Creamy Carrot Farrotto

I tried something new. And I liked it.

Last night’s dinner was billed as an easier alternative to risotto and it won accolades from my Italian husband. Using farro instead of arborio rice, the carrot farrotto only took about 30-40 minutes to make, was really inexpensive (only about $3 worth of farro from the Bulk Barn was needed), and was really tasty. The carrots made the dish sweet, but the stock that everything cooked in also made it a bit salty. I did spend $11 on a brick of parmasan, but we only used about a fifth of it and will have it for many future meals.

I found this recipe in my Skinny Taste cookbook, but you can also make it online follow the instructions posted on Take a Bite Out of Boca.

Prosciutto, Mozzarella, Arugula Pizza

My husband Lenny makes the best pizza dough. It is rarely the same process twice, however, it always tastes delicious. He has also introduced me to the balls of mozzarella that you can buy in the deli section, as opposed to the bars of cheese in the dairy area of the grocery store, and they make a world of difference in the quality of your pizza. If you need a recommendation, my personal favourite is the Tre Stelle Mozzarella Ball.

Pizza from last Friday

In terms of a dough recipe, here is a Wolfgang Puck-inspired recipe that Lenny has adapted for use in a breadmaker.

You will need:

  • 1 1/8 cup water, room temperature
  • 1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 tbsp honey
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp bread machine yeast
Optional (but tasty!):  Add a 1/2 tbsp of chopped dried rosemary and 1 tsp dried oregano to the dry ingredients in the dough.

Layer the ingredient according to your manufacturer’s instructions (mine uses wet, dry, then yeast) and set it for Dough. Hit start and come back in 1.5 hours (or delay it till later).

When it’s ready, roll the dough ball out onto a floured work surface, knead briefly for a minute, then place into a lightly oiled bowl to rest for 30 more minutes. Cover with a moist cloth and set in a warm place.

After the dough has increased in size (about 50% larger) punch the dough down and roll back out onto your work surface. Roll out into a pizza-like shape and assemble your pizza. 14-16 minutes in a pre-heated 425-degree oven will give you a nice crispy crust if cooked on either a pizza stone or perforated pizza sheet.

Buon appetito!

Chicken sausage and Grilled Brussels Sprouts

Last week one of the meals that I did make was chicken sausage and Grilled Brussels Sprouts from Skinnytaste. I love grilled vegetables so finding a non-onion-y and non-garlic-y “sauce” that I could use to flavour them was pretty exciting. I ended up making my own balsamic glaze as I didn’t want to buy an entire container of it, and it was pretty simple: just boil 4 tbsp of balsamic with 1 tbsp of honey for a few minutes. It was super tasty and will be something I think I’ll try with other vegetables too!

Not the most appetizing shot, but this dinner was delicious, I swear!

Campfire Series: Cheesy Potatoes & Chicken Sausages

Last summer we really fell in love with the Schneider’s Chicken Sausages. Aside from being delicious at home, they were also great for camping because they were really flavourful and already cooked — no need to worry about raw meat!

We ate them chopped into dishes, but pretty much on their own. To add some additional calories (camping with two dogs involves a LOT of exercise!), we wrapped them in Pillsbury dough hot dog wrappers, wrapped those in tin foil, and then roasted them on the fire for a tasty but healthier version of a Pogo.

Roasting on the fire. Yay for metal shishkabob sticks! They made this dish way easier to cook than had we done it on wood sticks.

One of my favourite sides with this dish was cheesy potatoes. We bought frozen hashbrowns and then parceled those out with some pre-shedded cheese and bacon bits left over from a salad on the first night. What a great creation!

Homemade Pogo on the left and cheesy potatoes on the right.

Campfire Series: Calzones!

We were supposed to go camping this past weekend, but ultimately decided that living in our own home without air conditioning this year has been camping enough for us so far. It didn’t stop me though from thinking about foods we have made in the past while camping though so I thought I would share some with you! Conveniently, last summer we were dog-sitting our pal Digby while camping so I took pictures of pretty much everything, including making some of our most successful meals!

On of our favourite things to eat outside of camping is pizza, so I did my best to create something in that realm suitable for a campfire. Using Pillsbury biscuit dough, we were able to make this happen! Here are the steps to follow:

On aluminum foil, spray some non-stick spray and then spread out some of the dough to make a circular shape.

Add your sauce and toppings. Bonus points if you remember to shred the cheese ahead of time and then put it into portioned containers before leaving for camping, like we did! It made many meals a lot easier to make.

Fold the dough in half and crimp the foil around the calzones. Cook them until you think they are done!

Take a pretty picture before you dig in!

All ready for eating.

Delicious!

One Pot Nacho Beef Skillet

Ready for serving!

I love nachos. I mean, who doesn’t love nachos? This One Pot Nacho Beef Skillet recipe from Damn Delicious is a perfect approach to dinner-worthy nachos and even has roasted red peppers, tomatoes, and corn to up the health factor. This recipe took about 20-30 minutes to make, and makes enough for about 6 servings. Next time, I think I’ll maybe go with 3/4 cup of basmati rice instead of 1 cup, but otherwise, the ratios for all the other ingredients were spot on.

Greek Quesadillas

The Greek Quesadillas from Damn Delicious were perfect for a hot summer night demanding of little oven-on time. The homemade Greek yogurt tzatziki sauce was particularly tasty and the flavour combo of the quesadilla was reminiscent of high end sandwich / Greek salad combination. And besides, you can’t go wrong with melted cheese.

Here are a couple photos from my attempt at this recipe:

I opted to use our Silpat instead of parchment paper but next time might experiment with it instead to see if it makes for a crispier bottom tortilla.

The tzatziki sauce is not pictured, but was a delicious dip to complement the quesadilla.

 

One Pot Cheesy Smoked Sausage & Pasta Skillet

The One Pot Cheesy Smoked Sausage & Pasta Skillet from Yellow Bliss Road turned out pretty well! I’d classify this one in the 20-minute-delicious-weekday meal category. I think I’ll tuck it away to try again sometime in the future with the proper Italian-seasoned sausage though; The grocery store that I went to didn’t have a lot of options so I went with a traditional Polish sausage, and it just wasn’t quite right. The combination of milk, canned diced tomatoes, and chicken stock was quite delicious and fragrant. Definitely a meal worth trying!

A “Pre-cheese” shot. I am always SUPER excited (actually) to not have to wash the colander. This recipe has you cook the pasta in the liquid but then to keep it and not strain it. 😀

Post-cheese, and ready for serving!

Maple Ginger Turkey Breast and mashed sweet potato

The quiche recipe and the pulled pork one from last week never ended up getting photographed because they were just wolfed right down after long work days. On the weekend though, we took the time to make the Maple Ginger Turkey Breast from Clean Eating and mashed sweet potatoes from Allrecipes.com. The entire home smelled like Thanksgiving and thankfully we thought both the items were really tasty and relatively easy to make. I think I’ll tuck these recipes away for fall, especially the mashed sweet potatoes, because they were just so creamy and delicious!

Thanksgiving in June.