Healthy Eating: Homemade Pizza
It can be a bit of a struggle to make a quick meal that is also healthy. One of the go-to meals in our household is homemade pizza. And not just your everyday pepperoni and cheese homemade pizza. A few years ago, we discovered New Zealander Annabel Langbein and her cookbook, The Free Range Cook. According to her website, she calls the "Free Range Life" one that enjoys the simple pleasures of exploring creativity, connecting with nature, and sharing food and laughter through the seasons. The images in her cookbook show an enviable veggie garden at her home on beautiful Lake Wanaka with majestic mountains in the backdrop. Glorious!

In any case, we were fortunate enough to have been given her cookbook a few years back and we fell in love with her Sausage, Tomato and Olive Pissaladiere. Well, actually, you could say we fell in love with her Olive Oil Pastry and give our own creative license to what goes on top. Last night was one such night. After we whipped up the pastry, we topped it with whatever we could find in our fridge:
  • BBQ sauce base
  • red onion
  • goat feta
  • parmesan
  • leftover roasted chicken
  • leftover roasted butternut squash
  • organic kale
  • organic cherry tomatoes
In the past, our toppings have run the gamut: apples, pears, blue cheese, salami, zucchini, thyme sprigs, various types of sausages, red peppers... you name it. The world really is your oyster!

Here is Annabel's Olive Oil Pastry recipe:

2 cups flour (conventional or gluten free)
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1/3 c. olive oil
2/3 c. lukewarm water

To make Olive Oil Pastry, combine flour, baking powder and salt in a bowl. Mix oil and water together and tip into flour. Mix with a knife until dough comes together; it should be soft and supple. Cover and rest for at least 30 minutes or overnight in the fridge. We roll it out on a piece of parchment paper and put the toppings on from there.

While we're making the pastry, we have a pizza stone heating up in the oven at 425 degrees F. Once your pizza is ready, you transfer it to the pizza stone (usually a two person job, with one hand holding each corner of the parchment paper) and bake it for 20 - 22 minutes. If you put it on a regular baking sheet, it can take up to 30 minutes.

What are your favorite pizza toppings?


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