Kay Wheeler Moore

Welcome to my blog

Hello. . .

The Newfangled Country Gardener is for anyone who has a garden, would like to have a garden, or who simply enjoys eating the garden-fresh way. I don't claim to be an expert; in this blog I'm simply sharing some of the experiences my husband and I have in preparing food that is home-grown.

About the author

Kay Wheeler Moore is the author of a new cookbook, Way Back in the Country Garden, that features six generations of recipes that call for ingredients that are fresh from the garden. With home gardening surging in popularity as frugal people become more resourceful, this recipe collection and the stories that accompany it ideally will inspire others to cook the garden-fresh way and to preserve their own family food stories as well. The stories in this book center around the Three Red-Haired Miller Girls (Kay's mother and aunts) who grew up in Delta County, TX, with their own backyard garden so lavish that they felt as though they were royalty after their Mama wielded her kitchen magic on all that was homegrown. Introduced in Kay's previous book, Way Back in the Country, the lively Miller Girls again draw readers into their growing-up world, in which a stringent economic era--not unlike today's tight times--saw people turn to the earth to put food on the table for their loved ones. The rollicking yarns (all with recipes attached) have love, family, and faith as common denominators and show how food evocatively bonds us to our life experiences.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Crustless Harvest Pizza gives "pizza night" new, more healthy meaning

This was just the best of the best! With fall days winding down and cranberry Christmas days approaching, recipes with the word harvest in them soon will be relegated to next-year's fall wish list. But on this, the last day of November, I can't think of a better way to give autumn a proper sendoff than to tell you about this Crustless Harvest Pizza. When I first saw the recipe, I wasn't impressed. Hours later, after the dish it produced made a satisfying dinner, I was sorry I hadn't prepared it many, many times previously.

Healthy, colorful yellow squash and zucchini, sliced into 1-inch slices, form the "harvest" of veggies on top. The crust is formed from the solidification of ricotta cheese, egg, and Parmesan cheese surrounding it as the dish bakes. The addition of chopped red and green pepper and green onion, sauteed, made one of the most colorful food items I've ever seen.

Believe it or not, when this emerged from the oven and cooled, it sliced with a pizza cutter into nice little squares that were firm and delightful. It gave the term "pizza night" new meaning, as those who are on restricted eating plans can feel as though they can still enjoy a good pizza slice without harming their health. My recipe source, the Celebrating a Healthy Harvest cookbook, has yielded another winner. In fact, even though the recipe has a fall-sounding name, I can't imagine a dinner quicker and easier to rev one up for a winter evening of decorating the Christmas tree!

Crustless Harvest Pizza

1 medium zucchini, sliced in 1-inch slices
1 yellow squash, sliced in 1-inch slices
1/2 red pepper and 1/2 green pepper, chopped
1/4 cup green onion, chopped
2 teaspoons olive oil
1 1/2 cups low-fat ricotta cheese
1 egg, slightly beaten (I used egg substitute)
3/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
2 garlic cloves, diced
1/2 teaspoon salt (or salt substitute)
1 teaspoon pepper
3/4 cup mozzarella cheese

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In small, nonstick skillet saute red and green peppers and green onion until tender. Set aside. Combine ricotta, egg, Parmesan, garlic, salt, and pepper, Spread mixture in a greased 8-by-8-inch baking pan (I used a glass pan). Spread mozzarella over ricotta. Lay squash slices over the top. Spread peppers and green-onion mixture over squash slices. Bake for 20 minutes or until the pizza firms up and is browned. Remove from oven and let pizza sit for 5 minutes before you cut it. Makes 8 squares.

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