Work Day: Pizza Night

I’m thinking of starting a new series for my fellow workers out there to feature meal ideas you can put together after a long work day. You know the one – when you pulled another 10 hour/no-lunch-break kinda day or when you maybe just have a slew of meetings. I’m talking about having the type of day that leaves you feeling like a zombie but still wanting something (anything!) to eat that tastes good, is (maybe? hopefully?) good for you, and most importantly – doesn’t take a lot of time and/or effort.

While I prefer things to be made as much from scratch as possible in general, sometimes it’s better to use some pre-prepped foods than to eat out or order take-out. The meals I’d like to feature would be sort of semi-homemade but TCL-style, which means I’ll take help from the store, but I’ll do it as close to the source and with as natural as possible ingredients/products. And since I actually did work 10 hours today with only a 30 minute break, the only name my zombie-brain can come up with for this new series is “Work Day.” I know…so genius. But the overall concept is an easy meal after a long work day using as natural as possible ingredients. Any other name ideas for the series?

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I had a craving for pizza today, and hubby agreed it sounded like a good idea, so I asked him to pick up ingredients to make pizza at the house (since I was working late):

  • pizza dough
  • sauce
  • cheese

Gotta love a short shopping list.

Anywho, pizza night is definitely not a revolutionary idea, but I thought I’d share some photos/tips from tonight’s dinner anyways to show you how I make mine…and if nothing else, as a meal idea for my fellow Eat in Month-ers. I’d also like to gather some tips from some of my most knowledgeable friends – you guys! ;)

I’m not very good at making pizzas at home, but especially since we’re doing Eat in Month, I had no choice but to suck it up and try. I’ve never actually made a pizza entirely from scratch, though I have bookmarked a couple pizza dough recipes. I’d also like to try to make a sauce from scratch, but homemade pizza dough and sauce were not happening after my long work day. So, we took some help from the store.

A couple tips on ingredients:

  • Dough: You can get little-processed pizza dough if you know where to go: many grocery stores sell freshly made pizza dough. Trader Joe’s has a nice one for only about $2. And sometimes your local pizza shop will sell you a ball of their dough if you don’t mind making the extra tip and/or paying a little more.
  • Sauce: Many stores have special pizza sauce: some of them even have grocery-store-prepped sauce with the dough in a refrigerated section. I know hubby got both the dough and sauce for tonight’s pizza from the same section near the cheese counter.
  • Cheese: We used to use shredded, but we’ve recently started using buffalo mozzarella. Both are good options.

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I love using corn meal to help keep the dough from sticking to things.

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I also like using a baking stone. I think it helps to bake the stone before you put the pizza on it to help get the bottom crispy and help ensure it cooks through (early runs at homemade pizza yielded raw centers). If the pre-baked stone trick doesn’t work, you could also try baking the crust by itself before adding toppings.

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I literally just spread some corn meal on this baking stone, baked it for about 10 minutes in the oven, added the dough (which I stretched out with my hands – I didn’t feel like getting the rolling pin dirty), smeared on some marinara sauce, added cheese, added seasonings, and baked.

The pizza seasoning definitely helps add flavor. Oh, and be sure to check out the dough package for baking tips since they can vary from type to type. If you get dough from your local pizza shop, you can try asking them for tips.

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By the way, do you like my crooked crust? lol. I kind of like how homemade things can take on a wonky kind of look.

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I added a quick spinach salad with green bell pepper, tomatoes, balsamic vinegar, and extra virgin olive for a veg serving.

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As for the pizza…the center was cooked through (woohoo!), and though it wasn’t nearly as good as our fave local pizza shop, it hit the spot.  

What are your tips for making a quick pizza at home?

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Comments

  1. says

    I made pizza the other night using a grain free crust! I came across a recipe which made it out of cauliflower, cheese and egg, so I did a spin on that (added herbs etc) then put sauce and sliced mushrooms on top. It was so good – and my boyfriend REALLY liked it! Win. Also, this reminded me of a twitter conversation a while back about polenta – I finally got my boyfriend to eat it, by baking it with toppings like a pizza. Neither of these are especially quick options (they take about half hour to bake) but I use that time to go shower :)

  2. says

    Mmm that looks delicious, I’ve really developed a liking for pizza recently!
    When I’m exhausted after a long day at uni I make quick pizzas too but I don’t really have anywhere to by a relatively healthy dough from so I just use a wholemeal pita and put tomato sauce, cheese and veg on that :-)

  3. says

    I love pizza! We often make it at home from scratch, even the dough. Sure, that takes a little longer, so we usually make pizza only on the weekend, but it’s actually not that bad. While the dough rises, you have time to prepare the toppings.
    We also make a quick pizza sauce: roughly chop some (canned or fresh) tomatoes (seeds removed!), add tomato paste, salt, dried herbs, and garlic (optional), and blend. Done!
    I also love to use some veggies as toppings, like broccoli, spinach, mushrooms, bell peppers, and sweet corn.

  4. says

    my friend makes the best homemade pizza…. so when i want it, i go to her house. ha! :) but i make a good thick crust pizza dough w/ cornmeal, but i really need a real pizza pan/baking stone to make a good thin crust pizza, otherwise i use tortillas :)

  5. says

    Pizza is one of our favorites! We like to make dough from scratch, but when time is of the essence I usually always pick up a frozen pizza from TJs as a backup. We love the one with roasted bell peppers, mozzarella and spicy red pepper oil. The pre-heated stone and a hot oven is a must for making pizza and we usually bake the dough by itself first. On Sunday I made two giant casseroles so we have a ton of leftovers this week!

  6. Amy M says

    Speaking of Trader Joe’s – Their Garlic Naan, which is found in the frozen section, makes an exceptional pizza crust. Every Tuesday, which is my husband’s trivia night, I make a Thai Chicken Pizza using the Naan. It’s so good, healthy, and takes less than 30 minutes to throw together.

  7. says

    I love making pizza at home and use Trader Joe’s dough often, or just a simple flat bread. And I adore my pizza stone too :) Love the idea of your series, , and your pizza looks great!

  8. Beth says

    Our method of getting a fast pizza with homemade dough takes a wee bit of planning and a bread machine. If I know we’re having pizza, I just throw all the ingredients in the bread machine and set it for the dough cycle. It’s a 2 hour time slot, but by the time everybody gets home I can just dump out the dough and the pizza is done in 20 minutes! Plus, I get to add herbs and always, ground flaxseed which makes me feel like a good Mom.

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