© John Kernick

Healthy Monday: Chef Paul Kahan shares his healthy alternative to pizza.   He replaces  traditional dough with focaccia made with spelt flour, which is high in protein and gives the bread an appealingly hearty texture. Instead of using an excessive amount of cheese or meat, he tops the focaccia with tangy marinated kale, soft and sweet slices of winter squash and a few shavings of nutty, salty pecorino cheese.

Recipe: Spelt Focaccia with Kale, Squash and Pecorino

Flammkuchen in Endingen am Kaiserstuhl, Baden-Württemberg, Southwestern Germany at the French border. In French this is called Tarte Flambée. It’s an Alsatian-Mosellan and South German dish composed of bread dough rolled out very thinly in the shape of a rectangle (traditionally) or circle, which is covered with fromage blanc or crème fraîche, thinly sliced onions and lardons. It’s the most famous specialty of the region. There are some local varietions, such as:

- Gratinée: with added gruyère cheese;
- Forestière: with added mushrooms;
- Munster: with added Munster cheese;
- Sweet: dessert version with apples, cinnamon, and flambéed with Calvados or another sweet liqueur.

Legend has it that the creators were Alemannic-German-speaking farmers from Alsace, Baden or the Palatinate who used to bake bread once a week or every other week. Flammkuchen (“flame cake”) was originally a homemade dish only; it did not make its urban debut until the “pizza craze” of the 1960′s. Originally, it was used to test the heat of the wood-fired ovens. At the peak of its temperature, the oven would also have the ideal conditions in which to bake a Flammkuchen. The embers would be pushed aside to make room in the middle of the oven, and the intense heat would bake it in just 1 or 2 mins. The crust would be nearly burned by the flames. The result resembles a thin crust pizza. Some version & recipes.