Food for Fuel: Inspiration from the Farmer’s Market

August 1, 2008 at 9:42 am | Posted in Food, Nutrition, Pizza, Poultry, Seafood | 6 Comments

Today I went to the local farmer’s market. I got there too late for the huge tomatoes, but I did get some baby ones, as well as an eggplant, basil, and some kind of pepper (are these jalapenos? I don’t even know. I just pointed at them because they looked pretty).

If anyone has a good recipe for those peppers, please share. It was so hot at the market yesterday that I didn’t even consider that I don’t really know how to use these.

I still have leftovers that I’m trying to use up, but I really didn’t feel like eating them and was inspired by all my new veggies. That pile of basil is quite a lot for one person to use up and I was worried about it going bad before I had the chance. So, I tried to think of recipes that use a lot of basil, and thought “Pesto!” I’ve never made pesto before, because let’s face it, getting out, assembling, and cleaning the food processor is annoying.

I went to the internet to find a simple, basic pesto recipe. This one, which has a 5-star rating and is simply named Pesto, was just the ticket.

Pesto, while versatile, is not a meal. So a decision must be made: pesto in pasta, on pizza, on meat, on a sandwich? Time to use the homemade pizza dough in my freezer! Unfortunately, the dough needed time to thaw and was rock hard. Fortunately, yesterday was the last day of July, and in Texas that means that setting pizza dough outside on the back steps is the equivalent of microwaving it.

Because the pesto was already sending me to the store for pine nuts, I decided to pick up some protein for my pizza. I couldn’t decide between chicken or shrimp, so I got both! Both pre-cooked (shrimp also frozen), because making the pesto and cutting up the other toppings for the pizza is plenty of work without cooking meat.

I made a half recipe of the pesto because I didn’t want to use all my basil and because my food processor is tiny. It does the job for most of my recipes since I’m usually only cooking for one or two people.

I spread a thin layer of pesto on the pizza dough. I also used the following toppings:

  • Chicken
  • Shrimp
  • Roasted red peppers (jarred)
  • Onion
  • Artichoke (from frozen bag)
  • Fresh tomato
  • Sun-dried tomato
  • Olives
  • Dried basil
  • Dried oregano
  • Dried parsley
  • Fat free mozzarella (from bag)
  • 2% Italian blend cheese (from bag)
  • Reduced fat Feta

Baked at 425*F for about 18 minutes.

So yummy! The pesto didn’t have a very strong flavor, so if you like a very light-tasting pesto, you will really like this recipe. I prefer my pesto a little stronger. To be fair, I used cheap, pre-shredded parmesan cheese because I already had this in my fridge. Next time I will use a better cheese and I’m sure the flavor will be much better.

Well, I found a good use for my basil, used up the pizza dough in the fridge, and used a tomato from last week, but now I have leftover pizza and pesto instead of using up my other leftovers. Oh well, the pizza was worth it!

Nutrition of this Meal

This pizza contains 14 (wow, is that my record?) ingredients from the World’s Healthiest Foods list: 

  • Bell peppers
  • Garlic
  • Olives
  • Onions
  • Tomatoes
  • Shrimp
  • Low-fat cheese
  • Chicken
  • Olive oil
  • Whole wheat
  • Basil
  • Black pepper
  • Oregano
  • Parsley

It’s a long list, but several of those are only present in very small amounts.



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  1. You’re so hardcore. Last night I made a sandwich because I determined that whole wheat pasta with marinara sauce was too exhausting! LOL

  2. Mmm, farmer’s market loot looks yummy. I would totally make pizza tonight if it weren’t too darned hot to turn on the oven.

    I throw those hot peppers in everything, raw or cooked. If they’re too hot, you can always deseed them. Maybe you could make salsa? Or guacamole? I’m sure you’ll come up with something!

  3. […] of the Incan Red variety, which I have never tried. I added chopped onion, zucchini, mushrooms, and a pepper from the farmer’s market to the pot while it was […]

  4. […] meals. Usually the prepared sauce is a jarred red sauce, but lucky me! I got to use my leftover pesto. However, I wanted to try some changes: I chopped up a clove of garlic and threw it in a skillet […]

  5. […] (already had it), and instead of chipotle pepper I used a red pepper and a green pepper from the farmer’s market. I know that chipotle peppers have a distinct taste, so this may have altered the recipe quite a […]

  6. […] (already had it), and instead of chipotle pepper I used a red pepper and a green pepper from the farmer’s market. I know that chipotle peppers have a distinct taste, so this may have altered the recipe quite a […]

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