I often envy those “meal planner moms” who have the week’s dinner all mapped out by Sunday. I’ve tried that route a few times, and even made it my New Year’s resolution last year, but for whatever reason, meal planning just never sticks.
The times that I did meal plan, I’ll admit – it was really great! I shopped with a detailed, meals-for-the-week ingredient list, and felt organised once dinner rolled around.
But unfortunately, meal planning only ever lasts a week or two in our house. All of the other 50 weeks a year consist of last-minute dinner ideas, inspired by whatever needs to be used up in the garden, pantry or fridge. Luckily, I’m fairly creative in the culinary department, and have a knack for whipping up some pretty decent, healthy meals – Chopped Kitchen style.
(You see what I did there – I knocked myself down, and then boosted my ego right back up! I may be a shitty meal-planner, but I can make a four course meal out of some ketchup, a bag of flour and a jar of olives! ;))
When we’re really short on groceries, homemade pizza is usually my go-to! If we have some sourdough starter that needs to be used, then I make a sourdough pizza crust. If I have time, soaked quinoa pizza crust is out of this world! But if I have neither, then I whip up this quick and easy pizza crust recipe in minutes!
As far as toppings go, well, anything is fair game in our house – we’ve concocted some pretty wild and creative pizzas, that’s for sure!
No tomato sauce? Try blending up a quick pesto or just use olive oil and garlic.
No cheese? No worries! Believe or not, pizza is still delicious without cheese. Instead, try sprinkling it with some nutritional yeast or topping it with a handful of fresh arugula.
If you’d like a more traditional crust, then go ahead and use wheat flour (preferably organic.) When I use wheat flour, I use half all-purpose and half whole wheat. It turns out fluffy, soft and chewy, just like a good glutinous pizza crust should.
If you’re looking for a more nutritious option, or perhaps suffer from gluten sensitivities, then I recommend giving sprouted spelt flour or einkorn flour a try! Both are ancient grains and the most genetically primitive and ancient forms of wheat. Along with their wonderful mild, nutty taste, they are also much easier to digest than modern forms of wheat. My favourite brand of ancient grains, like einkorn and spelt, is Anita’s Organic Mill, based out of Chilliwack, British Columbia.
If you decide to give these ancient grain flours a try, simply substitute 1:1 in any recipe that that calls for flour!
- 1¼ cups Warm Water
- 2 tsp Active Dry Yeast
- 1 tsp Sugar, Raw/Organic (or Pure Maple Syrup or Honey)
- 3 cups Flour (half All-Purpose, half Whole Wheat)
- 1 tsp Salt
- 1 tbsp Olive Oil (plus more for greasing the bowl and brushing the crust (optional))
- Combine water, yeast and sugar in a bowl and stir. Set aside for 5-10 minutes, or until the yeast becomes frothy.
- In a separate bowl, combine flour and salt.
- Pour the water mixture AND oil into the flour mixture.
- Stir with a wooden spoon until a ball begins to form, then dump out onto a floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic - about 5-8 minutes. Add more flour, 1 tbsp at a time, if necessary.
- Grease a bowl with a teaspoon of oil and place dough inside. Cover with a damp kitchen towel or cloth and let rise in a warm, draft-free place until it's doubled in size - about 1 hour. (OR, refrigerate unrisen dough and let rise for 24 hours, OR freeze in plastic bag for up to 1 month; let thaw and rise in the refrigerator over night.)
- Roll dough into desired shape and add your favourite (or whatever your have on hand!) toppings!
- *For best results, lightly brush dough with olive oil and pre-cook in a pre-heated oven, at 425, for 5-7 minutes, before adding toppings.