30 Minutes or Free?

When we’ve had a long day and don’t have a plethora of things in the fridge, we nearly always have the ingredients for pizza. From start to finish, in just over 30 minutes – a healthier, less expensive version than takeout, and you can keep the tip for yourself.

Preheat your oven to 400F

In a small bowl or measuring cup, put 1/2 c or 125ml lukewarm water. Stir in 1 t or 5ml sugar, honey, or maple syrup. Sprinkle 1 T (15ml) yeast over top. Set a timer for 5 minutes and choose some toppings. 

When the timer goes, your yeast should be foamy. A few grains may still float on top, and that’s okay. Stir with a fork and add this to a larger mixing bowl, along with 1T/15ml olive oil. Sprinkle in whole wheat flour, stirring with a fork, until it forms a ball and starts to clean the bowl a little. Knead on the counter half a dozen times with another light sprinkle of floor. (Other flours work also – experiment!) Sometimes we add dried herbs or pepper to the flour. Grease the bowl and pop the dough back in. No need to wash, the bowl should be mostly clean. Cover with a tea towel and let rise for 10 minutes.

In this case we started with a base of caramelized onions, but pesto or marinara work great also.

For toppings we added mushrooms and olives, and a bit of Beemster cheese.

 18 minutes in the oven and it’s done – we usually let it cool five minutes before cutting as no one loves that pizza cheese mouth burn!


Today's Lunch is Yesterday's News

Yesterday was a hectic day – lots of meetings, running around, and a restaurant lunch. So by the time we returned home we were crangry (hungry and cranky)! We needed food that was healthy, easy, and quick. In less than the time to call for delivery, we made this delicious pizza from scratch. We used our usual crust recipe, but with 100% whole wheat flour, instead of half and half.


The added bonus? It makes enough for dinner for two, and leftovers for today’s lunch. On top, we used homemade zucchini relish, some feta, cheddar, red peppers, mushrooms, olives, and a little prosciutto. Tasty!

Spring Forward and Wake Up!

Adjusting to the time change? Start the day with a spicy breakfast that will wake up both you…and your taste buds. With a busy week ahead, we need to make sure we are fueled-up and energized to make the most of every opportunity.

On the plate, a healthy and budget-conscious combo – leftover olive, onion and mushroom whole wheat pizza is topped by a poached egg. We sprinkled two salt-free spice blends on top; one lemony and the other with a hint of chipotle. Sliced blood orange add a few extra vitamins and enhance flavour with a citrus note. After a week of “road food”, we’re especially grateful for a taste of home.


With a salad, this would also be a great dinner time combination for those of you who have given up eating meat for Lent.

Shiitake Special Pizza


When this pizza came out of the oven, it looked almost too beautiful to cut! We started with a whole wheat crust (find out how in our recipe pages). Then we turned to the pantry and last summer’s canning for ideas. A little salsa for the first layer, topped with slices of roasted red pepper. After that, half a shallot, thinly sliced, and the caps of a plethora of baby shiitakes from Waymac Farms, by way of our local farmers’ market. Then, to top it off, some aged cheddar and mozzarella from Black River Cheese. We’re so glad we can buy it just down the street at Better Bulk!

Cut it we did, by the way, and ate it with gusto.

We Really Missed the Pizza!

When we were travelling around France, needless to say, the food was fantastic. Not just in restaurants, but all over. And oh, the variety! But when you’re staying in a rented apartment a few things are certain: your appliances will be unfamiliar. The variety of available seasonings will be limited (unless you plan to cart them all home at the end of the holiday, or be extra-benevolent to the next tenant). You will find new and creative ways to use the few pots and pans you have, but you’ll always be missing something. That something will start a craving.

Our apartment in Besançon had no pizza pan, nor anything similar. So we went out for pizza, and it was yummy: hand-thrown, nice sauce, cooked in a wood-fired oven. But what it wasn’t, was home-made. So when we got back it wasn’t very long before our thoughts turned to pizza. This one has a spelt crust (use the same recipe as our artichoke pizza for the crust, substituting spelt flour from Monckton Organics). We topped it with a little chili sauce, and some yellow pepper. We threw on some black olives for good measure, and some artichokes. Then for cheese: creamy, delectable Oka, brought by the W Parents on a recent visit. So good!

Chili Artichoke Pizza

By now you’ve figured out that we eat pizza at least once a week. One of our favourites is Artichoke Pizza. But you can’t eat the same thing every day – it would get a little boring. So we like to switch up the ingredients a little.

This version uses basically the same recipe, but I had some rye flour which I substituted for the whole wheat. I also used homemade chili sauce from last summer as the base. It was raining, so I didn’t want to wander out to the shops. So a few re-hydrated chanterelles, a bit of diced red bell pepper, some artichokes from a jar and a few black olives were pressed into service.

For cheese, I had some Canadian sheep’s milk feta (yes, I know in the EU that we wouldn’t be allowed to call it that, but it was delicious). A sprinkling of part-skim mozza finished things off. In a little over half an hour, we had a delicious pizza, ready to eat, without ever using a phone or the internet to get it.

More Pizza, Please!

Sliced onionsFlour for pizza doughFor our Caramelized Onion and Mushroom Pizza, we started with the same basic crust as the Delicious Artichoke Pizza, but we put some chopped fresh tarragon in the dough.

Meanwhile, we were caramzelizing the onions…two onions, thinly sliced, and about a tablespoon (15ml) each of butter aPizza Doughnd olive oil. Yes, it’s an indulgence…but well worth it. Onions cookingWe also added about 5ml of maple syrup to add an extra flavour note. Cook the onions over medium-low to medium heat, stirring often, as they turn a delicious golden brown. When they look not quite brown enough, stop…they’ll continue to cook a bit. When you’re nearly at the end, add a tablespoon or so of white wine vinegar (balsamic would work also), and about a quarter cup (60ml) of water. Stir, cover, and let this stand and cool until your dough is doubled in size (about 10 minutes).

Next, press the dough out into a circle on a piece of parchment. This makes a Pizza crustmedium-thin crust on a standard pizza pan. Divide in two if you like extra-thin, or use a smaller circle if you want a thick crust.

Use the onions instead of sauce. Top with sliced mushrooms – we used a mix of cremini (brown) and white (button) mushrooms, but any kind you like will work. We topped this with some nutty gruyere and a Adding Cheese to Pizzabit of part-skim mozza.

Pizza ready to go in the ovenAt 400F, the pizza doesn’t take long – about 18 minutes. Then cool on a board for about 4 minutes, slice, and indulge yourself in onion-y goodness.

Pizza...ready to eat

Delicious Artichoke Pizza

So we had good intentions of posting last night’s dinner, Black-eyed Peas with Pasta, but we got wrapped up in Earth Hour, playing SCRABBLE by candlelight, and other goings-on, and we forgot. Usually we spend the Hour on a walk around our neighbourhood, with candle lanterns. When we get home, we sit on the porch and make some (acoustic!) music. But this year it was unseasonably cold…not good for the guitars or the people. Hence the SCRABBLE!

So in lieu of that, today we’ll share the recipe for Megann’s Artichoke Pizza, featured on our first post. It’s a classic “Weekend Special” around our house.