Wednesday, February 24, 2021

Easy Vegetarian Stromboli - Rolled Up Pizza

Love PIZZA? Then you need to try this Stromboli for sure! A bread made from scratch filled with some delicious sauce, cheeses and vegetables and baked to perfection.  


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A great recipe for weeknight meals or appetizer for parties; Stromboli has been a favorite here for really long.

Long golden brown log of bread filled with vegetables, sauce and cheese; Stromboli is a super customizable dish that is easy to make and always delicious! 

I was introduced to Stromboli at a local eatery that served a SUPER loaded version of it. Served with marinara sauce on the side, I have to admit I often choose this over pizza! 

What is Stromboli?

Stromboli is essentially a pizza in a different form. The BEST way to describe it is to say that it is in reality a rolled up pizza. 

The dough and sauce used for this Stromboli is the same as that for pizza. 

The toppings of the pizza become the fillings here.

From cheese and meats to vegetables; everything is PERFECT to add to the stromboli. In fact, you can always change up the fillings and get a different version of the same dish! 

Once the dough is filled and rolled, it needs to be baked till golden brown. Top it with some seasoned butter or brush some egg wash before doing so.

Once baked, it is cut into slices and served alongside some marinara sauce. 


What you need to make Stromboli?

Dough- For this recipe of Stromboli I have used the same dough I would for pizza.

It is a mix of flour, yeast, salt and unsalted butter. I mixed it using a stand mixer and gave it one rise in the Instant Pot. 

I made two strombolis using the dough but you can choose to make some garlic sticks or focaccia using half the dough too. 

The leftover dough can be frozen to make something another day too.

Stromboli can be made using store bought pizza dough too.

Sauce- Store bought or homemade sauce work in the recipe. I used this one for my recipe. 

Swapping marinara for alfredo or pesto sauce is also an option. 

Use only a little sauce so that the stromboli is not super wet or soggy. You can skip the sauce and serve it as a side too.

Fillings- I added onions, peppers, mushroom and spinach in the stromboli. I used a mix of cheddar and mozzarella cheese.

Adding meats or other vegetables like broccoli, corn, basil etc works too. Just make sure the stromboli is not over stuffed.

Seasoned Butter- I like to top my Stromboli with a mix of butter and herbs. I used chili flakes, oregano and garlic powder to season my butter. 

I topped the baked Stromboli with some dried parmesan cheese. This step is optional.  

Using the Instant Pot to proof the dough

For all my bread recipes I like to use the Instant Pot to proof the dough. 

The main reason is that I have to wait for the same amount of time while baking my breads instead of checking every few minutes if the dough has doubled. 

The yogurt mode on it's lowest power works perfectly for proofing any dough in any season.

If you do not have an instant pot, let the dough rise in a warm spot till it almost doubles for about 60-90 minutes. 



Tips to get it right each time

While this recipe is pretty straight forward, here are a few thing to keep in mind. 

  • The fillings for the recipe can be changed as you like but increasing marinara sauce to anything over 1/4 cup might make the dough soggy and impossible to work with.
  • I used Instant Yeast in the recipe. Active dry yeast can be used too. Just bloom it before adding it to the flour. Take 2 1/4 tsp of yeast per 3 cups of flour.  

  • Stick to drier ingredients like fresh vegetables vs canned and mozzarella cheese vs ricotta cheese for this recipe.

  • Leave about 1/2 inch on all sides while adding the sauce. This aids in easy rolling of the dough.

  • Swap regular cheese for Vegan cheese and butter for Olive Oil to make the recipe Vegan.

Serving suggestions

Once the dough is made, filled and baked, now it time to see what to serve this with.

Marinara is the perfect sauce to enjoy this with. Cheese and a tomato based sauce are a match made in heaven! 

I like to serve mine with some soup or stew. Minestrone SoupBroccoli Cheddar Soup or Roasted Butternut Squash Soup works well with the recipe. 

Serving it with a pasta like Balsamic Caprese Pasta SaladBow-Tie Pasta in Pumpkin Sauce or Peas & Asparagus Stuffed Jumbo Shell Pasta works well. 


Difference between Stromboli and Calzone

Quite often there is a discussion about how similar Stromboli and Calzone are. 

While both are similar to pizza in many ways; they are different in the way they are made and their origins. 

Stromboli or pizza roll originated in Philadelphia, USA while the Italian Calzones are from Naples.

A calzone is essentially a hand pie made using pizza dough. It is rolled out, filled and folded over into half. These are then baked and served as individual portions. 

Calzones can easily accommodate wetter ingredients like lots of marinara sauce and ricotta cheese. These would be difficult to handle in a stromboli. 

Both of these are brushed with egg wash or melted butter before baking to get a golden crust. 



Steps to make Stromboli

1- In a large bowl add flour, unsalted butter, salt and instant Yeast. 

2- Add warm water and mix well using a stand mixer or with your hands. Bring everything together and make a soft and smooth dough.


3- Cover the dough ball with some oil or butter and place in the instant pot. Set the mode to yogurt (low) and time to 60 minutes. 

4- Once the dough rises and doubles, remove it.


5- Meanwhile, add garlic powder, chili flakes and oregano to softened unsalted butter. Mix well and set aside.


6- Divide the dough into 2 parts and place one part on a baking mat and roll out into a thin rectangle of 9*13 inches. 


7- Spread the marinara sauce onto the dough, but leave 1/2 inch on the edges to prevent the sauce from oozing out. 

8- Spread onions, pepper, mushroom and spinach leaves in a thin layer. Top with some mozzarella and cheddar cheese. 



9- Tightly roll the dough along the longer side making sure the fillings do not slide away. 


10- Pinch and seal the edges and ends. Make a few cuts on top. Preheat the oven to 400 F. 

11- Brush the seasoned butter on it and place in the preheated oven.


12- Bake for 22-25 minutes and serve sliced. 

Yield: 2 Strombolis
Author: Smruti
Easy Vegetarian Stromboli - Rolled Up Pizza

Easy Vegetarian Stromboli - Rolled Up Pizza

Stromboli, a bread made from scratch filled with some delicious sauce, cheeses and vegetables and baked to perfection. This rolled up pizza is a MUST-TRY!
Prep time: 15 MinCook time: 25 MinInactive time: 60 MinTotal time: 1 H & 40 M

Ingredients

For the dough
For the seasoned butter
For the Filling

Instructions

  1. In a large bowl add flour, unsalted butter, salt and instant Yeast.
  2. Add warm water and mix well using a stand mixer or with your hands. Bring everything together and make a soft and smooth dough.
  3. Cover the dough ball with some oil or butter and place in the instant pot. Set the mode to yogurt (low) and time to 60 minutes.
  4. Once the dough rises and doubles, remove it.
  5. Meanwhile, add garlic powder, chili flakes and oregano to softened unsalted butter. Mix well and set aside.
  6. Divide the dough into 2 parts and place one part on a baking mat and roll out into a thin rectangle of 9*13 inches.
  7. Spread the marinara sauce onto the dough, but leave 1/2 inch on the edges to prevent the sauce from oozing out.
  8. Spread onions, pepper, mushroom and spinach leaves in a thin layer. Top with some mozzarella and cheddar cheese.
  9. Tightly roll the dough along the longer side making sure the fillings do not slide away.
  10. Pinch and seal the edges and ends.
  11. Make a few cuts on top. Preheat the oven to 400 F.
  12. Brush the seasoned butter on it and place in the preheated oven.
  13. Bake for 22-25 minutes and serve sliced.

Notes:


  • The fillings for the recipe can be changed as you like but increasing marinara sauce to anything over 1/4 cup (for each stromboli) might make the dough soggy and impossible to work with.
  • I used Instant Yeast in the recipe. Active dry yeast can be used too. Just bloom it before adding it to the flour. Take 2 1/4 tsp of yeast per 3 cups of flour.  
  • Stick to drier ingredients like fresh vegetables vs canned and mozzarella cheese vs ricotta cheese for this recipe.
  • Leave about 1/2 inch on all sides while adding the sauce. This aids in easy rolling of the dough.
  • Swap regular cheese for Vegan cheese and butter for Olive Oil to make the recipe Vegan.



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Tuesday, February 16, 2021

Instant Pot Spanish Quinoa

One Pot meal that can be easily made in the Instant Pot; this recipe for Spanish Quinoa is delicious, easy and no-fail! 

Perfect for making tacos, burritos and quesadillas or as a complete meal with beans. 


Move over Spanish Rice and make this bowl of Spanish Quinoa. 

Quinoa has been around for a few years and it has been used in SO many recipes. It makes such a great substitute for rice in dishes. 

I use quinoa for many recipes that would traditionally be made with rice. From burrito bowls and fried rice to curries and soups; quinoa is used quite often in my kitchen.

This Spanish quinoa is no exception. A great way to use quinoa in a one pot meal that comes together in under 30 minutes! 

What is Spanish Rice?

Spanish rice is actually not Spanish at all! 

Spanish rice is actually a Mexican side dish made using a handful of pantry essentials; this red rice or Arroz Rojo is a must-have for entrees or with beans.

It is super easy and quick to make and has only a handful of ingredients. 

There are several recipes to make this rice. I have an Instant Pot version here. 



Why make Spanish Quinoa?

If you are looking for a substitute for rice in your meals; this quinoa will work really well. 

It is great to serve with beans, guacamole, sour cream and pico de gallo or to be used as a filling for enchiladas, tacos, burritos or quesadillas.

Besides, making it is super quick and easy when using the instant pot. 

It is Vegan and gluten-free; making it a great dish for those who are looking for specific diet recipes. 

The recipe is easy and the ingredients can be swapped with those at hand. The result will still be super delicious! 


What you need to make this?

Quinoa: You can use any color of quinoa you have for this. White, tricolor or a blend of these works for the recipe. 

Just make sure you wash the seeds a few times so that the bitter outer cover is washed away. 

Oil: Use any unflavored oil. I used avocado oil for this. Olive oil works too. 

Garlic: Like most Mexican recipes, this one has garlic too. 

Fresh or garlic powder would both be fine for it. 

Onion, Pepper: Add red, white or yellow onions and peppers of whatever color you have. 

An easy way to do away with the chopping is to use store bought pico de gallo for the recipe.

Salsa: Any jarred salsa works great. Chunky or smooth are both great choices. 

This can be substituted with fire roasted tomatoes.

Tomato Paste: This is an optional but recommended ingredient for taste, flavor and color. Skip if you do not have it.

Taco Seasoning: An easy way to do away with a ton of seasonings is to use taco seasoning. It adds a lot of flavor and taste.  

Water or Broth: Use either of the two to cook the quinoa. 


Tips to get it right each time

  • Rinse the quinoa well. The top coat if not washed away will make the final dish bitter.
  • I added 1 cup water for 1 cup quinoa. If you like yours mushy, add 1/4 cup extra water.

  • Substitute salsa for fire roasted tomatoes if desired. Garlic powder works in place of fresh garlic.

  • Add some beans and corn if you want to make fiesta Spanish quinoa. 

  • Leftovers can be refrigerated for 4-5 days in an airtight container. Freezing it keeps the quinoa good for a couple of months.

Other Tex-Mex dishes to try

Steps

1- Set the Instant Pot to 'Sauté'. Once the display reads hot, add garlic, onion and peppers. 

2- Cook till the garlic loses its raw flavor. 

3- Add the quinoa.


4- Add taco seasoning and salt. Mix well. 

5- Add water, salsa and tomato paste. Do not stir.


6- Change mode to pressure cook. Close and seal the lid. Set time to 1 minute.

7- Once the cooking is complete, let all the pressure release naturally.

8- Open the lid and fluff with a fork.


9- Serve topped with cilantro with a side of your choice.




Yield: 4
Author: Smruti
Instant Pot Spanish Quinoa

Instant Pot Spanish Quinoa

One Pot meal that can be easily made in the Instant Pot; this recipe for Spanish Quinoa is delicious, easy and no-fail! Perfect for making tacos, burritos and quesadillas or as a complete meal with beans.
Prep time: 5 MinCook time: 10 MinInactive time: 10 MinTotal time: 25 Min

Ingredients

  • Quinoa 1 cup
  • Onion  1/2 cup, diced
  • Peppers 1/2 cup, diced
  • Garlic 4 pods, minced
  • Jarred Salsa 1/4 cup
  • Taco Seasoning 2 tsp
  • Tomato Paste 2 tsp
  • Water/ Broth 1 cup
  • Salt 3/4 tsp

Instructions

  1. Set the Instant Pot to 'Sauté'. Once the display reads hot, add garlic, onion and peppers.
  2. Cook till the garlic loses its raw flavor.
  3. Add the quinoa.
  4. Add taco seasoning and salt. Mix well.
  5. Add water, salsa and tomato paste. Do not stir.
  6. Change mode to pressure cook. Close and seal the lid. Set time to 1 minute.
  7. Once the cooking is complete, let all the pressure release naturally.
  8. Open the lid and fluff with a fork.
  9. Serve topped with cilantro with a side of your choice.

Notes:

  • Rinse the quinoa well. The top coat if not washed away will make the final dish bitter.
  • I added 1 cup water for 1 cup quinoa. If you like yours mushy, add 1/4 cup extra water.
  • Substitute salsa for fire roasted tomatoes if desired. Garlic powder works in place of fresh garlic.
  • Add some beans and corn if you want to make fiesta Spanish quinoa. 
  • Leftovers can be refrigerated for 4-5 days in an airtight container. Freezing it keeps the quinoa good for a couple of months.

Sunday, February 7, 2021

Air Fryer Baked Potatoes

Baked Potatoes; a delicious snack or side can be easily made in the Air Fryer. 

Keep it simple with just butter, salt and pepper or jazz it up with a variety of toppings. 


I was introduced to these when I saw a bunch of these wrapped in foil and placed along with some toppings at a salad restaurant. 

Tried it there and have been in love. So much that I make them at home quite often. 

The oven as well as the Instant Pot makes great baked potatoes. 

While the oven gives it a crisp skin; the instant pot version generally have soft skins with fluffy insides.

I started using the air fryer to make my baked potatoes and have not gone back to the other versions ever! 

Why use the Air Fryer to make Baked Potatoes?

The air fryer is my favorite way to make baked potatoes. 

It does not heat up the house as it does not need the oven. Plus, not as much preheating required as the oven. 

The air fryer cooks the potatoes evenly and the potatoes have tender insides. Season the potatoes with salt or garlic salt and they are EVEN better.

Plus, this method gives the CRISPIEST skins. If that is your favorite part of baked potatoes, you should try this version for sure. 

What potatoes work BEST for this?

Technically any kind of potatoes can be used for this recipe. However, Russet potatoes work the best. 

They are the perfect size for a single portion. Being super starchy, they turn out fluffy and soft each time. 

Picking potatoes that are almost identical in shape and size works well for the recipe. They will all cook together making the recipe super easy. 

I have used medium sized potatoes and the recipe is timed for that. If you have large or small potatoes, the time will change accordingly.


Toppings for the potatoes

The potatoes are great with just a couple of toppings like salt, cracked pepper, and unsalted butter.

Adding some chives, garlic powder, green onion, sour cream and shredded pepper jack, gouda or cheddar cheese is a great idea. 

Going all out with toppings like shredded lettuce, onions, salsa, sliced olives, jalapeños etc work well. 

All the add-ons can be placed as a buffet letting everyone pick what they like on their potatoes. 

Tips to get it right each time

Use potatoes that are almost equal in size so they cook at the same time. 

I used medium russet potatoes and they were fork tender in 40 minutes. Adjust the time based on the size of potatoes.

Use an oil with a higher smoke point like Avocado or Canola. Olive Oil works too, but not the virgin one. It will result in a lot of smoke from the air fryer. 

Lastly, do not overcrowd the air fryer. Make 4-5 at a time to ensure they have enough space to cook all around. 

Serving Suggestion

These potatoes with toppings are great as appetizers or sides. 

I like to serve mine with a side of soup, pasta or rice. Favorites to serve with the potatoes are these:


Steps

1- Wash, scrub and pat dry three Russet potatoes. Using a fork prick holes in a few places.

2. Drizzle a teaspoon of a neutral oil on them and rub the oil to coat the potatoes evenly. Season with coarse salt or garlic salt. 




3- Preheat the air fryer to 400 F. Once hot, place the potatoes in the basket and cook for 40 minutes, turning once around the 20 minute mark.

4- After 40 minutes check of they are fork tender. If they are; remove using a pair of tongs and set on a plate. 




5- Slit them lengthwise and fluff with a fork. Serve with salt, pepper butter or add toppings of your choice. 





Yield: 3 potatoes
Author: Smruti
Air Fryer Baked Potatoes

Air Fryer Baked Potatoes

Baked Potatoes; a delicious snack or side can be easily made in the Air Fryer. Keep it simple with just butter, salt and pepper or jazz it up with a variety of toppings.
Prep time: 2 MinCook time: 40 MinTotal time: 42 Min

Ingredients

  • Medium size Russet potatoes 3
  • Neutral Oil 3 tsp (I used Avocado Oil)
  • Coarse Salt 1 1/2 tsp

    Instructions

    1. Wash, scrub and pat dry three Russet potatoes. 
    2. Using a fork prick holes in a few places.
    3. Drizzle a teaspoon of a neutral oil on them and rub the oil to coat the potatoes evenly. Season with coarse salt or garlic salt.
    4. Preheat the air fryer to 400 F. 
    5. Once hot, place the potatoes in the basket and cook for 40 minutes, turning once around the 20 minute mark.
    6. After 40 minutes check of they are fork tender. If they are; remove using a pair of tongs and set on a plate.
    7. Slit them lengthwise and fluff with a fork. Serve with salt, pepper butter or add toppings of your choice.

    Notes:

    • Use potatoes that are almost equal in size so they cook at the same time. 
    • I used medium russet potatoes and they were fork tender in 40 minutes. Adjust the time based on the size of potatoes.
    • Use an oil with a higher smoke point like Avocado or Canola. Olive Oil works too, but not the virgin one. It will result in a lot of smoke from the air fryer. 
    • Lastly, do not overcrowd the air fryer. Make 4-5 at a time to ensure they have enough space to cook all around. 


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