Homemade Veggie Pizza

Making pizza dough is super relaxing and fun! Here’s a great recipe from Betty Crocker. I used bread flour.


  • 2 1/2 to 3 cups bread flour (I used 2 1/2)
  • 1 T sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 package active dry yeast (2 1/4 tsp)
  • 3 T olive or vegetable oil (I used vegetable)
  • 1 cup very warm water, about 120-130 degrees


  1. In a bowl, combine 1 cup of the flour, sugar, salt, and yeast. Add 3 T oil and warm water. Beat on medium for 3 minutes. Stir in the rest of the flour and continue beating until dough becomes sticky and starts to pull away from the sides of the bowl.
  2. Place dough on lightly floured surface. Knead 5-8 minutes. Dough should be springy. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and let sit for 30 minutes. Dough will rise!
  3. For thin crust pizza, heat oven to 425F. Grease a cookie sheet and divide dough in half. Place half the dough on the cookie sheet and pat down into a 12-inch circle. Bake for 8-10 minutes or until crust begins to brown. Remove from oven.
  4. Add toppings of your choice. I used pizza sauce, 1/4 cup shredded mozzarella cheese, sliced red peppers, chopped fresh basil, and chopped mushrooms. Bake pizza for another 10-15 minutes, or until toppings begin to brown and cheese has melted.

Note: You can also skip the cheese if you are making this for lactose-intolerant folks!



Fettucini with Garlic and Mushrooms

This is a fast pasta dish that comes together in 15 minutes (if you roast the mushrooms the night before).


  • 8 ounces (1 box) Buitoni fettucini pasta
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 T olive oil
  • Red pepper flakes
  • Dried parsley
  • Salt
  • 1 box baby bella mushrooms


For the mushrooms:

  1. Toss the mushrooms with olive oil, salt, and pepper and roast at 400F for 30 minutes. Set aside.

For the pasta:

  1. Cook the pasta according to the package directions. Reserve 1/4 cup cooking water.
  2. Meanwhile, heat a small skillet to medium and add olive oil, garlic, salt, red pepper flakes, and dried parsley. Saute for a few minutes, until garlic is fragrant.
  3. Drain the pasta and combine with the olive oil sauce, cooking water, and roasted mushrooms.


Sweet Italian Sausage with Mushrooms and Onions

It was a Saturday, and I needed a quick and easy meal. Hello, sweet Italian sausage! You can mix this sausage with pasta and garlic olive oil and spinach or combine it with some mushrooms and onions and serve with rice.


  • 1 package sweet Italian sausage (5 links)
  • Olive oil
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1/4 sweet onion, chopped
  • 1/2 container shiitake mushrooms
  • Fresh sage, chopped


In a skillet on medium heat, cook sausages whole, with the lid on, for about 15 minutes, turning every 2-3 minutes to brown evenly on all sides, until internal temperature reaches 160-170F. Remove sausages from skillet and reserve some of the cooking sauce.

With the skillet still over medium heat, add 1 T olive oil, salt, pepper, the onions, mushrooms, and sage. Saute 5 minutes.

Slice the sausages into half-inch coins once they have cooled. Add coins to skillet and toss to combine all ingredients. Serve on a bed of rice with sauteed spinach as a side.


Mushroom-Onion Wild Rice

I made this last night! I forgot to use chicken broth instead of water so I added an extra 1/2 cup of rice and 1 cup broth to the original recipe. This recipe is a variation of the mushroom and rice recipes that call for fresh thyme and butter.



  • 1/4 cup chopped white onion
  • 2 T olive oil
  • 1 box mixed mushrooms, rinsed and diced
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 tsp minced garlic
  • 1/8 cup chopped chives
  • 1/2 tsp dried thyme (or less)
  • 2 cups wild rice
  • 3 cups water
  • 1 cup chicken broth


In a deep skillet over medium heat, sauté the mushrooms and onions in olive oil until soft, about 5 minutes. Add salt, pepper, minced garlic, and chives. Stir. Add the rice, water, chicken broth, and dried thyme. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, covered, for 20 minutes, or until water is absorbed.

Here are the mushrooms and onions...
Here are the mushrooms and onions…


Adding the water...
Adding the water…


Finished result!
Finished result!


Roasted Portobello Mushrooms and Whole Carrots

This is an easy side dish that can be made in half an hour.

For the mushrooms:

Wash and dry Portobello caps. Lay flat on a baking sheet lined with foil and sprayed with cooking oil. Sprinkle salt and pepper over the mushrooms. Drizzle olive oil combined with minced garlic over them. Bake at 400F for 20-30 minutes, or 425F for 20 minutes.


For the carrots:

Peel the carrots and cut off the ends. Toss the whole carrots with olive oil, salt and pepper. Place on a baking sheet lined with foil and sprayed with cooking oil. Bake at 400F for 30 minutes.

Mushrooms and carrots

Polenta Basil Pizzas

I found out about polenta a few years ago, and I have decided I do not make it enough. This time I purchased the pre-made polenta and sliced it into 1/2-inch thick rounds.


  • 1 roll of pre-cooked refrigerated polenta, sliced into rounds
  • Fresh basil, torn
  • White mushrooms, chopped
  • 1/2 cup shredded mozarella cheese
  • Olive oil
  • Salt
  • Pepper


Dry the polenta well. Brush olive oil on both sides and sprinkle with salt and pepper.

Grill on medium high for 5 minutes per side, or until dark grill marks appear (they never showed up on mine).

Place polenta slices in an ovenproof baking dish. Sprinkle each slice with the mozzarella cheese.

Arrange the basil pieces on top of the cheese. Layer the mushroom slices or chunks on top.

Bake at 450F for 10 minutes, or until cheese is melted and mushrooms are browned.



Merlot Mushroom Chicken with Spiced Sweet Potatoes and Crunchy Green Beans

This is a tasty recipe, loosely based on my friend Adriana’s mom’s recipe for veal.

Ingredients for the chicken dish:

  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 3 chicken breasts, halved
  • 1 shallot, chopped
  • 3/4 cup white mushrooms, sliced
  • 1/2 cup Merlot red wine


Melt the butter in a skillet over medium heat. Add the chopped shallots and mushrooms and saute about 5 minutes. Add the Merlot and let simmer. While you are doing this, grill the chicken (seasoned with salt and pepper) on medium high for 10 minutes per side. Add the cooked chicken to the skillet, reduce heat to medium low and let cook for an additional 10 minutes, covered. Serve chicken with red wine/mushroom sauce on top!


Ingredients for the sweet potatoes:

  • 3 large sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed into 1/2 inch squares.
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Nutmeg
  • Paprika
  • Cayenne pepper


Heat 1 tablespoon canola oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add the sweet potatoes. Season with the spices. Cover the skillet with a tight-fitting lid and cook 5 minutes over medium heat. Remove the lid and cook an additional 15 minutes, or until potatoes are slightly soft and browned.


Ingredients for the green beans:

  • 1/2 package frozen green beans
  • 1/4 cup chopped almonds
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil

Directions for the green beans:

Cook the green beans according to package directions. Drain. Add the olive oil to the warm saucepan. Toss the almonds in the olive oil until they are slightly browned. Add the green beans and toss to coat. Serve!
red wine chicken