Chicken Broccoli Alfredo Pizza

So, you know how the 70s are back in full force via fondue? Well, I had a fondue party errr. maybe it was a party where we ate fondue. Then I made some up again since the party was a “girls gathering” and Mr. J didn’t get any. So 2nd time around, I had leftovers. It seemed like something I should keep and use wisely since it is ohh so delicious (and the price of fancy cheese isn’t going down anytime soon). I split the leftovers into 2 containers and froze it.

Then it got to come alive again. I was thinking how it could be used again, and duhh. I had leftover steamed broccoli and leftover cheese fondue in the freezer. Pizza!

Ingredients:

pizza dough
1 1/2 cups broccoli (steamed, roasted, or raw, as you like it)
1 cup cheese fondue (or cheese sauce, or alfredo sauce) warmed slightly.
3 chicken tenders
8 oz shredded mozzarella

Directions:

Preheat the oven and pizza stone (if using one) to 400-degrees.
Cook the chicken and broccoli, if needed.
Spread the pizza dough onto at hot pan or pizza stone before poking a few holes into it.
Bake 10 minutes.
The Three Bite Rule
Spread or spoon the fondue onto the crust.
The Three Bite Rule - Chicken Broccoli Alfredo Pizza
Then sprinkle the mozzarella on top.
Next add broccoli florets and pieces of chicken.
Return to the oven and bake for 15 minutes.

The Three Bite Rule - Chicken Broccoli Alfredo Pizza
Remove from the oven and let sit for 3-5 minutes before slicing.
The Three Bite Rule - Chicken Broccoli Alfredo Pizza
This was so good. I used breaded chicken tenders because they’re so quick and easy. They could cook while the pizza stone was preheating. The fondue acting as my “alfredo” sauce, and broccoli both were rescued & frozen after fondue.

The Three Bite Rule - Chicken Broccoli Alfredo Pizza
The touch of mustard from the fondue is really great here. The flavors are subtle, but decadently cheese, plus the juicy chicken, and the broccoli freshness…ahhh! It’s all you need.

Fondue is fun and the price of the cheeses definitely made me want to use the leftovers. This could have easily become pasta, or calzone (like I made eons ago), or into lasagna, or become cheesy garlic bread. The possibilities are endless for cheese sauce. I have one more leftover use ahead. Stay tuned! Have leftovers “left” you inspired to make something else lately?

Balsamic Chicken Pizza

It is Friday! That means pizza night!! Well, I think it does for some people. That wasn’t really a thing growing up at my house, but I wouldn’t be sad to have pizza weekly. Friday normally means takeout & DVR which is pretty awesome to me.

This pizza started with some leftover grilled chicken. I figured we’d use it on salad or it could become burrito filling or whatever. It alllmost became my regular BBQ chicken pizza, but I’ve made several BBQ pizza variations before as a doughy BBQ pizza and as a bubble up BBQ one. The chicken would also have been good as this pizza with pesto, ricotta, and red peppers.

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Ingredients:

pizza dough
3/4 cup marinara sauce
6 oz mozzarella cheese, shredded
2 marinated grilled chicken breasts
1 large tomato, sliced
6 oz fontina cheese, cut into chunks
10 sprigs of asparagus, cut into 3rds or 4ths
balsamic reduction (optional)

Directions:

Preheat oven and pizza stone (if using one) to 400 degrees.
Spread pizza dough onto pizza stone, poke a few holes with a fork, and bake for 10 minutes.
Remove from the oven and top with marinara, mozzarella, tomato slices, chicken, and chunks of fontina.
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Return to the oven for another 10-15 minutes.
Remove from the oven and top with asparagus.
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Let sit for 5 minutes.
Drizzle balsamic reduction on top.
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Slice and enjoy!
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I didn’t listen to my own advice to let it sit for 5 minutes. Cheese tries to jump ship if you don’t give it a second to let it sit. Look how oozy that cheese is!

The pizza has a fresh feeling from the tomatoes and super thin asparagus yet decadent from the abundance of cheeses and chicken. The balsamic reduction is just what this pizza needs. It is sweet but tangy and it ties all the toppings together.

The leftover chicken made the assembly pretty quick. If the asparagus had been thicker I might have roasted it while the dough was pre-cooking. I wanted to shave it, but it was seriously so thin. I reduce balsamic vinegar occasionally. It lasts awhile and becomes delightfully thick and sweet.

Pizza Soup in Breadbowls

Today I have a leftovers on rehab which I like to call Tonight & Take 2. It is a great way to use something you prepped or even ate before. Using leftovers and creating them into something new is key especially since I’m cooking for 2 and love to reuse leftovers…creatively. It simplifies dinner planning and is green (environmentally speaking and money saving!).

Speaking of leftovers, why were the ladies on the Bachelor so annoyed that Kacie is on, yet a gal from Bachelor Pad was no big deal? Sometimes leftovers are better the second time around! Not that I realllly want to call her leftovers, she is way more classy than the 50-shades of gray drunkard. Anywho, back to food.

Way back when, I tried my hand at Bolognese sauce (which was a hit) and then I wanted to let the leftovers shine. Along comes another Tonight & Take 2. Take last night’s bolognese sauce and make it into a comforting soup. I froze my leftover sauce so the soup came later and we weren’t eating the same thing meal after meal after meal…

Ingredients:

leftover bolognese sauce or meat sauce
pizza dough
1 cup pepperoni sliced
1 cup shredded mozzarella
2 tbs Parmesan cheese
3 tbs cream

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Directions:

Start with bolognese sauce, or any meat sauce you like.
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Reheat and add a touch of cream, Parmesan, and pepperoni.
Bake pizza dough in baseball/softball size blobs at 400-degrees for about 20 minutes. The interior doesn’t need to be fully cooked. Once cooled, chop of the top, pull out the interior, and add a few tablespoons of shredded cheese.
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Add soup and top with another sprinkle of cheese.
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This was a great use of leftovers feeling completely different without pasta. You could nix the bread bowls to eliminate a step/ingredient. I like that these guys are balanced and filling. It is flavorful and comforting without being complicated. I have a surprising number of soup posts to catch you up on so hold on tight!

What do you think? Thoughts about leftovers? Do you recreate them or enjoy them again and again as-is? Are you watching The Bachelor?

Butternut Squash and Black Bean Enchiladas

Today I wanted to kick off a new Friday series. I’m calling this one Tonight & Take 2. I get questions about how I have all the ingredients for everything I make or how I come up with what I make.
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The reason I have an ingredient on hand is because:
a) I live to avoid grocery shopping so leftovers are planned to a T
b) using-what-I-have is my middle name
c) cooking for 2 of us means a whole package/container/item needs creativity so we aren’t eating the same thing day in and day out.

I just don’t usually share how I plan to use the other half. I might use part of the whole for a recipe but now you’re going to see how that happens. I also might make something and space out the blog posts so you think each posted item was spaced out. Aren’t you excited?!

Here are my meal planning tips here and here. Now, back to using an ingredient to make 2 totally different dishes.

Butternut Squash and Black Bean Enchiladas

Ingredients:

½ roasted butternut squash
1 cup black beans
8 oz shredded monterey jack cheese or pepper jack
1 tbs liquid smoke (optional)
1 tbs salsa
8 wheat tortillas

Directions:

Fill each tortilla with squash, black beans, and cheese.
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Roll up and top with enchilada sauce.
Bake covered for 20 minutes at 350-degrees.
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These were flavorful and I loooved the smoke flavor with the squash. The beans make it filling and balanced. Does this have you thinking about another leftover that would be good in here? Throw it in! Go crazy!

Now, these enchiladas were take 2 on a roasted butternut squash. Round one was a fall pizza with butternut squash, gouda, and bacon.
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Leftover Rice Recreated into Magic

I love leftovers. I love transforming one thing into something totally different annnnnd I love not spending any money to do it. These were a prime example of all these things. I had leftover risotto from the other day. I made more than usual but even with Mr. J and I eating it with dinner one night and leftovers for lunch the next day, there was still a good amount. I decided to make aranchini!
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Aranchini are historically Sicilian but as you can imagine other regions of Italy have similar ones that they’ll tell you are not aranchini. I learned this while dining with the mob. Mine are not authentic since I didn’t have any mozzarella for the middle.
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Even without this seemingly key ingredient, these were simply delicious. Maybe because I fried them. I never fry anything so it makes me appreciate it even more. Frying makes me anxious and it’s such a mess.

Ingredients:

1 ½ cups prepared and chilled risotto
2 eggs, whisked with 1 tbs water
1 cup panko
2 tbs grated Parmesan

Directions:

Preheat oil ½ deep in a pan on medium
Scoop refrigerated risotto into 1” balls
Dip each into eggwash then roll in panko until completely covered
Fry in batches turning until golden brown.
Remove and let rest on paper towel.

These were so surprisingly good! I let them get pretty fried before turning them the first time. I think that really helped them stay together since they had a solid fried base on the bottom when I scooped with a slotted spoon.
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We each ate a few as an app with dinner and I froze the rest. I think they’ll defrost pretty easily in the fridge and bake to reheat. They’ll be awesome when this weekend is over and I can celebrate a successful event (knock on wood!). I work all year for this weekend so wish me luck, dry weather, well behaved vendors, and lots of fundraising $$ coming in!