Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Healthier pizza for kids

Untitled My almost 18 month old daughter has become a picky eater. I know that this is not unusual behavior for a toddler but it still stresses me out. I make almost all of her food from scratch and when she rejects it it drives me crazy. She used to love all veggies but lately she eats mostly oatmeal and fruit and buttered tortellini. Not the most balanced diet. On a recent trip to visit family we ordered a veggie pizza and she really liked it. So, my new mission was to make a healthier pizza with more vegetables.

 Crust recipe
 • 1 large or two small sweet potatoes/ app. 1½-2 cups (I microwaved these whole, with the skin on, until tender. Allow to cool, the skin will come off easily, then mash thoroughly.) • 1½-2 cups flour,white or whole wheat(start with 1/2 cup and add more as needed) • 2 tsp baking powder • sprinkle of oregano • app 4 Tbsp cold water mixed with 2 Tbsp virgin olive oil • salt to taste- I have recently begun to add app. 1 tsp of salt to this crust. Preheat oven to 400°F. In a large bowl, mix sweet potato, flour, oregano, water and oil. This will make a very soft dough. Mix thoroughly, then spread on one or two parchment-lined baking sheets. I made 8 small pizza doughs. I oiled my hands and spread the dough, or you could wet your hands with water to make them not stick. Once all of the doughs were formed I baked them for 15 min. I wanted to be able to freeze them so I could make some quick meals for Em. Once they are cool enough, I stacked them with pieces of parchment or wax paper in between each one and put them in an freezer bag. To thaw, I'd wrap them in a paper towel and start off at 30 seconds to a minute. I haven't thawed any yet but once I do I will amend this recipe with the exact time. Untitled Untitled To make the pizza take one cooked,thawed crust and put it on a cooking sheet or tin foil. For pizza sauce I puréed cooked mixed vegetables like carrot, broccoli, corn and green beans in a blender with a small can of roasted tomatoes. I added a little tomato paste to thicken it. Spread enough of the sauce on the crust to cover and add toppings. I had some poached and shredded chicken and also some shredded Parmesan cheese. Run the pizza under the broiler or toaster oven for a minute or two until warmed and the cheese is melted.Even if your child doesn't like vegetables on the pizza, there are enough in the sauce and crust to just make a cheese pizza. Em loved it and ate an entire 5 inch pizza by herself. "Pizza" is a new favorite word now. I'm going to experiment with getting even more vegetables into the crust. For now I am just happy that she likes it so much because it is sometimes hard to get her to eat enough. I tried a piece of the pizza myself and I like it. It's slightly sweet from the potato and the sauce tastes like a mild tomato sauce. I added no sugar or salt to the recipe.