- 1 pre-made whole wheat pizza dough
- ½ cup pizza sauce of choice
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- ½ red bell pepper, sliced
- ¼ sweet onion, chopped
- ½ cup canned marinated artichokes, roughly chopped
- 3 stems kale, stemmed and chopped
- 4 shiitake mushrooms, chopped
- 2 tablespoons high quality balsamic vinegar
- ¼ teaspoon dried oregano
- ¼ teaspoon dried basil
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon pepper
- dash of red pepper flakes
- Let your pizza dough sit at room temperature for 20 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 450.
- Flour a surface and start to work with your pizza dough, shaping it into a rectangular shape. Press your dough into a greased or parchment paper lined 13x9 baking sheet (or something similar.) Bake your naked dough for 15 minutes.
- Meanwhile, heat a skillet over medium heat with olive oil. Once hot add in garlic, bell pepper, and onion. Sauté for 5 minutes.
- After 5 minutes, add in artichokes, kale and mushrooms and sauté for another 3-5 minutes.
- Once everything has softened, add in balsamic vinegar, oregano, basil, salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes. Stir until well combined, and the balsamic vinegar coats the veggies. Then take off heat and set aside.
- Take your pizza crust out of the oven, coat it with pizza sauce, and top it with your veggies. Pop your pizza back in the oven for an additional 5-10 minutes, depending on your preferred level of crust doneness.
- After 5-10 minutes, take your pizza out, slice, and serve.
- EAT UP.
And just like that my year and a half in my Atlanta apartment is over. Handing in my keys felt like handing over part of my heart. I became a real person in that apartment. I found so much of myself that I never knew existed. That’s not to say it was easy. No, living alone in a city where I knew a total of two people was really f****ing hard. I cried on my floor and in my kitchen and on my bed and in the shower so. many. times. But I also danced around my living room, and hosted dinner parties, and hosted friends, and worked oh so hard. There was a whole world inside that apartment and it was all my own. There was real magic.
When I moved to Atlanta, I was tired in a way that sleep can not fix. I was bitter in a way that hurt me. I was desperate for something new. And that was just what I got. I spent time actually listening to my body, and figuring out what it was saying. I took pole dancing classes and learned not to be so afraid of my own figure. I learned to comfort myself when I was sad. I healed. I grew.
And yet, those are the things I couldn’t see coming when I left LA for Atlanta. When I was in my car – sobbing, considering turning around and heading back to LA – I couldn’t have known how much Atlanta would mean to me. And I definitely couldn’t have predicted living in a beautiful loft with 20 foot ceilings and exposed brick. Because in the midst of change, it’s usually impossible to see where it will take you.
After hosting my first blogger party at my apartment, I cleaned up and ordered a big ole pizza. I sat at my table, ate the whole dang thing, and reeled at how amazing the creative community is and how hard I worked to find it. On the night of the election, I ate shitty pizza in bed and I cried until I fell asleep. When my boy came to visit me from NYC we ordered pizza, held hands, and caught up on life. These are the three times I have had pizza in my apartment. (I mean, I’ve eaten frozen pizzas or whatever, but nothing significant.) Apparently, I only order pizza at times of great change. So I decided for my final farewell I’d make myself a roasted veggie cheeseless pizza. It seemed fitting. Comfort food.
Because, here’s the thing – life is changing. The world is changing. And it doesn’t seem like it’s for the better. Sadly, I can’t make a pizza for the whole world – for every immigrant or refugee or ACLU lawyer – although I wish I could. I wish I could make you a pizza and hold your hand and try to hold your heart. Change is painful. I feel it.
The world feels just like that moment when I was driving away from LA sobbing my eyes out, desperately wanting to turn around – painful, dark. Yet, in that car something pulled me – compelled me forward – but I couldn’t know what that would be yet. And that is where we are now – marching forward, doing the best we can, strategizing, sobbing, and trying to make sense of it all. It is impossible to see what will be next, so we must keep moving forward. Change is hard – painful, even – so we must be kind, kind to ourselves and others. We never know what will be on the other side. So in the meantime, we must keep making pizza. xoxo.