Ricotta Butternut Brussels Sprouts Pizza w/ Cranberries

I. Love. Thursdays. Yesterday was another great day filled with yoga in the morning, a delicious vegan lunch at a new restaurant, and work in the afternoon.

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I had lunch with a friend at a restaurant called Sacred Chow, and had an amazing Power Bowl which consisted of BBQ seitan, soba noodles, and collard greens. Wow, doesn’t get much better than that.

At night I had my food policy class, which was as amazing as always. Our lecture topic was Government Dietary Advice, whether or not it is clear and effective, and if not, how can we fix it? At one point during class we broke out into groups to do an exercise where we all created our own dietary guideline icon. For example, instead of the food pyramid or MyPlate, we were given the task to create what we believed would be the best icon for expressing dietary advice.

The group I was in came up with the idea of a stoplight; where the red light symbolizes foods to pause and think about before you eat (a.k.a. eat sparingly), the yellow light symbolizes foods to eat everyday in moderation (foods to pace yourself with), and the green light symbolizes foods to go ahead and eat as much of as you want. An example of foods in the red category would be red meat and refined sugars, foods in the yellow category would be things like lean proteins and grains, and foods in the green category would be fruits and vegetables and water.

This exercise ended up being a lot more difficult than I thought. There are so many components to factor in, that in the quick drawing of our icon we could not incorporate them all. The other groups all had great ideas as well, such as including the importance of physical activity. By taking part in this activity I learned that there is no one correct way to incorporate all the necessary advice into a single, easily communicable icon. It’s easy to critique the government guidelines, but it is very challenging to represent everything involved in a healthy diet in one image/icon if you try.

I wish I would have gotten a picture of our classes dietary guidelines, they were all pretty creative! In the spirit of eating healthy, and incorporating a variety of green and yellow light foods into our diet, here is a recipe that does just that. This Ricotta Butternut Brussels Sprouts Pizza w/ Cranberries is full of veggies, and has some fruit and whole grains involved as well.

IMG_2453This was so good you guys! Homemade pizzas are the best!

IMG_2508Veggie heaven.

IMG_2503Ricotta Butternut Brussels Sprouts Pizza W/ Cranberries

Makes 1 pizza

1 prepared whole wheat pizza crust

1 tbsp olive oil

1/2 tbsp balsamic vinegar

7.5 oz. ricotta cheese

10 brussels sprouts, stems chopped off and cut in half

Butternut squash (about 7, 1″ thick half circles…or probably a cup of chopped squash)

1 cup frozen spinach, thawed

1/4 cup of cranberries

A sprinkle of feta cheese

To make this pizza start by preheating the oven to 400 degrees.

Place the butternut squash and brussels sprouts on a tin foil lined baking sheet and drizzle with a little olive oil if desired. Otherwise pop the veggies in the oven and roast for about 25 minutes, or until tender.

Once the veggies are done, change the temperature on the oven to whatever your prepared crust’s instructions advise. Now begin assembling the pizza!

First spread the olive oil and balsamic vinegar over the crust, and then add the ricotta cheese.

On top of the cheese, layer the spinach and then the squash and brussels sprouts. You can make the placement as artistic as you want! I made a little design with my toppings but you can do whatever you please!

Next, add the cranberries to the pizza and finally sprinkle with a little feta cheese if desired.

Bake for as long as instructed on the crust’s package. Take out of the oven and enjoy!

Almonds are forever,

Sydney

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