Tonight as I scoured recipes in a couple of different cook books and those in my recipe box, I had no idea what I was looking for. All I knew was that I needed something I could make with with the remaining produce in my fridge or ingredients found in my cupboard. It’s slim pickings until I get to the grocery store tomorrow to restock my personal farmer’s market.
I flipped through pages and recipe cards but nothing jumped out at me or sounded even remotely appealing. I studied recipes and ingredient lists waiting for something with “butternut squash” or “celery” or “old, wrinkled jicama” to leap out at me and flip on the light bulb over my head.
Still dark. Maybe that bulb is burned out.
Just as I was getting ready to throw myself into a heap on the floor and declare we’d be having cereal topped with wilty beet greens for dinner, I got a glimpse of the word “pizza” in the index of 1000 Vegetarian Recipes as I was slamming the book closed like a dungeon door.
Pizza? I can do pizza.
Polenta pizza was great (sort of) and I’m all in favor of wacky and crazy, healthy pizza-like concoctions. But sometimes I just want pizza. Real pizza made with gluten filled flour and cheese made with the squeezing of a cow. Pizza like they make at pizza places but without all the grease.
Isn’t there a happy medium?
Why yes there is! Healthier pizza (compared to what I’d get if I ordered pizza) but not so healthy that I’m making dough from ground sunflower seeds or cheese from soaked cashews. Is that too much to ask?
No, it’s not too much to ask! I can have normal pizza that’s sort of healthy, I just have to make it myself.
“Make it myself”, or delegate? You decide.
Tonight we used my standard recipe for pizza dough. Pizza dough use to seem so intimidating. Yeast, dough, rising, fear of crust that is as hard as a rock or reminiscent of card board – oh the things that can go wrong! Well, I’ve yet to fail with my the recipe linked above (don’t make me link it again) and I love that when I make it myself I can use organic ingredients, sub some whole wheat flour for white flour, use canola oil instead of who knows what.
Next up, let’s get saucy. Into the mini prep went a 15 oz can of organic diced tomatoes, a 4 oz can of tomato paste, a tablespoon or so of agave nectar and a little salt.
Time to shred like my girl Jillian. I’ll pass on all those fun preservatives and anti-caking chemicals that come in pre-shredded cheese, thanks. Unfortunately we did not get a pass on hormones or antibiotics tonight. Mama skipped organic mozzerella and went with the cheaper, Recombinant Bovine Growth Hormone variety this time.
I just can’t bring myself to buy the 4.99 brick of cheese every time, what can I say. I’ll still shred my own block of cheese every time though – antibiotics or not!
Not only did I pass on organic cheese, but I passed on calorie counting with dinner tonight too. I just wanted to make pizza and eat pizza like a normal pizza-makin-pizza-eatin person. I didn’t want to weigh shredded mozzarella, I didn’t want to measure out flour precisely when adding a little more at the end to make it the right consistency. So I didn’t.
Kid pizza? Sauce and cheese. Done and done.
Next up, a grown up pizza. My favorite pizza toppings for a veggie pizza would be banana peppers, mushrooms and onions. But as I mentioned earlier, I’m scraping the bottom of the produce drawer until tomorrow, so I had to make do.
OK, whatta we got?
Hmmmm pineapple? Let’s do it.
Banana peppers? Yes, I believe I said that already.
Half a tomato left over from lunch? Dice it up and throw it on there.
Sundried tomatoes too? Absolutely!
What about this half of an avocado in here? Hmmm, maybe. OK, no. Save that for lunch tomorrow.
We’ve got a cucumber in here still. And some cauliflower? Um, no. I draw the line somewhere.
OK, so where’d we end up? Pineapple, banana peppers, tomatoes – both normal and shriveled varieties.
Finally – normal, health(ier) pizza time is here!
I’m usually a stickler for toys at the table but sometimes I’m a total slacker, inconsistent with the rules kind of mom. I’ll bookmark this post and email the link to their shrinks 15 years from now.
Calorie counting, organic cheese and sunflower seed crust thrown to the wind tonight – sure, what the hell, your toys can eat with us tonight. What do I care.
No pepperoni here – just toy pig on the side.
And a slice of a grown up pizza. Pineapple on pizza rocks. Try it and then come back and tell me how smart I am.
Well, I did it! Normal pizza! Made with whole wheat flour, RBGH, canola oil and some BPA from canned tomatoes. It’s a tie.