“By posting this recipe I am entering a recipe contest sponsored by Nestle Balance Your Plate and am eligible to win prizes associated with the contest. I was not compensated for my time.”
As I’ve been in private practice for a short couple months, the biggest challenge that my clients have is time. It takes time to plan out meals, it takes time to cook, to shop, to eat healthy. While I strongly believe that taking a bit of time out of your week to plan out meals and ensure that they’re filled with fruits and vegetables, and are balanced will improve your health drastically; the reality is that even with the best intentions and planning, life doesn’t always turn out to supply the time to follow through with these plans. Enter frozen dinners. I occasionally rely on frozen dinners when time is tight, or if I find myself walking through the frozen pizza aisle and become overcome with the craving for pizza, and that’s ok.
I often hear sentiments from clients and friends such as “I know it’s not healthy, but I ate a frozen pizza” or sheepishly admitting to liking prepackaged foods. First of all, there’s nothing wrong with either of these statements. Second of all, while I believe that homemade usually tastes better and is healthier, the reality is that always making your own food is not feasible for everyone. And even so, we can have a balanced diet that actually includes frozen pizza &/or other entrees. #truthbomb
I grew up in a house where my mom loved to cook (and still does), and she had the time to plan and prepare delicious meals on the regular. My and my sister’s friends would look for any opportunity to come to dinner or parties at my house… not so much to hang out longer, but to eat my mom’s delicious food (wah wah). But one thing my mom relied on when she was too busy to cook, or just didn’t want to, was a Costco sized supply of DIGIORNO pizzas. So naturally, this is what I still rely on when I’m too lazy or too busy to cook… and yes, I do enjoy every bite. I even choose the one with vegetables on it: thank you bell peppers, olives, and slices of onion. While a cheesy pizza, topped with pepperoni and sausage, and a few veggies isn’t something to eat a huge amount of, or something to eat daily, it can definitely be a delicious and super easy way to put dinner on the table. Just pair it with some type of vegetables, and you’re set.
Instead of focusing on the cliche (but still delicious & well paired) salad, I chose to go uber easy with the vegetables and just pair the pizza with raw vegetables. As uncreative as this may seem on the surface, it ends up being the perfect accompaniment to your ready to bake pizza. Just think about it: you can easily chop up a bunch of raw vegetables for the week, and grab those or do it while the pizza is cooking. Or you can buy precut vegetables that are crunchy, crisp, and fun to eat (for kids and adults). The pizza is cheese, sauce, and meat laiden enough that plain vegetables are the perfect accompaniment. Besides, you and/or your family can snack on the vegetables while the pizza is cooking for a fresh and satisfying pre-dinner snack. Seriously, it’s genius. So instead of grabbing an extra slice of pizza, keep your hands and your mouth busy by chomping on raw vegetables during your dinner conversation… or your dinnertime TV. You’ll be getting in extra vitamins and minerals without a calorie bomb.
The Easiest Pizza Dinner
- 1 whole DiGiorno Supreme Rising Crust Pizza
- 1 cup sliced carrots
- 1 cup sliced celery
- 1 cup sliced bell peppers
- Follow baking instructions on pizza box. Let cool
- Cut pizza into 8 slices.
- Pair your DiGiorno pizza with fresh cut vegetables