Pumpkin-Parsley Pizza Pie

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When my friend Amelia mentioned her pumpkin pizza in a Facebook post, I was perplexed. 20131029-203319.jpg

Pumpkin puree for sauce? Pumpkin pulp as a topping? Can that really taste good?

Yes. I’m always surprised when sweet-savory combinations work so well. I’m not sure why I always forget this little culinary truism, but I’m always pleasantly reminded.

Pumpkin as a topping, and a sauce that’s part pumpkin, part marina is oh so sweet, and it gets an herb-y fresh kick from our good friend parsley. I mean, really good. If you live pumpkin, you really should try this pairing.

And where’d I get the “pumpkin pulp”? The jack’o’lantern I carved all by myself (first time!) this year.20131029-203437.jpg

Ingredients

Dough

1 t honey or agave nectar

1/4 of a yeast packet

1/4 + 3 T whole wheat flour

1 T rolled oats

1 t cornmeal

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Seasonings: garlic, basil, oregano

Topping

2 T slice pumpkin pulp

1 T tomato sauce

1 T pumpkin puree

3 T fresh, shredded Mozzarella

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Crushed red pepper

Directions

Dough:

-In a bowl, dissolve sweetener and yeast in 2.5 T hot water. Let stand for about five minutes.

-Add flour and salt to the yeast mixture and stir ’til a soft dough forms. Turn out on a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic.

-Place in bowl coated with cooking spray, turning to coat the top. Let rise ’til double in size, about 30 minutes.

-Preheat oven to 400 degrees.20131029-203335.jpg

-Punch down and work in seasonings. Roll into a circle or square shape. Place on lightly greased cookie sheet. Bake for about 8 minutes. Remove from oven and begin topping process.

Topping:

-In a small dish, mix the 1 T marinara and 1 T pumpkin puree to make the suance. Rub sauce evenly over the dough in a thin layer, and then sprinkle cheese on, too. Arrange pumpkin pulp evenly on top. Sprinkle parsley on top.

-Place back in oven for about 5 more minutes or until cheese is bubbly. Slice and serve warm.

Pizza Muffins

Thai Flatbread Pizzas

Zucchini ‘zas

Breaded & Stuffed Italian Chicken Rolls

If you follow this blog consistently, you probably already know this about me–heck, you probably know more than you’d like to about my philosophies on food, nutrition, and the value of a dynamic food presentation.

So you also know that my favorite weeknight supper standby features the following: a hearty whole-grain pasta, a rich tomato sauce, a sauteed veggie or two, and a featured protein. Sometimes I get crazy and top with Parmesan. What can I say? I live on the edge.

No, I don’t. And this recipe isn’t exactly daring, but it is good, and it awakened by old standby one Monday evening.

For a very small amount of effort, it’s amazing how much flavor and texture some breadcrumbs, kale, ricotta, and seasoning can do to an otherwise stolid dish.

Ingredients

1 medium or 2 small chicken breasts, pounded thinly

cooking spray

2 T panko crumbs

1 T parmesan

1 T whole-wheat bread crumbs (or more panko)

2 T ricotta cheese

1/2 t crushed garlic

1-2 cherry tomatoes, diced

Italian seasonings of your choice (I also used onion powder)

a little shredded kale

Directions

-Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Lightly grease a cookie sheet. Set aside.

-In a bowl, mix all bread crumbs with the Parmesan and any seasonings you like.

-Spray one side of each chicken breast with the cooking spray. Dip in breadcrumb mix until evenly coated on one side (or both if you’d like more).

-In another bowl, mix ricotta, garlic, tomato bits, seasonings, and kale. Spread cheese mixture on the thicker end of the chicken breast and begin to roll. Secure shut with toothpick or wooden skewer.

-Bake for about 15 minutes; then broil for 2-3 minutes. Remove from oven. Let cool a bit, but serve warm as an entree or over a bed of fresh pasta and veggies.