Whipped Ricotta Flatbread with Zucchini and Tomatoes

Zan's recipe Flatbread whipped RicottaHere is a fun appetizer I created using some (store bought) pizza dough, ricotta, and some veggies. It’s not too heavy and you can make a little extra whipped ricotta as a dipping sauce.

Ingredients:

For the Whipped Ricotta

  • 1 cup ricotta
  • 2 Tsp. fresh rosemary
  • 8 small cloves roasted garlic
  • 1/2 Tsp. salt
  • 1/4 cup goat cheese crumbles
  • 2 Tbsp. olive oil

For the Flatbread

  • 1 ball of pizza dough
  • flour for dusting surface and pizza spatula
  • 1/4 Tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 sliced zucchini (with cheese slicer)
  • 5 Roma tomatoes (sliced same thickness as zucchini)
  • 8 leaves of basil (sliced into strips)

Directions for Whipped Ricotta:

Place ricotta, rosemary, roasted garlic, salt, and goat cheese crumbles into the blender, blend on low speed, and slowly add in the olive oil until you reach a smooth consistency.

Directions for Flatbread:

Preheat oven to 500 degrees or grill. (I normally cook pizza on a pizza stone.) Roll out the pizza dough on a smooth floured surface, stretching on the edge of a counter then tossing in the air, as my husband normally does, (getting flour all over the place) until the pizza dough is evenly thinned out. You can leave the edges thicker (similar to regular pizza), which can be used for dipping into the sauce. Place 1/2 – 1 cup of whipped ricotta onto the center and spread to within one inch of the edges. Sprinkle with salt. Add the tomatoes and zucchini. Place onto the pizza stone and cook until the edges brown, and the center is cooked – approximately 5-10 minutes. Remove flatbread and drizzle the olive oil over the top. Sprinkle with the basil. Serve the extra whipped ricotta on the side. Slice into 3″ pieces and serve. Enjoy!!! Serves 4 as an appetizer.

Moroccan Chicken and Vegetable Stew (Paleo)

paleo moroccan chicken and vegetable stew

After a traditional Thanksgiving weekend, I decided to make some aromatic, and spicy ethnic food. I pulled out a “somewhat Paleo” recipe book, written by Dr. Mark Hyman called “The 10-Day Detox Diet Cookbook“, based on his book “The Blood Sugar Solution“. It’s basically a healthy cookbook with a lot of Paleo recipes. This dish called out to me with all of the aromatic spices, like turmeric, cumin, and coriander. I made some slight modifications and spiced it up a bit. Warning: It did take a while to prep, approximately 40 minutes as I like to chop the ingredient a bit smaller than Dr. Hyman recommended, but was well worth it. I did not include the recommended eggplant, as my husband “claims” that he is allergic to it. (What REALLY happened: when he was in college, after a dinner of eggplant parmesan, and bit too much to drink, he threw up, and now claims it was the eggplant he was allergic to). Ha! Anyway, you can always add one chopped eggplant to this dish. Oh, and this dish is also called “Tagine”. Also, if you want to go vegan, substitute the chicken for firm tofu and reduce cooking time by 15 minutes.

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 yellow onions, diced
  • 6 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tbsp pureed ginger (I use this one)
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 2 tsp ground turmeric
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 2 tsp ground coriander
  • 2 tsp ground ginger (powder)
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper (use 1/4 tsp for less heat)
  • 6 boneless, skinless chicken thighs cut into 1″ pieces and trimmed of fat (if going vegan use firm Tofu)
  • 1/2 head of cauliflower, cut into 1-inch florets
  • 10 crimini mushrooms, trimmed and quartered
  • 1 large red bell pepper, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1 large zucchini, cut into 1/4-inch half circles
  • 2 cups of chicken broth (or vegetable broth is going vegan)
  • 10 grape tomatoes, cut in half
  • 1/4 cup sliced green olives
  • chopped fresh cilantro, for garnish

Directions:

In a dutch oven or heavy stock pot (I used a cast iron dutch oven), heat the olive oil over medium-low heat. Add the onions, garlic, and ginger and saute gently until the onions begin to caramelize, 10-15 minutes. Turn the heat to low, and add 3/4 teaspoon of the salt and all of the dried spices. Saute the spices and onions about 2 minutes. Salt the chicken (or tofu) with the remaining salt, and add to the pot. Turn heat up to medium, and saute for 3 minutes, until all of the chicken (or tofu) is well coated with spices. Add the cauliflower and mushrooms and saute about 5 minutes. Then Add the bell peppers and zucchini, and saute until they soften about 5 minutes. Add the chicken (or vegetable) stock and bring to a simmer. Simmer the stew gently, stirring occasionally, until all of the vegetables are tender and the liquid is thickened and reduce approximately 15-20 minutes. Stir in the tomatoes and cook for 1 more minute. Stir in olives. Plate and serve with cilantro garnish. Serves 4

paleo moroccan chicken stew

Ricotta Pasta with Tomatoes

 

Ricotta Pasta with Tomatoes, basil, garlic and mozzarella

Here is a fun, lighter spaghetti dish with ricotta, mozzarella, basil, garlic, cherry tomatoes and parmesan. My son loves ricotta and if he has his preference he would pretty much add it to anything.

Ingredients:

  • ¼ cup Olive oil
  • 6 cloves chopped Garlic
  • 10-15 cherry tomatoes (slices in half)
  • ½ cup chopped Burrata (or fresh mozzarella cheese)
  • ½ cup of whole milk organic Ricotta cheese
  • ½ tsp Red Pepper Flakes (chili)
  • 1 cup Roasted tomatoes sliced
  • 1 box of spaghetti (barilla or other Italian brand)
  • salt as needed
  • 10 leaves of fresh basil sliced
  • ⅓ cup freshly grated parmesan cheese

Directions:

Boil pasta water (making sure to salt after boiling). In a small sauce pan, add the oil and garlic and cook at medium heat, making sure garlic does not brown. Mix together cherry tomatoes, mozzarella, ricotta, red pepper flakes, and roasted tomatoes. Add ¼ tsp salt and stir. Cook pasta. Strain pasta, saving some of the water. Add olive oil and garlic to ricotta mixture. Stir in pasta to mixture to coat spaghetti well, add additional salt if needed. Serve into shallow pasta bowls, sprinkle with basil and parmesan cheese and serve.   Makes 4 Servings.

 

Marinated Salmon

Salmon with Arugula salad

Here is a simple and easy marinade for a tasty baked salmon.

  • 2-3 lbs Wild Caught Salmon*
  • 5 garlic cloves
  • Large bunch of dill
  • 2 tbsp. of dig on mustard
  • Juice if 1 lemon
  • Rock salt
  • 1 tsp. pepper
  • ⅓ cup EVOO

Purée all ingredients in a blender with an “S-shaped” blade, until ingredients are well chopped and it forms a paste. Add marinate and to salmon in a ziplock bag, let most of the air out. Be sure to massage the mixture around the salmon so all areas are well covered. Place in the refrigerator for 3 hours. Take out and let sit at room temperature for ½ hour before baking. Bake Salmon in a baking dish covered with tinfoil or sealed tinfoil at 350 degrees, for 20 minutes or until cooked to desired temperature.

If you prefer a crispy outside and skin, you can sauté the salmon in a pan with olive or butter on high heat, this only takes a couple of minutes per side, which gives you a nice crunchy skin. Great paired with an Arugula salad, tossed with EVOO, balsamic vinegar, goat cheese crumbles and tomatoes.

*I’m not a fan of farm raised as they are “rumors” that they are fed GMO pellets!