One of our favorite pizza places in Portsmouth, NH has our favorite Mexican pizza but we don’t always have time to go into Portsmouth so what’s a girl to do? Make my own version right? Well, this is not exactly like the restaurant version and it is definitely a little spicier, but the cool lettuce and tomato slaw on top cools it right down. You can also change the spice level by using mild salsa and leaving the jalapeño’s off. I made this one Saturday afternoon and shortly after I made it we had some neighbors pop over so I was thrilled to see how they liked it. I did not tell them it was my creation before they ate it so I was thrilled when they both cleaned their plates and said how much they liked it! I knew Jim and I liked it but it’s nice to have some additional feedback. I also made a gluten free version for Robby using gluten free crust and gluten free taco seasoning. Robby loved his pizza too! If you want to keep it dairy free, don’t use the sour cream and use dairy free cheese.
Pizza crust of your choice, store bought, home made or dough from your favorite pizza place
1/2 pound ground beef
2 Tablespoons of taco seasoning, I use low sodium
3 Tablspoons water
1/2 cup of salsa, I used medium spice
1/2 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1/4 – 1/2 cup jarred sliced pickled jalapeños, depending on how much you want
1 cup shredded lettuce
1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
1 cup sour cream
FOR A GLUTEN FREE PIZZA – like this one
Use a gluten free crust and gluten free taco seasoning. To make this dairy free leave out the sour cream and use dairy free cheese.
Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Lightly spray sheet pan with non-stick spray. Flatten the dough forming your crust. Prebake the crust for 3-4 minutes partially baking it. Remove from oven. In the meantime, heat a skillet to medium heat and add your ground beef. Cook ground beef breaking into crumbs as it cooks, drain excess liquid from the pan and add the taco seasoning and water, mix to combine and finish cooking. When cooked through, remove from heat.
To assemble, add your salsa to the top of your pizza crust and spread to about 1/4 of and inch to the edges, add the ground beef mixture and cover the salsa, add the cheeses spreading over the beef. If desired add the sliced jalapeños. Place back in the oven and bake an additional 8 minutes.
While the pizza is baking combine all of the topping ingredients together and set aside. When pizza is cooked through remove from oven, let rest for just a couple minutes, slice and add a spoonful or so of the topping. Serve warm.
This review is going to be a little different as I will be focusing on the gluten free menu. As I have mentioned Robby has had some gut issues and going gluten free has helped. Not only I am learning about gluten free diets, I’m also checking out restaurants that have gluten free options. I first heard about Green Leaves from my niece Becky, so I knew it would be good. The difficult thing was that it was in York, Maine about 20-25 minutes away. Not super easy to do a take out order, but I found myself in York last week meeting a friend and thought it would be the perfect time to check it out.
When I was with my friend, Amanda, I asked her if she had been to Green Leaves. “Yes, it’s a York favorite” she said. She and her family all love it! After hearing that, I knew I had to stop in and grab some take out for Robby and I.
Green Leaves Chinese Restaurant and Lounge is located in the Meadowbrook Village Plaza on Route 1 in York, Maine. It was about 1:30 in the afternoon on a Wednesday and I thought I would be in and out in no time. Boy, was I wrong this place was packed! The dining and lounge were almost completely filled with people and the To Go orders lined up on the counter! Wow! That was a crazy first impression. I got to the counter and asked for the gluten free menu and I was handed the menu from Andy, the owner. Andy was a super nice guy and said people come from all over for that menu. I explained I was one of those people too! He told me that when he remodeled his kitchen he put in two kitchens to be able to offer “certified” gluten free food. How amazing! I’m still learning about gluten free, but I know there are three things to look for. Gluten Removed, Gluten Free and Certified Gluten Free. The safest is the Certified Gluten Free, so I felt really good about Green Leaves.
I ordered two items from the gluten free Chef’s Special part of the menu. I ordered Crispy Beef with Broccoli and Sweet and Sour Chicken. These dishes do not come with a side of rice so if you want a side dish you need to order that as well. I ordered the vegetable fried rice for Robby and I to share.
Let’s start with the Crispy Beef and Broccoli ($11.95) this was my favorite dish. The beef…even after driving home for 20 minutes was still crisp but it was so juicy and tender. One of the best crispy beef dishes I have ever had, gluten free or not! Excellent dish!
Next up was the Sweet and Sour Chicken ($10.95) I was a bit nervous with this hoping that they did not put the sauce on the chicken. For a take out order, you can see they do not! See those crispy bites of chicken? Yup still crispy but, Green Leaves has been voted the best Chinese restaurant in York County for 20 years in a row and counting!
Last but not least was the vegetable fried rice ($7.95) . First I should mention the portion was big, more than enough for Robby and I. We had some leftovers for the next day! The rice had plenty of vegetables, broccoli and mushrooms galore! Over all everything we had was terrific and worth the drive. This is a place we would go to anytime we are in the area with or without our gluten free guy Robby!
This is only a small glimpse of what the gluten free menu has. They have a sushi menu, lunch specials, a chef’s special menu that includes what we ordered along with coconut chicken or shrimp, General Tso’s chicken or shrimp, shrimp with walnut and salt and pepper chicken to just name a few things!
They have a number of fried rice options, chop suey choices, soups like chicken and rice, egg drop and hot and sour! The stir fry section of the menu is huge! All with chicken, shrimp and seafood choices. This gluten free menu goes all the way to dessert, things like green tea ice cream, fried banana’s, and mango mousse cake!
I have only given you a small glimpse of what Green Leaves has to offer from the gluten free menu. The non-gluten free menu is even bigger! Green Leaves opens daily at 11 am and you can also checkout their website. http://www.greenleavesrestaurant.com/
NOTE – Robby and I did not come close to finishing either dish so I have learned that the best way to re-heat Chinese food (or pizza and seafood) is to place the leftover’s on a foil covered baking sheet. Place the baking sheet in a COLD oven. Turn the oven to 330 degrees and when the oven bell rings to say the oven is heated, that’s when you take the sheet pan out and enjoy your leftovers! I kept the sauce from the sweet and sour chicken separate and just heated that in the microwave!
Take some time out this summer and stop in and see Andy at Green Leaves!
These cookie bars are addicting! So good, especially warm out of the oven! Sadly, Robby can’t eat these due to some gut issues but his friends had no problem diving into them. This makes a 13 x 9 baking dish so it’s great for a party or a bunch of hungry boys! I’m thankful Robby’s friends took these out of my hands as these were really, really good and I did not want to eat them all myself! These would also be good with some chopped pecans or walnuts. Next time I know I have a few extra growing boys around I will make another batch with the nuts!
1 cup of unsalted butter
1 cup brown sugar
2/3 cup white sugar
1 1/2 tsp. Vanilla
2 2/3 cup flour
2 tsp. Baking soda
1/2 tsp. Salt
1 1/2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 (8 ounce) package health English toffee bits
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. In your mixer, or a large bowl and hand mixer, cream the butter and both sugars until fluffy. Add the eggs and vanilla and mix to combine. Add the flour, baking soda and salt mix again until just combined. Fold in the chocolate chips and toffee bits.
Press the batter into a greased 9 x 13 glass baking dish and bake for 30 minutes or until the top is golden brown. Remove from the oven and let cool for 20 minutes and serve if eating them warm, otherwise let cool completely at room temperature before cutting. This will serve between 18 and 24 depending on how big you slice them.
This recipe can be found at www.cozycountryliving.com
This week I have a couple recipes for your Fourth of July barbecue or any of your summer gatherings! The first one is this berry/Lime crostini. So easy and easily can make a couple dozen depending on how thick you slice the bread. The bread can be toasted in your oven or lightly grilled. I used a combination of raspberries, blackberries and blueberries, but these would be great with strawberries too, or any combination your family likes. These take no time to make and should be served immediately.
1 French baguette, sliced on a diagonal 1/4 – 1/2 inch
Whipped cream cheese, about 1 Tablespoon per bread slice
Raspberries, blueberries, blackberries – or your choice of berries
Honey to drizzle
Zest of 2 limes
Place your bread slices on a baking sheet and place in the oven on broil, keeping the oven cracked open slightly, DO NOT WALK AWAY…these toast up very quickly! Or place the bread slices on your grill and lightly toast one side. Remove from oven or grill. Top each slice with about 1 Tablespoon of the whipped cream cheese covering the bread slice, top with berries, drizzle lightly with honey and zest lime over the top. Do this for each slice and serve immediately.