Sunday, March 15, 2009

Extra-Healthy Kid-Friendly Pizza

I have always been a little bit of a vegetable-sneaker. It's an illness; I can't help it.

I think homemade pizzas are relatively healthful for kids anyway, but here's how I sneak an extra serving of veggies into our homemade pizzas.

2 mini premade pizza crusts (or 1 large)
small can pizza sauce
5 or 6 baby carrots, chopped
half bell pepper, chopped
1/4 onion, chopped
small handful of mushrooms, chopped
shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
1/2 cup pureed spinach

Saute all of your chopped veggies (any variety will do) until fairly soft; pour in your pizza sauce; simmer for about ten minutes to blend the flavors. Puree in food processor.

Spread a thin layer of spinach puree over your pizza crusts. Top with a slightly heavier layer of tomato-veggie sauce. Sprinkle with cheese.

(Nora adds: "Taste some of the cheese, too.")

Bake according to package directions. ENJOY!

You can basically "sneak" any veggies you like into the pizza sauce by pureeing them in. One time, I was low on tomatoes, and made what amounted to basically a carrot sauce for the pizza. My daughter and her friends still gobbled it up, because, well, it was pizza, and it had cheese on top!

You don't need to use the spinach puree, but it adds an extra boost. Every couple of weeks I make a batch of spinach puree and freeze it in small amounts (I use breastmilk storage bags because they are free of BPA, that nasty stuff that's in a lot of plastic). I just lightly boil some spinach til it's cooked, and blend it up. Used with a light hand, your kid probably won't even notice it or care that it's there. It can be blended into cakes, brownies, you name it! Just serve any baked goods made with spinach cold, or the spinach will be detectable.

Let me know how your pizza turns out...and if you have any tips to share!
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