Grilled Pizzas

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

While I was trying to figure out what to make for dinner tonight, the thought of grilled pizza came to mind.  I knew right away that just one pizza would not feed all of us nor would it satisfy what we all like on our pizzas so I decided to make 3:

Grilled Veggie Pizza (for me)
Pepperoni Pizza (for Scott)
Three-Cheese Pizza (for the kids)

Even though these are pictures of my particular pizzas, you could switch them up and make every type of pizza in the world. 

By the way, a huge thanks to Meg for introducing me to these easy little pizza dough kits!!

Grilled Pizzas
Pizza dough kit
1/2 cup hot water
Toppings of your choice

Directions:  Preheat to low and CLEAN grill.  Mix pizza dough according to the directions.  Roll out or shape into a good-sized pizza.  Put dough on grill for 6-8 minutes or until you get good grill marks.  Turn pizza over, add toppings, and grill for another 6-8 minutes.  Cut and serve.

Here's what you'll need for Grilled Veggie Pizza (or other veggies)

Pepperoni Pizza

Three-Cheese Pizza

For the Veggie Pizza I did not use any pizza/marinara sauce but brushed olive oil and garlic on the dough.

Use a garlic press to press out 2 garlic cloves into some olive oil.  If you do not have a garlic press, chop up the cloves and then smash them up a bit.

Make the dough according to the package directions.  This particular brand just called for 1/2 cup of hot water.

Cover with a lid for a couple of minutes to let it rise a bit.

Roll out and shape.

You can do this for all of the pizzas.  Brush on the olive oil and garlic.

Put your chosen veggies on the grill.

Put the pizzas on the grill.  If you are using olive oil/garlic, put the side you just brushed faced-down.

When they have cooked for 6-8 minutes, turn them over and put your toppings on while the bottom side is grilling.  (Also, brush on the other side with olive oil/garlic.

Here's what you'll end up with:

Grilled Veggie Pizza

Three-Cheese Pizza

Pepperoni Pizza

Here is a closer look of the pizza crust that I used.  There are others available (even a gluten-free one).
Our Thoughts:
Bottom line . . . these were FANTASTIC!  The crust was warm and crunchy.  The smoke from the grill seeped into the cheese, pepperoni and vegetables and really added to the flavor.

I did have a couple of issues that kind of stressed me out a bit.
  1. It was a little difficult preparing the 3 different types of pizzas and have them all get finished at the same time so that we could sit down and eat together.  This really came into effect after the first side of the pizzas had cooked and I flipped them.  I then had to pull the grilled veggies off quickly (they were HOT), cut them up and put them on that pizza.  Then, add pizza sauce and cheese to both pizzas and top the third with the pepperoni.  A couple of the edges got darker than what I would have liked (and I made a huge mess both inside/outside) but it was worth it.
  2. I should have put the feta cheese down before I put the grilled veggies on so that it would act kind of like a glue holding the veggies to the crust.  Instead I did the veggies then cheese so when I picked it up to eat, all of the veggies fell off.  It didn't matter, though, I just picked up a fork and ate it anyway!

  The kids absolutely loved this which is always a plus.  Gracie at 3 pieces!!!  I will definitely make this over and over again.  Scott already told me he wants Canadian Bacon and grilled pineapple next.

Hope you enjoy!

Chicken "Fried Rice"

Thursday, July 21, 2011

I am obsessed with bulgur wheat.  Here are a couple of my favorite:  Bulgur Wheat with Sauteed Vegetables, Turkey Manicotti

A couple of weeks ago, Scott suggested that we try to make it into a "fried rice" type dish.  I thought this was a great idea so yesterday I tried it.

Chicken "Fried Rice"
1-1/2 lbs chicken breast, diced
Stir fry vegetables
3-4 cloves of garlic, minced
1/2 onion, sliced
2 cups bulgur wheat
4 cups water
2-3 Tbsp olive oil
1 egg
1/4 cup teriyaki sauce (to taste)

Here's what you'll need:
Disregard the soy sauce, sesame seed oil, rice wine vinegar.  I was going to use it to make a sauce but I could never get it to taste right so I just went with teriyaki.

Cook bulgur wheat according to directions.  It is a 2:1 ratio so I used 4 cups of water and 2 cups of bulgur.

I minced 3-4 cloves of garlic and sliced up 1/2 of an onion.

Dice up the chicken into bite-sized cubes.

Put the bulgur on to boil and let it boil for 10-15 minutes.

Saute the onions and garlic in 2-3 Tbsps of olive oil in either a wok or a hot skillet.

Add the chicken.

Once most of the water has cooked out of the wheat, pour it over into the pan with chicken, onions, and garlic.

Move all of it over to one side and crack the egg.  Scramble it up and mix it in with the rest of the mixture.

Add the vegetables.  If you use canned, make sure to drain.  I used frozen.

After letting the veggies cook for a couple of minutes, I poured about 1/4 cup of teriyaki sauce and mix it together.

I really wanted to have the wheat crisp up like a fried rice so I pushed it all down into the skillet and let it cook for 2-3 minutes.  I then scooped it all around and pressed it all down again and let it cook for another 3-4 minutes.  This really gave the wheat some crispiness.

This is what you'll end up with:
Our Thoughts:
This dish was so good and so healthy.  If you dont' know anything about bulgur wheat and you are trying to eat more healthfully, I encourage you to do some research on it.  I love it.

I am really glad that I pushed the wheat down into the skillet to really let it crisp up.  It gave it the crispiness of Chinese fried rice and even Kanin really liked it.  He ate 3 helpings!!

BTW, the broccoli was great with the earthiness of the wheat.  I should have just added a whole bag of broccoli but I also added peas, carrots, and corn.

Of course, you could do any type of Asian marinade or sauce but Scott loves teriyaki so that is what I used.

This pan was full if it gives you any indication of how much everyone liked it. 

Hope you enjoy!

Mexical Cheesy Pot Pie

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Mexicali Cheesy Pot Pie Adapted from Pam's Midwest Kitchen Korner
1 lb. ground turkey, 93% lean
1 large onion, chopped
2 tbsp. chili powder
1 tbsp. garlic powder
1/2 tsp. each salt and pepper
1 (10 oz.) can Rotel diced tomatoes with green chilies, undrained
1 cup frozen corn
1 cup frozen peas and carrots
5 oz. cheddar cheese, divided

For corn bread topping:
1/2 cup yellow cornmeal
1/2 cup flour
1 1/4 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. chipotle chili powder
1 egg, lightly beaten
2/3 cup milk, 1%
2 tbsp. vegetable oil

Directions:  Brown ground turkey and onions in large pan until cooked. Season with chili powder, garlic powder, salt and pepper. Stir in tomatoes, corn and peas & carrots (used whatever veggies you want.) Transfer to an 8 x 8 in. baking dish.

Top with half the cheddar cheese.

In a bowl, combine cornmeal, flour, baking powder, chipotle powder and salt. Stir in egg, milk and oil. Spread evenly over turkey mixture. Top with the rest of the cheese. Bake, uncovered for about 35 minutes or until topping is set.

-I used whole wheat.
-I did not use peas or carrots.
-I used a can of drained corn.
-I used a can of tomatoes with peppers and celery
  rather than Ro-Tel.
-I used an Italian blend cheese.
Here's what you'll need for the meat mixture:

Here's what you'll need for the cornbread mixture:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Chop up the onion. 

Place the turkey and the onions in a skillet and cook through.

Once cooked, add corn and Ro-tel. I used a can of tomatoes with peppers and celery.  I just cut up the tomatoes a little more.

Add the spices.

Meanwhile, add all of the ingredients for the cornbread mixture.

Place the meat mixture into a greased baking dish.  Spread the cornbread mixture out and put in the oven for 30-35 minutes or until cornbread rises.

About 5 minutes before finished, sprinkle cheese on top and put back in the oven until melted.

Here's what you'll end up with:

Our Thoughts:
This meal turned out to be somewhat of a pantry meal.  I changed a lot of the ingredients or omitted them because I didn't have them on hand.

I thought the combination of the cornbread with the meat mixture tasted really great.  There were several textures in there that complimented each other.  The one issue I had was that it was a little dry.  The cornbread soaked up most of the juices from the tomatoes so I wish that I would not have drained the corn before putting it in.

I was also a little worried about making the cornbread topping out of the whole wheat but it had a good texture and flavor.  Of course, you could always use one of those Jiffy corn muffin mixtures and it would work great, too.

Scott said that he thought the meat mixture tasted great (and it was actually pretty healthy) but that it was too much cornbread for him.  He didn't like that every bite had cornbread and he pulled it back and was just scooping the meat out of the bottom of the pan.  In that case, you could always just make the cornbread on the side and serve it that way.

Hope you enjoy!

Dijon Chicken Breasts

Dijon Chicken Breasts
1/2 cup Dijon-style mustard
3 tablespoons canola oil
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1/2 teaspoon hot pepper sauce
2 tablespoons dried tarragon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
6 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves

Directions:  Preheat grill to medium-high heat. In a small bowl, combine mustard, oil, vinegar, hot pepper sauce, tarragon, salt, and pepper; mix well. Pour sauce into a zipper-style gallon-sized plastic storage bag and add chicken breasts; close bag and knead until evenly coated. Marinate in refrigerator 1 to 2 hours; remove chicken from marinade, discarding excess marinade.

Grill chicken 10 to 12 minutes, or until no pink remains, turning it over halfway through grilling.

-I did not grill the chicken but just cooked them in a skillet.
-I rolled the chicken breasts in bulgur wheat.

Here's what you'll need:

Salt and Pepper the chicken breasts. 

Put the rest of the ingredients into a bowl and mix.

Put the chicken breasts and the mustard mixture into a Ziploc bag and place in the refrigerator for 1-2 hours.

You can skip this step but I then rolled the chicken breasts in bulgur wheat.

Cook either on a grill or in a skillet until the juices run clear.

Here's what you'll end up with:
Our Thoughts:
What to say about this dish?  First of all, the marinade was really good and I will definitely use it again.  It has a great mix of tanginess and sweetness.  If you didn't want to marinade the chicken in the mustard mixture, you could definitely use it as a dipping sauce for the chicken breasts.

Now, on to the bulgur wheat.  In theory, it was a great idea.  It added a hint of texture and earthiness that was actually a great compliment; however, since I used uncooked wheat it was very crunchy.  I, personally, didn't mind a bit of it and even Scott thought it was a great added texture but we had to scrape quite a bit off of each breast because it was just too hard.  I think that if I used this method again, I would first cook the bulgur according to directions and then roll the chicken in it.  Then, once it got placed into the skillet with the oil I think that it would kind of crisp up but still be a lot easier to eat.

Either way, I think that I have to call this dish somewhat of a success just because the mustard marinade was so good.

Hope you enjoy!