Quinoa Pizza Bake

I have been craving pizza like nuts lately. It might have something to do with the fact that we ate pizza like three times during hurricane week and my body is in withdrawals. Even though I live just down the block from the best pizzeria in NYC, and maybe the world, I am trying to stay away. There’s actually a new nickname for the weight people have gained by being stuck indoors during the hurricane – “The Sandy 5.” And mine definitely came from pizza.

While wracking my brain for pizza-esque things that weren’t a carb overload, I remembered this yummy recipe that I shared in a guest post this summer over at Eat Pray Tri – Quinoa Pizza Bake. This is comfort food at its finest – cheesy, tomatoey, but packed with protein and will not put you into the dreaded carb coma.

Quinoa Pizza Bake
 
Ingredients
  • 1 cup uncooked quinoa
  • 2 cups vegetable stock
  • 1 6oz can tomato paste
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 2 tbsp water
  • 2 tbsp good quality extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 cup mozzarella cheese
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 5 fresh basil leaves (plus more for garnish)
  • salt and pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. Combine quinoa and vegetable stock in a small pot over high heat.
  2. Bring to a boil, cover and turn down to low and simmer for 15 minutes until all the liquid is absorbed. Remove from heat and set aside.
  3. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  4. In a skillet, brown the onions and garlic until onions are translucent.
  5. In a small bowl, combine the tomato paste, garlic, onions, water and olive oil, and mix well.
  6. Add in oregano and basil and mix before adding the mixture to the quinoa.
  7. Add in half the mozzarella cheese to the quinoa and mix. Once all the ingredients are combined, taste and add salt and pepper, as needed.
  8. Transfer the mixture to the casserole dish and sprinkle with the remaining cheese and place in the oven for 30-35 minutes until the cheese is melted and bubbly. Sprinkle with fresh basil and serve.

Next time a pizza craving strikes, turn to your good friend quinoa. You won’t regret it!

What’s your favorite comfort food?

WIAW Picnic at the Piers

Yesterday was one of those days where everything came together and turned a regular evening in the perfect summer night. Clearly no summer is complete without a picnic, so it is only natural that I share our eats and view for this weeks WIAW.


We picked up our noms at the Food Celler, one of my favoritest supermarkets in our area. Not only are they a regular supermarket with tons of organic goodies, they also have a hot bar, salad bar and brick oven for yummy thin crust pizza.

Since we were hungry we got a bit of everything, and everything was so yummy!

Margherita Pizza. The crust was thin, crispy and delicious. It wasn’t even a little bit greasy, which I loved!

We split two pizza dough flat-bread sandwiches. I chose the ham, brie, arugula and tomato, and it was so good I didn’t want to share. (but I did!) I know I will be going back for this baby!

Last but not least, fresh mozzarella, cherry and sundried tomatoes and lentil balls. I have been kicking myself all day for not writing down what was in these lentil balls because they were incredible and I need to recreate them.

Where’s your favorite place for a picnic?

Black Bean Avocado Pizza

I’m usually a brown-bagger when it comes to lunch at work, but since I kind of overslept yesterday (turns out a toddler isn’t always a reliable alarm clock) I ran out the door lunchless. Once lunchtime rolled around and my belly started rumbling, I threw out a suggestion of pizza for lunch, and my coworker quickly agreed. Who doesn’t love pizza?

Instead of getting the regular cheese slices from across the street, she suggested that we order from a new place that had opened up a few blocks away. When we pulled up the menu for Vinnie’s, I was sold. Their menu is packed with unconventional, yet delicious sounding specialty pizzas, like Mac Attack (mac and cheese topped slice) and Greenpoint’s Finest (pizza topped with potato and cheese pierogi). They also have a ton of vegan options, which I’d like to try in the future. We decided on a pizza that wasn’t a total carb bomb, but still delicious, the Black Bean Avocado.

 

The crust was perfectly crisp and the black beans tasted great as the base for the pizza. I didn’t miss the traditional tomato sauce at all.

And yes, we are classy ladies who ate straight out of the box. ;) I think it would be super easy to recreate this pizza at home using my pizza stone or on the grill!

It’s time for a quick run before I dive into my last paper! The weather is supposed to be gorgeous this weekend, so I want to get it done quick, and celebrate!

Have a great weekend.

Any plans this weekend? What’s your favorite slice?

Vinnies Pizzeria on Urbanspoon

Homemade Brick Oven Pizza

I am a big fan of pizza. Around these parts a heated discussion can arise out of asking someone what their favorite pizza place is (Rosas for life!!) but there is nothing like making a homemade pizza. Over the summer, Tommy and I love to make grilled pizza, but last week I tried out my pizza stone for the first time. I got the pizza stone for Christmas from my cousin Patricia, but it kind of got forgotten about until recently.

I honestly had never heard of a pizza stone before getting it gifted to me, but I am sooo happy that I got this. After reading up about it online, I found out that pizza stones are used to mimic the cooking that would occur in an earthenware oven – something like a brick oven, resulting in a crispy crust. ┬áLet me tell you, it gives off phenomenal results.

I bought dough from my local pizzeria and made three pizza stone sized pizzas – two regular with mushroom and peppers and one BBQ chicken. I had some help in rolling out the dough.

All three pizzas were incredibly crispy and delicious. The crust was very much like a brick oven pizza. This was the first time that I attempted to bake a pizza in the oven and was surprised by how good the pizzas came out. Not to mention all three pizzas probably cost me less than $10. Try to get three brick oven pizzas for that price!

Do you ever make your own pizza? Thick crust or thin crust?