Sunday, September 30, 2012

Pizza with Veggie Pepperoni and Veggie Sausage (12-inch)

When I was a meat eater, I loved pizza with pepperoni and Italian sausage. Now, with the availability of vegetarian pepperoni and sausage in supermarkets across the U.S., we can enjoy those same flavors, but without the guilt.


1 Basic All-Purpose Pizza Crust (12-inch) or Thin Pizza Crust (12-inch) (or your favorite 12-inch pizza crust)
1/2 to 3/4 cup Pizza Sauce, as desired
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese, divided
1/2 of a 4-ounce package of vegetarian pepperoni slices
1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
1 link (1 individual-size portion) Italian-style vegetarian sausage, coarsely chopped
1 1/2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit.

Prepare the pizza crust and press into a 12-inch pizza pan, or form it into a 12-inch round on a baking sheet, with the edges slightly thicker to contain the toppings.

Spread the pizza sauce evenly over the crust. Sprinkle with 1/2 cup of the mozzarella.

Arrange the pepperoni slices on the pizza in a single layer.

In a medium skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the chopped sausage, and saute until lightly browned. Sprinkle evenly over the pizza.

Top the pizza with the remaining 1/2 cup of the mozzarella and the Parmesan.

Bake for 12-18 minutes, until golden.

Remove from oven and let sit for 5 minutes before slicing

-- 3-4 servings

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Roasted Potatoes, Bell Peppers, and Onions

Here I started with our basic recipe for Roasted Potatoes and Onions and kicked it up a notch by adding chunks of red bell pepper.

It's a tasty and healthy side dish that works equally well with breakfast, brunch, lunch, or dinner.


1 to 1 1/2 pound red-skinned potatoes, unpeeled, cut into 3/4- to 1-inch cubes
1 red bell pepper, seeded and cut into 1-inch pieces
1 small or medium yellow onion, cut vertically into 6 or 8 wedges, depending on size
1 to 1 1/2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
1/2 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley (optional)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.

In a large bowl, toss the potato cubes, pepper pieces, and onion wedges with the olive oil, salt, and pepper. Use only enough olive oil to lightly coat all of the vegetables.

Arrange the coated vegetables in a single layer in a deep baking dish or roasting pan.

Cover with foil, and roast for 15 minutes. Uncover and stir.

Return to oven and roast uncovered, stirring occasionally, for another 30-45 minutes, or until the vegetables are tender and golden.

Sprinkle with the parsley (if using), and serve.

-- 3-6 servings

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Zucchini, Tomato, and Chickpea Stew

This was inspired by our popular Eggplant, Tomato, and Chickpea Stew recipe. Here, however, we substitute zucchini for the eggplant. The result is every bit as delicious.


1 1/2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
2 medium zucchini (about 1 pound), halved lengthwise and then sliced 1/4-inch thick
1/3 cup chopped yellow onion
1 yellow bell pepper, cut into julienne strips
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon paprika
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 can (14.5 ounces) diced tomatoes (preferably petite-cut), undrained
1 can (15.5 ounces) chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1 cup vegetable broth
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

In a deep skillet or Dutch oven, heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil in a skillet over medium to medium-high heat. Add the zucchini, along with salt and pepper to taste, and saute for 3-5 minutes until lightly golden and crisp-tender. Remove the zucchini from the skillet and set aside.

Add the remaining 1/2 tablespoon of olive oil to the same skillet. Reduce heat to medium, add the onion and bell pepper, and saute for 2-3 minutes, until soft.

Add the garlic and paprika, and saute for another minute or two. Do not let the garlic burn.

Add the tomato paste and cook, stirring, for another minute.

Add the diced tomatoes, chickpeas, and broth. Season as needed with additional salt and pepper to taste. Raise heat to high, and bring almost to a boil. Then reduce the heat to low, cover, and simmer for 20-30 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Uncover, add the zucchini back to the skillet, and simmer, uncovered, over medium to medium-low heat for another 10-15 minutes, until the sauce thickens slightly.

Sprinkle with the parsley, and serve.

-- 4 servings

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Tomato, Basil, and Mozzarella Sandwiches

This recipe is essentially a Caprese Salad on a hearty roll.

These sandwiches are light, yet satisfying - and so tasty!


2 submarine/hoagie rolls, each about 8 to 10 inches long (or similar lengths of baguette)
Extra virgin olive oil for drizzling
Balsamic vinegar for drizzling
2 small-to-medium tomatoes, sliced 1/4-inch thick
6 to 8 ounces fresh mozzarella cheese, sliced 1/4-inch thick
8 to 12 fresh basil leaves (or more as needed), depending on size
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Split the rolls open, but do not cut them all the way through. Lay them open on serving plates or platter.

Drizzle the cut sides of the rolls (tops and bottoms) lightly with the olive oil and the vinegar.

On each roll, arrange half of the tomato slices. Arrange the mozzarella slices evenly over the tomatoes, and then arrange the basil leaves in a single layer on top of the mozzarella.

Sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste.

-- 2 servings

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Potato Salad with Olive Oil, Parsley, and Capers

This healthy, no-mayo potato salad is a caper lover's dream. The extra virgin olive oil, parsley, and capers give it plenty of flavor, with a distinct Mediterranean accent.


1 pound medium-size red potatoes, unpeeled
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons capers, drained
1 1/2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley (preferably Italian flat-leaf parsley)
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Boil the potatoes, uncovered, in enough salted water to cover until tender (approx. 15-35 minutes, depending on the size of the potatoes).

Rinse the cooked potatoes in cold water to stop the cooking process, and let sit until cool.

Once the potatoes have cooled, cut them into 1-inch cubes.

Gently toss the potato cubes with the olive oil, capers, parsley, salt, and pepper.

Serve at room temperature or slightly chilled.

-- 3-4 servings