It’s gluten free, it’s vegetarian, it’s my new favorite “Meatless Monday” fall recipe!
Spaghetti squash combined with a caprese salad, what’s not to love?!
One of my new favorite things is my “Farmers Market Recipe of the Week”, while I’ve always been a big fan of the Farmers Market, I usually just pick up ingredients I need for already planned recipes.
Lately, I always try to pick up a couple of “random” items then turn them into a new recipe for Little Leopard Book. This helps me think outside of the box and come up with something that’s fresh, local & seasonal!
The Farmers Market Beet and Burrata Tart was my first go at the “Farmers Market Recipe of the Week” and it was a huge hit (with me and on LLB!)
As a food blogger, whenever a holiday rolls around, you have one goal in mind, come up with something that’s festive, delicious, hasn’t already been done and for me, something that doesn’t involve just throwing food dye in everything to make it color coordinate to the holiday.
Last week I shared my recipe for Gluten Free Dessert Cups that are naturally red, white and blue, and perfect for the 4th of July, but I still kept the holiday in the back of my mind over the last week to see if any more brilliant ideas would hit me.
The three most commonly asked questions I get asked as a professional food blogger:
To answer these questions:
Going “Glutenless in August” has also left me “Pizza-less in August”!
Since we’ve already established my obsession with pizza (see: Prosciutto Arugula Thin Crust Pizza, Deep Dish Pepperoni Pizza and Roasted Vegetable Vegan Pizza, to name a few) you can see how this could be a problem for me!
Last week I was really craving pizza so I did what any good food blogger would do, I placed all of the delicious components of pizza on top of polenta in little ramekins to form mini polenta pizzas!
While the texture isn’t the same as traditional pizza, the flavor sure is!
As I dug my fork into one of these little pizza delights, the pesto seeped into the creamy polenta, giving it amazing flavor, while the roasted tomatoes give it a burst of freshness, topped with creamy mozzarella and crispy bacon, this dish is packed with so many amazing flavors, it was really hard to put my fork down!
Preheat the oven to 400°. Place the tomatoes and garlic on a baking sheet covered with foil bent into a basket shape. Drizzle with the olive oil and vinegar, then top with the black pepper and fresh basil.
Place into the oven for 25 minutes.
While the tomatoes are roasting, cook the bacon until crispy.
Place the polenta in the bottom of 6 soufflé ramekins.
Top with the pesto.
Then the roasted tomatoes and garlic.
Add the mozzarella cheese.
Top with the crispy bacon.
Place into the 400° oven for 8-10 minutes or until the cheese is melted.
Top with the sun dried tomatoes and garnish with additional basil.
Sometimes a random craving will lead to a beautiful new discovery. This dish is definitely one delightful discovery!
I ate two of these for dinner, but one would be great as a starter or hors d’oeuvre at a dinner party!
The presentation is beautiful and they look as if they’re “high maintenance pies” but really they’re very quick and easy to prepare!
♣ Vegetarian Option: Omit the bacon to make this recipe vegetarian.
♦ Gluten Free Option: This recipe is gluten free.
So excited because today marks the first day of “Meatless May”!!! Yes, the next 31 days are dedicated to all my veggie lovers, vegans and vegetarians looking for some new yummy recipes minus the meat!
Part of my inspiration for this month was the fact that my roommate recently decided to “go vegan” so I found myself attempting to make recipes for him! I thought it was downright impossible at first, no butter, no eggs, no milk, no CHEESE, heaven forbid! But it has actually become a fun challenge to create something flavorful and filling without all these ingredients!
Not all the recipes this month will be vegan (I can’t go a whole month without cheese, come on people!) but I will include a few in hopes that you all will embrace them and see how delicious vegan can be!
Never fear my carnivorous friends, while I usually post a “vegetarian option” at the bottom of each post, this month I’ll post an “add the meat” option for each recipe as not to exclude any of my meat lovers!
This first recipe is my favorite vegan dish so far! Someone once said: “Pizza is a lot like sex. When it’s good, it’s really good. When it’s bad, it’s still pretty good.” Pretty much true, some pizza is amazing, some is really good and some is pretty good and that’s all, there’s just no such thing as bad pizza!
Ingredients (makes 1 pizza – serves 2)
Start by roasting the tomatoes and garlic. Line a baking sheet with foil and place tomatoes evenly in rows with cloves of garlic in between. Drizzle 2 tbsp olive oil and 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar on top. Next sprinkle italian seasoning and black pepper evenly, then top with strips of basil.
Roast at 425° for 40 minutes.
Now it’s time to caramelize the onions.
Heat 1 tbsp olive oil in a large skillet, then add the sliced onions.
Once onions become transparent add 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar and brown sugar.
Cook down until all liquid is absorbed and onions are a golden brown color.
Once cooked completely set to the side. Now remove the roasted tomatoes from the oven.
Set to the side and prepare the phyllo crust. You want to make sure all of your ingredients are ready to go before you make the crust so that the phyllo dough does not dry out.
Lay the 10 sheets on top of each other and fold in half. One at a time fold down the sheets of dough.
Brush (or spray) each layer with olive oil. I chose the spray method for a faster process which is less likely to dry out the dough.
Repeat until all layers except the top have been coated then repeat on the other half. Finally coat the top and fold edges in to make the crust.
Once all edges are folded in spray or brush the crust with olive oil.
Start by topping with the caramelized onions.
Next, top with the roasted tomatoes and garlic.
Place into the 425° oven for 15 minutes or until the crust is brown and crispy.
Cut into square slices and serve!
This pizza is packed with flavor, light and crispy!
♣ “Add the Meat” Option: Cooked Pepperoni, Italian Sausage or Canadian Bacon could be added between the onions and tomatoes for meat lovers!
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