Deliciously Vibrant Veggie Pizza For Sharing

Deliciously Vibrant Veggie Pizza For Sharing

Next time you’re in the mood for pizza, try this veggie version instead. It’s a great way to eat fresh vegetables in pizza form. Share with friends!

Prep Time: 45 min

Total Time: (Refer to dough baking instructions)

Ingredients:

For Pesto: 

  • 3-6 garlic cloves
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts
  • 1/2 cup romano cheese
  • 1 jalapeno
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 cup basil

Pizza Toppings: 

  • Ricotta cheese
  • Mozzarella cheese
  • Tomatoes
  • Sweet onion
  • Spinach
  • Red pepper flakes
Homemade Pesto Ingredients
Cheese and Tomatoes

Instructions:

Pesto: In a food processor, add basil leaves and garlic (measure with your heart, I use 6 cloves)! Add the jalapeno, toasted pine nuts, and romano cheese. Pulse ingredients with olive oil until smooth.

Caramelized Onions: Slice your sweet onion and place in a pan with some olive oil. Continuously stir them for roughly 30 minutes until they are soft and a brown, caramelized color.

Depending on your level of fancy, you can purchase pre-made dough from a grocery store or make your own at home! When you’re ready to assemble, add a layer of your favorite marinara sauce. Then the ricotta and veggies to your liking! Top with your mozzarella and red pepper flakes and bake according to the dough’s directions.

Yummy!

Sarah Biddle Image

Recipe compliments of Home Chef Sarah Biddle and OPL Community Member

OPL Plant-rich Recipes

Eating more fruits and vegetables is good for you and the planet.  Find more delicious OPL-recommended plant-rich recipes here.

Easy Breakfast Wrap for Dinner

Easy Breakfast Wrap for Dinner

Enjoy the delicious and healthy goodness of eggs, for dinner. Recharge after a long day with this colorful and vibrant veggie and egg wrap!

Total Time: 30 min.

Yield: 2 servings

Ingredients:
  • 2 potatoes or sweet potatoes
  • 1 bell pepper
  • 1 red onion
  • 2-4 eggs
  • 1/2 avocado
  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 1 cup spinach
  • 11 package of Brussel sprouts
  • 1/2 cup hazelnuts
  • 1/2 lemon
  • Parmesan to taste
  • Cheese of choice to taste
  • Olive oil
  • Whole wheat tortilla
Butternut Squash

Instructions:
  1. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Cut Brussel sprouts in halves and place them on a baking sheet with olive oil, salt, and pepper.
  3. Bake for 15-20 minutes, then finish them off with shredded parmesan and the juice of half a lemon.
  4. Finely dice 1 bell pepper and 1 red onion, allow them to simmer in a pan with olive oil on low heat.
  5. Wash, peel, and shred two potatoes. Add the shredded potatoes to your simmering pepper and onion. Allow this to cook on a slightly higher heat for 15-20 minutes.
  6. In another pan, add your whisked eggs. Continue to stir until the eggs are just cooked then add your spinach and cheese.
  7. Once your hash browns are tender and crisp on the outside and your eggs are cooked prepare your tortilla for assembly.
  8. Add a layer on your potato mixture, eggs, cheese, avocado. Roll up your burrito and place it back in your skillet. Toast on each side for two minutes then serve with your Brussel sprouts!
  9. Enjoy!
Sarah Biddle Image

Recipe compliments of Home Chef Sarah Biddle and OPL Community Member

OPL Plant-rich Recipes

Eating more fruits and vegetables is good for you and the planet.  Find more delicious OPL-recommended plant-rich recipes here.

Birds are Calling it Spring! Time to Go Outside

Birds are Calling it Spring! Time to Go Outside

Here come the birds!

Spring is in the air, and we can feel and hear it as Northern Cardinals, American Robins, Tufted Titmouse, White-breasted Nuthatches, Song Sparrows, and WoodPeckers are plentiful at the bird feeder singing, chirping, and pecking away. The temperatures are rising, and the need for those puffy jackets, wool coats, and accessories can soon be safely packed away or donated to Goodwill, the Veterans Association, or a homeless shelter.

Trees and flowers are next!

Depending on where you live, you may start to see buds arrive on trees, shrubs, and spring flowers such as Snowdrops who are beginning to peek out from under the layers of leaves or remnants of snow. These delicate beautiful white flowers are so lovely to see. By snipping a few and bringing some springtime joy inside, they always brighten up a little vase as well as put a smile on our faces. On those dreary days of the late winter season moving into spring, another wonderfully easy way to bring nature inside is to force plants such as Forsythia and Pussy Willows into blooming. The process is quite simple; check out Fine Gardening for forcing branches to bloom indoors during the winter season.

Crocuses, daffodils, and grape hyacinths are the next bulbs that flower in the mid-Atlantic area.

They are a great signal to get out into the woods to see what spring ephemerals are blossoming under any snow that remains. We love using free apps such as iNaturalist, PictureThis, and Google Lens to help identify various plants, moss, ferns, mushrooms, and trees. One can also identify birds, insects, etc. with these same apps.

Bring on the BioBlitz!

Spring is a great time to catalog what one is seeing in nature. A fun activity would be to create a BioBlitz challenge event amongst family, friends, colleagues, etc. that would focus on finding and identifying as many springtime plants, trees, birds, insects, reptiles, amphibians, and fungi over a short period –  perhaps a day or weekend.  

If you have access to an Olloclip, Xenvo, or a Macro Fisheye for your mobile phone, you will find that these lens systems will open up a whole new world of discovery of the natural world up close. We promise it to be fun and cool to see nature from this perspective.

Here is to your Spring adventure! Be sure to post and share some of your Bio Blitz photos on our One Planet Life app.

Now is the Time to Prepare for the Growing Season

Now is the Time to Prepare for the Growing Season

As we look out the window on a 5 degree sunny, snowy day, it may be hard to imagine containers or gardens filled with abundant vegetables and fruit. But the promise of spring is on its way. Now is the time to prepare for the growing season. 

When planning your container or outdoor garden, it’s best to start small and grow what you love. 

For example, if you love salsa, plant a salsa garden of tomatoes, peppers, cilantro, and onions. Growing seedlings is fun, exciting, and rewarding.  You can use seeds you saved from your garden last year, compost soil from your pile, or purchase seeds and dirt from your local garden center or farmer’s market. You can also purchase seeds from sustainable companies such as Johnny’s Selected Seeds, Renee’s Garden, High Mowing Organic Seeds, and Botanical Interests. Reuse plastic and cardboard containers as suitable makeshift greenhouses. Egg cartons can be planted directly into the soil and will disintegrate into the ground as the plant grows.

Once you have your seeds selected, check out your last frost date to determine when to begin sowing your seeds. Enter your zip code at almanac.com/gardening/frostdates to determine the best time to transplant your seedlings outside. 

Take these five steps to prepare for the growing season:

1. Fill your containers within 1/2 inch of the top of the containers with soil and wet with warm water. Use the eraser end of a pencil to make a small hole to drop in two seeds. Cover the seeds with a light layer of soil and sprinkle with warm water. (Make sure to check the instructions on your seed packet for the exact amount of dirt required to cover your seeds.)

2. Cover your makeshift greenhouse. If you use egg cartons, cover with a plastic lid from another container to keep in the moisture. Be sure your soil does not dry out during germination. Mist or sprinkle your greenhouse with warm water. It is best to maintain a 70-degree temperature inside for germination.

3.  Once the seeds have sprouted, remove the plastic covering and move the seedling to a sunny area, preferably a south-facing window.  In many instances, an LED shop or grow light (which you can purchase at your local hardware store or online) will be required to support photosynthesis. Seedlings will need between 10-16 hours of light each day. Plants should be 1-3 inches from the light source. Raise the lights as the plants grow.

4. After the danger of frost, acclimate your plants outside by gradually increasing daily exposure to outdoor temperature over two weeks. Begin with one hour the first day, then increase by an hour each day until they are always outside.  Ensure that temps outside are at least 40-50 degrees before exposing your plants. 

5. Begin your vegetable seeds 4-5 weeks before the outdoor planting date of your area.  You should sow flower seeds 8-10 weeks before transplanting outside.  

Roasted Beet Salad With Honey-dijon Vinaigrette

Roasted Beet Salad With Honey-dijon Vinaigrette

Fresh roasted beets are so flavorful and full of beneficial nutrients. Combined with greens, goat cheese, walnuts, and vinaigrette, this roasted beet salad may just become one of your favorite salads. This recipe was adapted from Once Upon a Chef by Jennifer Segal.

Servings: Makes 4-6 servings

Ingredients:

For the Beets:

  • 1 bunch medium beets (about 3)
  • 1 tbs extra virgin olive oil

For the Salad:

  • 10 ounces mixed greens
  • 3 ounces goat cheese
  • 1/2 cup walnuts, coarsely chopped 

For the Vinaigrette:

    • 2 tbs honey
    • 1 1/2 tbs Dijon mustard
    • 3 tbs red wine vinegar
    • 1-1/2 tbs minced shallots
    • 1/2 tsp salt
    • 1/4 tsp ground black pepper
    • 6 tbs extra virgin olive oil
French Sorrel
Instructions:

For the Beets:

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.  Wipe or scrub beets clean, then trim the stems down to one inch. Place beets on a large piece of foil; then wrap foil around them to form a neat packet. Roast directly on the rack in the middle of the oven until tender.  About 45 minutes – one hour.  Test for doneness by piercing the largest beet with a knife.  If it enters easily, it’s done.  Unwrap beets and let them sit until cool enough to handle. Use your hands or a paring knife to peel skin, then cut into 1/2-inch dice.  Set aside. 

For the Vinaigrette:

In a small bowl, whisk together the honey, dijon mustard, red wine vinegar, shallots, salt, and pepper.  Whisking constantly, slowly add the oil in a steady stream.  Taste and adjust seasoning if needed.

For the Salad:

Place the greens in a large bowl, drizzle with about half of the vinaigrette and toss to combine.  Add as much of the remaining vinaigrette as desired and toss again.  Divide greens onto plates, then sprinkle with beets, walnuts, and goat cheese.  (Warning, if you mix this all together in a salad bowl the beets will turn the salad pink.). Serve immediately.

Chef Yvonne Dwyer

Recipe compliments of OPL Naturalist and Home Chef Yvonne Dwyer

OPL Plant-rich Recipes

Eating more fruits and vegetables is good for you and the planet.  Find more delicious OPL-recommended plant-rich recipes here.

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