Tag Archives: tomato sauce

Cauliflower Crust Pizza

As promised, here is a recipe I made for pizza with a cauliflower crust. I was at a Weight Watchers meeting a couple of weeks ago and I heard someone mention making a pizza crust with cauliflower. I was intrigued! My husband is doing his Atkins thing, again,  so he’s avoiding bread like the plague. I however still want my bread! But to be nice I researched the alternatives using cauliflower. Now I will say, it’s not like normal pizza crust. It’s not bread! But, it is still really good! I was pleasantly surprised at the outcome and my husband loved it. So I guess it was a success. I have made it twice now so it’s a keeper for sure.  And for those of you out there crinkling up your noses, it doesn’t taste like cauliflower! Honest! It is a little soft but hardens a bit when it starts to cool out of the oven. 

Made with crumbled chicken sausage

Made with crumbled chicken sausage & cheddar cheese topping

What I really like about this is you can put anything you want on it to make it a pizza. I used chicken sausage, some tomato sauce and some cheese. Incredibly delicious! So be daring, make some cauliflower crust pizza today! It’s worth it! Honestly the hardest part is shredding/chopping the cauliflower. Don’t be scared. It’s a taste sensation!

Crust before baking

Crust before baking

Ingredients:

2-3 Cups shredded or finely chopped cauliflower (I used my shredder attachment on the food processor)

2-3 large eggs, if they are on the small size of large, use 3, beaten

2 cups shredded cheddar cheese

1½ teaspoon fennel (this really makes a difference, I didn’t use it the 1st time but did the 2nd time, so invest in a jar)

1 tablespoon dried oregano

2 tablespoons dried parsley

1 teaspoon garlic powder (more if you desire!)

Directions:

1: Finely chop, shred or rice cauliflower until you have 2-3 cups of cauliflower. Add the eggs and shredded cheese.

2. Add the spices and mix well.

3. Press the mixture into a greased pizza pan or cookie sheet. (Don’t worry if it doesn’t fill up the entire sheet, mine didn’t the first time I made it) First time I used a cookie sheet. Second time I used a stoneware baking sheet. I think the cookie sheet worked better. It’s up to you though.

(Make sure it’s as flat as you can get it with no holes showing through.)

4. Bake at 450º for about 20 minutes. If it is starting to brown and crisp on the edges it’s good. You can cook a little longer if you want.

5. Remove from oven and add desired toppings. Be careful with sauce, don’t over-sauce as it will make the crust too soggy. I used about ½ cup sauce and spread it thin over the crust. I topped it with chopped chicken sausage and part-skim mozzarella. Use whatever you want!!

6. Bake until brown and cheese is bubbly! (about another 5-10 minutes, just keep an eye on it)

Makes about 8 servings

Made with sliced chicken sausage & mozzarella cheese

Made with sliced chicken sausage & mozzarella cheese

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Mexican Shrimp

This recipe I originally got from my former Weight Watchers leader many years ago. She was always giving us such wonderful easy recipes. Once I get back to Weight Watchers (when I save up some up some money from the new job) I will be sure to get more! I think the original recipe she gave us was good for one person so I am doubling the ingredients to make it enough for two people. I have made it before and it is delicious. Of course I do not have a photo but once I make it again I will add it to the post. So without any further rambling I will get to the recipe. I find I tend to ramble more these days now that I’m back to working and much more tired than before. Not sure if it’s a good thing or not. See, I’m doing it again.


INGREDIENTS:

½ cup brown rice, cooked

2 cups tomato sauce

2 cups diced tomato

4 tablespoons salsa (your choice)

1 chili powder (add more or less depending on how spicy you like it)

4 tablespoons chopped green olives

1 cup corn (canned is fine)

8 ounces shrimp, cleaned

DIRECTIONS:

1. Heat the tomato sauce, chopped tomato, salsa, chili powder, olives, and corn in a large saucepan.

2. Add the shrimp and cook until pink.

3. Add the rice and heat through.

Serve hot!

Quick & Easy Pizza

I know many people have posted pizza recipes lately. Mine is just the plain and simple ordinary kind. No fuss no muss. I used to make pizzas all the time but stopped for some reason. Then I decided to give the ole dough boy another go. No I do NOT make my own crust. Don’t have time or the patience. So I do the next best thing. I buy the Pillsbury pizza crust in the tube. I like crispy crust so we get the one for thin crust. Fewer calories than the thick one too. I won’t be calling this a diet dish because of the crust but it’s not so bad.

I use my own sauce which I add garlic powder and oregano to. Add some red pepper flakes for more kick if you want. The pizza I made the other day is just a plain pepperoni/sausage cheese pizza. I have one of those stoneware baking pans from Pampered Chef and I used that. When I precooked the crust I sprayed it with a little olive oil cooking spray and sprinkled sesame seeds all along the edges. Came out so tasty and crispy! Not doughy at all. I usually buy the shredded mozzarella cheese but this time I had a coupon for the block so I grated it myself. Much better actually, the cheese was creamier and seemed to have more flavor. I did use part-skim mozzarella of course.

The pepperoni I used was the regular kind and I also used 2 chicken sausages. I peeled the casing off the sausage and cut them into big chunks and put them in the food processor. This way I had ‘ground’ sausage to spread over the pie! Came out awesome. I used the al fresco brand sun-dried tomato chicken sausage. I always stock up on those when they are BOGO in the stores. They freeze wonderfully. Oh and on one half of the pie (my half) I added 4 anchovies as well.  So here is the recipe.


INGREDIENTS:

1 tube of Pillsbury pizza crust

½ cup or so of your favorite tomato sauce/pizza sauce

garlic powder

pepperoni

2 chicken sausages ground up (any Italian flavor is good)

1 cup or so grated part-skim mozzarella cheese

sesame seeds

anchovies if you want

DIRECTIONS:

1. Follow directions on package for oven and pre-cooking the crust. When you have the crust on your baking sheet sprinkle sesame seeds all along the edges. Use as much as you wish.

2. When crust is ready spread the tomato/pizza sauce all over and up to the edges. Sprinkle the ground sausage evenly over the pizza. If you add anchovies place them on evenly through the pie. Spread the cheese evenly on top of that and then top with pepperoni.

3. Bake according to directions on package. I actually put the oven up to 450ºF. I think it calls for 375ºF. I like it more well done. Just keep an eye on it so it doesn’t burn. Check on it after the time is up to make sure the cheese is all melted and bubbly.

Serve it up!


Lobster Creole (Puerto Rican Style)

Lobster Creole is not usually thought of as a spanish dish. But it can be. By adding green peppers and tomato sauce it becomes a distinctly different taste sensation all together! And having a Puerto Rican background (Yes, I am only half Italian) this recipe is a nice treat when we can splurge and have lobster! This dish incorporates rice in the recipe and usually Puerto Rican dishes use white rice but feel free to use brown rice if you wish. In Spanish Lobster Creole translates to “Langosta a la Criolla”. This dish is a hearty delicious seafood entrée which can be served with sautéed asparagus, a nice salad and maybe a pineapple sherbet for dessert. If you like add a couple of slices of ripe avocado to garnish the dish.

Photo For Illustrative Purposes Only

INGREDIENTS:

2 onions, chopped

2 green peppers, chopped

2 cans (8 oz. each) tomato sauce

2 garlic cloves, minced

½ cup olive oil

1½ teaspoons salt

¼ teaspoon black pepper

2 tomatoes, peeled and quartered

½ cup dry white wine

2 pounds lobster meat, chopped in bite size pieces

3 cups hot cooked rice

avocado slices and pickled red peppers for garnish

DIRECTIONS:

1. Saute onions, green peppers and garlic in oil in a large saucepan until tender.

2. Add the salt, pepper and tomatoes. Cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

3. Add tomato sauce, wine and lobster meat. Simmer for 15 minutes.

4. Serve over cooked rice. Garnish with avocado and peppers if desired.

Makes about 6 servings

Caponata (Eggplant Salad)

Eggplant is a very versatile vegetable. There’s more to eggplant than eggplant parmigiana. Caponata is served cold on pita bread triangles or crusty bruschetta. It can be used in antipasto as well, again many uses! One of the best things about this little dish is that it can also be frozen! So if you make too much it won’t go to waste. Caponata is primarily a Sicilian pheasant dish but there are many other regional varieties. This is also a great vegetarian dish and healthy one as well! Bonus!

INGREDIENTS:

1 large eggplant

½-¾ cup olive oil

1 cup chopped onion

1 cup chopped celery

1 cup chopped red onion

8 ounces tomato sauce

½ cup kalamata or black olives, chopped

2 tablespoons red wine vinegar

1 teaspoon salt

DIRECTIONS:

1. Cut unpeeled eggplant into small cubes after washing well. In a large skillet, heat ½ cup olive oil over medium high heat and add eggplant.

2. Saute until browned, about 10 minutes. Add the onion, celery, and red pepper. Cook and stir until the vegetables are crisp and tender.

3. Add more oil, if necessary. Stir in tomato sauce, olives, vinegar and salt. Simmer uncovered, about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

4. Remove from heat. Cool and refrigerate.

Makes about 4 cups

Cucuzzille

I know some of you are saying, huh? I am not sure if I even have it spelled right or not. The name is pronounced “cook it seal”. Or as I used to call it “Crooked Seals”. My dad makes this recipe alot though it is not one of my favorites. The rest of the family likes it though. The base of the recipe is Italian Squash, or cucuzza or cucuzzi. It’s sort of a stew type dish. My dad doesn’t add any seasonings to it either. But I think if you added parsley or basil or garlic it wouldn’t hurt. It is a pretty easy recipe to make but it does take time. It is a dish that cooks slow so don’t rush it. And it is better to let it sit for a little before serving. You can make it the day before and then just reheat when you are ready to eat it. It’s a great vegetarian dish as well.

INGREDIENTS:

4-6 medium green or yellow Italian squash, trimmed and sliced round. (about ¼” thick)

3-4 medium potatoes, peeled and sliced into 1″ chunks

2-3 carrots, peeled and sliced round (about ¼” thick)

1 large yellow onion, sliced

1-2 red bell peppers, sliced in 1″ wide slices and cut in half

2- 8oz. cans tomato sauce

1-2 tablespoons olive oil

salt and pepper to taste

Cucuzzi Squash

DIRECTIONS:

1. Fill a large saucepan with 1-2 inches of water. Place all ingredients into pot and steam on medium heat until vegetables are tender. This should be about 45 minutes to an hour-long. Add a little more water if needed to keep it from drying out.

2. When vegetables are just about ready stir in the tomato sauce gently. Try not to break up the vegetables but it’s ok if they do. Let sit about 15-30 minutes or serve next day. The more it sits the better the flavors will be.

Mom & Grandma’s Arroz Con Pollo

Mom and me at 4 months (May 1962)

My mother and grandmother used to make this recipe quite a bit for us when we were growing up. Nothing I tried in restaurants ever compared to their cooking! It has been years since I’ve had this or even attempted to make it myself. It’s a Puerto Rican recipe and always brings me back to those days growing up. We had all kinds of different ethnic dishes in our house. Our mom wanted us to be well-rounded when it came to food. Maybe that’s why I’m obsessed with food!

Grandma with me (23 months) and Billy (11 months) Christmas 1963


INGREDIENTS:

1 teaspoon oregano

1 tablespoon salt

2 peppercorns

1 teaspoon vinegar

1 onion, chopped

1 green pepper, diced

1 teaspoon capers

1 cup uncooked rice

1-2 packets Sazon

1 garlic clove, minced

2 teaspoons olive oil

2 ½- 3 lb. chicken pieces

¼ cup butter

6 pitted green olives, chopped

1 tomato, peeled and chopped

½ cup tomato sauce

1 can green peas

2 tablespoons achiote for color (Sofrito)

slivered pimentos (from a jar)


DIRECTIONS:

1. Combine oregano, peppercorns, garlic, salt, oil and vinegar. Crush together. Rub mixture over chicken.

2. Brown chicken pieces in butter in large skillet.

3. Add onion, green pepper, olives, capers, achiote, sazon, tomato  and tomato sauce to chicken in skillet. Cover and simmer for 10 minutes.

4. Drain peas, reserving liquid.  Add enough water to liquid to make 2 ½ cups.

5. Add the water to skillet and bring to a boil. Sprinkle in rice. Cover and simmer for 20 minutes.

6. Add peas. Cover and simmer for 10 minutes. Garnish with pimento strips.

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