Pleasing The Picky Toddler
Sometimes you have to pick your battles and I know a major battle with kids is FOOD! Most kids love pizza and traditionally it isn’t the healthiest food. But I’ve found a way around it! Make a healthy veggie sauce. They’ll never know the difference!
Mommy’s Special Yummy Pizza
Refrigerated Pizza Dough
Shredded Mozzarella Cheese or Fresh Mozzarella Ball (you can cut that up in slices)
Fresh Tomatoes (I like heirlooms when I can find them)
Organic Olive Oil Spray (I use this to spray on the veggies to roast and the dough around the edges)
Pre-heat the oven to 400 degrees. Take out at least two cookie sheets and spray with your Olive Oil Spray. Wash and cut all veggies in half ( Tomatoes, Eggplant, Zucchini, Broccoli, Beets, Butternut Squash, Fresh Garlic, White Onion, Carrots) then place on cookie sheets and spray Olive Oil on top all veggies. Then add a bit of Salt & Pepper to all veggies except for the Onions & Garlic. I use all the veggies to roast so that I make enough sauce for the pizza AND for a pasta meat sauce later. Place cookie sheets in oven and roast for about 20-30 minutes. Check on veggies from time to time. Depending on size of veggies, some may cook quicker than others. Boil a pot of water. Take a bowl and add ice & water. You are going to blanche the Kale & Chard. So once the water boils you place the greens inside the pot until they are almost cooked through. They should be cooked but still green and somewhat stiff. Once they are cooked removed them quickly from boiling water and into the ice water. Remove from ice water after a minute and drain. Repeat until all greens are blanched. Once you remove the roasting vegetables from the oven sit them aside and let cool for a little bit. Once cooled down a bit remove the outer skin of the beets. Scoop out the inside of eggplant, garlic, zucchini & butternut squash and place into a bowl and discard outer skins. You may have to blend in batches so just create equal parts of all vegetables into batches. Add all veggies including blanched greens, fresh basil & fresh oregano to blender or food processor. Add a quarter cup of chicken stock & half a cup of warm water to the blender and purée. I heat up my chicken stock a little bit if it’s been in the fridge. I may also add a little olive oil to the purée to thicken up if it’s too watery. Add sauce to a sauce pan and simmer. Salt & Pepper for taste and any other seasonings you may want. Once the sauce is heated up and tasting perfect for you and your little one, you can spread on pizza dough. Freeze whatever is left over. Spread cheese on top and bake. My son personally likes pepperoni, chicken, mushrooms, artichoke hearts, pineapple and olives on his pizza. So I make combinations out of these. Test some toppings on your little ones and see. You can add black beans underneath or on top the cheese with some chicken if your kid loves chicken & black beans. This sauce is also healthy & tasty for adults!
You can also make it an education, fun kid activity. My mom would get us the small individual pizza dough, she would make the sauce and spread it on the pizza dough. Then we would come and pick our toppings. We’d bake them, have sparkling apple cider in the wine goblets (plastic of course! LOL) and get dressed up for dinner. Well dressed up in our finest PJ’s & robes! 🙂 But it was fun and educational because for my younger brothers she would add things like, “how many pineapples do you have?” “What color is the cheese?” “What is cheese made from?” etc. And this is something that happened about 20 years ago and I remember it clearly! A great healthy way to teach and make memories with your little ones!
For my GFCF folks who have family members with Autism or Celiac Disease, Whole Foods Market makes a really good pizza dough you can use with veggie cheese & my healthy sauce! Instead of chicken stock, you can always use veggie stock as well!