15 Minute Dinner….No Joke! November 1, 2011

Halloween can be a tricky time…..candy, candy, candy, everywhere.  I spent the afternoon at my children’s school helping out with Halloween parties.  There was a lot of sugar, and a lot of salt.  I think that’s to be expected; after all, it’s a party!  But, I knew there was more treats to come and I was short on time, as well as ideas for dinner that night.  It was important to me that they had something healthy and filling before we headed out for an evening of Halloween haunts. 

The kids where rooting for pepperoni pizza……….while I was on board for the pizza I couldn’t help but think there has to be a quick, healthy and tasty side-dish that didn’t require chopping veggies for a salad.  Ah-ha the freezer holds the key.  I always keep a large frozen bag of prepackaged, organic, broccoli from Costco on hand.  I also had some frozen cheese pizza on hand too, and of course there were more veggies in the fridge.  I opted for baby, pre-washed, organic spinach.  Along with mini portabella mushrooms.  In an instant we had cheese pizzas loaded with veggies right from our own kitchen.  It was so good, and the kids asked from more! 

Spinach and Broccoli are excellent sources of calcium, fiber and vitamins……..while those yummy mushrooms reduce inflammation in the entire body.  Need we say anymore?  Let’s get to the YUM!  You will need the following ingredients:

1 frozen cheese pizza of your choice (most health stores offer wheat crust pizza….just an option if interested)

1 package of frozen broccoli

1-2 handfuls of baby spinach

1/2 cup of sliced baby portabella mushrooms

1 clove of garlic, minced

1/4 tsp of red pepper flakes (add more if you like spicy, omit if you don’t)

 extra virgin olive oil use as needed

salt and pepper to taste

Pre-heat oven and cook pizza according to package.  Pre-heat two skillets over medium-high heat.  Add frozen broccoli to one skillet with drizzle of olive oil.  Cover with a lid, cook for 3-5 minutes.   Wipe mushrooms with a damp cloth and slice.  Add mushrooms to the second skillet drizzle with olive oil.  Season to taste with salt and pepper…..cook until softened and they become golden in color.  Add spinach to skillet with mushrooms…..give a quick stir and set aside.  Spinach will wilt quickly…..season with salt and pepper to taste if needed. 

Check back with the broccoli….should be vibrant in color with a firm texture.  Add minced garlic, red pepper flakes and season to taste with salt and pepper.  Remove Pizza from oven when fully cooked.  Cut into individual slices and top with the veggies of your choice.  So good, so easy and it beats chopping a salad when there is little time to spare. 

These two veggie sides could easily accompany a pasta, fish, or chicken dish any weeknight too.  We enjoyed this meal so much I forgot to take a photo!  If you try this quick meal……please feel free to send us your photos and we’ll put them on the blog.  Remember have fun in your kitchen and don’t make veggies more complicated than need be.