I hate making lunch.
It’s a character flaw.
I spend enough time in and out of the kitchen completing mundane little tasks and preparing plenty of cold meals for everyone else that by the time it rolls around to lunch time for me, I’m just plain lazy.
Enter: bad lunch.
Who knew “Twizzlers” is not really a food group? And Oreos? Don’t even get me started. I thought they were the reason the big fat bottom of the food pyramid even existed. What better way to fulfill your carb count?
Oh. Not that way?
Really, I hope that you know that I know that this is all not true. I don’t really eat those things for lunch.
But sometimes I do, and it’s all related to laziness.
So when I come across something like this little veggie antipasto pizza, I do a little gratitude dance.
Hallelujah. Something tasty that’s healthy and easy too.
One of the best things about this pizza is that you can prep a boat-load of the veggies ahead and keep them in the fridge for days. When lunch time rolls around tomorrow or the next day, just toast your crust and cheese, and top with the prepared veggies. Lunch in 5 minutes.
That’s almost less time than it takes to get a chair to help you reach the candy stash that you were trying to hide from yourself on top of the fridge.
And it’s much healthier for you.
Unless you are counting the exercise you perform while trying to reach the candy. . . . Hmmm.
Maybe they’re equal. . . .
This recipe can be followed loosely. There’s so much room to play.
Olive haters – delete the olives.
Mushroom lovers – add some mushrooms.
Calorie counters – use artichoke hearts canned in water instead of marinated in oil and just pump up the spices a little.
Try a different cheese.
Add some red onion.
Crinkle cut the squash, or swap it out for zucchini.
It’s sort of endless.
If you want to make it a heartier meal, add some diced chicken, some slices of turkey pepperoni, or maybe some shrimp.
This original recipe is from Pampered Chef, and it’s actually for a full-size pizza, so just know when you prep the veggies, that there is enough there to cover one package of refrigerated pizza crust.
I just make a whole recipe of the veggie topping and reserve the unused portion in the fridge for later.
Mini Antipasto Veggie Pizzas
Foldit Artisan Flatbreads (any flatbread or pita will do – I just really like these)
Provolone Cheese slices (shredded is fine too)
1 jar marinated artichoke hearts, coarsely chopped
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning mix
1 garlic clove, pressed
1 yellow squash, shredded (or sliced)
1/2 cup pitted ripe olives, sliced
2 plum tomatoes seeded and diced
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
Toasted pine nuts (optional)
Sea salt and fresh ground pepper (optional)
Directions: (for one individual pizza serving)
Place Foldit flatbread (I broke mine in half so I’d have nice little circles) in toaster oven (or on a cookie sheet in the oven) and top with a single slice of provolone cheese, ensuring that there is enough space for the cheese to melt but not run over the edge of the bread. Toast until cheese is melted and golden brown. Remove from oven and transfer to serving plate.
While the flatbread is toasting, add artichoke hearts (with marinade), Italian seasoning, garlic, squash, olives, and tomatoes to a medium bowl. Stir to combine.
When crust and cheese are ready, top with desired amount of prepared veggies, taking care to drain excess liquid from the veggie mixture as you are transferring it to the pizza.
Sprinkle with fresh parsley and pine nuts. Season with salt and fresh ground pepper if desired.
Serve while crust and cheese are warm or at room temp.
(If you are making a whole pizza: fully bake the refrigerated crust according to package directions – until it’s golden brown, taking care to brush it with a little olive oil before baking. Remove from the oven and immediately add shredded provolone cheese. Then top with veggies, being sure to drain off as much marinade as possible.)
Note: This is not an advertisement for Foldit artisan flatbreads – they don’t even know I exist or that I’m talking about them. I just happen to like the bread. They taste good, and they’re healthy – which is a bonus when you’re trying to undo days of eating candy for lunch. If you want to try them, this is what they look like:
Source: Adapted from: The Pampered Chef Season’s Best Recipe Collection, fall/winter 2006