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Hearth and Home – Fitter Flatbreads with Fresh Greens

By Janae Jean

 

When asked what their favorite food is what is the most common response in the United States? It’s pizza. Although pizza may be delectable, it is not the most healthful choice with the most popular variety, pepperoni, being high in saturated fat and sodium. April ushers in spring in full bloom and fresh greens are now available at our local markets. It’s common knowledge that green leafy vegetables are great food choices, but we often pass them up for convenience foods, such as pizza. This month, we are bringing the green leafy vegetables to our pizzas in two healthful versions of flatbreads featuring fresh greens.

Arugula is an excellent source of fiber, immune system boosting vitamins A and C, bone-strengthening vitamin K, folate, calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, and manganese. It also has high levels of protein, riboflavin, thiamin, zinc, vitamin B6, copper and vitamin B5 (pantothenic acid.)

Dandelion greens are commonly used in folk medicine. These bitter green leaves provide more than five times the daily value of vitamin K (the highest amount for any plant-based food.) They also provide twice the amount of vitamin A. It is a great food for eye-health, offering a flavonoid called zeaxanthin which may shield the retina from ultraviolet rays and subsequent damage.

 

Pear and Cashew Flatbread

4 pitas or naans, small

4 teaspoons olive oil

2 teaspoons garlic, minced

1 ½ cups fresh baby arugula

1 ½ cups fresh young dandelion greens

1 cup fresh baby spinach

A few sprigs of fresh thyme

1 to 2 tablespoons balsamic reduction, if desired

Roasted Pears (see below)

Cashew Topping (see below)

 

Roasted Pears

2 pears, in ¼ inch slices

2 tablespoons lemon juice

1 tablespoon raw sugar

1 tablespoon olive oil

 

Cashew Topping

2 cups cashews, soaked overnight refrigerator, covered

¼ cup lemon juice

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 teaspoon garlic, minced

1 teaspoon nutritional yeast

 

In a blender, combine soaked cashews, lemon juice, olive oil, garlic and nutritional yeast. Blend until smooth. Set aside.

Preheat oven 400˚F. Toss pear slices in lemon juice and one tablespoon of olive oil and sprinkle with raw sugar. Place on greased baking sheet and roast until golden about 10 minutes

While the pears are roasting, rub the pitas or naans with olive oil; then spread minced garlic on each. Toast the pitas in oven at 300˚F for five minutes. Remove from oven and spread with about ¼ cup cashew topping for each pita or naan. Then place roasted pears and greens on top. If desired, drizzle with balsamic reduction. Garnish with fresh thyme.

 

Parsnip and Hummus Flatbread

4 pitas or naans, small

4 teaspoons olive oil

2 teaspoons garlic, minced

1 ½ cups fresh baby arugula

1 ½ cups fresh young dandelion greens

1 cup fresh baby spinach

2 tablespoons balsamic reduction

Salt and pepper, to taste

Hummus Topping (see below)

Roasted Parsnips and Carrots (see below)

Fresh Parsley

 

Hummus Topping

¼ cup hummus

1 tablespoon lemon juice

¼ teaspoon cayenne

½ teaspoon turmeric

¼ teaspoon cumin

Salt and pepper, to taste

 

Roasted Parsnips and Carrots

2 parsnips, cut in ¼ slices

1 carrot, cut in ¼ slices

¼ teaspoon salt

Dash of black pepper

 

Preheat oven to 425˚F. In a bowl, toss together sliced parsnips and carrots with olive oil, salt, garlic and a dash of black pepper. Place in a single layer on a baking sheet and roast for 15 minutes.

While the root vegetables are roasting, rub the pitas or naans with olive oil; then spread minced garlic on each. Toast the pitas in at 300˚F for five minutes. Prepare hummus topping by stirring spices and lemon juice into hummus. Remove from oven and spread with hummus topping. Then place roasted vegetables and greens on top. Garnish with fresh parsley.

 

Food Facts

foodfacts.mercola.com/arugula.html
foodfacts.mercola.com/dandelion-greens.html
www.nutritionix.com/food/pepperoni-pizza
www.usatoday.com/story/money/food/2018/09/27/national-pizza-month-favorite-food/1430139002/

 

Janae Jean serves as editor, social media manager, recipe columnist and podcaster for Conscious Community Magazine. Visit www.janaejean.com or www.perennialmusicandarts.com for details about her other projects.

 

 

 

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