Breakfast Pizza with Real California Milk Mozzarella Cheese

What do you do when you want to eat well but you’re dying to make pizza? You make pizza with Real California Milk mozzarella cheese and butternut squash pizza crust, of course! 

But this isn’t just any pizza. It’s pizza FOR BREAKFAST. It not only has the eggs and cheese that many of us crave in the morning, but it’s one seriously nutritious breakfast that will keep you fueled and satisfied throughout the bulk of your day.

While Real California milk mozzarella cheese provides a sustainable source of essential nutrients, such as calcium and protein, I love the substitution of the butternut squash pizza crust for regular pizza crust because the added pop of color (to taste the nutrition rainbow!) and the benefit of fiber makes it a no-brainer.

Are you ready to make your next breakfast epic? Make this and I’m sure you’ll want to make it again and again

Breakfast Pizza with Real California Milk Mozzarella Cheese

Time: 35 Minutes
Serves 4

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Ingredients
1 (10 oz) frozen butternut squash pizza crust
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, divided
¼ lb sweet Italian sausage
⅓ cup sliced red onion
1 medium fennel bulb, cored, halved, and sliced
3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
2 tsp thyme, chopped
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
½ cup tomato sauce
4 oz shredded Real California Milk mozzarella cheese
2 eggs, scrambled

Directions
Preheat a baking stone in the oven to 450 F. Add pizza crust on a lined baking sheet. Bake from frozen for 10 minutes. Turn pizza over and cook for an additional 10 minutes, until golden. Remove crust from oven and set aside.

Heat 1 tbsp olive oil in a medium skillet or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add sausage and cook, breaking up with a spoon until browned, about 4-5 minutes. Set sausage aside in a bowl.

To the same skillet, heat 1 tbsp olive oil over medium-high heat. Add red onion and saute for 3-4 minutes until softened, scraping up any browned bits. Add fennel, garlic, thyme, and season with kosher salt and freshly ground pepper. Cook, stirring for about 5 minutes, until fennel begins to soften. Cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until the fennel is tender and golden, about 5 more minutes. Remove from heat.

On a pizza peel, top pizza crust with tomato sauce, Real California Milk mozzarella cheese, fennel mixture and sausage. Pour egg scramble over the toppings and transfer the baking stone. 

Bake pizza for 10-12 minutes, until the cheese has melted and the crust is lightly browned. Remove from heat. Allow pizza to cool slightly and serve warm.


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Rye Bread Toast with Real California Milk Fromage Blanc and Cherry Tomatoes

Need a quick snack that’s tasty and nutritious? Look no further than this rye bread toast with Real California Milk fromage blanc and cherry tomatoes!

While I grew up loving cheese toast as a child and have a battle scar on my pinky to prove it (trying to cook the dish as a 5-year old didn’t go exactly as planned when my smallest digit bumped into the broiler) -- I have to admit that this is the upgraded, adult version that is much more tasty!

Real California Milk cheeses are brimming with a sustainable quality that I absolutely love. That’s because California dairy farm families help ensure people have access to quality, sustainable and nutrient-rich foods. Plus, as a dietitian, I know recipes like this help add to the recommended servings of dairy that are essential for a healthy diet.

According to a recent study, consuming two servings of dairy per day (compared to a half serving) was associated with a reduced risk of total mortality, non-cardiovascular mortality, cardiovascular disease mortality, major cardiovascular disease, and stroke. You can read more about that here.

So, what are you waiting for?! I dare you to toast yourself to good health with this tasty Real California Milk snack recipe!

Rye Bread Toast with Real California Milk Fromage Blanc and Cherry Tomatoes

Time: 10 Minutes
Makes: 4 snack servings

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Ingredients
4 slices sprouted rye bread
5 oz Real California Milk fromage blanc
12 cherry tomatoes, quartered
1 clove garlic, minced
Zest and jucie of ½ lemon
1 tsp thyme, finely chopped
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1 tbsp capers

Directions
Toast rye bread and keep warm.

In a small bowl, add fromage blanc, garlic, thyme, lemon juice and zest. Stir to combine and season with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper.

Spread fromage blanc mixture over toasted rye bread slices and top with cherry tomatoes and capers. Serve immediately.


If you loved this recipe, you will love my recipes for Passion Toast, Mushroom & Brie Stuffed Pastry Wreath, and Beet Rueben Sandwich!

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Mushroom & Real California Brie Stuffed Pastry Wreath

What could possibly be better than an edible wreath? Especially wreath made of puff pastry and Real California Milk brie! It’s as delicious as it sounds and couldn’t be more perfect for the season.

Fun fact: The word wreath is derived from an old English word that means “to twist.” The definition couldn’t make more sense when you think about this wreath. It’s not only easy, but a lot of fun twisting around the puff pastry to form this cute holiday design.

Real California brie is an amazing cheese that melts in your mouth and is even better because it’s high quality and made with milk from real dairy farmers in my home state! Plus, Real California cheeses make for an excellent dose of protein, which is an important building block in your body.

I may not be psychic, but I do have a prediction for you: Your family will make this inviting and warm holiday spread with Real California Milk very soon!

Mushroom & Real California Brie Stuffed Pastry Wreath

Time: 40 Minutes
Serves 6-8 as an appetizer

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Ingredients
2 tbsp Real California Butter
2 medium shallots, finely chopped
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 lb cremini mushrooms, thinly sliced
1 ½ cups baby spinach
2 tbsp thyme, chopped
2 tbsp dry sherry
1 sheet frozen puff pastry, thawed
12 oz wedge Real California brie cheese, sliced into 1-inch pieces
1 egg, beaten

Directions
Preheat oven to 400F.

In a large skillet or Dutch oven, heat butter over medium heat. Add shallots and cook, stirring until soft, about 4 minutes. Stir in garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Cooking in two batches, stir in half the mushrooms, spinach, thyme, and sherry. Season with salt and pepper. Sauté mushroom mixture until the liquid is absorbed. Add mushrooms to a medium mixing bowl. Repeat process with second batch, adding additional butter if necessary. Allow mushrooms to cool.

On a lightly floured surface, roll out puff pastry into a round that is 1/4-inch thick. Transfer pastry to a parchment lined baking sheet. Using a large cookie cutter as a guide or a medium bowl, lightly score a 6-inch round in the center of the pastry without cutting all the way through. Make four cuts into the round to form 8 triangles.

Divide the mushroom mixture along the outer round. Evenly distribute 8 slices of brie over the mushroom mixture. Take the tips of each pastry triangle and wrap over the brie, pressing the pastry into the outer edges of the dough to seal. Top with the wreath with 8 additional pieces of brie. Brush the pastry lightly with egg and transfer to the oven. Cook for 20-25 minutes, until golden brown.

Allow the pastry to cool on the oven rack for 5 minutes. Serve the wreath on a platter. Get ready to dig into some Real California cheesy yumminess!


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Passion Toast: Lox with Real California Milk Queso Fresco!

Real California MIlk queso fresco pairs perfectly with lox toast and slices of tomatoes, onions, tarragon, and a squeeze of lemon! A healthy snack idea that incorporates dairy!

What do I when gifted a large bag of ripe passion fruit? Try it out in various recipes, of course!

I absolutely LOVE bagels with lox, Real California Milk cream cheese, and capers. After diving into the flesh of the first passion fruit I’ve tried in a while, I realized the pulp has some caper-like similarities in appearance, but it’s sweet and the colors are so pretty. Could this tasty fruit work as a substitute in one of my favorite snacks, I wondered?

Never shy to experiment, I decided to make some lox toast with a lovely Real California Milk queso fresco I had on hand. Pairing the queso fresco and lox exceeded all of my expectations in the flavor department, and you know what? The passion fruit pulp totally worked with garden grown tomatoes and tarragon! Yum yum.

This quick snack with Real California Milk queso fresco was actually way too fun to make. Not only does the finished dish highlight dairy’s versatility with all the delicious ingredients it can be paired with, but it also shows how dairy can make the snack even healthier. Fun fact: one serving of cheese contains 45% of your pantothenic acid, which helps your body use carbohydrates, fats, and protein as fuel. How cool is that?!

Passion Toast: Lox with Real California Milk Queso Fresco

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Time: 15 Minutes
Serves 2-3

Ingredients
4 oz Real California Milk queso fresco
2 tsp lemon juice
½ tsp lemon zest
1 tbsp tarragon leaves, chopped plus additional to garnish
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1 petit sweet baguette, halved lengthwise, quartered
Extra-virgin olive oil
4 oz smoked salmon
2 small tomatoes, thinly sliced
¼ cup red onion, thinly sliced
2 tbsp passion fruit pulp (about 2 medium fruits)
Lemon wedges (optional)

Directions

Preheat broiler to 500F.

In a medium bowl, add queso fresco, lemon juice, lemon zest, tarragon, and salt and pepper to taste. Stir until combined.

Lightly brush baguette slices on all sides with olive oil and lightly season with salt and pepper. Transfer baguette slices to the oven on the top rack and broil until lightly toasted, about 1-2 minutes. Flip over on the other side and cook until golden, about 1- minutes longer.

Spread queso fresco mixture over toasts. Top with tomato slices, lox, and red onions. Garnish with dollops of passion fruit pulp and tarragon. Squeeze with a wedge of lemon if desired and season with salt and pepper to taste.


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Real California Cheese Mushroom & Pesto Quesadillas

What better way to support strong bones & a healthy body than to get calcium and protein into your diet with...CHEESE! Check out my “Real California Cheese” Mushroom & Pesto Quesadillas for a sophisticated spin on quesadillas!  

If you’re a cheese lover like myself, you’d know that the key to the perfect quesadilla is the cheese! Instead of using just one kind of cheese for quesadillas, I like to use a Real California Milk shredded Mexican cheese blend for the filling. This blend typically combines the tart flavor of Monterey Jack, the rich flavor of sharp cheddar, and the mild flavor of Colby Jack. Getting to experience a blend of cheeses really adds flavor and variety, not to mention extra cheesy goodness!

As a Californian, I buy products with the Real California Milk seal because I know our state’s dairy products are produced the right away and are of the highest quality. When you buy cheese with a Real California Milk seal, you’re assured that you’re purchasing cheese made exclusively with Real California Milk by real cheese makers.   
       
Lucky for me (and you), I developed the perfect combination of quesadilla ingredients to knock your socks off AND to highlight Real California Cheese. The icing on the cake? Real California Fromage blanc! I had some extra in the fridge and thought, why not? It totally made this dish special.

Although the Real California cheeses have my heart, the epazote pesto also makes this quesadilla pop.  If you can’t find epazote, you can exclusively use fresh basil instead.

Pro Tip: before using adding the basil to the food processor: remove the stems and make sure it’s completely dry!     

Real California Cheese, Mushroom & Pesto Quesadillas

Time: 40 Minutes
Serves 4

Ingredients

Pesto
1 cup fresh epazote leaves
1/3 cup fresh basil leaves
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
½ cup pine nuts
3 medium fresh birdseye chilies, roughly chopped
2 garlic cloves
Juice of 1 lemon
¼ tsp salt
1/8 tsp freshly ground black pepper

Mushroom Quesadillas
Extra-virgin olive oil
8 oz crimini mushrooms, sliced
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped, divided
5 small dried birdseye chilies, sliced thin
1 bunch green onions, white and light green parts only, finely sliced
10 epazote leaves
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 cups spinach leaves
8 (6-inch) flour tortillas
12 oz Real California Milk shredded Mexican cheese blend

To Serve
Lime wedges
Sliced radishes
¼ cup Real California Milk fromage blanc

Directions
In a small food processor, prepare the pesto by combining the epazote, basil, extra-virgin olive oil, pine nuts, birdseye chilies, garlic, lemon juice, and salt and pepper. Blend until well combined. Set the pesto aside.

Heat 1 ½ tbsp extra-virgin olive oil over medium heat in a large sauté pan. Add half the mushrooms to the pan with ½ the garlic, ½ the chilies, ½ the green onions, and ½ the epazote leaves. Season to taste with kosher salt and freshly ground pepper. Sauté mushrooms until lightly browned, about 5 minutes. Transfer the mushrooms to a plate. Repeat with remaining mushrooms.

Return all mushrooms to the sauté pan over medium heat with additional olive oil if needed. Add spinach and stir until spinach wilts, remove from heat. 

Lay out tortillas on a large plate or work surface. Spread about 1 tbsp pesto over each tortilla, followed by 1/3 cup shredded cheese and ¼ cup of the mushroom mixture. 

Heat 1 tbsp olive oil in a medium skillet over medium-high heat. Add open-faced tortillas, one at a time to the skillet and allow cheese to melt slightly. Fold tortilla over with a spatula to form a quesadilla and press down lightly. When the bottom of the tortilla is lightly browned, carefully flip the tortilla over on the other side. Press down lightly and continue cooking for about 1 minute, until the tortilla is browned on the opposite side. 

Transfer quesadillas to a platter and keep warm. Repeat with remaining tortillas, adding additional olive oil if necessary.

Serve quesadillas on plates and garnish with remaining mushroom mixture, small spoonfuls of fromage blanc, pesto, and radishes. Squeeze over lime wedges if desired. 


If you loved this recipe, you will love my recipes for Chicken Mole Verde Tacos, Mushroom Tacos with Fried Eggs, and Health(ier) Chicken Enchiladas!

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Real California Milk Charcuterie Board

Say cheese! I am a BIG fan of Real California Cheese! As a Californian, I am proud to partner with Real California Milk to promote local cheese artisans who have perfected the art of cheesemaking.

I eat cheese in everything from salads, to sandwiches, and tacos because it’s not only delicious, but it is also a nutritionally rich way to add calcium, protein, and minerals that help support strong bones and a healthy body. One of my favorite cheesy meals is actually the most simple: a charcuterie board! I built this charcuterie board with three amazing Californian cheeses: a dry jack, a blue cheese, and a triple creme cow’s milk cheese.

With any charcuterie board, I recommend selecting your favorite Real California Cheese first - check for the Real California Milk label! Then I recommend heading to the deli for charcuterie with a mix of textures, such as cured ham, pate, or salami. After, take a stroll down the produce aisle and select what’s in season! Finally, finish off your board with condiments like pickles, jam, and honey.

This week, Black Mission figs, raspberries, and strawberries were off the charts delicious, so I had to add them to my board. Boy did they pair well with the cheeses!

Visit the Real California Milk website’s Product Locator to find out where you can by artisanal cheeses made in California! 

Real California Milk Charcuterie Board

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Time: 10 Minutes
Serves 2-4

Ingredients

Real California Cheeses
2 oz Real California Milk dry Monterey Jack cheese, cut into small slices
2 oz Real California Milk blue cheese, crumbled
2 oz Real California Milk triple creme cow’s milk cheese, sliced into wedges

Charcuterie
2 oz Italian prosciutto, sliced thin
2 oz milano salami, sliced thin
2 oz duck liver mousse

Fruit and More
4 fresh Black Mission figs, sliced in half
4 large strawberries, sliced
1 small handful raspberries
2 tbsp blackberry jam
4 caperberries
Small baguette, sliced

For Garnish
Fresh sage leaves
Fresh rosemary
1 tsp honey

Directions
Arrange cheeses, charcuterie, fruit, jam, caperberries, and baguette slices on a cheese board. Garnish with fresh herbs. Spoon honey over fruit and cheese, if desired. 

Mix and match fruit, cheese, and charcuterie with baguette slices. Enjoy!


If you loved this recipe, you will love my recipes for  Easy Chicken and Blue Cheese Salad, The Real Deal Greek Salad, and Beet Rueben Sandwich!

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