Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Veggie Pizza

Veggie Pizza
Dorcas Annette Walker

Summer vacation is over, kids are back in school once again, and families have to readjust to school schedules. So I thought this month I’d feature different kinds of pizzas that are sure to please even the picky eater in your family. Who doesn’t like pizza? Pizzas are a good way to sneak in some extra vitamins and get your family off to a healthy start for the school year. When you are worn out from the daily activities and don’t know what to make for supper, rally the troops to the kitchen and engage the entire family into helping make a pizza. You might discover a budding chef. Don’t be afraid to try something new. Most important of all you will make memories as you strengthen family bonds.

Pizza, consisting of a shallow bread-like crust covered with seasoned tomato sauce, cheese, and other toppings, has been considered a peasant’s meal in Italy for centuries. It was eaten by the working man and his family because it was thirty and convenient. Pizza was also eaten by many people in the Mediterranean including Greeks and Egyptians. The modern pizza has been attributed to baker Raffele Esposito of Naples where in 1889 he baked a pizza for the visit of Italian King Umberto I and Queen Marghertia. The Neapolitans take their pizzas very seriously. An authentic Neapolitan pizza must be baked in a wood-fired dome at 485C for no more than 60 to 90 seconds. The base must be hand-kneaded and can’t exceed 35 cm in diameter or be more than a one third of a cm in the center. Pizza, known as Tomato Pie, made its first appearance in the United States with the arrival of Italian immigrants in the late 19th century. The first pizzeria was opened in 1905 by Gennaro Lombardi in New York City. The first Pizza Hut chain restaurants appeared during the 1930’s. Americans eat approximately 350 slices of pizza per second with pepperoni pizza being the top choice topping. India’s top choice for pizza is pickled ginger, minced mutton, and paneer cheese, Japan uses a combination of mayonnaise, potato and bacon with eel and squid being favorite toppings, Brazilian’s love green peas on their pizzas, while Russians go for red herring pizzas. Whew! I’ll take a good ole American pizza any day.

My Veggie Pizza is easy to make and you can mix and match or increase ingredients to your delight. Depending on how many veggies you want to include it may take up to one hour for the preparation time. My Veggie Pizza recipe is considered mild and makes one pizza that serves sixteen. Veggie Pizzas are ideal for parties and get-to-gethers. I just made a Veggie Pizza for our monthly church birthday celebration Sunday night that disappeared fast.

Veggie Pizza

Take one jumbo (16 oz) can of buttermilk biscuits and spread thin over round greased pizza pan. Bake at 350ยบ for 15 minutes. Let cool.

Beat together until smooth:
1 (8oz) cream cheese
1 c Ranch Buttermilk bottled dressing
Spread on cooled crust.

Sprinkle on:
1 c chopped tomato
1 c broccoli heads cut small
½ c shredded and chopped carrots
½ c chopped green pepper
½ c chopped mushrooms
¼ c minced onion

Garnish with:
1 c shredded cheddar cheese
½ c bacon bits
1 c sliced black olives
Chill and serve!

Dorcas Annette Walker is a freelance writer, author, columnist, and photographer from Jamestown, TN. If you have any cooking tips or favorite recipes you are welcome to contact me by mail at: Dorcas Walker, 929 Wildwood Lane, Jamestown, TN 38556 or email me at: dorcaswalker@yahoo.com. For more information about the Walker family and Dorcas’ books check out her website at: www.dorcasannettewalker.com or htpp://dorcasannettewalker.blogspot.com for other Creative Mountain Cookin recipes.

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