A couple weeks back my Fireman and I went to one of our favorite dining out places. We don’t frequent there a lot and when we do go, we both have a hard time staying away from our normal entrees. The chicken dish I select is probably my favorite- ever.. and I have a chicken ‘thing’. (I think I’ve mentioned before my aversion to poultry. I’ll eat it, but only if I prepare it myself! I have a problem with rib meat. It offends me. Greatly.) So, it was much to my surprise when my Fireman decided to browse through their extensive menu. This place has anything from Chinese to pizza to breakfast. It often stresses me out to make that kind of decision and without having some kind of idea about what I want before hand. I’m clueless for the first 20 minutes- and feel really sorry for our server, who continues to return and repeat his/her question- “Have you decided on what you would like to order?” And then-again-with the blank stare. Needless to say.. I stuck with my usual, but branched out and split a salad with my date. He, however, decided on a pizza. A Roasted Vegetable Pizza. When he announced his order to the server- I did a double take when I realized this dish to be a vegetarian meal. “Wow, really, babe?” I was impressed. When our food finally came- I immeadiatly regretted my (favorite) dish. I wanted a slice of his B-E-A-utiful pizza, adorned with all kinds of colors. Eggplant and tomatoes and artichokes.. goat cheese.. gahleeee! I knew this one wasn’t going unnoticed as a rotation into a CB weekly meal rotation. Naturally, over the course of the next week or so I researched this pizza to find out when all when into it, and then tried (with little success) to find accurate caloric info. At this time the restaurant does not publish its own nutritional information. Their website states that all food is made in-house each day, which can alter the nutritional content of each item… but I did find out that the little veggie pizza (serves 2-4 by the way..) was almost 1500 calories and about 25 grams of saturated fat (the bad fat!). Yikes. Even if you split it to the 2 portions it says to feed..thats like 700 calories, before drinks, salad, or appetizer. But, seriously, nothing surprises me these days with restaurant nutritional information- but like so many of you.. I love to enjoy delicious food that I didn’t have to prepare myself. BUT- I also enjoy re-creating delicious food- but with much more bang for my buck! Unlike the original- this pizza is mounded high with hearty sauteed vegetables, and a salty protein addition, pancetta- cooked to crispy and sprinkled on top. In the words of my Fireman.. “It’s better than the original.. better than Cheesecake.” Even with his mouth full- I still got the word ‘better’ out of that. And that’s all that matters to me
1 1/2 ounces pancetta (Italian-style bacon) or Canadian bacon, chopped
1 teaspoon olive oil
1 Japanese eggplant, halved lengthwise and cut into (1/4-inch-thick) slices
1 red bell pepper, cut into 1/4-inch strips
1 small red onion, thinly sliced
1.5 cups sliced mushrooms
1 (15oz) can medium artichoke hearts, cut in half
2 teaspoons dried Italian seasoning
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 Italian whole wheat pizza crust (such as Boboli)
1/3 cup (3 ounces) crumbled goat cheese
1/2 cup (2 ounces) preshredded reduced-fat cheddar cheese
3 Roma tomatoes, cut into (1/4-inch-thick) slices
Preheat oven to 375°.
Heat 1 teaspoon olive oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat; add pancetta, and sauté for 2 minutes, or until pancetta is sightly darker in color and crisp. Remove from pan, and set aside for later. Coat the same pan with cooking spray. Add eggplant, bell pepper, and onion; sauté 3 minutes or until eggplant begins to soften. Reduce heat to medium. Add mushrooms, and cook 3 minutes, stirring frequently. Add artichokes, Italian seasoning, salt, and garlic; cook 1 minute, stirring constantly. Remove from heat.
Place crust on a baking sheet. Spread vegetable mixture evenly over crust, leaving a 1/2-inch border. Arrange the pancetta over vegetable mixture; sprinkle evenly with goat cheese, and then with cheddar cheese. Arrange tomatoes over cheese. Bake at 375° for 15-18 minutes or until cheese is bubbly and tomatoes are softened.