There are two ways to get my kids excited about dinner.
First, put dinner on a stick. Chicken on a stick, shrimp kebabs…you get the idea. When my son was younger, he would only eat blueberries if I put toothpicks in them. Blueberries on a stick.
The second way is to have make-your-own dinner night. This works with the breadboard dinners each week, and it definitely works if pizza is involved!
The kids love choosing their toppings and then making the pizza themselves. I love the help making dinner, plus getting to make my own packed-full-of-veggies pizza (that no one else will eat).
Here’s what I used for our make-your-own pizza night. First, for the pizzas:
Tomato sauce – I used one 8-oz. can.
Refrigerated Pizza Crust – I used two tubes, which were on sale: three for $6. Or you can make your own, which is super-easy!
Mozzarella cheese, sliced or grated
Toppings: we used pepperoni, black olives, red onion, arugula, and broccoli – pick your favorites!
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Cover a baking sheet with parchment paper or silicone mat.
Roll out the dough on the baking sheet. Cut into individual pizzas, or keep it whole for a big, family-size pizza.
Spread the tomato sauce on the dough, then add the toppings. Top with cheese.
Bake for 9-12 minutes or until the cheese and crust are golden brown.
I added arugula salad on top of my veggie pizza; we have a local pizza place that serves its veggie pizza this way and I love it. Just toss arugula (or the greens of your choice) with balsamic vinegar and olive oil – just enough to coat. It gives the pizza a fresh taste and it’s one of my favorite fresh pizza toppers!
Now, one of my requirements for pizza night is that we also have a vegetable and/or a salad. So, I served the rest of the broccoli (that didn’t end up on my pizza) and this salad, which is very Mediterranean!
Note: I kind of eyeball the measurements of everything, so I’ve included approximate measurements here.
Lemony Chickpea Salad
1 can chickpeas
Juice of one lemon
Handful of (6-8) green olives, sliced
Handful of Italian parsley, chopped
½ tsp paprika
Few drizzles of balsamic vinegar
Generous drizzle of olive oil
Kosher salt, to taste
Fresh ground black pepper, to taste
Drain and rinse the chickpeas. Add to bowl. Add lemon juice, parsley, green olives, paprika, balsamic vinegar, and olive oil. Mix well. Taste, then season with salt and pepper to taste. You can top this salad with a few extra sprigs of parsley and some grated zest of the lemon you juiced.
This salad can be made a day ahead and even tastes better the second day!
No, Elvis – dogs don’t eat pizza! Clearly he didn’t get the memo.