Monday, September 6, 2010

Welcome Back Pizza!

I have a hard time with pizza, generally it causes very high blood sugar (sometimes for hours after the meal).  That wonderful combination of carbohydrates and fat that make pizza so yummy is what makes many diabetics cringe at the thought of blood sugars after pizza night.  I have only eaten pizza twice in the last 3 years since my diagnosis, each time resulting in hours of high blood sugar.  Lately I have craved pizza...who can blame me?  In light of my cravings for this not-so-good for me food, I decided to experiment with making pizza at home. 

The other night, I made pizza with homemade pesto sauce, homemade mozzeralla, homegrown tomatoes, mushrooms, all natural (preservative free) pepperoni, and a few fresh basil leaves.  What a great success...not only was the pizza amazing, I did not have the same adverse reaction with my blood sugar as the typical restaurant or frozen pizza.  In fact my blood sugar was perfect following this yummy homemade meal!

I made the pizza dough a few weeks ago and froze it for a quick meal on a busy weeknight.  Basil pesto sauce is something I make every summer from the basil we grow in the garden.  The mozzarella I made using the 30-minute mozzarella kit from the New England Cheesemaking Supply Company.  If you like mozzarella cheese you should order this kit!  It is so easy and makes great cheese (and it really only takes about 30 minutes)!


Since I had all of the ingredients already prepared, the pizza only took about 20 minutes to assemble and 15 minutes to cook!  I can't tell you how satisfying it is to eat pizza again!  Below are the recipes for the pizza crust and pesto sauce.

I would love to hear your recipes for homemade pizza!
 
Herbed Whole Wheat Pizza Dough (from King Arthur Flour Whole Grain Baking)
Ingredients:
3 3/4 cups white whole wheat flour
1 tbls plus 1 1/2 teas instant yeast
1 1/2 cups cool water
1 tbls honey
1 tbls olive oil
2 teas salt
1 tbls dried oregano
1 tbls dried basil
1/2 teas cayenne pepper

Measure 2 cups of flour into medium mixing bowl, and stir in the yeast.  Combine the water and honey, add to the flour mixture and stir well to mix.  Cover and let rest for 1 hour. 
Stir in the olive oil, salt, herbs, cayenne and then the remaining 1 3/4 cups flour.  Turn the dough out onto a very lightly floured surface and knead for about 5 minutes.  Return the dough to the bowl, cover and let rise about 1 1/2 hours. 
Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and divide in half.  Lightly form each half into a loose round, cover and let rest for about 20 minutes. 
Place a baking stone in oven and preheat to 375.  Roll out each half of the dough into a 12-inch round or 10x12-inch rectangular shape.  Place the dough on the baking stone, roll up the edges to make a small rim around each piece.  Prick each piece all over with a fork.  Bake crusts on the stone, one at a time for 10 minutes each. 
Remove crust (let cool and freeze) or heat oven to 425, cover dough with toppings and cheese and then bake until done (about 10-20 minutes).

*I take each piece of dough and cut it in half again to make small personal size pizza crusts.


Basil Pesto
Ingredients:
4 cups basil leaves, packed
1 cup Parmesan (see note below) *
1 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 cup Pine Nuts (or Walnuts, or mix of both)
3-6 medium garlic cloves
Salt and Pepper to taste

In a food processor or blender, chop nuts, add basil, add garlic, add salt and pepper, pour EVOO slowly into processor while blending.  Pour prepared pesto into ice cube trays, cover and freeze.  When frozen, remove from trays and place in freezer bags or containers and return to the freezer.  The cubes are perfect for making sauce, adding to soups, or any other dishes. 

* If you are freezing the pesto, do not add the cheese until you are ready to use (I usually add cheese while I am heating up the pesto).  If you are making a small batch of pesto and will be storing it in the fridge, then add the cheese when you are blending.

2 comments:

  1. You are soooo good! You amaze me with your gardening abilities and your obvious cooking SKILLZ. That pizza really looks good. I tried to bite through the screen even. I need help. On another note, I am playing Captcha Balderdash again on my blog and would LOVE, LOVE, LOVE for you to play again...if you want. :)

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  2. The pizza looks delicious. I love pizza! I will have to try your recipe soon.
    The pesto in ice cube trays is a great idea. I freeze the beef broth in ice cube trays after I cook a roast. Then use a cube of broth in cooking dried beans and greens of all sorts.

    Have a great day.
    Pam

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