feed south africa + romesco pizza w/ spiced chickpeas + lemony arugula / by Lindsey | Dolly and Oatmeal

today, me and many other food bloggers are participating in the partnership with The Giving Table and The Lunchbox Fund, to help feed 100 South African school children each day for an entire year. This is because 65% of ALL South African children live in poverty, and receiving food not only encourages them to stay in school, but also to obtain an education.  Unfortunately, poverty-related hunger has been a long sustained issue, but thanks to partnerships between organizations like The Giving Table and The Lunchbox Fund, people from around the world are able to help make an essential and important difference in the lives of many children.  

i know from my own experience as a teacher working for a number of years with elementary-aged children, that imagining any number of these kids going hungry would be a painful thought.  not only is hunger physically painful, but lack of food can diminish concentration, erode willpower, and strip a child down to a shell of what they could be.  these children dream of becoming things like designers, doctors, or teachers, and cannot fully realize these goals of what they want to be.  when i think about all of this one of my students, Carlos, comes to mind.  Carlos was an energetic student who came to our after-school program just to help him become a proficient reader.  he always marched into the classroom smiling with this bright eagerness ready to participate.  his spirit was contagious and he often helped his peers with any reading difficulty.  it was Carlos' tenacious personality to not only have the energy for his own work, but also to work with others.  it's the kind of thought that if Carlos were hungry, his zeal to work and learn would not be as strong as it was, as his first thought would be his hungry belly.  when i think of this program, and feeding 100 children, i think each one of them could be a Carlos, and the implications of them all being hungry.  

i did this post thinking of what lunch item a child would want, but also in a way that gives a child the sustaining nutrition they need.  i remember pizza being one of my favorite and fun things to eat as a kid.  pizza bagels, pita pizzas, salad pizzas, grilled pizzas, and seasonal pizzas! pizza is so open to interpretation and ready for just about any topping.  one of my favorite pizzas growing up was a mediterranean pizza that came with crumbly feta, roasted red onion, and salty kalamata olives, so i wanted to make this into a more well-rounded, healthful meal that can nourish and sustain you throughout the day.  

***please watch the short video below and join me in donating (according to your means) to this very necessary cause.  even $10 feeds a child for a day, less than the cost of a pizza pie! please donate here

romesco pizza w/ spiced chickpeas + lemony arugula

| gluten free + vegan |

serves 2


  • 1 pound gf/v pizza dough
  • 3-4 tablespoons romesco sauce 
  • 1/4 cup spiced chickpeas (ingredients below)
  • 1 1/2 cups baby arugula
  • 1/4 of a red onion, sliced thin
  • 1/4 cup tofu feta (or cheese of your liking, or no cheese at all)
  • a handful of pitted kalamata olives, cut in half
  • 2 tablespoons pignoli nuts, toasted
  • juice from 1/2 a lemon
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil, plus more for brushing pizza dough
  • salt and pepper

romesco sauce - slightly adapted from It's All Good

  • 1 bell pepper, roasted
  • 2 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
  • 2 tablespoons toasted blanched almonds (cooled)
  • 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • coarse sea salt
  • pinch of cayenne pepper or freshly ground pepper

sautéed spiced chickpeas (there will be leftovers!)

  • 1 can chickpeas (garbanzo beans), rinsed and drained
  • 1/4 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine grain sea salt
  • 2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil, for cooking


make the romesco sauce

  • roast the pepper over a gas flame set to medium-low, rotating it with tongs until charred evenly - about 15 minutes (if you don't have a gas stove, you can broil it in your oven). place pepper in a boil and cover tightly with plastic wrap (this creates steam to help peel the skin).  once cool enough, cut the pepper and discard the stem and seeds, carefully peel the skin and discard.  run the peppers under water to remove any excess char; dry, and blend in a food processor with remaining ingredients.   season to taste with salt and cayenne (or ground pepper), place in refrigerator until ready to use (i like to make it a couple days in advance to let the flavors come together.)

make the sautéed chickpeas

  • drain the chickpeas and rinse.  place in a small bowl, add the spices and salt, mix. heat a small sauté pan on medium heat and cook the beans for 4-5 minutes.  remove from heat but keep warm in the pan

make the pizza

  • preheat oven to 400° and line a baking sheet with parchment paper
  • flour your workspace and rolling pin; roll dough (or press) dough out to any shape desired with about a 1/4-inch thickness (less if you like your pizza thicker).  fold the edges in a bit and pinch to create a crust
  • brush with olive oil and pre-bake in oven for 5-7 minutes.
  • while pizza is baking, toss the arugula with olive oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper, set aside
  • remove from oven and top with romesco sauce, onions, olives and feta "cheese", place in oven and bake for roughly 10 minutes, until cheese has melted.  remove from oven and slice.  top each piece with pignoli nuts, arugula, and spiced chickpeas

enjoy and don't forget to donate!