February 16, 2011


Posted by Ethne~

Let’s face it:  pizza is an American pastime.  I am a part of the crew – I L.O.V.E. love pizza. 

Being a WOM, I have discovered a love of making my own pizza.  Not that I don’t love the new Dominos, because I do.  But with my own pizza, I have control of so many options, including whole wheat flour, sneaky vegetables, and I can ax the unknown preservatives and additives.

I make my own crust!  If you’re not fond of the idea of making your own pizza crust (though trust me, it’s SLICK!), no problem-o.  There are lots of good pre-made pizza crusts you can find at your local grocery store.

Once the crust is made, I like to use a round pizza pan, spray it with cooking spray, and par-bake it.  That means pre-bake the crust before topping the pizza so the crust isn’t too doughy.  I par-bake 4 minutes at 425°, then turn the crust 180 degrees, and cook for another 4 minutes.

Pan Pizza

I use a jar of regular spaghetti sauce ($2.00 or less); I spoon the sauce onto the par-baked crust until it’s the coverage I want.  The remaining sauce goes in the fridge until I make the next pizza or cook spaghetti – usually 3 pizzas’ worth of sauce in 1 jar.  One of our favorite blogs, smashedpeasandcarrots, has a recipe for homemade pizza sauce you can try, too.


I julienne cut (ie. strips) leaves of baby spinach and put those onto the sauce (the key is that it’s UNDER the cheese where your family won’t notice it as much and it won’t burn).  Trust me, when used this way, it has no taste.  Shaun and the girls don’t look twice as they munch it down.

Is it spinach?  Is it basil?  They'll never know....

Next comes the cheese: I use one bag of finely shredded mozzarella ($2.00 or less per bag); I like how it melts.  I put ¾ of the cheese on top of the spinach and sauce, top the pizza with my other toppings, and then the remaining ¼ of the cheese sprinkled on the toppings – it looks nice.

The way cheese should be.

For toppings, that’s when I go CRAZY.  Toppings are endless.  In our family, our topping favorites are pepperoni, Hawaiian, and buffalo chicken.

I'm goin' in!

The pics here show the pepperoni pizza coming together.  Hawaiian pizza is Canadian bacon and pineapple tidbits.  For the buffalo chicken pizza, I top with regular sauce (yes, the tomato sauce), add cheese (possibly a hidden veggie) and chicken and drizzle with buffalo wing sauce.  It’s got the kick, but is not unpalatably spicy.  (You can do the drizzle technique with barbecue sauce instead of buffalo sauce for a tasty BBQ pizza.) 

HEALTH TIP: In the summer, when produce from Thrifty Nana’s yard is plentiful, I add zucchini squash, tomatoes, green peppers and other veggies I can find in her yard.  The girls are pretty good vegetable eaters, but I figure sneaking in a few extra (such as spinach) won’t hurt.

I bake the pizza at 425˚ for 6-8 minutes, then turn 180 degrees and bake another 6-8 minutes.  A tich more or less till the cheese is as golden as you prefer.

Comin' out hot!

Since I have the tomato sauce and spinach on my pizza, I don’t feel guilty that I am not separately giving the kids a vegetable with dinner.  Turkey pepperoni is good too.

It's all homemade!

Last but not least, in honor of Lori, you should dip your crust in ranch dressing.

It’s brilliant.  It’s ECONOMICAL.  And it’s WOM-worthy.

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