Summer time is prime time for farmer’s markets offering an eye-popping selection of simply delicious fruits and vegetables bursting with fresh flavors.
So why not dress your favorite easy to prep foods -hello family pizza night! -in summer’s vibrant colors and flavors? Why not sliced strawberries on a pepperoni pizza?
Sweet goes well with spicy. Read on…..
On a recent trip to Chicago to appear on WGN-TV’s Lunch Break segment, I dined at The Girl and The Goat restaurant the night before my TV appearance and was excited to see that celebrated chef Stephanie Izard had garnished her super tasty goat empanadas with fresh strawberries. I ordered a sweet and spicy margarita called Ring of Fire to go with the dish. Perfecto!
OK….back to pizza night, now that we know my culinary inspiration of strawberries with savory bites was spot on! Click HERE: Welcome to WGN TV’s Lunch Break segment.
Set up right in the busy WGN newsroom for the LIVE segment, food stylist Robert Haynes and I dressed the demo table for a segment called PLAY with YOUR FOOD, complete with a Twister game tablecloth. Spin the little arrow and if it lands on yellow, you pick the yellow peppers to top your DiGiorno Four Cheese Rising Crust Pizza.
Spin and it’s red, pick the red peppers. Spin and it’s blue, well, just eat the blueberries!
Farmer’s Market Finds Help Balance Your Plate
Working with Nestle on their nutrition education Balance Your Plate campaign,
I presented ideas to add more fruits and vegetables to family pizza night with delicious, nutritious and fun ideas. How about pizza with your salad? OK, of course! But, what about pizza IN your salad? Pizzanella Salad is a super smart recipe from Nestle that’s a no-brainer to use leftover or just baked frozen pizza in a creative, exciting way. The pizza, cut up in bite size pieces, becomes the croutons with cheesy, tomato goodness.
Want to know more about mindful pizza portions? How many slices to eat? Well, of course that depends whether you’re a four year old or a forty year old! And depends on how active you are in your everyday life. Here’s a handy dandy pizza portion/serving guide from Nestle’s Balance Your Plate collection of nutrition resources.
And if you do want a salad with your slice of pizza , how about my recipe for Sweet ‘n Spicy Brussels Sprouts Slaw with Golden Raisins and Sunflower Seeds? Here’s a beautifully balanced plate with California Pizza Kitchen’s BBQ Chicken Pizza and the slaw.
So have fun with pizza night this summer and remember to think Farmer’s Market finds by adding seasonal produce to pizza!
Play with Your Food segment with registered dietitian Carolyn O’Neil, MS RDN
July 2016 WGN-TV LunchBreak Segment
Whether you’re looking for a new way to enjoy your freshly baked cheese pizza, or something other than its leftovers straight from the fridge, this salad helps to make that slice more satisfying, nutritious and delicious!
Yield: 1 large entrée salad
Timing: Prep time = 15 minutes
1 slice (1/6 of pie) prepared DiGiorno 4 Cheese Rising Crust Pizza
½ cup grape tomatoes
¼ medium onion, thinly sliced
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tsp olive oil
2 cups bite-size pieces Romaine lettuce
2 tbsp. basil pesto
1 tbsp. red wine vinegar
Method of Production (Instructions)
Preheat oven to 450 deg F. On baking sheet, place tomatoes, onion and garlic, drizzle with olive oil. Bake for 5-7 minutes, or until onions are tender. Remove from oven and cool. Cut tomatoes in half.
Cut pizza into bite sized pieces. Mix pesto and red wine vinegar. In a large bowl, toss lettuce, tomatoes, onion and garlic, and pizza with pesto vinaigrette. Wait 10 minutes before serving, to allow bread to absorb dressing. Serve on a dinner plate, and enjoy!
Sweet ‘n Spicy Brussels Sprouts Slaw with Golden Raisins and Sunflower Seeds
By Carolyn O’Neil, MS RDN, author The Slim Down South Cookbook.
Makes 12 servings (one half cup each )
2 pounds Brussels Sprouts (about 6 cups trimmed and sliced)
1/2 cup Golden Raisins
½ cup shredded or matchstick carrots
¼ cup sunflower seed kernels (one tablespoon reserved for garnish)
¼ cup sweet n’spicy dressing
Trim ends off Brussels Sprouts and cut into thin slices.
Place in a large bowl.
Add raisins, carrots and sunflower seeds.
Dress with 1/4 cup of Sweet ‘n Spicy dressing, tossing well to combine.
Garnish with 1 T sunflower seeds.
Sweet ‘n Spicy Dressing
Makes 12 servings (1 Tbsp.)
¼ cup lemon juice
¼ cup honey
2 tsp. hot sauce
2 Tbsp. olive oil
1 tsp. celery salt
¼ tsp. black pepper
Whisk together all ingredients in a small bowl.
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