One of the many great fringe benefits of buying local food is that it can often lead to reduced packaging and therefore a reduced need for recycling. Buying producer-direct at a farmers market is a prime example of this. You buy from a bin, you bring your own reusable bag and bingo, no extra packaging necessary.
That’s ideal, but not always possible. For me that means I’m looking for reduced (or reduced-impact) packaging when no-packaging options aren’t an option. Confused?
Freden Fine Foods
A couple of weeks ago I mentioned having discovered that the meat I’d purchased to make my Liz’s World Famous Pizza came on a non-recyclable tray. (From the label I had surmised that the product would have a Canadian processing plant, and therefore be more locally produced than a product from the US — Johnsonville is a US company. Having looked at the website, I’m not so sure.)
Anyway, I asked Johnsonville about the non-recyclable trays they use, but never got a response. I’m not really surprised. So I did what I said I’d do and bought truly local, this time from Freden Fine Foods. Turns out Freden wholesales to my local grocery store and the store uses recyclable trays for their meat.
It’s not no packaging, but it is reduced-impact packaging. Sweet.
I made my “world famous pizza” again today — world famous because it’s on the Internet so theoretically anyone in the whole world could know about it. And famous because…well… my friends know and love it.
When I made it this past summer with my 17 year old niece, Falisha, she was skeptical, but after the fact she conceded that I had a point. (That’s as much credit as you’re going to get from a super cool teen on her way to graduating high school.) This despite that fact that she doesn’t like zucchini or sweet peppers. Kudos to her, she was “willing to try anything once” and ended up liking the veggies in their lightly cooked state. The fact that it was also actually healthy, slipped right by her.
My pizza is a favourite when I have guests coming for dinner. The whatever-I-have-in-the-fridge-and-garden recipe allows me to prep a variety of ingredients and let each guest make-your-own to suit individual tastes, including vegetarian.
Liz’s World Famous, No Guilt Pizza
So, here is my recipe for über delicious, world famous, healthy pizza. The beauty is, in summer even more of the ingredients can be local, straight from the garden:
- Lebanese flat bread — local producer Kandoo Bakery (looks like the restaurant gets rave reviews too)
- Pesto base — my favourite is Golda’s Cilantro Pesto but you can mix it up for variety
- Spicy Italian sausage, removed from casing, browned — local producer Freden Fine Foods, made fresh daily
- Zucchini, shredded, sliced, diced or however you like it
- Sweet peppers, any/every colour, diced small
- Tomatoes, cherry, grape or other — when I can get them fresh from the garden
- Fresh herbs — available from the balcony garden, I pick an assortment and mix/match
- Shredded Parmesan cheese, to taste — I don’t like a lot of dairy, but if I have it I want the good stuff
- Crumbled feta cheese, to taste — ditto above, a sprinkling is perfect to add a bit of zip
The instructions are pretty complicated, so pay attention here:
- Cut a slab of flat bread
- Slather on some base
- Layer on an assortment of ingredients, to taste
- Heat in the oven at 350 till the cheese melts, about 10-15 minutes
Here are some additional tips:
- All veggies can be optional; mix, match and add depending on what’s readily available. But just so you know, it won’t officially be Liz’s World Famous Pizza if you mess with the above.
- The flat bread comes in a big long flat and freezes extremely well. I cut it into sections before I freeze it, then pull out just what I need. It thaws lightening fast.
- Ground beef, chicken, or turkey work as well. Ditto the rule about messing with the recipe, noted above.
- I prefer pesto, but I guess a traditionalist could use tomato paste. Do I need to repeat the Messing with Recipe rule?
Mmmm, aren’t you hungry just thinking about it?! Oh, and if you don’t tell the kids it’s healthy they’ll love it.