When I first set this Roasted Veggie and Ricotta Pizza down for dinner, my 9-year-old was not so sure, but she was hungry and even surprised herself with how much she liked it served this way!
Grilling season is here, and I’ve got a super easy side dish idea for you: Grilled Zucchini with Feta and Herbs! The first time I made this, my husband sat down at the table and immediately said, “That looks good!” And trust me, it was good.
I sense a new obsession coming on…and it’s food grilled in foil packets! What could be more perfect for outdoor cookouts, camping trips, and upcoming long holiday weekends? I just love the unique presentation and tasty goodness of this cooking technique and can’t wait to make them again and again and again this summer. Think of this dish as “deconstructed kabobs” that basically marinate in the homemade sauce until cooking time. Once you are ready to cook simply throw them on the grill or directly into the hot coals of a campfire (or backyard fire pit). I can’t think of a better way to soak up the great outdoors!
My great-grandparents were born in Italy so for as long as I can remember risotto has been a staple dish in our family. When my dad is the one cooking, which is the norm in my family, we have risotto at almost every gathering including holiday dinners. I even remember my dad making the Italian flag with his risotto one year by mixing tomato paste with a third of the batch and parsley with another third. I don’t remember who was at this particular dinner, how old I was, or what holiday we were even celebrating, but oh how I remember the Italian flag risotto. :) Clearly I was destined to somehow have food be a big part of my life. But enough nostalgia for now… What I am really here to say is that I was slightly devastated when I first thought whole-grain risotto was impossible. You see, when we made the switch to “real food” I looked everywhere for brown Arborio rice to no avail. I even went almost a year without eating risotto (yikes!) until one day I saw a post from Deliciously Organic explaining that you can actually make risotto with just regular brown rice…it doesn’t have to be Arborio or anything special! You know how something can suddenly seem so simple when the information is presented to you like that. Plus this is such a great recipe to have in your dinner rotation because (similar to stir-fry) you can mix in almost anything you have on hand from veggies to seafood to meat in order to make it into a complete meal. And if you have some homemade chicken stock available for this recipe, too…then yum!!
Get ready to add a new favorite dinner to your weekly rotation…whole-wheat pizza pockets! These are sure to please eaters of all ages and the best part is you can use up food or leftovers from your fridge for the fillings. Little ones might especially enjoy making their own pizza pocket so don’t be afraid to get them involved. Their friends might like to help as well so for the next sleepover or birthday gathering consider hosting a “make your own pizza pocket” party. And if you have time to double the recipe these are great leftover the next day or even weeks later if stored in the freezer.
I love soups because they’re an easy way to get in a lot of vegetables, and they are usually awesome leftover (whether they’ve been in the fridge or freezer). I am a big fan of serving easy dinners on busy weeknights and there is nothing easier than defrosting some soup out of your very own freezer. I especially love this soup because it comes with so many “accessories.” You could certainly eat it plain, but it is amazing how the flavor suddenly changes when you pile avocado, grated cheese, sour cream, and cilantro on top. We even sometimes toast tortillas (to make them crunchy like chips) and throw them in the mix as well. This is also a great dish to serve this week if you are participating in our third real food mini-pledge. Even though this dish is meatless it would still be great if you wanted to add a little raw chicken when you sauté the veggies (or even some leftover cooked meat at the end). Just like most of the recipes I post this one is super flexible. If you don’t have or like zucchini then use a different vegetable instead. If you randomly find a half container of mushrooms in your fridge…throw them in. Get creative and use what you have on hand to make this dish easy and budget-friendly!
Ever since I made this recipe we have a fear that our 5-year-old is going to turn into a piece of zucchini bread! She cannot stop eating it. She actually said she was sad about something the other day, but eating a piece of zucchini bread would make it all better. And can you tell that I couldn’t even get a picture of a whole loaf (the back-end is missing) because suddenly there is no restraint in our house when it comes to this bread! I have to admit it really is good and tastes so similar to the recipe I used to make that was full of sugar. Granted this one does have a decent amount of honey in it so you shouldn’t sit down and consume an entire loaf in one sitting, but the fact that this is approved during our “100 Days of Real Food” makes me so happy!