baking sheet. Put half the sauce, spinach, chicken and cheese down the middle of each rectangle, leaving about 3 inches on each side. Cut 12 slits into each side of the dough and pull the tabs of dough together to meet on top. Brush each stromboli with milk and sprinkle with parmesan. Bake for 12 minutes, switching the baking sheets halfway through baking. After baking, let cool for a few minutes, then cut into serving sizes along the slits on top.

Roasted Broccoli with Shrimp

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

I have actually made roasted broccoli before, so I already knew what an amazing flavor we were in store for. I actually prefer this version (with cumin and coriander rather than the minced garlic I'd done before). Adding shrimp made the whole meal. I didn't have a lemon on hand to zest so I just squirted on some lemon juice from a bottle. Zest would have made it zing! Next time!

Also, I only had one pound of broccoli, and it was plenty for us. I just cut the seasonings down accordingly.

Roasted Broccoli with Shrimp (found the recipe HERE)
Serves 4
2 pounds broccoli, cut into bite-size florets
4 tablespoons (1/4 cup) extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon whole coriander seeds (or 1/2 teaspoon ground)
1 teaspoon whole cumin seeds (or 1/2 teaspoon ground)
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/8 teaspoon hot chili powder
1 pound large shrimp, shelled and deveined
1 1/4 teaspoons lemon zest (from 1 large lemon)
Lemon wedges, for serving
1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. In a large bowl, toss broccoli with 2 tablespoons oil, coriander, cumin, 1 teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon pepper and chili powder. In a separate bowl, combine shrimp, remaining 2 tablespoons oil, lemon zest, remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt and remaining 1/2 teaspoon pepper.
2. Spread broccoli in a single layer on a baking sheet. Roast for 10 minutes. Add shrimp to baking sheet and toss with broccoli. Roast, tossing once halfway through, until shrimp are just opaque and broccoli is tender and golden around edges, about 10 minutes more. Serve with lemon wedges, or squeeze lemon juice all over shrimp and broccoli just before serving.

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