By Libby Schnepf
A show of hands: What is organic? How many varieties of tomato are there? What is America’s favorite pizza topping? (Spoiler alert–it’s pepperoni!) These were the questions we asked Old Mission Peninsula School elementary summer campers during our veggie pizza party cooking class.
Our Outreach Team was invited to teach a hands-on cooking experience for Old Mission Peninsula School children. We focused our outreach on teaching how to incorporate vegetables into comfort foods, like pizza, safe and easy ways to chop with adaptive knives (we loved using this nylon knife set or this two-handed, easy-to-grip option, the wavy chopper) and learning creative compromises on pizza toppings.
Central to Oryana’s Mission is educating on topics relating to good food and good health. This means we can provide the community with a variety of educational opportunities like personalized health tours, community presentations, and school presentations. Let us know if we can offer your organization a presentation about healthy eating.
Want to have your own veggie pizza party at home? Try out these hands-on kid-friendly recipes that include everything you need to develop new kitchen skills and experiment with different types of pizza!
Quick Homemade Pizza Sauce
Yield: 3 cups
1 6-oz can tomato paste
1 15-oz can tomato sauce
2 tablespoons Italian seasoning
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon cane sugar (optional)
Salt and pepper to taste
Mix tomato paste and sauce together in a medium bowl until well combined (all the lumps of paste are incorporated into the sauce). Add the rest of the ingredients and mix well. Use in your favorite pizza recipe.
Nut-Free Spinach Basil Pesto
1/2 cup olive oil
4 cups packed spinach leaves
2 cups packed basil leaves
2 cloves garlic
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1/4 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- Place the olive oil, spinach, basil, garlic, garlic, lemon juice, parmesan cheese, salt, and pepper in a food processor or blender. Blend for 30 seconds. Stop and scrape with a spatula and blend again until smooth. Taste and add more salt and pepper, if necessary.
- Serve with pasta, veggies, chicken, fish, as a spread, or on a pizza.. Store the pesto in a jar or container in the fridge for up to 2 weeks. This pesto also freezes well.
Quick-Rise Pizza Dough
1 1/2 cups warm water
1 teaspoon cane sugar
1 tablespoon rapid rise yeast or instant yeast
3 1/2 – 4 cups flour + more for kneading
1/2 tsp salt
In a large bowl stir together 1 cup of flour, dry yeast, sugar, and salt. Add warm water. Stir using a wooden spoon or rubber spatula for about 1 minute. Gradually add remaining flour to form a soft dough that holds together in a ball and is a little sticky. Knead on a floured surface for 4 minutes, dusting with more flour as needed to prevent sticking, until smooth and elastic. Cover with a clean kitchen towel and let rest for 10 minutes before using. This will make enough dough for 2 14-inch pizzas or a large sheet pan pizza.
Veggie Sheet Pan Pizza
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 pound pizza dough, homemade or store-bought
1 cup tomato sauce or pesto of your choice
1 1/2 – 2 cups shredded mozzarella
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
2 cups sauteed veggies or toppings of your choice
- Position the oven rack in the upper 1/3 portion of your oven. Preheat the oven to 500° F. If you have a baking stone, start preheating it. Smear the oil on the sheet pan.
- Roll out the dough on a floured surface to about 12 inches. Press and stretch the dough out until it covers most of the pan. Cover with a clean dish towel or plastic wrap and let sit while you prepare the veggies and toppings.
- To assemble: spread the sauce over the dough evenly. Sprinkle with the mozzarella, then the veggies and finish with the Parmesan.
- Bake for 10 minutes, rotate the pizza, and bake another 3-5 minutes or until the crust is golden and the cheese has melted.