Saturday, November 26

Better Than Take out Pizza

Its the weekend after Thanksgiving; I think its time for something besides Turkey with all the fixin's. 

My husband has really been craving some pizza- so much that I had to break down and make it at home so we wouldn't completely ruin all of those hours at the gym with just once slice of takeout. I am sure there are a good number of people out there that make their own pizza at home rather than getting delivery so my recipes are not going to be ground breaking... just good. 

Ham, Black Olives, Red Onion, Heart of Palm, Mushrooms

Pizza Crust (straight out of the Betty Crocker: Heart Health Edition, with my healthi-er adjustments) **The recipe calls for all All-Purpose flour so if you don't have the WW Pastry Flour than just go with what you have.

2 cups All-Purpose Flour**
1/2 to 1 cups Whole Wheat Pastry Flour
1 tbsp. Splenda
1 tsp. Salt
1 package regular or quick Active Dry Yeast
3 tbsp. Olive Oil
1 cup very warm Water

Mix 1 cup of flour, the sugar, salt and yeast. Add oil and warm water. Beat with electric mixer on medium for 3 minutes, scraping bowl frequently. Stir in enough remaining flour until the dough is soft and leaves the sides of bowl. Place dough on a lightly floured surface. (for best results use your Silpat mat) Knead 5 to 8 minutes or until dough is smooth and springy. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and let rest 30 minutes.

I find it best to use a standard pizza pan with the holes in the bottom to cook pizza at home. Of course I don't have two pizza pans at home and this recipe makes two pizza crusts- so I have found that I can use my oven proof cookie cooling rack and it works just as well. Instead of rolling the dough out in a circle you can roll it in a rectangle just make sure that the dough doesn't fall through. 

Heat oven to 425 degrees. Spray your pan with Pam. Divide dough in half. Roll out each half into a 12 inch circle (again use your Silpat mat and a rolling pin for super thin crust). Partially bake 7 to 8 minutes or until crust just begins to brown. Add toppings and bake for another 8 to 10 minutes. 

Basic Pizza Sauce
1 tbsp. olive oil
1 garlic clove, minced
Red pepper flakes (optional)
1-15oz. can of tomato sauce
1- 6oz. can of tomato paste
1/2 tsp. marjoram
1/2 tsp. basil
salt and fresh ground pepper, to taste

Over medium heat, heat oil in saucepan until hot. Add garlic and red pepper flakes until fragrant. Add remaining ingredients, bring to boil. Lower heat and allow to simmer for 30 minutes. 

Herbed Ricotta, sliced Tomato, chopped Spinach, Mozzarella

Herbed Ricotta
 1  tbsp. chopped fresh basil
1/4 cup chopped parsley
salt & pepper, to taste

Mix. Use on pizza in lasagna, pasta or eggplant roll ups, on top of chicken before baking in the oven.... 

The great thing about pizza is you can plan for it or it can just be the vehicle that you use to get rid of some vegetables in your fridge. We have had all kinds of pizzas over the years and they usually consisted of left over... spinach, mushrooms, onions, tomatoes, chicken, hearts of palm, artichokes, garlic, olives, broccoli, zucchini and of course pepperoni. 

Tonight's pizzas didn't happen to have pepperoni but everything else I came across in the fridge or pantry. Pizza #1: Ham (Lunchmeat), Black Olives, Red Onion, Heart of Palm slices, Jarred Mushrooms, Mozzarella. Pizza #2: Herbed Ricotta, sliced Tomato, chopped Spinach (drained), Mozzarella.