Veggie Pizza – A Recipe Experiment Success!

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Our first garden is doing better than Ronnie and I expected, so we have been canning and trying out new recipes like crazy. Also, my husband has been working on the road during the week, therefore he is only here on the weekends to help me figure out what to do with all these veggies. When we decided to grow our vegetable garden, it was centered around having the vegetables to make pickles, in which Ronnie swore he would help with if the garden was a success. Well as you can see in the picture above, we are in veggie overload, especially on cucumbers and zucchini, and he can’t really help from a hotel room! It sucks when he has to work on the road and stay in a hotel room throughout the week, but it does have one advantage. I always try out new recipes whenever he is gone. This is because if the recipe is good (and I know what Ronnie considers good), then I have something to surprise him with when he gets home. If I try out a recipe and it is bad – no big deal. I can just eat it/dump it and no one has to know!

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Well last night was one of those “let’s try something new” night since I have all these veggies that need to be taken care. I had to stop by Kroger on my home anyway (needed ingredients to pickle my cucumbers!), so I went ahead and bought thin pizza crust dough and pizza sauce. I chose Prego Pizza Sauce Veggie Smart – no specific reason other than it was on sale. I chose Pillsbury brand for the dough because again, I just focused on sale items. If this recipe was going to stink, at least it wouldn’t cost a lot! I have on my kitchen bucket list to make my own pizza dough and pizza sauce, but for now these will work. In the end the pizza turned out AMAZING! This will definitely become a surprise for Ronnie when he gets home20130711-082004.jpg

Ingredients:

*Pillsbury Thin Crust Pizza Dough

*1/3 cup Pizza sauce

* 1/3 cup Zucchini – sliced

*1/3 cup Squash – sliced

*1/2 cup Carrots – shredded

1 pod –  Okra – sliced

*1/4 cup Shredded CheeseSeasoning/Fresh Herbs

*These are rough estimates of the amounts. I used these
numbers to enter data into My Fitness Pal in order to have the nutritional values found below.

-Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.                   -Bake 10-15 minutes

-While the oven preheated, I rolled out my dough. As you can see, I did not exactly get a round pizza. I think my dough got too warm on my way home (happens in 100 degree weather here in Arkansas). The package said it would just roll out, and well it didn’t. It still worked just fine, and the shape didn’t bother me. I used my pizza stone to bake the pizza on, but you could use a basic cookie sheet as well.

-Once you have it the size (or shape) you want, place in oven for about 5 minutes (followed this step based off instructions of Pillsbury container).

-While waiting for dough to pre-bake, slice the veggies you want. I used my Mandolin Slicer, so about five minutes was all I needed to get my veggies ready. We already had the shredded carrots in the fridge, so I added those as an afterthought.

-After the dough is done pre-baking, take it out of the oven and spread your pizza sauce on. The recipe on the dough package called for 1/3 cup, but I just     eye-balled the amount until it looked right. After that I added my veggies and shredded cheese. I added some dried herbs on top. **Please note, whenever I try new recipes, I just grab random herbs/spices and then can never remember which ones I used. That is part of the fun of trying new things, you don’t have to be too serious about it. For this recipe, I used basil and Italian seasoning. I know I used one more, but for the life of me cannot remember what it was.

-Bake in the oven for about 10-15 minutes or until you reach the desired crust. **The package stated 6-9 minutes, but as my dough turned out a little thicker, I put it on for longer until my crust looked a little darker. I like my crust a little on the crispy side.

-Let the pizza cool, and enjoy! This took all of 30 minutes,which would have been shorter if I didn’t have to fight the dough with my roller! Simple, easy, and delicious!

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Please ignore the “Goal” column. These are my personal goals set up in My Fitness Pal, which is a free app that makes it easy to track your food intake and exercise goals. Plus it comes in handy for determining nutritional value for new recipes!

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Thanks Mom!! My Mandolin Slicer

So yes, I am a dork. I am thanking my mom for a mandolin slicer. Back-story: my mom gave this to me over a year ago. We tried it out while she was at my house with an orange. It made a mess; I think we did it wrong. Ever since, it has been in its box in the back of cabinet. Last night, I decided to make zucchini pickles and was DREADING having to cut all the slices. I can never cut them even, and it just takes forever. Then I remembered that weird little slicer in the back of the cabinet. I decided to give it a shot, and the outcome: IT’S AWESOME!!! My slices were perfect, and it took no time to slice the veggies. YAY!

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So we are starting to get quite a few zucchini from the garden, and with the hubs on the road this week I am tired of trying to eat them all by myself. So after giving some away, I headed to Pinterest to find a zucchini pickle recipe.

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PERFECT SLICES!!

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I found this Pickled Zucchini Recipe at neckredrecipe.blogspot.com. Really simple recipe.

Tower Power – My Herb Garden

I have always wanted to do my own terra cotta pot tower. My aunt gave me the idea years ago, and with the dawn of pinterest, google, and my first ever garden, I finally decided to build my own. This year my husband and I planted our own vegetable garden and I wanted to grow my own herbs. After much consideration and research, I figured one of these cool flower towers would be awesome for herbs. When I found a box full of medium and small terra cotta pots at a flea market (all for $5!!) I decided this was going to be my next project.

While at Lowe’s picking up some supplies for a water line my husband was running out to the dog kennel (no idea why he sent me as I have no clue about pc pipe and couplings), I picked up some herbs that looked pretty good and were on sale. I also picked up a green rod at k-mart to go down the middle of the pots. That night, by the glow of the four wheeler lights shining on the flower bed as I got home after dark, I assembled my tower. I used a larger pot I have had in the attic forever as my base. I stuck the rod in my flower bed where I wanted the tower. I then placed my larger pot where the rod went through the hole in the bottom of the pot. Once I filled the pot with potting mix, I put a smaller pot on the rod (through the hole in bottom of the pot) to sit on the dirt. I then added each smaller pot to reach the top of the rod. Once I had the pots how I liked them, I added potting mix and plants.

After I placed the plants in the pot, I used green paint I already had (free with a coupon!) to paint the name of the herb in each pot. Note, I painted the terra cotta pots a bronze the night before in order for the paint to dry in time.

All together, it turned out Perfect and quite easier than I expected. Plus. It smells amazing!!

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The past two weeks…

As my computer decided to crash two weeks ago, and I have yet to get a new one, I am a little behind on posting. So as I am posting from my phone, I’ll give ya a quick photo tour of the past two weeks of my lovely world. Hope you enjoy!

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It’s been a fun two weeks that have included gardening (making my flowerbed, trees, and window boxes look pretty), a quilt show with my grandma, fun times at work (enjoying our strawberries and making-or watching my coworker make-a watermelon baby for a baby shower at work), and having some redneck fun (scouting for turkey, dirt track races, and eating some good ol mudbugs with good friends)!

My life may seem country, and perhaps a bit redneck, but sure is wonderful!

Straw Bale Garden 2013

Where I work, we have an outdoor area that could be very nice.  There is a covered deck, surrounded by a nice fence, and quite an open space.  However, it is rock, with weeds mixed in. There is not much to look at, but it has SO much potential. After a conversation with my boss and coworker, we decided to finally take advantage of that area – and the “Straw Bale Garden” was born!

Full credit must be given to my coworker, Emily, who also serves as my gardening instructor (god bless her because I know I am driving her crazy with all of my questions.) She is the mastermind behind this whole thing! As our outdoor space is mostly rock, this was the most sensible (and cheapest, easiest) way to grow our own veggies at work. To get started, we first took a poll at work at what type of veggies/plants everyone wanted. The results are as follows:

  • 4 “better boy” tomatoes plants
  • 2 cherry tomatoes
  • 2 zucchini
  • 1 yellow squash
  • 1 eggplant
  • 2 banana pepper
  • 1 green bell pepper
  • 1 red bell pepper
  • salad greens
  • 12 marigolds
  • 10 asparagus crowns (planted in tractor tire)
  • strawberries (planted in tractor tire)

Then the fun started.  Last Friday, we blocked out the afternoon and went shopping for straw bales! Our organization supports local businesses, so of course local nurseries were our first stop! All week we watered and prepped the bales of straw to get ready to plant. We also set up two tractor tires to use for the asparagus and strawberry plants. Today, we once again made the trip out to a local nursery and bought the plants.  Then the planting began! We got everything planted except for the salad greens and strawberries – that is to come!

See below of the work done so far, and I will be sure to keep you updated on the straw bale garden! For specific information regarding the wonders of straw bale gardening, check out Emily’s blog at elephantgrace.com.

 

Garden Dream Team workday outside the office!

Garden Dream Team workday outside the office!

@elefantgrace at her creepy scarecrow!

@elefantgrace and her creepy scarecrow!

Obviously @elefantgrace is the professional! I looked confused or ran into things the majority of the trip!

Obviously @elefantgrace is the professional! I looked confused or ran into things the majority of the trip!

Straw bales with the plants (salad greens have not been planted yet.)

Straw bales with the plants (salad greens have not been planted yet.)

Prepping the tractor tire. "Reusing" cardboard, shredded paper, and newspaper to fill in the space.

Prepping the tractor tire. “Reusing” cardboard, shredded paper, and newspaper to fill in the space.

"After" picture-asparagus and marigold.

“After” picture-asparagus and marigold.

Garden Dream Team!

Garden Dream Team!