Monday, July 25, 2011

White Bean Pizza Dough

I've tried this out multiple times and think I finally have it mastered now. The next step will be making the flour from dry white beans, but that might be aways down the road yet.

1 cup warm water
1 Tbsp yeast
1 can white beans, drained, rinsed and pureed
1 Tbsp sugar
3-4 Tbsp olive oil
1/2 tsp salt
3-4 cups flour (mixture of any kind - white, wheat or bean)
1 tsp oregano
1/2 tsp (or more to taste) garlic powder

1. Put water in mixing bowl, sprinkle in yeast and sugar and let stand about 5 minutes.
2. Put beans into food processor and pulse until smooth. Stir beans into yeast mixture. Add about 2 cups of flour and the oil. Stir until dough comes together. Let rest for a few minutes (3-5). Add salt, oregano, garlic powder and the rest of flour to dough until dough is soft and smooth, but don't let it get stiff.
3. Once the flour is mixed into the dough knead for 5-10 minutes on low speed. Cover the dough and lit rise for about an hour, or until doubled in size.
4. Add favorite toppings and bake 10-15 min @ 450 °

This makes enough to cover a big cookie sheet (11x15 ) and still have some left over. I'm guessing it would make 2 big round pizzas. I usually wrap my leftover dough tightly and put it in the fridge for a couple days and then make bread sticks with it. You could also freeze it. It is a great way to sneak in a little extra fiber and protein and it doesn't change the flavor!

Hearty Healty Chicken Salad

1 cup small macaroni, cooked
1 cup sliced celery
1/2 tsp pepper
1 cup white wine vinegar
3 Tbsp chopped green onion
1/2 cup chopped sweet red pepper
2-3 cups cooked, cubed chicken
3 tomatoes, diced
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp oregano
1 clove garlic, minced
3/4- 1 cup chicken broth

1. In a large bowl mix together chicken (while still warm), macaroni, tomatoes, celery, red pepper and green onion. Sprinkle with salt, pepper and oregano.
2. Place chicken broth and garlic in small saucepan, bring to a boil over light heat, boil for 10 minutes or until broth is reduced to 1/2 cup.
3. Add vinegar and pour over salad. Mixing well. Chill until cold.

I thought the "dressing" sounded a little too tart so I only used 3/4 cup vinegar and it was still really tangy. It needs some tweaking but I haven't figured it out yet, so if you give it a try and find something that works let us know!

Also I used fun cellentani noodles instead of macaroni, and added more green onions and celery in place of the pepper.

Thai Beef Salad

1 packet Ranch Dressing Mix
3/4 cup mayo
3/4 cup unsweetened coconut milk
2 Tbsp lime juice
1 lb thinly sliced roast beef
1 cucumber, sliced
1/4 cup cilantro leaves
1 cup sliced bamboo shoots
1/4 cup chopped peanuts

Combine mayo, coconut milk, dressing mix and lime juice in small bowl or jar; chill at least 30 mins. Arrange beef, cucumber, cilantro and bamboo shoots on a large platter. Pour dressing in a thin stream over salad. Sprinkle with peanuts.

I used left over roast from the cross rib roast for this and it was great. I also had to substitute water chestnuts for the bamboo because the store was out, and I used light coconut milk to cut down on fat and calories and it worked great (and then I used the left over coconut milk in a smoothie mmm mmm good). Also we halved the dressing recipe and still had some leftover. I also added more salad greens to the salad served it with bread sticks. It was pretty tasty!

Cross Rib Roast

2 lbs Roast (the recipie calls for cross rib, but I have never used that cut)
2 Tbsp Balsamic Vinegar
2 Tbsp Minced Garlic
2 tsp dried Thyme
1 tsp dried rosemary
1 Tbsp salt
1 tsp pepper
1 Tbsp olive oil

1. Brush Roast with balsamic vinegar
2. Make a paste with remaining ingredients and apply to meat.
3 Roast meat @ 450° for 15 min, reduce heat to 350 and cook for 40-60 mins or until internal temperature is 125°.
4. Remove from oven; cover loosely with foil and let stand 15 to 25 min.

If I have a big roast I've found it easier to cut it in 2 pieces and cook it so it is actually done in about an hour, otherwise it can take up to 90 mins. We love this recipe because the vinegar makes the meat so tender. And it is great in "left over" recipes, like the Thai Beef Salad.

BBQ Chicken Pasta with Bacon

1 pound penne or other short pasta, cooked according to package directions
1 pound bacon, chopped
3 boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite-size chunks
1 red onion, diced
Salt and pepper to taste
2/3 cup barbecue sauce
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1/2 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
Crushed red pepper flakes to taste (I used about 1/4 tsp.)
Green onions, bacon, and shredded cheese for garnish, if desired

Cook the bacon to a 12" dutch oven over a full spread of coals, stirring occasionally, until the bacon is crisp. Using a slotted spoon, remove bacon to paper towel.  Add the chicken and red onion to the bacon grease in the skillet, season with salt and pepper, and cook until the chicken is browned and cooked through and the onion is softened. Drain off any excess grease and stir in the reserved bacon, barbecue sauce and sour cream. Once mixed, add in the shredded cheese. Add pasta and stir to combine; heat through.  Serve immediately.  Serves 6-8