Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Different Ways To 'Do Pizza'


I don't know many people who don't like pizza. They may not like certain toppings (for instance, I hate Italian sausage) or crust types, but most people I know enjoy some form of pizza. Even so, sometimes we get bored of the same old thing and want to 'jazz it up' a bit. Fortunately, it's not really hard to find ways to change things up while keeping the same flavors you love. If you're the kind of person who enjoys trying new recipes but wants to be sure your family will like it, here are a few alternatives to the traditional pizza pie.

Here is a low-calorie treat with a bit of a Greek flair.

Mini Greek Pizza Muffins-39 calories per mini-muffin
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/3 cup whole-wheat pastry flour
2/3 cup red bell pepper, finely chopped
2/3 cup onion, finely chopped
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon sugar
¼ teaspoon garlic powder
½ teaspoon dried oregano, or 1 ½ teaspoons fresh, chopped
¼ teaspoon salt
1/3 cup feta cheese, crumbled
1/3 cup low-fat milk
2 tablespoons tomato paste
2 tablespoons kalamata olives, chopped
1 large egg, beaten

Preheat oven to 400 F. Coat a mini-muffin pan with cooking spray. The recipe itself uses a pan with 24 2-tablespoon cups, but you could probably use a 12-cup pan to make larger muffins if you'd like.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the two types of flour, oregano, baking powder, garlic powder, salt and sugar. Then, take a large skillet and heat some oil over medium heat. Add the bell pepper and onion. Stirring often, cook for 5 minutes or until the onion is tender. Move to a large bowl and let cool for about 10 minutes. Now, combine the tomato paste, olives, egg, milk and feta with the onions.

Mix everything together and fill the muffin cups until they are two-thirds full. Bake for 13-15 minutes or until the muffins are lightly browned. Leave them in the pan for 5 minutes and put on a wire rack to cool.

If you don't want to go to all that trouble, you can always add variety by using different types or shapes of the crust.

My mom used to make me great school lunches by hallowing out a kaiser roll, stuffing with sauce and toppings, and microwaving for about a minute. I've also made a 'pizza pita' by spreading everything onto pita bread, rolling it up and microwaving for about a minute and a half.

If you use a homemade-pizza kit like the ones from Chef Boyardee, you can always make calzones or strombolis. All you have to do is pile the cheese and toppings on one side of the dough, fold it over and bake. The main difference between the two is that strombolis have the sauce on the inside of the dough while calzones have it on the side.
As you can see, there are more ways to 'do pizza' than just the pie! It doesn't really matter how it comes, though; it great however you serve it!

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