Monday, July 2, 2012

Nothing like homemade Pizza...

At our house, we love pizza.  I really think my husband could eat it every night and be a happy man.  Unfortunately, pizza isn't always the healthiest option, and every time we find a place that has great whole wheat crust, they discontinue it!  


The great thing about making your own pizza is that you can make it as simple or complicated as you want.  You can make the crust, or buy one pre-made.  You can make the sauce or buy one pre-made (check the sugar, compare a few and get the lowest one).  You can use 1 topping, or 15!  As many as you can dream up :)  


We decided to make our own pizza recently, and it was amazing!  With all the 100+ degree days lately, I put my crust dough in a bowl to rise (it had been hanging out in the fridge and needed to warm up and double in size).  Almost right away after putting it outside, a storm that wasn't on the forecast rolled in and dropped the temperature to 82 degrees, not quite warm enough!  It rains so rarely, I guess needing the sun and warm for my pizza crust was my own "rain dance".  It gave me the opportunity to try out one of the settings on my new oven - it's "proofing" setting :)


Recipe for the Crust: 
(or, if you are short on time, pick up a pre-made crust at a grocery store, farmer's market, or bakery, I love Sunflower Market's whole wheat crust)


Ingredients

  • 1 package active dry yeast (.25oz)
  • 1 cup warm water
  • 2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1/4 wheat germ
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 Tbsp honey
Directions
  1. In a small bowl dissolve yeast in warm water, let stand for about 10 min.
  2. In a large bowl, combine flour, wheat germ and salt.  Make a well in the middle and add honey and yeast mixture.  Stir well to combine. 
  3. Cover and set in a warm place to rise until double in size. 
Dough in my oven on the proofing setting

Flour surface and roll dough out, as thick or thin as you like.  I do mine as thin as I can, because then I can put more on top of it!  The cooking time is obviously different depending on how you like your crust.

My husband worked at a pizza place in high school, so I let him teach me how to work the dough.  






We divided our dough in half and made two pizzas, because we wanted different toppings!

Once the crust is on the pan, you can cook it and then add your toppings, which is best for a thicker crust, or if you are doing really thin like mine above, you can add your sauce, toppings and cheese before cooking.  For this recipe, bake at 350 for 5-10 min for a thick crust, which you would want to bake first.  Then add your toppings and bake for another 8-10 min.  

Bake at 400 for 10-12 min for a thinner crust like mine, after adding sauce and toppings.

For the sauce, on a busy night, use a pre-made one, make sure the sugar is low by comparing 3 options and going for the lowest.  If you have more time, this sauce is excellent, and makes enough for 2 pizzas.  You can do more or less of any of the ingredients, depending on what you like!  If you have fresh herbs, use in place of the dried amounts listed below.

Pizza Sauce Recipe:

Ingredients
  • 1 can tomato paste (6 oz)
  • 1 can tomato sauce (8 oz)
  • 1-2 tsp minced garlic
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 1/2 tsp sugar
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 1 tsp basil
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • dash of crushed red pepper (optional)
Directions
1. Mix all ingredients together in a bowl.  (THAT IS IT!)




Now I like a sprinkle of low fat mozzarella cheese to hold everything in place.


Add your toppings!  Get creative, here are some ideas:
  • Veggies: onions (red, yellow, green), peppers (red, green, bell, pablano, jalapenos), tomatoes, sun dried tomatoes, mushrooms, asparagus, artichoke hearts, roasted eggplant,  spinach, squash, zucchini, watercress, arugula, scallions, shallots, 
  • Fresh Herbs: Basil, Chives, Cilantro, Garlic, Oregano, Parsley, Rosemary
  • Fruit: Pineapple, grapes, mandarin oranges
  • Meats: turkey pepperoni, low fat sausage, canadian bacon, ham, chicken (watch the fat that can come in from meats commonly used on pizzas!  Pick low fat options here)
  • Cheeses (go low fat here as well to save on the saturated fat!  These ones listed are easy to find low fat options): mozzarella, feta, blue cheese, parmesan, ricotta, romano
Some of the toppings we used!

 Load on those toppings!

Add a little more cheese (keep it light!)  I used mozzarella and parmesan this time.

Then bake according to above, and you have a fabulous dinner.  This is great for entertaining, for kids, or for picky eaters, where everyone can have their own.  Throw a quick salad on the side and dinner is served :)

We love Pizza - YUM!

How great are leftovers the next day too?

What do you love to put on your pizza?  What is your perfect combination?  Share in the comments section!  

Thanks for reading, and I hope you got your daily dose of nutrition!





2 comments:

  1. That pizza looks AMAZING!!!!

    ReplyDelete
  2. That Pizza looks AMAZING!!!! Thank you for the great idea and recipe!!

    ReplyDelete