Spinach Artichoke Chicken & Bacon Flatbread Pizza

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If there was one last thing I could eat before my last day on earth yes, it would be pizza. Italian food is one of my favorite things to eat and cook – in fact my Techniques of Italian Cooking course at the Institute of Culinary Education got me hooked on making homemade pizza and pasta from scratch.

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But sometimes making pizza dough at home is time-consuming and labor intensive and all I want to do is eat pizza. Sure, I live in NYC and it’s easy enough to walk downstairs and get a slice or two at the local pizza shop. But when I want pizza but don’t really feel like paying $6 a slice or $25 for a whole pie, I make my own. And, I’m absolutely in love with thin crust pizza and honestly, it’s the toppings and flavor combinations that are so much fun to experiment with. It’s also Summer and beach days are calling, so using up all my carbs and calories with one slice of pizza is no fun. Alas, I discovered FlatOut flat breads that you can prepare yourself with the use of bread machines that you can get easily online at sites like Village-Bakery.com. They’re thin and light and bake up into a crispy shell in minutes and are the perfect base for any pizza. And they’re only 130 calories and 2 g of fat in each one. And that’s pretty awesome.

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So today I made a Spinach Artichoke, Chicken and Bacon flatbread pizza on one of these cuties. And it’s absolutely delicious. And not too filling. And I don’t feel so guilty eating it that I want to hide under the covers and never put on a bathing suit again. Or fall asleep on my laptop after eating while writing this. I used the Honey Wheat thin flat breads which are perfect for one person, but you could also try another flavor (plain, whole wheat, spinach) or try one of their pizza flat breads which are a little longer and bigger if you’re feeding a crowd.

Spinach Artichoke Dip base

This flavor bomb pizza has a layer of spinach and artichoke dip on the base of the flatbread which I baked for a couple of minutes on the oven rack to get it crispy and lightly browned before adding the dip as a base for the other ingredients.

Onions-Bacon-base

Then I topped it with some crispy bacon, sauteed onions and mozzarella cheese..

Add Chicken

some cooked chicken breast (seasoned with Old Honey Barn Kentucky Seasoning that I bought in Louisville KY),

Top with Grated Cheese

and a touch of garlic powder and a healthy dose of grated parmesan cheese.

Baked Pizza

I popped it in the oven for about 5 minutes until the cheese melted, then topped it off with some chile flakes, green onions and more parmesan cheese as a garnish, and a few cracks of freshly ground black pepper. OMG> so delicious and so easy.

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I’m thinking this will be my new thing for Summer and I’ve already thought of a million pizza combinations and ideas I’m planning to make. In fact, you could use the same ingredients to make a kick butt quesadilla on the stove or a healthy chicken wrap. Sayonara gut bomb thick crust pizza, hello thin and crispy skinny pizza.

You’ve made my life. ;)

Spinach Artichoke Chicken & Bacon Flatbread Pizza

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 30 minutes

Yield: Makes 2 flatbread pizzas.

Serving Size: 1/2 flatbread pizza

This flavor bomb pizza has a layer of spinach and artichoke dip on the base of the flatbread (I had some leftover from last night but you can certainly make your own) which I baked for a couple of minutes on the oven rack to get it crispy and lightly browned. Then I topped it with some sautéed onions, crispy bacon, seasoned cooked chicken breast, and parmesan cheese. I popped it in the oven for about 5 minutes until the cheese was melted and then topped it off with some chile flakes, green onions and more parmesan cheese as a garnish, and a few cracks of freshly ground black pepper. OMG> so delicious and so easy.

Ingredients

  • 2 FlatOut 100% Whole Wheat flatbreads
  • 1 cup Spinach and Artichoke Dip (homemade or store bought)
  • 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • ½ large onion, chopped
  • Seasoned salt or Kentucky Chicken seasoning
  • 1 pound thin chicken cutlets (or breasts pounded thin)
  • 4 slices of bacon, cooked and crumbled
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ cup grated parmesan cheese, plus extra for garnish
  • Dash of red chile flakes
  • ½ cup green onions, sliced
  • Freshly ground black pepper

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 375°F. Place two FlatOut flatbreads on a cookie sheet (or directly on oven rack for crispier crust). Bake crust for two minutes. You can also grill the flatbread with a little olive oil in a grill pan or on the grill for a couple of minutes.
  2. Remove flatbreads from the oven and spread the spinach and artichoke dip onto the flatbread and sprinkle with half of the mozzarella cheese.
  3. Cook the onions in some olive oil over medium heat and remove from sauté pan. Add the additional tablespoon of oil into the pan and season the chicken breast. Cook chicken for about 5-6 minutes until cooked through, cut into strips or large chunks. Meanwhile, fry the bacon until crisp, then drain and crumble, and set all ingredients aside.
  4. To make the pizzas, sprinkle the cooked onions, chicken and bacon on top of the cheese. Sprinkle with garlic powder, parmesan cheese, more mozzarella cheese and chili flakes.
  5. Bake for 5 minutes until cheese is melted. Remove flatbread from the oven, and top with sliced green onions, red chile flakes, freshly ground black pepper, and additional grated parmesan, to taste.

Notes

You can substitute any flatbread you like for this pizza or even use real pizza dough if made super thin.

Feel free to experiment with the toppings too - the sky is the limit!

http://www.theartfulgourmet.com/2017/06/02/spinach-artichoke-chicken-bacon-flatbread-pizza/

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Lemon Garlic Shrimp w/ Spaghetti Squash

Lemon Garlic Spaghetti Squash

So we are well into the New Year, and it’s definitely time to up my game and start smashing my fitness and healthy cooking and eating goals for this year.

I’ve joined a new gym, hired a Personal Trainer and committing to doing Yoga, Pilates, Barre and weight training plus lots of walking at least 4 times a week from now on. I’m also focusing on lower carb eating for a while – cutting out sugar, processed foods, carb loaded foods. And drinking more water, getting more rest and taking my vitamins. The list goes on! Gosh, getting healthy and in shape is not easy.


Roasted Spaghetti Squash

I decided to make a lighter version of Lemon Garlic Shrimp Spaghetti that’s normally loaded. I swapped out healthy spaghetti squash roasted with olive oil, sea salt and pepper instead of pasta to lighten up the carbs and calories.

Spaghetti Squash

Then I simply shredded it into spaghetti strands with a fork…

Sautéed Lemon Garlic Shrimp

and sautéed some sliced fresh garlic and shrimp in olive oil, butter, red chile pepper,  fresh parsley and a big splash of fresh lemon juice. YUM!

Lemon Garlic Roasted Spaghetti Squash

It’s so light and delicious i don’t even miss the pasta or bread (truly!) This lovely dish is also low in calories and high in protein – two staples to losing weight. Not to mention staying full and energized without the sugar highs and lows from eating all those heavy carbs.

You can also add more veggies to the dish if you like..try sautéing some mushrooms, zucchini, cherry tomatoes or bell peppers and adding them to the mix. I absolutely love the possibilities of this dish! Who needs pasta when you have delicious buttery strands of squash instead? Please add your comments below on how you would make or alter the dish – creativity is good!

Hope you enjoy the recipe and here’s to happy and healthy New Year to all of you. xx

Lemon Garlic Shrimp w/ Spaghetti Squash

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 1 hour, 30 minutes

Total Time: 2 hours

Yield: Makes 4-5 cups Spaghetti Squash and approximately 3 cups of Lemon Garlic Shrimp, serving 2.

This light and healthy dish is made with roasted spaghetti squash topped with sautéed shrimp, garlic, olive oil, chile flakes, lemon and parsley. Super easy and tasty and low on the carbs!

Ingredients

  • Roasted Spaghetti Squash:
  • 1 (3-pound) spaghetti squash
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Lemon Garlic Shrimp:
  • 6 cloves garlic, sliced
  • 1 pound medium shrimp, peeled and deveined (16-20 ct)
  • 2-3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • Pinch of red pepper chile flakes
  • 3 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley leaves, plus more for garnish
  • Sea salt and black pepper, to taste
  • Grated Parmesan cheese, for garnish (optional)

Instructions

  1. Roasted Spaghetti Squash:
  2. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
  3. Cut spaghetti squash in half lengthwise and scrape out seeds and inner membranes. Drizzle and rub squash with olive oil, and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
  4. Place the halves, cut side down, in a large baking dish and roast squash for 35-45 minutes until tender.
  5. Remove squash from oven and turn side up, letting it cool for about 10 minutes.
  6. Scrape the inside of the squash with a fork to make spaghetti strands and serve with the Lemon Garlic Shrimp.
  7. Lemon Garlic Shrimp:
  8. Heat oil and butter over medium-high heat in a skillet until shimmering, then add the sliced garlic and cook while stirring constantly, about 1 minute.
  9. Add the shrimp and cook, stirring constantly, until shrimp are slightly cooked through, about 2-3 minutes. Add the lemon juice, red pepper flakes and parsley; toss to combine.
  10. Season to taste with salt and pepper, serve immediately over roasted spaghetti squash.
  11. Garnish with additional fresh parsley and grated parmesan cheese, if desired.
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http://www.theartfulgourmet.com/2017/01/31/lemon-garlic-shrimp-w-spaghetti-squash/

3-Cheese Butternut Squash Tart w/ Bacon

3 Cheese Butternut Squash Tart w/ Bacon

3 Cheese Butternut Squash Tart w/ Bacon

It’s the holidays and we all know what that means..time to cook and bake, and eat all the delicious treats of the season..like this savory
3-Cheese Butternut Squash Tart with Bacon. Can we say yay?

3 Cheese Butternut Squash Tart w/ Bacon


It’s so easy to make with some store-bought puff pastry because who has time to make their own with so many goodies to make and presents to wrap? And delicious holiday food to eat?

3 Cheese Butternut Squash Tart w/ Bacon

It’s got a gorgeous crispy, buttery crust topped with ricotta and Parmesan and Gruyere cheese, roasted butternut squash with maple syrup and of course, bacon. Then it’s topped with a drizzle of balsamic glaze and some fresh thyme along with some sea salt and freshly ground pepper. Sounds pretty perfect to me. 

Roll Dough

First, defrost and roll out your dough. Cut 1/2 inch strips around the edges to double up to make a pastry border and brush it with egg wash. Pop it in the fridge for about 30 minutes.

RoastSquash

Next, drizzle olive oil, salt and pepper, and some garlic powder over the butternut squash, then drizzle it with some maple syrup and roast it for about 15 minutes.

Bacon

Cook that delicious bacon, drain and set aside to crumble on the tart later.

Ricotta

Whip up your ricotta with an egg, salt and pepper and some shredded Parmesan cheese.

Add Ricotta

Spread it on top of the tart pastry evenly. (Repeat all steps with the second pastry throughout.)

Add Cheese

Top it with some of that luscious grated Gruyere cheese.

Top w/ Squash

Place the roasted squash on top along with the bacon. Sprinkle some fresh thyme on top.

3 Cheese Butternut Squash Tart w/ Bacon

Then simply bake it for 30 minutes on 375 F, then drizzle it with some balsamic glaze, cut into squares and devour!

3 Cheese Butternut Squash & Bacon Tart

Yield: Makes 2 tarts, serves 12.

Serving Size: 1 tart square (6 per tart)

This delicious savory tart features three luscious cheeses (ricotta, gruyere and parmesan) along with crispy bacon and roasted butternut squash and thyme. It makes a great appetizer for the holidays!

Ingredients

  • 2 large eggs
  • 14 ounces frozen all-butter puff pastry, thawed
  • 2 packages butternut squash, precut into 1-2" cubes
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup or honey
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 6-8 slices bacon
  • 1 pound fresh ricotta cheese
  • 1 tablespoon whole milk or cream
  • 2/3 cup shredded parmesan cheese
  • 1 cup shredded gruyere cheese
  • Balsamic glaze, for garnish
  • fresh thyme, for garnish

Instructions

  1. Roll out 1 piece of puff pastry into a large rectangle. Cut a 1/2 inch border around the edges and place the strips on the edges of the pastry sheet to create a border crust. Prick holes around the pastry to avoid puffing.
  2. Beat 1 egg and brush the pastry edges and repeat same procedure with second pastry sheet; chilling both for 1/2 an hour in the fridge.
  3. While pastry is chilling, preheat oven to 450 degrees.
  4. Cut the butternut squash into small chunks and drizzle with olive oil, maple syrup, salt and pepper and garlic powder.
  5. Bake for 15 minutes and set aside.
  6. Cook bacon according to package directions and drain on paper towels. Crumble once cooled and set aside.
  7. Reduce heat in oven to 375.
  8. Mix the ricotta cheese with one beaten egg, parmesan cheese and additional salt and pepper.
  9. Remove pastry from the fridge and spread the ricotta mixture evenly over the tops of both.
  10. Sprinkle with shredded gruyere cheese and crumbled bacon.
  11. Top both pastries with the butternut squash and sprinkle with some fresh thyme.
  12. Bake for 30 minutes until the pastry is golden brown and puffed around the edges.
  13. Cut into squares after cooling on a rack and serve warm.
  14. Garnish with a drizzle of balsamic glaze on top and additional fresh thyme if desired.
http://www.theartfulgourmet.com/2016/12/14/3-cheese-butternut-squash-tart-w-bacon/

3 Cheese Butternut Squash Tart w/ Bacon

Gosh I love the holidays.

3 Cheese Butternut Squash Tart w/ Bacon

Wishing you a great one!

3 Cheese Butternut Squash Tart w/ Bacon

Now back to that tart I just made… 😉

Almond Shortbread Cookies w/ Blood Orange Glaze

Almond Shortbread Cookies w/ Blood Orange Glaze

Almond Shortbread Cookies

So February is here and so is National Almond Day! I absolutely love almonds – not only are they packed with tons of vitamins, minerals and fiber, but they also taste amazing! I love toasting almonds for salad toppings, making almond crust for chicken or fish, and best of all baking them into lovely, nutty, scrumptious desserts…especially cookies..mmmmm.

KitchenAid Countertop Oven


I recently got a new KitchenAid® 12″ Convection Digital Countertop Oven, and I am absolutely in love with it! Not only is it a toaster oven, but it’s also a fully functioning convection oven with nine different pre-programmed functions, including Pizza, Bagel, Cookie, Asado Roast and Keep Warm. It has a large capacity with enough room to roast a chicken or make a 12″ pizza, and of course enough space to bake a large batch of cookies. I LOVE THIS THING!

Blood Orange Glazed Almond Shortbread Cookies

Since we are in the dead of winter and in the spirit of National Almond Day, I thought a big batch of cookies was in order. I made some delicious Almond Shortbread Cookies with Blood Orange Glaze. They’re super buttery and crisp with a sweet, tart and refreshing hint of blood orange – perfect for a chilly day with a cup of tea. And they’re really easy to make too..check out the link below for my recipe on the Kitchenthusiast food blog and enjoy!!!

CLICK HERE TO GET THE RECIPE AND STEP-BY-STEP PHOTOS ON THE KITCHENAID BLOG

Sweet & Savory Mini Tarts

Sweet & Savory Mini Tarts

With the holidays approaching, it’s time to start thinking about fun food to make for all the parties and get togethers with family and friends. I love making appetizers, mini tarts, and small bites for potlucks and parties because it’s fun to experiment with different flavor combinations and they’re generally easy to transport.

One of my favorite things to make are  Sweet and Savory Mini Tarts, and I’ve used my KitchenAid® Professional-Grade Nonstick Mini Pie Pan to whip up two delicious tarts that you can bring to your next holiday soiree. I love this pie pan because its nonstick professional-grade construction and removable bottoms make it easy to work with. And the pre-engraved ridges for the crust ensure that all of your tarts and mini pies come out looking perfect!


Cranberry Almond Mini Tarts

My Mini Cranberry Apple Almond Tarts are super delicious – sweet and tangy with a little bit of crunch, made with fresh cranberries, orange juice, honey, apples, cinnamon and chopped almonds.

Mini Savory Tarts

I also made some savory Mini Bacon, Veggie and Cheese Tarts that are great for a holiday brunch or even a small evening get together with friends and family. They’ve got tons of good stuff inside too – eggs, cream, shredded cheese, crispy bacon and lots of fresh sautéed veggies like zucchini, mixed bell peppers, green onion and garlic with a touch of fresh thyme for garnish.

Mini Sweet & Savory Tarts

So easy to make and so delicious and fun for a holiday party!

I’d love to hear in the comments below what you would make in the mini pie pan for your holiday party – sweet or savory? Or both? What flavors and ingredients would you use? How would you change up the crust? Be sure to share your take on these sweet and savory tart recipes with us on Instagram using #MadeWithKitchenAid for a chance to be featured.

Happy holidays!

Check out how i made them with my KitchenAid mini pie pan Stainless Steel cookware and get the #recipes on the Kitchenthusiast blog HERE!

Disclaimer: As a Kitchenthusiast Contributor, I have been compensated by KitchenAid for this post, but this post represents my own opinion.*

Meatball Madness!

Meatball Madness

Fall is one of my favorite times of the year simply because it’s a time when the leaves are changing, the weather is getting cooler, and you have an excuse to stay inside to watch football with friends and family and gather around the table with some delicious party food!

Whenever I host a party, I like to create a smorgasbord of food that’s easy for people to grab. I love bite-sized finger foods and tapas-style spreads that are fun to make and eat. My idea for a great fall football party is Meatball Madness – an experiment with different types of meatballs paired with unique sauces, fillings and bases to eat them on.


Meatballs are super fun and easy to make with the help of my KitchenAid® Copper Core 12″ Nonstick Skillet and my KitchenAid® Professional-Grade Nonstick Sheet Pans when I’m cooking for a large crowd. Both are great for cooking meatballs easily and evenly with their high quality nonstick coating, and they are both large enough so I can cook big batches of meatballs.

Greek Meatballs

For this post, I decided to make some Greek Beef Meatballs with Tzatzkiki Sauce served on toasted flatbreads,

Asian Meatballs

and some Asian Chicken Meatballs with a Spicy Peanut Sauce served on Gem Lettuce Cups as thought starters for this party idea, but I’d love to hear from you what other themes, flavors and creative ideas you would incorporate when you throw your own Meatball Madness Party!

MeatballMadness-Group

You can mix and match different themes with different fillings and flavors for the meatballs, for example – you could make Spanish Meatballs made with pork, chorizo and onions and create a Roasted Red Pepper Aioli to dip them in and serve on toasted pita. Or you could make traditional Italian Meatballs with Cheese and Tomato Sauce on mini slider buns topped with fresh basil and parsley. Or make German Meatballs with Bratwurst and Sauerkraut with a Grainy Mustard Sauce served on mini Rye breads – the possibilities are endless and super fun to come up with!

CLICK HERE TO SEE THE RECIPES AND HOW I MADE THEM WITH MY KITCHENAID EQUIPMENT ON THE KITCHENTHUSIAST BLOG! 

Pear and Hazelnut Salted Caramel Pie

Pear and Hazelnut Salted Caramel Pie

Fall has finally arrived – my favorite season of the year! I love the cooler weather and dressing in jeans, sweaters, boots and leather jackets. I love the beautiful colors of the changing leaves. And I love the gorgeous fall produce and warmer, cozier comfort foods that come with the season.

Pears Hazelnuts


One of my favorite things to make in the fall is pie – sweet or savory with gorgeous fruits and veggies and all sorts of lovely ingredients and spices.

Pear Filling

There’s something so soothing about the smell of pie baking in the oven that warms up the home and goes perfectly with the crisp fall air and cooler days and nights.

KitchenAid Stainless Pie Pan

I recently got a KitchenAid® Stainless Steel 8-Piece Set of cookware along with a new KitchenAid® 9” Professional-Grade Nonstick Pie Pan and was inspired to make a gorgeous Pear and Hazelnut Salted Caramel Pie with a Chocolate Graham Crust. The flavors of nuts, homemade caramel, fresh pears, chocolate, cinnamon and nutmeg pair perfectly together and scream fall.

Pour Salted Caramel Sauce

CLICK HERE TO SEE MY STEP BY STEP RECIPE & PHOTOS ON THE KITCHENAID BLOG!

Cheesy Skillet Beef Goulash

Cheesy Skillet Beef Goulash

 

It’s summer and OH. SO. HOT. And I honestly haven’t really been in the mood to cook  or do anything lately except lie down in the AC or chill on the beach – but a girl’s gotta eat, right?


Cheesy Skillet Beef Goulash

I’ve also been a bit blue because my Dad is in the hospital and having double bypass heart surgery on Monday morning which is a bit scary..and too much to deal with.

Kristen and Dad

So I decided I needed a dose of some comfort food this weekend to cheer me up and bring me a little closer to home with Dad. 🙂

Cheesy Skillet Beef Goulash

I had a few samples of RedPack petite diced tomatoes on hand and thought they would be perfect for a comforting baked pasta dish – something that reminded me of what Mom used to make for us for dinner.

Cheesy Skillet Beef Goulash

So I whipped up a Cheesy Skillet Beef Goulash – made with ground beef, tomatoes, onion, garlic, elbow macaroni and three cheeses – all cooked together in one skillet, then baked into a pot of bubbly, cheesy goodness.

Cheesy Skillet Beef Goulash

Super simple to make and definitely comforting at that. I think I’ll get through the weekend and Dad’s surgery just fine…after I have some of this deliciousness..and maybe a nap in the A/C. 🙂

Kristen and Dad

Cheesy Skillet Beef Goulash

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Total Time: 30 minutes

Yield: 6-8

This is a classic cheesy baked pasta dish made with macaroni, ground beef, diced tomatoes, onion and garlic, topped with Parmesan and shredded cheddar cheese.

Ingredients

  • 1 package elbow macaroni
  • 2 tablespoons cooking oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 3-4 large garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 pound lean ground beef
  • 1- 28 ounce can RedPack petite diced tomatoes
  • 1 cup tomato sauce
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese, plus extra for garnish
  • 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • Kosher salt, to taste
  • Fresh ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1/2 cup shredded mild cheddar cheese
  • 1 cup shredded extra sharp cheddar cheese

Instructions

  1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil and cook the macaroni, drain and set aside.
  2. Meanwhile, In a large nonstick skillet, add oil and heat until it's shimmering. Add onion, and cook over medium heat until onion is soft, about 5-7 minutes. Add garlic and cook for about 30 seconds.
  3. Add the ground beef and brown until no longer pink, stirring and breaking it up as you cook.
  4. Add the diced tomatoes and tomato sauce to the skillet and stir. Cook the mixture for about 5 minutes or so until heated through.
  5. Stir in the cooked pasta and Parmesan cheese, Italian seasoning, red pepper flakes, salt and pepper, mixing well. Adjust seasonings to your taste buds accordingly...:)
  6. Top the pasta mixture with both shredded cheeses and bake in the oven for about 10 minutes until the cheese is melted and bubbly.
  7. Top with additional grated Parmesan cheese if desired and serve hot immediately.

Notes

Goes great with a green salad and garlic bread and a crisp white wine like Pinot Grigio or a light fruity red table wine.

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http://www.theartfulgourmet.com/2015/08/09/cheesy-skillet-beef-goulash/

 

Veggie, Bacon & Cheese Tarts in a Toasted Quinoa Crust

Veggie, Bacon & Cheese Quinoa Tarts

I love making savory tarts and pies, but unfortunately I don’t love the carbs and calories that come along with them. It’s also Summertime, and I’m trying to cook and eat lighter than usual…and the Fall season will come soon enough with all that yummy comfort food!

Quinoa Tart 1


I’ve been experimenting lately with alternatives to pasta and dough – things like zucchini, cauliflower, almond flour, and quinoa. Not only are they lighter, but also , gluten-free and less carbs than traditional flours and equally as satisfying and tasty!

Veggie, Bacon & Cheese Quinoa Tarts

I found a recipe on Cooking Light for a savory Fall tart made in a toasted quinoa crust and decided to experiment a little with the crust, fillings and flavors. MISSION ON.

Toasted Quinoa

I love the flavor of the nutty toasted quinoa, which is done in the oven and gives a nice depth of flavor and crunch to the tart crust.

Toasted Quinoa Tart Shells

I mixed in some Bob’s Red Mill almond flour, corn starch, Parmesan cheese and an egg for binding the quinoa, then added a little garlic salt and olive oil to bring it all together for the crust. Then I pressed the quinoa mixture into four small tart pans and baked for about 10 minutes before filling them and baking again.

Mascarpone & Cheddar

While the tart crusts were baking, I made a savory filling with mascarpone and cheddar cheese and spooned in this delightful cheesy goodness on to the par-baked crusts.

Crispy Cooked Bacon

I also cooked up some crispy gorgeous bacon in the oven while the tarts were baking..(for about 20 minutes or so)..

Top with Crispy Bacon

then chopped it to pieces and layered it on top of the cheeses. HELLO PRETTIES. Come to me.

Blanched Cauliflower and Peas

Next I started filling the tarts with my blanched cauliflower and baby peas,

Veggie Tart fillings

more Parmesan cheese and a drizzle of olive oil,

Ready to bake the tarts again

popped them back in the oven..

Tarts Cooling

and baked these cuties for another 5-10 minutes and let them cool on a wire rack for a few…

Tarts cooling

the anticipation of these delicious things in my mouth is MOUNTING.

Cooked Quinoa Tarts

Once the tarts were cooled a bit, I garnished them with some fresh chopped basil, chives and freshly cracked black pepper and a few red pepper flakes. Mini Green Goddesses!

Veggie, Bacon & Cheese Quinoa Tarts

And Oh Holy Delicious.

Veggie Bacon & Cheese Tarts in a Toasted Quinoa Crust

This is a great base recipe for any savory tart really – feel free to substitute different fillings for the tarts depending on the season..butternut squash and spinach in the Fallcorn, tomatoes and zucchini in the Summer… roasted carrotspotatoes and Gruyere in the Winter..asparagus and leeks in the Spring…oh, the ideas are endless!

Veggie Bacon & Cheese Tarts in a Toasted Quinoa Crust

Veggie, Bacon & Cheese Tarts in a Toasted Quinoa Crust

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour

Yield: Makes four 4 5/7-inch tarts

Serving Size: 1 tart

This is a gluten-free tart recipe made with a toasted quinoa crust, filled with a savory filling of mascarpone and cheddar cheese, bacon, cauliflower, peas topped with Parmesan, and fresh basil and chives.

Ingredients

  • Toasted Quinoa Tart Crust:
  • 1 cup uncooked quinoa
  • 1/2 cup almond meal flour
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 2 tablespoons Parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic salt
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • Cooking spray
  • Tart Filling:
  • 1 cup cauliflower florets
  • 1 cup baby green peas, frozen
  • 4-5 slices of bacon, cooked and chopped
  • 1/2 cup mascarpone cheese, softened
  • 1/2 cup shredded cheese (Cheddar, Jack, or Gouda)
  • 4 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil, divided
  • 1/2 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil, for garnish
  • 1 tablespoon finely minced chives, for garnish

Instructions

  1. Make the Toasted Quinoa Tart Crusts:
  2. Preheat oven to 350°.
  3. Place quinoa on a baking sheet. Bake at 350° for 10 minutes or until golden brown; cool.
  4. Place half of quinoa in a food processor; pulse 30 seconds.
  5. Transfer to a large bowl. Add remaining toasted quinoa, almond meal, cornstarch, and salt to bowl; stir to combine.
  6. Add oil and egg; stir until mixture is crumbly but holds together when pressed.
  7. Press into bottom and up sides of four 4 5/7-inch removable-bottom fluted tart pans coated with cooking spray.
  8. Bake at 350° for 10 minutes or until golden, but not completely cooked (you will put them back in the oven later after you fill them with the veggies, bacon and cheese.)
  9. Prep the Tart fillings:
  10. While the tart crusts are baking, chop the cauliflower into small florets and measure out the baby peas.
  11. Blanch the veggies in boiling water for about 2-3 minutes, then drain and rinse them in very cold water or shock them in an ice bath, set aside.
  12. Cook the bacon and drain, chop into small chunks, set aside.
  13. Measure out the mascarpone, Cheddar and Parmesan cheese, and chop basil and chives, set aside.
  14. Fill the Tart Crusts:
  15. Spread the mascarpone cheese evenly in bottom of each tart crust.
  16. Top each tart with shredded cheese, then crumbled bacon.
  17. Arrange cauliflower and peas evenly over cheese and bacon mixture on the tarts and drizzle with some olive oil, Parmesan cheese and black pepper.
  18. Bake tarts for another 5-7 minutes in the oven.
  19. Remove tarts from the pans; cool completely on a wire rack.
  20. Garnish with fresh chopped basil and chives, serve warm.

Notes

Recipe adapted from Cooking Light, Nov 2014.

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Other Tart Recipes you might enjoy:

Savory Harvest Fall Tart

Quinoa Tart with Zucchini & Sundried Tomato Dressing

Gluten-Free Tomato Tart

Gluten-Free Spinach and Onion Tart

A Birthday Pie for Dad: Lemon Icebox Pie w/ Raspberry-Blueberry Topping

Lemon Berry Icebox Pie

LemonBlueberryPie2

I just got back from a lovely 2 week vacation in Upstate New York (Rochester) visiting family and friends, which I normally do in the Summer, my family and I rent a beach house from the most cool outer banks vacation rentals every year. Not only is it the 4th of July holiday, but my Sister’s and Dad’s birthdays and a time to celebrate Summer!

Dads Birthday Pie


I decided to make my Dad a pie for his birthday because I know he loves them..he usually loves Lemon Meringue Pie but I thought I’d surprise him with a lovely Lemon Icebox Pie with a Blueberry-Raspberry Filling in a Graham Cracker crust.

Lemon Blueberry Pie1

The pie is made in a buttery graham cracker crust and has a light and luscious creamy lemon filling made with eggs, sugar, lemon juice and lemon zest that is mixed with condensed milk, buttermilk and whipped egg yolks. It’s topped with a homemade Blueberry-Raspberry Filling made with fresh berries, sugar and lemon zest and cooked into a yummy warm syrupy topping, along with some fluffy whipped cream to top it off.

It’s really easy to make and has a creamy tangy flavor that is balanced by the sweet berry topping a crunchy graham crust. Delicious! Here’s how to make it in a few easy steps:

Bake Pie Crust

Prepare the crust by mixing crushed graham crackers with melted butter, sugar and salt and pressing into a 9 inch pie pan. Bake at 325 for about 10 minutes until lightly browned, set aside to cool on wire rack.

Zest Lemons

Next make your lemon icebox pie filling by zesting some lemons,

Lemon Pie Filling

and whisking the lemon zest and lemon juice with the condensed milk.

Whip Egg Buttermilk Filling

Next you will beat your egg yolks for about 5 minutes until ribbons form, and gradually whisk in condensed milk mixture and buttermilk, and pour into prepared graham crust.

Pie Cooling

Bake the pie for about 20-25 minutes at 325 degrees F, and let cool completely on a wire rack for about an hour.

Cook Berry Filling

While the pie is cooling, make your fresh berry filling by adding 2 cups of fresh berries (I used raspberries and blueberries, but you can use any berries you wish) to a medium saucepan along with some lemon zest, sugar and water. Cook the berry mixture on medium-low for about 10 minutes until the berries breakdown and a syrupy texture forms.

Berry Filling

Let the berry filling cool completely and keep cool in the refrigerator until ready to use.

Lemon Blueberry Pie 3

Let the pie freeze for about 4-6 hours (make sure to spray some plastic wrap and cover well first). Once ready to eat, just top pie with mixed berries and whipped cream and let the party begin!

A Birthday Pie for Dad: Lemon Icebox Pie w/ Raspberry-Blueberry Topping

Total Time: 6 hours, 15 minutes

Yield: 8

A luscious and light lemony pie in a graham cracker crust with macerated raspberries and blueberries topped with whipped cream.

Ingredients

  • Graham Cracker Crust:
  • 1 1/2 cups crushed graham cracker crumbs
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • Lemon Icebox Pie Filling:
  • 1 (14-ounce) can of sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest
  • 1/2 cup fresh lemon juice (about 2 lemons)
  • 3 large egg yolks
  • 1/4 cup buttermilk
  • Raspberry-Blueberry Topping:
  • 1 cup raspberries
  • 1 cup blueberries
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 3 tablespoons water
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest
  • Dash of vanilla extract

Instructions

  1. Prepare Pie Crust:
  2. Preheat oven to 325 F.
  3. Pour graham cracker crumbs in a large mixing bowl and add sugar, salt and melted butter.
  4. Mix well and press into the bottom of a greased 9-inch pie pan.
  5. Bake crust for 8 to 10 minutes and let cool completely on a wire rack. (Can also freeze for up to an hour while preparing pie filling and topping).
  6. Prepare Lemon Icebox Pie Filling:
  7. Whisk together lemon zest, juice and condensed milk in a mixing bowl, set aside.
  8. In another large mixing bowl, beat egg yolks with a mixer on high speed, until ribbons form and they become pale (for about 5 minutes).
  9. Whisk in condensed milk and lemon mixture slowly and gradually until thoroughly combined, then whisk in buttermilk.
  10. Pour mixture into cooled graham cracker crust and bake at 325 degrees F for about 20-25 minutes until filling is set.
  11. Let pie cool on a wire rack for an hour, then cover with a greased saran wrap and freeze at least 4 hours.
  12. Prepare Raspberry-Blueberry Topping:
  13. Place all the berries and rest of ingredients in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat.
  14. Once berries come to a boil, reduce heat to low and simmer for about 10 minutes until berry mixture thickens (stirring often).
  15. Let berry topping cool completely and store in the fridge (covered) until ready to use.
  16. Top the pie with berry topping and whipped cream.

Notes

You can substitute any berries you like for the pie topping, and also use cracker crumbs, vanilla wafers or gingersnaps in place of the graham crackers for the crust.

Recipe adapted from Lisa Donovan, Southern Living Magazine - June 2015

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Dad's Birthday Pie

We also had a great lunch for Dad’s birthday at Phillip’s European before we had this pie for dessert. Fun delicious day! 🙂

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