Cauliflower Crust Pizza

Cauliflower Crust Pizza

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This has become one of our staples at least 2-4 times a month. We try it with different toppings etc. every time. Lyn tried spaghetti squash a few others and we found a sweet potatoes recipe we are going to try.

I can’t believe I have not posted I guess I just go to my Pinterest and grab from there.

Enjoy

 adapted from here

Toppings of your choice, tomato, pesto or Alfredo sauce, cheese, precooked meats* & precooked veggies*

We also add some of Lyn’s pasta sauce

Preheat oven to 450F.  Line a baking sheet with either a Silpat or parchment paper.

Place the cooked Cauli-Rice into a tea towel and squeeze all the water out of the Cauli-Rice.  It is important to get the rice as dry as possible so that there won’t be extra moisture in the crust which will prevent it from crisping up properly.

In a medium bowl combine the dry Cauli-Rice, egg, 1/3 cup shredded mozzarella, fennel seeds, Italian seasoning, salt & pepper and mix to combine well.  Press the cauliflower mixture into an even thickness on the prepared pan, either into a round or rectangular shaped pizza.  I kept the crust pretty thin, about 1/4-inch thick.  Bake for 15-20 minutes until the crust is firm and golden brown.  Remove the pan from the oven and turn off the oven and turn on the broiler and move the rack to up close to the broiler. Top the cooked crust with sauce, cheese and toppings of your choice.  Place under the broiler until the cheese is bubbly and melted

Enjoy!

* Meats and veggies need to be cooked before placing them on the pizza as after the crust is baked, the pizza is only under the broiler to melt the cheese, not long enough to properly cook meats and veggies.

 

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Saving leftovers

 

I go through spurts with cooking and have always tried to overcook, the amount not the food. I use leftovers as additions to my daily lunch salad, others freeze for another day in perfect one meal portions, while some I use for leftover meals,  look at what I have and experiments on how to use.

leftovers

We have a FoodSaver an ancient model and works fine for us.

Some of my best minced chicken lettuce wraps came about in this manner. This has come in handy recently especially with Lyn on her special diet.  This is not to say I won’t cook during the week but I do tend to cook more on weekends. I think any Chicken or meat dishes freeze and reheats well especially the meatballs in or out of sauce.

After a while the freezer gets pretty full so I pull out my frozen menu for the week and place them on the frig shelf. It’s kind of fun when one can plan a week worth of meals just sitting there waiting to be reheated. Some things freeze and reheat well other do not American Chop Suey did not reheat well after freezing – the pasta got a little mushy but that Spaghetti Squash Pad Thai I made the other day did, I reheated in a fry pan added fresh peanuts and bean sprouts and a little more sauce mmmmm. Lyn freezes plain spaghetti squash but told me it is a little watery when reheated so I got my pan very hot and stir-fried until reheated this got rid of the excess moisture.

Freezer Burn

Freezer burn on a piece of beef 4003882014_6aba7bdc0eshutterstock_70258339Freezer Burn (film)

 

Freezer burn is not a food safety risk. It appears as grayish-brown leathery spots on frozen food, and occurs when air reaches the food’s surface and dries out the product. This can happen any time food is not securely wrapped in air-tight packaging. Color changes result from chemical changes in the food’s pigment. Although undesirable, freezer burn does not make the food unsafe. It merely causes dry spots in foods. Kind of looks like when you defrost in Microwave and some of the edges or thinner parts start to cook, I know you’ve been there.

Save It for Later

http://allrecipes.com

Making meals in advance can be as simple as doubling a casserole recipe or tossing an extra meatloaf into the oven.

Before You Freeze

Before freezing hot food, it’s important to let it cool down. Heat will raise the temperature of the freezer; and the food will not freeze uniformly, the outer edges of the hot dish will freeze hard quickly while the inside might not cool in time to prevent spoilage.

There are just a few things to keep in mind:

  • Cool precooked dishes as quickly as possible before they are placed in the freezer.
  • For fastest cooling, place the pan of hot food in a sink filled with ice water (or in a larger pan of ice water). If you’re cooling a soup, stew, or sauce, stir occasionally to help it cool evenly.
  • Once the dish is cooled, portion it into meal-sized containers or packages. Label and date the containers. Place them in a single layer in the coldest area of your freezer until completely frozen. Rearrange as necessary.

Tips for Freezing Foods

Poorly wrapped foods run the risk of developing freezer burn and unpleasant odors from other foods in the freezer. Follow these simple wrapping and container tips to ensure the quality and safety of your food:

  • Use only specialty freezer wrappings: they should be both moisture-proof and vapor-proof.
  • Leave as little air as possible in the packages and containers. When freezing liquids in containers, allow a small amount of head room for expansion. When using freezer bags, be sure to remove as much air as possible before closing.
  • Wrap solids foods like meats and baked goods tightly in foil before you bag them.
  • Use rigid containers with an air-tight lid and keep the sealing edge free from moisture or food to ensure proper closure.
  • Secure wrapped packages and containers with freezer tape, and write the dish and the date on the tape with a marker.
  • In many cases, meats and fish wrapped by the grocer or butcher need no extra attention before freezing. However, meat wrapped on Styrofoam trays with plastic wrap will not hold up well to freezing. If the food you want to freeze was not specially wrapped, then re-wrap them at home.
  • Freeze in small containers with no more than a 1-quart capacity to ensure that freezing takes place in a timely manner (i.e., within four hours). Food that is two inches thick will take about two hours to freeze completely.

food saver

Thawing Frozen Foods

With the exception of muffins, breads, and other baked goods, do not thaw foods at room temperature. Bacteria can grow in the thawed portion of prepared foods, releasing toxins that are unsafe to eat even after cooking.

To ensure that your food is safe to eat, follow one of these proper ways to thaw:

In the refrigerator: This is the slowest but safest thawing technique. Small frozen items might thaw in a few hours, while larger items will take significantly longer–overnight and then some.

In cold water: Place the frozen food in a leak-proof bag and place in a large container of cold water.

In a microwave on the defrost setting: Plan to cook the food immediately after it has thawed in a microwave, because some areas of the food might have begun cooking during the defrost cycle.

Best if Used By:

Although freezing keeps food safe for an indefinite amount of time, eventually the flavor will be affected. If the food is obviously damaged (shriveled, with white or frosty spots) it should be discarded.

This chart lists recommended storage times for popular precooked foods–casseroles, soups, lasagna–to ensure high-quality results:

Type of Food

Tomato/vegetable sauces – 6 months

Meatloaf (any type of meat)  – 6 months

Soups and stews –  2-3 months

Poultry and Meat Casseroles – 6 months

Poultry (cooked, no gravy)  – 3 months

Poultry (with gravy/sauce)  – 5-6 months

Meatballs in sauce  – 6 months

Pizza dough (raw, homemade) –  3-4 weeks

Muffins/quick breads (baked) 2-3 months

Don’t Crowd the Freezer

A temperature of 0 degrees F (-18 degrees C) is best for maintaining food quality. Proper air circulation is key to keeping your freezer operating at maximum efficiency.

Freezing does not kill bacteria, yeast and molds that might be in your foods–it merely holds them at bay by keeping them inactive. If the freezer’s temperature is disturbed often or altered for an extended period of time (such as a door left ajar or power outages) these microbes can compromise your food’s safety.

Bread Pizza with Avocado Slices

Bread Pizza with Avocado Slices

Next to work is a bakery called Ray and Dicks and they make a great bread or sheet pizza. The sauce is heavy tomato paste base and when slightly warmed it melts in your mouth. My wife does not care for it likes the Portland style sheet pizza better. I will buy one for work every once in a while freeze in single servings of the left overs to reheat and top with whatever is left over or in the frig that hits me when I open the door. This week it was in celebration of avocado season.

 

So this is simple reheat top and eat!

 

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Fire Roasted Smoked tomatoes – Soup, Salsa, Pizza

Fire Roasted Smoked tomatoes – Soup, Salsa, Pizza

I love the smell of smoking chips I swear I would turn on the grill and smoke some chips, sit on the deck and take it in.  When smoking I imagine the neighborhood up wind of me being instantly jealous as they exit their houses taking in the sweat smell of hickory or mesquite chips drifting past their nose. Smoking is a relaxing hobby it means that the mood has shifted to low and slow sit back enjoy a beer and good company, occasionally  getting up to adjust a vent or add more coals and chips. Hours of kicking back and waiting.

The other day we made of first trip the Kelly’s for some native corn and they had Roma tomatoes by the box.  Instantly to the tune of what do you do with a drunken sailor, my mind started singing and thinking. SO an hour later I had my first batch of roasted tomato basil soup on the stove, a batch of cucumber, tomato basil salad in the fridge and some fire roasted smoked tomatoes on the grill, which led to salsa and jar of smoke tomatoes.

Ingredients

  • 3 lbs. Roma tomatoes slice in half length wise.
  • ¼ Olive Oil
  • Finely chopped fresh rosemary, oregano and basil, salt and pepper
  • Soaked wood chips

How

Place the halved tomatoes in large bowl add the oil and herbs, salt and pepper, mix to coat. Place cut on aluminum foil covered BBQ tray

Place wood chips in smoking tray, supposable aluminum tray, or make tinfoil pouch

Put chips in BBQ and heat to high about 15 minutes the chips should be smoking

Place tray of tomatoes and grill about 35-45 minutes until you think are done.

Salsa

Combine chipped smoked tomato, 1 scullion, some chopped red bell pepper, pinch of hot red pepper flakes and some oil let flavors come together. You can add whatever you want to this basically what’s in the fridge.

Gluten free Smoked tomatoes, broccoli, spinach and goat cheese pizza.

Chop some tomatoes and spread on UDI’s gluten free pizza crust, place broccoli and spinach and top with globs of goat cheese. Heat at 350 for 8-10 minutes.