Looking in my fridge, I realized I had some food items that were about to go bad, namely ground beef and shiitake mushrooms. So I put on my thinking cap and realized I had Trader Joe’s pizza dough (yum), Trader Joe’s light mozz cheese (double yum), and the best thing ever invented, a pizza stone, so I decided to make a pizza. Seems to be the obvious choice based on what I had. And we all know that everything’s good on pizza, so why not? If you don’t have a pizza stone, don’t worry – a baking sheet will work just fine. The pizza stone just gives the crust an extra crisp. I added a shallot and a touch of garlic and viola, yummy easy pizza. And I didn’t even have to throw away any groceries. It’s the small victories…
Clean the Fridge Pizza
2 oz Trader Joe’s garlic and herb pizza dough
2 oz Trader Joe’s light mozzarella cheese (which melts AMAZINGLY for a reduced-fat cheese)
1 shallot, roughly chopped
A couple fresh shiitake mushrooms, roughly chopped
4 oz 93% lean ground beef
1/2 tsp olive oil
1 clove garlic, finely chopped (or crushed garlic if you have that on hand)
Preheat oven to 375. If you have a pizza stone, allow the stone to preheat in the oven.
Heat a medium sized skillet over medium-high heat. Spray a touch of cooking spray or a spray of olive oil (if you have a Misto, like I do)
Add shallots and mushrooms to skillet. Cook for one minute. Add ground beef. Cook until ground beef is no longer pink. Remove from heat.
Roll out your pizza dough so it’s a thickness to your liking. (I prefer my pizza on the thinner side, but if you like yours thick, do your thing.)
If you’re using a baking sheet, put the dough on the sheet, spread the garlic and olive oil on the dough and load it up with the ground beef mixture and cheese.
If you’re using a pizza stone, place dough alone onto your pizza stone that’s in the oven. Cook for 3-5 minutes, or until the dough has taken just enough firmness to be handled.
Slide dough out of the oven and place on cutting board. Spread the garlic and olive oil on the dough and load it up with the ground beef mixture and cheese. Put back into the oven.
Bake for 7-10 minutes, until all your toppings are hot, your cheese is melted and your crust is the crispiness you like.
Up until a few weeks ago, I hated meatloaf. Unrefined. Heavy. Covered in ketchup. Gross. Not my thing.
Then, along came Cooking Light, a magazine I’ve begun to subscribe to, and a recipe for meatloaf. I scoured the ingredients looking for ketchup so that I could turn the page and forget this recipe ever existed. But ketchup was nowhere to be found. So I kept reading. I was intrigued. I made. I devoured. This recipe has a complexity and depth of flavor that I wasn’t expecting. The three types of meat give it its complexity, the red wine gives it a nice tang, while the cremini mushroom sauce is the perfect complement to all of the above. This picture doesn’t do this meatloaf justice, but with how delicious it is, I’ll be sure to keep making it.
1 tbsp butter (I don’t usually use butter – but definitely worth using here)
4 oz cremini mushrooms, finely chopped (you can find these at Whole Foods if you’re having trouble finding them)
1 shallot, finely chopped
4 tsp flour
1 cup lower-sodium beef broth
2 tbsp 2% milk
pinch black pepper
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Heat a medium-sized skillet over medium-high heat. Add pancetta and saute for 2 minutes. Add shallots and carrots, and saute for another 8-ish minutes, stirring occasionally.
Add tomato paste; cook for 1 minute. Add wine; cook until liquid is almost entirely evaporated (around 2 minutes).
Remove pan from heat and let cool at least 5 minutes. It is important to cool this mixture before combining with other ingredients because if it is not cool, it will begin to cook the meat, egg, etc. Save the pan for making the sauce. Do not clean the pan or discard any of the crumblies that stick to the bottom of the pan. These will make your sauce better, I promise.
Combine breadcrumbs, pancetta mixture, milk, salt, pepper, egg, and all three meats. Mix gently until all combined.
Transfer mixture into a 9 x 5 inch loaf pan coated (heavily) with cooking spray. Not using the cooking spray will make you sad when it’s time to clean up. Do not pack the mixture in, but rather just spread it out so that it’s even.
Bake at 350 for 40 minutes.
When there is about 10 minutes left until the meatloaf comes out of the oven, go ahead and begin your sauce.
To prepare the sauce, melt the butter in the same saucepan as you sauteed your pancetta, carrots, and shallots in earlier. Add the mushrooms and shallots set aside for the sauce. Saute for around 6 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add flour and cook for 1 minute.
Add 1 cup of beef broth and cook for 2 minutes, stirring frequently. Stir in 2% milk, salt, and pepper. Cook for another minute. Serve with meatloaf.