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Saturday, March 19, 2011

Thankful For Pizza

Each year, Ryan and I like to make something unconventional for Thanksgiving and/or Christmas dinner. It's kind of the perk of not spending the holidays with family - you have more control over the menu. This year, we made pizza. As it turns out, having both of us prepare a meal together doesn't make for too many cooks in the kitchen, which is lovely.

I'm not a mother but I suspect that most parents want to put the best food possible into their children but also have to accommodate kids picky pallets. I've never known a kid (or adult really) who didn't like pizza. Of course, when you think of it, pizza is generally perceived as some greasy, cheese-filled dough with too much oil and sodium and not enough good stuff for your body.

Start with a wheat crust. Ryan is quickly becoming a dough expert so this is his very simple and very good pie crust recipe.

Ingredients:
3/4 C Wheat Flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. sugar
1/2 tsp. yeast
1/2 C water
4 tsp. oil

1. Sift together flour, salt, sugar, and yeast. Once sifted, make a well or hole in the middle of your mixing bowl and pour water into it.
2. Mix and fold with your hands until it's just sticking together. Use a little oil to coat your dough. When putting back into the bowl, pour the remaining oil over + a little bit more water.
3. Let dough rise to your liking (1 hour - 24 hours). If you want it fairly dense, let rise for a shorter period of time. (We usually stick with 1-2 hours).

Once your dough is complete, pull it out of the bowl and mold into your pizza shape with your fingers (it really doesn't need a rolling pin). Add home-made or store-bought tomato sauce (now you know why I make it in bulk). Add whatever toppings you want. I like to keep shredded chicken in the fridge so we usually use that and whatever veggies we have around: broccoli, onion, peppers, tomatoes, spinach, jalapenos, etc., etc., etc.
Cheese is where the health end gets dicey. In all honesty, you can stop here. Believe me, with the style of pizza and all the vegetables, you won't miss the cheese. If you do want it though, feel free to pile it on either before or after the veggies.
Bake your pizza at 425 degrees for 10-15 minutes.

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