If there’s one thing I’ve learned about New York over the past 3 months, it’s that it’s easy to get caught up in the fast-paced, car honking, people screaming, nature barren realities of this city. It’s invigorating in some ways, as ultimately these are some of the things that make New York what it is, but quite shockingly to me, it’s also been much harder to stay grounded and focussed than I’d ever imagined.
As a result of not feeling at all myself, I decided to take a step back this past week – have as little contact with my computer as possible, meditate daily, be grateful for this amazing experience, and whip out that copy of The Power of Now to remind me that both the past and the future do not exist, so why waste my time and precious thoughts consumed by them. The only thing that truly matters is right now (seriously, Happies, this isn’t some far-fetched, tree hugging prophecy, it’s so simply true, it’s almost hard to mentally grasp).
And right now, as I sit here feeling myself again, enjoying the gorgeous sunset from my apartment, tapping away at my laptop, I want to relive the past for just a second as I share with your one of the best damn pizzas I’ve ever had. Hooray!
But before your mouth starts watering at the mere mention of all that cheese, processed meat, salt, and refined carbs, take a moment to grasp that this pizza is completely cheese free, and ferociously topped with vegetables, eggplant spread, poached organic chicken, avocado, and much, much more.
Here’s the visual (we just couldn’t wait)…
Round wraps as your base. Stick to wholewheat, grains, gluten-free, or even corn. Whatever looks the ‘brownest’, grainiest, and least ‘white’ as possible. Please.
Salt-reduced tomato paste
Your favourite tapenade. We found a delicious eggplant and capsicum one that had very little salt, fat, or sugar. You could also use a homemade pesto, or olive paste if you like.
1 x medium red onion
5 x garlic cloves
1 x teaspoon of thyme
1 x teaspoon of rosemary
1 x teaspoon of cumin
1 x cup of finely chopped mushrooms
1 x handful of chopped olives
1 x large red capsicum
1/2 ripe avocado per person
1 x bunch of fresh coriander
1/2 chicken breast per person
1/2 head of broccoli
2 x cups of fresh baby spinach
1 x sweet potato cooked
Salt and pepper to taste
Of course, you don’t need all of these ingredients. Use what’s in your fridge as well as what’s in season and play with the vegies and toppings. For us, these are the treats that we had in our fridge, so I just piled them on. YUM!
To assemble this bad boy you need to…
1. Spread the tomato paste and tapenade onto your bases making sure you take them all the way to the edge. There’s something about a pizza with all that wasted edge room that frustrates me.
2. Stick them in the oven on a medium heat along with 3 cloves of garlic in their skin. Just rest the garlic on the side of the baking trays, you’ll need them later.
3. Now, pour a small amount of water into the bottom of a deep saucepan and pop your chicken breasts in. Poach them on medium heat until cooked through. Once done, chop the chicken into small pieces, and mix with fresh coriander, pepper, lemon, and the oven roasted garlic that was sitting alongside your pizza bases.
4. After about 5-7 minutes, check your bases and see if they’re getting nice and crispy. If they are, pull them out and top with onion, raw chopped garlic, mushrooms, thyme, rosemary, pepper, and cumin. Put them back in the oven. Oh, and those garlics need to still be in there, too.
5. After another 5 minutes or so, pull the pizzas out again and top with the other vegies you want cooked. Namely your broccoli, sweet potato (which for me was already cooked but needed to be warmed), capsicum, olives. Return to oven until cooked through.
6. Once your pizzas are done, pull them out and top with your roast garlic, chicken and coriander mixture, fresh baby spinach, avocado, and a dollop of hummus and spicy salsa for fun.
7. 2, 4, 6, 8…
Enjoy and stay happy,