Tag Archives: basil

Homemade Pizza with Nectarines, Ricotta and Basil

7 Aug

This dinner was eaten standing up.

After all that effort to put together a nice meal, we never even made it to the table.

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I’ll take it as a compliment.

I’m most excited to finally find a great pizza dough recipe. Once you’ve got that down, the toppings are the easy part. This recipe was awesome. It created a nice crispy, chewy, thin crust and was quite easy.

I’ll never stray.

I lifted this recipe (once again) from Alexandra’s Kitchen.

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Pizza Dough

3 1/3 cups all-purpose flour, plus additional for rolling
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 3/4 cups lukewarm water
2 teaspoons sugar
2 teaspoons active-dry yeast (I used quick-rising)
2 teaspoons olive oil

1) In one bowl, combine flour and salt. In another small bowl, combine yeast, sugar and warm water. Let sit for 5 minutes or so until bubbly. Add olive oil.
2) Gradually add liquids to flour mixture and knead until firm and smooth, about 5 minutes.
3) Divide dough into four balls and coat with small amount of olive oil. Let sit in a warm place on greased pan with plastic wrap loosely covering for about 1 – 1.5 hours until dough has risen (almost doubled) in size.
4) Roll out with floured rolling pin until dough is flat (Note: this recipe makes “personal sized” pizzas)
5) Pre-heat oven to 500. Place on greased pan or dry pizza stone and cover with whatever yummy toppings you desire! (Note: I used a pizza stone with great success). I baked the pizza with ricotta and nectarines and added the other toppings after. Bake 10-15 minutes until crust is golden and crispy (although not too crispy like Pizza #1!)

I reduced about 1/2 a cup of balsamic vinegar while the pizza was baking over medium-high heat until syrupy (be careful not to burn!)

Toppings

2 ripe nectarines, sliced
1 cup fresh ricotta cheese
1/2 cup fresh basil (after)
2 tablespoons balsamic reduction (after)
Slices fresh Parmesan (after)
Olive oil (after)
Arugula (after)

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I still have dough left over. Apparently it freezes  very well (we shall see). Making dough in advance makes for very quick meals later on! I can’t wait to have more homemade pizza in a pinch. Having the dough pre-prepped will help me feel extra domestic goddess-y later on.  

What are your favourite pizza toppings?

Let me know if you try this out!

xo

M

 

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Spicy Fusilli Pomodoro with Bacon and Basil

16 Feb

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While craving bacon but having no eggs, I whipped this up for a Saturday lunch. It was a huge hit. Very flavourful, and so satisfying after a solid week of salad eating (see last post). I used gluten free rice pasta and omitted the cheese, but for all you sensible people reading, this would be magnifico topped with some fresh shavings of Parmesan.

So far the no dairy-sugar-gluten thing has been quite manageable, while cooking at home that is (don’t ask me about the wine and coffee). It just requires making simple substitutions. However, eating in restaurants is much more difficult, and working in one is even harder, especially with all the amazing Valentines Day desserts flying around.

Let’s just say that this dish made up for a weeks worth of discipline! Smoky, salty bacon, sweet caramelized onions, spicy tomato sauce and bright, fresh herbs. No one felt deprived.

Spicy Fusilli Pomodoro with Bacon and Basil

Serves 5-6

1 package gluten free brown rice fusilli
1 package organic bacon, chopped into small, bite sized pieces.
1 large onion
1 large can crushed tomatoes
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 small bunch fresh parsley
1 bunch fresh basil
1 carrot
5 cloves garlic
1 tablespoon hot red chilli flakes
Olive oil
Stevia (substituted for sugar)
Salt and pepper

This recipe requires juggling a few elements simultaneously. Start to finish it should take about 40 minutes.

1. In food processor, combine carrot, 2 cloves garlic and 1/2 of onion and parsley until very finely chopped. Add some olive oil while processing so it doesn’t all stick to the sides. Set aside.
2. Heat a regular sized pot to medium and add 3 cloves chopped garlic, cook until fragrant and add tomato paste and then crushed tomatoes. Season with salt, mix well and let simmer. (Some water might be necessary if the sauce is too thick)
3. In a larger pan, at medium high heat, cook chopped bacon along with second half of onion, also chopped. Cook until bacon has reduced and is almost crispy and onions are browned, about 20 minutes. Using a spoon, skim the bacon fat out of the pan as it accumulates.
4. Add pasta to pot of boiling salted water and cook until al dente, about 7 minutes.
5. Meanwhile, return to sauce and add stevia (or sugar) to balance acidity and finish with drizzle of quality olive oil and half of the fresh basil. Turn to low.
6. In a separate frying pan, sauté the onion-carrot- parsley mixture until soft. Once cooked, add tomato sauce along with two tablespoons of the pasta water and stir well.
7. Once pasta is almost done, drain and return to pot, along with the sauce. Mix well. The pasta should finish cooking in the sauce, for added flavour. Add the bacon and onion mixture to the pasta, add the chillis and the rest of the basil, roughly torn and incorporated throughout. Finish with black pepper and (optional) Parmesan cheese.

Enjoy with a nice glass of red, for me 😉

Shakshuka: aka Middle Eastern Inspired Deliciousness in a Pan

7 Jan

Peppers, tomatoes, herbs, spices and baked eggs, with still-runny yolks set in the middle. I saw this recipe on martetatin and it looked so beautiful I had to try recreating it for myself! Two breakfast posts in a row? Don’t mind if I do…

It may look just like your basic stir fry, but the spices and herbs set this dish apart. Food 473

Food 459Food 462Shakshuka

(Serves 2)

  • 2 teaspoons cumin
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil
  • 3 small yellow onions, finely sliced
  • 1 red and 1 yellow pepper, thinly sliced
  • 2 tablespoons raw honey
  • 3 small bay leaves
  • 8 (or so) sprigs of fresh thyme, plucked (?)
  • 4 small ripe tomatoes, roughly chopped
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 teaspoon saffron threads
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper (or less, or more, depending on your penchant for spice)
  • 2 tablespoons paprika
  • 4 free-range eggs
  • 10-12 small cooked baby potatoes, halved
  • salt and pepper
  • fresh basil to garnish   ( I was missing cilantro, which would have been my first choice, but I certainly don’t turn my nose up at fresh basil in any situation!)
  • Note: I  threw in some roasted carrots and the baby potatoes from the night before. This dish is a good way to use up leftovers, however, the potato added a lovey hearty-ness that I would hesitate to skip in the future!
  1. In a large pan dry roast the cumin over medium high heat until fragrant (about 2 minutes) add the oil and onions and sauté for 5 minutes or so.
  2. Add the honey, herbs, peppers, potatoes and tomatoes and continue to cook over a high heat for another 10 minutes, until reduced somewhat.
  3. Over lower heat, add saffron, paprika  cayenne, salt and pepper and tomato paste. Continue cooking another 15 minutes, slowly adding water as needed to give the mixture a saucy consistency, like a pasta sauce.
  4. Heat two smaller frying pans to medium and divide the pepper mix between them, removing the bay leaves.
  5. Make a space in the middle and carefully crack 2 eggs into the pan, not breaking the yolks.
  6. Sprinkle eggs with more salt and pepper and cover the pans. Cook at a low heat for 10-12 minutes, until the eggs are just set. Garnish with fresh basil or cilantro and serve piping hot.

Almost nothing repulses me more than a sweet and sugary breakfast. So I’m excited to have discovered Shakshuka which is so savory and satisfying! Make this on your next lazy Monday Sunday and tell me how it turns out!

Food 475

Food 476Don’t forget to “Like” Food, Mostly on Facebook to receive the latest recipes and posts!

Carrots Two Ways: Latkes with Apple-Yogurt and Caramelized Onions, and Low-fat Carrot Mini- Muffins

3 Jan

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I better have bionic night vision after this!

These carrot latkes were tasty, and easy to make thanks to my new food processor! I made muffins out of the extra shredded carrots, good for a quick breakfast and lovely with salty butter. That being said,much to my chagrin, there are still carrots left over (see previous post!)

But firstly, today is special for me, as Food, Mostly turns 1!

One of my new year’s resolutions for 2012 was to start a food blog. What started out as some casual poking around on WordPress quickly became a blog in one evening. As a once complete blogging novice, I’m pleased with the progress I’ve made thus far. But  more importantly, I’m proud of  creating something that was missing for me, a creative outlet.

This year I have made 38 posts, and had 2,113 views from 28 countries. I have traveled to Holland, France, Italy, Germany, Vancouver and New York.  It has been an amazing and eventful year, and I’ve enjoyed sharing it with y’all.

Food 439

Carrot Latkes with Apple-Yogurt and Caramelized Onions

These are tasty, if a little time consuming. In the future, I would add one shredded potato to the mix, for an added softness. But if you are looking for a healthier, lower carb version of latkes, these are a good option!

  • 3.5 cups shredded carrots
  • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • 3 small onions, shredded
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 3 eggs, whisked
  • 3 tablespoons coconut oil (for frying)
  1. In large bowl, combine flour, eggs, carrots, salt and onions. Mix well.
  2. In a large skillet, heat 1 tablespoon of coconut oil over medium high heat.
  3. Once hot, scoop large tablespoons of mixture into the pan. Fry about 5 minutes on each side until golden brown, pressing lightly to flatten with the back of a spatula.
  4. Keep warm in oven on a baking pan lined with paper towels.
  5. Top with yogurt mixed with applesauce (1/3 a cup each) and caramelized onions. Serve immediately!

These latkes are great for a leisurely brunch. I served them with eggs and fresh basil, salad with (surprise!) more shredded carrots and avocado, and a mini carrot muffin.

Food 443

Low-Fat Mini Carrot Muffins 

  • 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour ( or whole wheat) 
  • 2/3 cup of coconut sugar (or brown sugar)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon
  • 2/3 cups of applesauce
  • 1 egg
  • 1 egg white
  • 2 cups shredded carrots
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/4 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1/4 cup dried currants
  1. Combine all dry ingredients in a bowl and mix well. 
  2. Separately, beat remaining wet ingredient.
  3. Combine all, mix well.
  4. Grease a muffin pan (I used coconut oil) and bake muffins at 350 for 20-25 minutes until golden.

Makes about 10 muffins. For added decadence, turn these muffins into cupcakes by adding cream cheese frosting (recipe here).

For 2013 I aim to post with more regularity and hopefully gain more followers and friends! (Other resolutions, aside from the obligatory fitness goals  include: read more, wear leggings less, and drink more water, less booze)

There will of course be many new recipes, and hopefully some more travel and design inspiration thrown in as well.  So, sincerely, thank you for following me so far!

As always, I love comments and feedback, its the fun part of  blogging!

So don’t be shy!

What are your resolutions for the new year?

What are your favourite brunch foods?

Do you like carrots as much as I do?

Back to the Kitchen-Avocado Pasta with Fresh Garden Herbs

8 Jul

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Cooking for one isn’t all that fun, hence the drop off in recipes that you may have noticed lately (sorry). It can be a lot of effort and mess when cereal or a smoothie would probably suffice, amiright? While Scott has been in Asia, I’ve been feeling less than inspired cooking wise, especially since I’m usually working during dinnertime hours. But today, a gorgeous and sunny Sunday that included a run in High Park followed by a terrific Ashtanga class left me feeling simultaneously famished and inspired.

I had a bag full of quickly ripening avocados on my hands, and wanted to try something other than a guilt-inducing solo guacamole binge. Besides, it is no secret that I love avocados. To me, avocados are one of nature’s greatest triumphs. So delicate, rich and subtle. Sometimes I find them just plain beautiful. Don’t these ones look perfect? And besides besides, my blog needed some love. Cooking for one? Pha! Cooking for all. (Sorry about that). 

The recipe was inspired by this one, from one of my new favourite food blogs A Cozy Kitchen, and also Pinterest, in which people are seemingly fascinated by all-things-avocado (as well as lots and lots of ways to use mason jars).  I added fresh broccoli into the mix, as well as some edamame for protein, and skipped the cheese in favour of nutritional yeast.So yes, this dish is perfect for vegans! I also used spiral Kamut pasta instead of linguine.

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Avocado Pasta with Fresh Garden Herbs

  • 1 and a half medium, ripe avocados
  • 2 cloves fresh garlic
  • 3 tablespoons nutritional yeast
  • 1 cup fresh basil
  • 4-5 sprigs fresh thyme
  • juice of 1/2 lemon
  • handful of almonds
  • salt and black pepper
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • pasta of choice (about two cups)
  • olive oil
  • 1 cup edamame (shelled)
  • some broccoli

1.Boil pasta in well salted water until al dente. During the last 3-4 minutes of cooking add broccoli and edameme into the boiling water with pasta.

2. Meanwhile, blend the basil, thyme, almonds, garlic, nutritional yeast and some olive oil into a paste (as smooth as possible).

3. Add the avocados and mustard to the pesto and blend well, adding a bit more olive oil. If too thick, add some water. Blend until smooth.

4. Season with salt and pepper to taste, add lemon juice and stir well.

5. Drain pasta with veggies, and incorporate the sauce. Mix well. Sprinkle with more nutritional yeast, pepper and fresh herbs. Serve immediately!

This was incredibly fast and easy. If you don’t have nutritional yeast on hand, or are just plain skeptical, I encourage you to use Parmesan instead (actually, I encourage you to try it first before you knock it! But Parm would also be delicious) . Next time, if I wasn’t in a rush ( to relax in front of the T.V) I would roast the garlic first for added depth.

Added bonus: on a hot day this does not require standing guard over a hot stove (with the exception of the pasta-boiling part), but keep in mind that avocado turns brown after awhile, so this is best served immediately if you are concerned about things like presentation.

All in all, a great summery solo meal!

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