Please welcome Teresa of Embracing the Spectrum today! She writes beautifully on her blog about her family's journey with autism, a cause dear to my heart. You can find more from Teresa on Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus and Pinterest. Thank you so much for helping out while I'm in the midst of my move!
When my three-year-old fervently suggested that I add pizza to the meal plan for the coming week, I couldn’t turn him down. We already had frozen pizza dough in the freezer, so his timing couldn’t have been more perfect. Besides, who doesn’t like pizza? I had the perfect easy pizza recipe in mind to feed my picky children and I guarantee you’ll love it, too.
Here’s what you need:
· Frozen pizza dough (most boxes come with two, so you can either make two pizzas or save some for another day)
· Oil oil
· A jar of pizza sauce
· Italian sausage (I only used two links out of the package and froze the rest)
· Half of a bell pepper
· Half of a medium onion
· 2 cups of shredded mozzarella cheese
You will need to thaw out the frozen pizza dough according to package directions. Make sure to pay attention to the directions, or that will come back to bite you later! You do not want to be trying to make pizza and have some half-frozen dough sitting there. Mine said to either put it in the fridge overnight or then thaw on the counter for an hour or to thaw on the counter for three hours. I opted for the fridge option due to previous mishaps with pizza dough forgetfulness.
While the dough thawed the rest of the way (covered and with olive oil drizzled on top of it to keep it moist), I cut up my onion and my Italian sausage. I like my onion diced, so I diced it. The Italian sausage was kept in chunky pieces. I heated up about a tablespoon of olive oil in 12-inch skillet and then cooked the onions until they where translucent before adding the sausage.
Now, here’s the thing. My kids don’t really like bell peppers. But, while the sausage cooked, I diced the bell pepper. I like to dice them as small as I can. Why? First, I strongly believe that kids should eat veggies. Second, I do my best to hide the veggies in their food as much as I can, but if I can’t, I make it as hard as I can for them to pick it out. I figure they will somehow get some of the nutrition in them accidentally. Most of the time, it actually works!
So, once the meat and onions were finished and I got the bell peppers chopped up, the dough was ready (I had already set it out about half an hour before I started cooking). Advice: set the covered bowl of dough on the stove top between the burners to aid in thawing. Grease a cooking sheet or pizza pan and spread the dough out evenly, then put pizza, then add your pizza sauce. Sprinkle your toppings evenly over the pizza, and then add your cheese.
My pizza dough called for a 450 degree oven and baked for 20 minutes and it turned out just right. The cheese was browned perfectly on the top and the crust was the perfect crispiness. Make sure you let the pizza cool for a while before digging in, but trust me, they will love it! My boys even accidentally ate some green peppers because they gobbled it down so quickly.