Fall is always a great reminder of the importance of eating seasonally. This recipe takes a tried and true staple and turns it on its head to incorporate fall friendly ingredients.
Eating seasonally has been a priority of mine since I stumbled upon my first farmers market in high school. So much so, that last fall I hosted a “Fall into the Season” themed cafeteria takeover at the hospital where I completed my dietetic internship. My partner and I replaced the cafeteria’s typical food with a myriad of fall themed recipes and educated hospital employees and patients on the benefits of eating in season produce.
Eating seasonally is often synonymous with eating locally because different foods are in season in different regions of the world at different times, so it is important to look into what foods are in season in the region you which live (click here to find out). You may also be able to go to your local farmers market and learn directly from the farmers while supporting the local community’s economy.
Other than supporting your local economy, why eat seasonally?
Shorter travel distances for foods allow them to be harvested in a riper state allowing for a tastier, more nutritious product.
Eating seasonally reminds us to include a diverse range of foods into our diet and explore new recipes which can result in a more varied and healthful diet.
In season foods are often less expensive because the larger supply creates competitive pricing among vendors. Locally grown foods may be even cheaper because they also have a reduced travel cost.
If none of this has convinced you to try eating seasonally, I have one last attempt to trick you into doing so by including seasonal ingredients in everyones favorite food: Pizza!
Fall Pizza Recipe:
- 1 Package of pre-made pizza dough*
- 1 Sweet potato, thinly sliced
- 1 Meatless Sausage
- 1.5 Cups Shitake Mushrooms, sliced
- 5 Fresh figs, thinly sliced
- 2-3 oz goat cheese
- 8-10 Fresh sage leaves
- 1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
- Honey to taste
For the Sauce:
- 2 Tbsp butter or margarine
- 2 Tbsp All Purpose Flour
- 1 Cup unsweetened nut milk
- 1 Sprig fresh thyme
- 1 Clove garlic, minced
- 1/2 tsp dried rosemary
- Salt and Pepper to taste
- Pull out your dough and let sit at room temperature while you prepare your toppings.
- Preheat the oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit. Place your pan or pizza stone in the oven to heat up before assembly.
- Start by thinly slicing sweet potatoes, mushrooms, “sausage”, and figs. Mince garlic.
- To start the sauce heat a pan to medium-high heat and add the butter chopped garlic, and herbs. Once the butter has melted add the flour and mix until well incorporated. Let cook for about two minutes but do not let the mixture brown. Slowly whisk in the milk until the sauce is smooth then add salt and pepper to taste. Let simmer for 2-3 minutes until the sauce has thickened to your liking.
- While the sauce is cooking heat a skillet to medium high heat and add the olive oil. Once the oil is hot add the mushrooms, “sausage”, sage, and salt and pepper. Sautee for 3-4 minutes. These ingredients will continue cooking in the oven so they do not need to be cooked through.
- Cover the sliced sweet potatoes with a paper towel and microwave for 2 minutes.
- Now it is time to roll out your dough as evenly as possible and assemble the pizza. Layer the sauce, sweet potatoes, mushrooms, sausage, figs, goat cheese, and sage on top and pop the pizza in the oven for 13-15 minutes.
- Once the pizza is out of the oven top with salt and a drizzle of honey. Slice and enjoy!
*I used Trader Joes pre-made whole wheat dough, but feel free to substitute whatever crust you prefer and adjust cooking times accordingly.
*Feel free to sub out the sauce for a store bought alfredo if you are short on time!