Thursday, September 22, 2011



     I love pizza. It makes me happy. The gooey cheese strands suspended in air as you hold up a perfect slice of Domino's (yes, Domino's!)...just the thought of it makes my mouth water. But you cannot have Domino's all the time. Especially if you are eating dinner by yourself on a week night, there are some limits to one's pizza eating capabilities- or mine at least.

     So what do I do on such weeknights? I make my own pizza! And why is this possible? Because I went to Trader Joe's and bought the amazing pizza crust! I am such an ad for their pizza dough. I've used it three times, in every one of my pizza recipes. I just can't help it, it's so convenient, and so good, and only a dollar! (Definitely also the third time I've said that.)

     I also had lovely fresh vegetables. There's something about a pizza loaded with tons of veggies but also some fresh mozzarella cheese that is just irresistible to me. It is so healthy! Obviously that's not why its irresistible though, sigh, that would be because of the lovely golden cheese. If things were irresistible to me based on healthiness life would be so easy. Instead my mom keeps telling me both sides of my family have diabetes, and I better watch out on the sugar. The desserts will be back though. Don't worry. I was healthy today, I can be unhealthy tomorrow!

     But for today, we are going to stick with my lovely mushroom, spinach, and tomato pizza. I didn't even use pizza sauce! Once you break out of the tomato sauce / cheese mold of pizza making, pizza can not only get a lot healthier, it can also come in endless forms. So, I just sauteed up my veggies, cut some nice slices of tomatoes and dried them out on the pan (otherwise you will get soggy pizza, I am sad to say), then dumped them all over my lovely pizza crust - which was off course brushed with olive oil. That makes up for a sauce all by itself. Then it baked. Then I ate it. And it was delicious. But that's redundant, you knew that already. How could it not be! So if you are staring at those fresh veggies with tired eyes, put them on pizza and everything will be OK again.

Mushroom, Spinach, Tomato Pizza

1 16 oz ball of Trader Joe's Pizza Dough
OR Enough Pizza Dough for a 12'' diameter thin-crust pizza 
2 tbsp Olive Oil 
1 Large Tomato, Cut into thin round slices 

1 cup Baby Spinach Leaves
1/2 cup White Button Mushrooms, Sliced
1 tsp Oregano 
1 tsp Basil 
1/2 tsp Black Pepper
1/2 tsp Salt 1/4 cup Mozzarella Cheese (I used half of the Ball of Mozzarella cheese you can get at TJ's)

If your pizza dough is in the fridge, make sure to take it out 20 minutes before you plan to use it. And pre-heat your oven to 425 degrees.

In a large frying pan, heat 1 tbsp of olive oil at medium heat. Once it is heated, add the spinach and mushrooms. Allow the spinach to wilt, then add the basil, oregano, and salt. Mix everything, cooking for about a minute. Then, place the spinach and mushrooms in a separate bowl. Take the thin slices of tomato and lay them on the bottom of the pan, allow them to cook for a minute on both sides, letting excess liquid run off the slices.

Take a large baking sheet and smear it with a little olive oil. Roll out the pizza dough a little and then put it on the baking sheet and press it down until it fills most of the sheet. Brush 1 tbsp of olive oil all over the top of the crust. Top it with the tomatoes, and then the spinach and mushroom mixture. Sprinkle the pepper over the top. Lastly, roughly shred the mozzarella if it was in a ball and sprinkle it liberally all over the pizza (if you want more than my recipe called for, go for it!) Then, bake it at 425 degrees for about 10 - 15 minutes, until the crust is golden brown and the cheese is golden. Take the baking sheet out and allow the pizza to cool on the baking sheet for a few minutes, then transfer it to a cutting board. Cut and eat!

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