Escaping the cooking rut

So, cooking dinner almost every night of the week gets tiring. It gets boring. It gets tedious. And, it’s a lot different with a toddler than it used to be when I had a) money b) uninterrupted time c) quiet d) ability to drink unlimited quantities of wine while cooking.

That being said, I’ve been in a cooking rut. I have to cook most days. It’s just one of those things. So, this week I’m trying to make all new recipes. It’s only Wednesday and we’re actually having random, assorted leftovers today but so far this week we’ve had:

  • Beet Pizza
  • Quinoa Salad with Mango and Avocado
  • Pasta con Broccoli

First on the menu was beet pizza. Recently, we were invited to have dinner with some new friends and they made us beet pizza with thyme and feta (I believe) and it was delicious so I had to try to replicate it. I love beets, they’re super healthy, and, like I said, cooking rut. I have made beets several times in a variety of different ways and, unfortunately, Indira is NOT a fan. This didn’t change that, but she did manage to eat most of the pizza without eating much of the beets (boo!) and both Dave and I really dug it even though neither of us is big on homemade pizza (until now!). I opted to use ricotta instead of feta because as far as I know Dave is not a fan of feta. Also, it’s a lot easier to find organic ricotta. So, here we go.

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I was hoping to buy a pre-made crust. Organic crust should be easy to find and not too pricey and safe for a man with allergies to anything that is processed near nuts or beans. Easy, right? Yeah, I didn’t think so. I did look. Just out of curiosity. The only ones I found were non-organic (which I would be okay with) and loaded with CRAP. I actually found one that had less than 20 ingredients but one of its five ingredients was lard. No thanks.

This meant that I had to make a crust. I don’t make crust. I don’t make anything that involves 1) kneading and 2) rolling. See this bread? I make it. Often. Why? It’s knead free! But, I needed (ha!) a crust so I opted for this Quick and Easy Pizza Crust recipe. All I had on hand was some all purpose flour so I used what I had. I added a bunch of italian seasoning as well as garlic powder to the liquid portion for some extra flavor. It was so easy! I ended up letting it rise in a bowl with a damp towel over it for about 30 minutes or so because I had extra time as I was burning roasting beets. I usually only have whole wheat pastry flour or white whole wheat flour handy so I’m sure this was a treat, but it came out AWESOME! And, it was so freaking easy.

And, for the beets. I peeled mine, sliced them, and roasted them on a pan with olive oil at 450 for about 30 minutes. This was not a good idea. Many of them were burnt. I was going by instructions that I found online but next time I will roast the slices for 5 or 10 minutes and then take them out. Luckily, I had one beet left so I quickly roasted that one but we were a little low on beets (thus the left hand side of this pizza looking oddly beet-free).

Anyway, here’s the recipe:

Beet Pizza

  • pizza crust (see recipe above, use your own, buy one pre-made, etc.)
  • 5-6 beets (I only had 3 and I definitely could have used more)
  • 1-2 medium sized shallots (or more to taste)
  • fresh thyme
  • carton of ricotta

Slice and caramelize shallots. I cooked them for about 20 minutes or so in a little bit of olive oil. Slice and roast beets. I sliced mine but I’m sure diced beets would work equally well. I recommend only roasting slightly as you’ll be cooking them for 15-20 more minutes once they’re on the pizza.

Prepare pizza dough. Brush with olive oil. Spread out beets, sprinkle on thyme, spoon ricotta onto the pie (I just had various lumps which was fine). Sprinkle with some italian seasoning and garlic powder. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until crust starts to brown slightly (very slightly). Enjoy!

1 Comment on Escaping the cooking rut

  1. Jessica
    March 21, 2012 at 10:57 am (7 years ago)

    MAN. I thought homemade pizza crust was beyond me, but this seems totally doable. Thank you!! :-D

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