Friend Feature: The Brooke

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Welcome, the first Friend Feature! For the next 6 months Make Dinner Matter will be sharing a favorite recipe from a dear friend. These recipes are the healthy go-to meals that nourish folks of all diet types. Each recipe will be tweaked and adapted to Make Dinner Matter compatibility and shared with you all, named for the friend who shared it.

This month is The Brooke. She shared The Roasted Root’s beet pesto cauliflower crust pizza with kale as a favorite healthy weeknight meal.

So, what we have here is a beet pesto flatbread with kale topped with arugula salad. I loved the use of nutrient packed beet pesto in the original recipe; beets are an inflammation diet’s and a busy chef’s best friend. They are packed with phytonutrients that aid in detoxification, anti-inflammation, and are full of antioxidants. They also last eons in the refrigerator if stored in a tightly sealed bag and roast up to a “buttery” flavorful veg with little preparation. Pureeing them in a food processor with a walnuts and pine nuts creates a rich spread that works perfectly beside the crispy kale, tangy goat cheese, and spicy greens. But the pesto will produce more than needed for the recipe: it makes a delicious dip for raw crudités or a tapenade impersonator for a springy salad.

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This recipe reminds me that anything can be transformed. The meals we eat over and over again can take a few notes and become something fresh and lively when we pay attention. Keeping life and creativity in diet is often essential to maintaining that diet. If eating according to your allergies isn’t fun, or finding vegetarian meals isn’t inspiring what is the incentive to stick with it? Our health can feel like this far away, not happening right now thing. Instead of the moment-to-moment breathing reality that it is. It is absolutely essential to keep energy and fun in every day eating, but it takes this community to keep that alive. I love beets, but I can hardly ever think of anything to do with them but roast them and put other things on top of them (see: breakfast hash, + every salad made in winter ever). How wonderful is it that because of this space, reaching out and tethering to this community of friends, that I’m able to breath a little newness into my routine? That’s the heart of Make Dinner Matter.

 
Note: If you are a die hard cauli-crust fan, by all means go for it. But I am not, yet! The cauli-crust will make an appearance soon in a future friend feature. Mind the instructions on your flatbread, if it is not pre-baked be sure to do so before topping the pizza as the instructions below state.

Friend Feature: The Brooke

Ingredients

Flatbreads

  • 2 GF, vegan flatbread crusts
  • ½ cup beet pesto
  • 1 cup kale, lacinto, thin slice
  • ¼ cup soft goat cheese
  • ¼ cup shredded mild cheddar goat cheese (or other hard cheese of choice)
  • 2 cups arugula, dressed in 1 teaspoon sherry vinegar, 1 teaspoon olive oil & dash of red pepper flake

Beet "Pesto"

  • 1 large beet, roasted
  • ¼ cup pine nuts
  • ¼ cup walnuts
  • ½ cup olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice

Directions

Flatbreads

  1. Preheat oven to flatbread instructions and prepare a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Spread ¼ cup of beet pesto on each flatbread (more or less to taste). Sprinkle on the hard goat cheese, then the kale. On top add on the soft goat cheese.
  3. Bake until the chest melts and the crust browns around the edges.

Beet "Pesto"

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Cube the beet into ¼ inch sections and drizzle with 1 tablespoon of oil. Wrap the beet into a parchment paper or tinfoil packet. Roast for 20-30 minutes, until the beet is tender when pierced with a fork and some of the sugars have released into the packet.
  2. In the food processor place the beet (plus the juices in the packet) and nuts. Pulse until a fine crumble forms.
  3. While the food processor is spinning slowly add in the olive oil until the mixture combines to a normal pesto consistency. Then add in the lemon juice (1 tablespoon at a time, testing to see if you like more acidity or less).
  4. Set aside.

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