DIY: Sometimes doing it yourself TASTES better

By March 13, 2009Food, Recipes

Yes taste. Before Neil and I really took a hard look at our diets, what we were eating, where it was coming from and what it was doing to us, we were the prime demographic for boxed and frozen meals. We ate everything from frozen family-size Lasagna to the staple Totinos that you can get for less than a buck (even less if you coupon). I think our lack of knowledge and fear of experimentation brought us to a place of giving in. Afraid to fail, afraid there weren’t meals you could make in 30 minutes or less, so we kept nom’ing at our cardboard pizzas and taking in massive levels of saturated fat, preservatives, and SALT. Finally, we had enough. We were going to DIY. It wasn’t pleasant at first, we had a lot to learn. We ate some pretty bland pastas and repeated a few recipes more times than I can count. We didn’t know how to plan ahead, how to utilize ingredients diversely, or make things from scratch. It all felt overwhelming. Well it doesn’t have to be. You can ditch those box meals and eat better and make your food go further. Ever notice that when you eat boxed meals, you can eat and eat and eat, and you never really feel that full, or opposely, …you feel sick. That hasn’t happened since taking a more natural approach to our meals.

One of our greatest frugal, DIY, from scratch accomplishments has been our homemade pizza, made from scratch.

I know, I’m pretty proud. Not only is it cheap and fairly easy to make, it doesn’t have to disrupt your day, and doesn’t take forever to make. Also, because there’s actually crust, you’ll eat less and still feel full. Sure it isn’t the healthiest meal one could make, but when you want pizza, would you rather eat this or something from the freezer aisle? So how is it done?

Pizza Crust

Ingredients

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 (.25 ounce) package active dry yeast
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil (we use 2 tablespoons olive oil instead)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon white sugar (we substitute honey for sugar)
  • 1 cup warm water (110 degrees F/45 degrees C)
  • Note: We also add some dry spices (you can choose any) to add to the dry mix.

Directions

  1. Combine flour, salt, sugar, and yeast in a large bowl. Mix in oil and warm water.
  2. Let rest for 10  minutes. We usually place it in a container, cover with a towel or plastic wrap and keep it away from moving air. (we usually do this by just placing it in the microwave and shutting the door).
  3. Spread out on a large pizza pan. Top as desired.
  4. Bake at 375 degrees C (190 degrees C) for 20 to 25 minutes.

Our latest experiment was a white sauce pizza with spinach and pineapple that was delish! It was so creamy! Here are some pics:

We let the dough rise while we went to the gym.

We had lots of crust and spread our homemade alfredo sauce on top.

We had lots of crust and spread our homemade alfredo sauce on top.

Topped with our ingredients of choice.

Topped with our ingredients of choice.

and cheese!

and cheese!

Ready for the oven!

Ready for the oven!

Just out of the oven, very warm.

Just out of the oven, very warm.

Ready to eat!

Ready to eat!

Since committing to eating more whole foods and homemade meals, our health, stamina and overall evergy has increased dramatically. Talk about getting the most value for your money!

5 Comments

  • Sara says:

    Looks wonderful! Thanks for sharing!

  • Sara says:

    Pineapple and basil sound like a yummy combo. I will have to try that this summer!

  • […] does cutting out processed foods help you lose weight? Jessica explains — in a post with a photo-illustrated recipe for making your own healthy pizza at home — that “when you eat boxed meals, you can eat and eat and eat, and you never really […]

  • Leah says:

    have you ever tried making the pizza with whole wheat crust? I really like making my own pizza, and I love whole wheat crust, but I just can’t get mine moist enough. I make it with 1/2 white and 1/2 wheat flour right now, and I add an extra tablespoon of oil, but I think it might need something more.

  • Jessica says:

    When we posted this, we were still quite newb and making full white crust. Now, like you we are doing a 1/2 wheat and 1/2 white concoction which we think is the best of both worlds. Our wheat crusts always taste…spongy and the result has been that it just sops up the sauce and just isn’t all that tasty. If you check out our calzone recipe from last month, it contains the same bread recipe we use for pizza.

    Thanks for stopping by!