Cheese-less Pizza

Eric and I have started a Friday night pizza ritual. We generally pick up some multigrain pizza dough from Whole Foods, though making your own is just easy (but messier!). It seems crazy that I only recently brought home my first haul from the farmer’s market. My Saturdays have been so busy, I just never had time to go. Nonetheless, we turned Friday night pizza night into Saturday morning pizza day because we wanted to load up our pizza with fresh veg from the market. We also bought baby kale, sorrel, and radishes for a perfect spring salad.

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Radishes are cute, aren’t they?

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We eat most of our pizzas without cheese these days. I already have enough of a cheese habit – I don’t need it on my pizza, also! The key, then, is really good tomatoes. We always buy San Marzano in the can for this pizza, then load on tons of fresh garlic and black pepper. I rarely make an actual sauce – the tomatoes with fresh garlic are enough to make this a great meal.

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And for the salad, I just juice some lemons into a mason jar, put in equal amounts of olive oil, sometimes a splash of red wine vinegar, salt and pepper. Shake it up and drizzle it on – easy.

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So there’s no real recipe here. For this particular pizza, we chopped asparagus into little discs and sprinkled them all over. Fresh slices of an heirloom tomato went on top, and make sure to sprinkle salt over the whole shebang. And seriously, do not skimp on the garlic. I think I added 5-6 cloves to this pizza. I minced them finely, but sometimes I’ll just do thin slices. Eric and I have been practicing making pizza so that he can make it perfectly while I’m gone all summer. His version will likely include granulated garlic instead of fresh garlic, but even he can handle rolling out the dough and smearing canned tomatoes all over it!

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Lemony Kale Quinoa Patties

Our new favorite travel thing lately is bringing a bunch of food with us on the plane (a lot of it!) and then snacking on said food for breakfast and lunch, allowing us to spend more money (and calories!) on yummy vacation dinners. Generally this involves heaps of quinoa patties of different varieties, which have proven to be the perfect travel food. Delicious on their own – no sauce needed! – and not messy at all, these guys taste great when you first wake up after a night of dancing and drinking.

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We have been crazy busy planning planning planning for our trip to Africa! I am a huge fan of flying by the seat of your pants when traveling, but I also know that when you have limited time, if you don’t figure out what there is to do and how to do it, you end up missing things. In Africa, where distances are large and infrastructure is limited, this is especially true.

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So we have developed a pretty sweet plan for our two weeks. After 20 hours of traveling time, we arrive two days after we depart in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, after which we immediately hop on another flight (30 minute flight!) to Zanzibar. And the latest development is that after Zanzibar, we are heading to Rwanda! We obtained permits to hike with mountain gorillas, and I am soooo excited to see these guys up close and personal – in the wild! Then it’s back to Tanzania for a safari in the Serengeti and on to Nairobi. I have a feeling this will be epic.

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And you can bet we’ll be bringing some quinoa patties on the plane.

Lemony Kale Quinoa Patties

*Some of the photos in this post include another version of quinoa patties – mushroom, ginger, and scallion patties. Those also turned out awesome, but that’s another recipe for another day.

**I put the kale in raw, but next time I might sauté it prior to throwing it in the mixture.

This recipe was inspired by my favorite salad these days – a giant mix of dinosaur kale, lemon, olive oil, shaved parmesan cheese, and sunflower seeds.

2.5 cups cooked quinoa
1 cup panko bread crumbs
1 tablespoon raw sunflower seeds
juice of 1 lemon
1 teaspoon sea salt
5 eggs
giant handful shredded kale
1/2 cup shaved parmesan cheese 

In a large bowl, mix together all the ingredients. The mixture should be wet but you will still be able to form a patty.

Preheat the oven to 400. Begin forming patties and placing them on a baking pan lined with wax paper. Bake them for 20 minutes or until golden on the bottom. Flip them and bake another 5-10 minutes, until the other side is nice and browned also.

Let them cool before digging in!