Monday, May 3, 2010

Monday: Pesto Whole-Wheat Chicken Pizza

 Anybody else LOVE pesto? It's one of my favorite sauces because it's quick, simple, and delicious! This is the first time I tried it on homemade pizza, and OH, WAS IT GOOD! On one half I added sauteed chicken, mushrooms, onion and green bell pepper and the other half I left plain for the kids.

The thing that surprised me the most was the kids LOVED it, both the plain side AND the chicken side. We've made pesto before and tossed it on spaghetti; and the kids turned up their noses to it. There was definitely no whining or complaining with this meal. Add a fresh green salad and dinner is served!
Don't like pesto? Try my other pizza recipe:  Tomato Sauce Skillet Pizza

Pizza Dough Recipe
4-6 servings

  2 tsp honey
  2 1/4 tsp or 1 pkg dry yeast

3/4 cup warm water (100-110 Degrees F)

1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
1/4 cup wheat germ or flax seed meal 
1/2 tsp salt

1. Dissolve honey and yeast in the water, and let stand for a couple minutes or until bubbly (that's how you will know if your yeast is any good)
2. Lightly spoon flour into measuring cups and level with a knife. Add flour, wheat germ and salt to mixture and stir until a soft dough forms.
3. Place dough on a lightly floured surface (I usually put a little flour on a cutting board) and knead about 5-6 minutes. Put the ball of dough in a bowl, cover with a cloth. Turn on the oven for a couple minutes (enough to heat it up), but don't let the oven get too hot (like over 100 degrees). Turn the oven off, place your bowl covered in a cloth in the oven for 30 -50 minutes. 


4. Roll dough into a 12 inch circle on a lightly floured surface. Spray cooking spray or grease a cast-iron skillet or pizza pan and place dough in it. Crimp edges of dough with finger to form a rim.  

Brush on pesto.

Sprinkle with Parmesan Cheese and place topping over pesto.
Sprinkle with mozzarella or monterey jack cheese.

 Bake at 400 degrees F for 20-25 minutes.

Chicken Topping

Shredded cooked chicken 
White onion, sliced
bell pepper, red, green or yellow, sliced or chopped

sliced fresh mushrooms

1. Saute all ingredients in a medium sized skillet, covered with cooking spray for about 4-5 minutes until onion is translucent and veggies has softened. 

yields: 1 cup 

2 cup basil leaves
2 cloves of garlic
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese

1/3 cup pine nuts
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
salt and pepper

1.Place all ingredients except oil in food processor and pulse into a coarse paste. While machine is on, slowly add olive oil until a smooth paste forms. Season with salt and pepper. Refrigerate whatever you don't use in air-tight container for up to 1 week. Freeze up to 6 months.

Plan and Prep Ahead

Here are some helpful techniques to make life a little easier once dinner time hits. These tips will especially help those that work full-time and don't have a lot of time to prepare dinner.

~Make pesto ahead and refrigerate.
~Cook chicken topping ahead of time and refrigerate. 
~Grate cheese and keep in airtight container in fridge up to 24 hours ahead of time.


Who likes to CHANGE IT UP?

~Use walnuts or hazelnuts instead of pine nuts for the pesto.
~Make up your own topping instead of the chicken recipe.

Fresh Pesto - Buy a Basil Plant

One of my favorite herb plants is basil. It gives off a sweet aroma and is a very hardy plant. Leave it in an area of your house or yard that gets plenty of sunlight and water it often, since it dries out quickly. When it starts to flower, snip them off. That will ensure that all the energy goes to making the leaves and you will have a plant that lasts longer. Enjoy!


Jennifer Arterbury Photography said...

I love your blog. the pizza recipe looks good. i have been making homemade chicken pizza as well.
i have a homemade bbq sauce on hand at all times, i make a whole chicken on a Monday, and fridge the leftover chicken. then two days later, i make the crust, put down the bbq sauce, the chicken, red onion, and mozzarella cheese. so good!

The Rhodes Family said...

That's what we do! We make a Dutch Oven chicken dinner, and save the leftover chicken for other recipes during the week, like this pesto pizza. Great minds think alike! :)


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