Grilled Pizza {topped with meatballs and spinach}

Oh. My. Gosh.  I seriously can not believe it has taken me this long to try making my own grilled pizza.  I am not sure if I just pictured failing at my first attempt and having a big gooey mess on my grill or what!  But this was the easiest pizza I have ever made. The hardest part–taking the toppings outside to my patio.




Let me preface by saying this will be a staple in our menu but I will health-ify it.  This pizza was made with store bought white dough (I know. I know.) But I was having an Italian Girl moment. Forgive me.



I made the chicken meatballs from a pre-seasoned package from Whole Foods. They didn’t have any ground chicken breast the day I shopped, so I thought what the heck?  And it was a time saver for sure.




So here is how it all went down:




TOPPINGS


1 can of crushed tomatoes {right not I love Muir Glen fire roasted, if you go the pre-made sauce route just check the label for high sugar, sodium, or ingredients you can’t pronounce}


1/2 large sweet onion


3 cloves of garlic


fresh basil


Italian herbs {parsley, oregano}


Mixed greens {I used spinach and arugula}


Olive Oil


Fresh Mozzarella {shredded, I used about half of the ball}


Flour for rolling


Salt and Pepper to taste



Directions


Let the dough rise.  I just took it out of the fridge late morning morning and it was ready to go by dinner time.  There is something very exciting about watching a ball of dough get poofy.




For the meatballs– preheat oven to 350. Roll into bite size balls.  Place in oven on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake at 350 for about 15-20 minutes, or until no longer pink inside.




Sprinkle your surface with some flour,  knead the dough for a few minutes to work out any air bubbles.  Roll the dough out to about 1/4 in thick.  Let sit.




In a medium sauce pan, heat up a couple of tablespoons of olive oil.  Chop half {of the half} of the onion.  Add to pan, stir, and sauté until translucent.  Chop two cloves of garlic and add to pan.  Cook until you smell the garlic–about 30-60 seconds.  Add can of crushed tomatoes.  Season with parsley and oregano {about 1 tsp of each–I always eyeball my Italian herbs}.  Chop a handful of fresh basil and add to pan. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Cover and let simmer for 20 minutes.




Heat your grill to medium heat.  Crush  remaining clove of garlic into 2 tablespoons of olive oil.  Slice remaining onion super thin {optional topping here}.Brush on one side of pizza dough.  When sauce is done simmering, place dough on grill, oil side down.  Brush top side with olive oil and garlic.  Close grill cover and cook for about 5 minutes. Top will get bubbly and grill marks on the bottom mean it’s time to flip.  Spread sauce over entire top of pizza crust. Top with meatballs, sliced onions, and shredded mozzarella.  Pizza is done cooking when cheese is melted and bubbly.  Be careful not to burn the crust!  Remove from grill–I used a flat baking sheet to slide under the crust.




Once inside, I topped my personal slice with a huge handful of spinach and arugula.




Next time, I am going to try making my own whole wheat crust…stay tuned!

Avocado Chicken Burgers

When I say that these are the best chicken burgers I have EVER made, I am not exaggerating. My husband (who has been so good and patient as I try out new recipes) even said, “Reg, these are the most amazing burgers you have ever made.” We think it was the avocado. Guess who else loved them…BOTH kids.  The little guy eats everything so I wasn’t surprised but my daughter does NOT like avocado.  After she ate the burger, I told her what was in it and she just laughed at me.

Avocado Chicken Burgers {made 5 medium sized patties}

1/2 lb ground chicken

1 avocado, cut into cubes

1/2 cup bread crumbs {I toasted some whole grain bread and made my own}

1 clove of garlic, grated

1/4 tsp ground cumin

juice from half a lime

1 tblsp of fresh chopped cilantro

salt and pepper to taste

 

Mix breadcrumbs, cumin, and salt and pepper in a bowl.  Add in ground chicken, garlic, lime juice, and fresh cilantro.  Mix well.  Fold in avocado cubes, be careful not to over mix!

Heat grill and cook over medium heat until done–about 5-7 minutes per side. Serve on a bun or over a huge salad.

Grilled Cheese {with Broccoli} and Tomato Soup

I was feeling a little spontaneous the other day.  I wanted grilled cheese and tomato soup but I wanted to spice up my grilled cheese.  Surprising, I know…since I am a creature of habit but I am trying new recipes and this one just popped in my mind.  Plus, I had some broc I needed to cook.  So, I roasted some tomatoes, garlic, onions, and a small carrot.  I also roasted the broccoli.  And I have never been more happy about putting my own spin on a classic recipe!

Ingredients

For the Roasting:

1 lb of tomatoes {I used 2 heirloom and 1 pint of cherry tomatoes–hey, it’s what I had in the house!}

1 small carrot, peeled

1/2 of a yellow onion

4 cloves of garlic {skin on}

1 head of broccoli

1-2 tsp kosher salt

6 tblsp olive oil

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Cut tomatoes to equal sized pieces. {I cut the heirlooms to match  the size of the halved cherry tomatoes}.  Cut onions into large pieces, no need to separate.  Chop carrot into half inch pieces.  Place tomatoes, onion, carrot, and garlic on a baking sheet.  Drizzle with 3 tblsp of olive oil.  Sprinkle with 1 tsp of salt.  Mix together to coat.  Cut the broccoli florets into bite-sized pieces.  Place on a separate baking sheet.  Drizzle with remaining olive oil and sprinkle with salt. Mix together to coat.

You can place both pans in the oven at the same time.  The broccoli will take about 10 minutes to roast and is done when the tops start to turn a golden brown. The tomatoes will need about 15-20 minutes to roast. Watch the onions and garlic and remove them from the pan if they finish before the tomatoes.

For the Soup:

Roasted tomatoes, onions, carrot, and garlic.

2 cups of chicken broth

1/2 cup whole milk/cream {optional}

1 bay leaf

fresh basil

salt and pepper to taste

Once the tomatoes, onions, carrot and garlic {peel the garlic!} are done roasting place in a large pot and add the chicken broth and bay leaf.  Cook over medium heat until a boil.  Reduce and simmer for 20 minutes.  Remove from heat.  Remove bay leaf from pot.  Use an immersion blender to puree the tomato mixture.  Stir in whole milk/cream.  This is totally optional but I like the consistency and creaminess that the milk gives the soup. Chop a few basil leaves {I used 6 because I LOVE it!} and add those to the pot too.  Give it a taste and season with salt and pepper to your liking.

For the Grilled Cheese

2 pieces of bread {I used Ezekiel}

Organic Ghee {I now use this for butter}

1/2 cup roasted broccoli florets, chopped into small pieces

Brie Cheese {you could use American, Cheddar, Fontina}

Turn panini maker on.  Place about 1/2 tsp of ghee on the maker to melt.  Use a brush to dip into ghee and then brush onto the bread.  Place one piece of bread on grill.  Add the cheese.  Top with chopped broccoli florets.  If you want to go crazy–add some more cheese.  I was good and limited myself here. Top with second slice of bread, ghee side up.  Close panini maker and let the magic happen.