Zach and I are going vegetarian this week! Yesterday’s lunch: Pizza Caprese on whole wheat pizza crust– fresh tomatoes, mozzarella, and basil with an extra drizzle of olive oil and salt. Delicious, cheap, fresh, and light. Scroll to the bottom of this post for a quick and easy version made with whole wheat bread.
People go vegetarian for a number of reasons. I am not a vegetarian, nor do I think I will ever be. I do, however, love animals try to make sure the animal from which my meat came had a happy, healthy life by buying it free-range, pasture raised, and grass fed. This can get expensive, so Zach and I only eat meat one or two times a week. I also feel significantly better overall when I eat less meat; I don’t attribute this to meat being bad for you, but instead to eating more vegetables, grains, and legumes as a substitute which are way more nutrient-packed than meat. Plus, it’s extremely budget-friendly!
Normally, we are very careful about eating unprocessed, real food. For the past two years, we’ve had real food 90-95% of the time. In times of great stress, however, we sometimes fall off the bandwagon a little bit (which is one of the reasons why I started this blog!). This past week was one of those weeks. I think it began with the blueberry scones. No regrets about that, but definitely regrets about the frozen pizza we made the other day. Gross.
And so, as part of our detox from last week, we are eating only vegetarian real food this week so we can load up on nutrients. I feel better already, especially after eating black bean and quinoa veggie burgers last night and this pizza yesterday for lunch!
I distinctly remember studying abroad in Castellemmare di Stabia in the Naples region of Italy, picking up a pizza with fresh buffalo mozzarella and basil, and watching the cook drizzle olive oil and salt over the entire cooked pizza when it was done. AMAZING. One of the best things I’ve ever tasted. I did that when I made this pizza, and it was glorious.
I use a pizza stone to make pizza at home. My trick: bake the dough for about 5 minutes to firm it up on the stone before adding the toppings. This enables it to slide off the pizza paddle easier (and enables me to not go on a yelling and swearing rampage at my oven when it sticks to the paddle and ruins the whole pizza) and also makes the crust a bit crispier.
The half-baked whole wheat pizza dough was drizzled with olive oil and rubbed with a half clove of garlic for a little boost of flavor. I sprinkled the surface with some dried oregano, arranged tomato slices on top of that, and slices of fresh mozzarella on top of that. Then, back into the oven until the cheese was bubbly and starting to brown.
When it came out, I sprinkled coarsely chopped basil on top of the pizza, and drizzled olive oil and salt/pepper on the whole thing.
Yup, pretty amazing!
For a quick and easy version: Back when I cooked for just myself, I used to make this on a slice of whole wheat bread or pita pocket in a toaster oven. This is a very quick, easy alternative to rolling out pizza dough. Just arrange some tomato slices and mozzarella on the bread, toast until the cheese melts, and add basil (or oregano), salt, and olive oil. Yum!
|Pizza Caprese|| |
- Preheat pizza stone in oven to 425 degrees.
- Roll out pizza dough on floured surface. Transfer to pizza paddle and slide onto pizza stone; partially bake for about 5 minutes or until it firms up a bit.
- Remove half-baked dough from oven.
- Drizzle dough with olive oil and rub cut side of the garlic halves onto the dough, then sprinkle with the oregano.
- Arrange tomato slices on top of the dough, and mozzarella slices on top of the tomatoes.
- Slide the pizza back onto the pizza stone and bake until the cheese begins to brown and bubbles, about 10 minutes.
- Remove from oven, sprinkle with fresh basil. Drizzle with olive oil and add salt and pepper to taste.