Green Diva’s Guide to Delicious Living: Fun & Easy Homemade Pizza

organic rustic pizzaI chose this stock image of an odd-shaped pizza among the thousands available for 3 reasons, 1) I didn’t have my act together to take a digital photo of my own; 2) the actual title of this one is Organic Rustic Pizza; 3) I love that it is an odd shape, which represents just how creative you can get with homemade pizza!

While we cook almost everything on the grill during the summer months (and quite often the rest of the year), we have a few rainy-day summer meals we like to fall back on. It was an extremely stormy Sunday this past weekend, so we had a pizza night, which is why you are getting the pizza post.

You don’t have to have all the home pizza making bells and whistles, but they do help. We have a wonderful wooden pizza ‘peel’, which is the giant wooden spatula thing that helps get the pizza in and out of the oven. We also have a pizza stone, which is a great cooking element that you put in the oven rather than putting the pizza directly on the rack. Pizza peels and stones aren’t very expensive.

Easy Crust

Pre-made While you can usually find some frozen brands in the supermarket, we are fortunate enough to live in New Jersey, where there are perhaps as many pizzerias as there are bars or Starbucks (or bars & Starbucks combined!). We have a couple of local pizzerias that we are friendly with and they will sell us (or give us) dough. We obviously don’t do it often enough (or probably well enough) for them to feel threatened by the competitive aspect.

Ready-to-use, pre-cooked  Here’s an interesting category. I’ve tried some of these and am usually excited by the concept and disappointed in the results. However, we just tried one this past weekend that was a winner – Rustic Crust. We tried the All Natural Tuscan 6 Grain Old World Pizza Crust and loved it.

do-it-yourself  NOT really an easy crust . . . you are on your own with this one. Haven’t gone this rustic yet, but I hooked you up to a mess of good recipes, including a gluten-free one.

Sauces & Toppings

Here’s where things can get really colorfu. Depending on your taste – you could have a GREEN pizza, by using some type of pesto or by creating a ‘salad’ pizza (see recipe below). Aside from the traditional RED tomato sauces, you could try my very favorite BBQ sauce pizza (see recipe below). You could go for the WHITE variety by using mostly cheese.

They types of cheeses, vegetables, meats, fruit, etc. are an endless list based on your favorite combinations. Of course, soy cheese can be used, vegetarian sausage and meat substitutes are available so that vegetarian versions of old standbys can be produced.

The Basic How-To

When using raw-dough(either homemade or from your local pizzaria)

  1. preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. have fun with the rolling, pounding, and stretching it to whatever shape you want – and whatever shape you need to use to fit either your pizza stone or a baking sheet or your oven!
  3. brush on a little olive oil and pre-bake just the crust for about 8 minutes, but don’t let it get too brown.
  4. slather on sauce and toppings and bake again for about 15 minutes, watching to make sure things aren’t burning.

With pre-made crust

  1. preheat oven to 400 degrees
  2. slather on sauce and toppings and bake again for about 15 minutes, watching to make sure things aren’t burning.

Green Diva Pizza Recipes

BBQ Style Pizza
This is a variation on some of the delicious BBQ Chicken pizzas I’ve had in Massachusetts and California.

Ingredients
BBQ Sauce
(I like a nice smokey type sauce – my personal favorite is Annie’s Naturals Organic Smokey Maple BBQ Sauce)
Roasted Garlic (about one head)
Smoked Mozzarella (thinly sliced)
Carmelized Red Onion (carmelized or just raw, but thinly sliced)
These are the basics, but you can add some organic, free-range BBQ chicken bits or use BBQ’d veggie/fake chicken bits too.

Just spread the BBQ sauce on the crust generously, add toppings as per your taste, bake, and yum!

Salad Pizza
My kids’ favorite!

Ingredients
Your favorite green salad
Basic tomato pizza-style sauce

Spread the tomato sauce on generously, bake for about 10 minutes, then add salad and bake for another 5 minutes to wilt the lettuce and slightly cook other veggies and let everything kind of fuse to the pie a bit.

Fresh Mozzarella, Tomato & Basil
Very simple, traditional, but always good . . .

Ingredients
Your favorite tomato/pizza sauce
Fresh mozzarella (grated or sliced)
Fresh basil leaves (washed)
Sliced tomatoes (your favorite kind – we usually use sweet grape tomato halves)

Variations: Red Onion (thinly sliced); Black Olives (sliced)

Additional Seasonings
Of course, you can further personalize based on some dry additions at the very end, such as hot pepper flakes, garlic powder, onion powder, maple pepper (our family favorite!), salt, pepper, etc.

The variations are endless, which makes pizza one of the more creative things you can prepare in your cocina. Kids can get into the action at almost any age. So, have some pizza fun when you can’t get outside to grill dinner this summer.

Written by greendivameg

3 Comments

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  1. We do homemade pizza at least once a week. I make my own dough using a simple recipe from Epicurious–it’s cheap and I’ve got it down. Usually we make just cheese, but I love margherita when the tomatoes are ripe…like now!

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