I have mixed feelings about Mark Bittman, the New York Times columnist, food journalist, and author of VB6 (Vegan Before 6). If you're not familiar, Bittman, who often writes about the over-consumption of meat in America, is the leading proponent of this "vegan before 6 p.m." diet. He recommends eating vegan meals for breakfast and lunch but says it's okay to eat whatever you want for dinner.
On the one hand, skipping meat for even one meal a day does help some animals. And the diet might help people ease into full-on veganism. But on the other hand, VB6 gives potential health vegans an excuse to continue eating animals, thinking it's okay for their health, so why not? Well, I'll tell ya why not. Because eating any animals (even occasionally) is contributing to cruelty, no matter if those animals are factory-farmed or "humanely raised" (a term that is virtually meaningless, btw). Only worrying about your own health and not the lives of innocent animals seems quite selfish, if you ask me.
But regardless of how I feel about Bittman or his VB6 diet, I appreciate that he's one of the few big-time food journalists out there writing about vegan food. And he's certainly helped bring veganism to the mainstream, which must happen for us to make the greatest impact. So I was pleasantly surprised to find one of his recipes in the June 2014 issue of Runner's World. It was for a Breakfast Pita Pizza with strawberry puree, pistachios, and olive oil.
Runner's World does a decent job of nodding to veganism and occasionally printing vegan recipes. But not every month. When I saw this one, I immediately cut it out and hung it on my workout vision board (yes, I know how nerdy that sounds).
I finally got around to trying it this week, and hot damn! Bittman says the recipe was inspired by toaster pastries, and I don't really see the connection there. But no matter because it's delicious! Fresh strawberries are cooked down with a pinch of natural cane sugar. And then those are spread over a slice of pita bread spread with olive oil (I used a blood orange olive oil). Pistachios are sprinkled on top, and it's baked in the oven for 10 to 12 minutes.
The result is a fruity, salty (from the nuts), sweet, crispy delight. I washed this down with a glass of unsweetened almond-coconut milk. You can find the recipe on the Runner's World site here.