Saturday, August 16, 2008

perfection in a summer's afternoon

The pacific northwest is going through a heat wave this week, and Ellensburg is definitely in the middle of it. With temperatures reaching 110 degrees, doing anything feels like a chore, including eating. An easy summer lunch or dinner idea, which not only tastes and looks gourmet, it takes just a few minutes to make and can be adjusted to any one's palette.


this salad idea really doesn't need a recipe just some basic blueprints.

to start out it uses a basic pizza dough. (I love trader joe's pizza dough because it tastes great and I can bring it home, weigh individual portions out and store them in the freezer for quick fix meals.) A serving size is about 2 ounces (57g) so for this lunch I double the size to 4 ounces. (A scale really helps out when trying to measure out portion sizes, and knowing just how many calories you are consuming. The one I use is from Bed Bath and Beyond, and it works perfectly!)

Pre-heat the oven to the temperature on the dough directions. Stretch out the dough to a fairly thin circle, at this time you can add cut up vegetables that you want roasted. Spray with Pam, and cook on a pizza pan or stone for about 6-8 minutes or until the crust is lightly browned.

While the crust is warm spread on any toppings you like, for lunch today I was in a summery Greek mood, so I spread fresh hummus over the warm crust. Other yummy ideas are soft goat cheese, olive tapenade, or pesto. From there add your greens, chiffonading the leaves makes it easier to eat and adds a unique texture to the meal. All you have to do is layer the greens (tender leaves work best like arugula,spinach or basil) on top of each other and roll into a log, take a knife and cut fairly thin strips, that resemble ribbons.

On top add anything your heart desires..try not only mixing flavors like salty, savory and sweet but mixing textures. I love adding seasonal fresh fruit along with dried fruit, cheese, fresh vegetables, nuts and a little protein, this way not only is your stomach satisfied but your mouth is too.

Lastly top with a light dressing, or go without, let the ingredients shine on their own

For my salad, I added some roasted zucchini, hummus, spinach ribbons, some golden raisins, crumbled feta cheese, diced watermelon, chopped kalamata olives and drizzled the top with just a little aged balsamic vinegar.

The way you eat it is just as creative as when you made it, either eating it like a salad, or folding the bread over and eating it like a sandwich.



Kristen said...

Looks like the perfect meal for the weather you all are having!

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