Hello 2016! This is the first time I’ve written the new date, actually. Well, typed it… but it still counts. Do you feel renewed and refreshed, ready to face the year ahead? Sometimes I do, and sometimes I end up eating half a tray of Rice Krispie Squares in one day because my stupid Catch-22 of a resolution was to bake more and try more things in the kitchen, but also be healthier. Technically, I didn’t actually make resolutions… I made a list of ways I can improve myself. And I came up with a list of 29 things. Which is pretty depressing when you think about it, especially because some of those items have sub-items.
I’m trying hard not to get swept up into the classic Resolution thing…especially since I’ve failed so hard before. I mean, don’t get me wrong. I definitely downloaded new apps and have hopes for myself this year. I just am trying not to let the fact that it’s a resolution push me to do better.
So let’s talk about eating well. My veggie of the year so far is Brussels Sprouts. They’re heavy duty, filling, durable vegetables. They keep for a while in the fridge and might look all sad and discoloured, but then peel back a layer, and hey! You’re good to go again. (Cue Shrek / Onion / layers joke). I came across the idea for a Brussels Sprouts Pizza at Cookie + Kate, but after the title of the recipe alone, I thought about what I had in my fridge and pretty much did my own thing.
There’s something so freeing when you decide beforehand that your meal will be “rustic”. I purposely chopped the sprouts in various sizes because they’ll all be varying stages of cooked and therefore varying textures when you eat it, which totally works in this flatbread. I didn’t get obsessive about the neatness of the crust, and I sprinkled everything haphazardly and liberally. I ended up with a spicier pizza than I normally would have, and not to blow my own horn (I hate the word ‘toot’), it tasted something like I would order at California Pizza Kitchen or somewhere. I’m super proud of myself.
Initially, I couldn’t decide whether to call this a pizza or a flat bread. I’ve decided on flatbread because it bothers me when people call a dish something that it in no way resembles, taste or appearance wise. Like I’ve seen a recipe for a vegan hot dog – which is really a whole zucchini. Carrot pasta is just spiralized carrots. Come on. That’s going a little too far. So Brussels sprouts does not come into my mind when I think of pizza. Flatbread it is! (Although I cut it like a pizza).
Rustic Brussels Sprouts & Aged Cheddar Flatbread
1 package Pizza Crust Mix
2 cups Brussels Sprouts, some finely chopped, some roughly chopped
1 1/4 cups aged White Cheddar Cheese
1/2 tsp freshly cracked Black Pepper
1/4 cup Parmesan Cheese
1/2 tsp Red Pepper Flakes
1 Medium Onion
1/8 tsp Salt (to taste! optional)
Prepare crust according to package directions. Preheat oven to 425. Chop the Brussels Sprouts as haphazardly as you want, making sure that some bits are very finely chopped. Grate cheese and slice onions into rings. Sprinkle all cheddar cheese on top of the prepared pizza dough, followed by half of the black and red peppers. Top that with the Brussels sprouts, and arrange onions on top of that. Don’t be intimidated by the mountain of sprouts, it will shrink as it cooks.
Sprinkle parmesan cheese and the remaining peppers and salt, if using. Feel free to add more pepper if you like your food a little spicier.
Bake in oven for 25 minutes. The crust should be crispy and the smaller bits of sprouts should be charred.
Remove from oven and eat immediately. It’s lovely when hot.
So what are some of your resolutions? Apart from the regulars, are there any unique ones?