by Heather Gerson
What’s for dinner?
On Sunday nights, I like to have an early family dinner but I don’t always have the time to cook after a weekend filled with activities. I like to get everyone settled and to bed early on Sunday nights because it is very likely that my kids were up later than usual on Friday and Saturday!
I want to have a family dinner that is healthy and not too time consuming. And I don’t want to spend a lot of time and energy cleaning up after a busy weekend. I want to go to bed early and be ready for the week ahead!
Sunday nights are now becoming MYOP – make your own pizza nights! Rolling out the dough and creating our own pizzas provides us with together time in the kitchen.
I buy the ready-made raw dough in the refrigerator section of the grocery store (you can also use gluten free dough as well), a cooked roasted chicken, some tomato sauce, BBQ sauce, an onion and some raw veggies like red pepper and mushrooms.
Last weekend my 11-year-old son made one big pizza, with two types of sauce (BBQ and tomato), chicken, onion and lots of different spices (garlic powder, dried basil, oregano, garlic powder and crushed red peppers). For him, this is not only about taste but creativity as well. He loves to add each spice one at a time thoughtfully and carefully.
On the other hand, my 15-year-old daughter wanted 4 mini pizzas. And while my first instinct was to tell her it would be harder to roll out the dough for those minis, I had to catch myself and encourage her creativity. We all had the ability to express ourselves in the pizzas we made.
MYOP continues to be a good dinner option for our family. Everyone gets to eat what they want and enjoys what they made. Sometimes there is some sharing of pizzas going on, but not usually!
Giving our kids the ability to make these small decisions is fun and empowering for them. Sitting down together and eating pizzas that we make is a quick, fun and easy dinner to make without too much preparation or clean up.
LSG’s recipe for BBQ chicken pizza
Preheat oven to 400 degrees
Store bought prepared pizza dough rolled out
Sauce – tomato, BBQ or both
Part skim shredded mozzarella cheese
Grated parmesan cheese
Chopped BBQ or roasted chicken – (Tips: You can buy a cooked roasted chicken at the store or you can bake some boneless skinless chicken breasts in a little BBQ sauce, then chop into small pieces. Or, bake chicken and chop into small pieces then freeze in a container. Take out whenever you feel like making pizza.)
Red onion sliced thinly
Crushed red pepper
Flour the dough and roll out with a rolling pin on a clean counter top
Once the dough is rolled out, place it on a lightly oiled cookie sheet.
Spread sauce onto dough
Add chopped chicken
Sprinkle shredded and grated cheese
Add red onion
Bake at 400 until dough is crisp and cheese is bubbling. It’s your choice how crispy or soft you like your pizza.
Cut with pizza cutter any way you choose.
Serve with a salad or raw vegetables on the side.