Category Archives: Pizza

Zucchini Pizza Tacos

Throughout the week, we try to rotate menu options – chicken, fish, meat, vegetarian. I’m always looking for something new & different to make on our vegetarian nights, and I came across this recipe in the June issue of Better Homes & Gardens. The original recipe was enough to feed a crowd, so I had to do some cutting in order to make it small enough portions for a regular weeknight meal.

We’ve made this several times throughout the summer – especially since the ranchero sauce makes a LOT (and freezes well), and we love it! And it’s more filling than I realized – one or two tacos and a side of veggies, and I’m done! Enjoy!

Zucchini Pizza Tacos
Adapted from Better Homes & Gardens, June 2015
Tim Love recipe
Makes 8 tacos

whole wheat pizza dough (one dough ball), or store-bought pizza dough (14-16oz)
7.5 oz Ricotta cheese, fat-free (1/2 container) – drained overnight
2 lbs zucchini
4 oz fresh mozzarella cheese, thinly sliced
1/2 cup thinly sliced red onions
1/4 tsp crushed red pepper
1 serving Ranchero sauce (1/4 total)
squash blossoms (optional)
chives (optional)

The night before:
Drain ricotta: Line a sieve with 100% cotton cheesecloth and place it atop a bowl. Place ricotta cheese in the sieve. Cover and let drain in the refrigerator overnight. Discard liquid.

Make ranchero sauce (see directions below).

The day of:
1. Pinch off approximately 2-ounce portions of pizza dough and shape into balls. Arrange on an oiled tray, brushing the top of each with extra-virgin olive oil. Cover with

plastic wrap and set in a warm area to rise for 1 hour or until doubled in size.

2. Quarter zucchini lengthwise. Brush with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Grill on the rack of a covered grill for 6 minutes or until browned and

tender, turning occasionally. When cool enough to handle, slice on the bias.

3. Roll out each ball to form a 6-inch pizza shell. Prick all over with the tines of a fork. Brush with additional oil and season with salt and pepper. Grill each on

the rack of a covered grill directly over medium heat for 1 to 2 minutes per side or until browned.

4. Top each Pizza Shell with 1 to 2 tablespoons Ranchero Sauce, some crumbled ricotta, fresh mozzarella, zucchini, red onion, a squash blossom, chives, and crushed red pepper. Fold to eat.

Notes: Make ranchero sauce the day before, and drain ricotta the night before.

Nutritional info (per taco):
Calories: 194.8
Total Fat: 4.9 g
Saturated Fat: 1.9 g
Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.1 g
Monounsaturated Fat: 0.9 g
Cholesterol: 15.9 mg
Sodium: 229.2 mg
Potassium: 298.5 mg
Total Carbohydrate: 29.1 g
Dietary Fiber: 4.5 g
Sugars: 2.9 g
Protein: 10.2 g

Ranchero Sauce (for Zucchini Pizza Tacos)
Adapted from Better Homes & Gardens, June 2015, Tim Love
Makes 4 servings (enough for 4 recipes of Zucchini Pizza Tacos)

2 medium red bell peppers
1 medium onion
1 tbsp sunflower oil
2.5 cup chopped tomatoes
1/2 cup water
2 chipotle peppers in adobo sauce
1/4 cup honey
1 dash salt
1 dash pepper

In a large saucepan cook sweet peppers and onion in hot oil over medium-high heat 5 minutes or until softened. Add tomatoes, water and chipotles. Bring to boiling; reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, 8 minutes or until vegetables are tender. Remove from heat and add honey. Cool slightly. Transfer to a blender or food processor. Cover and blend or process until smooth. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Makes 3 1/2 cups.

Freezes well. Make ahead, portion, and freeze.

Nutritional info (per 1/4 of recipe):
Calories: 152.2
Total Fat:4.2 g
Saturated Fat: 0.4 g
Polyunsaturated Fat: 2.5 g
Monounsaturated Fat: 0.7 g
Cholesterol: 0.0 mg
Sodium: 122.3 mg
Potassium: 409.6 mg
Total Carbohydrate: 29.9 g
Dietary Fiber: 3.0 g
Sugars: 17.4 g
Protein: 2.1 g


Whole Wheat Pizza

We love pizza at our house, and I’ve looked for a long time for a great whole wheat (or at least mostly whole wheat) pizza dough to make.  Sure, we’ve bought store-bought fresh & frozen dough, but since I love to make things myself, I *needed* a whole wheat pizza dough recipe.

I finally found this recipe in a page I had cut out from Whole Living magazine (which, sadly no longer exists), and it is the perfect mostly-whole wheat pizza dough recipe!  I use it to make 3 large balls of dough, each enough for a large pizza.  I usually make one right away and wrap and freeze the rest.  The frozen dough balls can be defrosted in the fridge overnight (or on the counter at room temp for a few hours, or even in the microwave on a low defrost setting for a few minutes).  Enjoy!

Whole Wheat Pizza Dough
From Whole Living, Sept 2011
Number of Servings: 24 (enough for 3 pizzas, 8 slices each)

1 envelope dry active yeast (1/4 oz)
2 cups warm water
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more (1/4 cup) for dusting surface (I use ultragrain)
2 teaspoons coarse salt
2 cups whole-wheat flour
1/2 cup toasted wheat germ
1 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil, for bowl

Toppings of choice (I used tomato sauce, veggies, meat, cheese)

1. Dissolve yeast in water in a large bowl and let stand, 5 minutes. Stir in 2 cups all-purpose flour and salt. Stir in whole-wheat flour and wheat germ, then remaining all-purpose flour, 1 tablespoon at a time, until dough comes away from bowl but is still sticky.

2. Turn out onto a lightly floured work surface, and knead, until it’s smooth and elastic and springs back slowly when poked, about 10 minutes.

3. Place in a lightly oiled bowl, turn to coat. Cover, and let rise in a warm place until it doubles in volume, about 2 1/2 hours.

4. Cut dough into three portions. Roll into balls, cover, and let rest 30 minutes before stretching for pizza. **Note** At this point, you can wrap the dough balls in plastic wrap and freeze for up to 2-3 months.

5. Stretch each ball into a 12-14-inch pizza.  Top with desired toppings (I used tomato sauce, veggies, meat, and cheese for this one).

6. Bake each pizza at 450 for 12-15 minutes.

Nutritional info (crust – per slice):
Calories: 98.0
Total Fat: 1.1 g
Saturated Fat: 0.1 g
Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.2 g
Monounsaturated Fat: 0.4 g
Cholesterol: 0.0 mg
Sodium: 93.5 mg
Potassium: 23.2 mg
Total Carbohydrate: 18.4 g
Dietary Fiber: 2.5 g
Sugars: 0.6 g
Protein: 3.9 g

Homemade Mini Pizzas

I’ve always thought that a fun entertaining idea would be to do a make-your-own pizza bar. Everyone loves pizza, right? But we never actually tried it until we had visitors recently – it was a family with two kids, and I thought it would be fun for the kids to be able to choose their own toppings.

As it turned out, it was SO MUCH FUN! And tasty, too! Why didn’t we do this before?

Our friends’ daughter is twelve, and she is very interested in cooking, so she helped me pick the recipes, make the sauce, make the dough, and prep all of the toppings. We had a great time cooking together!

Mini pizzas

Fresh Pizza Sauce
From Whole Living, Sept 2011
Makes 16 servings (about 4 cups)

4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 large yellow onion, finely chopped
4 cloves garlic, chopped
2 medium carrots, finely chopped
3 pounds ripe tomatoes, chopped, juices reserved
Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
1 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano
8 fresh basil leaves, torn if large

1. Heat oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Add onions, garlic, and carrots and cook until tender, 8 to 10 minutes. Add tomatoes and their juices, a pinch of salt, oregano, and basil; bring to a simmer.

2. Reduce heat to low and cook, stirring occasionally until sauce is thick, about 1 hour. Puree in a food processor, if desired. Season with salt and pepper.

3. Let sauce cool to room temperature before using on pizza. (Refrigerate for up to a week, or freeze for up to two months.)

Mini pizzas - sauce

Nutritional info:
Calories: 43.1
Total Fat: 3.5 g
Cholesterol: 0.0 mg
Sodium: 17.9 mg
Total Carbs: 3.0 g
Dietary Fiber: 0.7 g
Protein: 0.5 g

Mini Pizza Dough
From Better Homes and Gardens
Makes 8 mini pizzas

1 1/2 – 2 cups all-purpose flour
1 package dry yeast
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup warm water (120 degrees F to 130 degrees F)
2 tablespoons olive oil

1. In a large mixing bowl combine 1-1/4 cups all-purpose flour, yeast, and salt; add water and oil. Beat with an electric mixer on low speed for 30 seconds, scraping bowl constantly. Beat on high speed for 3 minutes. Using a wooden spoon, stir in as much of the remaining flour to make a moderately stiff dough that is smooth and elastic (6 to 8 minutes total). Divide dough into 8 pieces. Cover; let rest for 10 minutes. Makes 8 mini pizzas.

Mini pizzas - dough

2. Preheat oven to 450. Using parchment paper, press dough balls into individual pizzas. Top with desired toppings, then place in preheated oven for 15-20 minutes or until pizzas are done.

Mini pizzas - topping

Nutritional info (per pizza):
Calories: 178
Fat: 4g
Cholesterol: 0mg
Sodium: 147mg
Carb: 30g
Fiber: 1g
Protein: 4g