Meatless Monday: Get Your Kale On

This entry was posted on Dec 14, 2015 by Charlotte Bell.
meatless mondayMeatless Monday: Pizza with Kale and Caramelized Onions

When I was in college at Indiana University, I paid my tuition, housing and expenses from the salary and tips I earned serving at a well-known Bloomington haunt, Mother Bear’s Pizza Barn. Needless to say, I ate a lot of pizza back then. I ate pizza on my shifts, and when I came home, my roommate’s dog would follow me around because my clothing was permeated with pizza scent. When I stopped eating meat in 1978, most restaurants had few to no vegetarian options. Pizza was one of the few foods I could order without meat when I’d dine out.

During my Mother Bear’s years, I developed a taste for quality pizza. (In 1982, People magazine rated Mother Bear’s as one of the nine best pizza joints in the U.S.) But even more than that, I developed an affection for the pie itself. I still enjoy a good, inventive pizza. In Salt Lake City, some of my favorite places to get good pizza are Sage’s Cafe (all-you-can-eat vegan pizza on Tuesday evenings), Wasatch Pizza, Settebello and The Pie Pizzeria.

Even with all these great selections, I still like to make my own, especially in the late summer/early fall when I’ve got lots of fresh pesto and tomatoes.

I found this recipe in the September 2015 issue of Vegetarian Times. I ended up making my own crust from scratch, but you can certainly make a fine pie using some of the prepared crusts available. When I don’t feel like making a crust I use Vicolo Organic Corn Crust. I’ve never tried it, but Whole Foods’ frozen crust gets high ratings too.

This pizza, although not traditional (no tomato sauce), is quite excellent.

Pizza with Kale, Caramelized Onions and Parmesan
  • 6 T olive oil, divided
  • 2 large yellow onions, thinly sliced (4 cups)
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced (1 T)
  • 1 12-oz. bunch Tuscan or dinosaur kale, thinly sliced into ribbons (5 cups)
  • 1 16-oz. pkg. refrigerated or thawed frozen pizza dough or from-scratch dough to make a 12- to 14-inch pie
  • ½ tsp. coarse sea salt, for sprinkling, optional
  • ½ cup grated Parmesan (I used Midnight Moon goat gouda.)

1 | Preheat oven to 500°F. Place pizza stone on middle rack of oven, if using.
2 | Heat 2 Tbs. oil in large skillet over medium heat. Add onions, and cook 10 to 20 minutes, or until at least half of onions are browned and caramelized, stirring occasionally. Add garlic and 1 Tbs. oil. Cook 1 minute, or until garlic begins to brown. Add kale to pan, and cook 5 to 6 minutes, or until kale has turned bright green, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat, and season with salt and pepper, if desired.
3 | Meanwhile, roll out pizza dough as thinly as possible. Place on pizza stone or baking sheet sprinkled with flour. Bake 4 minutes to ensure crust gets crisp (pop any bubbles with fork).
4 | Drizzle crust with 2 Tbs. oil, sprinkle with sea salt (if using), and top with kale mixture. Sprinkle with Parmesan. Return pizza to oven, and bake 8 minutes more, or until cheese is golden, and crust is golden brown. Remove pizza from oven, drizzle with remaining 1 Tbs. oil, and slice into triangles.

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About Charlotte Bell
Charlotte Bell discovered yoga in 1982 and began teaching in 1986. Charlotte is the author of Mindful Yoga, Mindful Life: A Guide for Everyday Practice and Yoga for Meditators, both published by Rodmell Press. Her third book is titled Hip-Healthy Asana: The Yoga Practitioner’s Guide to Protecting the Hips and Avoiding SI Joint Pain (Shambhala Publications). She writes a monthly column for CATALYST Magazine and serves as editor for Yoga U Online. Charlotte is a founding board member for GreenTREE Yoga, a non-profit that brings yoga to underserved populations. A lifelong musician, Charlotte plays oboe and English horn in the Salt Lake Symphony and folk sextet Red Rock Rondo, whose DVD won two Emmy awards in 2010.