Veggie Pizza and Sacrifices

>> Wednesday, December 7, 2011

I knew having a child would mean sacrifice in many areas of my life. I quit drinking beer and enjoying my champagne-baking Sunday afternoons for nine months (and beyond). Now, I'm heading to bed around 8:30 PM and waking several times a night to screaming and crying. Going to the mall has become an ordeal involving an hour of preparation and then maybe two hours out -- tops. I'm scarfing down my meals -- in thirty seconds flat -- in order to give my baby the food she needs.

And worst of all -- I've had to cut out dairy because it isn't agreeing with her delicate digestive system. Sigh . . .

Whenever I've had to cut something out of my diet (or life, in general), I feel like it's all I can focus on. All. I. Want. Is. CHEESE. You all know we frequently eat pizza or garlic knots for dinner. I'm unwilling to give that up.

What to do?

(Another sacrifice is of my time snapping food photos. As in -- this photo and the one below are embarrassingly bad and I refuse to apologize. The pizza? Ridiculously good. Use your imagination, please.)


The toppings below are mere suggestions. The point is: Get wild with it. If you can't have cheese or simply choose not to, top pizza with as much tastiness as possible.

For us, this has meant piling on the following . . .
  • Sweet potato fries
  • Avocado
  • Mushrooms
  • Corn kernels
  • Leeks
  • Sliced tomato
  • Wheat germ

When the cheese is missing, the bread is the key. Stephen has yet again tweaked his favorite crust recipe!

  • 1 cup warm water
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons active dry yeast
  • 1 cup carrot puree
  • 2-1/2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1 cup bread flour
  • pinch of salt
Method . . .
  1. Combine warm water and yeast. Let sit until frothy -- five minutes.
  2. Stir in carrot puree (just steam carrots and process until smooth). Or another type of vegetable puree would work fine.
  3. In another bowl, whisk together the flours and salt. Make a divot in the flour and pour in the wet ingredients.
  4. Mix well and knead. Dough will be moist and slightly sticky.
  5. Place dough in well oiled bowl. Let rise for 2 hours in a warm spot.
Note from Stephen: Each recipe yields two large pizzas. Second-day crust is always better (crispier). Dough works equally well as a garlic knot base.

To put it all together, just preheat your oven to 430 degrees F. If you have a pizza stone, use it. If not, a regular cookie sheet works fine. Flatten and work your dough into a round. Pre-bake for 5 minutes. Then flip over and pile on the toppings. Return to oven for 12 to 14 minutes -- until golden brown. If you've decided to add sweet potato fries, you'll want to bake those ahead of time and add them in the last couple minutes of baking.

Enjoy! And if you can eat real pizza -- please scarf down a piece for me. (Though, this veggie-crazy version is quickly becoming a new favorite.) If you'd like to read about more sacrifices we've made so far as parents, check out our current sleep situation on (never home)maker, baby!

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