Pizza night

Keith had tennis tonight and I wanted something that we could throw together quickly when he got home. It’s a little bit trick sometimes because while we like a lot of the same things, we don’t like all of the same things. It is easy to adapt a pizza crust so that everyone has a section that suits them. I’m the only one who likes olives but everyone else liked the other ingredients – Samantha just wanted to go light on the red onion. Keith grilled the chicken breasts the other night when he was grilling shrimp.

Chicken Pesto pizza

  • pizza crust
  • boneless, skinless chicken breasts (marinate in lemon juice, olive oil and oregano and grill, then chill and slice)
  • pesto
  • thinly sliced red onion
  • shredded Mozzarella cheese
  • grated Parmesan cheese
  • sliced black olives

Preheat oven to 425. Top pizza crust with pesto. Then top with onion, chicken, cheese and olives as it suits all diners. Bake pizza for 10 minutes. Here is what it looks like with different toppings.

End of week cooking

I find that as the week goes on, my energy level dips.  So I try to plan for easier dinners as the week goes on.  Last night we ended up finishing the leftover pork barbecue from Keith’s smoking experiment.  If anything, it improved from time in the fridge.  That is a definite do-over, hopefully after the pandemic when we can enjoy with some friends.

Tonight we are having pizza.  Keith and I are having shrimp and pesto (and a little Mozzarella cheese) on ours.  Samantha is opting for pesto and a cut up Aidell’s sausages on hers.  Having pizza crusts in the freezer makes for nights that almost feel like I’m taking the night off.

I’ll be back on Sunday with some new ideas for next week!

Samantha’s choice

I wasn’t surprised that Samantha picked this recipe for her choice this week.  I did roast the garlic first as directed below.  This is healthy, delicious and doesn’t take long to fix.  That makes it a weeknight home run!  I forgot to take a picture.

Spicy Chicken Pizza

  • 3 TB olive oil
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and minced
  • 2 small onions, minced
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp ground chili powder
  • 1 lb ground chicken (or turkey – don’t tell Samantha but they didn’t have ground chicken.  I substituted the turkey and she didn’t even notice.)
  • 1 pizza crust
  • 1 cup tomato sauce
  • garlic to taste (either raw or roasted (wrap a whole head of garlic in aluminum foil and roast at 425 for about an hour.  Squeeze the garlic out of each clove and pour olive oil over it.  Let sit and then drain and use the olive oil to saute the jalapeno and onion)
  • shredded Mozzarella cheese
  • spinach

Preheat oven (with pizza stone) to 425.

Heat oil in a saucepan over medium heat.  Add jalapeno and onion and saute 2 – 3 minutes until soft.  Add spices and stir to combine.  Add chicken and cook, stirring until chicken is cooked through.

Spread sauce on pizza crust.  Top with chicken, garlic, spinach and cheese.  Cook 8 – 10 minutes or until done.

Celebrating National Pizza Day

If you hadn’t heard the big news, today is National Pizza Day!  Pizza is one of our favorite things to have for dinner.  I buy a thin crust whole wheat pizza crust at our local market but there are a number of varieties or you can get ambitious and make your own dough.  I find that starting with the prepared crust makes it easy and there are so many things you can put on top of them – vegetables, meat, seafood, all sorts of cheeses, the only limit is your imagination.  Tonight’s variation

Pizza with sausage and roasted peppers

  • pizza crust
  • olive oil
  • 8 oz Italian sausage, sweet or hot (I’m using a mix of both), removed from it’s casing
  • roasted red peppers, sliced
  • oregano
  • grated Parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 450.  Using a non-stick pan, cook the sausage over medium heat until cooked all the way through.  Brush pizza crust with olive oil and cover with cooked sausage.  Arrange pepper slices and oregano on sausage and top with grated cheese.  Cook pizza for 8 – 10 minutes until hot.

It doesn’t get too much easier than that.  Here is a list of some of our other favorite pizza toppings, you can search blog for recipes:

  • shrimp and pesto
  • spicy chicken
  • scallop pesto and arugula
  • chorizo, roasted peppers and manchego
  • clam
  • tuna and asparagus
  • caramelized leeks
  • southwestern shrimp and sausage
  • New Orleans sausage
  • amatriciana
  • mushroom and artichoke


More cooking ahead

I had a meeting after work tonight.  I made the topping for the pizza last night, Keith assembled and he and Samantha ate theirs and saved some for me.

  • 1 TB olive oil
  • 1/2 lb sweet Italian turkey sausage, removed from casings
  • 1 onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 red pepper, finely chopped
  • 2 stalks celery, finely chopped
  • 1 cup tomato sauce
  • 1 TB Cajun seasoning
  • 1 pizza crust
  • 1/2 cup Mozzarella cheese

Preheat oven to 425.  Heat olive oil in a non-stick pan over medium heat.  Add sausage and cook until done.  Remove sausage from pan.   Add onion, red pepper, and celery and saute for 3 – 5 minutes.  Add tomato sauce and Cajun seasoning.  Stir and add sausage.  Either refrigerate topping until ready to use or place on pizza crust and top with cheese.  Bake 8 – 10 minutes and serve.

Sources of inspiration

If you follow blog you know that I have a passion for cookbooks and have more than 200.  I love used book sales – they are a great source for specialty cookbooks.  If you find one or two great recipes or ideas in a cookbook, it is worthwhile.  And if you accomplished this by paying $1 or $2 for the book, it’s even better.  I found a book called Pizza and other savory pies and according to the pencil marks inside, I paid $4 for it.  It provided inspiration for tonight’s pizza.  Delicious!

Prosciutto and Caramelized onion pizza

  • 1 prepared pizza crust, lightly brushed with olive oil
  • 1 TB olive oil
  • 2 sweet onions, thinly sliced
  • 1/3 lb Prosciutto, diced
  • 3 oz Mascarpone cheese

Preheat oven to 425.  In a non-stick skillet, heat olive oil and then add sliced onions and 1 TB water.  Cover and cook, stirring regularly until onions are soft and caramelized.  (Don’t leave unattended for long or onions will burn.)  Meanwhile in another skillet, cook Prosciutto until crisp.

Top pizza crust with onions and prosciutto and then dot with Mascarpone.  (If someone in your house isn’t a fan of the onions, you can leave them off of part of the crust.  Bake (on a pizza stone if you have one) for 10 minutes.

Keith pointed out that the Mascarpone gives it a little bit of sweetness.  Nice combination of flavors.

Prosciutto pizza

Breaking out of the rut

We love pizza and have it often as an easy weeknight dinner.  We tend to get in the habit of having some of the same ones over and over and I wanted to change it up.  Looking back at blog, we have had this before.  However, we haven’t had it since 2012.  So I guess that doesn’t count as a rut if you have something once every 5 years!

Chicken Pizza Francaise

  • 1 prepared pizza crust, preferably whole wheat
  • 1 whole boneless, skinless chicken breast, slightly pounded
  • 1 clove of garlic minced
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp Herbes de Provence (you can substitute thyme)
  • 5 medium shallots, sliced
  • 1 bag baby spinach
  • 1/2 cup grated Gruyere cheese
  • 2 TB Dijon mustard
  • 2 TB mayonnaise

Sprinkle chicken with garlic and Herbes de Provence.  Heat olive oil in a nonstick pan and cook chicken about 3 minutes a side until browned on the outside and just cooked through.  Set aside.  Add shallots to the pan along with about 4 TB of water.  Stir and cook until shallots are soft and golden brown (about 5 minutes).  Add another 1 – 2 TB of water and the spinach, stirring until spinach is wilted.  Set aside.

Thinly slice chicken.

Preheat oven to 450.  Combine dijon mustard and mayonnaise in a small bowl and spread on pizza crust.  Top with spinach and shallot mixture.  Top with chicken and then with cheese.  Bake at 450 about 10 minutes until cheese is melted.  Enjoy!

Old Faithful

Last night was a completely new invention so tonight is a reliable standby.  This pizza is one of our favorites.  I don’t think I could get my husband to have salad for dinner two nights in a row but by loading this up with arugula, we’re still getting our veggies!

Scallop and Arugula Pizza

  • 2/3 lb sea scallops, rinsed and dried and sliced into thin slices
  • 3 TB pesto
  • 1 pizza crust (I used whole wheat)
  • 1 1/2 TB tomato paste and tomato sauce (tomato sauce alone makes this a little watery and the paste is a little strong – a combination of two is perfect but either alone will do.)
  • 1 cup arugula, rinsed and dried
  • 1  TB Pinenuts
  • Fresh grated Parmesan cheese

Preheat ovento 450.  Combine scallop slices and pesto in bowl.  Spread tomato paste on pizza crust and top with arugula.  Arrange pesto scallop slices on arugula and spread any extra pesto on top.  Sprinkle pine nuts on top and bake for 8 – 10 minutes or until scallops are cooked through.  Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and serve.

Pesto scallop arugula pizza

Pizza night!

Tonight we had a healthy pizza for dinner.  We last had this almost 2 years ago and Keith had forgotten about it.  He loved it.  I’ll have to put it in the rotation a bit more often!

Shrimp and Creole Pizza

  • 1 pizza shell
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 1 onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 large or 2 small garlic cloves minced
  • 1 red pepper, seeded and thinly sliced
  • 1 14 1/2 oz can diced or stewed tomatoes
  • 1 TB Cajun seasoning
  • 3/4 lb shrimp, peeled, deveined and cut in half lengthwise
  • 3/4 cup shredded Mozzarella cheese

Heat a non-stick pan over medium heat.  Add canola oil.  Add onion, garlic and pepper and cook, stirring until veggies are soft (5 – 8  minutes).  Add tomatoes and Cajun seasoning and cook, stirring another 5 minutes.  Add shrimp and cook stirring for 3 – 5 minutes until shrimp are just turning pink.  Remove from heat.

Spread mixture over pizza crust and sprinkle with cheese.  Bake at 450 for about 6 minutes.

Shrimp Creole pizza

Using leftovers

I hate wasting food.  We are so fortunate to be well fed and I know there are hungry people both here at home and all over the world.  Last night and tonight were focused on using leftovers.  Keith had a meeting last night so I made chicken salad with the leftover chicken from Sunday night.  The chicken was so moist and tender there wasn’t much leftover but I made my favorite chicken salad (quantities obviously vary based on how much leftover chicken you have!):

Roast chicken salad

  • leftover chicken from a roasted chicken, chopped
  • celery, finely chopped
  • shallot, minced
  • thyme
  • garlic powder
  • Worcestershire
  • celery salt
  • mayonnaise

Combine all ingredients.  Taste and adjust as needed.  Serve by itself or as a sandwich or on lettuce.  Delicious!

Tonight I had planned on having assorted flatbreads, continuing my flatbread experiment.  However I was low on flatbreads and had a pizza crust in the freezer.  There were some leftover mushrooms and there was leftover cheese.  I got some spinach at the salad bar, brushed the pizza crust with garlic and olive oil and then topped it with the spinach, the mushrooms and the cheese.  Delicious and a good use of leftovers!