Kick off your week with a healthy dinner full of fresh ingredients and flavors, all while skipping the meat. They key to a successful Meatless Monday dinner is feeling satisfied by still including a protein source. By introducing more sustainable foods to your weekly diet, Meatless Monday will improve personal health and make the world a little greener. Check out www.meatlessmonday.com for more information on the amazing benefits and impact doing this just once a week can do for you and your family.
Prepare a fresh and delicious meal for your family this Monday evening while skipping the meat with these berry balsamic flatbread bites. Because of the sweet, savory, tangy, and herby ingredients of this dish, it is very satisfying. The crispy crunch of the golden flatbread crust topped with creamy, sweet, and savory baked ricotta and mozzarella cheeses is the perfect base for a fresh mix of balsamic vinegar, berries, baby arugula, and herbs.
I like to add chopped pecans onto the flatbreads before baking because they become roasted in the oven and are another great source of protein and nutrition. Nuts are full of healthy fats that the body needs and add great texture and dimension to recipes. If you have any extra honey roasted nuts on hand in the pantry, you can sprinkle some of them chopped up on the finished flatbread bites as well.
If you cannot find individual sized flatbreads at your local grocery store, you can purchase a large flatbread or even a prebaked pizza crust. You can even add other berries like raspberries or blueberries! They will taste just as great mixed with the herbs and balsamic vinegar.
A great tip for leftover flatbreads is to not top them with the arugula or the berry mixture until they are ready to be served. This way, if you need to reheat them, the arugula will not overly wilt and the berries and herbs will stay fresh.
Berry Balsamic Flatbread Bites
- 4 Individual sized Flatbreads (or one large flatbread or pizza crust)
- 1 c. Arugula
- ½ c. Ricotta cheese
- ½ tbsp. Honey
- 1 c. Mozzarella cheese, shredded
- 1 c. Strawberries, sliced
- 1 tbsp. Balsamic vinegar
- 2 tbsp. Fresh basil, sliced or torn
- 2 tbsp. Fresh mint, sliced or torn
- ¼ c. Chopped nuts (Almonds or Pecans)
- Extra virgin olive oil
- Sea salt and black pepper
1. Preheat the oven to 415 degrees Fahrenheit.
2. In a medium sized bowl, use a stand mixer or hand mixer to whip the ricotta cheese together with a pinch of sea salt, a pinch of black pepper, and the ½ tablespoon of honey for one minute.
3. Lay out the flatbreads on a flat working surface. Brush a very small amount of olive oil onto each flatbread.
4. Dollop small amounts of the whipped ricotta mixture evenly onto each flatbread. Spread the ricotta mixture out a little bit to flatten it.
5. Sprinkle some of the shredded mozzarella cheese evenly over the olive oil and ricotta cheese.
6. Sprinkle the chopped pecans (or almonds) and a little extra sliced basil on top of the cheese on each flatbread.
7. Bake flatbreads in oven for 10 minutes or until cheese is bubbly and flatbread becomes golden and crispy on the edges.
8. While the flatbreads are baking, mix together the cup of sliced strawberries, remaining basil, fresh mint, balsamic vinegar, and a sprinkle of sea salt and black pepper.
9. Remove flatbreads from oven and cut them into individual sized squares. Top each square with a few arugula leaves and a small amount of the balsamic berry herb mixture.
10. Garnish with any of the extra herbs, chopped roasted nuts, a drizzle of olive oil, a drizzle of balsamic vinegar, or even an extra pinch of cracked black pepper.
I hope you enjoy this delicious meatless dinner full of fresh ingredients and I will see you next week for another one of Direct Energy’s installments of Meatless Monday!
Recipe and Images by Stacie Morgan