Legume experiment #2: beans on a pizza?

May 13, 2009

My mom is a really solid cookbook and recipe spotter, and a few weeks ago, she sent me a recipe for white bean and spinach pizza.

Do I love pizza? Yes. Are beans my only source of protein? Pretty much. And so, I made it tonight, when I was looking for an easy meal to cook because I’ve done something to make my back spasm out of control. Like I don’t have enough problems.

I didn’t have any pre-baked crust, and I wasn’t about to make any from scratch, so I went the easiest way I know: the way of the pita.

Here’s how it happened.

1 can of cannellini beans + 3 cloves of garlic
1 can of cannellini beans + 3 cloves of garlic
became this, which takes the place of tomato sauce
became this, which takes the place of tomato sauce
three pitas, sliced in half so that one pita looks like two (the pitas I buy are too thick to make a decent pizza crust)
three pitas, sliced in half so that one pita looks like two (the pitas I buy are too thick to make a decent pizza crust)
all dressed up with the bean paste, spinach, rehydrated dried tomatoes, and mozzarella, baked for 9 minutes at
all dressed up with the bean paste, spinach, rehydrated dried tomatoes, and mozzarella, baked for 9 minutes at 350

Pizza and beer

March 1, 2009

A classic combo that seems pretty much perfect for a Sunday.

We didn’t go out of town for a variety of reasons, and it was a little sad, but I think we made up for it with basketball, a tempeh parmesan sub for me, some cookies, and getting a lot of things done that I’ve been putting off for too long.

By the way, did you know it was March? I didn’t until I realized that Matt had changed the calendar. To celebrate the month that brings us the Madness of  the NCAA men’s basketball tournament, I made pizza for dinner.

whole wheat flatbread pizza with mushrooms and tomatoes

skillet flatbread pizza with mushrooms and tomatoes

No picture of my actual piece because it looked gross. We had this situation where the crust was extra doughy (basically wet), and it was really hard to tell if it was actually undercooked or if it was from the juiciness of the totally beautiful and delicious hydroponic purple cherokee tomatoes that I used in place of sauce. I’m going with the latter, because I followed Mark Bittman’s instructions for the flatbread exactly (and I never do that with recipes), and I’m almost positive it was done before the pizza-making happened. Either way, I thought it tasted awesome and would make it again tomorrow. Matt, not so much, so I think I’m going to have to give it a few weeks so that he forgets the wet dough factor. Whatever, it’s just flour and water. How much damage could that really do? My brother’s college roommate used to eat raw ground beef and he’s still alive.

On the side, some of this:

oatmeal stout

oatmeal stout

I like this brewery and I love oatmeal stout, so it’s pretty awesome. I made my own six pack at the beer store again last night, and came home with three more vanilla porters, a honey beer that I tried last night (good but a little light for me), and two different oatmeal-based beers. Sadly, no more cocoa porters, and that was my favorite.

I’m also about to dig out the last of the oatmeal/raisin/chocolate chip cookies to ease my transition into the work week.

Black and white and red all over

February 19, 2009

Did you miss me?

I know you did, because I got so many comments about my absence.

OH WAIT. No I didn’t.

But that’s okay, I had a busy week, too.

This morning was cold, the coldest it’s been in a few weeks, and I felt like my feet were actually frozen by the time I made it from my car to work, so I started thinking about chili at about 8:25am. Which is early even for me.

Also, according to my very careful records (this blog), we haven’t had chili since December 21, and that’s kind of remarkable in this household.

triple bean and toasted barley chili

triple bean and toasted barley chili

Say that three times fast.

I put this together on the fly, but I think it went something like this:

  1. Heat ~1t olive oil in a dutch oven over medium heat.
  2. Add 1/2 cup quick cooking barley and toast, stirring frequently, for two minutes.
  3. Add 1 diced green pepper and 1 diced onion, along with cumin, chili powder, and cayenne to taste. I actually had a cumin accident at this point and I’m sure there’s at least 1/4 cup in this dish. Cook, stirring often, until peppers and onions begin to soften, about 4 minutes.
  4. Add 2 cups of vegetable broth and bring to a fairly serious boil. Cover, reduce heat to low, and simmer for about 20 minutes. The barley should be tender and the whole thing should look really thick. Or “dank,” as Matt would say.
  5. Add 2 more cups of broth, 1 cup of water, more spices, and 1 can of each of the following beans: dark red kidney, black, and garbanzo. Or any firm beans. Whatever.
  6. Stir and bring back to a quick boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 5 more minutes.
  7. Uncover and continue to simmer until it thickens up a bit.

This makes at least 5 or 6 meals, and it tasted great. I didn’t use any tomatoes, so it had more of a white chili feel.

Many days ago, we also had this pizza, which is notable because of Matt’s inspired addition:

how do you like them apples?

how do you like them apples?

That’s right, he chopped up some gala apples to put on it, along with the mushrooms, red peppers, and broccoli that I selected (most of the broccoli fell off, sadly). I was skeptical at first, but I have to admit that he was right: the apples were awesome.

I’m cooking at least our next three dinners, so I should be back soon. I’m committing in this public forum, so I kind of have to, right?


November 21, 2008

I’m so happy that it’s Friday night. I mean, I always am, but this week has been so wacky that Friday seems even more exciting than usual. I still seem to be having some kind of sickness, but I went to the doctor for a totally unrelated reason today and she assured me that I still had life left to live. Which is good because, obviously, I have my readership to think about.

After the doctor, I went to the gym for some kickboxing, my first class in months. It was pretty good, although this teacher has a bad habit of screaming things into the microphone that are supposed to be encouraging, but really aren’t. “You like these jumping jacks, don’t you? We can do jumping jacks all day!!!!!!!” No, actually, I don’t. And I can’t.

Afterwards, I felt like I should eat soup, because my throat hurts and it was also fairly cold today. But, I’d already made a deal with myself that I could make pizza if I made it through my doctor’s appointment and still went to kickboxing. I may have to make this a new Friday thing, so that I can better resist the urge to go out to eat at the end of every workweek.

Anyway, I used some whole wheat crusts from Whole Foods to make two pizzas. One was tomato sauce, chicken-apple sausage, green pepper, mushrooms, spinach, and mozzarella. The other was olive oil, green pepper, mushrooms, spinach, mozzarella, and goat cheese. Both were pretty good, although the crust was pretty weak. I like the ones we tried from People’s much better.

Pizza Pizza

Pizza Pizza

Last night, I had a play to see with my class (second to last event of the semester!), so I made a really quick stir-fry for dinner. Just broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, and chickpeas, with some garlic and a few slugs of soy sauce and rice vinegar. I served it over quick-cooking barley, since I had no time for rice.

Vegetable Barley Blast

Vegetable Barley Blast

I really need to stop taking pictures while standing in the living room. It doesn’t do much for my food styling. It also really distorts things. I

Anyway, I let the chickpeas sit in the pan for a little while, and they got all crispy and delicious. Mmm. Chickpeas. I kept picking those out of the remaining mix until I had to leave.

Okay, basketball’s on! Have a happy weekend.

I just had to ask Matt what day it was.

November 5, 2008

Obviously I couldn’t post last night, as I was very busy getting a television headache from watching history happen.

In order to stave off my election anxiety, I went to the gym after work to run AND go to Rep Recycle. I don’t know how I did both, except that I may have blacked out halfway through the third set of lunges, ultimately making the time pass more quickly. I came home starving and Matt wanted to take me out to eat because he is nice like that, but I couldn’t bear to go out in public because of the potential for political crying, so I threw together a fast dinner of pasta, turkey sausage, and veggies:


With cheese, obviously.

I was up way past my bedtime last night, waiting with bated breath to see if my beloved home state of North Carolina would go blue. I’m glad I didn’t stay up until they called it, like I planned to, because I’d still be up now. And in December, when they’re done counting all of the provisional ballots and such. They’ve unofficially called it, though.

Anyway, so today was a bit of a blur of sleepy me going to meetings and making webpages and hopefully I made sense in all of my verbal interactions. Though, reading back over this post, I have some doubts. Anyway, cooking was basically out of the question because it was stormy and I was paralyzed on the couch and our dishwasher (Matt) has been out of commission (tired), so there was nothing to cook with anyway. Which was all leading up to:


The return of the cheeseless pizza! I started small, because I was starving after work and mindlessly ate granola until Matt finally said “You know you have been eating out of the bag for five minutes, right? I thought you wanted to have dinner.” This would have been plenty of food after the dent I made in that Udi’s bag, but I just can’t say no to cheese sticks. So multiply the cheese bread there by about four, and I think I had another half slice of the pizza.  I have to say, it wasn’t as good as it used to be. And I think they had trouble finding our apartment, because it was cold.

Can I tell you about how there is a chance of snow showers overnight tomorrow? I mean, honestly. It was 78 earlier this week.

I may be taking a short break for a few days. I’m not sure. I kind of decided that as I was typing it. I have a lot of stuff to do and a limited amount of energy these days. I’ll be back soon!

Make your own take-out

October 11, 2008

Once, I checked out a Rachael Ray cookbook from the library, and I gave up on it almost immediately because 1) the meals seemed a little out of the healthy(ish) eating range that I prefer when I eat at home 2) she includes all of these acroynms everywhere (like MYOTO – Make your own take-out) and it was driving me a little crazy and 3) I couldn’t stop hearing her voice when I read through the recipes.

So, the point of all that was that tonight, we made our own take-out: pizza.

Pizza is a complicated thing for me. On the one hand, I know it’s not the best food generally, and I always feel a little sick after I eat at a pizza place. On the other hand, it is pizza. I think you understand what I’m saying. So, I keep trying to make it my way so that I can control the ingredients and, ideally, not feel a little sick after I eat it.

Tonight, I used this awesome pre-made crust I got at People’s and made an at-home version of our favorite pizza from Ingredient in Lawrence – the Applewood.

The messy stove just makes the picture even more authentic, don’t you think?

Anyway, pre-made cheesy herb crust, some tomato paste, a little olive oil, two sliced chicken apple sausages (we finally found them – a short fifty mile drive away!), and some cheese. Bake at 425 for 12 minutes and voila. MYOTO.

I had two slices – one in a proper sit-down way and one that I polished off by taking a bite every time I walked through the kitchen for no reason at all.

And now it’s 8:00 on a Saturday and I see things going one of two ways: I’ll decide that I want to go out, then fall asleep before we actually do, or I’ll decide I want to go out, then remember that I could potentially see my students anywhere we might go and get nervous and change my plans to reading or watching Rome instead.

I know; it’s so hard to keep up with my go go go lifestyle.

Pizza Pizza

August 24, 2008

Sorry, sorry. I got distracted.

Thursday, we had a departmental retreat at a Challenge Course. I’d been dreading it for weeks, but it was actually pretty cool. The kids leading it were a little… ill-equipped to draw analogies between our work on the lessons learned in the course. One of them started talking about cheeseburgers at one point. Stuff like that. Anyway, we went out for a tasty Mexican meal afterwards and I had shrimp fajitas. They were still awesome the next day.

Speaking of the next day, I spent Friday afternoon at my favorite place, the pulmonologist’s office. It was, as usual, a stellar experience, in which he told me that the muscles that help me breathe are 23% as strong as they should be, but he has no idea why. So, I get to go back in six months. It was just the tiniest bit frustrating. So, leftovers were really the best option.

Yesterday, I worked. On student move-in weekend, we set up outside the library to give away free water and help people find their way around our ginormous campus. It’s always fun. I came home and had more work to do, so Matt cooked dinner – spicy chicken and noodles. Only we didn’t have noodles, so it was really more like chicken and pasta. Either way: delicious.

For some green stuff, I made broccoli. With some Parmesan. Because it’s not really a day unless you’ve had cheese.

Today has been pretty busy, though I’ve spent most of it on the couch. I’m teaching a class this semester, and today was syllabus day. It’s my first time teaching anything other than library classes, so I’m a little nervous.

Since the Fall semester starts tomorrow, and that’s by far the busiest time of year for me at work, I decided to go all out on tonight’s dinner. For the first time ever, I made pizza from scratch. I used this recipe and the dough didn’t rise right, but it still tasted delicious. Like super crispy flatbread pizza. I had two and a half pieces, but since I wasn’t sure how it was going to taste, I started with one. Here it is, along with a salad of mixed greens with tomatoes and balsamic vinaigrette.

Those are some big heirloom tomatoes we found at the farmer’s market yesterday. Delicious.

So, speaking of the semester, I have a feeling that my posts are likely to become slightly more sporadic in these next few weeks. I also see a lot of pasta in our future. Please, do what you can to work through it.

Oh, I’m also going to go ahead and apologize in advance for any future photographs. I know that you’ve gotten used to the high quality images I usually feature here at See Food.

Wish me luck!