Tag Archives: fresh vegetables

Liz’s World Famous Pizza

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:

  1. Cut a slab of flat bread
  2. Slather on some base
  3. Layer on an assortment of ingredients, to taste
  4. 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.

Bigger is Better?

While many farmers markets are restricted to local products only, the Minneapolis Farmers Market allows resellers with non-local produce and wares to participate. While it may fly in the face of strict direct farm-to-consumer marketing, the larger overall size and greater number of options at the Minneapolis market draws out many more vendors and attendees than I’ve seen at other markets.

This approach may be behind their success in maintaining both a daily market and a downtown weekly market, with a season that is 26 weeks long. In offering consumers so much choice, the market is more mainstream and therefore more accessible to Joe Public. If I insist on buying oranges, I can also get my locally grown green onions, Brussels sprouts, mushrooms, and squash right there.

The biggest benefit may be that people who might not think much about eating local do, because it’s there. It’s a bit like hiding finely chopped vegatables in the spaghetti sauce so kids will eat them, unwittingly.

Increased sales, as a result of thoughtful consideration or simple convenience, can only have a positive benefit on the local agricultural economy.

Minneapolis Farmers Markets

Minneapolis Farmers Market Downtown

Minneapolis Farmers Market Downtown

A business trip last autumn found me in Minneapolis where I took in both the weekly and daily farmers markets.

I love that the Minneapolis Farmers Market comes to town once a week, right in the midst of the business district. The weekly market stretches for several blocks along Nicollett Mall, a lengthy pedestrian/transit-only street, making it easy for workers from the surrounding office towers to access on breaks and lunch. Which they did, in droves. The stalls were full of fabulous produce, fresh flowers, and a variety of local food products including bison jerky, honey, and salsa.

There is also a daily farmers market, about a mile outside the Minneapolis downtown core. It is much larger and offers a huge selection of produce and food products as well as some crafts, clothing, and jewelry. The Saturday market is not as easily accessible by transit, but the multitude of stalls and sheer volume of goods make it well worth the trip.

Minneapolis Daily Farmers Market

Minneapolis Daily Farmers Market