Grilled Chipotle Pizza

ay funday

It’s about to get real – real delicious, with this Grilled Chipotle Pizza I created for Del Real Foods Blogger Recipe Challenge 2016! Voting begins May 9th!

Last year my Tamale Stuffed Jalapenos won Best Appetizer in Del Real Food’s Blogger Recipe Challenge. I had such an incredible experience filming my recipe, I knew I wanted to enter the contest again. I came up with this grilled pizza that is both family friendly, and easy to prepare outdoors.

Grilled Chipolte Pizza sunday funday

Grilled pizzas are a favorite in our household. This Grilled Chipotle Pizza came together really quickly thanks to a store-bought pizza dough, and Del Real’s pre-cooked Chipotle Chicken Tinga.

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While your grill is preheating, stretch out the pizza dough, and shape on aluminum foil. You can let it rest while you chop your other ingredients – I had leftover grilled corn that I cut from the cob, frozen corn also works well. I also used mango, fresh cilantro, cheese, and delicious Del Real Salsa de Molcajete Verde.

Once your grill is ready, I like to stick the dough and foil on a baking sheet to help transfer the dough. When your grill is ready, remove the dough from the foil, spray the foil with cooking spray, and carefully place the foil on the grill, greased side up. Carefully slide the dough onto the foil. .

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Close the lid and grill for about 2 minutes. While your dough is cooking, you may wish to heat the chicken according to package directions. It’s conveniently fully cooked, but this ensures it’s heated through. Checking your pizza crust, and you will notice it starting to brown and bubble up.After 2=3 more minutes, flip your crust over, using heat-safe tongs.

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Top the crust with cheese, then the chicken–a slotted spoon cuts down on the amount of liquid you are getting on the crust, to help prevent it from getting soggy–mango, and corn. Drizzle  Del Real’s Salsa de Molcajete Verde around the crust, and then more cheese if you desire…and who wouldn’t? Close the lid, and allow to cook for another 3-5 minutes. All grills are different, so you might need to adjust the temperature .

While your pizza is finishing, prepare the avocado crema by combining avocado, Mexican-style crema or sour cream, lime juice, and Salsa de Molcajete Verde in a blender or food processor.

When the cheese is melted on your pizza, remove from grill by sliding your baking sheet underneath the foil, and transfer to cutting board or serving platter. Drizzle with crema, and fresh cilantro.

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Grilled Chipotle Pizza

Ingredients

  • Aluminum foil
  • Cooking spray
  • 1 pound prepared pizza dough
  • 1 package Del Real Foods Chipotle Chicken Tinga
  • 1 cup corn, frozen or cooked, cut from cob
  • ¼ cup Del Real Foods Salsa de Molcajete Verde
  • fresh mango, cubed, approximately 1 cup
  • 8 oz shredded Monterey Jack Cheese, divided
  • ¼ cup crumbled Queso Fresco
  • Fresh cilantro for garnish
  • *Avocado crema, as follows:
  • *Avocado Crema:
  • medium avocado, halved and removed from skin
  • ¼ cup Del Real Foods Salsa de Molcajete Verde
  • ¼ cup Mexican Crema, or sour cream
  • Juice of 1 lime

Instructions

  1. Preheat grill to high, clearing off any debris. If using frozen corn, allow to rest at room temperature. While grill is heating, tear sheet of aluminum foil to fit your grill, place on flat surface and shape your dough into a rectangle, if dough tears, patch with dough from thicker outer edge. Try to get the same thickness throughout. Once grill is ready, remove dough from foil and spray lightly with cooking spray. Place foil on grill, add dough on top of foil. Close the lid and allow to grill for 2 minutes. While dough is cooking, remove Del Real Foods Chipolte Chicken Tinga from pouch, shredding gently with forks. You may wish to heat chicken in microwave if available, for easier shredding, but this step is not necessary. After 2 minutes, check dough by lifting up the edge with heat-proof tongs, adjusting grill temperature as necessary. Close lid and cook an additional 2-3 minutes or until slightly golden with bubbles in the crust. Chop mango, and if using cooked corn, remove from cob. Use tongs to flip pizza crust over. Reduce grill heat to medium, top with half of the shredded Monterey Jack cheese, the shredded Chipolte Chicken Tinga ( use a fork or slotted spoon to reduce the amount of cooking liquid, so as to avoid a soggy crust.), the corn, mango, and spoon on the Del Real Foods Salsa de Molcajete Verde. Top with remaining cheese and close grill. Let cook an additional 3-5 minutes or until cheese is melted. While pizza is cooking, combine avocado, crema, lime juice, and Del Real Foods Salsa de Molcajete Verde in blender.
  2. When cheese is melted, remove pizza from grill and place on cutting board. Allow to rest 5 minutes, then top with fresh cilantro, queso fresco, and drizzles of *avocado crema.
  3. *If you are preparing this dish outdoors and do not have access to a blender, combine equal parts pre-packaged guacatillo and crema or sour cream.
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The combination of mango, corn, cheese, and chipotle chicken is divine! I can see this pizza becoming a summer staple in our house, and it’s so convenient and delicious, that will be just fine with me! Each bite tastes a little bit different as you get different combinations of toppings…it’s fresh, filling, best of all – ‘Real Delicioius!”

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Disclaimer: Del Real Foods provided me with free products for recipe development, as part of the Blogger Recipe Challenge. All opinions are my own. 

Barbacoa Pupusa Pizzas with Del Real Foods

After my successful experience in the 2015 Del Real Foods Blogger Recipe Challenge, I decided to throw my hat in the ring again for 2016. The folks at Del Real were kind enough to provide me with a magical box of their authentic Mexican products that I had selected. I used their Barbacoa, Frijoles Refritos, and Cheese and Bell Pepper Pupusas for my Barbacoa Pupusa Pizzas.

One of the categories for this year’s contest was “Kid Friendly” and while these Barbacoa Pupusa Pizzas are the perfect portion size for kids, adults will love them too!

Barbacoa Pupusa Pizzas the sunday funday

They take just a few minutes to throw together, and you can easily prepare the toppings while they are in the oven. I like to bake my pupusas on a metal cooling rack, atop a rimmed baking sheet – this allows air to circulate all around the pupusas, helping them stay crispy on the outside.

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Using these all natural pre-packaged Del Real Products is an incredible time saver! All the products I used were pre-cooked so they only needed to be heated through in the oven, can you imagine how long it would take to prepare just the re-fried beans alone? Definitely more than the 10-15 minutes these spend in the oven.

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It’s super tempting to dig in as soon as the cheese is melted and the timer goes off, but let them cool for a few minutes – those pupusas are LOADED with bubbly, delicious cheese!

You can easily personalize the toppings on these pupusa pizzas to fit your tastes. I chose to top mine with slices of rich avocado, chopped tomato, queso fresco, and some salsa en polvo seasoning and lime wedges for some extra zestiness. I used Del Real Frijoles Refritos and Barbacoa , but any of their delicious meats or Frijoles Negros (black beans) would be delicious! Barbacoa Pupusa Pizzas 3 the sunday funday

Barbacoa Pupusa Pizzas

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 15 minutes

Yield: 5

Serving Size: 1 pizza

Del Real Foods Cheese and Bell Pepper Pupusas create the perfect cheese-filled based for these mini pizzas. Topped with a dollop of Del Real Foods Frijoles Refritos, and savory Del Real Foods Barbacoa, these make a filling snack or light meal. This recipe calls for diced tomatoes and avocados on top for serving, but kids might prefer them without. They are so easy to make, the whole family can get involved to prepare these and personalize their toppings--adult supervision when using the oven or toaster oven please.

Ingredients

  • 1 package Del Real Foods Cheese and Bell Pepper Pupusas
  • 1 package Del Real Foods Barbacoa
  • 1/3 heaping cup Del Real Foods Frijoles Refritos
  • 1/3 heaping cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese
  • 1 avocado, removed from peeling, sliced
  • 1 tomato, diced
  • ¼ cup queso fresco
  • Optional: Lime cut into wedges for serving, salsa en polvo seasoning, or chile powder to taste

Instructions

  1. Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees. Place a metal cooling rack on a rimmed baking sheet. Place pupusas on cooling rack, and top each one with 1 tbsp Del Real Foods Frijoles Refritos. Shred barbacoa with a fork and divide evenly on top of pupusas. Top with 1 tbsp shredded cheese. Place baking sheet in oven and bake for 10-15 minutes, until cheese melted. Remove from oven and allow to cool for 5 minutes. Top with avocado, tomato, queso fresco, and seasoning if desired.
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I hope you and your loved ones enjoy these fun, delicious Barbacoa Pupusa Pizzas as much as I enjoyed creating them! What would you top these with? Let me know in the comments below!

Barbacoa Pupusa Pizzas 1 the Sunday funday

 

Disclaimer: Del Real Foods provided me with free products for recipe development, as part of the Blogger Recipe Challenge. All opinions are my own. 

A Hiatus in Review

It seems I am not very good at blogging from November to March-ish…as this is the second year in a row I have taken an unexplained writing hiatus. What have I been up to since last year? I’m so glad you asked!

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Racing:
My last race report was of my half marathon in June. In July I did Calico Racing’s Red, White, and Bling 5k, and took a little break to get some Supartz injections in my knees…and because Las Vegas summer’s are HOT.  I got back into the swing of things in October, with the Goldilocks 5k, Jus Run’s Hallowrock 5k, I completed my 50th Race in November, with the Rock n Roll Las Vegas 10k, followed by the Jus Run Turkey Trot 5k. I finished up the year with Jus Run’s Rockin’ Reindeer 10k (and got a bonus medal for completing their Rock the Holiday’s Triple Crown series.)

My first race of 2016 was BBSC’s Lake Mead 5k, followed by The Ultimate Wine Run 5K at Lake Las Vegas. I got a 10K PR at BBSC’s Mardi Gras Masquerade, and ran some of the best splits I’ve had since 2013. I kept this momentum up, and had a strong finish at my first half marathon relay – Saints and Sinners. Most recently, I came within 5 min of my 5k PR at the National Nurses 5k, a time that I set in 2013 when I was about 30 pounds lighter…which is a great segway to this next update section.

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Weight loss:
It’s no secret I have been struggling to take off some weight I regained, and lost, and regained, since I moved to Las Vegas in 2011….eeeek! After Thanksgiving I found myself really over meat…maybe it was all the cooking I did, but it just wasn’t as appealing to me all of a sudden. A week went by before I realized I hadn’t had eaten any, and then 2, and going on 4 months later I’m still meat-free. I was a vegetarian for about a year (2009) and started eating meat again, so I don’t know know how long this will last, but for right now I am feeling great.

I signed up for Weight Watchers in July, but deleted the app when I was out of space on my phone one day and kind of forgot about it…which I realize is the lamest excuse ever, lol. I got back on board December 30th, and am down just over 20lbs.

Travel:
I went to Hawaii in September, and found the drafts I started about my trip, but never completely finished. Since they are almost finished, you can expect a post about that trip soon…especially since we are planning another trip later this year.

I went to West Virginia in October, and was treated to a week of gorgeous fall weather, and fall foliage. A week later I went to Reno and spent a lot of time writing drafts and posts I probably won’t ever publish, while sitting on the patio of Whole Foods…which is arguably the best Whole Foods ever. In December, I joined two friends for a girls trip to Disneyland, and then spent an unseasonably warm, wet, muddy Christmas in West Virginia.

In January, we flew to Phoenix to watch my alma mater – WVU win the Cactus Bowl against Arizona State. We also went to Utah to Zion National Park, which I will be posting about later. You can also expect a post soon about my latest adventure, road tripping from Las Vegas to Reno.

hiatus 1 The sunday Funday

So that’s what I’ve been up to, for the most part. I didn’t make resolutions in 2016, but I wanted to pick up new habits to make me feel better, and be better. I wanted to go out of my comfort zone and try different things. So far I’ve gone winter hiking, taken a food photography class, started going to yoga and pilates classes again regularly, taken a wine and painting class, went on a group run with my neighborhood running group, and have been researching Toastmaster’s groups near my home, and join a book club. I also picked up Start Where you Are, a journal for self-exploration.

I’ll leave you with this, a little saying my yoga instructor used recently, that is pretty representative of my expectations of myself for 2016:
With a power.
With a purpose.
With a goal. 

A Real Adventure: Filming with Del Real Foods

Earlier this year I attended a meet-up of local bloggers in the Las Vegas area, and we had a guest speaker from Del Real Foods. We were treated to several Del Real products for dinner, and she told us about the Del Real Foods Blogger Recipe Challenge. I had never entered a recipe contest before, but I love to cook and create new recipes, so I decided to give it a try.

I came up with three recipes, Salsa Chicken Lettuce CupsTamale Stuffed Jalapenos, and Southwest Chicken and Waffles. There were three winning categories – Most votes, Most Creative, and Best Appetizer. I was elated when my Chicken and Waffles finished in the top 5 of the voting category!  I was beyond elated when I received an email from Del Real, telling me the owners and employees of the company had tasted ALL the entries, I was the winner of the Best Appetizer Category with my Tamale Stuffed Jalapenos! As part of my prize, Del Real Foods flew me to Burbank, CA, and professional filmed me re-creating my recipe alongside company spokesperson Liz Cardenas. They enjoyed my chicken and waffles dish so much, they decided I would be filming it as well!

I was so nervous, but also extremely excited! Burbank is a short flight from Las Vegas, and It was a short cab ride from the airport to the Tilt Hotel, where I was staying.That evening I was meeting with Angel – one of the other bloggers, Liz – who I would be filming with the next day, and some of the production staff. Just before I left the hotel room, I received a call from my veterinarian to tell me one of my dogs had experienced an allergic reaction to a vaccine, but was okay. After I got off with the phone I had a small melt-down, which did not help my anxiety levels.

Angel and I arrived to the restaurant (GC Marketplace) first which gave us a chance to get to know each other before the others joined us (there was a concert going on at the Hollywood Bowl that evening, and already-horrible traffic was even worse!) A champagne flight calmed my nerves, and we had a great evening over great food (the Argentinean Pizza is a must!) I went back to the hotel and tried to get some sleep,but a combination of nerves, worrying about my dog, and the LOUD A/C unit kicking on and off every 10 minutes, did not make for a restful evening.

The Sunday Funday Del Real

I woke up the next morning and was able to call the vet’s office and check on Max, and was relieved to hear he had a great night, and was back his normal self. I used UBER to get from my hotel to the production house – literally a mansion in the Hollywood Hills. The driver was so friendly and chatty, and I felt a lot better by the time I got to the house.

I was expecting a camera person, a sound person, Liz, and the production staff I had met the night before – I was not expecting the 10-15 person crew that awaited me! After hair and makeup, I got my mic taped on, and the necklace I had on kept hitting the mic! Luckily I am a pack-rat and had brought a few necklaces (and outfits) with me. From what I brought, they selected a bright necklace that I have gotten more compliments over than any other piece of jewelry I own. The funny thing is, I bought it for just $3 from someone on Facebook!

I ran through the recipes first just verbally, so the production crew would know what I needed, and have everything set up for me. They filmed the Southwest Chicken and Waffles first, so I went through the process the first time just by myself. There were multiple cameras, and they wanted to get the closeup shots. I verbally stumbled once or twice, but the director and crew were awesome and made me feel so comfortable. They were calling me “One Take Sally” after I got through the recipe in one (maybe two?) takes. My original recipe called for grilling chicken breasts, but we switched that out for Del Real’s Pollo Asada, and it was the first time I had worked with the product. It made my recipe even easier and faster to prepare!

Next it was time to film the recipe with Liz. She is very personable and was easy to talk to, We were finished pretty quickly, and I ended up making the whole recipe of tamale-waffles for the crew! It was fun to watch my food be plated and photographed. I am very interested in food photography, so that was an awesome part of the experience for me.

While I got my makeup touched up, Angel arrived at the set to get ready, and we snapped some pictures of the amazing view out front, and “chilled” in the only room with effective air conditioning (no seriously, they had me go in that room when I wasn’t filming to help preserve my makeup.)

Next up was my recipe for Tamale Stuffed Jalapenos. The crew had already prepared a
perfect pan of peppers (say that 10 times fast) and I only needed to assemble a couple for the camera. I admit I was pretty excited not to have to de-seed jalapenos! Like the recipe, i ran through it once on my own, for closeups and voice overs. They also wanted to get some shots of the peppers coming out of the oven, with the bacon bubbling – it smelled so good in that kitchen!!

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There was a slight whoops when the peppers were finished, before we filmed again with Liz. Some of the crew forgot we weren’t quite finished using them, and ate a couple of peppers off the tray, LOL! The problem was quickly solved, and honestly I was flattered that they couldn’t wait to taste my peppers.

After filming, Del Real generously treated me to lunch and took me back to my hotel. The whole experience was surreal; it was an incredible opportunity and I am so grateful to the staff of Del Real Foods who made it possible. I’ve watched cooking shows on television for as long as I can remember and being on the other side of the camera was awesome and so much fun!

I’m so happy with how well my videos turned out. As crazy as it sounds, I haven’t mustered up the courage to watch them with the sound turned ON, because it makes me so anxious to hear my own voice!! I’m sure I will watch them soon though. Thank you Del Real Foods!!

The Sunday Funday Del Real 5

Lessons in Grieving

On January 1, 2008, life as I had known it for 25 years ended. A few days after Christmas my dad suffered a heart attack and was in the hospital awaiting surgery to implant a pacemaker, when he sat up, looked at the nurse, said “I”m not going to make it, am I?” and flat-lined. My husband, brother, and mother were all at the hospital. I had stepped out for a few minutes to cool-off after my brother and I had a heated discussion, when my brother called and said “come now.” It was too late, I didn’t make it there in time, none of us did. In a split second, at only 55 years of age, my daddy was gone.

I didn’t know how to process the immense sadness, regret, fear, and anger I was feeling. I started having chest pains, convinced that I too was going to have a heart attack. I was extremely unhealthy, I was heart broken, I was lost. Grieving is not something they teach in schools–you can’t take a 101 class, there is no extra credit.

My husband’s company offered an employee assistance program, that included grief counseling. A the urging of my husband I called and was assigned to a counselor. Her name was Patricia. With my anxiety out of control, I went to my first appointment. Her office was located in a building that had once been a college dorm. It was a cozy room, with a comfortable couch and chairs, and luckily for me – a big box of tissues.

“Trish” always greeted me with a hug. I always left her office feeling better than I did when I got there. I had the power within me to change my life, and she helped me to discover that power. I saw Trish off and on for a couple of years, mostly in the year that followed Daddy’s passing. As I recognized triggers, and scrambled through anniversary dates – our last vacation together, our last Thanksgiving, Christmas…our final days together – Trish was there. Even after I relocated from West Virginia to Nevada, I stayed in contact with Trish through texting and Facebook.

Trish and I shared mantra that was meaningful to both of us, “She believed she could and so she did.” It has become my power phrase that I repeat to myself in difficult moments. When I’m at mile 10 of a half marathon, there is a good chance I’m repeating those words in my mind. In spite of her cancer, Trish remained an inspiration to everyone she met. She fought a valiant battle, and though the cancer defeated her body, her spirit lives on, strong. Her Facebook page is a testament to just a handful of the lives she touched, including mine.

Thank you for being part of my life Trish. I’m so glad to have known you, and will always be grateful to you for helping me ignite the fire I never dreamed could burn so brightly.

Grain-free (& guilt-free) Dressing

If you are like me you never met a carb you didn’t like. Thanksgiving has traditionally been a time for my house to show our thanks for carbs, with a spread of  creamed corn, stuffing, potatoes, sweet potatoes, mac n cheese…and let’s not even talk about the dessert table! Unfortunately, my mouth loves carbs more than the rest of my body (I’m talking to you, backside!) I live by the rule of all things in moderation (pass the potatoes…) but swapping the stuffing for my grain-free dressing is leaves more caloric-wiggle room for important things like pie.

It’s my understanding that this is dressing vs. stuffing, because it’s baked in a pan, and not used to stuff the turkey/pork loin/wheat meat “roast.” You might be able to use it as a stuffing, if someone tries it, please let me know.

Grain-free Dressing – A Thanksgiving game changer!

Ingredients

  • 2 cups chopped cauliflower (I used 1 bag of Green Giant™ Fresh Cauliflower Crumbles™)
  • 1 cup chopped carrots
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 1 cup chopped celery
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/2 cup chicken stock
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • poultry seasoning to taste
  • black bepper to taste
  • 3 tbsp butter or olive oil

Instructions

  1. Saute onions, carrots, and celery in chicken stock, butter (or olive oil) until softened.
  2. If using Green Giant™ Fresh Cauliflower Crumbles™, prepare according to package directions and squeeze moisture from package. Otherwise, chop cauliflower, steam and squeeze out excess moisture.
  3. Add cauliflower to sauteed vegetables, add cheese and fresh herbs or poultry seasoning.
  4. Add additional ingredients at this point, if desired.
  5. Remove from heat.
  6. In a small bowl, beat 3 eggs.
  7. After vegetable mixture has cooled, stir in eggs.
  8. Pour into greased 8x8 baking dish.
  9. Sprinkle with additional cheese if desired.
  10. Bake at 375 degrees, for 40-45 minutes, or until desired level of golden brown is reached.
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I saved time by using pre-chopped veggies (a container of mirepox from Trader Joe’s and a bag of Green Giant™ Fresh Cauliflower Crumbles™ ) and used dried poultry seasoning instead of fresh herbs. Think of this recipe as a good base from which to build your own dream dressing; here are some of my favorite additions.

The eggs not only add protein to this dish, they also bind everything together. The Parmesan cheese also acts as a binder and contributes to the golden brown color after baking. You could easily convert this to a vegetarian dish by swapping the chicken stock for veggie broth.The flavors and texture are remarkably similar to bread-based dressing, and it even slices the same way – perfect for making Thanksgiving-leftovers “sandwiches” with turkey and cranberry sauce!

What’s your favorite healthy swap for holiday meals? Let me know in the comments!

Fish with Artichoke Lemon Pesto

I am thrilled to have a guest writer today, my friend Andrea. We have been friends since we were 14 or so, and have gone on many adventures, including a trip to New York City, where we survived a 20 hour bus adventure that is a whole other blog post. Andrea also joined my family for a fishing trip to Canada. We caught fresh fish for lunch and dinner, that everyone else enjoyed while I cooked my can of ravioli over the campfire (after wrestling it open with my dad’s knife.)

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As you probably guessed, I don’t eat a lot of seafood, so I was delighted when Andrea offered to share a fish recipe with all of you. She combines her own adaptation of of Melissa d’Arabian’s Fish en Papillote, and Red Shallot Kitchen’s Artichoke Lemon Pesto, to create this dish that’s easy enough for every-day, but special enough to impress dinner guests.

Fish w artichoke lemon pesto pin

Any kind of meatier fish (salmon, mahi mahi, sea bass, etc.) would work well with this recipe.  I really  like steelhead trout; it is almost identical in taste and look to salmon but about half the price.  While I would prefer to use fresh fish, sometimes it’s not easy to get good quality fresh fish.  Frozen will work just fine.

 

Lemon Artichoke Pesto

Ingredients

  • 1 can artichoke hearts
  • 6 cloves of garlic
  • Juice of 2 lemons
  • Grated peel of 2 lemons
  • Large handful of fresh basil leaves
  • 5 tablespoons of grated parmesan cheese
  • ¼ c of olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. Rinse and drain the artichoke hearts
  2. Add to food processor
  3. Add rest of ingredients in food processor and process until slightly smooth
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I made 3 pieces of fish with only one of each of the veggies (1 carrot, 1 zucchini, 1 summer squash), and it was light.  If you wanted you could add more veggies to bulk up the meal.

I had pre-made parchment bags, but you could use sheets of parchment and fold/crimp into a bag.

  • Spray the parchment where the fish will lie
  • Lay a little of each of the veggies on top of the parchment
  • Lay piece of fish on top of the veggies
  • Spread a generous layer of the lemon artichoke pesto on top of the fish
  • Fold up the parchment tightly

fish prep the sunday funday

I baked at 350 degrees for around 30 minutes.  Bake time will depend on the thickness of fish Be careful when you open your fish parcels because there will be trapped steam
I had a good amount of pesto left over that I’m going to put on pasta for a bonus meal.

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Thanks again Andrea for sharing your recipes and photos with us! Is there a food you are intimidated to cook? Let me know in the comments below! 

 

 

 

 

Meatless Monday Menu

I was a vegetarian for about a year, and although I currently include meat in my diet, I try to make one or two meatless meals a week. Lately I have been trying to find new ways to replace meat and dairy products a few times a week, without sacrificing flavor. We often participate in “meatless Mondays” and in the fall, that coincides with Monday Night Football. Plant-based food for a big-game crowd? This Hawaiian inspired pulled “pork” recipe is a touchdown, and my DIY Pitaya bowl bar will get you the extra point every time!

meatless monday night pin

Kalua Pulled Jackfruit

Ingredients

  • 20oz can young green jackfruit, rinsed and drained
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 2 tbsp olive or coconut oil
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 cup fresh or frozen pineapple
  • 2 tbsp teriyaki sauce
  • 1 soy sauce
  • chopped green onions or chives to taste
  • jalapeno hot sauce to taste
  • 1/2-1 cup water
  • Optional: liquid smoke to taste

Instructions

  1. Place jackfruit in large saucepan on medium-high heat, tossing with oil and honey, allow to sear for 3-5 minutes, allowing the jackfruit to caramelize a little.
  2. Add pineapple, stir and allow to continue to brown, gently separating fruit with spatula.
  3. Add a small amount of water to de-glaze pan.
  4. Add remaining ingredients except for the water.
  5. Simmer 30-40 minutes, adding water as necessary to prevent sticking, continue to break fruit apart with spatula.
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jackfruit the sunday funday

I used the prepared bbq jackfruit in two different ways, but the possibilities are endless. One batch of jackfruit made a small pizza, and 5-6 street tacos; you could easily double it for a crowd! The jackfruit absorbed the flavors I used while cooking, and I am amazed at how similar the texture is to shredded meat!

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Tropical Jackfruit Pizza:

  1. Your favorite prepared pizza crust
  2. Pizza sauce, or bbq sauce
  3. Pulled Jackfruit
  4. Fresh mango
  5. Finely minced red pepper
  6. Chives

Prepare as directed on pizza crust packaging.

jackfruit pizza the sunday funday

Jackfruit Street Tacos:

  1. Small corn tortillas, heated
  2. purple cabbage
  3. Pulled Jackfruit
  4. cilantro
  5. sliced avocado or guacamole
  6. finely chopped bell pepper/jalapeno/radish/tomato optional

Assemble and enjoy!

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I love having pitaya bowls for breakfast, and often add yogurt for extra protein and a creamy texture. When I’m training for endurance events, I’m always looking for something quick when I’m getting up early to beat the heat. My stomach can be sensitive to dairy products though, and that’s the last thing I want to happen at the pool, or during a bike ride. By swapping the yogurt for Silk Dairy-Free Yogurt Alternative, and adding some Silk Cashew Milk, these pitaya bowls are super creamy, without upsetting my stomach.
silk pitaya bowl the sunday funday
Silk’s Dairy-Free Yogurt Alternative in the Vanilla flavor is my favorite! You can see all the specks of vanilla bean, no artificial colors or flavors here! It’s also cholesterol free, gluten free,and contains no high fructose corn syrup.

pitaya bowl the sunday funday
Since they are plant-based and tropical, they make a great dessert for this Meatless Monday Night menu (say that 5 times fast) and the DIY aspect makes them fun!

Pitaya Bowls:

  1. 1 pack frozen pitaya fruit
  2. 1 container of Silk Dairy Free Yogurt Alternative (I used vanilla, use your favorite flavor)
  3. 1/4 cup Silk Original Cashew Milk
  4. 1/2 banana
  5. 1 cup frozen pineapple
  6. Toppings of your choice: coconut, chia seeds, kiwi, berries, mango, pineapple, banana – go crazy!

This makes 1 large bowl, or 3 small bowls.You could easily double or triple based on your crowd size, and how much bright pink goodness you need in your life! I made these DIY style, by allowing people to top their own bowls with whatever they wanted.

pitaya bowls the sunday funday

I hope these gave you some good ideas on how to #SidelineMeat for your next #MeatlessMondayNight gathering!

For coupon offers, more great recipes for Meatless Monday Night, or to take the Meatless Monday pledge, visit Silk’s website.

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Pumpkin Latte Overnight Oats

Pumpkin Latte Oats 1 The Sunday Funday

Pumpkin.
Latte.
Oats.

I could hardly contain my excitement either.

I love that oh-so-famous fall coffee drink, and this recipe is a great way to incorporate some of those flavors into an easy-to-prepare breakfast. I used Greek yogurt which not only adds a nice coffee flavor, it also adds 12 grams of protein!
Pumpkin Latte Oats The Sunday Funday
For my first attempt at making overnight oats, I was pretty happy with how these turned out! I was concerned I was using too much liquid, but I made these in the late afternoon, and by  the next morning they were nice and creamy, without being runny. I topped with extra Chia seeds on top for more crunch. Pecans and chocolate chips would also be delicious toppings!

I didn’t have the patience to dig out more than one seal-able container (everyone has a mess of plastic lids and containers, right?) so I just made up one serving, but next time I’ll be more prepared and make several servings at once. I opened a can of pumpkin just for this recipe, but this is an excellent use for that extra bit we all have left after making something that calls for a cup of pumpkin.

Pumpkin Latte Overnight Oats

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup Quick Steel Cut Oats
  • 5.3 container Coffee flavored Greek Yogurt, like Chobani®
  • 1/4 cup canned pumpkin
  • 2 tbsp milk or milk alternative, I used Silk® Cashew Milk
  • 1 tbsp Chia Seeds, plus more for topping (optional)
  • Cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, to taste

Instructions

  1. Combine ingredients in an airtight container and refrigerate overnight.
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Are you excited for “pumpkin everything” season?

Pumpkin Latte Oats 2 The Sunday Funday

How I spent a week in Pittsburgh: Part 2

In case you missed Part One, you can read about it here. Otherwise, I’ll start from where I left off, day 3.

pittsburgh2 4 the sunday funday

Wednesday:

The day started out, as many do – with the search for good coffee. My hotel was located within walking distances of one of my favorite places – Pittsburgh’s Strip District, so that’s where I headed. My first stop was to Allegheny Coffee & Tea Exchange, where I picked up a cherry cheesecake latte. It was good, and didn’t taste artificial. Note: $5 minimum for credit cards.

Plans to get a “traditional” breakfast were quickly thwarted by “cash only” signs, and my unwillingness to pay bank fees at the ATM. I opted instead for something far more delicious (and unhealthy) than eggs – pierogi from S&D Polish Deli. The farmer’s cheese, and cheddar pierogi are delicious…if they happen to have the spinach while you are there, get them and let me know how they are – in all my visits I haven’t managed to try them yet! Note: They have a nice clean restroom for customer’s only; $10 credit card minimum.

pittsburgh2 3 the sunday funday

Next stop – Pennsylvania Macaroni Company. The Sunseri brothers, formerly of Sicily, founded their Italian Pasta shop in 1902. Following a fire in the 1940s, they rebuilt and became an Italian import shop. Their hard work has continued to pay off, and according to their website they sell over 200,000 lbs of Italian cheeses each WEEK!! As amazing as their collection of Italian meats, cheeses, and olives is, their fresh pasta selection is also incredible. The saffron, and the crushed red pepper are two of my absolute favorites. I recently found out they deliver nationwide, which I will probably be doing this winter. Penn Mac is not just a store – it is truly an  experience for the senses; the sound of the creaky wooden floors, the smells of the cheese, and olives…forget the perfume, I just want to smell like Penn Mac.

Pittsburgh was built on industry, and you can read about it’s history here. For a more interactive look at Pittsburgh’s history, I highly suggest the Senator John Heinz History Center, commonly referred to (at least by me) as the “Heinz Museum.”

I’ve been visiting the museum for years, but find something new on each trip. I start at the top floor, which details the French and Indian War, and work my way down the levels to the special exhibit on the ground floor. I love the Western Pennsylvania Glass industry section, and the Special Collections gallery, which is currently housing original set pieces from “Mr. Roger’s Neighborhood.”  The Slavery to Freedom exhibit is extremely powerful, and the interactive displays of Underground Railroad safe houses are very interesting.

Based on the name you might expect to see some ketchup bottles? You would be correct. The Heinz collection has been recently redone, and is a fun and interesting look at the company’s 145 year history. I mentioned special exhibits, and currently it is “We Can Do It! WWII” A look at how Pittsburgh affected World War II. Be sure to check out the section of dog tags – each one represents 200 Pennsylvanians who served during World War II.

Pittsburgh2 2 the sunday funday

 

After stopping in the gift shop to grab some chocolate covered pickles, and a magnet, I stopped in Crystal on Penn to grab a Greek salad. They were featured on Diner’s, Drive-Ins, and Dives, several years ago, I had eaten there one other time, and had gotten an amazing Persian salad with cold, boiled, sliced potatoes, but when I asked about this salad, I found out they had new owners. I was there at an off-time, and for the first half of my meal, I was the only customer. My server was super friendly, and either the owner, or manager, was sitting a table away from me and we had a nice conversation. My salad was great, with huge chunks of feta cheese and tons of delicious kalamata olives.

Last stop of the day was to the Carnegie Science Center, for an after-hours, private event. This is a fun place for kids and adults; make sure you check out the Tesla Coil in the Works Theatre, and huge miniature railroad village.

Thursday:

I decided to walk back down to Market Square to see if there would be live music again, and hit the jackpot with a really nice farmer’s market. Remember me saying I didn’t have cash on me and didn’t want to go to an ATM? The nice thing about this market, is that you could buy tokens, using your credit card, that were accepted like cash at most of the vendors.

I saw a large line for the Family Farm Creameries booth, and decided to check it out. One great aspect of being an adult is that you can have dessert before lunch, and that’s exactly what I did. I got a cup of their Home Grown Ice Cream – Salty Goat Caramel, made with goat cheese chevre. Some of their other flavors included Spanish Gold – Olive Oil, and Strawberry Balsamic. The Salty Goat Caramel was truly exceptional and unique. Delicious.

I putted around the farmer’s market for at least an hour, and just as I was leaving, the live band started playing every native West Virginian’s favorite song, Country Roads. It was a pleasant way to end my morning.

I made a second trip to Blue Bird Kitchen to try their Cuban sandwich, and was so happy I did! I don’t like to go to the same place twice when I am travelling, but the fact that I made an exception says a lot. (Read my full review on Yelp.) My sandwich was delicious, as was my brown sugar macaron. Yes I just devoured ice cream before eating that macaron.

Pittsburgh2 The Sunday Funday
Feeling sluggish from all the sugar, I started on my mission to visit the downtown Macy’s before it closed. Why visit this store? Well, because it wasn’t always a Macy’s. From 1877 to 2006, the building was home to Kaufmann’s Department Store. I had to see the gorgeous art deco interior on this trip, as it was sold to a developer, and closing is imminent. Fun fact: Frank Lloyd Wright’s Falling Water was the weekend home to Edgar Kauffmann, President of Kauffmann’s. 

This would not be the only dose of nostalgia for the day.Following a wonderful dinner in the strip district, at Kaya (get the heirloom tomato salad…and Thursday nights are fried chicken night; make a reservation!) We went to Klavon’s hoping to try their strip-themed flavors. While they weren’t serving those, I did get to try some Peachy Paterno. Klavon’s just switched owners, and while it had changed since I had been there before, the original charm wasn’t lost, and the famous flood line was still there.

Friday:
Quick trip back to some strip district shops to pick up requested items from friends, and a stop in Canonsburg to pick up some Sarris Candies before heading “home” to West Virginia for the weekend.

I hope these posts have helped you to discover (or maybe re-discover) Pittsburgh as a vibrant city, full of arts, culture, food, and fun things to see and do. Have a suggestion for my next Pittsburgh visit? Yinz can let me know in the comments! 

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