Friday, November 18, 2011

Pizza Is NOT a Vegetable

Does that pizza look like a vegetable to you?

No, not to me either.  However, our Congressional leadership seems to think it is.  They must have missed that day in school because otherwise I don't understand how they could draw this conclusion.  Maybe they were busy eating one of these "healthy" school lunches and dosed off during the class when the food pyramid was discussed.  I've tried to stay away from anything deemed political in this blog, but recent headlines have ignited a fire in my belly.

Tomatoes are vegetables.  But two tablespoons of tomato paste mixed with processed cheese and who knows what else does not meet the USDA recommended allowance of vegetables in a kid's diet.

Although I don't have children, it doesn't mean I don't care about our global future.  If too many generations lose understanding of what a real vegetable is, then my characterization of our leadership won't be too far off.   It's well documented children of today are suffering from an obesity epidemic which directly ties into long-term healthcare costs.  No matter which way you look at it, we all pay for the problem.

How shortsighted can they be?
"In the long view, no nation is healthier than its children". ~ President Harry Truman in 1946  
Enough said, if you feel as I do, write or call your Congressman.  In the meantime, here's some ideas to make your pizza more vegetable-like.

 Smash tomatoes in a baggie
Let all the tomato goodness simmer for 30-40 minutes

Drizzle olive oil and add fresh ground pepper on the crust

Fresh basil and tomato sauce; notice it's heartier than Congress' 2 tablespoons of tomato paste

A real vegetable topping!  Proscutto & Artichoke

Want a vegetarian version?  Quattro Fromage topped with Arugala

Marinara Sauce Recipe
courtesy The Chopping Block, Chicago

1/4 cup extra virgin oil
1/2 onion, medium dice
2 garlic cloves, sliced thin
1/4 cup red wine
One 28 ounce can whole tomatoes with their juice
1 tsp fresh thyme, roughly chopped
2 tbl basil, leaves torn
Salt & Pepper to taste
Sugar or balsamic vinegar if desired

1.  Heat a heavy pan over medium heat and add the olive oil.  Add the onion and saute' until lightly caramelized, about 10 minutes.  Add the garlic and cook an additional 1 minute or until aromatic. Add red wine.
2.  Crush the tomatoes up in a sealable bag.  Add the tomatoes with the juice to the pot and bring to a boil.  Reduce the heat to a simmer and allow the sauce to thicken, about 30 minutes.  Taste!  A bit of Balsamic vinegar can brighten the flavor.
3.  Fold in the thyme and basil.  Season to taste with salt and pepper.  Add a pinch of sugar if desired.
4.  Use on pizza or it makes a great dipping sauce for calamari.

1 comment:

  1. Boy do I agree with this one! Kids eat so much pizza and really, what food category does it satisfy? I have made it a point when serving dinner to a group of teens to prepare anything but pizza! Comments include, "Thank you for serving something other than pizza."

    Your ideas and photos are scrumptuous!
    - Barbara


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