Sunday, February 2, 2014

Homemade Pizza Night

Every Saturday night at the Homestead is Homemade Pizza Night. This is a tradition we started back when The Man and I first got together, and it's something the whole family looks forward to. Our diet has changed over time, but we have still kept up the tradition of Pizza Night, by adapting our pizza recipes to fit our healthier lifestyle. The biggest change we've made is that we now use vegan cheese instead of dairy cheese. There are SO many vegan cheese alternatives on the market now, and so many homemade vegan cheese recipes, that we really don't even miss the dairy. Most of the time, we use  Daiya mozzerella-style shreds for our pizza, mostly because it's convenient. We've also cut flour out of our diet most of the time, but we have decided that Pizza Night is our one night of the week to splurge and have flour, though we use only half wheat flour and half mixed grains, for less gluten. If I'm feeling lazy and don't want to make pizza dough, we just buy multigrain pizza dough from Whole Foods.

The best part of pizza is the toppings. For the kids pizza, we keep it simple, as they don't like to much "Stuff" on their pizza. Usually it's just sauce and cheese, though sometimes they might choose to have some red peppers or olives on there. But for The Man and I... we like our pizza piled high with veggies. We change it up each week, depending on what's in season, what we have in the house, and what we feel like. Last night's pizza was pesto, carmelized onions, spinach, sundried tomatoes and Daiya shreds. It was really good!

Multigrain crust, pesto, carmelized onions, spinach, sundried tomatoes and vegan cheese
To wrap up... here is a basic "how to" for making pizza the way we do here at the Homestead. It's not a "recipe" as such, as there is so much room for creativity where pizza is concerned.

Mama's Pizza

You'll need: 
1 ball of pizza dough (either homemade or store-bought)
corn meal, for dusting 
1/2 cup to 3/4 cup of sauce or pesto
Shredded vegan cheese 
Toppings, as desired (onions, peppers, broccoli, tomatoes, olives, greens... whatever you like!)

Place pizza stone in the oven and preheat to 450. Dust pizza peel with cornmeal. use a generous amount, so your pizza won't stick. Next, stretch out your ball of dough into a circle, using plenty of olive oil to keep it from sticking to your hands. Place the dough on the peel, and top with sauce, cheese and toppings. I like to add a bit more cheese on top. Carefully slide the pizza from the peel onto the pizza stone. Bake for 10 minutes, or until the crust is golden and the cheese is all nice and melty. 

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