My son, Nathan, came home from school the other day asking me if I had a goat cheese and fig pizza recipe on my blog. Seems he has a teacher who grows figs in her yard and she needed some ideas. Nathan told her about the goat cheese and fig pizza made with Udi’s Gluten Free pizza crusts I'd made for dinner a few times, and thought I'd a posted recipe for it. However, while I had recipes for Goat Cheese Pizza with Caramelized Onions, Baby Greens and Balsamic Reduction and Caramelized Onion & Fig Mini Pizzas, I didn’t have one that combined the two. That is until now, thanks to my friend, Holly Clegg.
I love figs and can usually find fresh ones here in Georgia when they’re in season or dried ones when they’re not. However, if you’re having a tough time finding any sort of figs, you can substitute dates or even dried plums.
Gourmet Aphrodisiacs this Valentine’s Day
If you are looking for just the right subtly sweet and savory dish with gourmet appeal yet quick and easy – then look no further than my delightful Fig, Caramelized Onion, Prosciutto & Goat Cheese Pizza. Did you know that figs are considered a symbol of fertility and revered as an aphrodisiac? From the “Food for the Mood” chapter in Holly Clegg's trim&TERRIFIC Too Hot in the Kitchen: Secrets to Sizzle at Any Age, this is the go-to cookbook for a fun-filled Valentine’s Day gift! Filled with recipes for romance, aphrodisiac ingredients, and enticing words like, “A good marriage is like a good wine, it gets better with age.”
Turn up the heat this Valentine’s Day and you’ll definitely sizzle in your kitchen!
Fig, Caramelized Onion, Prosciutto & Goat Cheese Pizza
- 1 teaspoon plus 1 tablespoon olive oil, divided
- 1 small onion, thinly sliced
- Pinch sugar
- 1 (12-ounce) thin pizza crust
- 2 tablespoons orange marmalade
- 4 ounces figs, sliced in thirds
- 2 ounces prosciutto, cut into pieces
- 1/2 cup crumbled goat cheese
- 1/4 cup shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
- 1 teaspoon dried rosemary leaves, optional
- In small nonstick skillet, heat 1 teaspoon olive oil and sauté onion, stirring occasionally, about 10 minutes until start to turn golden. Add sugar and continue cooking until caramel color. Set aside to cool.
- Preheat oven 450°F. On pizza crust, spread remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil and cover with orange marmalade. Arrange cooled onions, figs, prosciutto, goat cheese and mozzarella on crust.
- Sprinkle with rosemary, if desired. Bake 10-15 minutes or until cheese is melted and crust crisp.
- Serving size: 1 slice
- Calories: 281
- Calories from Fat: 96 (34%)
- Total Fat: 10g
- Saturated fat: 4g
- Unsaturated fat: 6g
- Sodium: 279mg
- Total Carbohydrates: 38g
- Sugar: 12g
- Fiber: 4g
- Protein: 6g
- Cholesterol: 16mg
Dietary Exchanges: 2 starch, 1/2 fruit, 1/2 lean meat, 1 1/2 fat
Recipe and photo used with permission of the author.
Disclosure: Amazon links are affiliate links. A commission may be earned from a referred sale to their website.
This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of Boar's Head. All opinions are 100% mine.
One of my go to meals when I can’t think of anything else to make is polenta. The great thing about polenta is that you can keep a couple of tubes of it in the pantry since it’s shelf stable. My favorite way to cook it is to sauté slices in a pan, cover them with warm spaghetti sauce, and add a little parmesan cheese on top. However, this recipe for Lower Sodium Ham & Polenta Rounds from Boar’s Head bakes the polenta rounds, which seems so much healthier!
Inspired, I created these Polenta and Ham Pizza Rounds using Boar's Head lower sodium deli meats and cheeses. In addition, I created a Polenta and Ham Casserole using leftover lower sodium ham and provolone from the first dish. The ingredients shown below are for making both dishes. If you just want to make the Pizza Rounds, halve the recipe and use leftover ham and provolone in quiche or omelets.
The Pizza Rounds make wonderful party appetizers as well as a main dish. They’re a little messy to eat with your hands – and you have to wait for the rounds to cool down a bit. Even so, my nine-year-old daughter managed just fine. Her verdict – “Oh Mom, these are so good that I can’t stop eating them!” – as she ate her third Polenta and Ham Pizza Round!
While I had used Boar’s Head products before for sandwiches, I had never cooked with them and was impressed with the results. Check out their website to learn which of their products are gluten free, lower sodium, and on the Feingold Association list.
Polenta and Ham Pizza Rounds and Polenta and Ham Casserole
- 1 (28 ounce) can crushed fire roasted tomatoes
- 1 teaspoon oregano
- 1 teaspoon basil
- 1/2 teaspoon thyme
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- 2 (18 ounce) rolls of polenta, cut into 32 rounds
- Cooking spray
- 12 slices Boar’s Head Black Forest Brand 25% Lower Sodium Smoked Ham
- 1 (8-ounce) package Boar’s Head 42% Lower Sodium Provolone Cheese (or 16 slices)
For Polenta Ham Pizza Rounds:
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- Combine tomatoes, oregano, basil, thyme, salt and pepper in a bowl and set aside.
- Carefully slice polenta. Keep best slices for the pizza rounds. Broken and funky rounds will be used in the casserole.
- Carefully slice polenta. Keep best slices for the pizza rounds. Broken and funky rounds will be used in the casserole.
- Spray a large oven safe dish or cookie sheet with cooking spray. Place 16 polenta rounds on dish, 1/2 to 1 inch apart.
- Use a cookie cutter to cut ham and cheese. I used a flower shaped one that was just slightly bigger than the polenta rounds. If you run short on ham, overlap two smaller pieces of ham. Then carefully cut it with your cookie cutter. Since the ham will be under the cheese, no one will really notice that you’ve had to “make due.”
- Spoon a large dollop of the tomato mixture on to the polenta round – just enough to almost cover the polenta.
- Carefully place ham and cheese slices on top and top with a piece of tomato from the leftover tomato mixture.
- Place in oven and cook for 15 minutes until cheese is melted.
- Remove from oven and place pizza rounds on a platter to serve as appetizers. Or serve two to four rounds per person as a main dish along with a vegetable or salad.
For Polenta Ham Casserole:
- Coat the inside of a casserole dish with cooking spray.
- Layer half of the “less perfect” polenta rounds on the bottom of the casserole dish. Cover with half the remaining tomato mixture.
- Layer the rest of the polenta rounds. Cover with the rest of the tomato mixture.
- Chop up remaining pieces of ham and cheese and liberally sprinkle on top of casserole until evenly spread.
- Bake at 350 degrees F for 25 to 30 minutes until cheese has melted and starts to brown a little. Serve and enjoy!
- Serving size: Don't go crazy!
The Polenta and Ham Casserole is a very cheesy dish. If you’re worried about too much fat and calories, use less cheese and save the remaining pieces for chef salad, omelets or a quiche. In addition, you can health up this dish by adding chopped up broccoli, squash, zucchini and/or cauliflower to the layer below the ham and cheese. It’s a great way to sneak in some healthy veggies into your family’s dinner!
When I entertain during the holidays, I try to mix up healthy appetizers along with small but delicious indulgences. I also believe that if you’re going to treat yourself, it’s healthier to have a few small bites than a big plate of something that’s not so good for you.
That’s why I’m sharing this fun party appetizer recipe from Prosciutto di Parma. Instead of using dough, this recipe uses the prosciutto to form the cups to serve the goat cheese mousse in – a really cool and unique idea that's totally gluten free!
You could cut a few fat calories by using a low fat goat cheese and no fat milk. You could also experiment with other herbs that would go well with prosciutto, like basil.
If you don’t have a piping bag, make your own by filling a ziploc sandwich bag with the cheese mixture, making a small diagonal cut at one corner, and squeezing it out the open corner.
Crispy Prosciutto di Parma Cups with Goat Cheese Mousse
- 6 slices Prosciutto di Parma
- 3.5 ounces plain goat cheese at room temperature
- 1 tablespoon milk
- 1 tablespoon minced chives
- Preheat the oven to 400°F.
- Cut Prosciutto di Parma slices in half crosswise. Press a half slice of prosciutto into each cup of a mini-muffin pan. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes.
- In the meantime, in a small bowl, combine goat cheese with milk and chopped chives until creamy.
- Remove Prosciutto di Parma cups from the oven and let cool.
- Pipe or spoon the goat cheese mousse into cooled Parma cups, filling each with about a tablespoon of mousse.
- Serving size: 1 cup
Recipe and photo supplied by Parma and used with permission.
To close out National Grilled Cheese Month, I’ve partnered with Horizon Organic and Udi’s Gluten Free on a Grilled Cheese Recipe challenge using Udi’s Gluten Free breads and Horizon Organic Cheese to make the perfect grilled cheese sandwich recipe.
Inspired by my recent trip to Hawaii, I wanted to incorporate tropical flavors of pineapple, guava, mango and coconut along with Udi’s Millet Chia for it’s crunchy nutty taste and Horizon Organic’s Cheddar Slices. For the tropical flavors I used a variety of fruit spreads and jellies – St. Dalfour Pineapple & Mango, Proud Pepper Jelly Co.’s Hot Pineapple Habanero, and Hawaiian Sun’s Guava Jelly.
I wanted to add some greens, so included some interesting veggies I found at my local grocery store – Sprouts Extraordinaire’s Zesty Sprouts (Sweet Clover & Radish”) and Paradise Farms’ “Baby” Sunflower Greens. The sprouts were sweet and crunchy, while the baby sunflower greens were slightly bitter and crunchy.
Now I realize that some of these products may be hard to find in your area, so feel free to substitute any kind of tropical fruit jam or jelly for the ones I used, and whatever type of sprouts or baby greens you have available in your grocery store. Many of these products can be found online or at places like Whole Foods or Trader Joe’s, too.
How do you cook up your grilled cheese sandwich?
Usually I make grilled cheese on my two burner griddle pan. However, it’s in storage until we move into our house in Athens, GA. Luckily, our furnished apartment in Boulder came with a small George Foreman grill. I’ve been using it to grill steaks, brats and carne asada. It’s also perfect for making panini style grill cheese sandwiches in just a few minutes since the grill cooks both sides of the sandwich simultaneously.
Since the George Foreman grill is non-stick, you only need to spread a thin layer of buttery spread on the outside of your grilled cheese sandwich to give it that “greasiness” we all love, but without all the saturated fat of real butter. You could also take cooking spray and apply it to the outside of your grilled cheese sandwich to cut back on a few calories.
In my Tropical Grilled Cheese Sandwich recipe, I use a little bit of Earth Balance’s Organic Coconut Spread to give my grilled cheese a tropical flavor. If you can’t find Earth Balance’s spread, use a thin coating of coconut oil instead.
Looking for more gluten free recipes and tips? Check out Udi's Gluten Free Community!
Tropical Grilled Cheese Sandwich
- 2 pieces Udi’s Gluten Free Millet Chia bread
- Coconut oil or spread
- Your favorite tropical fruit spread, jelly or jam such as pineapple, mango or mango
- 2 slices Horizon Organic Cheddar Cheese
- Sprouts or baby greens
- Heat up griddle pan on stove top using medium heat.
- Place bread on a plate or a cutting board.
- Apply a thin layer of coconut oil or spread to each slice. Flip bread over.
- Apply a thin layer of your favorite tropical fruit spread to the bread.
- Cover one piece of bread with a layer of cheese.
- Apply a small handful of sprouts or baby greens on top of the cheese.
- Cover with second piece of cheese. Then cover with the second piece of bread, fruit spread side down.
- Place sandwich on heated griddle pan. Cook until bread is toasted a light brown and cheese begins to melt.
- Flip sandwich and cook until other side is toasted a light brown.
- Remove from griddle pan and serve for lunch, dinner or a snack.
- Serving size: 1 sandwich
Disclosure: I'm a Udi's Gluten Free Community leader and received sample product from Udi's and Horizon Organic to facilitate this recipe.
Here’s another healthy recipe (and gorgeous picture) from 400 Calorie Fix: The Easy New Rule for Permanent Weight Loss! that I had to share. It’s perfect to bring to breakfast meetings or to make on the weekend. Serve it with some fresh fruit or berries.
Due to my food sensitivities I’ll be substituting soy cheese and tofu for the feta, ricotta and mozzarella cheeses in this recipe. Cheese has been one of the biggest challenges in my new way of eating since I must avoid milk products due to a whey sensitivity. Luckily, I’ve discovered vegan and soy cheeses.
My favorite soy cheeses are from Follow Your Heart’s Vegan Gourmet line of jack, mozzarella and cheddar cheese alternatives. I’m not going to lie to you and say that they taste just like cheese. At best, they’re “cheese like,” but they fulfill my urge for something cheesy. I’ve been told that Vegan Gourmet cheeses melt well, though I haven’t tried cooking with them yet and prefer to eat a few slices with apples for a snack.
I also just purchase a small shaker of Galaxy Nutritional Food’s Vegan Grated Topping. I thought it would be nice to add to a buttery spread on Tinkyada brown rice noodles or possibly on House Food’s tofu shirataki noodles.
Layered Mediterranean Breakfast Bake
Prep Time: 25 minutes
Cook time: 40 minutes
Makes 4 servings
- 1 medium zucchini, coarsely grated
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- 1 1/2 cups sliced scallions
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1/2 cup crumbled reduced-fat feta cheese
- 1 1/3 cups part-skim ricotta cheese
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1/4 cup slivered sun-dried tomatoes
- 4 large eggs
- 1 teaspoon McCormick Perfect Pinch Salt Free Italian seasoning
- 1 jar (12 ounces) roasted red bell peppers, drained, rinsed, and cut into strips
- 1/2 cup shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
- 1 tablespoon grated Parmesan cheese
- Preheat the oven to 400°F. Place the zucchini in a small bowl and sprinkle with the salt. Coat a 21/2-quart baking dish with cooking spray.
- Heat the oil in a large nonstick skillet or a skillet coated with cooking spray over medium heat. Add the scallions and garlic. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes, or until tender. Add the feta and cook for 1 minute, or until almost melted. Transfer to a large bowl and stir in the ricotta and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper.
- Heat the skillet coated with cooking spray over medium heat. Squeeze extra moisture out of the zucchini, add the zucchini to the skillet, and
cook for 2 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Season with the remaining 1/4 teaspoon black pepper and spread on the bottom of the baking dish. Top the zucchini with the ricotta mixture. Top the ricotta with the tomatoes.
- Whisk the eggs and Italian seasoning in a small bowl. Pour on top of the tomatoes. Top with the roasted peppers. Sprinkle with the mozzarella and Parmesan.
- Bake for 40 minutes, or until bubbly.
1 serving = one 4” square
- Calories: 330
- Total Fat: 18g
- Saturated Fat: 9g
- Sodium: 930mg
- Carbohydrate: 16g
- Dietary Fiber: 3g
- Protein: 26g
- Calcium: 45%
Weight Watchers POINTS = 7
This Mama’s tips
- Another choice for a salt free Italian seasoning is Mrs. Dash’s Italian Medley.
- Since I have to avoid pepper, I would substitute Mrs. Dash’s Tomato Basil Garlic for all the spices (except salt) in this recipe. It’s the only one they make that doesn’t have pepper in it.
- If you have to avoid onions, remove the sliced scallions and substitute with celery or just increase the amount of sun-dried tomatoes and red bell peppers.
Disclosure: I was provided with a review copy of the 400 Calorie Fix.