Eating pizza doesn’t have to be a greasy, guilt-inducing affair.
This brightly-flavored Spinach Ricotta Flatbread Pizza will satisfy your cravings and is easy to make at home!
But first, a short story…
Yesterday, I met the sweetest, gentlest, most unexpected friend. When I walked around the back of the house to take out the trash, I found her (or him?) standing alone in the corner of our side patio near the gate.
It didn’t take me long to figure out that this white dove was injured and in distress. She mostly stayed standing in place, but when she did attempt to walk, she would limp and stumble awkwardly. As she spread her wings, trying desperately to jump up onto a small ledge, she would collapse onto her chest.
With such limited mobility, I didn’t want her to stay on the cold, lifeless concrete. I spoke softly to her, got down to her level, and caressed her gently. I slowly cupped my hand under her chest, and she trusted me enough to pick her up. She didn’t try to fight me or escape, though I could feel her little heart beating quickly against the palm of my hand.
She let me carry her over to our back patio; I set her down where she could hear the gurgling waterfall, stretch her feet on the soft ground, and nestle under the bushes. I don’t know where she came from (white doves are a rare occurrence around here) or how exactly she got injured, though my brother and I suspect she may have accidentally flown into the fence.
Strange as it may seem, this marvelous encounter with this sweet little bird was just I needed to cheer me up, having just watched the entire Earthlings film for the first time the night before (it is extremely difficult to watch, but important to help us see through the eyes of our fellow non-human Earthlings).
But back to spinach, these leafy greens make a tasty appearance in this Spinach Ricotta Flatbread Pizza.
At the base of it all, flatbread makes a convenient blank canvas for the “pizza” – pita bread or naan bread would work well, too. The spinach is simply sauteed with some garlic, then paired alongside a lovely cashew ricotta. The ricotta bakes up really nicely, forming a light golden soft “shell” over the top. When you bite into the ricotta, it has a silky, creamy texture with a light cheesy-garlic flavor. The pizza sauce base is a cinch to make, and the vegan parmesan marries all the elements quite nicely. You could also just top with nutritional yeast, but with some nuts and a few simple seasonings, you can easily make the vegan parmesan topping in under 2 minutes!
This Spinach Ricotta Flatbread Pizza would be appropriate today for “Super Bowl” parties, although I don’t participate in such shenanigans. If you’re not into watching the “Super Bore” (as my dad would call it), I’ve got you covered. For a limited time, you can register for free at LiveVeganVibrantly.com and have access to over a dozen interviews with leaders in the vegan community – doctors, chefs, activists, athletes, spiritual teachers, and more! I like listening to them in the background while I work, and there’s always something new to learn.
Update: We just spotted our white dove friend walking around outside of her den in the bushes; she seems to be doing better and not limping so much. Hopefully her wings will heal soon, too!
- 1 can (15 oz.) tomato sauce
- 1/2 tsp. Italian seasoning
- 1/2 tsp. oregano
- 1/4 tsp. garlic powder
- 1 cup raw cashews
- 1/2 cup water
- 1 Tbsp. nutritional yeast
- 1 garlic clove
- 1/4 tsp. salt
- 1/2 tsp. fresh rosemary, finely chopped
- Extra virgin olive oil
- 6 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 8 cups loosely-packed spinach, roughly chopped
- Sea salt and black pepper, to taste
- 8 flatbreads or pita breads (I used "Flatout" Rosemary & Olive Oil flavor, found at my local Sprouts store)
- Vegan parmesan (recipe link)
- Optional: Extra chopped rosemary, to top
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F; line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
- Soak the cashews in hot water for 10 minutes or more, to soften. Drain.
- Meanwhile, stir sauce ingredients together in a bowl. Set aside.
- Heat 2 tsp. olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add garlic, cook for 30 seconds or until fragrant but not brown. Add the spinach, stir well, and cook until slightly wilted, about 1-2 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper (not too much of either).
- Put the soaked, drained cashews in blender with 1/2 cup water, nutritional yeast, garlic, and salt. Blend on a medium speed for 20-30 seconds; you're looking for a fine-grain consistency (like ricotta). Stop blender; add rosemary, and pulse to evenly distribute into the ricotta.
- Top each flatbread with about 3 Tbsp. pizza sauce and 1/8 spinach-garlic mixture. Use a small spoon to dollop cashew ricotta onto each flatbread as desired, using the back of the spoon to spread/flatten each "dollop." Sprinkle on vegan parmesan (I used about 1 tsp. per flatbread) and extra chopped rosemary, if using.
- Bake flatbreads for 6 minutes or as directed on package (I fit 3 per baking sheet, may vary depending on size/shape of your bread). Remove from oven, let cool slightly, then slice and serve with extra vegan parmesan sprinkled on top.
Cashew Ricotta recipe inspired by Miyoko Schinner.
Nutrition information below estimated for 1 flatbread.