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Sweet and Savory Saturday – Family Pizza Night

Posted Jun 12 2010 8:32am

Give each individual a ball of pizza dough and let them create their own "one-of-a-kind" pizza. My children's creations clockwise from left to right are: yellow tomato and onion with cheese; lean turkey pepperoni and bacon with cheese; and, lean turkey bacon and extra cheese.

Welcome to Sweet and Savory Saturday here at the Health and Food Forum’s Blog.  For many families around the country, weekends mean spending quality time together.  What better way to do that than to have “Make your own Personal Pizza Night?”  Each individual is armed with his or her own ball of homemade pizza dough, pizza sauce, and toppings of choice to create a pizza that they can claim all their own.  This is especially great if you have a mix of vegetarians and meat eaters in the family or if one member has to follow a low-fat diet while the others do not.

I love pizza, but I don’t like the extra calories, salt, and fat characteristic of pizza from a pizza parlor.  I prefer to make my own so I have control of the pizza’s contents.  To compensate for the lower sodium content of homemade pizza sauce, I use fresh herbs from my garden and I roast the tomatoes, garlic, and shallots to make their flavors more robust before I puree them.  I also add a bit of balsamic vinegar to provide a “salty” taste without the sodium.  To improve the nutrition value of the pizza crust, I use part whole-wheat flour and part bread flour.  For the meat eaters in my family, I buy lean turkey pepperoni and bacon for them to use as toppings.  The basic pizza dough and sauce recipes are below.  Toppings are up to you, but I provide some suggestions.

Basic Pizza Dough Recipe (recipe is from EatingWell )

Ingredients

  • 1 cup whole-wheat flour
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour (note: I use 1 cup bread flour instead)
  • 2 1/4 tsp quick-rising yeast
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp sugar
  • 3/4 cup hot water (120-130 degrees Fahrenheit)
  • 1 TBS extra-virgin olive oil

Preparation

  • Combine all dry ingredients in a food processor and pulse to mix.  With food processor still running, mix oil and hot water in a measuring cup and then slowly pour contents into food processor.  The mixture of dry and wet ingredients should form a soft, sticky ball.  If it is too dry, add 1-2 TBS of warm water.  If it is too wet, add 1-2 TBS of flour.  After the ball is formed, continue processing it for 1 minute to knead the dough.
  • Place the ball of dough on a surface that has been lightly dusted with flour.  Place a sheet of plastic wrap that has been greased with non-stick cooking spray directly over dough (sprayed-side down) and let the dough rest for 10-20 minutes.
  • Divide dough into equal parts for each family member.  Each individual can roll and shape their own crust to preferred thickness.
  • Top with homemade pizza sauce (recipe below), cheese, and toppings of choice.
  • Place personal pizzas on a greased cookie sheet and bake in an oven preheated to 425 degrees Fahrenheit for about 20 minutes (or until crust is cooked to desired crispness).

Homemade Roasted Tomato and Garlic Pizza Sauce

Ingredients

  • 1 cup canned organic tomato puree
  • 3 medium fresh tomatoes, roasted
  • 3 garlic cloves, roasted
  • 2 medium shallots, roasted
  • 1TBS balsamic vinegar
  • 1 TBS extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 1/2 TBS chopped fresh oregano
  • 1  1/2 TBS chopped fresh basil leaves
  • 1/2 TBS fresh rosemary leaves
  • 1 TBS store bought no-salt pizza seasoning
  • 1/3 cup grated parmesan cheese (optional, but helps to thicken sauce)

Preparation

  • Rinse and dry tomatoes.  Score the tops of the tomatoes and place on a lightly greased (with cooking spray) broiler pan along with the peeled garlic cloves and shallots.  Lightly spray ingredients with cooking spray.  Place on top rack in an oven that has been preheated to 450 degrees Fahrenheit.  Cook for about 5 minutes are until golden.  Remove from oven and let cool for about 5 minutes.  Place tomatoes, garlic and shallots into a blender and puree.  Set aside.
  • In a large sauce pan, combine canned tomato puree, olive oil, balsamic vinegar, herbs, and pizza seasoning.  Add tomato/garlic/shallot puree and heat on medium heat until a gentle boil occurs.  Reduce heat to low, add cheese, and cook until melted.  Remove from heat and let cool.
  • Place on dough, add toppings of choice, and bake in oven according to directions above.

Topping Suggestions

  • Roasted vegetables such as bell peppers, onions, broccoli, etc.,
  • Fresh vegetables and fruit such as mushrooms, onions, yellow or red tomatoes, pineapple, mango, etc.,
  • Fresh chopped herbs, such as basil
  • Sun-dried tomatoes
  • Reduced-fat cheeses
  • Soft cheeses – get creative and try blue cheese or feta cheese

How do you like your pizza?  Do you like thick or thin crust? Pepperoni or plain cheese?  What are your favorite toppings?  Share with us, we want to know!

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