Running fuel: Sweet Potato Kale Pizza & Eggplant Mozzarella Pizza

Sweet Potato Kale Pizza & Eggplant Mozzarella Pizza

Gourmet pizza night  (top: sweet potato kale goat cheese pizza; bottom: eggplant grape tomato garlic fresh mozzarella pizza). Besides providing a tasty dinner carb load for my morning runs, these pizzas also made for a great take-to-work lunch.

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Sweet Potato and Kale Pizza

INGREDIENTS
1 medium sweet potato, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1 package (21 oz) prepared whole-wheat pizza dough
1 bunch curly kale, stemmed and torn into bite-size pieces
1/4 cup crumbled goat cheese

1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Place the sweet potato slices and red onion slices in a bow and toss with 1/2 tablespoon of the olive oil. Season with salt and pepper. Place on a large baking sheet and bake for about 20 minutes, or until the sweet potatoes are soft and tender. Make sure you turn them once during the 20 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool while you prepare the pizza dough.

2. Turn the oven to 500 degrees F or as high as your oven will go. If you have a pizza stone, place the pizza stone in the oven to get hot. On a lightly floured surface, roll out the pizza dough, using a rolling pin. Roll it out to about 3/8 of an inch. Place the pizza dough on a pizza peel or pan that has been generously coated with corn meal. Lightly brush the dough with the remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil. In a small bowl, toss the kale with balsamic vinegar. Top the pizza dough with crumbled goat cheese, sweet potato slices, kale and red onion slices.

3. Place the pizza in the oven-directly on the pizza stone, if using one, or on the oven rack. Bake for 10-15 minutes or until pizza crust is golden. Remove from oven and let cool for a few minutes before slicing. Slice and serve warm.

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Eggplant Mozzarella Pizza

1 package (21 oz) prepared whole-wheat pizza dough
1 whole Large Eggplant (or Two Medium Eggplants)
Kosher Salt, For Sprinkling
1 pint Grape Tomatoes
2 cloves Garlic, Minced
8 ounces, weight Fresh Mozzarella Cheese, Sliced Very Thin
1/2 cup Freshly Grated Parmesan Cheese
Extra Virgin Olive Oil For Drizzling
Freshly Ground Black Pepper

Preheat oven broiler.

Slice the eggplant thinly. Sprinkle both sides with kosher salt and place into a strainer in the sink. Allow to sit for 20 to 30 minutes. Rinse eggplant lightly in cold water, then pat the slices dry between layers of paper towels.

Slice grape tomatoes in half lengthwise and toss into a bowl with minced garlic.
Slice mozzarella very thinly.
Cut eggplant slices into fourths, and toss with olive oil. Arrange on a baking sheet and place 8 inches under the broiler.

Broil for 3 minutes, then toss around and broil another 3 minutes. Remove pan from oven and add tomato/garlic mixture. Broil for 2 to 3 minutes, then remove and set aside. (May do this 1 hour in advance.)

Preheat oven to 500 degrees.

Drizzle olive oil on a large baking sheet and use fingers to coat thoroughly. Remove HALF the pizza dough from the bowl. Stretch pizza dough into a large rectangle, pressing with fingers to finish forming. Dough will be very thin.

Lightly drizzle a little olive oil on the dough and use fingers to spread. Lay mozzarella slices over the surface of the dough. Spread vegetables all over the surface of the cheese. Top with Parmesan cheese.

Bake for 10 to 12 minutes, or until crust is golden brown and the cheese is bubbly. Remove from pan and slice with a pizza cutter. Serve immediately!

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