Polenta Pizza with Caramelized Onions, Cherry Tomatoes and Feta

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Healthy carbs guys!  Healthy carbs, and it is all in a pizza !!!

This pizza just had to happen. Load it up with whatever your heart desires and you are sorted. Pizzas are one of those things you can go all out with and do loads of crazy, delicious toppings and stuff but I was in the mood for simple, so simple it was :-). For awhile now, I have had this thing for caramelized onions, so I just had to top mine up with them. Then, some cherry tomatoes, I love the baby ones and once the pizza is in the oven, I watch through the glass window of the oven (Yes, I am weird, it is like I am stalking the pizza !  I am a Pizza Stalker !) and eventually those baby tomatoes pop and get all wrinkly.  There is a method in my madness,  with the oven on, I keep warm and I get to make sure nothing burns (because I have a thing with my oven…long story, don’t ask).  Then of course the basil leaves, I mean of course…tomatoes and basil, need I say more, and then of course you have guessed…. feta cheese.  I mean, there has to be cheese on a pizza right? well not really I suppose,  I have had loads of pizzas without cheese, but on this pizza, cheese was just an added bonus.

Okay, so this is not your usual pizza base, but it is a nice light option, if you want to try something a bit different, and it is even gluten free.  What is that saying…don’t knock it, till you’ve tried it ! 🙂

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Polenta Pizza With Caramelized Onions, Cherry Tomatoes and Feta

Preparation time:  3 minutes

Cooking time:  35 minutes

Total time:  38 minutes

Serves 2 or 3

Ingredients:

1 cup uncooked polenta

dash of salt

2 cups water

Topping:

4 medium-sized onions, sliced thinly

125 grams cherry tomatoes (or more if you like)

200 grams feta cheese (or more if you like)

fresh basil leaves

fresh rocket leaves

To caramelize the onions:

a little olive oil

1 – 2 teaspoons brown sugar

1 -2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

a little water (if needed)

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celsius/350 degrees Fahrenheit.

In a large pan, with a little olive oil, saute the onions.  Add a teaspoon or two of brown sugar and allow to cook. Stir continuously to prevent burning.  If you feel the onions are sticking a bit, add a little water. I personally like my onions to be nicely browned, and just before the cooking process is done, I add the balsamic vinegar, stir it in, and then take the pan off the oven and set aside.

To cook the Polenta:  Add polenta to the boiled water and reduce the heat down to simmer.  Using a whisk, whisk for about 5 minutes continuously until the polenta starts to thicken.  The polenta will start to pull away from the sides of the pot.

Once the polenta is cooked, spread it into an oven proof dish approximately 18 x 28 centimetres/7 x 11 inches in size.  Flatten as best as possible and place in the oven for 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and place toppings on. Return to the oven for a further 15 minutes or until the topping has cooked.

Add fresh basil and rocket leaves.  Serve either on its own or with a salad.

Enjoy 🙂

 

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Watermelon and Feta Salad

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I bought this massive watermelon over the weekend.  On opening the boot of my car, this watermelon just came rolling out and fell to the lawn.  Well need I say it split open, so it was pretty much decided there and then that watermelon would be lunch that day!  It actually was the perfect solution to a crazy hot day here in South Africa.

I quickly hauled out my recipe file where I knew I had been storing this watermelon salad recipe.  I have been dying to do this salad for years…in fact I first set my eyes on this recipe in 2005 !!! Yes, it has taken me ten years to finally get my A into G and do this recipe….Okay, lets just not go there as procrastination, clearly is my second name.

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This salad truly is ideal for those summer months, and those hot, scorching days.  It is quick and easy to prepare with not too many ingredients at all.

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I have deviated slightly from the original and have added my personal touch to it.  I have suggested that the recipe below will serve two people.  I did not measure out the chopped watermelon, so just chop accordingly for as many people you are wanting to serve.  I have added almonds which for me are imperative for that extra added crunch.  Also, the recipe did come with a spicy dressing.  I personally did not find the dressing necessary as felt it overpowered the flavours and natural tastes of the salad, so I have not included that.  I also, have added sliced avocado pear as an option to the salad, as watermelon and avocado pear actually compliment each other, but again, this is entirely up to you.  I served the avocado as a side to the salad, which worked quite well.

This salad is different, not your usual run of the mill kind of salad and could quite easily serve as an appetizer or starter as well.

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Watermelon and Feta Salad

Preparation time:  15 minutes

Serves 2

Ingredients:

watermelon

7 small radishes

handful of fresh mint leaves (stalks discarded)

handful of fresh rocket leaves

handful of fresh coriander leaves

100 grams feta cheese, crumbled

handful of raw almonds

couple slices of avocado pear, optional

a dash of freshly squeezed lemon juice for the avocado pear, optional

Instructions:

Dry toast the almonds, by adding them to a small pan on a medium heat. Continuously keep stirring around to prevent burning.  Once nicely toasted, remove from the stove top and set aside.

Chop up the watermelon into small pieces and place into a bowl.

With your spiralizer, slice up the radishes into thin threads.  If you do not have a spiralizer, just slice up the radishes as thinly as possible.

Place the spiralized or sliced radishes, mint and coriander in the bowl with the watermelon.

Add the crumbled feta.

Top with the dry toasted almonds and rocket.

Serve with a few slices of avocado pear and a dash of lemon juice (optional)

Enjoy 🙂

 

 

 

Rustic Semi Healthy Pizza

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This is so super easy, it is ridiculous !  I had 5 or 6 phyllo pastry sheets left over in the refrigerator.  When I unravelled them, I noticed they were torn, and broken, far from repair.  I contemplated tossing them out, but that is far from what I really wanted.  I wanted to do something with them.  Tossing them out would just be pure waste…..So I decided I would just do my best, unravel what I could , put all the pieces together and of course use melted butter over each layer of pastry, and go from there.  I really had no idea what I was going to concoct. Firstly I took out my baking tray, sprayed it with spray ‘n cook and prepared the phyllo pastry.  The bigger pieces I placed at the bottom and basically just layered the bits on top of that.  I folded the corners and edges in, to give it a bit of a rustic looking finish.  The plan was that, that would act as a lip so to speak, to my filling so that my filling would not fall out.

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At that point I had no idea what filling I was going to use.  I had no idea whether this rustic pizza would be going back into the oven, it was a matter of…well….whatever happens, happens. ( I had not even taken photo’s at this point…I did not even know if it was worthy of being photographed!) Anyway, so the rustic base was done, and I decided to put it in the oven to bake until golden brown, with a couple holes made with a sharp knife in the base of the pastry (this just helps release some steam and will prevent the phyllo pastry from puffing up). Whilst that was cooking I had to think of a filling and to be honest, I had not decided until this rustic pizza was out of the oven, so it was a matter of grab, chop and disperse.  Feta, cherry tomatoes, rocket, spring onions and toasted sunflower seeds ended up being the topping and so the Semi Healthy Rustic Pizza was born…AWESOME !!!

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Rustic Semi Healthy Pizza

Preparation time:  15 minutes

Cooking time:  10 minutes

Total time 25 minutes

Serves 1 or 2

Ingredients

5-6 sheets phyllo pastry

about 3-4 tablespoons of butter melted

Topping:

1/2 disc of plain Clover Feta Cheese

8 cherry tomatoes, cut in half

1 spring onion, sliced thinly

8-10 fresh rocket leaves

a sprinkling of toasted sunflower seeds

Instructions

Pre-heat oven at 180 degrees C.

Grease a medium sized baking tray.

Separate as best you can the phyllo pasty.  Put a damp cloth on the remaining pastry so it does not dry out.

Place a layer of phyllo pastry on the baking sheet, and moisten liberally with melted butter.  Continue this until all 5/6 sheets are done.

Then fold in the corners and the sides of the pastry, again moisten with melted butter.

Using a sharp knife, pierce the bottom of the phyllo pastry base a few times.

Place in pre-heated oven, until golden brown. (Check after ten minutes.)

Once the pastry is a nice golden brown colour, remove from the oven and continue to fill the pizza base with the crumbled feta cheese, cherry tomatoes, rocket leaves and toasted sunflower seeds.

(Alternatively you can use any topping you prefer)

Enjoy 🙂