As we get older (and no, we will NOT reveal our real ages), we’ve been thinking more about the connection between what we eat and how we feel and look … inside and out. The link is quite strong. Take berries for example. Str...
As we get older (and no, we will NOT reveal our real ages), we’ve been thinking more about the connection between what we eat and how we feel and look … inside and out. The link is quite strong. Take berries for example. Strawberries, blueberries, and blackberries are rich in antioxidants, which protect against the daily wear and tear of our cells and cell membranes and guard against premature signs of aging. And then there are foods like Swiss chard, kale, spinach and other dark green leafy vegetables that contain vitamins A and C (both powerful antioxidants), vitamin K, a strong bone builder, and a nutrient called biotin, good for the health of hair and skin. On this week’s Cooking with the Moms radio podcast, we outline both everyday and surprising foods that boost beauty and keep us young … and we serve up two recipes filled with life-enhancing ingredients: Apple, Rhubarb & Berry Crisp and this Rustic Red, White and Green Pizza. Our intern, Catherine, joins us on the show, and she helped with all the research.
We haven’t met too many kids who don’t love pizza, so we cooked up this thin-crust pizza with a 16-ounce pizza dough, sauteed red onion and Swiss chard, basil pesto, and fresh mozzarella cheese.
When you buy Swiss chard—this happened to be an organic bunch—wash it well, and then slice the leaves away from the stems. Give the leaves a rough chop and then saute in extra virgin olive oil just like you would spinach. It takes about seven minutes on medium heat for the leaves to soften up compared to spinach, which takes about three minutes.
If you can’t find Swiss chard at the market (though this time of year it’s EVERYWHERE), use a 6-ounce bag of baby spinach instead.
Before the cheese melts … after the cheese melts.
Rustic Red, White and Green Pizza
Makes 2 Smallish Pizzas, 6 Servings
When we dream up nutritious recipes for families, we always think about keeping things flexible. So in the case of this recipe, if “green” is not your family’s favorite food color, saute diced red or orange bell peppers and use those instead. Or sub out the green with sliced mushrooms. For more tweaks, you can sprinkle with fresh thyme for a more herb-y flavor or use goat cheese or feta in place of the mozzarella.
2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
1/2 red onion, cut into 1/4-inch pieces
One 12-ounce bunch Swiss chard (leaves alone weigh 9 ounces), washed, leaves trimmed from stems, and roughly chopped
One 16-ounce pizza dough, brought to room temperature
2 tablespoons basil pesto
One 8-ounce ball fresh mozzarella cheese, cut into 14 thin slices
1. Preheat the oven to 425°F.
2. Heat 1 teaspoon of the oil in a large nonstick skillet or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring frequently, until it softens and browns, about 5 minutes. Stir in the Swiss chard and continue to cook, stirring frequently, until the chard wilts and softens, about 7 minutes. Set aside.
3. Lightly oil or spray two small baking sheets with nonstick cooking spray. Divide the dough in half and place on each of the baking sheets. Top each dough ball with 1/2 teaspoon oil. Use your fingers and the heel of your hands to gently stretch and flatten each dough ball until it covers most of the baking sheet. The dough should be thin and the shape can be oval, round, or just plain ol’ rustic.
4. Spread 1 tablespoon of basil pesto evenly over each of the pizzas. Top evenly with the red onion and Swiss chard mixture. Arrange the mozzarella slices evenly over each pizza. Place the baking sheets in the oven and bake until the bottoms are golden brown and the cheese is melted and bubbly, 12 to 15 minutes. (Depending on the size of your baking sheets, you may need to cook the pizzas one at a time.) Slice and serve.
Nutrition Information per Serving: 320 calories, 16g fat (6g saturated), 400mg sodium, 35g carbohydrate, 2g fiber, 13g protein, 60% vitamin A, 15% vit