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The Collective Series: Garden Salad Pizza w/ Guest Chef Sarah McKee


This garden salad pizza is the best that summer has to offer combined with the coziness of comfort food. Made with a homemade, gluten-free crust, pumpkin seed pesto and veggie toppings, this pizza can be on your table in less than 30 minutes! This recipe was created by Guest Chef Sarah as part of The Collective Series. Learn more about Sarah and how to make this homemade vegan and gluten-free pizza below. 

Today, I’m so excited to welcome Guest Chef Sarah McKee to the blog! She and I have collaborated on projects in the past and I’m so excited to introduce her and her culinary creativity to all of you. 

This post is part of The Collective Series that recently launched as part of this blog – a space to feature other food innovators and culinary wellness entrepreneurs through a common passion for healthy and delicious food. In case you missed them, check out the other guest chef features below for recipes that will blow your mind! 

A Little About Chef Sarah… 

Sarah has a diverse educational background in the health sciences, with a Master’s in Public Health. Sarah’s personal experience with a hormonal imbalance and adult-onset acne sparked her interest in healing her body in a natural way. She has since gotten certified as a nutrition consultant and regenerative health coach training. 


Sarah’s love for health and nutrition has continued to blossom as she dedicates her work to helping and educating others to live healthier lives. Currently, Sarah works as a culinary educator assistant and volunteer coordinator at Edible Education Experience, where she has tapped into her culinary side working with students, using a seed-to-table approach to food. Away from work, Sarah spends most of her time being active. Whether it’s stand-up paddleboarding, practicing yoga, tending to her home garden, or working on a new food photoshoot, she loves to be creative! 

You can find more of Sarah’s delicious recipes on Instagram at @edibleambition.

CP: Tell us a little bit about yourself – what is your background in the culinary and wellness space? 

SM: I grew up with a very health-conscious family. My parents cooked meals at home and made a point to have family dinners together. My first love for cooking came from my dad. He was always working on perfecting his oatmeal cookie recipe. Since then, he has started a healthy cookie company that I have been able to help out with.

In the wellness space, it wasn’t until college that I took classes on nutrition and explored a holistic, plant-focused food philosophy and started to take pride in eating well for my body. Athletics have always played a big part in my drive for good nutrition practices.

Right now, I work at Edible Education Experience as one of the culinary educators and coordinators. I have also worked with local Chef Susan Yetterburg and her catering company, Golden Plum, to assist with private dining and cooking demo events. These recent experiences have opened my eyes to the opportunities in being more hands-on with health and to educate others through the practice of nutrition and good food.

CP: What is your approach to cooking? 

SM: My approach to cooking is based partially on ayurvedic practices (Science of life) and the holistic approach of The Blue Zones around the world. I focus my recipes on healthy alternatives to processed foods with a heavy emphasis on eating nutrient-rich foods that feel good for each person’s body type.

CP: What gets you most excited in the kitchen?

SM: Trying new vegetables/foods. I recently tried sweet potato greens in a stir fry for the first time and it was so good! Really there isn’t a vegetable I don’t like, but it’s fun to explore new foods that I haven’t attempted to cook before.

CP: What is the first recipe you ever created? 

SM: Apple Oatmeal Bake. I remember coming across a magazine recipe for an apple crisp. And thought, ‘Hey I could make something similar to that but have it be healthy!” Turns out my bake was too dry but it was a fun project that I continued to work on.

CP: What is your favorite recipe you ever created? 

SM: That’s a hard question. I’d say my raw pumpkin cheesecake bites are one of my favorites. I love fall spices, cinnamon, all-spice, and nutmeg. I love making something that touches on multiple elements, sweet, salty, creamy, crunchy, etc. This recipe checked all the boxes!

CP: Tell me about your most horrific kitchen fail… 

SM: I tried to make paleo pancakes and added spinach to the batter to sneak in some veggies. It was way too watery. When I went to flip the pancake it fell apart, got mushy and ended up burning in the skillet. I was coming right off of a workout and got pretty hangry during the process. A protein shake had to suffice for breakfast that day. 😛

CP: If you could only enjoy one food for the next 30 days, what would it be?

SM: Almond butter toast. It was my go-to snack in undergrad. That snack got me through a lot of late study nights. Since then I like to jazz up my toast using sprouted bread, topped with nut butter, sliced fruit, coconut flakes, and ground flax/hemp seeds

CP: What was the inspiration behind this garden salad pizza recipe? 

SM: This recipe is a hybrid between a socca and naan flatbread that is commonly found in ayurvedic cooking. I like to bring a modern twist to ayurvedic recipes and try to incorporate in-season foods whenever possible. My garden salad naan pizza has both warm/cooked foods and raw/light foods, I find it’s well-balanced and easy to customize.

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Garden Salad Pizza with Pumpkin Seed Pesto

  • Author: FitLiving Eats by Carly Paige
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 35 minutes
  • Yield: 4 Mini Pizzas 1x
  • Diet: Gluten Free


You’re not going to believe how easy this Garden Salad Pizza recipe is. Made with a homemade gluten-free and vegan pizza crust, topped with pumpkin seed pesto and chilled arugula, this recipe can be made in under 30 minutes.






  • ½ cup dairy-free cheese
  • 2 cups roasted vegetables of choice (zucchini and mushrooms would be delicious) 
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice and zest, for garnish
  • Handful of arugula
  • Drizzle of olive oil


  1. In a small bowl, mix all of the crust ingredients together until well combined. Let sit for 10 minutes. 
  2. Meanwhile, mix the pesto ingredients in a high power blender until creamy. In a separate bowl, mix fresh arugula, lemon juice and olive oil. Let chill in the refrigerator. 
  3. Prepare your roasted vegetables of choice. 
  4. In a medium skillet, heat cooking oil over medium-high heat. Once hot, spoon ¼ cup of batter into the pan and use the back of a spoon to spread it into a circle. Cook for 4-6 minutes, until bubbles begin to form on the surface. Flip and repeat. This should make four mini pizza crusts. 
  5. Once pizza is done, top each with pesto, ½ cup roasted vegetables and 2 tablespoons cheese. Place pizza in the oven on low-broil for 2-3 minutes until golden brown and cheese starts to melt. Garnish pizza with arugula salad mixture and lemon zest.

Keywords: collective series, pizza, gluten free pizza, garden pizza, summer, quick dinner, weeknight dinner, main, homemade pizza, pumpkin seed, pumpkin seed pesto, pesto, dairy free pesto, sarah mckee, edible education experience

To continue to stay inspired by Chef Sarah McKee, follow her on Instagram at @edibleambition.

-Carly Paige

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Hi! I’m Carly Paige, a culinary nutrition expert and chef who believes that healthy doesn’t have to be frustrating, boring or restrictive. I’m here to show you how through my Simply Swapped Method so that you can feel more energized and confident from within. You’ll find tips for focusing on nutrition in the kitchen, along with plant-powered, gluten-free recipes that proves healthy can be delicious.

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