Let’s participate in Pizza Day! Ohio Governor Mike DeWine announced Spirit Week, with Friday as Pizza Day. The governor has asked everybody who participates to tag their pictures with #SpiritWeekOhio #InThisTogetherOhio #StayHomeOhio. Your photo may be featured on state social media platforms!
Pizza has been called the world’s most popular food. Traditional pizza is cooked in a wood-fired oven. It originated in Italy and was brought to the U.S. by Italian immigrants, where it has taken on a life of its own. About 1 in 8 Americans eat pizza on any given day.
Composed of flatbread with toppings, pizza had humble beginnings. It started as peasant food, but it’s fit for a queen. A classic pizza is Pizza Margherita – a crust topped with soft, white mozzarella cheese; red tomatoes; and green basil. It is said to be named after Italy’s Queen Margherita. (The colors of this pizza are also the colors of the Italian flag.)
Pizza sometimes has a bad reputation as an unhealthy food, but it doesn’t have to be. Ingredients to be on the lookout for are sodium and fat. Sources of fat include meat and cheese, which, in addition to some crusts, also contribute to the sodium content. You can include any ingredient, just be mindful of amounts and portion sizes.
You can make pizza a home! Recipes abound on the internet, but you can get creative and make our own. You’ll need to look up recipes if you want to make your own crust. Here’s one to get you started.
The variations of pizza are endless! When you make your own pizza, you get to the control the ingredients. Use your creativity to Design Your Own Pizza.
Be Mindful about MyPlate
To pack the most nutritional punch into your pizza, use MyPlate to design yours. Here are some suggestions:
- Skinny Pizza https://www.choosemyplate.gov/recipes/myplate-cnpp/skinny-pizza
- Herbed Garden Pizza https://www.choosemyplate.gov/recipes/myplate-cnpp/herbed-garden-pizza
- Anytime Pizza https://www.choosemyplate.gov/recipes/supplemental-nutrition-assistance-program-snap/anytime-pizza
- MyPlate Pizza https://efnep.tamu.edu/recipe/myplate-pizza/
Design Your Own Pizza
Be creative and use the ingredients you have on hand
- Naan bread
- English muffin
- Pita bread
- Flour tortilla
- Refrigerated biscuits or crescent rolls
- Homemade pizza crust (with or without yeast)
- Cauliflower crust (Vegetable Group)
- Tomato sauce
Toppings (Vegetables) And the great debate – is pineapple on pizza acceptable?
- Fresh vegetables (peppers, onions, zucchini, broccoli, cauliflower, tomatoes, potatoes, spinach, asparagus, etc.)
- Cooked vegetables (great way to use up leftovers)
- Shredded cheese or fresh Mozzarella cheese
- Fresh or dried herbs (such as basil, oregano, parsley, chives)
- Chopped fresh garlic or garlic powder
- Crushed red pepper
- Green onions
Here’s the pizza I made with ingredients I had on hand: I didn’t use the oven to make my pizza. I used naan bread for the crust, which I heated in a frying pan, with a small amount of oil to prevent sticking. I topped the naan with a thin layer of tomato sauce. I sautéed an onion, chopped garlic, and peppers – green, orange, yellow, and red (about 1 cup). I topped the crust with the vegetable mixture and added shredded parmesan cheese and basil. Easy and tasty!
The “Let’s Start Cooking” 4-H project has a recipe for Veggie Pizza (page 29).
#SpiritWeekOhio #InThisTogetherOhio #StayHomeOhio #pizza
Yours in Health,