Sometimes all it takes to move out of indecision is a change. A small factor, or spark to action, that repositions you and takes you in a totally different direction. This recipe was born from one of those sparks.
I ordered one of those surplus and "ugly" food boxes to boost us through our weekend. As I've mentioned before, I meal plan and we usually shop on Sundays. However, I know we will be going to the grocery closer to Thanksgiving (later this week), so I wanted stretch our supplies a bit with help from this box and avoid going to the store multiple times in short order.
Inside the box, I had fresh kale, shiitake mushrooms, and a honey nut squash. Around those three ingredients, I built this flatbread pizza with other items I still had fresh and available. In the course of a few minutes, I had gone from "oh, boy, what's for dinner?" (sad face) to "wow, I'm so excited to eat!" (super happy face).
Sustainability Spotlight: Individual sustainability goals can sometimes stagnate and lie in wait for a small factor of change; that spark of excitement. Something to boost us out of our complacency or fatigue. Something that will reinvigorate and reimagine where we are headed and what we are doing to get there. Maybe it's a photo of a vegan recipe (like this one!) that gets you excited to try something new. Maybe it's a new product solution that reduces food waste or packaging (like one of those subscription boxes I mention in this post). Perhaps it is simply looking at your kitchen and saying "I want to do better."
I'm here to give you that boost if you need it; it's one of the reasons I keep posting. Writing to you and posting these recipes give me a creative outlet and they make me excited to explore sustainability. Each blog sets me on a new path, in a new direction. I find new things to research, new knowledge, and new data.
Compelling evidence abounds that what I'm promoting on this blog (individual sustainability) is being sparked in people around the globe. Social media is full of personal examples; each one a beacon for those that have lost their way. Revel in the moment of positivity you feel when you find something that speaks to you for sustainability. Always be willing to move in a new direction, and always be open to doing more, being more, and learning more.
That's how we reignite each other when one of us dwindles; it's how we keep the idea of sustainability alive in our actions, thoughts, and food.
1 small honeynut squash cut thinly into half moons - or other squash with edible rind (like delicata)
1 tbsp melted vegan butter
1/2 tbsp maple syrup
1 lb. pizza dough (frozen is a great choice, be sure it's thawed)
4 ounces shiitake mushrooms (sliced)
1/2 of a kale bunch (de-stemmed & chopped)
5 garlic cloves (diced)
salt & pepper (to taste)
dash of smoked pepper flakes (optional but recommended)
splash of balsamic vinegar
Garnishes: pomegranate arils & handful of fresh parsley (chopped)
Pre-heat oven to 425 degrees F
Toss honeynut squash, melted butter, maple syrup and a dash of salt & pepper in a bowl. Coat all pieces then spread them evenly out on a silpat lined jellyroll pan.
Slide into oven and bake for ~18-22 minutes (until soft). Remove from oven and set pan aside to cool slightly.
Roll out pizza dough into a 14 inch circle and place on a round baking pan and lightly brush with olive oil to edges (set aside).
Heat a medium skillet over Medium-High heat. Add olive oil and swirl to coat. Once it shimmers, add mushrooms plus a pinch of salt & pepper and saute for ~3-4 minutes until they start to shrink.
Add garlic and smoked pepper flakes to pan and saute for 1 minute until fragrant.
Add kale in batches and stir until wilted (~2 minutes).
Remove pan from heat, add splash of balsamic and another pinch of salt and black pepper. Stir to combine.
Add all of the mushroom and kale mixture to the top of the pizza dough and then evenly distribute squash over the top.
Slide pizza pan into the oven and bake for ~18-20 minutes until the crust becomes golden and the kale crisps slightly.
Top flatbread pizza with arils and parsley if using; cut and serve in squares.
With love & hope for a better future for all us - Jamie