Monday, August 29, 2011

Meatless Monday: Grilled Pesto Pizzas

My favorite sister-in-law (OK, my only sister-in-law) posted a photo last month of some individual pizzas she'd made for Meatless Monday. They had assorted roasted vegetables on top, and they looked mouth-watering. She made a lot of changes, but she gave me the recipe she based hers off of. I decided to use her pizzas and the recipe as a guide, and I created my own grilled pizza recipe. With me as the brains of the operation and my husband stationed as grill master, we created some fabulous pizzas. Although Oliver was skeptical about trying them, even he agreed that they were quite tasty. We've made them a couple times since.

A preview of the finished product:

The only cooking that we do for this recipe indoors is for the pesto. You can make this ahead of time and keep it in the fridge. I love when I don't have to be in a rush to get dinner made exactly on time. As for the veggies, feel free to change them up. Some people love eggplant; some hate it. You can probably use summer squash instead, or add extra zucchini. I bet mushrooms would be good, too.

We get two individual pizzas out of this recipe. It easily feeds three people, but if you're entertaining then it's probably nice for each person to have his or her own. I'll provide the calorie count and cost break down for both at the end of this post. As a note, the calorie count will vary depending on how much oil you use on your veggies.

Here's the recipe for individual Grilled Pesto Pizzas:

1 (0.5 ounce) envelope of pesto sauce mix
3/4 cup water
1/4 cup olive oil

1/4 eggplant
1 zucchini
1 bell pepper
Olive oil, for brushing
Salt, to taste
2 pocketless, whole wheat pitas
1 tomato, diced
1 cup shredded, part-skim mozzarella cheese

1. Whisk sauce mix, water, and 1/4 cup olive oil in a small saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Reduce heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes or until thickened.
2. Cut zucchini and bell pepper in half, lengthwise. Slice the eggplant into strips, ensuring they're large enough to not fall into the grill. Brush olive oil over the zucchini, bell pepper, and eggplant and sprinkle with salt to taste.

3. Heat grill to medium. Place the zucchini, bell pepper and eggplant on the grill, directly over the heat. Cover and grill for 6-8 minutes, turning once, until the vegetables are crip tender. Remove from grill.

4. Place pitas on the grill and cook for approximately 2 minutes, until toasted.

5. Meanwhile, chop the grilled vegetables. Mix the grilled vegetables, tomato, and pesto.

6. Flip the pitas on the grill. Spread the pesto-vegetable mixture onto the pitas. Sprinkle with cheese. Cover and cook for an additional 4-6 minutes, until cheese is melted. Enjoy!

Per serving (2 servings), approximately:
Calories: 630 calories
Protein: 22 grams
Cost: $4.50

Per serving (3 servings), approximately:
Calories: 420 calories
Protein: 14 grams
Cost: $3.00

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