After Thanksgiving dinner, the party guests are stuffed and there are piles of food left over. Some food may be sent home with dinner guests or thrown away if not eaten over the next few days. This year, you might want to turn that turkey into a whole new meal for your family that promotes eye health: turkey pesto pizza!
Besides being a protein source, turkey contains vitamin B, selenium, calcium and zinc, vitamins and minerals that contribute to eye health. A diet high in vitamin B lowers your risk for dry eye syndrome and age-related macular degeneration. Calcium found in turkey (as well as the mozzarella cheese and the greens) helps activate nerves and allows muscles to contract. In fact, eye twitching can be a sign of calcium deficiency. The selenium and zinc in turkey help the body absorb the antioxidants in your food which help prevent eye diseases.
Antioxidants like vitamins A, C and E, and the carotenoids zeaxanthin and lutein are very protective of the eyes and vision. The spinach and parsley I use for this pizza provide you with a good amount of all of these antioxidants. The olive oil in the pesto sauce contains not only vitamin E, but omega 3s, which help prevent dry eye syndrome and reduce the risk of macular degeneration and cataracts. The whole wheat pizza crust provides more vitamin E, zinc, vitamin B and some fiber!
This turkey pesto pizza is a nice change of taste in the days after your Thanksgiving dinner. It’s loaded with antioxidants, and the amount of flavor packed into it will surprise you!
Ingredients (Serves 2):
- 1 prepared whole wheat pizza crust (around 11 inches)
- 3 tbsp fresh parsley, chopped
- 5 tbsp olive oil
- 3 tbsp parmesan cheese, grated
- 1 tbsp lemon juice (about half a lemon)
- ¾ tsp garlic, minced
- ⅛ tsp sea salt
- ⅛ tsp pepper
- 2 tbsp sun-dried tomatoes, chopped
- 2 tbsp red onion, diced
- ½ cup spinach, chopped
- 3/4 cup leftover cooked turkey breast, shredded or chopped
- ¾ cup shredded mozzarella
- 1 tsp Italian seasoning
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees (or whatever temperature the pizza crust package says to use). Place pizza crust onto a pizza stone. (If pizza crust is bought frozen, let it sit out at room temperature for at least 30 minutes to thaw first)
- To make pesto, combine parsley, olive oil, parmesan cheese, lemon juice, garlic, sea salt and pepper in a blender and mix well. Then spread pesto evenly across pizza crust (but leave about an inch free on the outside for the outer crust.)
- Lay out sun-dried tomatoes, red onions, turkey and spinach onto pizza.
- Sprinkle the mozzarella cheese on top, and then the Italian seasoning. (Optional: Sprinkle a little extra lemon juice across pizza)
- Follow directions on the package of the prepared pizza crust to cook the pizza– usually around 10-12 minutes or until crust begins to turn golden brown, and the cheese is starting to brown. Use a pizza cutter to divide pizza into about 6 slices.