Pear & Prosciutto Pizza

by Susan on November 27, 2015

There’s a fig and prosciutto pizza at a local restaurant that’s a favorite amongst our friends. It’s finished off with  balsamic and has the perfect balance of sweet, salty and tangy. I decided to make something similar recently, finding inspiration in a Cooking Light recipe.

This one uses pear in lieu of figs, which I thought would give the pizza a more autumnal flair. I also like the crunchy texture as opposed to the chewiness of the figs. You could use figs instead, or try it out with apple.

The original recipe calls for provolone, which is not a favorite cheese around here. I opted for the more traditional mozzarella, but did include the rather surprising addition of walnuts. They contrasted nicely with the fruit, and the finishing touch was a drizzle of balsamic syrup over the top.

Use any pizza crust you want here. The Cooking Light recipe calls for a remade crust, but I used my own grain-free recipe for the base.

Pear & Prosciutto Pizza
adapted from Cooking Light

2 teaspoons olive oil
2 cups vertically sliced Oso Sweet or other sweet onion
1 par-baked pizza crust of choice
1/2 cup (2 ounces) shredded mozzarella cheese
1 medium pear, thinly sliced
2 oz. prosciutto, cut into thin strips
dash of freshly ground black pepper
2 tbs. chopped walnuts, toasted
1 1/2 cups baby arugula leaves
drizzle of balsamic glaze**

Preheat oven to 450°.

Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion to pan; cover and cook for 3 minutes. Uncover and cook 10 minutes or until golden brown, stirring frequently.

Place pizza crust on a baking sheet. Top evenly with onion mixture; sprinkle with cheese. Top evenly with pear and prosciutto. Sprinkle with pepper.

Bake at 450° for 12 minutes or until cheese melts. Sprinkle with nuts.

Scatter arugula over pizza, then drizzle with balsamic glaze.

**I buy bottled balsamic glaze at Trader Joe’s, but you can make your own by reducing a few tbs. of balsamic vinegar over low heat until it thickens up.<


Smothered Pork Chops

by Susan on November 24, 2015

I’ve always been a fan of The Next Food Network Star competition, and my favorite winner of the years has definitely been “Big Daddy” Aaron McCargo Jr. Since his flavors are so big his dishes are also often loaded with stuff I don’t tend to incorporate, but this one was easy to adapt and super delicious.

I used arrowroot starch in lieu of flour to keep the meal gluten-free, and also used olive oil as I prefer it to grapeseed from a nutritional standpoint. For the stock I recommend buying organic if you can find it, and better to buy low sodium and season yourself.

This gravy is very flavorful, but is definitely on the thinner side. We ate ours with green beans and some roasted sweet potatoes and everyone gave this one a thumbs up!

Smothered Pork Chops
adapted from Food Network

2 tsp. sea salt
1 tsp. cracked black pepper
1 tsp. smoked paprika
1/2 tsp. granulated garlic
1/2 tsp. onion powder
2 (1-inch thick) pork chops
1/2 cup arrowroot starch or other gluten-free flour
3 to 4 tbs. olive oil
1 tbs. freshly chopped thyme leaves
1 medium onion, thinly sliced
5 minced garlic cloves
2 cups organic beef broth
1 cup organic chicken broth

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

In a small bowl mix together the salt, pepper, paprika, garlic powder and onion powder. Season each pork chop liberally with the spice mixture. Add the arrowroot to a small bowl and stir in the remaining spice mixture. Dredge the chops in the starch, shaking off the excess.

Add the oil to a large cast iron skillet over medium heat. Sear each chop for 2 to 3 minutes, then flip and sear the other side for an additional 2 minutes.

Remove the pork from the skillet to a plate and set aside. Add the thyme, onion, garlic and 1 to 2 tbs. of the seasoned arrowroot and cook until slightly caramelized, about 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in the broths and scrape up any bits from the bottom of the skillet with a wooden spoon. Add the chops back to the pan and cover.

Put in the oven and bake until tender and the sauce has thickened, about 18 to 20 minutes. Remove the chops and sauce to a platter and serve.


Paleo Sweet Potato Brownies

November 23, 2015

This recipe would be perfect if you have some extra leftover mashed sweet potatoes after Thanksgiving (provided, of course, they’re not smothered with any kind of gravy or topping). I personally like these goodies anytime, though, as they’re easy to make and totally grain and dairy-free. The sweet potato adds bulk, so you need only [...]

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Broccoli, Cheese & Potato Soup

November 21, 2015

I’ve made broccoli soup only one other time before. The results were so epically terrible that the boy refers to it as “the broccoli soup incident” and even wrote about it for school. I have had very few utter and total flops, and that soup was definitely one of them. Feeling a bit gun-shy, I [...]

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Grain-Free Thanksgiving Stuffing

November 20, 2015

I’ve never been a big stuffing fan. While I know I am shaming my family, my great-grandmother’s Danish recipe (loaded with chestnuts, sausage and bread) was just never my thing. I’ve tried cornbread versions and while I preferred them, still found them to be a bit heavy and often dry. This year I’m not doing [...]

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Paleo Cranberry Walnut Muffins

November 19, 2015

I don’t often offer up two baked goods recipes in a row, but I’m offering up some Thanksgiving dishes and everyone knows the treats are the best part! While I love fresh cranberries, I’m simply not a fan of the gelatinous cranberry relishes and sauces that often find their way onto the Thanksgiving table. I [...]

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Grain-Free Sweet Potato Pie

November 18, 2015

I’m laughing as I type this, as my British husband advised I not “tell” people today’s pie contained sweet potato. He had never heard of sweet potato pie, and assumed I was just getting creative with my vegetables again. I tried to explain it’s actually a “thing,” particularly in the south. I was intrigued to [...]

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Curried Chicken Salad with Pecans & Cranberries

November 17, 2015

I’m featuring Thanksgiving recipes and tips on my Facebook page this week, and wanted to sneak in this great use for leftover turkey. While I usually make it with chicken, the elements pair beautifully with turkey as well. I find it a lot more bright and appealing than the usual post-Thanksgiving tetrazzini! This one tastes [...]

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Vegan Pumpkin Chai Smoothie

November 16, 2015

I love this smoothie because it’s the perfect balance of spice and sweet. I use pumpkin chai tea to give it an extra hit of pumpkin flavor, but any kind of chai will work. Using both frozen banana and pumpkin yields a thick and creamy result without the need for any ice. When I’m making [...]

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Buffalo Chicken Soup

November 14, 2015

When I got the cauliflower out to make this soup, my  husband was a little worried. He figured I was going to be making some kind of “rice” or “grits” and didn’t know how that equated to buffalo chicken. The cauliflower is actually somewhat of a secret ingredient here, as it’s pureed into the soup [...]

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