Meet Dooley + Sweet Potato, Spinach, and Goat Cheese Pizza

We have a little addition to the Kiwi+Peach family. Meet Dooley.

She is five years old and likes long runs, chasing tennis balls, staring at you while you eat, cuddling and popcorn.

Kiwi and Peach | Meet Dooley

While she certainly isn’t a new addition, she hasn’t been living with us for about two years. For lots of logistical reasons, Dooley living in Germany was not going to work out. My sweet, sweet parents volunteered to look after her while we were away, but now that we are back, she will obviously be coming with us to Asheville.

I mean, I’ll try not to turn into a crazy dog lady, but seriously, look at that face. No promises.

Kiwi and Peach | Meet Dooley

So, so lucky to get to be her human. It’s safe to say she’s going to be a regular around here.

You know what else is going to be a regular around here, this pizza. {see what I did there}

A couple weeks ago I was trying to use up the last of food and clean out the pantry when inspiration hit in the form of pizza. As soon as it starts getting the least bit cold, I put sweet potatoes on just about everything. Why not pizza?

Sweet Potato, Spinach, and Goat Cheese Pizza from Kiwi and Peach

Sweet Potato, Spinach, and Goat Cheese Pizza + Roasted Red Pepper, Hazelnut, and Fig Pesto

The Potatoes
1 sweet potato
drizzle of olive oil
salt and pepper

The Basics
1 batch of whole wheat pizza dough
1 batch of pesto {recipe below}

The Toppings
1 cup of spinach, packed
5 oz goat cheese
drizzle of maple syrup

Preheat the oven to 400°F/200°C.

Wash your potato and dry it well. Slice it into rounds about the width of you pinky finger, about a 1/4 of an inch think. Lay them flat on a baking sheet, brush both sides with olive oil, and sprinkle with salt and a bit of pepper. Pop them in the oven for about 20 minutes. When they are finished transfer them to a bowl and set them to the side.

Once you put the potatoes in, proof the yeast for your pizza dough and set it to the side. When the proof is done, go ahead and finish the dough. By the time you’re finished mixing that up the potatoes will be finished. Take them out of the oven and turn the heat off. Leave the door of the oven open so the oven can cool down a bit.

Put the pizza dough in a well greased skillet and pop it in the oven to rise for about 15 minutes.

While the dough is rising, whip up that pesto.


Roasted Red Pepper Pesto with Hazelnut and Figs from Kiwi and Peach

Roasted Red Pepper, Hazelnut, and Fig Pesto

makes about 1 cup

1/2 of a roasted red pepper
2 tsp tomato paste
1/4 cup hazelnuts
1 clove of garlic
3 dried figs, stems cut and quartered
1/2 tsp salt
3 tbsp olive oil

In a food processor, combine all of your pesto ingredients except the olive oil. Give it a whirl and then start slowly adding the olive oil as the machine is running. When you get it to a consistency you like, you’re done!

{Quick note about the pesto. The freshness of the hazelnuts you use have a huge effect on the taste. Some hazelnuts, usually ones meant for baking tend to taste slightly stale when eaten fresh. Once baked, that stale aftertaste disappears and it is delicious, so using not-so-fresh hazelnuts is okay for the pizza since you’ll be baking it. However, if you wanted to use this same pesto on say a crostini, or as a pasta sauce, you’re going to want to use fresher hazelnuts to avoid that unpleasant, stale aftertaste.}


When the dough is finished rising, transfer it to the baking sheet. Crank the oven back up to 400°F/200°C.

Roll the dough out to the size you’d like your pizza. Leaving space around the edge for a crust, slather the dough with an even layer of pesto then layer up the spinach, sweet potatoes, and finally the goat cheese. Drizzle a bit of maple syrup over the whole thing and pop it back in the oven for 20 minutes to bake the crust and melt that delicious, delicious cheese. Enjoy y’all!

Sweet Potato, Spinach, and Goat Cheese Pizza from Kiwi and Peach

Sweet Potato, Spinach, and Goat Cheese Pizza from Kiwi and Peach

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Sage, Lamb, and Ricotta Ravioli with Sun Dried Tomato Pesto

The Kiwi and I are currently somewhere in the Sahara desert riding camels. {Clearly, I scheduled this to post.} If you want to keep up with our adventures be sure you’re following us on Instagram and Twitter.

Remember last week when I talked about making my own pasta? I mentioned that it all started because I was dreaming about ravioli. This, my friends, was the ravioli I was dreaming of.

It all started simple enough, flavors started building, and soon here was this idea. And it wouldn’t leave my mind, obsessive. I had to make it. So I did…

It’s earthy, it’s flavorful, and most importantly incredibly satisfying.

Sage, Lamb, and Ricotta Ravioli with Sun Dried Tomato Pesto from Kiwi+Peach

The Pasta
whole wheat pasta dough {I substituted 2 tbsp of the water for fresh pumpkin puree.}

The Stuffing
1/4 of a medium onion
4 ounces {125 grams} ground lamb
1 Tbsp sage
pinch of salt and pepper
1/3 cup walnuts, shelled
1/2 cup ricotta cheese

The Pesto
1/2 cup sun dried tomatoes
1/3 cup walnuts, shelled
2 cloves of garlic
1 tsp lemon juice
pinch of sugar, salt, and pepper
1/3 cup olive oil

Before you get started on the stuffing and the pesto, roll out your pasta dough and go ahead and punch out your ravioli bases and tops. This will make your life a lot easier later. You can just set them to the side for later.

Start heating a pan on medium heat. Go ahead and dice up your onion {the smaller the pieces the better} and when the pan is hot toss them in there. Let them cook for about 5 minutes or until they’re soft and translucent. Add the lamb, using a spoon to break it up into small bits, and then sprinkle it with sage, salt and pepper. Cook for about 7-8 more minutes or until the lamb looks completely cooked. When it’s finished, transfer the mixture to a small mixing bowl.

While the onions and lamb are cooking, shell the walnuts. All in all I used about 12 walnuts. Break out the food processor and grind half of the shelled nuts {1/3 cup} into a meal and add them to the small mixing bowl. Add the ricotta cheese to the mixing bowl as well and then give the whole thing a good stir.

Boil your jug and start heating a large pot on medium high heat. Add the water to the pot and salt the water well.

Grab your ravioli dough and spoon a generous tablespoon of the stuffing onto each of the bases. Cover each base with a top and press the sides together with either your fingers or a fork. Once the water has returned to a boil, drop your raviolis in and let them cook for a quick minute. You’l know they’re finished when they start to float to the top. Drain the water and set the finished ravioli to the side because we need to make the pesto.

Combine all of the ingredients for the pesto in the food processor and grind it until you like the consistency {about 45 seconds on high for me}.

You’re finished. Plate it up and enjoy!

Chicken Pesto Pizza

When I was growing up, Friday night was pizza night. My earliest memories of Friday Pizza Night was scarfing down Pizza Hut while glued to Boy Meets World on TGIF. This later evolved into scarfing down Dominoes on my way to football games, but I think we can see the trend.

Not all pizza is made for scarfing though. While granted Pizza Hut and Dominoes are not the kings of culinary sophistication, pizza can be so much more than just a “junk food.” It’s a blank canvas that you can fill with all your favorites in creative and tasty ways. It can even be…healthy.

The Kiwi and I can do some damage to this size of a pizza. I usually only end up with one piece for lunch the next day. However, if you were to have a nice side salad with it, I’m sure you could eke out a few extra slices to get you through lunches for a couple of days.

Chicken Pesto Pizza

The Base
pizza dough
½ cup pesto

The Toppings
½ of a red onion
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 chicken breast
pinch of salt and pepper
½ cup of grated cheese {I used gouda, but parmesan or mozzarella would be good too.}

Preheat your oven to 475°F/240°C. {The longer your oven preheats the better. You want a really hot oven!}

Start heating a pan on medium high heat. While it’s heating up, slice your onion. When it’s hot, melt the butter in the pan and add your onions and brown sugar. Give it a good stir and let them cook for about 5-8 minutes or until they are nice and caramelized, stirring frequently. Transfer to a small bowl and set aside. Return the pan to the heat and add the olive oil.

While the onions are caramelizing whip up your pesto. Then get to work on the chicken. Cut it into bite sized pieces and sprinkle with some salt and a few grinds of black pepper. Pop the chicken into the pan and cook on each side for about 3 minutes.

Spread a healthy layer of pesto on your rolled out pizza dough. Then layer on the caramelized onions and the chicken. Finally top with grated cheese, and pop it in the oven for about 10-15 minutes or until the crust is a bit brown around the edges and the cheese is all melted. Slice it up and enjoy!

The Green

I’m going to fill y’all in on an embarrassing little secret. Up until about 2009, I ate everything in layers. By everything, I mean everything. Sandwiches obviously, but burritos and pizza too. My family has no idea where this little neurosis came from, but from the time I could feed myself that is how I ate. I’m sure it has something to do with them trying to trick me into eating carrots, but ever since I can remember I ate things ingredient by ingredient so that I knew exactly what I was putting in my mouth. {Hi. My name is Lauren, and I am a bit of a control freak.} Thankfully, I got that under control, and I can now can enjoy and appreciate all of these exciting ‘new’ flavor combinations with minimal angst.

That said… I am a big fan of open faced sandwiches. Why? Well first of all, you can fit twice as much yummy sandwich goodies on there so they are more filling. Secondly, much to no one’s dismay, I like it because I can see what all is happening on the bread, so I enjoy it angst free without fear of carrots. Needless to say, I make these a good bit. They are perfect for weekend lunches, but if you want to make it a meal, throw some roasted veggies on the side or whip up a salad.

I’m curious. Did you have any weird eating habits as a kid? The Kiwi swears he didn’t, but I question his recall.

Kiwi+Peach: The Green

The Green

4 slices of bread
1/4 cup pesto
4 large basil leaves {or spinach}
1/2 of an avocado
1/4 cup parmesan cheese

Spread the pesto on each slice of bread and top with the basil leaves and avocado slices.  Grate the parmesan cheese and sprinkle a healthy bit on each slice.  Pop it in the oven on broil for about 5 minutes or until the cheese is melted and the leaves have wilted a bit.

Cashew Pesto from Tupelo Honey Cafe

I was late to the pesto party. Up until 2010, I probably couldn’t have even told you that there was basil in it. {Don’t hate.} Until… one of my roommates started having it every night {well that or Kraft Mac and Cheese}. I was intrigued, and then I was hooked. While I like the pesto in a jar just fine, it’s hard for me to use up the whole jar before I start thinking that the contents are getting a bit questionable {which probably explains why she had it every night}. If you have a food processor, making it yourself could not be simpler. Plus it is so much fresher and you can easy to control the amount you’re making so you don’t end up wasting money. Not convinced you should make your own yet? It you make your own, you can use cashews. I wish I could take credit for this pesto recipe, but I can’t. It’s from the Tupelo Honey Cafe cookbook and just like the name implies it is made with cashews instead of pine nuts. I love pine nuts, but these cashews take this stuff to a new level.

Kiwi and Peach: Cashew Basil Pesto

Cashew Pesto from Tupelo Honey Cafe

{makes about 1/2 cup}

1/2 cup fresh basil leaves {pack as much in there as you can}
1/3 cup salted cashews
2 cloves of garlic
juice from 1/2 of a lemon {1 Tbsp}
pinch of salt
a few grinds of fresh ground black pepper
1/3 cup olive oil

Add all of the ingredients to your food processor and process. Technically you are supposed to drizzle the olive oil in gradually as you process, but my food processor isn’t fancy enough to have a hole into which to drizzle. I’ve never had a problem just doing it all at the same time, but if you do, try the adding it gradually method. One of our favorite dinners is whole wheat pasta {fusilli, spaghetti, it doesn’t matter} tossed in pesto with these oven roasted tomatoes. Add a healthy amount of parmesan cheese and a bit of cracked black pepper and I call that dinner.

{This post contains an Amazon affiliate link. That means that if you head over to Amazon from the link and choose to buy the book, a tiny bit of the money you spent on the book will come back to me for the referral.}