Knock Your Socks Off Pizza with Greens and Sami's Bakery Millet & Flax Pizza Crust
Click here to get the web version of this post if you received this via email--lots of photos.
The Sunday before last, the Esselstyns came for dinner--and they brought along a big red Engine 2 shopping bag filled with some of their favorite plant-based foods for me to try out. The perfect dinner guests--they come bearing food and hearty appetites!
1. Sami's Bakery Hand Made & Brick Oven Baked Millet & Flax Pizza Crust - Ann said I would love this crust. And she was right. The texture & taste are out-of-this-world! Order direct from the bakery in Tampa, FL on Tues., Weds., or Thurs., for 2 day Fed Ex delivery. $4.09 a crust, minimum order of $25.00, + shipping. They tell me they'll keep in the fridge for 10 days, in the freezer for 1 month--no preservatives. Find someone to split an order with.
2. Walnut Acres Organic No-fat No-Sodium Tomato & Basil Pasta Sauce - Ann's favorite pasta sauce, but I'm clueless where to find this. It's one of the best I've tasted--thick & flavorful, without the salt.
3. Pomi Chopped Tomatoes in a BPA-free tetra box--100% fresh Italian Tomatoes, no sodium--available in regular grocery stores & at Whole Foods.
4. Luna Burgers - 1/4 pound veggie burgers made with spelt, black beans, oats, onion, carrots, kale, and more all real food ingredients. Not a speck of soy. The Esselstyns brought us the Garden Thyme & Farmhouse Chili burgers, but Luna has other interesting varieties, like Peanut Cilantro, BBQ-Gluten Free, Kick Start-Herbed Veggie Breakfast Patties, and the Classic. These were good--not OMG! amazing--but they're quick, hearty, no-soy healthy, & with no added oils. 170 calories, 2 grams of fat, 6 grams of fiber, 8 grams of protein. I've only tried the Farmhouse Chili variety, so I'm willing to try the others.
Add Greens to Your Pizza Sauce!
Here's Ann Esselstyn's brilliant pizza-making tip--add greens to the sauce. In principle I like the idea of adding healthy greens to the pizza sauce--or any pasta sauce, for that matter--but I had to try it myself to be convinced. Would it ruin the taste? Not at all, it turns out. Full Disclosure: I used Lacinato kale, which is mild tasting.
1. Strip the stems from a bunch of kale, Swiss chard, or spinach. You'll want about 4 cups of stem-less raw greens. Chop up the greens into bite-sized pieces, and saute them with a smidge of water for about 4-5 minutes until tender. No liquid should remain--drain it out if there is any.
2. Add about 1 cup of the Walnut Acres Organic Pasta sauce (be careful--you don't want an overly sauced soggy pizza) and warm it up for a minute with the greens.
3. Spread it on the crust--top with plenty of your favorite toppings.
4. Ann bakes hers at 400 degrees for 15 minutes. I bake mine at 450 degrees for 15 minutes. Suit yourself.
My Halloween Night Supper of Sami's Knock-Your-Socks-Off Pizza
This pizza was so crazy good that I figured it had to be made with white flour--just like the Seinfeld episode where everyone loves the fat-free frozen yogurt that's really full of butter fat. Sami's is the real whole grain deal. It's made with organic millet flour, brown rice flour, and ground flax seeds. No yeast, no wheat, no gluten. But, be aware it's not made on exclusive gluten-free equipment.
Nutritional Info: (Note: the protein & fiber grams are different on their website, from what the packaging says. I called them and they told me the package labeling is the correct one.)
Ready for sauce and toppings
Four cups of spine-stripped Lacinato kale ready for the saute pan
Disappears into about 1 cup's worth of kale
Time to add the Walnut Acres Pasta Sauce--no salt, but thick & loaded with flavor
One minute to warm up the sauce & greens
Pizza sauce mixed with greens--not too saucey--just right
Ready for the Oven--topped with jarred Kalamata olives, canned water-packed artichoke hearts, jarred roasted red peppers, sun-dried smoked tomatoes, and 1/2 of a crumbled Field Roast Grain Meat "Italian Sausage" link--no need for browning or precooking--but, full-disclosure--1/2 Field Roast has 5 grams of fat from expeller-pressed safflower oil.
Hubby helping to prepare dinner for the Esselstyns & Friends
Dr. Esselstyn & Barbara Carefully Listening to Something My Husband is Saying
Ann Spreading Home-made Indian Spinach Palak & Tamarind Chutney on Oven-Crisped Lavash
Funny Story: My Husband's Doctor's Appointment
This morning hubby had a routine doctor's appointment. He asked his doc if he could run a B-12 test since he's been eating a mostly vegan diet. No problem. His doc said keep doing whatever you're doing, but watch your intake of added oils.
His doc says, "There's a doctor named Esselstyn who recommends eating a plant-based diet without added oils to prevent heart disease. You might want to look into this."
My husband, "Oh yes, I am familiar with Dr. Esselstyn's diet--in fact, we just had him and his wife over for dinner last weekend."
True story. And my husband adds, "I always knew Dr. F. was an excellent physician."