Moroccan Spiced Pizza!

10 10 2012

So the other day I was reading my friend Meghann’s blog, and she wrote a post that I think could win an award for most creative use of leftovers. She made a pizza with brussel sprouts, feta, walnuts, and soup. Yes, I said soup!

Not gonna lie, but my initial thought was one of skepticism- I assumed that the soup would make the dough soggy and the pizza would be gross. But there was no mention of soggy crust, and I pushed my negative thoughts aside. I love all of the ingredients independently, so why not put them together?

Her post was enough to get my creative juices flowing. If soup works as a “sauce,” what else could I use?

Flashback to Mary’s Fourth of July party. One of her friends made a delicious Moroccan carrot dip, and I’ve been dying to make it ever since. I’m a big fan of Moroccan spices- cumin, cinnamon, YUM! and I happened to have a bag of shredded carrots.

The dip’s consistency was a little thicker than a soup, so I figured it would be a great “sauce” for my pizza. I’ve seen red peppers and raisins in other Moroccan dishes, so I decided they’d be two of my toppers, along with some caramelized shallots and pine nuts.

I had no idea what kind of cheese would go well on the pizza. I considered paneer because it is so mild, but then I opted for goat, mostly because I love goat cheese and I had some in the fridge.

Oh, and why not take it up a notch and make the dough extra special?

I followed Ashley’s recipe for pumpkin garlic knots (which I also made for a pumpkin themed Eating Club almost two years ago!)

Topped with fresh cilantro after the pizza comes out of the oven, this baby knocked my socks off.

Yeah baby. Not gonna lie, I ate almost half the pie in one sitting. It was THAT. GOOD.

I definitely learned a lesson in creativity in the kitchen, and it paid off! Thanks for the inspiration Meghann!

Moroccan Spiced Pizza


Pumpkin Pizza Dough
Moroccan Carrot Dip (I halved the recipe and left out the olives)
1 red pepper, cut into strips,  ~1/8 or 1/4 inch thick
1 shallot, thinly sliced
1/2 cup raisins, rehydrated slightly
1/4 cup pine nuts
2 oz goat cheese (leave out for a vegan pizza)
1/2 cup roughly chopped cilantro

Note: my measurements for the raisins, pine nuts, goat cheese, and cilantro are approximate. I was just topping the pizza with what I liked. It’s your pizza, put what you want on it!

How to:

Start by making the dough. While it is rising, you can make the carrot dip and start to caramelize the shallots. When the shallots are done, saute the peppers so they are warmed through.

When you’re ready to make your pizza (aka the dough has finished rising, you’ve got the sauce made, and your shallots have caramelized), preheat the oven to 425°F.

Top your pizza with the sauce, the peppers, the shallots, the raisins, the pine nuts, and the goat cheese. Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until the crust is starting to brown. The cheese will start to brown too.

Take it out of the oven, and top with freshly chopped cilantro.


Lazy Weeknight Meal

11 04 2012

Shortly after I moved to Tampa, Courtney invited me to come swim with her and a few others a few nights a week. I’ve finally started to settle into a routine, and have been regularly swimming twice a week since about the middle of February. Man, it feels good to be back in the water.

I miss these ladies :-(

On Monday night, I swam with Felipe and Jess (Courtney and Chuck, we missed you!!), and boy, did that practice kick my butt! After a 600 warm up, and an 8 x 100 pull set, we got down to business and did 4 x 300. Each 300 was 100 FAST, 100 settle, 100 FAST. That set certainly got my heart pumpin’. And if that wasn’t enough, we did 5 x 100 on the 2:00–> Lots of rest = GO HARD. That was more fast swimming then I had done in awhile, and it hurt so good!

It was also one of those practices where you get home and say, “I really don’t feel like cooking dinner.” I had eaten out for lunch, and didn’t want to eat out again, so I opted to see what I could whip up with what I had on hand. I had some veggies in the fridge, and some leftover pasta sauce that I had doctored up with some garlic and wine. So I threw together some easy Polenta with veggies, topped with a fried egg for some extra protein.

Ok, so it might not look THAT appetizing, but it certainly hit the spot! And, it was ready in less than 15 minutes! Perfect post-swim dinner. :-)

Italian Polenta with Veggies (for one)


1/3 cup water
1/3 cup milk
Salt (to taste)
Romano or Parmesean cheese, grated (use as much as you like)
1 clove garlic
Cornmeal (about 1/3 cup)
Pasta Sauce (about 1/4 to 1/2 cup)
a handful of spinach
a handful of mushrooms
1 egg

How to:

Pour the milk and water together in a small saucepan with a clove of garlic. Bring it to a light boil. (I do half milk and half water, but you can do all milk or all water if you prefer). While that comes to a boil, saute the mushrooms in a little bit of olive oil. Throw in the spinach when the mushrooms are just about done, so it wilts. Then, mix the tomato sauce in with the veggies and heat through. (If you don’t want to dirty another pan, you can wait until the polenta is done, pour the polenta into your serving dish, and then use that saucepan to heat the sauce. There may be a few polena remnants, but that’s not a big deal!)

When the milk is lightly boiling, take out the garlic clove, and then pour in the cornmeal a little at a time and whisk well. It will thicken quickly if you pour too fast! When you get to the desired consistency, stir in some romano cheese, then add salt and pepper to taste. Set aside.

In a fying pan, fry your egg the way you like it.

In a bowl, layer the polenta, the veggies, top with an egg and sprinkle on some more cheese. Dig in!

Easy peasy!

Question of the day: What’s your easy go-to dinner?

Lime Lover’s Nachos

28 03 2012

With work being so busy, I haven’t had a ton of time to cook dinner until recently. Last week, I saw that sweet potatoes were on sale, so I immediately changed my meal plan for the week so that it would include Jessica’s Sweet Potato Cream Pasta with Crispy Kale. HOLY YUM. The sauce my friends…I wanted to bathe in it! Unfortunately, I didn’t take any pictures. Jessica’s are better than any I’d take anyhow!

But that dish is not what this post is about! I had some sweet potatoes left over after making that recipe, so I prepared them one of my favorite ways- with lime and cilantro! A little different, yes, but I spotted this recipe on Epicurious awhile ago, and have made them on a number of occasions since.

A little bit of lime, a little bit of cilantro, and a hint of cayenne for some heat. I love the colors too!

Wait a second Steph, the post is titled “Lime Lover’s Nachos.” Where do the nachos come in? You’re not going to put potatoes on tortilla chips, are you?

Oh yes, I went there. Probably not the most elegant dish I’ve ever made and definitely on the weird side, but it worked!

I topped my Tostito’s hint of lime tortilla chips with some refried black beans, the cilantro lime sweet potatoes, some cheese, salsa, and some plain Greek yogurt. I also purchased an avocado for my nachos, but I forgot about it when I was preparing my dinner! Whoops!

An interesting combination for sure, but it worked well!

Lime Lover’s Nachos:


Hint of Lime Nachos
Cilantro Lime Sweet Potatoes
Refried black beans
cheddar cheese shreds
plain Greek yogurt
cilantro (for garnish)
and any other nacho fixins you like!

Potatoes and Tortilla Chips? Who knew you’d be such a tasty combination? Get in my belly!

Question of the day: What’s a weird food combination you’ve tried that actually works?


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