Rustic Asparagus & Feta Flatbread

I am on a flatbread kick!  They are so fun for so many types of meals.  For parties you can make several different types for variety and a finger food option.  For family dinners they are great for a make-your-own-flatbread night where everyone can add their own toppings.  Make a more exotic or interesting flatbread for a dinner for 2.  They are even great for a quick dinner for one.
I made flatbread most recently with my 2 daughters and they called it The Flatbread Challenge, where we each made our own creation and then taste-tested them all to vote for the winner.  Everyone voted for their own :).

This flatbread recipe combines 4 yummy vegetables that give different flavors and textures.  All can be roasted in the oven, which is super simple prep, but also is a great way to bring out deep flavors and sugars in the veggies.  You can change up the veggies too, for example replacing asparagus for zucchini, broccoli, cauliflower;  swapping the red pepper for  tomato.  On top, a small sprinkling of an intense-flavored cheese, such as Feta, goes a long way to add saltiness and creaminess to the party.  Drizzle extra virgin olive oil over top for the perfect finish and indulge knowing that you are eating something incredibly decadent, but also filled with nutritious veggies!

​Enjoy!
Carrie

Rustic Asparagus & Feta Flatbread with mushrooms, red pepper, & oven roasted onions

This Rustic Asparagus & Feta flatbread recipe combines 4 yummy vegetables that give different flavors and textures...asparagus, red pepper, mushrooms, and crispy onions.  All can be roasted in the oven, which is super simple prep, but also is a great way to bring out deep flavors and sugars in the veggies.  On top, a small sprinkling of an intense-flavored cheese, such as Feta, goes a long way to add saltiness and creaminess to the party.  Drizzle extra virgin olive oil over top for the perfect finish and indulge knowing that you are eating something incredibly decadent, but also filled with nutritious veggies!

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Servings 2 people
Author Carrie Tyler

Ingredients

  • 1 bunch of thin-medium not pencil-thin asparagus
  • 2 cups sliced white button mushrooms
  • ½ Red Pepper
  • ½ medium red onion or yellow onion
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • ¾ Cup crumbled Feta cheese
  • 2 7-10 inch round or square flatbreads
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Salt & Ground Pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees (F). You will need 2 medium sheet pans.
  2. Toast flatbread in the oven, placing directly on rack for 10-15min.
  3. Mince 2 cloves of garlic.
  4. Cut the tough ends, about 1.5inches, of the asparagus off and discard or save for making vegetable stock. Clean asparagus under cold water and pat dry with paper towel. Arrange in a row on sheet pan. Drizzle with a little olive oil, add 1 clove minced garlic, and sprinkle salt & pepper. Mix with hands to coat evenly.
  5. Clean & Slice Mushrooms, (2 cups sliced). Clean and slice half a red pepper into ½ inch strips, then cut strips in half so that 1 inch long. Arrange red pepper and mushrooms on one side of second sheet pan. Drizzle with olive oil, add the remaining minced garlic, and sprinkle salt & pepper. Mix with hands to coat all veggies.
  6. Cut Onion in half from root end to root end. Peel the outer skin and discard. Slice the onion into quarter inch slices and spread evenly on the other half of the second sheet pan. Drizzle with olive oil and salt & pepper, toss to coat.
  7. 7) Place both pans in the oven and set timer for 10 minutes. Remove Asparagus from oven. Toss the other veggies to ensure even cooking and put back in over for another 10 minutes.
  8. Brush olive oil on toasted flatbread, then layer asparagus, mushrooms, red peppers, & onions. Sprinkle Feta cheese over top and place back on one of the sheet pans under the broiler for 2-3 minutes or until cheese is melty and slightly brown.
  9. Cut, plate & enjoy!

Weekly Meal Plans: Basil Blowout!

Is it just me or is life really – REALLY – busy?  Sometimes I feel like my life is moving so fast and I get stressed out with the number of things that I have to get done.  I have been trying to practice meditation, even just sitting still for a few minutes to just breath, but more often than not, I tell myself that there is no time, I’ll do that later.  During my commute yesterday, I listened to a podcast about happiness and there was one thing that is still resonating with me today and it was this line, “if you don’t think you have time to meditate, then you must meditate.  If you don’t think you can meditate for even 20min, then meditate for an hour”.  In other words, if you think you don’t have any time, you likely have increased stress levels and those are the most important times to meditate!  For me, this thinking I-don’t-have-time-for-anything-for-me comes up WAY too often and is so important to remember that stopping to be still or even just to write down a list of top priorities will help me to de-stress and then my life is not so overwhelming.

You know what else I learned can help you de-stress?  Basil. Yep, who knew!
I love Basil for the delicious flavor, the bright beautiful smell, the vibrant green color.  But what I didn’t realize until developing this week’s meal kit plan, is how many health benefits basil can provide!  Basil’s essential oils have been identified to have anti-inflammatory and antibacterial benefits, and a natural adaptogen (ginseng is the most well known adaptogen) which has a strong potential to act as a natural Stress reducer!1

Be honest, do you resort to dried basil because you hate buying the huge bunch of fresh basil and watching it go to waste?  In the past, I would buy a beautiful fresh bunch of basil, use 10 leaves and then watch the remaining 90% of the basil wilt and die because I didn’t know what else to use it for.  Well, here are 3 amazing and different recipes to help you to use it all up.  The tastes are different, unexpected, and will get you cooking with fresh Basil once again.  You may even plant some in your backyard or window sill, as I have done!

​dinner #1 Chicken, basil, and Tomato Parmesan Pasta
The first in our Basil trio is a delicious angel hair pasta dish with chicken, tomato, parmesan, and fresh basil.  The flavor of the seared chicken combined with freshness from the basil and tomatoes and then the slightly salty and nutty parmesan make this an easy dish you will want to cook all the time!​
 
dinner #2 Thai basil chicken with spicy Broccoli
Bring on more basil with an entirely new taste profile!  Thai basil chicken is one of my favorites!  Before I was cooking, I would order this yummy dish all the time, but I realized how easy it is to make and the basil takes on a whole new life and experience.  This dish can be as kickin’ spicy or tame as you want, but I love the mid-week kick!
 

dinner #3 Basil, olive, and mozzarella flatbread & Basil Mesclun Salad
Now let’s give Basil a Mediterranean take with this satisfying and delicious alternative to pizza.  I absolutely love making flatbread and experimenting with different toppings and flavors.  This one is not the most adventurous, but so delicious!

Basil Blowout - Shopping List

For any item with a * buy the smallest pack available if you do not already have this item
Author Carrie Tyler

Ingredients

  • Boneless skinless chicken breasts, 4
  • Sliced mushrooms 1 cup
  • Carrot 1 small-medium
  • Broccoli florets 1 cup
  • Onion 1 large
  • Tomato 1 large
  • Italian Seasoning*
  • Olive Oil*
  • garlic 1 head (5-6 cloves)
  • Basil 1 large bunch (need 3 cups leaves)
  • crushed red pepper flakes*
  • Kalamata Olives Pitted, 8oz or 1 cup
  • freshly grated parmesan ¾ cup
  • Fresh unsalted mozzarella 8oz
  • Angel hair pasta 8oz
  • Sesame Oil*
  • Honey*
  • Soy sauce*
  • Ground Ginger*
  • Pizza Dough 8-9oz (fresh or frozen)
  • Basmati Rice*

Basil Blowout – Prep-Ahead

Prepare these ingredients for the 3 recipes on a day when you have more time, like on Sunday morning, so that when you get to your meal on a hectic weeknight, you are steps ahead.
Author Carrie Tyler

Ingredients

  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 garlic head 5-6 cloves
  • ¾ cup of freshly grated parmesan
  • 1 large onion
  • Olive oil
  • Salt & pepper
  • 1 cup Sliced mushrooms
  • 1 Medium Carrot
  • 8 oz Pizza Dough 8-9oz (fresh or frozen)

Instructions

  1. Chicken Prep: Cut chicken into 1 inch by 2 inch pieces and separate into 2 refrigerator bags for use later with 2 recipes
  2. Peal and mince 5 cloves of garlic and store in fridge for use in all three recipes
  3. Grate ¾ cup of parmesan cheese and keep in storage bag in fridge for use in 2 recipes
  4. Slice 1 cup of mushrooms and store in fridge
  5. Dice Carrot and store in fridge
  6. Pizza Dough – If it is frozen, put in fridge 24 hours prior to cooking flatbread meal to thaw properly

Make Caramelized Onions

  1. Slice Onion in thin slices.
  2. Add to a hot pan with 1 Tbls oil and stir in 1 tsp of salt and 1 tsp of pepper
  3. Stir continuously stir while on medium heat until soft and caramel color, approximately 10min
  4. Cool and store in refrigerator until Flatbread night

 

Chicken Tomato Basil Pasta

This is a really simple and delicious angel hair pasta dish with chicken, tomato, parmesan, and fresh basil.  The flavor of the seared chicken combined with freshness from the basil and tomatoes and then the slightly salty and nutty parmesan come together in perfect harmony.  
Course Main Course
Cuisine Italian
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Servings 2 people
Author Carrie Tyler

Ingredients

  • 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1x2 inch pieces
  • 1 Tsp Italian Seasoning
  • 1 TBLS Olive Oil
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 cup basil leaves chiffonade
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes optional
  • ½ cup of freshly grated parmesan
  • 1 large tomato cut into medium chunks
  • 2 Tbls Olive Oil
  • 8 ounces angel hair pasta
  • Salt & pepper

Instructions

  1. In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook pasta according to package instructions; drain well.
  2. Season chicken with Italian seasoning, salt and pepper
  3. Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Add chicken and cook, flipping once, until cooked through, about 5-6 minutes on each side.
  4. To the chicken, add garlic, tomatoes, basil and red pepper flakes, if using, to the skillet. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the tomatoes begin to softened, about 3-4 minutes.
  5. Stir in pasta, parmesan and 1 Tbls olive oil until well combined, about 2 minutes; season with salt and pepper, to taste.
  6. Serve immediately, garnished with basil

 

Thai Basil Chicken with Broccoli & Carrots

Bring on more basil with an entirely new taste profile! Thai basil chicken is one of my favorites! Before I was cooking, I would order this yummy dish all the time, but I realized how easy it is to make and the basil takes on a whole new life and experience. This dish can be as kickin’ spicy or tame as you want, but I love the mid-week kick! 
Course Main Course
Cuisine Thai
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 2 people
Author Carrie Tyler

Ingredients

  • 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts cut into 1x2 inch pieces
  • 1 small-medium size carrot diced
  • 1 cup broccoli florets
  • 1/2 large onion cut into thin slices
  • 2 TBLS Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 2 cups lightly packed basil leaves
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes optional
  • 1 TBLS Sesame Oil
  • 1 TBLS Honey
  • 6 TBLS soy sauce
  • 2 TBLS water
  • 1 teaspoon Ground Ginger
  • 1 cup uncooked Basmati Rice

Instructions

Make Rice

  1. Cook 1 cup rice according to package instructions

Make Sauce

  1. In a small bowl, combine the sesame oil, honey, water, ground ginger, garlic, crushed red pepper flakes, and the 4 TBLS of soy sauce.

Sear Chicken

  1. In a medium bowl mix the chicken pieces with 2 TBLS Soy sauce
  2. Heat 1 TBLS olive oil in a large pan. Add the chicken to the hot pan and sear on 1 side letting cook for 2 minutes. Turn pieces to cook the other side for another 2 minutes. Remove chicken and set aside.

Cook Veggies & Finish

  1. Add 1 more TBLS of olive oil to the same hot pan and then add the carrots and the onion and cook, stirring, for 1 minutes.
  2. Add the broccoli florets to the carrots and onions in the pan and cook for another 4 minutes stirring frequently so onions do not burn.
  3. Add the chicken back to the pan and add the sauce mixture. Cook about 3 minutes, stirring as the sauce cooks down slightly.
  4. Remove from the heat and stir in 1 ½ cups of the basil. Serve topped with the remaining 1/2 cup basil.

Serve

  1. Serve over rice and garnish with basil leaves

 

Basil, olive, and mozzarella flatbread & Basil Mesclun Salad

Now let's give Basil a Mediterranean take with this satisfying and delicious alternative to pizza. I absolutely love making flatbread and experimenting with different toppings and flavors. This flatbread has all of the depth and salty bite you could hope for with fresh mozzarella, mushrooms, olive tapenade and basil...so delicious!

Course Main Course
Cuisine Mediterranean
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 2
Author Carrie Tyler

Ingredients

  • 1 Tsp Italian Seasoning
  • Olive Oil 2 Tbls + 3 Tbls for salad
  • 1 cup pitted Kalamata olives
  • 1 clove garlic minced
  • 1/2 Cup Basil chiffonade
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes optional
  • 8 oz fresh unsalted mozzarella
  • 1/4 cup of freshly grated parmesan
  • 1/2 large onion cut into thin slices
  • 8 oz Pizza Dough fresh or frozen
  • 1 cup white buttom mushrooms sliced
  • 5 oz Mesclun Salad Mix enough for 2 people
  • White or Red wine vinegar 1 Tbls

Instructions

  1. Preheat Oven to 400 degrees
  2. Roll out, stretch or knead your pizza dough into a square shape to fit a lightly oiled sheet pan
  3. For a crunchy crust, cook in over for 10minutes, then take out and set aside until ready to assemble

Other Flatbread Toppings

  1. Take out the Caramelized Onions that you make on prep-ahead day to come up to room temperature
  2. Add sliced mushrooms to hot pan with 1 Tbls olive oil and sauté until lightly browned and softened
  3. In a mini processor, add the olives, garlic, and olive oil. Pulse until completely ground and forming a paste.
  4. Slice the mozzarella into thin ¼ inch slices

Assemble Flatbread

  1. Spread a thin layer of the olive tapenade over the flatbread, then top with mozzarella
  2. Spread the caramelized onions around evenly, then the mushrooms, then the parmesan and basil (save 1 Tbls for salad)
  3. Cook in oven for 15 minutes until the cheese is melted and golden and crust is starting to brown

Salad & Serve

  1. Clean the Mesclun salad and simply dress it with 1 Tbls Basil chiffonade, 1 Tbls vinegar + 3 Tbls Olive Oil and a dash of salt and pepper
  2. Cut the flatbread into pieces and serve with salad