Pumpkin, Sausage, Sage Pizza

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We are big fans of pizza in our house. Homemade pizza is very easy to make, economical and gives you a great way to use up small amounts of leftover meat or vegetables in the refrigerator. I love to try new pizza combinations, although this is not always popular in our house. Sometimes you just want what’s familiar. This pizza was terrific–I will definitely make it again!

In full disclosure, this pizza elicited more teen jokes than any other meal I’ve prepared. Trying to be “artsy,” I made a flower design with the sage leaves. My daughter thought it looked like a marijuana leaf. I’m always glad to be the source of amusement. And really, no more trips to Spencer’s Novelty Shop. Really.

This pizza is super tasty and full of fall flavor. It involves no illegal substances, although pumpkin is so addictive this time of year, it probably should require a driver’s license to purchase. We used a spicy chicken sausage, but I think an Italian sausage or sage sausage would be pretty terrific as well. Or even soyrizo if you are going meatless. I replaced our usual mozzarella with a blend of Swiss and Gruyère cheese–I think those cheeses taste great with the sage and pumpkin (and they melt beautifully).

I used organic canned pumpkin for this recipe because it is already cooked and it is very thick with little residual moisture. If you use fresh pumpkin, make sure you cook it down to a very thick paste or your pizza dough will be quite soggy (I made that mistake with butternut squash once and it was not good).

Pumpkin, Sausage and Sage Pizza (makes 1 pizza)

  • 1 whole wheat pizza crust (recipe HERE)
  • 8-10 fresh, organic sage leaves
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 lb. local, spicy link sausage, casing removed
  • 1 organic yellow onion, peeled and sliced thin
  • 2 cloves organic garlic, peeled and minced
  • 1 cup organic pumpkin puree
  • 2 cups grated Swiss and Gruyère cheeses
  1. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.
  2. In a medium skillet or saute pan, heat the olive oil to medium high.
  3. When oil is hot, add the sage leaves and fry them for about 90 seconds per side or until they are crispy, but not browned. Remove sage leaves to a paper towel to drain.
  4. Add the sausage to the pan and reduce the heat to medium. Cook the sausage until no longer pink, breaking up any large clumps with the back of a wooden spoon.
  5. Remove the sausage from the pan to a colander or paper towel-lined plate to drain.
  6. Add onion and garlic to the pan with the drippings and saute for 4-5 minutes, or until the onion is soft and starts to caramelize a bit. Remove the onion and garlic to a small bowl.
  7. Assemble the pizza by stretching the dough (my pizzas are never round–more like rounded rectangles) onto a flour dusted baking sheet or pizza stone.
  8. Top the dough with the pumpkin, spreading it across the dough, leaving a 1-2″ crust around the edges.
  9. Sprinkle the onions and garlic over the pumpkin.
  10. Crumble up 2-3 sage leaves and sprinkle them over the onions.
  11. Top the onions with the crumbled and drained sausage.
  12. Cover the whole thing with cheese.
  13. Arrange the remaining sage leaves into a flower that will be completely misinterpreted by your family.
  14. Bake for 15-18 minutes or until cheese is just browned and bubbly.
  15. Cut the pizza and serve immediately.
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Sweet Potato, Chorizo and Pepper Pizza

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It’s fall, y’all. Time to break out the boots, cozy sweaters and the fall recipe book! This recipe includes one of my favorite fall flavor combinations–locally made bulk chorizo sausage and roasted sweet potatoes. We buy our bulk chorizo from Mae Farm, a local farm that raises pigs in the highest ethical standards, with lots of room to roam and be pigs. Their chorizo is pretty phenomenal and I can’t wait for fall so we can make this pizza again! By the way, this same combination of flavors works great in a quesadilla as well! If you are feeding people who aren’t fans of spice, you can leave out the chili in adobo sauce.

This pizza is a knife and fork pizza. Or at least a two napkin pizza. It is chock full of late summer/early fall goodness, like roasted sweet potato, sweet onions, locally made chorizo sausage, and colorful, fresh bell peppers. This pizza is a meal In itself. I had originally planned to have a salad with dinner, but once I saw how huge the pizza was, I decided to save the salad for another night!

Pizza is one of those incredibly versatile meals that can make the most of whatever you have in the pantry or refrigerator. I’m including my whole wheat crust recipe because it is filling and higher in protein and fiber. You could replace it with whatever crust you like, though. I’m definitely going to make this again during football season!

Sweet Potato, Chorizo and Pepper Pizza (makes 4-6 serving)

  • 1 recipe whole wheat pizza crust (see below)
  • 1 large sweet potato, roasted, with flesh removed from skin (compost the skin)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, peeled and chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
  • 3 bell peppers (I used 1 each of red, yellow and green), washed, seeded and chopped
  • 3 chipotle peppers in adobo sauce (optional)
  • 1 lb. chorizo bulk chorizo sausage
  • 1 cup canned organic black beans
  • 2 cups shredded Mexican blend cheese
  1. Prepare the pizza crust and let rise.
  2. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  3. In a 12″ skillet, brown the chorizo sausage over medium heat. Place a strainer over a thick layer of paper towel and pour sausage and drippings into the strainer and set aside.
  4. Return the skillet to the heat, and add the olive oil, onion, garlic and peppers. Stir together and cook over medium heat for about 15 minutes or until all the vegetables are soft and there is no liquid in the pan. Remove pan from heat.
  5. On a lightly greased or flour dusted baking sheet, stretch dough out to make your pizza shape (I prefer square pizzas, but that’s me).
  6. Spread the sweet potato over the crust and sprinkle the drained chorizo over the sweet potato.
  7. Add black beans on top of the sausage, then add the pepper mixture over all.
  8. Cover the vegetables with a generous amount of cheese.
  9. Bake the pizza for 15-20 minutes.
  10. Cut and serve immediately.

Whole Wheat Pizza Dough (makes 2 rounds of dough)

  • 1 pckg. yeast
  • 1 3/4 c. warm water
  • 4 c. whole wheat all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp. Kosher salt
  • 2 Tbsp. olive oil
  1. Dissolve the yeast in the warm water and let sit for 5 minutes until completely dissolved and a bit foamy.
  2. In the bowl of a standing mixer (w/dough hook attached), combine flour, salt and olive oil.
  3. While mixer is running on low/med low, add yeast water to the flour in a stream.
  4. Allow mixer to knead dough for about 4 min.
  5. Cover bowl with a towel or plastic wrap and let stand in a warm place for 1.5 hours or until doubled in bulk.
  6. Punch down dough and divide into two pieces (we divided it into 3). Each ball will make a pizza. You can freeze half for another time or let each dough ball stand covered for 20 minutes.
  7. Shape and make your pizzas according to the recipe directions.

Turkish Style Pizza

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My daughter and her dad like to frequent a local Turkish restaurant that makes terrific food. My favorite dish is a wonderful, boat shaped pizza made with ground lamb and topped with an egg. The combination is delicious! This is my homemade version using a whole wheat crust, roasted red peppers and store bought Harissa sauce. It isn’t quite the same as the restaurant, but it is darn good and very satisfying!

Turkish Style Pizza (makes three small pizzas)

  • 2 tablespoons organic coconut oil
  • 1 organic yellow onion, peeled and diced
  • 2 large cloves organic garlic, peeled and minced
  • 1lb. grass fed ground lamb
  • 2 red bell peppers, roasted, peeled, seeded and chopped
  • 1/2 cup spicy Harissa sauce
  • Kosher salt and ground pepper to taste
  • 3 fresh farm eggs
  • 1 whole wheat pizza dough
  1. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.
  2. In a large skillet, heat the coconut oil over medium high heat.
  3. Add onions and cook for 3-4 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for one minute.
  4. Add the ground lamb and cook until the lamb is no longer pink, about 10 minutes. Break up any large chunks of meat with the back of a spoon. Stir frequently.
  5. Add the chopped roasted peppers and the Harissa sauce. Stir well and cook until most of the moisture is gone from the pan, about 10 minutes more.
  6. Check for seasoning and add salt and pepper, if needed.
  7. Set a colander over a small bowl. Add the lamb mixture to the colander and let drain.
  8. Divide the pizza dough into three equal parts. Shape each part into a long rectangle or boat shape.
  9. Put the dough boats on a greased baking sheet (or a heated pizza stone). Bake the dough for 5 minutes.
  10. Remove the baking sheet from the oven and top each boat with equal amounts of the lamb mixture. Make a small indention in the lamb on each pizza. Crack an egg into each indentation.
  11. Return the baking sheet immediately to the oven and cook for about 12 minutes, or until the pizzas are heated and the eggs are done to your liking.
  12. You can also run the pizzas under the broiler for a minute or two.
  13. Serve immediately.

Week 47 Budget and Menu

A packet of Reese's Peanut Butter Cups

Our weekly menu will no doubt include some of this. Not vegan, organic or local. But still…

 

Happy Halloween! This week, we are back to spring-like temperatures. It’s crazy, this weather, but great for trick or treating, running and yard work! Our shopping this week reflects a super busy mom–not only are we hosting a group of teenagers for Halloween, but Tom and I are running in a Day of the Dead race and I’m working late a couple of nights. So, we have more grocery store items this week, but we’re still focusing on the organic and making healthy choices.

Hope everyone has a happy and safe Halloween! Here is what is on our menu when we are not sneaking Reeces Peanut Butter Cups.

Budget [$103.42]

  • The Produce Box (pears, organic kale, organic bibb lettuce, organic radishes, organic beets, pesticide free persimmons, pasture-raised ground beef): $40.00
  • Trader Joes (mushrooms, steel cut oatmeal, chicken sausage, organic pumpkin, organic beans, goat cheese, frozen pizza, candied pecans, organic yogurt, frozen fruit): $63.42

Menu

  • Wednesday–Pear and Goat Cheese Salad
  • Thursday–Pizza (and, probably, candy)
  • Friday–Swiss Chard , Beet Greens and Mushrooms with Egg
  • Saturday–Chili with Buttermilk Cornbread
  • Sunday–Lentil Soup with Sausage and Kale
  • Monday–Leftover chili
  • Tuesday–Pumpkin Coconut Ginger Soup

Tutorial Tuesday #8–Reducing Your Meat Consumption

Starting a garden is a good way to increase your vegetable intake!

Starting a garden is a good way to increase your vegetable intake!

If someone told you there was one secret to losing weight, improving your health and keeping more of your money in the bank, would you be curious?

Believe it or not, there is one thing you can do to both improve your overall health outcomes and reduce your family food budget. That one thing is:

Reduce the amount of meat your family consumes.

Really. When I look at our food budget, it is obvious when we have a meat-heavy week and when we have a lighter week. Meat is expensive to produce and expensive to purchase. And reducing the amount of meat we eat in our diet has contributed to some major improvements in our weight and health statistics.

Am I telling you to become a vegetarian? No, and for the record, I am not a vegetarian, although I do love plant-based meals. And not all vegetarian fare is healthy (see: French Fries and Funnel Cake). Reducing the amount of animal protein you consume is not the same as eliminating it. You could try one night a week and move it to two or maybe three. How do you do this without a family riot? Here are some suggestions!

Reduce! Use smaller amounts of meat combined with lots of vegetables.

For centuries, humans used meat primarily as a seasoning for vegetables and other carbohydrates like grains. The concept of the large roast dinner (roast beef, full ham, steak and potatoes) came primarily after WWII, when war rations were lifted and middle class Americans suddenly had access to factory farmed (less expensive) meat. Before that, home cooks were creative in stretching a little bit of meat a long way. Actually, most of the rest of the world still does. How do you do that? Here are some ideas:

Collards and hoppin' john uses very little meat for a very satisfying meal!

Collards and hoppin’ john uses very little meat for a very satisfying meal!

  •  Stir fry—protein + vegetables + rice
  • Stews—protein + vegetables + potatoes
  • Pizza—protein + vegetables + dough
  • Casseroles—protein + vegetables + noodles + sauce

Go Meatless and Fun!

Meatless Monday has taken off in homes, hospitals, schools and corporate cafeterias across the country. Going meatless can be a fun challenge! Think your family won’t eat a vegetarian entrée? Check out these ideas:

Family Pizza Contest—We make our own whole wheat crust and family members can make their own special (often secret) pizza using ingredients from the farmer’s market. Once the pizzas are cooked we convene for a pizza tasting and vote for the best pizza. There is always a good time and often a lot of smack talk among contestants. Usually we are surprised—kale on pizza? Yes!

Salad-Palooza—Sometimes family members (especially younger members) just want to have some control over their situation. We shred some fresh lettuce and cut up small bowls of all kinds of vegetables and toppings. Then, everyone makes their own salad their way. No judging. Some of our favorite topics include broccoli, chopped cucumber, chopped red peppers, hard-boiled eggs, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, shredded cheese, olives, and dried fruit. This is a great way to get rid of small amounts of leftover vegetables as well!

Building your own salad puts each diner in control!

Building your own salad puts each diner in control!

Rediscover a favorite—You probably already eat some vegetarian dishes and just didn’t think of them that way. Seeing them in a new light not only makes going meatless seem less intimidating, but it also makes us appreciate some foods we don’t often think about. These familiar dishes are all meatless (although they do involve dairy):

  •  Spaghetti with marinara sauce
  • Grilled cheese and tomato soup
  • Corn and potato chowder
  • Macaroni and cheese
  • Salad
  • Peanut butter (or almond butter) and jelly sandwiches
  • Refried bean burritos and guacamole
  • Homemade or vegetarian egg rolls
Pasta with marinara sauce is always a great bet!

Pasta with marinara sauce is always a great bet!

Find Something New—With all the food porn on Pinterest, have your family search for vegetarian dishes that are beautiful and look delicious. Then make them! Again with the control, children aren’t asked very often to choose what everyone eats. They may really get a kick out of it. You could even make the person who chose the dish a dinner ambassador or some other honor. If you have teenagers, let THEM make dinner (you will be surprised).

Go with Stealth—Just don’t tell them. You don’t have to make a big production over going meatless. Sometimes I wait until everyone is finished eating and announced, “Hey, isn’t that amazing–that was a VEGETARIAN dinner!” At first, we had some surprised looks, now it’s just funny.

Use Unusual Cuts of Meat

Steaks, roasts and chops can be a bit pricey. But what about oxtail, shanks, hangar steaks or cheeks? There are cuts of meat that traditionally are underused and much less expensive to buy. Why? Some require longer cooking times and other cuts have just gone out of popularity with the rise of the steak. With a little love, these can be some of the most delicious meals around. Braised Beef Shank Ragu is one of our all-time favorites and makes the most of a less popular (and often less expensive) cut. Don’t know what to try? Ask your farmer or butcher. Anyone selling meat at your farmer’s market will know and will be able to give you some great recipes (and, there’s always Pinterest, right?).

Pumpkin, Sausage and Sage Pizza

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Okay, in full disclosure, this pizza elicited more teen jokes than any other meal I’ve prepared. Trying to by “artsy,” I made a flower design with the sage leaves. My daughter thought it looked like a marijuana leaf. I’m always glad to be the source of amusement. And really, no more trips to Spencer’s Novelty Shop.

This pizza is super tasty and full of fall flavor. It involves no illegal substances, although pumpkin is so addictive this time of year, it probably should require a driver’s license to purchase. We used a spicy chicken sausage, but I think an Italian sausage or sage sausage would be pretty terrific as well. Or even soyrizo if you are going meatless. I replaced our usual mozzarella with a blend of Swiss and Gruyère cheese–I think those cheeses taste great with the sage and pumpkin (and they melt beautifully).

I used organic canned pumpkin for this recipe because it is already cooked and it is very thick with little residual moisture. If you use fresh pumpkin, make sure you cook it down to a very thick paste or your pizza dough will be quite soggy (I made that mistake with butternut squash once and it was not good).

Pumpkin, Sausage and Sage Pizza (makes 1 pizza)

  • 1 whole wheat pizza crust (recipe HERE)
  • 8-10 fresh, organic sage leaves
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 lb. local, spicy link sausage, casing removed
  • 1 organic yellow onion, peeled and sliced thin
  • 2 cloves organic garlic, peeled and minced
  • 1 cup organic pumpkin puree
  • 2 cups grated Swiss and Gruyère cheeses
  1. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.
  2. In a medium skillet or saute pan, heat the olive oil to medium high.
  3. When oil is hot, add the sage leaves and fry them for about 90 seconds per side or until they are crispy, but not browned. Remove sage leaves to a paper towel to drain.
  4. Add the sausage to the pan and reduce the heat to medium. Cook the sausage until no longer pink, breaking up any large clumps with the back of a wooden spoon.
  5. Remove the sausage from the pan to a colander or paper towel-lined plate to drain.
  6. Add onion and garlic to the pan with the drippings and saute for 4-5 minutes, or until the onion is soft and starts to caramelize a bit. Remove the onion and garlic to a small bowl.
  7. Assemble the pizza by stretching the dough (my pizzas are never round–more like rounded rectangles) onto a flour dusted baking sheet or pizza stone.
  8. Top the dough with the pumpkin, spreading it across the dough, leaving a 1-2″ crust around the edges.
  9. Sprinkle the onions and garlic over the pumpkin.
  10. Crumble up 2-3 sage leaves and sprinkle them over the onions.
  11. Top the onions with the crumbled and drained sausage.
  12. Cover the whole thing with cheese.
  13. Arrange the remaining sage leaves into a flower that will be completely misinterpreted by your family.
  14. Bake for 15-18 minutes or until cheese is just browned and bubbly.
  15. Cut the pizza and serve immediately.

Sweet Potato, Chorizo and Pepper Pizza

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This pizza is a knife and fork pizza. Or at least a two napkin pizza. It is chock full of late summer goodness, like roasted sweet potato, sweet onions, locally made chorizo sausage, and colorful, fresh bell peppers. This pizza is a meal In itself. I had originally planned to have a salad with dinner, but once I saw how huge the pizza was, I decided to save the salad for another night!

Pizza is one of those incredibly versatile meals that can make the most of whatever you have in the pantry or refrigerator. I’m including my whole wheat crust recipe because it is filling and higher in protein and fiber. You could replace it with whatever crust you like, though. I’m definitely going to make this again during football season!

Sweet Potato, Chorizo and Pepper Pizza (makes 4-6 serving)

  • 1 recipe whole wheat pizza crust (see below)
  • 1 large sweet potato, roasted, with flesh removed from skin (compost the skin)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, peeled and chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
  • 3 bell peppers (I used 1 each of red, yellow and green), washed, seeded and chopped
  • 3 chipotle peppers in adobo sauce (optional)
  • 1 lb. chorizo bulk chorizo sausage
  • 1 cup canned organic black beans
  • 2 cups shredded Mexican blend cheese
  1. Prepare the pizza crust and let rise.
  2. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  3. In a 12″ skillet, brown the chorizo sausage over medium heat. Place a strainer over a thick layer of paper towel and pour sausage and drippings into the strainer and set aside.
  4. Return the skillet to the heat, and add the olive oil, onion, garlic and peppers. Stir together and cook over medium heat for about 15 minutes or until all the vegetables are soft and there is no liquid in the pan. Remove pan from heat.
  5. On a lightly greased or flour dusted baking sheet, stretch dough out to make your pizza shape (I prefer square pizzas, but that’s me).
  6. Spread the sweet potato over the crust and sprinkle the drained chorizo over the sweet potato.
  7. Add black beans on top of the sausage, then add the pepper mixture over all.
  8. Cover the vegetables with a generous amount of cheese.
  9. Bake the pizza for 15-20 minutes.
  10. Cut and serve immediately.

Whole Wheat Pizza Dough (makes 2 rounds of dough)

  • 1 pckg. yeast
  • 1 3/4 c. warm water
  • 4 c. whole wheat all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp. Kosher salt
  • 2 Tbsp. olive oil
    1. Dissolve the yeast in the warm water and let sit for 5 minutes until completely dissolved and a bit foamy.
    2. In the bowl of a standing mixer (w/dough hook attached), combine flour, salt and olive oil.
    3. While mixer is running on low/med low, add yeast water to the flour in a stream.
    4. Allow mixer to knead dough for about 4 min.
    5. Cover bowl with a towel or plastic wrap and let stand in a warm place for 1.5 hours or until doubled in bulk.
    6. Punch down dough and divide into two pieces (we divided it into 3). Each ball will make a pizza. You can freeze half for another time or let each dough ball stand covered for 20 minutes.
    7. Shape and make your pizzas according to the recipe directions.

    Hillsborough Cheese Company

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    My child is in love. With a cheese.

    Really, it could be worse, right? This sweet infatuation began at the Western Wake Farmer’s Market, where we visited the booth of artisanal cheese makers The Hillsborough Cheese Company (hillsboroughcheese.wordpress.com). We had been looking for a local cheese source, and were thrilled to find the cheese booth, complete with tasting opportunities. We sampled a few and ended up purchasing some Eno Sharp for grilled cheese and some fresh mozzarella for pizza.

    Then, we tried the Bloomin’ Sweet Ash, an aged goat cheese that gets its ashy exterior from the application of a food grade vegetable ash. Really! They describe the cheese this way: ‘The result is a creamy, gooey layer surrounding a delicious, chevre-like spreadable center that alternates between notes of sweetness and bitterness.” My child believes this is the best cheese. Ever. I heard about the virtues and superior quality of this cheese all the way home. Apparently, I am going to be adding this to my list next week.

    Hillsborough Cheese Company offers a nice range of cow and goat milk cheeses made with locally produced milk. Their cow milk comes from Maple View Farm in Orange County, which sets the standard in our area for high quality, no growth hormone milk from pasture raised cows. Their goat milk comes from similar high quality goat dairies in the area. Cheesemaker Cindy West focuses on crafting European style cheeses and it appears that they have some standard offerings as well as some seasonal varieties that take advantage of available local ingredients.

    So how was the cheese? We tried the Eno Sharp in our grilled cheese last night and all of us agreed it was amazing. It had perfect melting qualities and a wonderful milky taste that was not overly sharp, but had enough flavor that we could really taste the cheese. Hard to describe (I’m not a cheese expert by any means). We would definitely do this again.

    The mozzarella is a fresh, hand stretched mozzarella that we used on our homemade pizzas. It was so much more flavorful than store-bought pizza cheese that I don’t think we’ll ever go back to shredded cheese in a bag. A $4.00 round of cheese made enough grated cheese for two pizzas, so that’s $2.00 a pizza–definitely within our budget.

    Hillsborough Cheese Company cheese is available at some farmer’s markets in the area–check their website for specific information. As for me, I’ll be heading out Saturday to purchase some Bloomin’ Sweet Ash for my bloomin’ sweetie.

    Pesto Chicken Pizza

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    Did you know that making pizza could make you an environmental hero? Yesssiree. Using up your leftover food not only saves you money, it saves the environment. Americans annually throw away millions of pounds of food that ends up rotting in landfills (read HERE). Most of that is restaurant waste, but families contribute a good chunk as well. That’s why I love basic recipes that can use a wide variety of foods we happen to find left over in our refrigerator. Here are some ideas:

    • Omlettes and quiches
    • Stir fry
    • Quesadillas
    • Pizza
    • Crazy salads

    Of all these, our favorites are stir fry and pizza. This week we found ourselves with a little fresh broccoli, 2 cups of leftover roast chicken and some leftover mushrooms that HAD to be eaten or they would be compost. Since I usually have whole wheat flour and yeast, we had pizza night. Ellie made a yummy buffalo chicken pizza and we made this delicious pesto chicken pizza using defrosted pesto that we made and froze this summer. It was so good that Tom thought I should post it. So, here it is!

    Pesto Chicken Pizza

    • 1/2 recipe whole wheat pizza dough or 1 ready to heat crust
    • 1/4 cup basil pesto
    • 1/4 cup sliced mushrooms
    • 1 cup chopped, cooked chicken
    • 1 cup finely chopped fresh broccoli
    • 1.5- 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
    1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
    2. On a baking sheet, shape your pizza dough into something that resembles a circle (or not, it’s your pizza!).
    3. Spread the basil pesto over the dough, extending pesto to 1-2″ from the edge.
    4. Top pesto with the sliced mushrooms and chopped broccoli.
    5. Top vegetables with the chicken.
    6. Top all of it with cheese!
    7. Bake at 450 for 12-15 minutes or until crust is golden and cheese is very melty.
    8. Don your superhero cape and serve this pizza to your grateful citizens!

    Winter Sausage and Onion Pizza

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    There is a part of me that could live on nothing but pizza and hamburgers. For. Ever. Thankfully, I have some level of self control and I enjoy other foods, so I haven’t resorted to living at Five Guys. And, when we do have pizza, we typically make it at home now. Pizza dough is amazingly easy to make and tastes much better than store-bought or delivery! One of the best things about pizza is its flexibility. No matter what you have at home, you can probably make some kind of pizza.

    Last night we made a pizza featuring some of our roasted tomato sauce from this summer, Coon Rock Farm Italian sausage, local caramelized onions, hot pepper flakes and mozzarella from Hillsborough Cheese Company. Yum. The verdict was that this combination was a winner. It was definitely a fork and knife pizza–sloppy, but good!

    Here is a great whole wheat pizza dough recipe that I use consistently. You can make both rounds or freeze half the dough for an easy weeknight pizza another time!

    Whole Wheat Pizza Dough (makes 2 rounds of dough)

    li>;;1 pckg. yeast

  • 1 3/4 c. warm water
  • 4 c. whole wheat all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp. Kosher salt
  • 2 Tbsp. olive oil
  • Dissolve the yeast in the warm water and let sit for 5 minutes until completely dissolved and a bit foamy.

    In the bowl of a standing mixer (w/dough hook attached), combine flour, salt and olive oil.

    While mixer is running on low/med low, add yeast water to the flour in a stream.

    Allow mixer to knead dough for about 4 min.

    Cover bowl with a towel or plastic wrap and let stand in a warm place for 1.5 hours or until doubled in bulk.

    Punch down dough and divide into two pieces (we divided it into 3). Each ball will make a pizza. You can freeze half for another time or let each dough ball stand covered for 20 minutes.

    Shape and make your pizzas!

    We cooked our pizzas at 500 degrees for about 12-15 minutes each, depending on the thickness of the dough

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