Tag Archives: entree

Pesto Naan Pizza with Bacon and Feta

Pesto naan pizza topped with a delicious combination of bacon, feta cheese, and caramelized onions. Good for an easy meal or a party appetizer!

Pesto naan pizza topped with a delicious combination of bacon, feta cheese, and caramelized onions. Good for an easy meal or a party appetizer!

Cheater pizzas and I go way back.

When I was a kid I went to summer camp up north every year. One of the highlights for me was always the week long canoe trips on remote lakes. They were hard work with 8 hour days of paddling and sometimes 4 km long portages! But gathering around the fire for dinner after a long day was one of the best feelings! Pita pizzas were a staple meal on these trips because of their simplicity. Still to this day, the combination of pita with pizza sauce, cheese, and pepperoni is a comfort food for me.

Even though these days I tend to make real pizza with homemade dough, sometimes I still crave the simplicity of a cheater pizza. Okay, that’s just my way of saying “sometimes I’m too lazy to make dough.” This pesto naan pizza is inspired by a pizza that I had a few years ago at a restaurant in Hamilton. Theirs used a more unique homemade pesto with mint and lemon in it. But given that cheater pizzas are a lazy meal, I decided to just go with a bottled pesto. Feel free to make this vegetarian by leaving off the bacon – it’s still just as good!

Pesto naan pizza topped with a delicious combination of bacon, feta cheese, and caramelized onions. Good for an easy meal or a party appetizer!

Pesto Naan Pizza with Bacon and Feta
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Pesto naan pizza topped with a delicious combination of bacon, feta cheese, and caramelized onions. Good for an easy meal or a party appetizer!
Author:
Yield: 2 naan pizzas
Ingredients
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 red onion, sliced thinly (makes leftovers)
  • 4 slices bacon
  • ⅓ cup pesto
  • 2 pieces whole wheat naan
  • ¼ cup feta cheese, crumbled
  • ¾ cup shredded mozzarella cheese
Instructions
  1. Heat up the olive oil in a large pan over medium heat and add the thinly sliced onion. Saute for about 3-4 minutes, then turn down the heat down to low and cook for about 15 minutes until the onions are soft and slightly caramelized. Remove from heat and set aside. *Note: this makes leftover caramelized onions.
  2. Lay out the bacon in a cold skillet and place over medium heat. Cook until starting to get crispy on the underside, then flip over and cook until the other side starts to get crispy. Remove to a plate lined with paper towel and set aside.
  3. Preheat the oven to 375°F.
  4. Spread the pesto on each piece of naan and top with the bacon, caramelized onions, feta cheese, and mozzarella. Place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and bake in the oven for about 7-10 minutes, until cheese has melted. To brown the mozzarella, broil it at the end, keeping a close eye on it to make sure it doesn't burn.

Your turn: What’s your favourite pita or naan pizza toppings?

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Healthy Vegetarian Lasagna Rolls

My dad makes the most beautiful lasagna you’ll ever lay your eyes on. With layers of noodles, ground beef, homemade marinara, homemade bechamel, and cheese, it’s a sight to behold.  It’s also usually a multi-day process to make. Maybe if I was newly retired like he is or a full time food blogger I’d make it myself, but as a working woman trying to stay active, have a social life, and somehow keep up with this blog, ain’t got no time for that.

These vegetarian lasagna rolls are a speedy alternative to lasagna for an easy and healthy dinner!

Enter my easy peasy healthy vegetarian lasagna rolls that can be whipped up in under an hour! I skip the homemade bechamel in lieu of ricotta and cottage cheese. You could use entirely ricotta cheese, but I like swapping in some cottage cheese to beef up the protein in this meatless meal. I also use (gasp) jarred marinara sauce. I know I often advocate for cooking from scratch, but sometimes convenience trumps that. Look for a jarred sauce with no added sugar in the ingredients and as little sodium as possible. Under 5% DV for sodium per serving is the ideal, but the lowest I’ve been able to find is 7% DV in Mediterranean Gardens marinara sauce (not sponsored, I just like this brand!). Still not too shabby when them norm for pasta sauce is often double that!

These vegetarian lasagna rolls are a speedy alternative to lasagna for an easy and healthy dinner!

The result is a fast dinner that’s as convenient as it is healthy. I’ve made this numerous times for John and recently for a class on family meals at work, where it got the thumbs up from parents and kids alike. Pair it with a side salad to make half your plate vegetables and enjoy its cheesy goodness!

These vegetarian lasagna rolls are a speedy alternative to lasagna for an easy and healthy dinner!

Healthy Vegetarian Lasagna Rolls
 
Prep time
Cook time
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These vegetarian lasagna rolls are a speedy alternative to lasagna for an easy and healthy dinner!
Author:
Yield: 4 servings
Ingredients
  • 9 whole wheat lasagna noodles
  • 10 oz full fat ricotta cheese
  • 6 oz cottage cheese (or more ricotta cheese)
  • 2 oz shredded Mozzarella cheese
  • 6 oz frozen spinach, defrosted with excess water squeezed out
  • 1 large egg
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • ⅛ tsp pepper
  • 2 cups marinara sauce (I love Mediterranean Gardens marinara)
  • 4 oz mozzarella cheese
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 350F.
  2. Bring a large pot of water to a boil and cook your lasagna noodles according to the package directions (note: you may need to cook them in two batches).
  3. Meanwhile, combine the ricotta, cottage cheese, 2 oz mozzarella cheese, spinach, egg, salt, and pepper in a bowl and mix thoroughly.
  4. Once your noodles are finished cooking, lay them out on a wire rack. Once cool enough to touch, divide the cheese mixture amongst the noodles, spreading it across their entire length.
  5. Roll up the noodles and place in a baking dish (I used a 9x9 dish and managed to squeeze them all in) with ½ cup marinara sauce spread over the bottom. Spoon the other 1.5 cups marinara on top of the rolls then top with the shredded mozzarella.
  6. Bake for 15-20 minutes and finish them off for 1-2 minutes under the broiler to brown the cheese (keep a close eye on them when broiling!).

These vegetarian lasagna rolls are a speedy alternative to lasagna for an easy and healthy dinner!

What are your best tricks for making speedy weeknight dinners?

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Sun Dried Tomato and Roasted Red Pepper Pasta with Feta

This post was written as a part of the GoodLife Fitness Blogger Ambassador Program, however all opinions expressed are my own.

This whole grain sun dried tomato and roasted red pepper pasta with feta is a healthy vegetarian dinner on the table in just 30 minutes!

Sun Dried Tomato and Roasted Red Pepper Pasta with Feta. A healthy vegetarian dinner on the table in just 30 minutes!

I’m a firm believer in second chances.

Because sometimes when we decide we don’t like something, all we need to do is change it up and see it in a new light. Take one of my best friends, Lauren, for example. We didn’t like each other in 4th grade because she thought I stole her best friend, but when we realized how much we had in common (read: we’re both big dorks), we became inseparable.

I also thought I didn’t like working out. When I first started exercising, I thought that meant I had to do hour long cardio workouts – I mean duh, that’s what all the magazines recommended. Well I soon realized that sucked and I didn’t enjoy it at all. But then I started exploring the weights section at GoodLife Fitness and found out I actually really enjoyed strength training – so that is now what I base the majority of my workouts around and I (almost) aways look forward to it.

What does this all have to do with this sun dried tomato and roasted red pepper pasta you might be wondering? I’m getting around to my point!

Sun Dried Tomato and Roasted Red Pepper Pasta with Feta. A healthy vegetarian dinner on the table in just 30 minutes!

See JZ doesn’t like tomatoes or bell peppers. He likes pasta sauce and chili, but fresh tomato salads, sun dried tomatoes, and grilled peppers are out of the question. Which is a shame because I live for these foods around this time of year! I didn’t give up hope though – I knew there must be a way to slowly break down his food barriers. So inspired by a class I was teaching on homemade pesto at work, I decided to puree these forbidden fruits into a pesto.

I tossed it with some whole grain spaghettini and threw in some feta and arugula, then set the plate down in front of him, hoping my disguised tomatoes and peppers would pass undetected by his scrutinous tastebuds. I bit my nails nervously and stared at him intently as he took his first bite. He had a look of concentration on his face as he chewed, swallowed, and looked up to meet my eyes. “This is really good” he said.

Hallelujah! I just may make a tomato and pepper lover out of him yet.

But picky boyfriend or not, this sun dried tomato and roasted red pepper pasta is an easy vegetarian dinner that you can have on the table in just 30 minutes. It’s also very customizable to different dietary needs: leave out the feta to make it vegan or use gluten free pasta if needed. Either way, it’s an easy entree sure to pelase!

Sun Dried Tomato and Roasted Red Pepper Pasta with Feta. A healthy vegetarian dinner on the table in just 30 minutes!

Sun Dried Tomato and Roasted Red Pepper Pasta with Feta
 
Prep time
Total time
 
This whole grain sun dried tomato and roasted red pepper pasta with feta is a healthy vegetarian dinner on the table in just 30 minutes!
Author:
Yield: 4-6 servings
Ingredients
  • ¾ cup sun dried tomatoes in oil, drained
  • 1 red pepper, roasted and peeled (about ¾ cup)
  • ¼ cup toasted pine nuts
  • ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • ¼ tsp + ⅛ tsp salt
  • 12 oz whole grain pasta
  • 4 oz feta cheese
  • 2-3 cups baby arugula
Instructions
  1. In a food processor, combine the sun dried tomatoes, roasted red pepper, pine nuts, olive oil, and salt. Run the food processor until it is a paste, but still has some small chunks in it.
  2. Toss the paste with your favourite cooked pasta noodle and divide into bowls. Top with crumbled feta cheese and fresh baby arugula

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