Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Pizza...it's not your worst decision

Pizza is one food I can say I have loved since the first moment I had it. I mean really, doesn't everyone?  Even with my toddler I can put anything on a piece of bread, tell him it's pizza and he'll eat it.

Pizza gets a bad label for being unhealthy, but it's really about what's on top.  You know how we tell kids, "You can be anything you want to be"?  Yeah, well so can your pizza.  It can be healthy, or incredibly unhealthy.  A pizza made with wheat flour, homemade pizza sauce (it's really just tomato sauce with some herbs and spices), vegetables, lean protein, and some cheese is not the same as a greasy slice loaded down with cheese and hearty meats.

In face, one of the meals I freeze for my toddler is individual pizzas.  His pizzas are a whole wheat crust, homemade pizza sauce, and some cheese cut into Mickey shapes using a cookie cutter.  At the heart of his pizza, it's just wheat bread, tomatoes, and cheese, put some veggies on the side and you have a well-rounded meal.  If you have a picky eater in the family, add veggies in the food processor with your pizza sauce to get in some extra nutrients.  

When I'm at home I get creative with our pizzas.  It's so easy, and if something doesn't turn out well, just pick it off.  My pizzas usually include:
  • some type of protein
  • vegetables
  • wheat crust
  • dairy may or may not be included
With my weekly meal plan, I buy planned ingredients, but sometimes I see what I have in the refrigerator that needs to be eaten soon.  On those day, then I end up with creations like this below.  

Tempeh pizza with roasted vegetables
It started off to just be a tempeh pizza on a whole wheat crust with a tomato sauce. Since I can't eat dairy right now though, I really wanted to kick the flavor up a notch and started winging it.  
The whole wheat crust is down there at the bottom.  Next, I couldn't decide on the sauce because the tomato sauce didn't sound perfect to me.  So, I used three different sauces--I kid you not--each on 1/3 of the pizza.  Here are the sauces:
  • The first sauce is a pesto, thawed from my freezer
  • The second sauce is the tomato sauce (whole tomatoes drained and then sprinkled with basil, oregano, parsley, salt and pepper). Sorry I don't have a recipe here, I really just eyeball it until I think it looks right. 
  • The third sauce is an aioli (mayo, lemon juice, garlic, salt and pepper). Again, I was winging this one and now regretting I didn't write some stuff down for you.
The toppings are veggies from earlier in the week I had left over and then roasted:  eggplant, onions, tomatoes, red peppers, and garlic.  The meat looking stuff is tempeh (the protein source for the pizza) made into a sort of Italian sausage flavor.  You could just as easily use chicken or turkey.  

Another pizza we love in our house:  whole wheat pita, hummus, tomatoes, spinach, mushrooms, feta and a balsamic glaze.  Additional tasty ingredients I sometimes add are roasted red peppers, artichokes, or olives.  For my meat eater friends, add in some chicken.  

Mediterranean style pizza

All of this is to say, your pizza doesn't have to be boring, or unhealthy.  It can be delicious and good for you. Get creative.  You can make pizza a good, healthy decision.  

It's National Pizza Day, celebrate!

If you really want a recipe for either of these, send me a message and I will labor out of love to put one together for you.   


1 comment:

  1. We love pizza at our house too! We keep a small garden in the summer time, and my kids will try just about any vegetable if I let them help grow, wash, chop, and toss them on a pizza crust!

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