My stomach was very happy.
I did not realize that my stomach could feel happy. I definitely knew that it could feel distinctly unhappy…but mostly it feels indifferent.
That was not the case after eating this pizza. You know how you feel about 1/3 of the way into a super-delicious, super-satisfying meal after suffering rafter-rattling stomach growls due to intense starvation? A third of the way into the meal, you are still quite hungry but no longer feel close to collapse, and you have not yet over-compensated and eaten too much. With reckless abandon, you are still enjoying whatever deliciousness you managed to finally get your hands on, and your stomach is oh-so-grateful. Yeah, that’s the best way to describe how a stomach feels happy. What was even better, was that I felt this way AFTER eating the pizza. I did not have to suffer severe hunger before, and I did not have to deal with a food coma or feeling bloated afterwards.
So what is this magical food? Pesto-artichoke-chicken-white bean-toasted walnut pizza on whole wheat. I was a bit concerned that the pizza would not be hearty enough, so I did add a tiny bit of chicken and plenty of white beans. I also wanted the artichokes and walnuts to stand out, so I tried to keep the pesto under control, and only used a minimal amount of cheese. The result was amazing.
I do have to admit that it was a tiny bit dry, but I think that was mostly due to the fact that we cooked the pizza longer than I have ever cooked a pizza, and that may have dried it out some. It did not bother me, but as a precaution, you could easily add more cheese.
1 White Whole Wheat Pizza Crust recipe
4 Tbsp basil pesto
2 chicken tenderloins, sliced
1 can artichoke hearts, drained, rinsed, and chopped
1/2 15oz can white beans (great northern, cannellini, etc.), drained and rinsed
2 oz mozzarella cheese, shredded
1 oz walnuts, chopped
Servings: 16 slices (2 medium pizzas)
If you are making homemade White Whole Wheat Pizza Crust (or any other homemade pizza dough), you should prepare the dough at least an hour before you start the rest of the recipe. I allowed the dough to rise for a little over an hour, and it came out beautifully.
After the dough has been rising for at least an hour, place the chicken tenderloins in a nonstick plan preheated over medium heat. Cook on both sides until the chicken is cooked through and there is no pink colour remaining. Slice the chicken into small bite-sized pieces and set aside.
While the chicken is cooking, drain and rinse the beans and set aside. Drain and rinse the artichokes and place on a cutting board. Dice the artichoke as small as you would like as a topping for the pizza. Chop the walnuts.
Heat oven to 450oF. Roll out the prepared pizza crust on to baking sheet(s)*. Bake in the oven for 5 minutes. Remove from oven, and gently press down any bubbles in the crust. Spread half of the pesto thinly on each pizza. Top the pizzas with the chicken, artichokes, and beans. Spread the shredded mozzarella cheese over the pizza, and top with the walnut pieces. Bake for 15-25 minutes.** Enjoy!
*I split the dough in half, and used half on a 13″x9″ cookie sheet, and the other half on a round pizza pan. I believe it is approximately a 10″ diameter pizza pan.
**It depends how crispy you like the crust. At least bake it until the cheese has melted, but we let it go the maximum time, and the cheese and toppings were beginning to brown, and the crust was quite golden.