This spring break could not have come at a better time. Kids, parents, teachers….everyone was at their wits end with the freezing temperatures and never ending snow. And although we have only had a few marginally warm days since the official start of spring, my taste buds are already craving something less wintery. Enter artichokes.
Artichokes are high in potassium, phytonutrients and antioxidants. Potassium has been shown to help maintain healthy blood pressure and phytonutrients reduce levels of LDL, making artichokes amazingly heart healthy! And it doesn’t hurt that they are number 7 on the USDA’s list of the top 20 antioxidant-rich foods. A bonus? Artichoke hearts that are jarred, canned or frozen contain nearly as many vitamins and minerals as the fresh variety. And think of all the money and time saved.
Luckily, my spring break and my younger sister’s lined up this year so I planned to spend a few days with her in Milwaukee. We cuddled my niece, went grocery shopping and cooked this not-so-traditional Artichoke and Kale Pizza.
Before we dive into the recipe, let me pause here and say that cooking with toddlers, or even cooking around toddlers, is really hard. To all moms, dads and caregivers out there…I don’t know how you do it! The craziness and mess shocked me. And the really funny part? We had a three to one ratio. Yup, three adults and one kid. Did I mention two of us are preschool teachers? And it was still chaotic.
This chaos proved to be helpful when deciding what steps were truly necessary for this recipe. We had grand plans to trim and cook our own artichokes, but jarred proved to be much faster. And although the Vitamix crust recipe we used was designed to be made in a dry blender, we chose to make ours by hand. Less sticky clean up and I know I can make it anywhere! Of course we used Mama Jess Bean Good as our pizza sauce, which also helped to significantly cut down on the time, without sacrificing flavor (and adding protein and fiber!)
This pizza turned out amazing. The whole grains give the crust texture and nuttiness that we loved. We rolled ours very thin and cooked them on pizza stones, making the bottom of the pizza crispy. Since both my mom and I are lactose-intolerant, we used a goat milk cheddar cheese on our pizza (we find that goat milk is much easier for us to digest). The cheese was gooey and tangy and went perfectly with the Bean Good sauce. And for a fun surprise on top, we added kale leaves that had been tossed in olive oil. They crisped up the in oven, essentially making crunchy kale chips on top of our pizzas. My sister’s pizza skipped the cheese (she’s a vegan) and used a cashew cream sauce instead. Both varieties were delicious and a family-friendly way for us to incorporate more artichokes into our diets.
eat your veggies!