October 15, 2012

Sweet Potato Kale Pizza

There are so many things about parenthood that I never really "got" until I become a mom.  The sleep deprivation, the endless loads of laundry, how the care of a small baby can truly fill up a parent's whole day, the continuous cycle of cooking, eating, and cleaning.  As my kids get older, some of the daily responsibilities have been replaced: the kids need some supervision but not constant one-on-one attention, caring for the kids includes taking them to school, sports, library, and other extracurricular activities; there aren't the nighttime wakings but the days are sure busy enough to still leave me worn down and cranky by dinner time.  And speaking of dinner time, that's certainly one event that remains on the daily schedule!

I get into a rut with cooking from time to time so I'm always looking for something new and healthy but easy.  As I was strolling through Trader Joe's I picked up a couple of favorites I hadn't bought in a while -- organic sweet potatoes and pizza dough.  Could I make something with those ingredients?

A minute or so on my smartphone and I pulled up a recipe that fit the bill from the blog Two Peas and Their Pod.  Short list of ingredients including nutritional powerhouse kale.  Easy preparation.  Minimal cooking time.  This fit the bill!

My kids enjoyed the sweetness of the sweet potatoes.  I liked that the vinegar brought a bit of tanginess to the pizza and that the kale didn't have a pronounce flavor or texture that would earn them protests from the kids.  The pizza is not only tasty but the sweet potatoes are chalk-full of fiber, vitamin A, and vitamin C.

The recipe can easily be adapted to eliminate common food allergens.  My family is fine with wheat so we used whole-wheat Trader Joe's pizza dough.  If you are managing a wheat allergy or gluten intolerance, check out Udi's ready-to-use pizza crust (they do contain eggs), Schar pizza crusts (they contain milk), or Ener-G's pizza shells (free of wheat, gluten, dairy, eggs, soy, and nuts).  If you are local to the Bay Area, Mariposa Bakery makes a delicious gluten-free, vegan, nut-free crust that I have written about here.

Sweet Potato Kale Pizza
Adapted from Two Peas and Their Pod's recipe

1 favorite pizza dough or crust
1 large sweet potato, peeled and cut into 1/8-inch or 1/4-inch thick slices
1/2 cup of red onions, thinly sliced
2 Tbsp olive oil, divided
1/2 to 1 packed cup of kale, stems removed and torn into bite-sized pieces
1 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
1 to 2 cups of safe mozzarella-style cheese (we use Daiya Vegan Shreds, which are free of the top 8 allergens.  LOVE this!)
Salt and pepper to taste
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Toss together sweet potato slices, red onions, and 1 tablespoon of olive oil.  Season with salt and pepper if you so desire.
  3. Spread out sweet potatoes and onions in a single layer on a baking pan.  Bake for 10 minutes.  Remove pan from the oven and flip over the sweet potatoes.  Bake an additional 10 minutes or until sweet potatoes just begin to brown or crisp around the edges.
  4. While sweet potatoes are baking, roll out or hand-stretch the pizza dough.  Place on a pizza stone or pan with cornmeal to prevent dough from sticking to the cooking surface.  Brush dough/crust with 1 tablespoon of olive oil.  Top with mozzarella or cheese alternative.  
  5. In a separate bowl, toss kale leaves with apple cider vinegar. 
  6. When sweet potatoes and onions are done cooking, remove from baking pan and add on to the pizza.  Sprinkle kale on top.  Add fresh ground pepper to taste.
  7. Follow the directions for temperature and time for cooking your chosen pizza crust.  (I cooked my pizza with Trader Joe's pizza dough crust at 450 degrees, for 12 minutes.)  Cool for 5 minutes before slicing.  Serve immediately.

If you have time for homemade pizza crust and are fine with wheat, try this recipe:

White Whole Wheat Pizza Dough Makes two thin 17"x11" crusts
Adapted from AllRecipes.com's Amazing Whole Wheat Crust Recipe

1 1/2 cup warm water (110 degrees F)
1 tsp agave nectar (if not agave, honey or sugar would be fine)
1 Tbsp active dry yeast
1 tsp salt
1 tsp garlic powder
Additional spices such as oregano and basil
3 1/2 cups white whole wheat flour
1 Tbsp olive oil plus more for greasing bowls
  1. In a bowl or cup, combine warm water and agave/sweetener of choice.  
  2. Sprinkle dry yeast over water and stir to dissolve.  Set bowl aside for 10 minutes to allow yeast to activate.  (I usually put the bowl in a warm environment like the microwave to help the yeast dissolve.)
  3. In a separate large bowl, mix together salt, garlic powder, and flour.
  4. When yeast has completely dissolved, there will be a thick layer of foam over the mixture.  Pour water mixture into the flour mixture.  Add the 1 tablespoon of oil.  Knead the dough for about 5 to 10 minutes or until the dough is smooth.  
  5. Set aside to rise in a large oiled bowl, covering loosely with a towel.  Let it rise (and double in size) for 1 hour.
  6. After 1 hour, divide the dough into 2 balls for 2 thin pizza crusts.  Let them rise in separate bowls for another hour.
  7. To make crusts, roll out or hand-stretch the dough to fit large cookie sheet pans.

Enjoy warm homemade pizza and the sweet taste of root vegetables as we head into fall!


  1. It tastes so yummy, I should try to make one. Thanks for the recipe. God Bless.

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