Made to order

Despite all the cookies and pies and cakes I've been making lately, I do generally try to feed my family in a more healthy, balanced way. Sitting down at the table to eat together as a family is important to me, and while I'd rather my children eat homemade junk (that I can control what when into), they don't eat sweets all the time. I do try to provide a variety of foods and food groups and teach my children about healthy eating habits and the importance of nutrition.

Because I knew I would be making cookies earlier in the day, I preplanned a healthier dinner for the family, made to order pizza using home made whole wheat pizza dough.

The kids love it when I do pizza like this. They get to pick and choose their own toppings, and personalize their own pizzas. Plus they get mini sized pizzas, just the right size for them.

The topping choices for this little pizza party were pepperoni (a must with children), black forest ham, pinapple, roasted onions, roasted zuchinni, fresh tomato, mozzarella cheese, parmesan cheese and goat cheese. Each dough was drizzled with a little olive oil and sprinkled with garlic, dried basil and oregano. I think a few of the pizzas ended up with a sprinkling of dried chilli flakes too.

Presented with their dough ready for them to "decorate", the boys eagerly set out to sprinkle their own herbs, spread their own pizza sauce, and pile on the toppings.

My youngest son went for pepperoni and mounds of cheese. As an afterthough, he added a few pieces of pinapple.

My oldest child got brave, adding a few small pieces of tomato and onion in addition to his usual pepperoni, ham, pinapple and cheese. Eating it afterwards he announced that tomatoes were great on pizza, a big deal since he generally will only eat tomatoes in ketchup or spaghetti sauce.

My husband went for just about every topping, choosing only not to have parmesan and goat cheeses and zuchinni. Advanced planning on my part, he got to make two pizzas: one for dinner and one for his lunch the next day.

I chose to go the vegetarian option, which I seem to do fairly often when I make homemade pizza. First some mozzeralla cheese, followed by zuchinni and roasted onions. I didn't realize until I'd started getting the toppings for the children that I had forgotten to buy myself some mushrooms. A pitty, but I could live without my favorite fungus. A bit more mozzaralla followed by chunked up pieces of goat cheese and grated parmesan cheese.

Pizza night went over well, as it usually does. It was the first time I'd made my own dough (recipe below). I think for the next time I will replace a bit of the whole wheat flour with some regular all purpose, though I didn't hear any complaints from the children about having an all whole wheat crust. And I know I will be having a make your own pizza party dinner night again.

The recipe for the pizza dough comes from The Laptop Lunch User's Guide and was included the the Laptop Lunchbox system I recently bought for my oldest son for school. You can learn more about Laptop Lunch boxes here. I likely will end up having posts in the future about some of the things I make for this lunch box, not dissimilar to The Vegan Lunch box (the first blog I really got into, despite not being vegetarian or vegan.) I've already been asked to make this pizza for his lunch in September.

Mini Whole-Wheat Pizza Rounds

Prep time: 25 minutes
Cook time: 2o minutes
Preheat oven to 475F

1 cup lukewarm water
1 package dry yeast
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablesppons extra-virgin olive oil
3-5 cups whole-wheat flour (I don't see how you could get 5 cups of flour into this as I had a bit of a hard time getting 3 cups to mix in)

In a large mixing bowl, combine water and yeast and stir well to dissolve.
Let stand for 5 minutes.
Add salt and olive oil and beat well.
Add 1 1/2 cups whole-wheat flour and beat until smooth.
Add 1 1/2 cups more flour and stir as much as possible.
Turn onto a floured board and kneed dough until smooth, about 5 minutes.
Divide dough into five equal balls.
With a rolling pin, roll to flatten, using additional flour to prevent sticking (I didn't need any extra flour.)
Place on cookie sheet or pizza pans and let rise for 20 minutes. (I didn't see any difference in the dough after a 20 minute rising period.)
Bursh lightly with olive oil, leaving an un-oiled border around the edge. Sprinkle with minced garlic and fresh herbs. Spoon tomato sauce onto surface and then top as you please.
Bake topped pizzas at 475F for 20 minutes or until cheese is melted and crust is firm and golden.

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