Rustic Vegetable Pizza with Butternut Squash Sauce

WOW. This sauce is so amazing! I'm actually quite surprised.

The idea started because my roommate vowed to a cleaner, healthier diet due to her recent gastritis diagnosis. She has been trying to steer clear of acidic foods and has been a little distraught about her restrictions. I decided to help with her dinner plans since she was stumped about what to make and where to begin.

Pizza sounded really good, but the tomato sauce made her nervous so I tried to think of a gut-friendly alternative. The first thing that came to mind was butternut squash. It turned out that this was exactly what we needed because it definitely hit the spot and so far, no cramping on her end! 

We made two pizzas--one catered to her sensitivities and one for me to experiment with because, well, if you know me, I can't not work with spices...We used Jiffy pizza crust mix because, 1) we were really hungry and in a hurry 2) it was fairly inexpensive. 

Although they were both equally delicious, the recipe below is the spicy, full-flavored, "less careful" version. Just follow the Jiffy pizza crust directions and use the ingredients below to top it. So easy! 

Ingredients (sauce)
1/2 large butternut squash
1/4 cup organic plain yogurt, or heavy cream
1 TBS honey
a drizzle of mustard
garlic powder
onion powder
1/4 tsp oregano
turmeric
cayenne pepper

Topping
1 tomato, thinly sliced
1/3 cup mushrooms, thinly sliced
1/3 cup garbanzo beans
1/2 cup chicken, diced (optional)
1 to 2 TBS capers
1 cup spinach, chopped (or arugula)
shredded parmesan
cracked black pepper

Directions

Preheat the oven to 375*

Peel the skin off of the butternut squash and dice it into tiny chunks-so it is easier to mash. Boil the butternut squash in a medium-sized saucepan on high heat until the pieces are softened. Drain the water and place the cubes into a large bowl. 

With a hand mixer or potato masher, mash the squash until no large chunks remain. Add yogurt, honey, and mustard as well as all of the spices and mix until well-combined.

For the dough, follow the instructions on the box.

Spread the sauce evenly over the surface of the pizza crust and add the toppings, in the order above. We want the spinach on top so that it gets a little crispy. (YUM!)

Return the crust to the oven and bake. 

And there you have it, a smooth and surprisingly creamy blast of flavor over a thin and crunchy crust. 

Happy eating!

*It has been suggested drizzling a balsamic reduction over this dish amplified its flavor. Give it a try!