I know the name of this recipe sounds disgusting but let me give you some context so you understand. My husband loves pizza, but enjoys the toppings more than he likes the crust. So if there is leftover pizza lying around and he's in the vicinity, he will proceed to eat all the toppings off the pizza and leave the "pizza bones" to the unsuspecting person who left said pizza out in the first place. We proceed to chide him for "scalping" our good pizza.
In an effort to stop the insanity, I decided to make him Pizza Scalp. Basically this is all the good toppings of the pizza without the crust. If you are gluten free or going for a lower carb meal, this is a great way to still enjoy the flavors of pizza but without the gluten and carbs. Sacrilege you might say, but it works for us! There are no rules to making pizza scalp. Simply think about the things you love on top of pizza and then arrange them in a baking dish and bake. We usually eat with steamed spinach or zucchini noodles. This is the version I made last night:
Pizza Scalp with a Lasagna twist
1 container whole milk ricotta cheese
1 10 oz package frozen spinach, thawed and juice pressed out
1 T Italian seasoning (or a mix of dried basil, oregano, garlic and thyme)
1 t. garlic powder
1/2 t. kosher salt
1 lb. grassfed beef
1 lb. Italian sausage
1 lb. mushrooms
1 jar quality marinara sauce (I used some from Thrive Market)
8-16 oz shredded mozzarella cheese or Italian cheese blend
1/2 c. fresh parmesan reggiano
Mix ricotta, 1 beaten egg, spinach, Italian seasoning, garlic powder and salt in a bowl. Meanwhile, salute the grassfed beef and the Italian sausage until cooked through. Toss in the mushrooms and cook until slightly softened. Drain off excess liquid.
In a rectangular baking dish, spread the ricotta mixture along the bottom of the pan. Pour half of the marina on top and spread evenly with a spatula. Spoon beef/sausage/mushroom mixture over ricotta and marinara. Top with a bit more marinara (you may have some leftover because you don't want it too watery) and sprinkle mozzarella cheese all over the top. Shake parmesan over the first cheese. Bake at 350 until hot and bubbly and top browns to your liking.
Dip zucchini rounds or steamed broccoli into hot toppings or serve on top of zucchini noodles or baked eggplant.
Variations: add pepperoni, red pepper and onions, black olives, goat cheese or whatever your heart desires. You can also omit the ricotta and add different cheeses if you like.
Cold "scalp" is great the next day as well! The hardest part is not eating the whole thing in one sitting.
I was thumbing through a cooking magazine called "Cook Fresh" and came across an interesting salad recipe that I knew I wanted to try. But as I read through the ingredients, I realized I needed to change a few things to make it healthier and of course, more delicious. The result was fabulous.
1/2 lb baby spinach, washed and dried (8 loosely packed cups)
1 t. granulated sugar
2 lb. boneless pork chops trimmed of excess fat and sliced crosswise, 1/4 in thick
dry sherry (not sherry vinegar)
coconut oil (for frying up pork and veggies)
2 t. Asian sesame oil
I bunch scallions, cut into 2 in pieces
6 oz fresh shiitake mushrooms, stemmed and thinly sliced
1 red bell pepper, cored, seeded, and thinly sliced
1 bag sugar snap peas
1-2 cloves pressed garlic
2 T. minced fresh ginger
In a glass measuring cup or small bowl, whisk 3 tablespoons rice vinegar with 1 1/2 T. coconut aminos, sugar and 2 T. water and set aside.
Put the pork in a medium bowl and season with 1 t. salt. Toss with 2 T. coconut aminos and 2 T. sherry. Let sit for about 10 minutes.
Heat 1.5 T coconut oil in a heavy, 12 in skillet over medium high heat until hot. Add the pork in 3 batches and cook, stirring, until it loses its raw color and is just firm, about 2 minutes. Transfer cooked pork to a clean, medium bowl and continue cooking cooking the rest of the pork in batches. (You don't want to crowd your pan.) Each time you add a new batch of pork to cook up, you may need to add a little more coconut oil.
When finished, add 1 1/2 T coconut oil and the sesame oil, scallions, mushrooms, bell pepper and sugar snap peas to the skillet. Cook, stirring until the mushrooms and scallions soften and brown in places, about 3 minutes. Add about 1 T. of the minced ginger along with 1-2 cloves of pressed garlic, 1 more tablespoon of coconut aminos, 1/2 T. rice vinegar and 1/2 T cooking sherry to the veggies and cook a few more minutes more being careful not to burn the garlic. Add the pork back into the skillet along with any juices and gently toss to blend with veggies. Take off heat and set aside.
In a small skillet, over medium high heat, add 1 T. olive oil and the remaining tablespoon of ginger and cook, stirring until very fragrant about 30 seconds. Remove the skillet from the heat and add ginger and olive oil to the vinegar-coconut amino mixture from earlier. Stir well with a whisk. Mixture will be largely separated at this point. Slowly add 1/4-1/3 cup olive oil to the mixture, whisking to emulsify. Add cracked pepper and/or red pepper flakes to taste. You can also add salt to taste, but the coconut aminos are already very salty.
Toss the spinach with enough vinaigrette to lightly coat. Portion among 4 plates and top with the pork and vegetables. Drizzle the top with some of remaining vinaigrette. Serve immediately. You will probably have leftover meat and veggies as I doubled the meat from the recipe I modified. I like to have leftovers for the next day.
Here is where you will find all my favorite, go to recipes. Whether you are looking for a weeknight staple or a "once in a while" treat, these are my tried and trues.