Saturday, January 10, 2015

Loaded Vegetable Honey Whole Wheat Flatbread

See, I have this problem.

Every year I am so ready to start up my New Year's Resolutions just like every other basic betch. I want to get in shape, I want to eat healthier, I want to feel good.

But then I remember how much I love pizza and BAM! New year, same me.

This year I resolve that loving pizza and sticking to a healthier diet doesn't have to be mutually exclusive. Enter: Loaded Vegetable Honey Whole Wheat Flatbread.

We are taking all of the vegetables and a fresh, homemade tomato sauce, piling them high on a honey whole wheat quick pizza crust and topping it all with melted, gooey part-skim mozzarella cheese. Sure, this isn't totally guilt free, but when those insatiable pizza cravings hit and you start to reach for the take-out menu, let this delicious pizza be the new norm.

The really great thing about this pizza is that you can customize it to your liking. My vegetables pictured here include kale, asparagus, zucchini and mushrooms, but feel free to dig through your crisper drawer and find what veggies work for you! In fact, you may notice only half of my pizza has mushrooms. That's because a certain fiance who shall not be named, for some crazy reason, does not like mushrooms. We don't judge. We accommodate the picky eaters in our lives.

For the sauce, instead of using store bought pizza sauce that's loaded with unwanted sugars and salts and who knows what else, I simply added a can of no salt added diced tomatoes to a food processor with garlic and a salt-free Italian seasoning. Cook it down a bit until it's thickened and there you have it. It's great knowing exactly what you're putting into your body.

When it comes to this flatbread, I know I am eating whole, fresh ingredients that make my taste buds do the happy dance.

P.S. Over New Years Resolutions? Here are some outrageous pizzas from Gas Stove Girl, previously.

Chicken, Spinach and Artichoke Pizza
Sausage and Broccoli Pizza
Chicken Pot Pie Pizza with Parmesan Ranch Cream Sauce

Here's what you need for Loaded Vegetable Honey Whole Wheat Flatbread* (Print Recipe!)

for the crust
1 cup warm water (100 degrees F)
1 1/2 teaspoons sugar
1 packet active dry yeast (2 1/4 teaspoons)
2 cups whole wheat or white whole wheat flour
1/2 cup all purpose flour, plus more for kneading
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons honey
1 1/2 teaspoons salt

for the sauce
1 14.5 ounce can no salt added diced tomatoes, drained of half it's liquid
1 clove garlic
1 1/2 teaspoons Italian Seasoning (I use Mrs. Dash salt free blend)
pinch sugar
salt and pepper to taste

for the pizza
3 stalks tuscan kale, destemmed and cut into thin ribbons
3/4 part skim shredded mozzarella cheese
1 small zucchini
1/2 cup chopped asparagus
1/4 cup chopped mushrooms
red pepper flakes to taste

Here's what you do

prepare the crust
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook attachment, gently stir together the warm water, sugar and yeast. Let sit for 10 minutes while the yeast activates. (If the yeast does not bubble up and become fragrant, the yeast was bad or the water was too hot or cold. Dump it out and begin again.)

With the mixer on low speed, slowly add the flours, olive oil, honey, and salt. The dough should be a little shaggy and slightly wet.

Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface. Knead for about one minute or until the dough becomes slightly springy and comes into a neat ball. This can be refrigerated at this point if you don't plan on using it right away.

prepare the sauce
While the yeast is activating, add the tomatoes, garlic, sugar and seasonings to a food processor and blend until smooth. Pour into a small saucepan and cook over medium-low heat until thickened, about 7 to 10 minutes. Turn off the heat and set aside.

build the flatbread!
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly spray a standard baking sheet with olive oil spray. Stretch and press out the dough until it fits perfectly onto the sheet. This will take a little bit of poking and prodding, but you should be able to completely fill the sheet with dough. The shape doesn't have to be perfect. That's what is so great about flatbreads.

Spread a thin layer of the tomato sauce evenly over the crust. Place the kale ribbons on top of the sauce, then cover with cheese. Lop the ends off the zucchini then cut it half lengthwise, then into quarters. Remove the seeds then cut into thin pieces. Spread the zucchini on top of the cheese, and repeat with the asparagus and mushrooms. Be sure to have an even distribution of vegetables all over the pizza.

Bake for 20 minutes or until the vegetables are soft and the cheese is melted and bubbly brown. Allow to sit for about 5 minutes before cutting into squares. Add a dash of red pepper flakes to each piece as desired. Enjoy!

*Gas Stove Girl original recipe, with crust adapted from Picky Palate

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