Last night I had the kitchen to myself. I decided to take advantage of the peaceful situation and make one of my favorite foods for dinner: pizza!
Pizza is my ultimate favorite food. I love making pizza from scratch, and it really isn’t as unhealthy as many people think. A home made oven baked pizza loaded with vegetables and all the trimmings can actually be quite healthy.
I think pizza has a bad reputation from all the restaurants (in particular fast food places) that make their pizza’s with so much oil and grease. To top it off many of these places but few or no vegetables on their pizzas either. The pizza sauces and the dipping sauces only add to the unhealthiness of these pizzas.
My home made pizza’s are loaded with vegetables, and other low fat and calorie ingredients. From the low fat cheese to the low fat and calorie sauces (I used pesto and barbeque both low fat/calorie.
For the crust I used my mom’s pizza crust recipe that she has been tweaking for years. It’s made with half whole wheat flour which makes the pizza much more ‘filling’ they any kind of pizza you will ever find in a restaurant. I added many spices and herbs to the dough to make the crust extra zesty.
Here is my mom’s pizza crust recipe
Pizza Crust (makes 2 large crusts)
2 cups whole wheat flour
2 cups all purpose flour
2 tsp yeast
½ tsp salt
½ tsp sugar
½ tbsp olive oil
1 1/3 cup skim milk (warmed for one minute in the microwave)
dehydrated onion bits (to taste)
garlic powder (to taste)
parsley flakes (to taste)
basil flakes ( to taste)
Oregano flakes (to taste)
Light parmesan cheese (to taste)
Place the flours salt and sugar in a large bowl and mix well. Stir in the yeast. Add the cheese, spices and herbs and mix well. Add the oil and the skim milk and knead the dough for 10 minutes. Set the dough in a warm place (cover with a towel )and let it rise for one hour. Roll the pizza dough into crust size and shape. Place on pizza pans and set aside. Cover with your pizza sauce and toppings. Bake the pizza for about 25 minutes in a preheated oven at 350 degrees F.
I made two different kinds of pizza with only slight differences between the two.
For one pizza I used barbeque sauce and for the other I used pesto. Both pizzas I used chicken breast which I cut up and spiced and cooked before putting on the pizza. I also used a small amount of cut up Ukrainian sausage on both pizza’s. For vegetables I loaded both pizza’s up with mushrooms, and red pepper. On the pesto pizza I also added lots of olive slices (I thought pesto sauce went better with olives then barbeque sauce). For the cheese I used low fat marble cheese on both pizza’s.
The pizzas turned out super yummy and filling. The crusts were thin and soft and super zesty. The toppings were combined created a melody of flavors.
What are your favorite kinds of pizza? Do you have a pizza crust recipe that you love?
This evening I was in the mood for some dessert. I decided to use the pizza crust in the fridge and make a dessert pizza. Since our freezer is still packed with frozen pears I decided it should be a pear pizza. I followed this recipe from http://www.dairygoodness.ca/en/consumers/food/recipes/all/0800/864.htm?recipeid=864
I only used the recipe for the topping. I didn’t change much except I used less brown sugar then the recipes called for.
Here is the recipe.
Lazy Pear Dessert Pizza
One container of pre-made pizza crust dough
About 1-1 ½ cups small pear pieces (fresh, frozen or canned)
About ½ tbsp melted olive oil margerine
¼ of brown sugar (not packed)
½ tsp cinnamon
½ tsp ginger
¼ cup chopped pecans
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place prepared dough on a pizza pan. Spread evenly. Brush the dough with the melted margerine (just enough to cover the top). In a medium sized bowl combine the brown sugar, cinnamon, and ginger. Mix well. Sprinkle evenly over crust ( I used half on the bottom and saved the rest for the top). Place pear pieces on the pizza. Sprinkle on the pecans. Dust with remaining brown sugar mixture. Bake in preheated oven for 10-15 minutes (on until golden and a tooth pick comes out clean).
The pizza turned out super yummy. I will be making this recipe again.
Yesterday, after taking some lovely fall photos with a friend, we decided to go out for dinner. My friend suggested we get pizza some where. Since pizza is one of my favorite foods, I agreed. We decided to go to the Grapevine Trattoria.
The Grapevine Trattoria is a lovely small restaurant located in the heart of downtown Nanaimo.
I ordered the Italian flat bread pizza. I am normally not a huge fan of flat bread pizza (I tend to prefer fluffy crust pizza). However this pizza was quite good. The only thing that could be improved on with this pizza, is not putting whole cloves of garlic on it! I like garlic, but eating clove after clove is a little too much.
Below is an image of the pizza.
After the dinner we ordered dessert. I ordered the almond apricot torte. The menu described this dessert as a sponge cake with apricot puree sauce, butter cream icing, served with whipping cream. I enjoyed this dessert immensely. I loved that it was not too sweet. The many different ingredients created a variety of different textures in the dessert that were very pleasing to taste. I would highly recommend ordering this dessert.
A few days ago a friend of mine called me wanting to go out for lunch. She said she was craving pizza. Since pizza is one of my favourite foods I accepted her invitation. We decided to go to the local Boston Pizza.
I was in the mood for something different so I ordered the bacon double cheeseburger pizza. This was my first experience ordering this type of pizza. I expected the pizza to be very much like a burger but in pizza form. This is how the menu described the pizza: signature pizza sauce, mozzarella cheese, lean ground beef, bacon, onion, and mushrooms. To me the description makes this entree sound like it should taste like a cheese burger in pizza form.
Below is an image of the pizza.
In reality the pizza tasted nothing like a cheese burger or a burger at all. The most noticeable thing about it was that it seemed to have little or no sauce on it. It was very dry. I expected the signature sauce to be something like what you would have on a burger a mayonnaise base type of sauce.
I also expected there to be more cheese on the pizza. The cheese you likely see in the image is the massive amount of parmesan I sprinkled on top after trying just a few bites.
My friend ordered the same pizza as me and her pizza turned out the same with little or no sauce and minimal cheese.
Overall, I would give the Bacon Double Cheeseburger Pizza from Boston Pizza a 3/10 score (ten being the highest possible score). It is one menu item I won’t be ordering again.