31
Dec

Saturday Night Healthy Pizza Dinners

 Saturday Night Pizza

After reading John Chow’s latest fine dining entry about his trip to Tony Roma’s I thought I’d try to give bloggers a little bit more of a healthy choice in food. This is one of our cooked recipes that accounts for about 20% of the food we eat. It certainly isn’t the most healthy thing you could eat since it is cooked and has a little cheese on it, but it’s way healthier than anything you would get at Pizza Hut or Domino’s.

As a tradition my wife Jean and I make pizza almost every Saturday night. This is no ordinary pizza as it is completely made from scratch, except for the sauce which is organic Muir Glen pasta sauce. It is a fairly labor intensive process that takes about 2.5 hours to prepare the dinner, which includes salads, for the evening.

The usual toppings for the pizza include green peppers, red peppers, zucchini, olives, onions, jalapenos, fresh garlic, 3 different kinds of cheese and sauteed crimini mushrooms. The mushrooms are sliced up and sauteed until all the water cooks out of them and then I pour a little sweet vermouth in the skillet and saute it down again. This makes the mushrooms nice and tangy. Occasionally we will add some sun-dried tomatoes prepared in our dehydrator when we have them.

The crust is prepared by my wife Jean and the process starts by grinding our own wheat. She uses our Vita Mix blender to grind hard red wheat berries into whole grain flour. The flour is a little more course than your average white flour which makes for a nice consistency to the crust. If you’ve never used a Vita Mix blender, they are incredible machines and you will never own a traditional blender again once you own a Vita Mix.

After the dough is made it is rolled out onto a large cutting board to let it rise for about 30 minutes. We then heat our pizza stone for 15 minutes at 450 degrees F. Jean then slides the crust onto the hot stone and cooks it for 8 minutes so it will be firm when adding the ingredients. This is the secret to great pizza. Every time you get a pizza from the major delivery outlets, the center of the crust is uncooked and gooey. By cooking it you get a firm pizza that you can actually pick up and eat with one hand.

After the crust cooks for 8 minutes we take it out and add all the ingredients and sprinkle on about as much cheese as there is in probably 2 to 3 slices of Pizza Hut pizza. As you can see there is a little more cheese on the right side, my side. That little bit of cheese is still on of my weaknesses. To give the pizza an extra kick we use fresh crushed garlic on top and sprinkle Italian spices directly on the crust right after we take it out of the oven and then we put more spices on the top as the last ingredient.

The pizza cooks for an additional 8 to 9 minutes. I like the cheese to just start to get brown and the I know it’s done. This pizza last us for 2 meals.

It is a lot of work, but we look forward to our pizza dinners nearly every Saturday night.

Alan

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6 Responses to “Saturday Night Healthy Pizza Dinners”

  1. Well, you just made me incredibly hungry for pizza, and it’s shortly after noon here. That and a good home brew or bottle of wine would put me in heaven.

  2. The more I read about your diet, the more I realize how much you’re a very healthy eater. :)

    Looks good too.

  3. Hm.. Diet.. It ain’t easy if we won’t focus and consistent..

  4. Pizza looks great…..you do realize that John does those food reviews….so he can deduct those meals as a business expense on his taxes right?

    It isn’t because anyone really gives a rip about what he eats…..at least I hope to god they don’t.

    Happy New Year!

  5. Yes, I figured that’s what he was doing. I write pages about vacation areas we visit for my vacation rentals site so I can do the same.

  6. Ah yes. i like to eat healty, good choice. Nice blog BTW.

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