roasted sweet pepper + summer squash pizza

Oh how I wish I had taken more pictures of this pizza!  Dinner was actually ready before the sun went down, before our toddler went to bed so we got to eat together.  During the daylight.  Win for us!

So we’ll keep this short and sweet.  If you have the time, roast your own peppers until they’re blistered and quickly marinate them in a bit of olive oil and chopped basil.  It makes all the difference in the world. Promise!

Since we add some lemon zest to the sauce, this pizza with all its veggies feels summery and bright.  You might eat 3, 4, 6 slices and not even notice!


roasted sweet pepper + summer squash pizza

  • 1 store-bought pizza crust
  • ½ cup tomato sauce*
  • 6-8 baby sweet peppers
  • 3-4 basil leaves, finely chopped
  • 1 tbs olive oil
  • 1 yellow summer squash, thinly sliced
  • 2 handfuls of whatever greens you have on hand (baby spinach, baby kale, arugula)
  • 1c shredded mozzarella
  • pepperoni, optional (the hubby wanted some so I put it on half and it was pretty good!)
  • freshly grated Parmesan, for topping

Sauce

  • ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1½ tsp crushed red pepper, optional
  • ½ tsp fine grain sea salt
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 28oz can fire roasted crushed tomatoes (I love the Muir Glen brand)
  • pinch of sugar
  • zest of one lemon

for the pizza:

Preheat oven to 450º.  Shape dough in a circular pizza pan to the edges and set aside.  Heat a dry sauté pan over medium-high heat.  Add the sweet peppers and roast on each side until partially blistered.  It’s ok if there are a few black spots.  Remove from heat and slice into rounds.  In a small bowl, toss roasted sweet peppers with the olive oil and chopped basil.  Set aside.

Spoon sauce evenly over pizza dough.  If using pepperoni, add it to pizza first.  Then top with sliced summer squash (though you may not want to use all of it) and the sweet peppers with basil.  Then add your greens and sprinkle the mozzarella over the top of everything.

Bake for 12-15 minutes until cheese is melted and bubbly.  Once pizza is out of the oven, sprinkle some freshly shredded Parmesan over the top, slice and devour!

to make sauce:

Combine olive oil, red pepper flakes (if using), sea salt and garlic into a cold sauce pan.  Stir while you heat the sauce pan over medium-high heat, about 45 seconds or so, making sure the garlic doesn’t burn.  Add in the tomatoes and just a pinch of sugar; let simmer for a few minutes.  Taste and add more salt if needed.  Stir in lemon zest.

(adapted from 101 Cookbooks)

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chocolate-cherry energy bites

If you’re like me, when time is limited and you’re hungry, the snacks you tend to reach for may not be the most nourishing.  Though I try to stay away from my 3 year old’s Goldfish crackers, sometimes they’re the easiest to grab and who doesn’t love Goldfish crackers??

However, five handfuls later, I’m still hungry and just ate waaaay more crackers than I should have.  So now I’m really trying to make healthy treats to snack on that will satiate those hunger pangs throughout the day.  Enter these cute, little energy bites.

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I think of these as homemade Larabars because they both contain real ingredients and are a cinch to make.  Dates are the only sweetener and do their job of holding everything together.  Using dates and whatever nuts you have on hand as the base, you can completely customize the flavor of these little bites.  So here I had cherries and chocolate (cacao powder), which is always a winning combo.

Then you just blend everything in a food processor, roll the mixture into little balls, and refrigerate.  Boom.  Now you’ve got healthy snacks on the go!

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chocolate-cherry energy bites

These snackable, poppable energy bites are are great to have on hand when hunger pangs strike.  I love these because they’re so customizable, though the cherry and chocolate combo are my favorite.  Just think of these as homemade Larabars!

 

  • 10 medjool dates, pitted
  • ∼½ cup dried cherries
  • 1 cup raw cashews (roasted is fine too, though I would stay away from salted nuts)
  • 3 tbs cashew butter
  • 1 tbs coconut oil
  • pinch of fine-grain sea salt
  • 3 tbs cacao (or cocoa) powder

Soak the dates in hot water for 10 minutes if they are dry or hard.

Place dates in a food processor and blend until they are in small pieces.  Add the remaining ingredients and process until everything is combined and has a finely ground consistency.

Using a 2 tbs cookie scoop, scoop mixture into balls and refrigerate in an airtight container.

 

(adapted from Urban Apron)

spiced cranberry-apple muffins

Happy (Almost) Thanksgiving!

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Even though the holiday is less than a week away, I’m actually feeling pretty calm about the whole day.  This year we’re staying local and having some family friends over, so I’m grateful we won’t be alone and relieved that this will be a much needed, low-key event.  I keep telling myself that I don’t really have to cook a ton of food, that nobody will care how many appetizers and sides there are or that everything is homemade.  However, knowing myself, I’ll throw all this out the window and start making lists upon lists of dishes I want to serve and groceries I need to buy.  Hmm..we’ll see how all this goes.
Continue reading “spiced cranberry-apple muffins”

honey chai-spiced roasted nuts

Since we’re in the middle of autumn and all things spiced, I have another snack for you. But instead of pumpkin spice, chai spice is the star!  I love having roasted nuts around as a quick snack, so these fall flavors are perfect.  With honey as a natural sweetener, you can feel pretty good about indulging in a (more than a) a few handfuls of these nuts at a time!

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cream cheese-swirled pumpkin bread

Fall is here and it’s actually starting to feel like it in Northern California.  After experiencing 100º+ temps just the other week, we’re finally waking up to cooler temperatures and cloudy skies and I honestly couldn’t be happier! Bring on all the fall essentials: PSLs and plaid, pumpkin patches and apple orchards, warming spices and cozy nights.

Continue reading “cream cheese-swirled pumpkin bread”