Three-Cheese Turkey Pizza Roll

Disclaimer: There is nothing healthy, wholesome, or vegetarian about these pizza rolls. They are the epitome of quick, easy, and processed, and they’re probably filled with more saturated fat than is recommended for your entire day.

But boyyyy are they delicious! And they’re not completely unwholesome, since I used greek yogurt cream cheese for the filling, which has 1/3 less fat and calories than the regular version. And there’s some spinach in there too. Because green things poking out of the nuances of crusty bread makes one think that it’s healthier. Or moldy. Either way you get more probiotics probably.

Three-Cheese Turkey Pizza Rolls
Three-Cheese Turkey Pizza Rolls

These can be rolled up and sliced into four or five pieces for a calzone-like entree, or you can slice them much more thinly to be served as appetizers.

I streamlined the process by using a pre-made pizza dough sheet (already rolled out on a big rectangle of parchment paper) which I then topped with my ingredients (cream cheese spread mixed with Ranch seasoning mix- which Ben lovingly refers to as “drugs”- and two types of shredded cheese, turkey, and spinach). Stick it in the oven for 15 or so minutes, then cool and slice.

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One of the best parts about these is that you can choose whichever ingredients or toppings you want to add to customize them. They’d be great with the traditional “pizza” ingredients like tomato sauce, black olives, and pepperoni, or a Greek version with kalamata olives and chickpeas. Have fun with these!

Three-Cheese Turkey Pizza Roll
Recipe Type: Entree, Appetizer
Cuisine: Easy
Author: Claire McCormick of “Claire Tastes”
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 4-8
Serve as appetizers or slice a bigger piece for a handheld calzone-like entree! Have fun customizing these with whatever floats your boat!
Ingredients
  • 1 prepared pizza crust (I used one that was already rolled out on a big rectangular parchment paper)
  • 1/2 cup greek yogurt cream cheese spread
  • 1 packet ranch salad dressing or seasoning mix
  • 5-6 slices turkey (or other thin-sliced meat)
  • 1/4 cup each mozzarella and cheddar cheese
  • handful of spinach
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 425.
  2. Mix together greek yogurt cream cheese and ranch mix.
  3. Unroll pizza dough and spread the cream cheese mixture over entire surface in a thin layer.
  4. Top with turkey, cheese, and spinach.
  5. Sprinkle a little salt and pepper if you want.
  6. Tightly roll the dough from one of the long ends, until you get to the other side. Seal edges by pinching between fingers.
  7. Transfer to baking sheet, seam side down, and bake for 15 minutes or until golden brown.
  8. Cool before slicing.

 

Mediterranean Veggie Wraps

Mediterranean Veggie Wraps
Mediterranean Veggie Wraps

Happy Monday! Did y’all have a good weekend? Ben and I were pretty busy this weekend, driving up to Pittsburgh on Friday to celebrate his parents’ 30th wedding anniversary/Mother’s Day with all his siblings (minus one who is abroad!). It was a great weekend full of outdoor activities, food, and quality time. It’s fun to all be old enough now to actually get to have conversations about things like religion and politics. Well, maybe “fun” isn’t quite the right word… but it was precious time with everyone nonetheless!

We got back and our fridge was literally EMPTY. That’s ok, I have Mondays off! Today was spent restocking our pantry with lots of canned goods, fresh produce, and the ingredients for these Mediterranean Veggie Wraps. I originally got the idea for these from a Cooking Light recipe for Zucchini and Bean Burritos that you can easily make ahead and freeze. I thought these would be the perfect thing to make once and have a lot of leftovers to reheat later.

Instead of going the Mexican route, I adapted the recipe for a Mediterranean version (because, why not?) but followed the same steps: 1. Make the bean spread; 2. Make filling; 3. Fill tortillas and bake. The best part is that even after filling the wraps, I still had a lot of filling left that would make a great salad on its own. 1 recipe = 2 meals FTW!

I served Ben 2 of these, myself 1, with greek yogurt, avocado, and a side of green beans. Another delicious Meatless Monday recipe in the books! Hope you enjoy as much as we did!

Special thanks to Cooking Light Magazine for the inspiration for this post!

Cook veggies in skillet.
Cook veggies in skillet.
Cook until tender.
Cook until tender.
Cook carrots and mushrooms.
Cook carrots and mushrooms.
Pretty red peppers!
Pretty red peppers!
It would be easy to eat the filling right out of the bowl!
It would be easy to eat the filling right out of the bowl!
Fill tortillas as directed.
Fill tortillas as directed.
Place on hot baking sheet with green beans.
Place on hot baking sheet with green beans.
All nestled up!
All nestled up!
Enjoy!
Enjoy!
Mediterranean Veggie Wraps
Recipe Type: Main
Cuisine: Mediterranean, Vegetarian
Author: Claire McCormick of “Claire Tastes”
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 10
Perfect for Meatless Monday, this delicious Mediterranean take on a Cooking Light Burrito recipe can be made ahead and frozen for later!
Ingredients
  • Bean Spread:
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 can cannellini beans, rinsed/drained
  • 2 tbsp tahini
  • 3 sprigs fresh oregano
  • 1 tbsp fresh lemon juice (reserve rest of juice from lemon)
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 1/4 cup crumbled feta
  • ~1 tbsp water
  • Filling:
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 red onion, diced
  • 1 tbsp minced garlic
  • pinch of red pepper flakes
  • 3 medium zucchini, diced
  • 1 cup mushrooms
  • 3 large carrots, peeled into long strips
  • 1 tomato, diced
  • 1 jar roasted red pepper, diced
  • 1/2 cup diced kalamata olives
  • remaining juice of lemon
  • 1 can cannellini beans, rinsed/drained
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1/2 cup crumbled feta
  • coucous, uncooked
  • 10 whole grain tortillas
  • avocado and greek yogurt, for garnish (optional)
  • Green beans
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 450 deg. Place baking sheet in oven as it preheats.
  2. In a saucepan, heat 1 tbsp oil on medium-high heat. Add remaining ingredients for bean spread and stir to combine.
  3. Cook for 3-4 minutes, using potato masher or fork to mash beans so that spread has a chunky consistency. Remove from heat and add additional water to thin out the mixture if necessary!
  4. For filling, add remaining oil, onion, garlic, and red pepper flakes to a large skillet and cook on medium for 3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add next 6 ingredients (zucchini through olives) and cook until vegetables are soft, about 2 more minutes. Remove entire mixture and combine in a large mixing bowl with lemon, beans, and salt and pepper.
  5. When ready to cook, spread about 3 tbsp filling on each tortilla, followed by 1 tbsp couscous, 1/2 cup vegetable filling, and 1 tsp feta.
  6. Fold edges in and roll each tortilla, placing seam side down on hot baking sheet sprayed lightly with cooking spray.
  7. Fill in space on baking sheet with green beans drizzled with olive oil, salt and pepper.
  8. Bake at 450 deg for 10-12 minutes until lightly golden-brown and beans are tender but not mushy.
  9. Serve with greek yogurt, avocado, and green beans.
  10. (To freeze leftovers, wrap cooled wraps in plastic wrap and seal in a freezer-safe bag. To reheat, simply wrap in a few paper towels and microwave 4 minutes on high, turning halfway.)

 

Balsamic Roasted Tofu

The perfect vegetarian addition to salads and soups! Leave the tofu in long strips and top with a light summery garnish for a light lunch, or cube and top your next salad. I used balsamic vinegar, dijon mustard and oregano, but the great thing about tofu is that it just slurps up the flavor of anything you marinate in- a little peanut oil and nut butter with some ginger makes a great meat sub for Pad Thai!

Balsamic Roasted Tofu
Recipe Type: Dinner, Lunch, Side
Cuisine: Vegetarian
Author: Claire McCormick of “Claire Tastes”
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 5
Try this easy, slow-roasted tofu recipe for topping your next salad or soup! Packed with protein and iron, you’ll feel good eating it!
Ingredients
  • 3/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tbsp dijon mustard
  • 1 tbsp spicy brown mustard
  • 1 tsp minced garlic
  • 1 1/2 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 14 oz package extra firm tofu, drained
Instructions
  1. Slice tofu into 3/4″ width slices and place between two layers of paper towels. Press with something heavy on top for at least 30 minutes to remove excess moisture from the tofu.
  2. In a jar, mix together all other ingredients and shake vigorously to combine.
  3. Marinate tofu in a single layer in a shallow dish (I used a rectangular tupperware) for 20 minutes. Sprinkle with additional oregano if desired.
  4. Preheat oven to 350 deg. Slow-cook tofu on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper for 1 hour until firm but tender.
  5. Cool at least 5 minutes before slicing into smaller cubes, if desired.

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Slow-Roasted Balsamic Tofu
Slow-Roasted Balsamic Tofu

Three-Cheese Ham & Pepperoni Rolls

Whenever I have something casual to cook for- like a picnic or one of Ben’s game nights- I have all these spectacular ideas for new recipes to try. Bruschetta with crudites, pimiento-stuffed olives, bacon-wrapped dates… you name it. There are so many good ones out there to try! But I always run out of time, and I always come back to some of the same ones. For example, any version of pinwheels work like a charm, and I think I tend towards things that I can make in bulk and then cut into smaller pieces for bite-sized snacks.

Pepperoni rolls are another example. And they are ALWAYS gobbled up in a flash! I can’t remember the last time we had these hanging around our house for more than a day.

Three-Cheese Ham & Pepperoni Rolls
Three-Cheese Ham & Pepperoni Rolls

These are so incredibly simple. Just roll out the dough, layer the ingredients and bake in a preheated oven until golden brown. This time I used french bread dough with cream cheese, ham and pepperoni. But you can also experiment with the spreads and spices- I’ve done crescent rolls in the past (though it’s a little flakier), as well as pimiento and hummus with greek seasoning. These can’t really go wrong.

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Three-Cheese Pepperoni Rolls
Recipe Type: Snack
Author: Claire McCormick of “Claire Tastes”
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 24
These are my go-to “guy pleaser” snacks when I need something simple and quick! They are always gobbled right up!
Ingredients
  • 2 rolls refrigerator French Bread dough (e.g. Pillsbury)
  • 1 container spreadable cream cheese
  • 1 tbsp italian seasoning (I used Penzey’s Creamy Peppercorn Dressing
  • baby spinach
  • 1 small can sliced black olives
  • sliced pepperoni
  • sliced ham
  • blue cheese crumbles or cheddar slices
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350.
  2. Roll out dough onto a nonstick surface into two long rectangles. Use fingers to spread outwards if needed.
  3. Spread cream cheese, sprinkle seasoning, and layer remaining ingredients (in order listed) on dough. Roll the dough tightly, starting from one of the long sides. Pinch together edges with fingers.
  4. Bake at 350 for 18-20 min, or until golden brown.
  5. Allow to cool before slicing.
Layer cream cheese, seasonings and olives on dough.
Layer cream cheese, seasonings and olives on dough.
Add spinach and pepperoni on top.
Add spinach and pepperoni on top.
Top with remaining ingredients.
Top with remaining ingredients.

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Into ze oven!
Into ze oven!
Cool before slicing.
Cool before slicing.
Slice, serve and arrange!
Slice, serve and arrange!

Gyro Pitas & Homemade Tzatziki Sauce

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Gyro Pitas & Homemade Tzatziki Sauce
Recipe Type: Main Dish
Cuisine: Greek, Mediterranean, Picnic
Author: Claire McCormick of “Claire Tastes”
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 8-10
I’ve been wanting to experiment with these for a while! So easy to whip up in your crock pot (I should try meatloaf this way someday!), and you can easily freeze the meat to use later! Perfect for assembling lots of sandwiches for your next picnic or BBQ.
Ingredients
  • 1 lb ground lamb
  • 1 lb ground beef (not extra lean)
  • 1/2 onion, minced
  • 1 tbsp minced garlic
  • 1 tsp dried rosemary
  • 2 tbsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp greek seasoning (optional)
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 1 tsp each black pepper and salt
  • 1 tsp dried onion powder
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 10 whole wheat pitas
  • Toppings: romaine, tomatoes, kalamata olives, red onion, feta cheese, homemade tzatziki sauce (see below)
  • For Tzatziki Sauce:
  • 1/2 plain greek yogurt + 1/2 cup tart, regular plain yogurt (I like Trader Joe’s Australian style)
  • juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 1 tsp lemon zest
  • 1/2 cucumber, seeded and chopped finely
  • 1 1/2 tbsp chopped dill
  • 1 tsp minced garlic
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • salt and pepper, to taste (I used about 1/2 tsp each)
  • dash of cayenne pepper
Instructions
  1. Combine onion and all spices in a food processor and pulse until finely chopped and incorporated. Remove majority of mixture and set aside.
  2. Add meat to food processor and pulse a few times until combined. Slowly stir into spice mixture.
  3. Form into two large mounds and set into crock pot. Flatten slightly.
  4. Pour lemon juice on top of meat and cook on high for 2-3 hours or until internal temperature reaches 160 deg.
  5. Remove and allow to sit for at least 10 minutes before slicing into thin strips.
  6. For Tzatziki Sauce:
  7. Combine all ingredients in a medium bowl and chill at least 30 min, or up to 1 week. Spread on gyro meat or pita during assembly.
Cook meat in crock pot for 2-3 hours.
Cook meat in crock pot for 2-3 hours.
Allow to sit at least 10 minutes, then slice thinly into strips.
Allow to sit at least 10 minutes, then slice thinly into strips.
Top with desired toppings and tzatziki sauce, and wrap up in pita. Tie with a bow to keep it together!
Top with desired toppings and tzatziki sauce, and wrap up in pita. Tie with a bow to keep it together!

When Deviled Eggs Go Wrong…

I had the best of intentions on Monday afternoon. I was going to make pinwheel sandwiches, sliced watermelon, and deviled eggs for the Memorial Day picnic we were going to. So I bought some eggs (even though we already had an entire carton in our fridge- but those were the organic eggs from Whole Foods. So totally not deviled egg-worthy). These were ordinary brown eggs from Kroger. And I hard boiled them, relishing the pot bubbling away on the stove for a good three minutes before I removed them to sit in the hot water for twelve more. (Side note- I have read a million different ways to make the “perfect hard boiled egg,” but to be honest- I’ve had much better luck when I just boil them until I’ve almost forgotten about them and there’s hardly any water left in the pot).

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Curried Egg Salad with Raisins

I took them out and let them sit in cold water for a while, like all good deviled egg-makers do, because this makes the shell much easier to peel away. Not this time! For some reason, when I went to peel the eggs, the shell came off with about a fourth of the egg white, leaving my eggs with large craters and little pieces of broken shell all over their surface. Deviled eggs are supposed to be a delicacy, supposed to gently whisper “eat me!” to guests surveying the buffet table, supposed to be garnished with a dainty parsley leaf or sprinkle of paprika. These were definitely not deviled egg worthy.

I ended up bringing pinwheel sandwiches and sliced watermelon.

But what to do with all these extra hard boiled eggs? Well, my friends, this recent grad and indebted girl knows how to remedy this egg conundrum. Why not just crush all the eggs up and make some egg salad?

The secret to healthier (and tastier, in my opinion) egg salad is to use only half of the yolks from the eggs you’re using. In this case, I made a small batch with 4 eggs and tossed away 2 of the yolks to make these a bit lighter and to allow me space to add more of what really makes this salad good: mustard and curry powder.

Mash the eggs, add about a teaspoon of curry powder and a tablespoon of dijon mustard, some juicy raisins, and anything else you think would go well (I tried some chopped fresh dill and pickle juice too, but I don’t think I’d include this next time around), stir, and spread on your favorite wrap, bread, or crackers!

No one will ever need to know that you completely messed up the eggs. Except if you decide to write a blog post about it.

Have an egg-cellent day! 🙂

Curried Egg Salad with Raisins
Recipe Type: Egg, Salad, Picnic
Cuisine: Side, Main Dish
Author: Claire McCormick of “Claire Tastes”
Prep time:
Total time:
Serves: 2
This is a great way to remedy a failed deviled egg experiment! Why not chop up those massacred hard boiled eggs and add some delicious mustard, curry powder, and raisins to make curried egg salad? I love the slightly sweet and spicy taste that the curry and raisins add to this salad. Serve on bread, a wrap, or crackers.
Ingredients
  • hard boiled egg whites (number depends on how many servings you want- approx. 4 yields 2 servings)
  • yolks from 1/2 of eggs
  • 1 tbsp dijon mustard (again, for 2 servings)
  • 1 tsp curry powder
  • handful of raisins (more or less to taste)
  • salt and pepper, to taste
Instructions
  1. Mash up egg whites and yolks in a medium bowl until well incorporated.
  2. Add mustard, curry powder, and salt/pepper. Stir to combine. (Add more or less mustard depending on how “wet” you want your salad!)
  3. Stir in raisins.
  4. Serve on bread, a wrap, crackers, or (my new favorite) lettuce cups!