Tuesday, December 14, 2010
For me, winter is the busy time of year. I'm working both jobs (writer and college administrator), and both are busy. For whatever reason, December through February is just the prime money-making months in my writing biz, and they coincide with the second quarter of college, during which I not only have administrative duties but I also teach two classes. It makes me yearn for the easiness of summer, when both jobs are at their low and I spend some time every day in the garden.
However, while making hay while the sun isn't shining, I need some easy meals. Like most of us, I fall back on pizza. But pizza doesn't have to be fatty, non-local, expensive, or delivered. My go-to is the veggie pizza, and it is also my attempt at (not so) Urban Hennery's Dark Days Challenge (cooking SOLE: sustainable, organic, local, ethical).
The crust is something I'm pretty proud of. Yes, I start with a 37 cent Jiffy mix (not organic, but no HFCS), but I add a half a cup of flax seed meal to boost the omega-3 content and give it some body. It really is yummy.
For sauce, I use the Meijer Naturals brand, which does incorporate some organic ingredients (specifically sugar, which is a good one if you are only going to pick one organic ingredient) plus has no HFCS and no GMOs. I have to buy sauce this year because the garden tomatoes did so badly, but I think this is a responsible choice.
Toppings: onions, sun dried tomatoes from the garden, sometimes peppers frozen from the garden, and Trader Joe's quattro frommagio cheese from cows that receive no growth hormones. The only thing here I feel really guilty about is the onion: I bought several farmer's market onions this summer and cellared them, but "some" is not really a great plan with the number we eat. It is only December, and I have already weakened into buying store onions. Next year, more onions, regardless of cost!
Fast: If you keep your ingredients on hand, you really can have a pizza ready in the time it would take to wait for delivery.
Cheap: The cheese is the expensive part, but I don't want to eat growth hormones if I can help it. Nonetheless, the dependence on garden veggies instead of meat keeps this pizza under $6, and it is much better for you than any you could order.
Good: I have come to think of pizza as a way to get veggies in my diet. Get the base crust down in your repertoire, and you are ready to pile it high with veggies and have a quick meal any time.
Posted by Jennifer Lorenzetti at 8:54 AM