Sunday, March 18, 2012

Butternut Squash Crust Pizza

Nika and Bailey pause after playing
Bailey has turned out to be the perfect cat for my house full of  canines. He has formed unique bonds with each pooch. He and Nika, my six-month-old malamute, are "let's have fun" buddies. They love to play all kinds of chase games and hide-and-seek. Admittedly, it is a bit disconcerting to see Nika's mouth enclosing Bailey's head at the end of a chase session. But he keeps coming back for more and often baits Nika into chasing him.

Nothing compares to Bailey's relationship with our 12-year-old golden retriever, Kona. Bailey has adopted Kona as his surrogate mother. You can often find the twosome by simply following the loud purring as the Bailey and Kona snuggle together.

Kona provides an interactive cat pillow for Bailey

I had to make a video to preserve this great friendship. Check it out here:

Misha naps on Kona

Kona is so docile, unlike the rest of the brood, that she is even willing to be 60-pound Misha's pillow.

Butternut squash crust pizza
Bailey's first birthday is fast approaching, March 24. What does one get for a fun-loving cat but more fun? Bailey loves food too. I will need to make him a little treat to celebrate his birthday.

For the non-feline members of the house, I will serve Butternut Squash Crust Pizza with Swiss Chard Pesto for Bailey's birthday. Actually, I would be willing to eat this just about anytime.

Crust Ingredients:
  1. 1/2 cup sunflower seeds
  2. 1/2 cup coconut flour
  3. 1/2 cup raw grated butternut squash
  4. Optional:  1/2 clove minced garlic
  5. 1/2 tsp. dry cilantro
  6. 1 T. olive oil
  7. Salt to taste
Swiss Chard Pesto and Topping Ingredients:
  1. 1/2 bunch swiss chard
  2. 1/2 cup pumpkin seeds
  3. 2 T. lemon juice
  4. 1 T. olive oil
  5. Use the remainder of the swiss chard leaves for sauteeing in olive oil.

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  2. Grind the sunflower seeds in a food processor until they form a coarse flour. Add the remaining crush ingredients and process until the mixture forms a sticky ball.
  3. Spread the mixture onto a well-greased baking sheet. Divide into three portions and form small crusts rather than one large one.
  4. Place in the preheated oven and bake 25-30 minutes. Leave the crust in longer if needed.
  5. In the meantime, make the pesto in a food processor.
  6. Saute some additonal chard in olive oil for the topping.
  7. When the crust is done, remove from the oven and let it cool a few minutes.
  8. Spread some pesto on the crust. Top with sauteed swiss chard.
  9. Voila! Your pizza is ready to eat.
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