Do you ever have those moments with friends that you have known for years, where you pick up right where you left off? Even if you haven’t seen each other in a while? My Mayo Clinic dietetic internship class of 2001 is like that, ten of us ladies spent an entire year together going through a grueling internship – it makes you close real fast. Recently, a few of us from the class met at a recent Taste of Home Cooking Show. If you have never been to one, I would highly recommend it. It’s a fun way to spend time with friends, get to hear about food and recipes, have a chance to win some great prizes (although none of us were that lucky) and just have a great evening out. It was truly like a little taste of home meeting with these girls.
Before the show, we sampled a few foods and drinks in the expo area. Lisa, Julie, Debbie and myself had such a great time together full of laughter and fun while catching up on everything. I even sampled my first-ever Cinnabon (I know – but I am a dietitian after all – it just wasn’t on my radar until now!). All I could say was YUM.
Here are some of my favorite recipes from the show:
Between the laughs that wear out your stomach muscles, Lisa and I were sharing recipes. Lisa and her husband love to cook together in the kitchen and they had recently perfected a recipe they had been working on – Gourmet Veggie Pizza – to replace the Papa Murphy’s version.
Lisa works as a clinical dietitian and is the most caring person I have ever met. Her spirit is uplifting which just makes you want to be around her and she is sincere and loves to have fun. Being a dietitian was a second career for her, but that didn’t stop Lisa from accomplishing her goal. And just recently, she won a national award for Outstanding Dietetic Educator which is a tremendous honor. Lisa and I have cooked together many times and over the past 13 years, she has opened my recipe box to a few Mexican foods like guacamole and her famous chicken tortilla soup. She has an amazing sense of decorating with style, too.
Thank you to Lisa for sharing this recipe. Check out her shopping tips at the bottom of the page!
1 loaf Rhodes frozen pizza dough – thawed, rolled out on greased standard jelly roll pan. Bake per package directions.
Creamy Garlic Sauce:
3/4 cup Marie’s Parmesan ranch dressing
3-5 garlic cloves, minced
Mix together and spread over baked pizza crust
¾ cup artichoke hearts, diced (I like Progresso brand)
¾ -1 cup button mushrooms, thinly sliced
2-3 small fresh tomatoes, diced
1 -1 ½ cups fresh spinach
1 medium sized zucchini , thinly sliced
½ cup diced red onion
1 cup shredded parmesan cheese
1 cup mozzarella cheese
*You can adjust the amounts of veggies and cheese based on your preference.
Sprinkle all veggies except tomatoes over your pre-baked and sauced pizza crust. Add the cheeses and then top with the tomatoes. Bake at 400 for 12-15 minutes and then broil for 1-2 minutes so your cheese is nicely browned and bubbly. Enjoy!
Lisa’s Shopping Tip: Peruse the fresh veggie section of your store and in a few seconds you will have gathered almost all that you need for this recipe. The best canned artichoke hearts that I have found is the Progresso brand. They are soft and flavorful and not woody like some of the other brands.
Friends and recipes naturally go together, what is your favorite recipe from a friend?