Roasted Winter Vegetable Pizza

Say goodbye to winter with roasted seasonal vegetables on top of a thin crust pizza. At the end of the season, I love to eat my favorite vegetables and wear my favorite outfits before the next season arrives. I have enjoyed some delicious local sweet potatoes and kale over the past few months and this meal is all about two of my two favorite winter vegetables. Turnips, leeks, thyme and sorghum compliment the sweet potato and kale, creating an earthy pizza pie with the perfect sweet and savory combination.

This recipe pairs well with a simple salad and a Pinot Noir from Oregon, and it makes an excellent meal for entertaining vegetarian guests. Cheers to savoring the last tastes of winter. Now, I’m looking forward to spring and the new produce that awaits.

Ingredients:
1 medium leek, white part only, thinly sliced
1 medium sweet potato, peeled and diced
1 small turnip, peeled and diced
1½ tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 tablespoon sorghum (or honey)
1 tablespoon fresh thyme, chopped
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
½ bunch kale, stems removed and chopped
1 tablespoons water
1 ball pizza dough
¾ shredded mozzarella cheese

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit.
2. On a large baking sheet, combine leeks, sweet potatoes and turnip. Drizzle with olive oil, honey, thyme, salt and pepper. Roast for 15 to 20 minutes, until tender and lightly browned. Remove from oven and set aside.
3. In a large skillet, heat ½ tablespoon olive oil. Add kale and water and sauté for 4 to 5 minutes, until greens have wilted.
4. Roll or stretch (I roll and stretch) the pizza dough to a thin layer, about 12 to 14 inches in diameter.
5. Place crust on pizza pan and add an even layer of roasted vegetables, sautéed kale and top with mozzarella cheese.
6. Bake for 12 to 14 minutes, until cheese melts and edges of crust turn golden brown. Remove from oven, slice into 8 wedges and serve.

Servings: 4 ~ Serving size: 2 slices

Slow Cooker Pinto Beans and Greens


Pinto beans and sautéed greens are two of my favorite southern sides, and they also make a great combination in this easy, no-fuss meal. This is a bowl of comfort food that will provide warmth on a cold winter night. Add a hot skillet of cornbread, just like your grandmother made, and you have a delicious meal that’s worth writing home about.

I used dried beans in this vegetarian meal that’s sure to please even the meat lovers in your life. Dried beans are a great bargain and you can control how much salt is added. Beans are an excellent source of plant protein, and also provide other nutrients such as iron and zinc. Kale is packed with vitamin A and C, and also a good source of calcium and potassium. Enjoy this nutritious bowl of goodness.

Ingredients:
1 cup dried pinto beans, sorted and rinsed
9 cups water, divided
1 small onion, peeled and thinly sliced
1 small jalapeño, seeded and chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon ground black pepper
1 bunch kale
2 tablespoons fresh cilantro, chopped
20 hot and sweet jalapeño slices

Directions:
1. In a large pot, add dried beans and 5 cups water. Heat to a boil and cook for 2 to 3 minutes. Remove from heat, cover and let sit for at least an hour. Drain beans.
2. In a slow cooker, add pinto beans, onion, jalapeño, garlic, salt and pepper. Add 4 cups water, turn to high heat and cook for 3 hours.
3. Wash and chop kale, removing tough stems. Add kale to pinto beans, stirring to combine, and cook for an additional hour.
4. Stir cilantro into kale and pinto beans, serve in bowls and top each with 5 hot and sweet jalapeño slices.

Serves: 4

Note: This is a fast soaking method for beans, and you can always soak overnight if you prefer. You can substitute kale for other greens, such as turnip, mustard or swiss chard.

 

 

 

 

Open-Faced Turkey Burgers

There is something about eating a burger with a knife and a fork that makes it seem more classy than something you would order at a burger dive. And who can resist the freshly made bread these turkey burgers sit on. This recipe will elevate your next backyard cookout.

The secret to creating open-faced burgers is topping them with delicious ingredients. And you don’t have to worry about cramming all those ingredients under another slice of bread. Get creative and try piling on your favorite seasonal vegetables, like grilled zucchini and asparagus.

Ingredients:
1 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon butter
2 large onions, peeled and thinly sliced
1 teaspoon sugar
3 tablespoons mayonnaise
2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
1 pound ground turkey
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon ground black pepper
4 slices fresh bread, preferably homemade or from a local bakery
4 slices smoked gouda cheese
2 cups arugula, tightly packed

Directions:
1. In a large skillet, heat olive oil and butter over medium-low heat. Once butter has melted, add onion slices and sprinkle with sugar. Stirring occasionally, let the onions cook about 20 to 25 minutes, until caramelized and golden brown.
2. In a small bowl, mix mayonnaise and balsamic vinegar and set aside.
3. Form turkey into patties and season with salt and pepper. Prepare grill to medium-high heat. Grill burgers until turkey is cooked through, about 5 minutes per side. During the last three minutes of cooking, top each burger with a slice of cheese and allow to melt while burgers continue cooking.
4. Grill bread slices for about a minute per side, until light brown grill marks appear. Spread each slice with balsamic mayonnaise. Top with turkey burgers and equal amounts of caramelized onion and arugula.

Servings: 4 ~ Serving size: 1 burger

Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Hazelnuts

I love the way the leaves fall off Brussels sprouts when you quarter them, resembling flower petals and creating a beautiful centerpiece for your plate. This cooking method caramelizes the vegetable, bringing out its natural sweetness. If your family members don’t love Brussels sprouts, this recipe may just change their mind.

This dish is so simple and mostly hands off, which is why I love roasting vegetables. You can step outside and grill your favorite lean protein while your Brussels sprouts roast. Pair this side dish with grilled salmon, a simple salad, fresh whole grain bread and your favorite white wine for an elegant and easy stay-at-home, date-night meal.

Ingredients:
2 pounds Brussels sprouts
1½ tablespoons olive oil
4 cloves garlic, minced
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon pepper
⅓ cup hazelnuts, toasted and chopped

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. Trim the ends off the Brussels sprouts and cut into quarters, keeping the leaves (or as I like to call them, petals) that fall off.
2. Place Brussels sprouts on a large baking pan and drizzle with olive oil. Sprinkle minced garlic, salt and pepper on top and toss with a spatula to evenly coat.
3. Roast for 30 minutes, tossing halfway through the cooking cycle. Brussels sprouts will be tender with dark brown outer leaves. Sprinkle with hazelnuts, toss and serve.

Note: While I love this as a side dish, it’s just as tasty for breakfast topped with a fried egg. It’s a great way to reinvent those leftovers.

Servings: 6