Normal Pizza Night

December 3rd, 2009 | Posted by Alison Spath in Dinner Time

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.

Put'em to Work

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!

Shred Your Own Cheese

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.

Kid Pizza

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.

For Us

Finally – normal, health(ier) pizza time is here!

Pizza Time

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.

No Pepperoni

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.

Grown Up Pizza

Well, I did it! Normal pizza! Made with whole wheat flour, RBGH, canola oil and some BPA from canned tomatoes. It’s a tie.

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17 Responses

  • Julie says:

    I would LOVE to make my own pizza, but making dough scares me :( the yeast and the rising and all that jazz, I know I’d freak out.

    Pineapple on pizza does rock! You are the smartest woman alive.

  • Cindy says:

    you rock Mama!
    I was just typing up my draft of “oops I ate taco with rice and beans…and loved every darn bite.
    good for you! Some days you just have to live life!

    and I LOVE watching kids help in the kitchen!

    Happy Thursday!

  • Amy says:

    What can you do? Toy pig gets hungry too! I’m not big on pineapple pizza, but it’s my niece’s favorite. There’s a great recipe on allrecipes with roasted butternut squash if you want something different next times. Thanks for the great posts – they always make me laugh. Amy

  • Mama Pea says:

    I’m not so much worried about the pig as I am the toplessness. AGAIN. Please tell me YOU had a shirt on.

  • Whit says:

    Pineapple on pizza rocks my socks. And I agree with Mama Pea. Please tell us YOU had a shirt on. 😉

  • So between the dairy & the gluten, I can’t eat pizza anymore. BUT….when I could and did, pineapple, extra cheese, hot peppers/red pepper flakes was my go-to. I ADORE pineapple on pizza. OMG I have to say, I do miss it seeing great food like yours!

  • Erica says:

    Love it. Great job pulling together a great dinner with what you had on hand! I do this same search on some nights. My go to to find recipes is google blog search. I’ll just type in whatever random ingredients I have on hand and find a fantastic recipe that uses them! Happy Friday

  • Love this post! 😀 There’s something special about pizza night, that’s all I can say. And this recipe looks super easy (and healthy!) Who needs takeout, anyways?

    (p.s. I’m a pineapple on pizza kinda girl too…love it!)

  • Robin says:

    I make pizza every week with my girls and they love it. And I have had fun finding different toppings to fill my pizza. A few weeks ago I put acorn squash and dates on it with spinach and a few other ingredients. It was delicious!

  • Ashley says:

    Pineapple is one of my favorite pizza toppings. Your grown-up pizza sounds deeeelicious.

    I know exactly what you meant about not counting calories for the night — sometimes I think, I wish I could be a “normal” person for just one week! But you know what … the “normal” person isn’t very healthy, and a respite here and there is all it takes to keep me mostly on track.

  • That pizza looks amazing!! Job well done:)

  • Lizzy says:

    yum yum!!! I love making homemade pizza! i seem to be the only person who loves pineapple on their pizza until now! See i new we were meant to be best of friends! :)

  • Erika says:

    My husband loves pineapple on pizza as do my kids. But I can’t acquire a taste for it. I love that you ditched the calorie couting. Sometimes it is nice to just enjoy the food. And I am totally inconsistent too. I like to think I am teaching them flexibility! :)

  • Jennifer says:

    Ooooh….I love pineapple on pizza. Pineapple and ham to be exact. :) Banana peppers, too. Your pizza looks delicious!!!What a last minute meal to throw together, too. I would have had to do some planning to whip up something like that for dinner.

  • I love pineapple on anything, especially pizza.
    Your last minute dinner would take me the whole day. Making dough is intimidating to me for some reason. Very impressive!

  • Libby says:

    Pineapple on pizza is the norm here in Australian – Hawaiian (ham, cheese and pineapple) being a real favourite (not of mine of course). My fav. pizza is cheese, tomato, onion, pineapple (and sometimes egg) with BBQ sauce. Delicious. I remember getting a VERY strange look on our first trip to the states in ’92 when I asked for pineapple on my pizza :-). In fact, I don’t think they had it available.


  • I only make whole wheat dough from a box, but it always turns out well! Your pizza looks soooo good! Nice job, and your kiddies….too cute! Happy weekend!