8 Unbelievable Breakfast Pizzas:
8 Unbelievable Breakfast Pizzas:
I’m not too precise with my cooking, mostly because I cook my feelings and my feelings have the tendency to be messy and unmeasured. It’s usually a little bit of this, and a little bit of that, and then a whole lot of cheese.
So when I walk you through the first recipe of this year—a wild rice and kale gratin with caramelized onions and Emmentaler Swiss Cheese courtesy of Smitten Kitchen—don’t be surprised that I don’t necessarily tell you how many tablespoons of olive oil you should be using to caramelize your onions. Recipes are more akin to U.N. resolutions than executive orders in my book, and I tend to play it by ear. So get used to no measurements.
Now back to the wild rice gratin.
I’m a recent kale convert. Before this winter I didn’t understand why I’d want to eat something that was the dietary staple of my family’s pet iguana, Igor (may he rest in peace). But I’ve taken to getting the large majority of my groceries from my farmers market, and I’ve got a bit of an iron deficiency to deal with—see, I’m totally a grown up now!—so I figured I’d give it a whirl. Plus, it’s so pretty and takes up so much space at the market. I started trolling for kale recipes and this one had potential.
This meal takes a bit of time, but it’s thoroughly satisfying for a number of reasons. It’s hearty and warm, and with a few improvements, which I’ll walk through in a bit, it could be the perfect meal for a colder day when you’re too busy to sink the time into making a soup. It has a great texture and a good depth of flavor and it smells fantastic as it cooks.
Cheesy Wild Rice Gratin with Caramelized Onions & Kale
5 cups cooked wild rice (about 1 ½ cups uncooked)
Butter (anywhere between half a stick and the whole shebang, depending on your preferences)
Enough olive oil to coat a pan
2 large sweet onions, halved and sliced thin
1 medium bunch of kale, cut into ribbons with stems removed (4 cups, if you want to be precise about it)
A block of Emmentaler, or similar Swiss Cheese (original recipe calls for 8 oz, but I’d definitely say more, depending on your taste for cheese and your desired texture)
A cup-ish of chicken broth
A cup-ish of breadcrumbs
Salt and fresh ground pepper, to taste
Prepare the rice according to the instructions on the package. Get this going first, because it tends to be the piece that takes the most time. Unless of course you’re making the rice in advance.
Set your oven to 375 degrees. You’re going to need a large-ish casserole dish, well greased with butter, and it might be good to get this part out of the way now, because once you get the ball rolling you’re really just going to want to get to the eating part as quickly as possible
Invest some time in caramelizing your onions. It takes a while, but it’s worth it. Add a few tablespoons of butter and a bit of olive oil to a large sauté pan. Once the butter is melted, add the onions and sauté at a low-medium temperature, adding salt and pepper. You need to know your stove to properly caramelize onions. For instance, I know not to use the front burner on the left side of my stove because my stove is crooked and that burner tends to cook unevenly, which is death to well-caramelized onions. Knowing your stove will also play a part in figuring out just how much butter and olive oil to use, too.
Getting back to the cooking…
Let the onions cook down for about half an hour, stirring constantly, until they’re tender and sweet and all gooey with onion-ey goodness. Once they’re cooked down, add the kale, and cook until wilted, or 5-ish minutes. I tend to salt a little bit at each stage of the sautéing rather than a whole bunch at the beginning, because a smidgen of salt helps the veggies reduce a bit faster, and also because it gives you a chance to better control the seasoning as you go along. So go ahead and lightly salt the kale, and throw on some extra pepper as well, if you’re into that kind of thing.
You’re rice should be close to done by now. Once the kale and onion mixture has cooked down, throw that into a big bowl and add the rice. Then combine with two to three cups of cheese (reserving a bit of the total lot for later), depending on the texture you want. The original recipe called for 2 cups (8 oz) but that wasn’t enough to make this as gooey as I wanted, so next time I’d definitely add a bit more.
Once you’ve turned that all into a mushy gushy bowl of delicious, spread it out in the casserole dish (which should be thoroughly rubbed down with some butter by now). Combine the breadcrumbs with about 2 to 3 tablespoons of melted butter to make a sort of crumbly topping. Another tweak I’d make to the original is reducing the amount of breadcrumbs a bit (cutting it from the recommended 1 cup down to about ½ to ¾ of a cup) and tossing that with the remaining cheese (which should be around ½ a cup), sprinkling that one-two punch over the rice mixture in one step rather than in separate layers.
Throw the whole thing in the oven for around 35 minutes, or until the cheese gets all melted and creates a delightful golden brown crust. I’d recommend taking some time before serving so you don’t burn your mouth off on gooey molten cheese.
Some potential additions: consider throwing in a protein. Maybe sauté the onions up with a bit of bulk sweet Italian sausage, or shred some ham and mix it in with the rice mixture/sprinkle it in a layer beneath the cheese, just like in a Croque-monsieur.
This was inspired by my good friend Mrs(Fit)watcher. I don’t follow recipes so this is something I just sort of winged and it turned out really great. The entire house smelled like Pizza! This was perfect for a quick after work dinner, yet hearty enough for a cold and rainy winter’s day (but still healthy at the same time). My favorite thing about this soup is that I hardly had to season it. I added some red pepper for some extra kick. I didn’t add any salt since the sausages are seasoned.
Turkey Sausage and White Bean Stew
Cook time 30 minutes
- 1 package sweet italian turkey sausages, casings removied (I used Jennie O)
- 1 box low sodium chicken broth
- 1 can cannellini beans drained and rinsed
- 1 can no salt added tomatoes with oregano, garlic and basil with juice (I used Hunt’s brand)
- 1 medium onion chopped
- 1 medium red pepper chipped
- 1 large zucchini diced
- 2 cups of baby spinach or kale
- 1 medium carrot grated
- 1/2 tsp of red pepper flakes
In a heavy bottom pot add about 1-2 tbsp EVOO, add your sausage to the pot and brown. Season with the red pepper flakes. Add in your chopped onion, and red pepper cooking until soft. Add in the grated carrot along with the zucchini, the can of tomatoes and box of chicken broth. Bring to a simmer. Once the zucchini is cooked through add in your can of beans and spinach. Cook for about 5 minutes and turn off heat.
200 calories per serving
8 grams of fat
20 grams of protein
Fancy it up!
Add a sprinkle of parmesan cheese, a few crutons or serve with a side of nice warm crusty bread.
KALE CHIPS! Looking for a healthy new snack that actually tastes good? I make these things called “kale chips” and it’s kale but the way I make them it tastes almost like potato chips! Delicious and healthy!
What you need:
- Oil (I use vegetable, I know there’s healthier ones out there.)
What you do:
- Preheat the oven the 350*
- Line a baking tray with tin foil.
- Lay pieces of the kale on the baking tray.
- Take oil (not too much) and drizzle it over the kale, making sure it reaches each piece.
- Salt them. Not too much, you can always add more later and it’s unhealthy.
- Pop them in the oven for 8-15 minutes (watch it, you don’t want it to burn but a little brown is ok)
- Take them out and enjoy!
This dip is a bit heavier than our 2 previous kale recipes, but it is a healthier alternative to many spinach and artichoke dips!
- 1 1/2 cups thawed, squeezed and chopped frozen kale (about 5 ounces)
- 1/2 cup thawed and roughly chopped frozen artichoke hearts (about 2 ounces)
- 3/4 cup shredded low-fat Swiss cheese
- 3/4 cup skim milk
- 1/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan
- 4 ounces reduced-fat cream cheese, at room temperature
- 1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
- Large pinch cayenne pepper
- Kosher salt
- 1 small clove garlic, finely minced
- Multi-grain corn tortilla chips, for serving
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. Combine the kale, artichoke hearts, 1/2 cup of the Swiss cheese, the milk, all but 1 tablespoon of the Parmesan, the cream cheese, Worcestershire, cayenne, 1/2 teaspoon salt and the garlic in a medium bowl. Transfer to a 1-quart baking dish and sprinkle with the remaining 1/4 cup Swiss cheese and 1 tablespoon Parmesan. Bake until bubbly and lightly golden, 20 to 25 minutes. Let set for 5 minutes and serve with tortilla chips.
Per serving: Calories 102; Total Fat 5 grams; Saturated Fat 3 grams; Protein 9 grams; Total Carbohydrate 6 grams; Sugar: 3 grams; Fiber 1 gram; Cholesterol 16 milligrams; Sodium 365 milligrams
This recipe is care of Food Network and the original can be found here: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/food-network-kitchens/kale-and-artichoke-dip-recipe/index.html
1-3/4 cups all purpose flour
3/4 cup confectioners sugar
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa (European)
3/4 cup cold butter
14 oz sweetened condensed milk
1 teaspoon vanilla paste
2 cups semi-sweet chocolate, divided
1 cup toasted pecans, coarsely chopped
1/2 cup toasted coconut
1/2 cup toffee bits
Preheat oven to 350-deg. Grease a parchment paper-covered 13” x 9” baking pan and set aside.
In a food processor, combine flour, sugar, and cocoa. Add the cold butter and process just until mixture resembles coarse crumbs.
Press firmly into the prepared pan and bake for 10 minutes.
While crust is baking, combine condensed milk, vanilla, and 1 cup of chocolate chips in a medium saucepan. Heat, stirring constantly, until mixture is smooth.
Remove crust from oven and pour chocolate mixture over the crust. Sprinkle with coconut, pecans, toffee bits, and remaining cup of chocolate chips. Press down firmly.
Return to oven and bake for another 18-20 minutes. Serve warm with vanilla (or caramel!) ice cream.
Approximate Nutritional Values: http://www.food.com/recipe/caramel-coconut-pecan-brownies-158840