Arugula + Fig Pizza

Ahhh September. It’s the time of the year when the kids go back to school and everyone gets back into a routine. We have a lot to be grateful for as a society, with the advancements of medicine, technology and overall wellness education helping us live longer lives. Yet one of our greatest weaknesses as a nation is the failure to educate the public about how connected what we eat is to our overall health. We still have agencies at the highest levels in our government regulating our schools, hospitals and military with food recommendations that just don’t match up. Why are we still serving “fruit by the foot” and countless other processed and packaged foods that contain artificial ingredients, artificial coloring and preservatives in our schools instead of partnering with local farms for fresh ingredients?

As we get back into a routine with packing lunches and planning dinners, it’s a good time to reflect on the food choices we make for our family. Instead of blaming the government for something that we seemingly cannot control, my advice is to start your own healthcare reform in your own kitchen. By choosing fresh, plant-based foods you can help your family live a healthier, happier life. This quick and easy recipe can be eaten hot or cold, which is a great choice when busy families are on the run.

Arugula is kind of like the forgotten green. It has a tart and peppery bite to it, but there is so much more to arugula than you might think. Digestion actually starts in your mouth as you chew your food, and by chewing arugula, you activate certain enzymes in your liver that help your body get rid of the toxins it doesn’t need. This improves your energy level and helps you feel well overall. The connections that exist between what you eat and your overall health really are quite astounding. Give this recipe a try and I guarantee your gut will thank you!

Tip: If you don’t have time to make home-made flatbread, you can find it in the bakery section of most grocery stores.

2 cups plus 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
Olive oil (for greasing)
1/2 cup (1 stick) salted butter, softened, divided

Pizza Toppings
Aged balsamic vinegar or glaze
Fresh figs (about 6 or as many as desired)
Goat Cheese (1 package or as much as desired)
Fresh Arugula (a few handfuls)

Using an electronic mixer, combine flour, salt, and baking powder first. Slowly add 2/3 cup water and mix just until the dough forms. Coat the dough in olive oil, place it in a bowl and let it rest for about a 45 minutes.

Cut the dough into 6 equal pieces. Using a rolling pin, roll out each piece to about 1/8 inch in thickness, and whatever shape forms (typically an oval or rectangle). Line a baking sheet (you’ll need 3) with parchment paper and place 2 ovals of dough on each sheet. Spread about 2 tablespoons of soft butter over both sides to the dough to coat it, then cover with a kitchen towel. Freeze (covered) for about 15 minutes.

Heat 1 tablespoon of butter in a griddle or large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add dough, reduce heat to medium, and cook flatbread until bottom is golden brown with large bubbles forming underneath, about 3 minutes. Flip and continue to cook until second side is golden brown, about 1 minute more. Repeat with remaining dough, adding a tablespoon of butter before each batch. Sprinkle with kosher salt after removing from the skillet.

Pizza Preparation
Drizzle balsamic vinegar over the flatbread, and top with sliced fresh figs, crumbled goat cheese and fresh arugula

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