Pizza Night!

A lot of people think because I am a Nutritionist that I don’t eat certain foods.  Well, that’s partly true. But when it comes to foods like pizza, how can I resist? I do have three kids after all. And pizza is awesome.

The difference is we don’t order pizza from a restaurant (often). We make our own crust and toppings at home-and it couldn’t be easier!  A little preparation and you’re good to go.  It’s healthier, you know what’s in it-and you can have whatever you want on it.  The kids pound out their own dough and make their own cheese or pepperoni pizzas, and my husband and I make what we want! You can get really creative! Or not…either way, pizza is delicious.

I found the most amazing whole wheat dough recipe from Jo Lusted’s new cookbook, “Dish Do-Over” (You can check her out on facebook here).  She is a clean eating chef that really speaks to me, her recipes are realistic and delicious!

If you’re nervous about using yeast and rising dough, this is a great recipe for a first timer.  Easy peasy, not a lot of kneading, and it’s SO good and versatile. You can even freeze half of it.

This recipe makes enough for two good sized thin crust pizzas or three little ones and two big personal ones. Enough for our family of five (One little one that doesn’t eat much) plus leftovers for lunch the next day!

Whole Wheat Pizza Dough (From Jo Lusted’s “Dish Do-Over”):

1 tbsp honey
1 cup less 2 tbsp lukewarm water
1 package regular active dry yeast
2 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
4 tsp vital wheat gluten
1 tsp sea salt
3 tbsp olive oil
2 tsp apple cider vinegar

In a large bowl, mix together honey and 1/3 cup water. Sprinkle in yeast and allow to proof, undisturbed (do not stir, or move the bowl), for 10 minutes or until foamy. (If yeast does not foam, it is dead and the dough will not rise. Discard and start again with fresh ingredients.)

While yeast is proofing, in another large bowl, whisk together 2 cups flour, wheat gluten and salt.
Once yeast is foamy, add remaining water, 2 tbsp oil and vinegar to yeast mixture. Pour in flour mixture and gently fold in with a bowl scraper or spatula until just combined. (Mixture will form a very wet ball.) Coat the bottom of another large bowl with remaining oil (ensure that bowl is large enough so that, when doubled in size, the dough will not reach the top). Transfer dough to bowl, rolling ball a bit to coat with oil. Cover bowl tightly with plastic wrap, set aside at room temperature and let dough rise for 1 hour. Dough will be very soft and sticky.

Lightly dust work surface with about 1/4 cup flour. Transfer dough to floured surface and roll lightly in flour. Gently knead dough for about 1 minute, dusting work surface with more flour as needed to prevent dough from sticking. Form dough into a ball and return to bowl. Cover bowl tightly with plastic wrap, set aside at room temperature and let dough rise for 30 minutes.

Transfer dough back to floured work surface and cut dough in half to form two balls. Dusting work surface with more flour as needed to prevent dough from sticking, lightly knead each ball for about 30 seconds. Reform into balls.

Dough is now ready to be formed into a crust or wrapped and saved for future use. To store, wrap each dough ball individually in plastic wrap. Dough can be kept refrigerated for 24 hours or frozen for up to 1 month.

My kids just like cheese (Or as they call it-Ninja Turtle pizza), and my husband likes his with mushrooms, onions, turkey pepperoni and cheese.  Mine was a veggie pizza smothered in onions, spinach and tomato. I think I threw some goat cheese on there too. YES PLEASE.
Another obvious plus for homemade pizza: Everyone gets exactly what they want! No compromises or picking things off. You don’t have to hear “I don’t like it…” or “What is THAT!?” or crying.  Crying while eating is the worst.
You can get so creative!  Like bruscetta?  Make it on a pizza! Spanikopita? Sure! Bacon cheeseburgers? Why not? Meat, veggie…doesn’t matter!  Make a pizza bar and have some fun.
Experiment with different kinds of pizza or stick with traditional. Either way, it’s fun and easy to make your own.  You’ll never dial out for pizza again!