Monthly Archives: May 2012

Work It

Spinach with Roasted Tomato Pizza

I’m writing this, listening to the rain come down, hoping that all the nasty weather will clear up before our flight leaves.  Things have been a little stressful leading up to this trip, making me even more thankful for the timing.  I’m also hoping that I’ll be able to avoid temptation on this trip but I just don’t see that happening, so hopefully all the walking will maybe cancel out the chocolate.  There will also be some changes to DancingVeggies once we get back, but nothing too dramatic.   The good news is that you expect more vegan recipes, including raw-vegan recipes.  I will also be adding some fish to the menu, and removing most of the dairy recipes.  I’m still not sure how everything is going to play out, but that’s okay!

This recipe is unfortunately on the list of things that I will be avoiding going forward.  I will miss my cheesy delicious pizza, but I’m looking forward to experimenting with flatbread recipes and other things that are pizza-like but not quite pizza.

Roasted Tomato and Spinach Pizza

Ingredients

  • 2 tbsp EVOO
  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1/4 tsp rosemary
  • 1 1/2 cup baby spinach, well washed and loosely torn
  • 1/4 cup Parmesan Cheese, grated
  • 1/2 cup Mozzerella Cheese, shredded
  • favorite pizza crust - note this recipe works best with crusts that go in a warm oven

Instructions

  1. Turn oven to 425. Place the tomatoes in a single layer in a roasting pan, then cover with the EVOO and rosemary. Bake for 15minutes, remove tomatoes and then turn oven up to 450.
  2. Prep your pizza crust with half of the cheeses before adding the tomatoes, spinach and remaining cheese. Bake for 20minutes, or until the crust is brown and the cheese is bubbling.
http://www.dancingveggies.com/blog/2012/05/work-it.html

The trick with this recipe is cooking the crust as quick as possible so that the tomatoes keep as much shape as possible.  I have been making tomato and spinach pizza for years, but recently decided it needed a new kick.  By pre-roasting the tomatoes with rosemary it really adds a new layer to the pizza, which is another reason why it’s important to bake the crust as quick as possible.  I’ve also tried this recipe with basil and oregano but for now rosemary is the winner.

Play on Words

Singapore Noodles

Honeymoon time!!!  While you are reading this Joe and I are (probably) on a plane heading over to the first part of our honeymoon journey: Vienna, Austria.  Later we will be hopping the pond to London just in time for the Queen’s Jubilee.  This is going to be an amazing trip for so many reasons, needless to say I’m very excited.

In recipe news I have a number of fresh veggie recipes lined up for while we are gone, still trying to keep my promise of using more seasonal and local produce.  This week the local market had broccoli, carrots, greens, and a few early varieties of squash.  I got a little bit of everything, originally thinking I was going to do a stir fry. Then I went to the Asian Market and saw some great looking rice noodles, and decided to try something new.  There is an amazing restaurant near my house that specializing in Burmese cooking and I decided to attempt to recreate my favorite dish: Singapore Street Noodles.  The description in the menu reads “thin rice noodles stir-fried with curry masala and vegetables” with the option of adding a protein.  I switch off between tofu and extra veggies, and for my version I decided to keep with the veggie version.

Singapore Noodles

Ingredients

  • 3 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 tbsp curry powder
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne powder
  • 1 lb thin rice noodles
  • 2 zucchini, 1/4in round cuts
  • 1 cup kale, well washed and roughly torn
  • 1 cup broccoli florets
  • 1 cup carrots, 2in pieces
  • 1/2 cup vegetable stock

Instructions

  1. Cook the pasta per instructions on bag/box. Drain and set aside.
  2. Meanwhile heat the oil over medium-high heat in a large wok. Add the curry, stir, and cook for 1minute. Add the carrots, stir, and then cook for five minutes before adding the remaining vegetables and vegetable stock.
  3. Cover the wok, and cook for 10minutes stirring and adding more liquid as needed. Once the vegetables are tender, add the noodles then toss well and serve!
http://www.dancingveggies.com/blog/2012/05/play-on-words.html

Once finished we added some sriracha sauce to our bowls, since we tend to like things on the HOT side.  This dish is easily becoming part of our rotation, it’s quick and easy plus the vegetables can be rotated in and out based on what is in season.

Falling Down

Pasta Primavera

Spring time is…fresh vegetables, gorgeous greens, and thunder storms.  The rain this year has been rather constant which is probably why my garden is still alive at this point.  I’m hoping that will still be the case when Joe and I return from our honeymoon.  My little sister will be staying with the fur children while we are gone, and will also be monitoring the progress of our garden.  I’m hoping that by time we return the carrots will have sprouted and that the squash will have doubled in size.

This recipe is essentially a salute to everything I love about spring, simple crisp and quick to make.   Originally I wasn’t going to include the tomatoes, since they aren’t a spring vegetables, but I couldn’t resist the heirloom hothouse cherry tomatoes at the market.   The burst of red among the greens created the perfect POP of color, so in the end I’m glad that I caved to temptation.

Pasta Primavera

Ingredients

  • 1/2 lb farfalle or similar pasta
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 3 basil leaves, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup carrots, cut in to 3in pieces
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 cup broccoli florets
  • 1/2 lb asparagus, broken in to 4in pieces
  • 1/3 cup half & half
  • 1/4 cup Parmesan Cheese
  • 1/2 cup Mozzerella Cheese
  • salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. Cook the pasta per the instructions on the box. Reserve 1/2 cup of the pasta water before draining, and returning pasta to their pot.
  2. Meanwhile heat the oil in a large saute pan over medium heat. Add the garlic and basil and cook for 5minutes, the basil should shrivel while the garlic should be beginning to brown. Add the carrots, cook an additional 5 minutes, and then add the remaining vegetables.
  3. Cook the vegetables for about 7 minutes, then turn heat to medium-low and add the cream stirring well. Slowly stir in the reserved pasta water along with the cheeses. Allow to simmer over medium low heat for 2 minutes before pouring over the pasta. Toss well and serve!!!
http://www.dancingveggies.com/blog/2012/05/falling-down.html

This is one of those recipes where so any different vegetables could be used, based on what is in season.   During the summer I tend to replace the asparagus with various types of summer squash, again adding bright pops of color to an already colorful dish.

I’m happy to report that I do have a number of posts all set to go for once we head over the pond!  I can’t wait to see my family in Vienna again, and I’m also looking forward to my first time in London.  I follow a number of UK-based blogs and seeing all of the Jubilee themed posts that are popping up is making me all the more excited for that part of our honeymoon!

Toil and Trouble

Double Chocolate Sea Salt Cookies

Secret Recipe Club time!!!  This month I was assigned A Couple in the Kitchen, and I very much agree with their tag-line of “The Couple that Sautes together, stays together.”   I had a rough time picking a recipe this month, I think I had a good dozen flagged at one point before narrowing it down to three finalists.  In the end my sweet tooth won out and I decided to go with the delicious Double Chocolate Sea Salt cookies.  The first time I made these cookies I followed the recipe exactly and while they were amazingly moist I agreed that the chocolate needed some sort of something to bring it to that next level. While Chris and Amy suggested switching to a higher grade chocolate, I decided to keep with the Ghirardelli and add 1/2 cup of Milk Chocolate and White Chocolate baking chips.   Perfection!!!!  The combination of melted chips with sea salt created the most amazing taste sensation, which made this kitchen couple very happy indeed.

Double Chocolate Sea Salt Cookies

Serves: 4 dozen cookies

Ingredients

  • 6 ounces bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped (about 1 cup)
  • 2 cups plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2/3 cup whole-wheat flour
  • 1/4 cup natural cocoa powder
  • 3/4 tablespoon baking powder
  • 2/3 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 5 large eggs
  • 2/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup White Chocolate Chips
  • 1/4 cup Milk Chocolate Chips
  • flaky sea salt

Instructions

  1. In a heatproof medium bowl, add the chopped chocolate. Set a medium saucepan filled with water over medium heat, bring to a simmer and set the heatproof bowl over the saucepan; melt the chocolate, stirring frequently. Once the chocolate is melted, carefully remove the bowl from the heat and set aside to cool slightly.
  2. In a medium bowl, sift together the all-purpose flour, whole-wheat flour, cocoa, baking powder and kosher salt.
  3. In a large bowl mix together the melted chocolate, sugar, eggs, olive oil and vanilla. When the ingredients are well combined, slowly add the sifted dry ingredients. Mix well, until a sticky yet firm dough forms, then gently stir in the two types of chips.
  4. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap. Place in the refrigerator and chill for at least three hours or up to overnight.
  5. Preheat the oven to 375. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and divide the chilled dough into ½-inch balls. Space the dough balls far enough apart so there is room for spreading. Press a pinch of flaky sea salt into the top of each ball. Bake until firm and the tops begin to crack slightly, about 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and cool. Enjoy!
http://www.dancingveggies.com/blog/2012/05/tandt.html

In other news, Joe and I will be heading out of country later this week for our belated honeymoon.  We are heading to Vienna for the first week before going to London to catch the Queen’s Jubilee.  I’m looking forward to introducing my hubby to the place where my Grandmother was born and raised, and where her family still lives.  I’m also looking forward to seeing all the sites in London that I’ve been reading about for the past decade or so.  This trip is going to be amazing and I can’t wait to get going!

Be Okay

Spring Orzo

The garden is still alive!  The herbs are already perking up and the tomatoes aren’t dead so I’m going to call the first week of my new raised garden a success.   In addition to the tomatoes my garden this year features: two types of eggplant, crookneck squash, zucchini, bell peppers, cayenne peppers, and a hodgepodge of herbs.  I’m also in talks with a co-worker and might be getting a few of his raspberry bushes, which will be going in their own isolated bed so that they don’t take over the entire garden.  I’m hoping that this garden will do well enough to give me the motivation (kick-in-the-pants) to start doing a winter garden.  That way I can start growing my own spinach, chard, kale, and cauliflower…or at least that’s the plan.

This recipe features one of the my favorite three greens, along with some of the fresh asparagus that is starting to pop up at the local markets.  At first I was going to use kale to make the “pesto” but was afraid it might overpower the asparagus and went with baby spinach instead.  Since then I have made some kale pesto and think that it might have worked, but I’m glad I used the spinach.

Orzo with Asparagus and Spinach Pesto

4-5

Ingredients

  • 2 cups Spinach, well washed
  • 4 tbsp EVOO, divided
  • 2 tbsp Parmesan Cheese
  • 1/2 lb asparagus spears
  • 8 oz tofu, firmly pressed and drained
  • 1/2 lb orzo
  • 1/3 cup Parmesan Cheese (optional)

Instructions

  1. In a small blender mix the spinach, 3tbsp EVOO, and 2 tbsp Parmesan cheese until well blended and smooth. Set aside
  2. Cook the orzo as directed, but after draining return to pan.
  3. Break the asparagus spears into 4in long pieces. Heat the remaining tbsp of EVOO in a medium saute pan over medium low heat and add the tofu. Cook for 7minutes, turning once, before adding the asparagus and cooking for an additional 7-10minutes. The tofu should be lightly golden while the asparagus should be soft and tender.
  4. Add the asparagus to the orzo then stir in the pesto allowing the heat of the pasta and asparagus to help spread the pesto. Serve topped with the additional cheese (if desired) and with a simple side salad.
http://www.dancingveggies.com/blog/2012/05/beokay.html

I’m also submitting this recipe to the May Simple and in Season Event which is being hosted by Urvashi over at Botanical Baker.  Simple and in Season was started by the amazing Ren over at Fabulicious Food one year ago, so a Happy Happy Birthday to Simple and in Season!