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A Meal that is Perfect for a Busy Week

Sometimes keeping it simple is what will be best.  Looking at the week ahead, I noticed that Dan and I had a lot going on.  There were days that I was not sure if I would be home for dinner or if we would be joining others for meals so we concluded that this week was going to be busy and unpredictable so it would be best to have simple meals for dinner.

My absolute favorite thing to eat is PIZZA.  I mean I cannot get enough of it and I could eat it for any meal of the day.  When Dan and I were venturing at Trader Joe’s #beststoreever, I found some of this awesome bread called Lavash.  Lavash is very popular in the middle east and it kind of mirrors a combo of a wrap and pita.  I always read labels, it is kind of a habit but I do enjoy knowing exactly what I am eating.  For one Lavash, you will get 190 calories, 36 grams of carbs, 6 grams of fiber, 7 grams of protein, only 1 gram of sugar and it only had a few ingredients.  I instantly thought, this would make the best healthy pizza crust ever (boy, was I right).

I love veggie pizzas.  Anytime I could load something up with vegetables and it still taste really good, I go for it.  

Here is the ingredients I ended up buying:

  • Trader Joe’s Pizza Sauce in the refrigerator section.  Besides the crust, sauce is the next most important thing to me when it comes to pizza.  It is what gives it the extra flavor and flare.  I must say, this is the best store bought pizza sauce I have found.  IT IS DELICIOUS.
  • Green Pepper
  • Red Pepper
  • Onion
  • Mushrooms
  • Spinach 
  • Black olives
  • Swiss & Gruyere cheese mixture
  • Parmesan and Romano 
  • Arugula
  • Spicy Italian sausage (it was originally supposed to be just vegetarian but I saw these and I thought…that’s a good idea)
  • In my pantry I used: olive oil, salt & pepper, garlic powder and red pepper

It is very easy to throw this pizza together but the prep work does take some time but not too much time and totally worth it.  

Preheat the oven to 425F.  Chop the peppers and slice the onions thin.  Take out two cookie sheets. Place peppers and ½ the onions on one and then the other half of onions and the mushrooms on the other.  Onions add flavor so your roasted veggies will taste even better. Drizzle olive, salt and pepper over both and mix with hands until coated well. Sprinkle a tiny bit of garlic powder on top.  Roast for about 15-20 mins until your onions start to caramelize and your peppers start to get soft.  

While you are roasting the veggies, take a bag of spinach, dump it in a nonstick skillet that is heated on medium with a drizzle of olive oil and let it cook until wilted down.  This will take 3 mins of your time.  Salt and pepper it!

For the Spicy Italian Sausage from Trader Joe's (I cooked only one link and saved the others for a later meal), I sliced it in pieces then cooked it on a small skillet over medium for about 7 minutes.  

The prep work is not bad at all.  To make the pizza, it takes about 30 mins tops and once you make it again during the week, it will only take 10 mins of your time!

Next: (this is a step you do not want to forget) put the crust in the oven before you add any toppings.  This helps warm it up and if you prefer a crispier crust (I do), put it on the bottom shelf.  Put the crust directly on the rack for 3 mins.  After the crust is out, preheat the oven to 350F.

Take out the pizza and start loading on the toppings!  I used about a tablespoon of sauce, then I added spinach, onion, peppers, mushrooms, olives, sausage and then a sprinkle of Swiss & Gruyere cheese on top.  Put it in the oven directly on the rack for about 5 mins.  Until cheese is melted.

Once you take the pizza out, THEN top with some of the best toppings that takes your pizza to ordinary to out of this world.  Top with Arugula, Parmesan & Romano and red pepper.

I cannot put into words how much I love this pizza.  It is SO healthy for you, loaded with veggies, has a ton of fiber and protein and FILLS you up.  I would actually pay for this pizza and in the words of my Italian mother-in-law, "it was restaurant quality".

BTW:  If you think that you will have too many vegetables or Lavash leftover, don’t think of having to throw them away!  You can re-purpose every ingredient listed.  

What to do with leftovers:

  1. Make an omelet with the veggies and cheese
  2. Make a salad out of the arugula and all the veggies you cooked
  3. Use Lavash bread as a sandwich
  4. Cook pasta, add olive oil, pizza sauce, sausage, Parmesan & Romana and arugula <<< Delicious pasta dish!                    

Disclaimer: Do YOU!  Feel free to pick the toppings that you enjoy and the vegetables that you love.  Add extra cheese, less sauce, more meat.  Do whatever will make you happy.  

Dinner with Family (Liegey Edition)

When your Meatloaf is actually a Meat Pile #nailedit