Saturday, June 15, 2013

Strawberry-Rhubarb Pie - Father's Day Delight

My dad lived in Alaska from the time that I was about 11 years old.  I visited every Summer until I went off to college.  He loved to garden and one of the magical events that happens in Alaska is a very short yet extremely robust growing season.  He always had rhubarb bushes and those stalks grew so big it was like they were out of a supernatural fairy tale. 

My dad loooooooooooooooooooooooved Strawberry Rhubarb Pie so the fact that my friend Bob loves it as his birthday "cake" right around Father's Day always makes me super happy.

I've posted this before, but I'm just reminding everyone that the most amazing recipe for Strawberry Rhubarb Pie is Smitten Kitchen's. She's a GENIUS.  Check it out:

Sadly, as hard as I tried to not manipulate this crust too much, the crimped edges came out tough.  But, the filling was, I think, quite perfect.  So, my only warning with the recipe is manipulate that dough as little as matter what, though, flavor is mighty deliciosa!

And, stress-free, easy, Lazy to make -- other than attention to crust needed.

Lazy Secret Ingredient Heats Up Chili....Just Right!

My brilliant friend Elisa gave me a delicious collection of culinary gems last Christmas.  As I was making a batch of vegetarian chili a couple weeks ago, I thought of this beautiful can sitting in my pantry:  La Morena Chipotle Peppers in Adobo Sauce.  I chopped up the peppers, mixed them in and waited for a while to see how much heat they were going to release.  It was a bit pot of chili, but it really did heat it up.  Yet, there was room for more heat and deliciousness, so I added all the Adobo Sauce in the can too.  It was unbelievably delicious.

I went back to World Market last night as I was making another pot of veggie chili.  It turns out it's a seasonal item so I just ordered 12 cans online so I don't have to hunt for them, and will have plenty of this secret ingredient in my spice arsenal.

It's going to be fun to play with these with enchilada casseroles, etc.  For now, with weight loss in mind, they are a great flavor booster for my healthy chili.


Wednesday, June 05, 2013

Craving Pizza But on a Diet? Lazy PIzza Bowl is Here!

I've lost over 5 pounds in 10 days, so I wanted to deal with my pizza craving in a creative way.  I've been making big pots of veggie chili, big bowls of fruit salad with every kind of fruit imaginable, and big bowls of my favorite Sugar Snap Pea salad (recipe to come), so that whenever I'm hungry I have something healthy to eat.

I have cut out wheat and sugar.  My energy is spectacular all day long and I'm not limiting any of my food intake, just eating whole delicious foods.  So, I knew I didn't want to screw with my energy by having the bread in pizza, or the heavy cheese. 

I asked myself what I was really craving and it was the cheesy tomatoey-ness.  I wanted a "veggie pizza" so I thought I would make a veggie stew with garlic, red pepper flakes, oregano and garlic salt and throw a little smoked mozzarella on top.  All the spicy goodness of a veggie pizza with the awesome smoky cheesiness!

Lazy Pizza Bowl

1-2 chopped Onion(s)
Several cloves Garlic
4-5 Zucchini
4-5 Yellow Squash
1 head of Broccoli (head only used)
1 bag sliced Mushrooms
4 cans Chopped Tomatoes
1 can Sliced Olives -drained
1 can Artichoke Hearts - drained
1 or 2 teaspoons Oregano
1 Bay Leaf
1 teaspoon Red Pepper Flakes (or less/none if you don't put red pepper flakes on your pizza! LOL!)
Garlic Salt to Taste
1/2 oz to 1 oz -- Smoked Mozzarella

Sautee chopped garlic and onions in a little Olive Oil until soft.  Chop up all the other ingredients into bite-sized pieces.  Add veggies to the garlic and onions, cook for a few minutes.  Drain off excess water created by veggies.  Add all the spices, stir.  Add tomatoes, olives, artichoke hearts and simmer until flavors are all set. 

I put the tiniest amount of smoked mozzarella on top.  Very thin slices melt easily with a quick microwave zap.  Very little needed for big cheesy bang.

Lactose Intolerant?  Plenty of yum without the cheese!

Buon Appetito!