When my big kid found out that Souplantation (or Sweet Tomatoes, depending on where you live up) had closed permanently due to the pandemic, he cried.
When you have food texture aversions, you rely a lot on your favorite standby foods and restaurants. I was on a mission to try and recreate one of his Souplantation favorites, which was the Cheesy Garlic Focaccia Bread.
I started with my pizza dough base (the recipe can be found here). And here’s where it gets crazy (and by crazy I mean this is not super healthy, so don’t eat it daily). The remaining ingredients are:
1/2 cup melted butter (that’s 1 stick)
2T. granulated garlic
1t. of each of the following: dried rosemary, dried tarragon, dried oregano, dried basil
2cups+ Italian cheese
Make dough as directed here. I only let it rise once for this recipe.
While dough rises, combine melted butter, garlic, and herbs. Set aside.
Once the dough is down rising, turn the dough out onto a floured surface, and knead for about 5 minutes, until smooth and elastic.
Separate dough into two pieces and roll out to fit onto your pizza pan (I use a cookie sheet that is covered in tin foil and sprayed with spray release).
Spread half of the herbed butter onto the dough, top with cheese. Repeat for the other half of the dough.
If there is any butter left, drizzle it over the bread.
Bake at 450 degrees for 11-14 minutes.
Remove from the baking sheet and slice into long skinny pieces to mimic the Souplantation feel.
Hot Damn! I love garlic. I decided to celebrate with a new recipe: Roasted Garlic (below), and a round-up of recipes that feature garlic.
Roasted Garlic is easy to make and is great in recipes that call for garlic. It’s very mellow, rich, dare I say, creamy? It’s also super good on toast or warm, crusty bread.
1 or more (I suggest more) heads of garlic
Your favorite cooking oil
Remove the excess papery skin on the garlic heads, leave the bulb intact.
Slice off the pointy tops (about 1/4-1/2 inch)of the garlic bulbs. You want to expose the garlic.
Brush the heads of garlic with oil and wrap them in foil.
Bake at 400 degrees for 40-50 minutes. The garlic is cooked once it is tender (poke it with a toothpick or knife usually after 40-ish minutes). but you can continue to roast it until all of the sugars caramelize, and it turns a light brown color. This caramelization makes the garlic very mellow and slightly sweet.
You can store the garlic in the fridge for 10-14 days, but it won’t last that long. It’s good in dips (like hummus), on its own, in soups, or any recipe that calls for garlic. Use roasted garlic in recipes where garlic is called for 1:1.
This recipe is dead simple and so tasty! The best part is you can use any kind of Dinner sausage you want. We used Italian Sausages (made with pork), but you can use whatever you like (including veggie sausages if you are meatless).
You can use fresh or frozen peppers and onions (Yes, you can buy frozen peppers and onions at the store- They are often branded as “Fajita Mix”), it’s really up to you.
And you can load your yumminess onto a hoagie roll, top with cheese and chow down, or top a bed of pasta or Zoodles- It’s really up to you.
The best part is this recipe makes a lot, so there are always leftovers!
Sausage and Peppers Makes 6-8 servings
1 Package Dinner Sausages (Italian or your choice)
This recipe is dead simple. Make it as complicated as you want. Use jarred sauce, make your own from scratch, or take a jar of sauce and church it up yourself. Whatever.
Frozen pasta, fresh pasta, heck, you can even use the shell stable/dried tortellini. You could use ravioli if you wanted.
You can make this Vegetarian, Vegan, Chock Full o’ Meat, Gluten-Free, it’s up to you.
This is one of those recipes that’s a big hit at potlucks too. It’s pretty inexpensive, and we always have the ingredients in one form or another to make a batch.
6-8 cups of Red Pasta Sauce. I usually make a big batch of this sauce and portion some out just for this recipe. If you use jarred sauce, I recommend you add 3-4 cups of veggies (carrots, onions, celery, bell peppers, zucchini, chopped/diced tomatoes, etc.)
22-30 ounces of Tortellini/Ravioli, cooked per the package directions (this will probably take a couple packages)
2 Cups Italian Cheese blend
Cook the pasta per the package directions. Drain.
Pour pasta sauce into a baking dish (I use a 9×13), toss cooked pasta in sauce.
Sprinkle cheese on top.
Bake at 350 degrees for 30-ish minutes until food is bubbly, and cheese is brown and delicious looking.
Serve with hot French Bread or Garlic Bread and a green salad.
This serves 8-10 people as a main.
If you are vegan, substitute in filled pasta and cheese that works for you.
I made this last month while it was cold and rainy. I keep forgetting to post this recipe. It’s so tasty. And easy. The leftovers (if there are any) freezes well.
It’s vegan and gluten-free as is, but you can make changes and use bone broth if you want, or even add meat of your choices I think kielbasa pieces would be really great in this soup!
I used Right Rice in this recipe in place of regular white rice. What I like about Right Rice is that it’s made from Lentil Flour, Chickpea Flour, and Rice Flour. Those ingredients mean that this “rice” is high on protein! The “rice” thickens up the soup for sure.
I found Right Rice at Grocery Outlet, but you can also order it on Amazon. You can substitute canned chopped tomatoes for fresh tomatoes- Use what you have on hand.
Hearty Veggie Soup
1 large onion, diced (about 2 cups)
1 cup carrots, peeled and chopped
1 cup celery, diced
1 cup bell pepper, diced (I used green)
2 T. cooking oil (your choice)
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 green or yellow zucchini (whatever is in season or you have on hand)
2 quarts veggie stock
2 cups chopped tomatoes (you can also use a large can of diced tomatoes)
We love Garlic. It’s a good thing that hubs and I both like it, because otherwise this recipe wouldn’t go over too well.
This is my spin on the Spaghetti with Garlic White Wine sauce found here. It appeared in hubs Facebook feed one day several months ago, he sent it to me, and we’ve been tweaking it to make it our own ever since.
To make it a little healthier, I added in 1 large spaghetti squash. If you’ve never cooked one, I write about it here. It’s super easy to cook, and it’s very yummy
Lemon Garlic Spaghetti Squash Casserole
2 large white onions, cut into quarters and layers separated
1 T Olive Oil
Salt and pepper
2 large lemons, zested and juiced
4 T butter, divided
6-8 cloves of garlic, minced (you can use more or less)
1/2 t. red pepper flakes
1/2 c. white wine
1/2 T Thyme (I usually have it dried in my spice cabinet, but if you have it fresh, use 5-6 springs)
1 c. Grated parmesan cheese, divided
1/2 c chicken broth (or pasta water)
1 large spaghetti Squash
If you want to add pasta to this dish, you’ll need 1/2 lb spaghetti, 8-10 cups water (to cook pasta), and salt (to salt the water)
Preheat oven to 350.
Prep spaghetti squash (scoop out the stringy parts and seeds) and bake at 350 for 30-45 minutes.
Toss cut up onions in oil, salt and pepper. Bake in a baking dish covered for 20-30 minutes, uncover and bake an addition 10-15 minutes.
After the squash is done cooking, allow to cool for about 10 minutes, or until it’s easy to handle. Scoop the “meat” out and set aside.
After onions are done baking, set aside.
If you are cooking pasta, start the water to boil and cook pasta as directed.
Zest and juice the lemons, set aside.
Heat half the butter in a skillet. Once melted, add the minced garlic and cook on medium for 5-ish minutes until fragrant (watch out, it burns really easily). Add red pepper flakes.
Add Lemon juice and wine, turn up the heat for a few minutes. You’ll want to cook off the alcohol, so about 5-10 minutes at medium high heat. Add the baked onions.
Add 2 T. chicken broth (or pasta water), and the remaining butter, and the Thyme. Once the butter is melted, turn off the heat.
Add the spaghetti squash and/or pasta into the skillet, and gently toss to coat. Add lemon zest, and half of the parmesan cheese. If the mixture becomes too thick, add more chicken broth or pasta water a little at a time.
Top with any additional cheese, thyme, and/or pepper flakes.
Here is an extra step that makes it a little better (IMO) but isn’t needed: Place skillet under the broiler for 3-5 minutes, until the cheese on the top is brown and bubbly.
I have made this recipe with both pasta and spaghetti squash. This last time I made it, I used only 1 serving of whole wheat spaghetti, mostly because I prefer the way it turns out when it has the pasta water in it, instead of the chicken broth.
*If you are a vegetarian, feel free to substitute in veggie broth.