You can have a taco salad and a burrito salad. Pizza salad… Why not?
Pizza is a fave menu item in North America. It’s so versatile with different crust types, thin, thick, stuffed, gluten-free, cauliflower etc. as well as the endless toppings and combinations thereof. It’s certainly a staple food in my house. We can make it, order it or buy it in the supermarket. I thought I would try something different for the hot summer months when you want to spend more time outside and not inside in front of a hot stove. Just like pizza, this pizza salad is very versatile too. Of course I used my favourite toppings: peppers, tomatoes, mushrooms, onion and YES pineapple! but you can choose whichever combination you find pleases the senses. (Taste is very subjective; sardines were one of the original pizza toppings but are rare to find on pizza these days)
I started with a base of wheat berries (which is the whole grain form of wheat) and lentils for a nutritional pack a punch of protein, iron, carbs, fibre, plus, plus, plus…
Just 1/4 cup of wheat berries contains approximately 7 grams of protein, 6 grams fibre and 1.7 milligrams of iron plus other essential nutrients to boot! Put it all together and 1 serving of this salad has a whopping 17 grams of protein! like, what?! So it makes a great meal for after a workout.
Of course if you’d like this to be gluten-free then you can choose any grain you would like even using riced cauliflower if you choose!
You could also just use lentils as your base. Another powerhouse food being low in calories but high in nutrients. You won’t eat as much of this salad as you would pizza as the nutrients will allow you to feel full because they nourish the body.
The next step is to roast and saute the veggies. Alternately you could just leave them raw but I just love the flavours that emerge when peppers are roasted and onions and mushrooms are allowed to carmelize.
If you are running low on time you could use jarred roasted peppers and canned pineapple tidbits, drained.
What are your favourite pizza toppings?
However you decide to have your pizza or pizza salad, enjoy your life in the pink!
- grain of your choice ( I used wheat berries) to equal 2 cups when cooked
- 1 1/2 cups cooked lentils
- 4 assorted sweet peppers
- 1/2 fresh pineapple cut in to tidbits
- 1 red onion, sliced
- 1 1/2 cups mushrooms, sliced
- 1 cup grape tomatoes cut in half
- 1 green onion
- salt & pepper
- olive oil
- Start cooking the grains. The wheat berries can take up to an hour to cook using a regular method (ie: not an instant pot or pressure cooker. If using one of these appliances your prep time can be reduced to 1/5th of the time.)
- Preheat oven to 450 F, slice and seed the peppers, drizzle with oil and sprinkle with salt & pepper. Bake skin side up until skin is slightly blackened and wrinkly. About 20 minutes.
- While the peppers and grains are cooking, prepare the onions and mushrooms: add a bit of oil to a pan set on medium heat, when the pan is hot add the mushrooms and a little salt, when the mushrooms start to sweat add the onions and saute until soft and browned. Add oregano and pepper.
- Chop the pineapple, tomatoes and green onion.
- Assemble the salad: Place everything into a bowl and toss together
- Enjoy life in the pink!