Chard with Onions


I love chard. As soon as I bring it home from the farmers market, I rinse them, dry em, pull them from their ribs and wrap it in a moist paper towel in a plastic bag. The leaves keep for up to a week this way and make for a really quick meal during the week. The sweetness of the onions offset the chard perfectly.

1 lb green Swiss chard
1 TBSP olive oil
2 medium onions, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped

Cut stems and center ribs from chard, discarding any tough portions, then cut stems and ribs crosswise into 2-inch pieces. Stack chard leaves and roll up lengthwise into cylinders.

Heat oil in a 12 inch skillet over medium heat, then cook onions and garlic with 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper, covered, stirring occasionally, until onions begin to soften, about 8 minutes. Add chard, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper and cook, covered, stirring occasionally, until wilted, stirring occasionally, until tender, 4 to 6 minutes. Transfer with a slotted spoon to a serving bowl.

2 servings


Apple, Onion Pizza


One of the many cooking blogs I follow had a write up about October being Apple month and there was a recipe for apple pizza, it was really more of a dessert pizza, but it did inspire me. I then came across a champagne cheddar at Costco and knew the pizza gods were speaking to me and I had to create this pizza. So what goes better with cheese and apple then caramelized onions and crunchy pig bits – pizza crust! This pizza was truly magical – sweet onions, salty pork, creamy cheese and tart apples – mmmmm! Needless to say there were no leftovers.

8 oz pizza dough (I like thin crust)
6 oz grated white cheddar cheese
4 oz pancetta, browned and crispy
4 sweet onions, thinly sliced
1 large granny smith or baking apple thinly sliced

Preheat oven to 425.

In a 12 inch skillet, toss onions with a little oil and 1/4 c water, cook over medium heat until they soften. Cover and continue to cook on low heat, adding water 1/8 c at a time to keep from drying out. I start these early and just cook until they are done, it usually takes an hour or so.

Roll put dough very thin. I just use my fingers to press it out into the shape I want.

Spread onions over the dough, top with pancetta, cheese and apples. Bake for 5- 10 minutes until everything starts to brown. I finished mine under the broiler to get the apples a little crispy – If you do this stay near and keep a close eye on your pizza, broilers have a way with burning if you don’t watch the closely.

Serves 2 – 4.
9 WW PP per serving, 4 servings.

Braised Beef Cheeks


This dish is the dish to warm you up on a chilly fall evening. Best of all it requires little work and tastes better after two days. The meat is meltingly tender and tastes divine!

2 TBSP olive oil
1 lb beef cheeks, trimmed of excess fat
1 onion, finely chopped
1 carrot, finely chopped
1 celery rib, finely chopped
1/2 tsp unsweetened cocoa powder
2 c red wine (preferably dry)
1 28oz can whole tomatoes including juice, chopped
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper

Heat 2 tablespoons oil in an ovenproof 6-quart wide heavy pot over moderately high heat until hot but not smoking. While oil is heating, pat beef cheeks dry and season with salt and pepper. Brown beef, without crowding, on all sides, about 20 minutes total, and transfer with tongs to a bowl. Pour off fat from pot, then add remaining 2 tablespoons oil and cook onion, carrot, and celery over moderately low heat, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 10 minutes.

Preheat oven to 325°.

Stir cocoa powder into vegetable mixture, then add wine and scrape up any brown bits. Increase heat to high and boil until liquid is reduced by half, about 10 minutes.

Return cheeks (with any juices) to pot and add tomatoes with juice, salt, and pepper. Bring to a simmer, then braise, covered, in middle of oven until very tender, about 3 hours.

Beef cheeks improve in flavor if made up to 2 days ahead. Cool, uncovered, then chill, surface covered with parchment paper or wax paper and pot covered with lid. Remove any solidified fat before reheating.

Serves 4 servings
9 WW PP per serving

Roasted Butternut Squash Pizza


So I bought this gorgeous butternut squash at the farmers market, but I was really craving pizza tonight so it’s butternut pizza time! So it’s not a new idea, and I probably saw it somewhere and it hide out in the back of my mind until today, regardless this is my take on it. I have to say it is one tasty pie – sweet onions, rich squash with cheese on a pizza – yum! If you are not watching your weight, you can use more cheese and olive oil.

1 butternut squash, cubes into 1/2 inch pieces
2 sweet onions, thinly sliced
1 pizza dough, unbaked*
20 sage leaves
8 oz mozzarella cheese, shredded or sliced
Parm or Romano to sprinkle

Preheat oven to 425.

Spray a Pam with olive oil spray, add the squash then spray the squash, salt & pepper to taste then toss to combine. Cook for 30 – 45 minutes, stirring occasionally, until crispy on the outside.

Meanwhile in a medium saucepan, toss onions with 1 tsp olive oil and 1/4 cup water, put a lid on it and cook over low heat. Stir every 5 – 10 minutes adding more water 1/4 c at a time keeping the onions moist. It takes about 45 minutes to caramelize the onions.

Roll out the pizza dough. Spread onions over the dough. Top with cheese, sage leaves and squash.

Bake for 7 – 10 minutes until cheese is bubbly and brown.

4 servings (1/4 pizza).
9 WW PP per serving.
*I use 8 oz dough for a super thin crust.

Cheese Burger Pizza


Today’s Pizza was inspired by National Burger Month and the fact that I was cooking up some grass feed beef for my 10 month old. This is more of a deconstructed interpretation of a cheeseburger. I used balsamic onions as my sauce, topped with chunks of medium rare ground beef, 3 cheese blend, pancetta, sliced cherry tomatoes and green onions.

1 lb of pizza dough
4 sweet onions, sliced thin
1 TBSP olive oil
5 TBSP balsamic vinegar
3/4 lb ground beef
10 oz shredded mozzarella, jack, cheddar blend
6 oz cherry tomatoes, halved
6 green onions, thinly sliced

Preheat oven to 450.

In a medium pan, heat olive oil over medium heat, add onions, reduce heat to low and cook until soft, stirring frequently, added water 2 TBSP at a time if they start to dry out, this takes about 30 minutes. Once softened add balsamic and continue to cook until absorbed. Remove to bowl.

Cook pancetta in the same pan you used for the onions until crispy. Drain on papertowels.

Form beef into 1 large patty about 1 inch thick, cook in a medium skilled over medium high heat for about 2 minutes per side – you want the outside crispy and the inside barely medium rare. Remove from heat, cool and cut into chunks.

Roll out pizza dough. Top with balsamic onions, beef chunks, cheese, pancetta, green onions and tomatoes.

Bake for 7 – 10 minutes until crust is crispy and cheese melty.

Serves 4 (8 slices total – 2 per serving)
16 WW PP per serving.

Serves 4 – 6.


Baked Gnocchi

Why does the first day of the week require the comfort of pasta at the end of the day? This week I whipped up a tomato sauce while prepping lunches and dinner for my little monsters, boiled up some shelf stable whole wheat gnocchi then topped with cheese and baked – add a glass of red wine and all is right with the world again.

1 package of shelf stable or frozen gnocchi
4 cloves of garlic, minced
1 sweet onion, thinly slices
2 tsp olive oil
1 28 oz can diced tomatoes
Pepper flakes
1 bay leaf
4 sprigs of parsley
1/4 c Parmesan
1/4 c fat free mozzarella

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

In a 3 qt saucepan heat oil over medium heat and add garlic and onion. Reduce heat to low, put lid on pan and sweat for 10 – 15 minutes. If it starts to brown add a little water and scrape down. Add tomatoes, pepper flakes, salt, parsley and bay leaf. Cook over low heat for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove bay leaf and parsley sprigs.

Boil a large pot of water. Add gnocchi and cook for 2 minutes or until they float to the top. You want to pull them out as soon as they float to the top. Place in a small baking dish, stir in sauce and top with cheese.

Bake for 10 – 15 minutes until the cheese is golden and bubbly.

Serves 4


Spiced Swiss Chard and Onions

Sauted Swiss ChardI love bitter greens! My husband hates them, but he LOVED this dish. The onions add a nice sweetness and the vinegar and chiles add the perfect balance. This is a great dish to enjoy in the winter when the chard is so beautiful in the California farmers markets.

1 large onion, thinly sliced
1 lb swiss chard, ribs removed and thinly sliced
1 TBSP olive oil
Red Pepper flakes
1 tsp red wine vinegar

Wash the swiss chard well, remove from main rib and roll several leaved up into cigars – thinly slice these cigars to make ribbons.

Heat olive oil over medium heat, once shimmery, add onions and saute about 5 min until soft.

Add swiss chard, pepper flakes, salt & pepper and cover. Stirring frequently, until softened about 5 min.

Add red wine vinegar, stir and cook for 1 – 2 more minutes.

Serves 2, but can be easily doubled.