Meatless Monday – Chicken Fried Cauliflower ‘Steaks’ and Creamy Mash

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20170730_124206Here’s a vegetarian or vegan twist on the classic comfort food, Chicken Fried Steak, nestled on a bed of creamy mash.  This version has all the yummy flavor with none of the guilt, perfect for your summer barbecue or picnic. Cauliflower, the chameleon of veggies, makes a great couple of center cut ‘steaks’ while the rest is pureed into a silky, creamy cauliflower mash. This recipe makes use of the whole head of cauliflower and requires very few other ingredients, other than spices that you probably already have in your pantry. Now you can make a healthier, lower fat and meat free version of this popular dish.  Its an easy and surprisingly satisfying meal that can be ready in about 30 minutes. You just might lick the plate clean…

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This recipe serves two adults if prepared as directed but can easily be doubled.  The head of cauliflower is cut in half and two thick planks are cut from the center.  The remaining cauliflower is cut into florets and steamed until very soft and then pureed into a delicious low-cal substitution for mashed potatoes. Even though the puree and the steaks are made from the same ingredient, they taste and feel entirely differently from each other, so its not like eating a plate of cauliflower-even though it is.  You will be surprised.

I have found that cauliflower tends to fall apart once most of the core is cut away, which is why cauliflower mash is such a great idea.  If you are interested in the fried cauliflower and not the mash, you can carefully cut a few more smaller ‘steaks’ from the head before it falls apart and then fry up the remaining florets into ‘nuggets’ that are perfectly sized for small hands.  I wish I had tried this when my kids were little.

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Cauliflower is not as nutrient-dense as many of the other cabbage-family vegetables, but it is still power-packed with nutrition. Most people know it is low in fat and calories but did you know that it has protein?  One cup of raw cauliflower is an excellent source of vitamin K (476.2 percent of the RDA) and vitamin C and is a very good source of fiber, potassium, phosphorus, and B vitamins. A 3 1/2-oz (100 g) serving of cooked cauliflower provides 35 calories, 2.3 g of protein, no cholesterol, 0.4 g of fat, 7.2 g of carbohydrate, and 3.3 g of fiber.

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To boost nutrition, I used white whole wheat flour which is a real thing not a typo.  It is made from white wheat instead of the typical red wheat.  White whole wheat flour is lighter and milder in flavor than regular whole wheat flour which also tends to make everything heavy and can have an aftertaste.  White whole wheat flour also retains most of the fiber and nutrition through processing since its a whole grain flour. Regular white flour is made from red wheat which has been processed to remove the germ, which contains most of the nutrients, and the bran, which has the fiber. I prefer to use whole grain whenever possible, however, you can substitute any kind of flour that you normally use, including gluten free flour mixes.

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TIPS: The cauliflower can be fried in a pan or in a deep fryer, if you have one.  Any leftover oil can be reused if handled properly. Allow the oil to cool down to a safe handling temperature. Strain any food particles floating in the oil by raking through it with a slotted spoon and discard them. While pouring into a container, strain through a coffee filter or piece of cheesecloth.  Cover and store in the refrigerator or freezer for up to six months.  The oil may appear cloudy when cold but will clear as it warms up. How To Reuse Cooking Oil20170730_124206

CHICKEN FRIED CAULIFLOWER ‘STEAKS’ WITH CREAMY MASH

  • 1 head cauliflower

CAULIFLOWER MASH

  • 1/2-3/4 cup water
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 1/2- 1 cup milk (unsweetened almond, soy or coconut)
  • 2 Tbsn vegan butter (optional)
  • 1/2 tsp salt, or to taste
  • 1/2 tsp pepper (optional)

CHICKEN FRIED STEAKS

  • 2 Tbsn cornstarch
  • 1 Tbsn milk (unsweetened almond, soy or coconut)
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten OR 2 Tbsn vegan mayo
  • 1/2 cup white whole wheat flour (or all purpose or gluten free)
  • 3/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 3/4 tsp onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 1/4- 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper (optional)
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1/2 cup lighter vegetable oil, (avocado, grape seed or canola, not olive oil)
  • salt to taste

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  • Trim away outer leaves from cauliflower head. Do not core. Cut head in half lengthwise; cut a 1-inch-thick “steak” from each cauliflower half. Set steaks aside.

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  • Cut remaining cauliflower into small pieces. Place in a saucepan with 1/2 cup water and garlic; bring to a boil over high. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and cook 15 minutes or until very tender. Add more water if necessary. Remove from heat; let stand while you prepare steaks.

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  • Place cornstarch in a shallow dish. Combine milk and egg or mayo in another shallow dish. Combine flour and spices in a third shallow dish. (pie pans work well)

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  • Dredge one cauliflower steak in cornstarch; shake off excess.

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  • Dip in egg mixture

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  •  Dredge in flour mixture, shaking off excess. Repeat with other cauliflower steak.

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  • Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium. Add cauliflower steaks to pan and  cook 4 to 5 minutes or until browned on bottom.  Cover pan to steam the inside of the cauliflower.

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  •  Carefully turn and cook another 4 to 5 minutes, uncovered, until golden brown. Sprinkle with salt while hot.

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  • Place steamed cauliflower in a food processor or blender. Add 1/2 cup milk, butter. salt and pepper. Blend until very smooth, adding more milk as needed to reach the desired consistency.

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  • To serve, spread cauliflower over a plate and top with cauliflower.  As an alternative, you can thin the cauliflower into a sauce like consistency and drizzle over the top or use as a dip.

Chicken Fried Cauliflower Steaks and Cauliflower Mash

  • Servings: 2
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print
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  • 1 head cauliflower

CAULIFLOWER PUREE

  • 1/2-3/4 cup water
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 1/2- 1 cup milk (unsweetened almond, soy or coconut)
  • 2 Tbsn vegan butter
  • 1/2 tsp salt, or to taste
  • 1/2 tsp pepper (optional)

CHICKEN FRIED STEAKS

  • 2 Tbsn cornstarch
  • 1 Tbsn milk (unsweetened almond, soy or coconut)
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten OR 2 Tbsn vegan mayo
  • 1/2 cup white whole wheat flour (or all purpose or gluten free)
  • 3/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 3/4 tsp onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 1/4- 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper (optional)
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1/2 cup lighter vegetable oil, (avocado, grape seed or canola not olive oil)
  • salt to taste

 

  1. Trim away outer leaves from cauliflower head. Do not core. Cut head in half lengthwise; cut a 1-inch-thick “steak” from each cauliflower half. Set steaks aside.
  2. Cut remaining cauliflower into small pieces. Place in a saucepan with 1/2 cup water and garlic; bring to a boil over high. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and cook 15 minutes or until very tender. Add more water if necessary. Remove from heat; let stand while you prepare steaks.
  3. Place cornstarch in a shallow dish. Combine milk and egg or mayo in another shallow dish. Combine flour and spices in a third shallow dish. (pie pans work well)
  4. Dredge one cauliflower steak in cornstarch; shake off excess. Dip in egg mixture; dredge in flour mixture, shaking off excess. Repeat with other cauliflower steak.
  5. Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium. Add cauliflower steaks to pan and  cook 4 to 5 minutes or until browned on bottom.  Cover pan to steam the inside of the cauliflower. Carefully turn and cook another 4 to 5 minutes, uncovered, or until golden brown. Sprinkle with salt.
  6. Place steamed cauliflower in a food processor or blender. Add 1/2 cup milk, butter. salt and pepper. Blend until very smooth, adding more milk as needed to reach the right consistency.
  7. To serve, spread cauliflower over a plate and top with cauliflower.  As an alternative, you can thin the cauliflower into a sauce like consistency and drizzle over the top or use as a dip.

Rustic Berry Tart

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Dessert or Breakfast?  You decide.  This beautiful tart is my new favorite throw-together fruit dish, made with fresh summer berries, lemon zest and just a bit of sugar, folded into a whole grain crust made with white whole wheat flour.  For a tart it’s pretty healthy, so I have actually made it for breakfast when I’ve had guests.  Either way, it’s a crowd pleaser and you won’t have any leftovers!

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I have made this tart three times now.  Twice with store bought crusts and once using the following recipe for white whole wheat crust.  The store bought crusts were perfectly fine and made it super quick – five minutes to prepare and right into the oven.  However, I really preferred the homemade crust, which was slightly thicker and had more of a rustic feel.  It also contained the juices better.  The crust was surprisingly easy to make but requires chilling time, which must be taken into account. I have also used coarse sanding sugar, which adds a ‘professional’ look to the tart and a nice, crunchy sweetness to the crust, but regular granulated sugar works fine too if that’s what you have.

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So what is up with white whole wheat flour?  I love to use whole grain flour whenever possible for cooking but sometimes taste or texture is compromised because whole grains are often heavier and have a stronger taste. I have recently started using an unbleached white whole wheat flour from King Arthur.  The flour is milled from 100% organic hard white spring wheat, a lighter-colored and more mild tasting grain than traditional red wheat, which means that baked goods taste better but still have all of the nutrition and fiber of whole grains.

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TIPS:  This recipe can be personalized to your liking with almost any fruit.  Just use four cups of fruit:  whole small berries or thinly sliced peaches, apricots, pears, plums, apples or strawberries.  Or combine two fruits for an interesting combo.  Some fruits are sweeter than others, so adjust the sugar as necessary, and otherwise follow the recipe below.

You can easily make 4 individual mini tarts from this recipe instead of one large one.  When you’re finished mixing the dough, divide it into four equal pieces before pressing them into disks and wrapping them in plastic; refrigerate. Roll the dough into rounds about 7 inches in diameter and portion the fruit evenly among the rounds. Pleat the dough around the fruit to make a 1-inch rim. Bake as directed.

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Recipe Adapted From Fine Cooking/Summertime Eats 2015, Rustic Fruit Tart

RUSTIC BERRY TART

2 cups fresh raspberries
1 cup fresh blueberries
1 cup fresh blackberries
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 tsp lemon zest, finely grated
1 Tbsn flour
1/8 tsp salt
1 egg, beaten
1 Tbsn coarse sanding sugar, or granulated sugar

CRUST (Or your favorite pre-made crust)

1 1/2 cups white whole wheat flour (or all purpose flour)
2 tsp granulated sugar
1/2 tsp salt
5 1/2 oz cold unsalted butter (11 Tbsn), cut into 1/2 inch cubes
1 large egg yolk
3 Tbsn whole milk

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  • If using your own homemade dough, prepare that first.  Combine the flour, sugar and salt in a stand mixer or food processor.  Add butter and pulse on low until the mixture looks sandy and no large pieces of butter remain. The flour should hold together when you pinch it with your fingers.
  • In a small bowl, mix the egg yolk and milk.  With the mixer on low, add them to the flour mixture and pulse until the dough just comes together, about 15 seconds.  The dough will be somewhat crumbly and dry.
  • Dump dough onto a clean counter and work it with the heel of your hand until the dough comes together.  Press it into a flat disc, wrap it with plastic and let it rest in the refrigerator for 15 to 20 minutes before rolling it out.
  • Preheat oven to 350.  Remove dough from refrigerator and let it sit 10 to 15 minutes, or until it’s pliable enough to work with.  Roll it out on a floured surface into a 13 to 14 inch round.  Don’t worry about ragged edges.  They only make the tart look more rustic.

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  • Transfer the dough circle to a baking sheet that has been lined with parchment.

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  • In a large bow, toss the raspberries, blueberries and blackberries with the sugar.  Taste and add up to 2 Tbsn more or sugar, if needed.  Add lemon zest, flour and salt and gently combine.

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  • Heap the fruit mixture into the center of the dough circle, leaving a 2 inch border.
  • Fold the edges of the dough over the fruit, overlapping and pleating as you go.

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  • Brush the dough, with beaten egg (even under the folds) and sprinkle with sugar.

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  • Bake until the dough is golden brown, 40 to 55 minutes.  Let cool.

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  • Transfer to a serving platter and serve warm or at room temperature.

 

Rustic Berry Tart

  • Servings: 6-8
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

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2 cups fresh raspberries
1 cup fresh blueberries
1 cup fresh blackberries
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 tsp lemon zest, finely grated
1 Tbsn flour
1/8 tsp salt
1 egg, beaten
1 Tbsn coarse sanding sugar, or granulated sugar

CRUST (Or your favorite pre-made crust)

1 1/2 cups white whole wheat flour (or all purpose flour)
2 tsp granulated sugar
1/2 tsp salt
5 1/2 oz cold unsalted butter (11 Tbsn), cut into 1/2 inch cubes
1 large egg yolk
3 Tbsn whole milk

  • If using your own homemade dough, prepare that first.  Combine the flour, sugar and salt in a stand mixer or food processor.  Add butter and pulse on low until the mixture looks sandy and no large pieces of butter remain. The flour should hold together when you pinch it with your fingers.
  • In a small bowl, mix the egg yolk and milk.  With the mixer on low, add them to the flour mixture and pulse until the dough just comes together, about 15 seconds.  The dough will be somewhat crumbly and dry.
  • Dump dough onto a clean counter and work it with the heel of your hand until the dough comes together.  Press it into a flat disc, wrap it with plastic and let it rest in the refrigerator for 15 to 20 minutes before rolling it out.
  • Preheat oven to 350.  Remove dough from refrigerator and let it sit 10 to 15 minutes, or until it’s pliable enough to work with.  Roll it out on a floured surface into a 13 to 14 inch round.  Don’t worry about ragged edges.  They only make the tart look more rustic.
  • Transfer the dough circle to a baking sheet that has been lined with parchment.
  • In a large bow, toss the raspberries, blueberries and blackberries with the sugar.  Taste and add up to 2 Tbsn more or sugar, if needed.  Add lemon zest, flour and salt and gently combine.
  • Heap the fruit mixture into the center of the dough circle, leaving a 2 inch border.
  • Fold the edges of the dough over the fruit, overlapping and pleating as you go.
  • Brush the dough, with beaten egg (even under the folds) and sprinkle with sugar.
  • Bake until the dough is golden brown, 40 to 55 minutes.  Let cool.
  • Transfer to a serving platter and serve warm or at room temperature.

Meatless Monday – Rustic Roasted Tomato Tart

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I can’t say enough about these roasted tomatoes – drizzled with balsamic and honey and slow roasted until they reach caramelized perfection.  Their cooking juice alone is worth the price of admission, delicious as a dipping  sauce for a crusty baguette.  But that’s not all!   I layered the lovely roasted tomatoes over a bed of fresh mozzarella and then folded it all in a buttery crust to form a rustic tart. You would never know that the crust is actually good for you because it’s so yummmy, but it’s made with 100% White Whole Wheat Flour.  No that wasn’t a typo.  I used a whole grain flour made from white whole wheat, which is a different kind of wheat whose germ has a lighter color and milder in flavor than the more traditional ‘red’ wheat.  It has the same nutritional value as whole wheat but is not as heavy, making it a better choice for baking. I believe in making food healthy but not at the expense of taste.  Win, Win!

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These roasted tomatoes are really sweet and flavorful, great layered in sandwiches or mixed in with other vegetables. I know I will be making these over and over again!  I know I already said this, but it bears repeating.  The sauce is ‘to die for’ so carefully pour every last drop into a small bowl and use it as a dipping sauce.

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Tomatoes are America’s favorite vegetable (even though it’s technically a fruit) and they are so wonderful when they are in season like right now, fresh from the vine.  You can just taste the goodness! If you are worried that cooking tomatoes, destroys the nutrients, don’t. Tomatoes are one of the veggies that actually benefits from being cooked. Most people know that tomatoes are loaded with vitamins and nutrients, like lycopene, an antioxidant that helps protect our immune systems.  The best way to get lycopene, which is in the skin and gives tomatoes their red color, is through cooked or processed tomatoes.  Cooking them with a little healthy oil helps carry the lycopene into the bloodstream. ( Best Health Magazine)  So roast away!  You won’t regret it…

TIPS:  This recipe would be easy to make vegan.  Just omit the cheeses which are not necessary anyway, as the star of this dish is really the roasted tomatoes. To veganize the crust, substitute a vegan butter or oil and brush the crust with non-dairy milk before cooking.  Then I would suggest sprinkling the tomatoes and especially the crust with a coarse salt and more herbs before baking.

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I spotted this recipe in the Farm Fresh – Summer, 2015 magazine, although I added a layer of fresh mozzarella beneath the tomatoes and used white whole wheat flour for the crust for a more nutritious tart.

RUSTIC ROASTED TOMATO TART

7-8 ripe tomatoes
1/3 cup olive oil
1 Tbsn balsamic vinegar
2 tsp honey
3 tsp fresh thyme (or 1 1/2 tsp dried)-divided
1/2 tsp salt
6 oz fresh mozzarella, sliced (optional)
1/4 cup parmesan, shredded(optional)

CRUST (or your favorite pre-made crust)

1 cup white whole wheat flour (or all purpose flour)plus more for dusting the surface
2 tsp sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1 stick (1/2 cup) cold unsalted butter
2 Tbsn + 1 tsp ice water
1 egg (for glazing the crust)

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  • If you are making dough for a crust, combine the flour, sugar and salt in a food processor and pulse briefly to combine.  Cut butter into slices and add to the flour mixture.  Pulse about 20 times or until the butter particles are small.  With the motor running, add the ice water and process until the dough is beginning to come together.  It will be loose but will come together if you pinch it.  Turn the loose dough out onto a mixing bowl and knead it briefly  Shape it into a flat disc and wrap in plastic.  Refrigerate for at least 45 minutes and up to 2 days.  (Or to save time later, you can roll it into a 12 inch round, then wrap it in plastic and store in the refrigerator)

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  • Pre-heat the oven to 425.  Line a heavy duty rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.  Brush with with olive oil.  Combine the olive oil, balsamic vinegar and honey in a small bowl.

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  • Cut tomatoes in half horizontally and carefully remove seeds.

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  • Place tomatoes cut side up on the baking sheet and lightly sprinkle with salt.

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  • Pour the balsamic mixture into each tomato half, distributing as evenly as possible. Sprinkle with 2 tsp thyme.

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  • Roast the tomatoes until they are brown on the edges and collapsed, about an hour.  Let them cool.  Save any pan juices to serve with crusty sourdough bread!

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  • While the tomatoes are cooling, remove the dough from the refrigerator and let come to room temperature.  Heat oven to 400.  Line a heavy duty rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.  Place the dough on a lightly floured surface and roll into a 12 inch round, then transfer to parchment paper. Don’t worry if the edges aren’t perfect.  I think it makes a more interesting tart.

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  • Arrange mozzarella slices in the center of the round, leaving a 2 inch border of dough.

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  • Arrange the roasted tomato halves over the mozzarella, starting in the center and slightly overlapping, still leaving a 2 inch border.

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  • Fold the edge of the dough up and over the tomatoes, pleating as you go.

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  • Brush the dough (including under the folds) with beaten egg.  Sprinkle the tart with parmesan and remaining thyme. Bake until the crust is golden brown, about 40 minutes.

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  • Let cool slightly and transfer to a cutting board or serving platter.  Serve warm or at room temperature.

 

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7-8 ripe tomatoes
1/3 cup olive oil
1 Tbsn balsamic vinegar
2 tsp honey
3 tsp fresh thyme (or 1 1/2 tsp dried)-divided
1/2 tsp salt
6 oz fresh mozzarella, sliced (optional)
1/4 cup parmesan, shredded(optional)

CRUST (or your favorite pre-made crust)

1 cup white whole wheat flour (or all purpose flour)plus more for dusting the surface
2 tsp sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1 stick (1/2 cup) cold unsalted butter
2 Tbsn + 1 tsp ice water
1 egg (for glazing the crust)

  • If you are making dough for a crust, combine the flour, sugar and salt in a food processor and pulse briefly to combine.  Cut butter into slices and add to the flour mixture.  Pulse about 20 times or until the butter particles are small.  With the motor running, add the ice water and process until the dough is beginning to come together.  It will be loose but will come together if you pinch it.  Turn the loose dough out onto a mixing bowl and knead it briefly  Shape it into a flat disc and wrap in plastic.  Refrigerate for at least 45 minutes and up to 2 days.
  • Pre-heat the oven to 425.  Line a heavy duty rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.  Brush with with olive oil.  Combine the olive oil, balsamic vinegar and honey in a small bowl.
  • Cut tomatoes in half horizontally and carefully remove seeds.
  • Place tomatoes cut side up on the baking sheet and lightly sprinkle with salt.
  • Pour the balsamic mixture into each tomato half, distributing as evenly as possible. Sprinkle with 2 tsp thyme.  Roast the tomatoes until they are brown on the edges and collapsed, about an hour.  Let them cool.  Save any pan juices to serve with crusty sourdough bread!
  • While the tomatoes are cooling, remove the dough from the refrigerator and let come to room temperature.  Heat oven to 400.  Line a heavy duty rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.  Place the dough on a lightly floured surface and roll into a 12 inch round, then transfer to parchment paper. Don’t worry if the edges aren’t perfect.  I think it makes a more interesting tart.
  • Arrange mozzarella slices in the center of the round, leaving a 2 inch border of dough.
  • Arrange the roasted tomato halves over the mozzarella, starting in the center and slightly overlapping, still leaving a 2 inch border.
  • Fold the edge of the dough up and over the tomatoes, pleating as you go.
  • Brush the dough (including under the folds) with beaten egg.  Sprinkle the tart with parmesan and remaining thyme. Bake until the crust is golden brown, about 40 minutes.
  • Let cool slightly and transfer to a cutting board or serving platter.  Serve warm or at room temperature.

 

 

Margherita and Pesto Chicken Pizzas on White Whole Wheat Crust

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Pizzas

WHAT?  PIZZA CRUST MADE WITH WHITE WHOLE WHEAT?  ISN’T THAT A MISNOMER? I AM ON THE HUNT FOR THE PERFECT HEALTHY PIZZA…

What is white whole wheat? I have only recently heard about white whole wheat flour, which is reported to retain the nutrients as a whole grain flour but be lighter in look and flavor.  Standard whole wheat flour is made using red wheat which is darker in color and makes a heavy whole grain flour or requires lots of processing to make into white flour By contrast, white whole wheat flour is made with albino wheat which is an entirely different variety. This type of wheat grain has a lighter hue and requires much less processing to produce a flour that is more similar to bleached  white flour.

I was not able to find white whole wheat flour locally, so ordered it online from www.kingarthurflour.com.  Since ordering though, I have noticed that Trader Joe’s carries the King Arthur brand.  As a pizza lover who is trying to avoid ‘empty’ carbs (those made with white flour), I decided to make a couple of pizzas and see how it goes. I used the King Arthur recipe, which is dairy free and 100% whole grain. Most whole grain recipes call for less than a third whole grain and are mostly white flour. I thought the pizza turned out pretty well but after reading comments about homemade pizza have decided to invest in a pizza stone (for next time) which gives a crispier crust.  It is not quite as light and crusty as white flour pizza crust but it is less dense and doesn’t have the slightly bitter taste that whole wheat sometimes gives baked goods.  I will definitely make it again and roll it even thinner next time –  but I have a few more whole grain recipes so will keep testing…

Pesto Chicken PizzaMargherita pizza

This recipe makes one large or two small pizzas.  I cut my dough in half and topped one with olive oil, garlic fresh mozzarella, sliced tomatoes and fresh basil.  I topped the finished pizza with more basil and fresh greens.  The second pizza I topped with pesto, sliced cooked chicken, shredded mozzarella, red peppers and scallions. I followed the recipe and found it nice to make the dough the night before and just roll it out and les it rise before game time. Makes a great halftime appetizer.  Just glad my team won!

White Whole Wheat Pizza

Ingredients

  • 3 cups      King Arthur White Whole Wheat Flour or King Arthur 100% Organic White Whole Wheat Flour
  • 2      teaspoons instant yeast
  • 1 1/4      teaspoons salt
  • 2      tablespoons honey
  • 2      tablespoons lukewarm orange juice
  • 2      tablespoons olive oil
  • 3/4 cup lukewarm water

Tips from King Arthur bakers

  • What’s  with the orange juice in this recipe? No, it doesn’t make your pizza taste like oranges; but it does mitigate the somewhat tannic flavor whole wheat can sometimes have. Substitute water if desired.
  • Can you use traditional red wheat flour in this recipe? Absolutely; your crust will be darker, and more assertively flavored due to red wheat’s stronger  taste.
  • Researchers managed to increase antioxidants to their highest level by baking pizza crust at 500°F. However, since some readers have ovens that won’t heat that hot; and since baking at 500°F can be a little tricky (the time difference between perfect and burned becomes very short), we’ve chosen a slightly more moderate baking temperature: 450°F

1) Combine all of the ingredients, and allow to rest for 30 minutes; this gives the whole wheat flour a chance to absorb the liquid.

2) Mix and knead — by hand, mixer, or bread machine — to make a smooth, soft dough.

3) Transfer the dough to a bowl, cover it, and let it rest at room temperature for 30 minutes. Refrigerate overnight, or for about 18 hours; a bit longer is fine. Handy schedule: Make pizza dough at 8 p.m., and refrigerate until 4 p.m. the next day. Shape, let rise for 2 hours, and bake at 6 p.m.

4) Remove the dough from the refrigerator. Pat it into a lightly greased half-sheet pan (18″ x 13″) that’s been drizzled with olive oil. This will make a thick-crust, Sicilian-style pizza, one that’s thick enough to undergo the long bake at a high temperature necessary to optimize its antioxidants.

Pizza dough

5) Brush the dough with sauce, if desired; and top with your favorite cooked toppings: cooked vegetables, and/or cooked or smoked meats. Don’t add the cheese yet. Cover the pizza, and let it rise for about 2 hours, or until it’s very puffy. Towards the end of the rising time, preheat the oven to 450°F.

Margarite Pizza uncooked Chicken Pesto Pizza uncooked

6) Bake the pizza on the bottom shelf of the oven for 8 minutes, then remove it from the oven and top with cheese, if desired.

7) Replace the pizza on a shelf in the upper third of the oven. Bake for an additional 6 to 8 minutes, until the cheese is melted and the crust browned.

8) Remove the pizza from the oven, let rest for about 5 minutes (for the cheese to settle), and serve right away. If not serving right away, transfer the pizza to racks to cool, so the bottoms stay crisp.

Yield: about 16 slices.

Pizzas