I am the baby in my family and hence I've been treated as such my whole life. Even now, in my 30s, its still the case. I was always treated daintily, since I was the daughter and the baby of the household. As much as I enjoyed not having any responsibilities, big or small, I think it put me at a great disadvantage. I wasn't too prepared for real life. I also didn't realize how much work everything is!
When I stepped out in the world, I didnt want anyone telling me that I couldn't do something - either because I was a girl or because I wasn't physically as strong as a man.
Probably because of how all this plays into my psyche, I find myself gravitating towards "badass" men and "tough chick" women and I've always wanted to be one. A "tough chick". I still don't know what all it entails but I want to be one!
I think mentally, I may be there. Physically, you'd never think I can lift a plank of plywood. At work, I enjoy going head to head with all the men folk (they are in the majority, a sad reality of the workplace) and I may have also built myself a reputation of being a "tough chick".
The more I think about it the more I realize its a need in me to be treated as equal - despite whatever my perceived weaknesses might be - that I'm a woman, an emotional being, physically weak, mentally frail etc.
The funnny thing however is, if you look closely, I'm quite the scaredy cat! I'm scared of heights, fast moving things, of walking down the stairs in my house in the middle of the night, or large animals etc.
So as much as I want to be a "tough chick" - I think its going to remain a pipe dream! I'm fooling no one with my act.
More on topic now, I love salad pizzas. They are the best combination of guilt and redemption - all in one!
I usually love salads and who doesn't love pizza, so I'll order these anywhere they are available. At some restaurants, I have been let down though.
The pizza here is thin and topped with only cheese. No pizza sauce on the base. The best salad pizzas I've had seem to keep the pizza pretty simple so as not to compete with the salad, I suppose.
I used store bought pizza dough (the bakery had just put out a fresh batch) and a good quality (read ridiculously expensive!) bottled pesto. My meals usually make these concessions since I'm short on time. Time permitting, I'd love to make pizza dough from scratch as well as pesto. I've made pesto before, pizza dough is on my list of things to try.
With those store bought ingredients, this meal comes together rather quickly.
- 8 oz pizza dough (for one 10" round pizza)
- 1 tbsp of (really good :) ) Basil Pesto
- 2-3 oz Parmesan Cheese
- 2 oz Shredded Mozzarella Cheese
- 1 tbsp Olive Oil
- 1/2 medium Zucchini
- 1 can Cannelini beans
- Arugula salad leaves
- 1/2 cup Balsamic Vinegar
- Parmesan cheese (sliced using a peeler)
- Olive Oli
- Line your pizza pan ( I have a 10" round pan) with aluminium foil and spread some olive oil on it for easy pick up later. Start with a ball of dough, stretch it on its sides, turning it as you go. When it reaches half the size of the pan, place it on the lined pan and stretch it to fit the pan size.
Tip: This is a weird tip but it totally worked for me. When I stretched the sides of the dough and held it down for 30 second, it stayed in place! Much better than the dough retracting constantly.
- Spread the pesto on the pizza to cover the entire pizza surface. (Since my pesto was concentrated, I used some olive oil to thin it out and then spread it on the pizza)
- Sprinkle with lots of grated Parmesan cheese. Sprinkle a small amount of Mozzarella cheese.
Note: You want to put more Parmesan than Mozzarella or leave Mozzarella out completely. The amount of cheese should be less than what you would add to a regular pizza with sauce.
- Bake in a 350 degree oven for 20 mins. Let stand for 5-10 mins. Transfer to your serving plate before slicing.
- Make triangular slices and leave all slices on the plate to top with salad (The salad will sit on top of your pizza. In the picture above I served myself only 2 slices (trying to portion control) but you want to keep the whole thing together)
- Chop zucchini into small bites. (about the same as the beans)
- Toss with 1 tbsp of olive oil, salt and pepper
- On a hot grill pan, grill the zucchini till you get grill marks on them (Note: since the zucchini is cut so small, you wont be able to grill on an outdoor grill,unless you use a small pan.)
- Drain the cannelini beans from the can and wash them thoroughly under cold water.
- In a dry pan, add 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar and reduce it for 2-3 mins (until vinegar boils with lots of bubbles in it.) The reduced vinegar should be cooled to form a reduction. Don't over boil it as it will become a sticky hard mass. You need drizzling consistency.
- To assemble your salad, place arugula on the pizza add grilled zucchini, cannelini beans, salt, pepper and drizzle with balsamic reduction and olive oil.
- Top the salad with shaved parmesan cheese and dig in!