Meatless Monday: Spinach Pesto and Mushroom Pizza

This week, we finally finished the 2012 Whole Living Action Plan, a three week detox.  The plan left me hungry, craving every bad food that you can imagine, and generally feeling yucky all over.  At the end of the plan, though, I am down 20 pounds and a pant size, my energy levels are higher, and my pain levels are lower.  I highly recommend this program.

The best part of the program being over is that we finally get to have bread!  To satisfy one of our cravings over the past three weeks, we had to make some pizza!  Since we are still on a vegan diet for another three weeks, cheese is off the menu.  Thankfully, you do not need cheese to make a tasty pizza.  I made a Spinach Pesto with baby spinach, garlic, pine nuts, salt, and olive oil.  Then I sauteed up some sliced button mushrooms with some olive oil, salt, and pepper.  I topped those onto some grilled pizza dough and put it all under the broiler for 3-4 minutes.  After letting it cool for a minute, you slice it up and enjoy.

Since we wouldn’t dare expect the kids to eat a spinach pesto pizza, we also made it a point to make up some cheese pizzas for the little ones.  Just a simple little can of tomato sauce doctored up with some Italian seasoning, spread over a grilled pizza dough, topped with a mix of mozzarella and cheddar cheeses, and tossed under the broiler until the cheese is bubbly and starting to brown.

It’s amazing how cheap this meal is.  We took one ball of pizza dough that we got on sale at the supermarket for $1 and rolled it out into 8 individual-sized pizzas (we used half of them for dinner).  We got the spinach, mushrooms, and cheese in huge packages at the warehouse store.  The pine nuts were, by far, the most expensive item and the relatively small amount that you have to use make them well worth the expense.  If you count the side salad that we had with this meal, we were looking at maybe $2-$3 for our little family of 5 to eat dinner.  Not too bad for our budget-minded ways.

The best part of all was hearing my baby girl holler out, “Daddy, this is yummy pizza!”  Happy kiddos and full tummies make all of the work well worth it! The process might seem a little labor intensive, but most of it can be done ahead of time for a quick weeknight meal.  I hope you give it a shot!

Leave us a comment and let us know how you like this recipe and what you are planning for Meatless Monday tonight.

Spinach Pesto Pizza

 

Ingredients


Spinach Pesto

4 Cups baby spinach
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 Cup pine nuts
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 Tbsp olive oil

Sauteed Mushrooms

3 Tbsp olive oil
3 Cups button mushrooms, sliced
salt and pepper to taste

1 ball pizza dough
all-purpose flour
olive oil

 

 Directions


Spinach Pesto
:  Put all ingredients except olive into a food processor and blend until the leaves are pretty torn up.  Gradually add olive oil and blend until it’s a thick, smooth paste.

Sauteed Mushrooms:  Heat nonstick skillet over medium-high heat.  Add all ingredients.  Cook, stirring occasionally, until all liquid is gone and mushrooms are nicely browned.

Pizza Dough:  Heat a grill pan over medium-high heat.  Coat rolling surface and rolling pin with flour.  Divide pizza dough into 8 equal pieces.  One at a time, using enough flour to keep the dough from sticking, roll out each piece as thinly as possible (about 6-8 inches in diameter).  Brush lightly with olive oil and toss onto a grill pan cooking 3-5 minutes per side or until lightly charred on each side (make sure to brush the other side with oil while it’s on the heat).

Top each grilled pizza dough with 2-3 Tablespoons of Spinach Pesto and a small handful of Sauteed Mushrooms.  Place on a sheet pan and under a preheated broiler for 2-3 minutes or until pesto just begins to bubble.

 

Meatless Monday, a national nonprofit public health initiative, is all about incorporating more vegetables and less meat into our diet.  It’s about moderation, just one day a week, cutting down on meats high in saturated fat and increasing protein-rich plant-based foods — good for personal health and good for the planet.

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