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Thursday, March 6, 2014

Mini Sweet Potato Pizzas with Pesto & Roasted Asparagus (Vegan, Gluten-Free, Soy-Free, Grain-Free)

We meet again! What kind of lover would I be if I didn't keep sweet potatoes in my menu rotation? I've gone on and on about my food love affair with them in these 2 posts: sweet potato & kale soup and sweet potato fries... so give those recipes a whirl if you love sweet potatoes as much as I do!

I came across a recipe from another plant-based food blogger called Almonds & Avocados where she used pesto on sweet potato rounds to make a sort-of pizza and I thought it was genius. Why bother with making a pizza crust when you can just use sweet potatoes?! I could just imagine the fusion of flavor between the sweetness of the sweet potato and the savory from the pesto and toppings and had to try it out for myself. I was in love at first bite. I've made them several times since and have come up with my own pesto recipe. This is yet another example of a win-win vegan meal - delicious and nutritious... er win-win-win... delicious, nutritious and cruelty-free. ;-) These mini pizzas are packed with the vitamins A, C, E, & K, potassium, calcium, zinc, iron, magnesium, fiber, protein, and healthy fats. You will go crazy for these and they're so easy to make and filling, too.

I served them with a side of asparagus as shown in the picture above. I used one bunch of asparagus, snapped off the ends, washed and dried them, then drizzled them with oil and a few generous pinches of sea salt and black pepper and roasted them at 400 degrees with the sweet potato rounds. They were the perfect sidekick! 

Don't forget to sign up for my monthly newsletter! I am going to start out sending it once a month and will eventually work up to twice a month. The first one will be sent out in a few weeks. You can find the sign up form on the right side of my blog. I will be including recipes exclusive to the newsletter that you won't find on my blog and you won't want to miss this first one - believe me! It's a super simple, creamy and incredibly tasty dessert, not to mention the perfect treat to welcome us into spring. Honestly, it's one of the best things I've ever tasted. I realize that's a big statement, but it's true. And it's rare for me to feel that strongly about anything. I joked on Twitter that I almost cried it was so good. LOL. 

Mini Sweet Potato Pizzas with Pesto
Adapted from this recipe

YIELD: 14-16 mini sweet potato pizzas or 2 servings; approx. 1/2 cup pesto

For the sweet potato:
• 1 large sweet potato
• 1 Tbs unrefined coconut oil, melted
• 1/4 tsp fine sea salt
• 1 tsp arrowroot powder (optional but helps make them crispy on the outside)

For the pesto:

• 1 large garlic clove, peeled
• 1/2 cup loosely packed basil leaves
• 1/2 cup tightly packed spinach leaves
• 1/4 cup sun-dried tomatoes
• 1/4 cup hulled hemp seeds or sunflower seeds
• 1.5 Tbs extra virgin olive oil
• 1 Tbs freshly squeezed lemon juice
• 1/4 tsp fine sea salt

Topping suggestions: olives, chopped basil or cilantro, sun-dried tomatoes, bell pepper, red onion, avocado


1. Pre-heat the oven to 400 degrees.
2. Cut the sweet potato into 1/4-1/2-inch rounds, leaving the skin on. In a large bowl, combine the sweet potato rounds, coconut oil, sea salt, and arrowroot powder (if using) and mix well, until the arrowroot powder is no longer visible. Place them on a baking sheet and bake for 30-35 minutes, flipping once halfway through. They're done when lightly browned and crispy.
3. In the meantime, prepare the pesto. First, place the garlic clove in the processor and process for a few seconds until minced. Put the remaining ingredients in and process until smooth. Then, chop the desired topping ingredients.
4. Once the sweet potato rounds are done baking, spread desired amount of pesto on the top of the sweet potato rounds and add toppings. Store leftover pesto in an air container in the fridge for up to 5 days. *You can use the leftover pesto on bread or crackers or mixed in with pasta, brown rice or quinoa. 

I'd love to see your variation of a sweet potato pizza! Send me a picture on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram. xoxo.

"A mind that is stretched by a new experience can never go back to its old dimensions." Unknown


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