Exam Food- Kale Pizza with steak and grilled onions

My baby sister graduates from college with an accounting degree on Friday.

She is graduating with honors.

I didn’t graduate with honors….that’s for sure.

I barely made it though. I tell her it’s because she got all the brains in our family.

Or maybe it had to do with the fact that I never studied…

Anyway she is in the midst of final exams, but she stopped by my house last night on her way home.

I told her to sit right now and let me whip up some brain food.

Pizza with steak and kale.

It was yummy.

Ingredients minus the leftover steak
Raw pizza dough with pesto
Nancee Lee insisted on taking my picture while I cooked. And yes I know I have sunglasses on my head, and no I don’t know why they are there.
Raw pizza dough with pesto and mozz cheese.
Kale tossed in the remaining pesto and leftover steak with grilled onions.
Partial baked pizza, topped with steak and onions.
Partial baked pizza, piled high with kale.
Baked pizza, 12 minutes at 450 degres.
Nancee Lee holding her brain food dinner.

Here is the recipe I came up with:

1 pizza dough ( I prefer the Trader Joe’s brand)

3/4 cup olive oil

5 tbsp basil, chopped (I used frozen)

1 garlic clove, chopped (I used frozen)

1 tsp black pepper

1/2 tsp sea salt

1/4 cup parmesan cheese

1 cup shredded mozz cheese

1 steak (I used leftover steak I had in the freezer)

1/2 onion

3 cups fresh, chopped kale

Preheat oven to 450 degrees and the grill to medium heat.

Spray pizza pan with non-stick cooking spray. Knead the pizza dough and then stretch across the pizza pan.  Set aside to rest.

To make the steak and onion toppings: grill the steak just short of medium. Remove from the grill and let rest. Slice the onion into 1/4 inch wide segments and place on an oiled grill. Let cook for about 3-4 minutes, until nice grill marks can be seen. Set aside. Slice the steak until bite size pieces and set aside.

For the pizza sauce: combine olive oil, basil, garlic, pepper,sea salt and parmesan in a bowl. Using a spatula, gently spread half the mixture over the pizza dough. Top the sauce and dough with all the cheese. Place in the oven to bake for 6 minutes.

While the pizza is in the oven, toss the kale in the remaining pesto and season with a pinch more salt and pepper.

Remove the pizza from the oven after 6 minutes, top with the onions, steak. Pile it high with kale. The kale wilts during baking. Place it back in the oven for 6 more minutes.

Remove from the oven after six minutes and enjoy!


Grilled Toasts with Chicken and Artichokes

I think I might be addicted to grilling.

It’s just so convenient.

Task of washing pots and pans vanishes.

Makes the mess outside.

Keeps the oven off; therefore the kitchen stays cool.

Making my neighbors drool as the food smells waft their direction gives me a feeling of pride . I am really working on being more humble. And when I do finally become humble I will probably be so proud of myself that I will tell you all about it.

Anyway last night, I once again turned on my free, side-of-the-road, hand-me-down grill and started to create. If I had just been cooking for myself I would have skipped the chicken but there were men involved. Men that needed meat. I threw some zucchini and corn on the grill too, and it was a lovely meal.

Here is what I made:

Artichoke Topping (you could also use leftover artichoke dip)

  • 6 oz. jar artichoke hearts, drained
  • 3 tbsp. mayo or veganaisse
  • 1 tbsp. olive oil
  • 2 tbsp. grated parmesan
  • 2 dashes hot sauce
  • 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp finely chopped basil (I used frozen basil from this post)
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper

Other ingredients:

  • 2 chicken thighs, boneless and skinless, fat trimmed
  • ½ loaf Italian or Cuban bread, cut into 1 inch slices
  • 1 cup tomato sauce (or 1 large tomato, finely chopped)
  • 2 slices of swiss cheese, cut into fourths ( you could really use any cheese, swiss is what I had on hand)
  • Olive oil, salt and pepper

Artichoke Topping:

Combine the artichokes, and all the other ingredients for the topping in a bowl. (I like to leave the artichokes whole because I prefer the chunky texture but if you like them smoother, you could mix up the topping in a food processor). Set aside. (I made this a day in advance)


Rinse the chicken thighs, pat dry, drizzle a little olive oil and a dash of salt and pepper on both sides. Place on a hot grill over medium heat. Grill for 4 minutes on each side. Remove from grill and set aside to rest for 5 minutes. After the chicken has rested, chop the thighs  into cubes. Set aside. (I made this a day in advance)


Brush both sides of slices of bread with olive oil. Place on a hot grill over medium heat for one minute on each side. Set aside.


If you aren’t an airhead like me and you remembered to buy tomatoes at the grocery store, go ahead and chop them up at this point. Season the tomato with a little salt and pepper. Or you can just open up a can of tomato sauce which is what I had to do because I forgot to buy tomatoes.

Let’s put these babies together:

Top each piece of grilled bread with tomatoes (or sauce), artichoke topping, grilled chicken and then top with two strips of Swiss cheese.

Place the assembled toasts on a cookie sheet under the broiler for 2 minutes or so to melt the cheese. Enjoy!