Tuesday, January 24

Butternut squash, spinach and goat cheese pizza

If you've been following my journey over the past year you know I've completely eliminated starch from my diet. Add to that my recent post about the amount of sugar contained in store bought marinara sauce and you may be a little surprised to see me endorsing a pizza recipe. But this pizza is both the healthiest AND the most delicious I've ever tasted and contains neither white flour nor marinara sauce!

Low in fat, butternut squash delivers an ample dose of dietary fiber, making it a very heart-friendly choice. It provides significant amounts of potassium (bone health), vitamin B6 (immune system), and carotenoids (shown to protect against heart disease.) In addition it contains very high levels of beta-carotene (converted by the body to vitamin A) which is a deterrent against breast cancer and age-related macular degeneration. What's more, each 1-cup serving contains nearly half the recommended daily dose of antioxidant-rich vitamin C.

Double the recipe below and you can eat it for lunch all week. It microwaves surprisingly well (and even better in the toaster oven.)

Ingredients: (all purchased at Trader Joes)
2 cups cubed butternut squash (1/2-inch pieces)
1 tablespoon plus 1 tsp olive oil, divided 
1/4 teaspoon salt, divided 
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, divided 
1 medium red onion, halved and thinly sliced 
1/4 cup whole wheat flour 
1 ball (16 oz) store-bought whole-wheat pizza dough, at room temperature
2 cups chopped fresh baby spinach 
4 oz crumbled goat cheese
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme

Heat oven to 400°. Toss squash with 1 tsp oil, 1/8 tsp salt and 1/8 tsp pepper. On a baking sheet, cook squash until soft and lightly browned, 25 minutes, stirring halfway through; set aside. In a large skillet over medium-high heat, heat remaining 1 tbsp oil. Cook onion (season with remaining 1/8 tsp salt and 1/8 tsp pepper), stirring, until light brown, 10 minutes. Add 2 tbsp water; cook, stirring, until brown, 5 minutes. Remove from heat. Turn oven up to 450°. Sprinkle flour on 15-inch circle or 10" x 16" rectangle. Press dough into it. Top with squash, onion, spinach, cheese and thyme. Bake until crust is crispy and cheese melts, 10 to 12 minutes.

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