February 18, 2011

Hold that Takeout Order: Homemade Frozen Pizza

Life is tiring and sometimes you don't feel like cooking. It's better to call for takeout or to just open up the freezer door and pull out a meal that's only one heating source away from being done.

And of course you know that eating something out of cardboard probably isn't the best thing for you or the best tasting, but you do it anyway, because heck, it's better then nothing. So at the grocery store you toss in a couple of frozen preservative laden pizzas, thinking of the healthy meals you'll eat later to make up for it. Maybe you'll have some broccoli with it to make up for it. Oh well.

Or you know, you could make it yourself. Frozen pizza, that is.

It's actually not that hard to make pizza pretty darn healthy. And you don't even have to make it entirely from scratch.

This recipe is made using a pumpkin-tomato sauce which is one of my favorite pizza toppings. It has a ton of vitamin A and fiber, so you can feel great about using a ton of sauce. And since I'm a sauce fiend, this works for me.

The cheese topping is strong and very flavorful. What are you waiting for?

Frozen Pumpkin-Tomato Personal Pizzas (adapted from Eating Well's Pepperoni Pizza)
Makes 6 servings

1 pound whole-wheat pizza dough (can be found in most supermarkets or made fresh)
1 cup canned unseasoned pumpkin puree
1/2 cup traditional pizza sauce (I use Trader Joe's)
1 cup shredded low-fat mozzarella cheese
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese (fresh is best)
additional toppings- onion, mushrooms, peppers, etc.

Preheat oven to 450. Lightly oil a cooking sheet.

Stretch out dough on a lightly floured surface until dough is roughly the size of the cooking sheet. Remove and place on top of sheet. If dough won't hold it's shape, press down on the edges. If you prefer pizza with a crust, roll the edges of the dough, pinching at corners. Small crust may burn when baked.

Bake for 8 to 10 minutes. You should be able to lift the dough from the pan using a spatula and tap lightly on the bottom.

Stir together pumpkin and tomato sauce. Spread sauce over the dough, leaving no part uncovered(unless you made crust). Sprinkle mozzarella cheese over evenly and then fill in remaining uncovered pockets with parmesan.

Using a pizza wheel, cut into six even slices. Squares work best, because they are easy to stack.

If you prefer fresher toppings continue to the next step. If you want less prep work chop up toppings and add to pizza.

Wrap slices individually in foil. Freeze. Eat within a few months.

To heat your frozen pizza, preheat toaster oven or oven to 450. Unwrap slice, adding additional toppings if needed and place directly onto the wire rack. Bake for around ten minutes, until the cheese has melted completely. The sauce may even begin to bubble.

 Remove pizza from heat source. This is a very important step. Do not bite into the pizza immediately, no matter how tempting. Let it cool for several minutes.

Take a large bite. Enjoy.

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