In the beginning of the 20th century, American women spent an average of 30 hours a week in the kitchen. In the 21st century, that number has decreased to an average of 5.5 hours for women, and 4.4 hours for employed women.
That’s not a lot of time to prepare healthy food at all! How do you cope with the fast pace of contemporary life and still find time to make nutritious dinners? This is a daily struggle for millions of Americans, to which I’m not immune.
Solutions include simple sautees of vegetables, cut quickly and cooked while a pot of whole-grains cooks on a back burner. Sometimes it’s even a dinner of scrambled eggs and toast. All of these are valid options for weeknight dinners – they’re healthy, inexpensive, and delicious.
But what if you want something not only healthy, but special, too? In this case, I take a short cut and buy one ingredient pre-made. For less than 2 dollars I bought frozen whole-wheat pizza dough from my local grocery store. I defrosted the dough in the refrigerator during the day at work, and then all I had to do upon returning home was saute some kale and slice some delicious mozzarella.
If you’re super short on time, try one of these Healthy Pizza Options in New York City.
1 batch whole-wheat pizza dough(store-bought or homemade)
1/4 cup olive oil, divided
1 bunch curly kale, ribs removed and cut into 1-inch slices
Salt, to taste
Freshly ground pepper, to taste
Whole-wheat flour, for rolling
4 oz buffalo mozzarella, cut into 1/2-inch slices
Optional: Crushed red pepper flakes, for garnish
Photo: Lindsay Hunt
1. 3-4 hours before baking, defrost the pizza dough in the refrigerator.
2. Preheat the oven to the highest temperature.
3. Heat a large saute pan over medium-high heat and add 1 tablespoon of the oil. Add the kale to the pan and toss to coat in the oil. Season with salt and cook until wilted and tender. When cooked, season with freshly ground pepper. Set aside.
4. Dust a clean work surface with flour, and roll the dough out until 1/2-inch thick. (It may help to stretch the dough in the beginning with your hands.)
5. Transfer the dough to a baking tray and turn on the broiler.
6. Brush with olive oil and place the tray under the broiler. Broil for 5 minutes and remove from the oven.
7. Top the dough with the kale and distribute evenly. Lay the slices of mozzarella on top of the kale, and season with salt and freshly ground pepper. Bake in the preheated oven for 10-15 minutes until the dough is fully cooked and the cheese is melted.
8. Place the tray under the broiler again until the cheese is golden and bubbly.
9. Serve hot, with crushed red pepper flakes, if desired.