I am slouched down in my seat typing on my tablet and trying to get a little bit comfortable as I adjust slightly to find a different position. I glance up for a moment to take a look around and people watching. There is an older woman sitting across from me dressed professionally, legs crossed while and in one hand she is holding her latte and in the other she was texting on her phone. The gentleman behind me who is more casual with a baseball hat and sweatshirt on is unfolding the foil from his sandwich he grabbed at one of the “to go” café’s. I see another person who had a jacket draped over him while he is catching a nap. I look towards the isle and there are people coming and going talking on phones, carrying bags, and pulling carryon luggage behind them. Some are frantically rushing weaving around others in hopes to not miss their next plane. Golf carts are zooming past beeping the horn for people to watch out. I hear a woman announcing at the next gate over, “passengers in zone 1 and 2 are now welcome to board”, as people stampede like the building was on fire to try and get through he gate first.
Then, while people watching I suddenly smell an aroma, a familiar food scent that went floating past my nose, I found myself looking around trying to find where it was coming from and notice a few seats down from me a woman who is balancing a small pizza box on her lap as she picks up a slice and takes a bite and with the other hand grabs her jumbo soda sitting on the floor and takes a gulp. From what I can see the pizza has lots of toppings such as cheese, pepperoni, some sort of other meat product, and a few peppers and onions. Pizza - the one of many ultimate comfort foods for a busy person who is traveling and has no time to sit down at a restaurant and relax and enjoy a good meal. Pizza - the American staple, the fast food delight, the king of bad.
Finally, I look at the time on my computer and we have only a few minutes to we start boarding. My husband and I finally hear our zone and we made our way through the stampede on the plane, tuck our carry-on bags up in the compartment above, shove my back pack under the seat, climb in my seat and settle in. We are on our way home from a beautiful vacation in Key West. We ran a half marathon, did some sight-seeing, and ate some great delicious food at a few vegan restaurants. We had organic Buddha bowls with homemade dressings, fresh smoothies and juices and even splurged on some desert with a glass of wine. We ate some delicious food the whole time. But, we were now headed back to reality, back to the winter blustery winds and chilling temperatures of winter.
As the plane began to take off and lifts off the ground, I glanced out the window and silently wave good bye to the warm tropical island and all the palm trees, I adjusted my pillow, sat back and closed my eyes and tried to get some sleep during the 2 hour flight to our lay over. As my mind wandered in and out of a dream like state, I couldn’t help but thinking about that woman eating the pizza sitting in the airport. Pizza is the all American comfort food. It can be found in every town, city, store, gas station mini marts, and in airports. Pizza is the ideal party food for birthdays, showers, holidays, and football games. Pizza can be made with any topping imaginable with red, white sauces, pesto and squashes. “Let’s just order a pizza” is the quick solution to a meal when there is no time. Perfect for when we get home! So, as I am sitting there thinking of all the delicious ways to make a pizza, the plane jolted a bit hitting some turbulence and I suddenly sat up realizing that I was actually drooling. I quickly look over at my husband and wiped the drool off the side of my face and said to him, “I know what we are having for dinner tomorrow; I am making a basil kale pesto pizza with lots of veggie toppings on a thin crust.” This is the healthy version of a classic Iconic dish that is quick and simple to make that certainly does not lace in flavor.
Kale Pesto Pizza
Store bought dough (I used a sprouted black bean dough from whole foods but, any one will work) unless you want to make your own – that’s fine to. I used store bought this time to save time.
1 ½ cups tightly packed fresh basil
3 big leaves of kale
4-5 cloves of garlic (depending how much garlic you like)
1 lemon juiced
¼ cup nutritional yeast
2 tbsp walnut oil (or other good quality oil, I try not to use to much oils)
Few added whole walnuts
Salt & pepper to taste
Fresh baby spinach
Red peppers or roasted red peppers
Cook for about 20 minutes or until the bottom of crust is golden brown. leave in for a few extra minutes if you like a crunchy pizza.