Home   |  Issues  |  The Daily Star Home   |   Volume 6, Issue 28, Tuesday, July 12, 2011

 

 

THINKING OUT OF THE BOX

Mini Pizza

It is irrelevant whether you endorse it or not but the fact is that our children prefer on-the-go junk food to our traditional soul food of rice and curry. And it is only wise to accept this fact and adjust accordingly and quickly while also keeping in mind that 'healthy' is a key word for such meals.

Instead of the regular fried chicken that you get to buy from fast food joints, make them healthier by, for example, using olive oil to marinate and grilling them rather than deep frying. With burgers, make the patty yourself and use homemade vinaigrette of olive oil and lime juice rather than mayonnaise and don't forget the tomatoes and lettuces.

Similarly make the easy pizzas at home: if you want thin crust just make a chapatti, slap it with tomatoes or homemade tomato puree, grilled vegetables, sliced sausages or minced chicken and of course cheese. Starting from our local cheese to mozzarella, everything goes but for that perfect gooey effect nothing beats our very own Kissan cut in cubes topped with mint leaves.

And if you want the American style thick crust use the naan rotis that you get in superstores. Forget about the traditional way of doing it; nothing is wrong if you have the right toppings. Don't be shy when you decorate a pizza. Just throw as many vegetables on it as you can fit, and instead of arranging them in plain patterns, they can be stacked upon each other in a big pile. There can be tomatoes, onions, spinach, olives, big chunks of garlic, mushrooms, marinated eggplant, big pre-boiled potatoes and a lot more.

Funnily enough it just takes about five minutes to prepare this and it's quite filling; you put it in your oven for five to ten minutes maximum and your pizza is ready, however if you don't have an oven simply toast them on your regular chappati skittle and keep them covered for three minutes for the cheese to melt. Your pizza will taste even better.

It's a given that these hotchpotch mini pizzas are more fun and healthier. This way you can keep the children happy and ensure that they get their greens properly.

In this issue, Star Lifestyle gives you a few recipes to make mini pizzas for your children and their friends and as mentioned above you can use almost anything as toppings -- we have only made some suggestions. You can make a proper pizza dough and tomato sauce yourselves or if you want to make it easier on yourself you can just roll out chapattis or buy tortillas from any supermarket.

Vegetarian Mini Pizza
Makes around 8 10 small pizzas (5-inch) or 1 large
Ingredients:
Dough:
1 cup lukewarm water
2 tsp instant dry yeast
2 tsp sea salt
2½ cup flour
2 tbsp olive oil
Tomato sauce:
1 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, chopped
1 clove garlic
2 tbsp capers (drained and you can find them in local superstores)

A pinch of dried chilli
1½ cup of canned tomatoes
1 tbsp fresh or 1 tsp dried oregano
Salt and black pepper
Topping:
4 pre-boiled potatoes
100g olives
1 zuchini (marinated)
1 eggplant (marinated)
4 brown mushrooms, cut in quarters
¼ fennel, thin slices
300g small tomatoes
2 small spring onions, divided in half
½ broccoli
100g cheese
Salt and black pepper

Making the dough:
Pour warm water in a medium size bowl. Add salt and yeast and stir around. Mix in 2 cups of flour. Gradually add more flour until the dough comes together enough for you to start kneading it.

Knead for a couple of minutes, add additional flour if it sticks to your hands. Put the dough back in the bowl and drizzle it with olive oil. Work the dough until it's completely covered in the oil. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and set it in a warm place for 1 2 hours.

Making the tomato sauce:
Heat olive oil in a medium size pot, add onion, garlic, and chilli and sauté for 2-3 minutes. Add capers and fresh tomatoes and spices and cook for 10 minutes, lower the heat and let it simmer for half an hour more under a lid.

Preheat the oven to the highest possible temperature (450-500°F). Remove the plastic cover from the dough and start working it with your hands on a lightly floured work surface. Make 8 to 10 small portions.

Stretch and flatten the dough until you get the desired size and thickness that you prefer and move it to a baking pan covered with parchment paper. Spelt flour doesn't stretch as well as wheat flour but if you work carefully and flatten it with the palm of your hand you will get it right. Another trick is to roll them out directly on the parchment paper with a lightly floured rolling pin and then just move the parchment paper to the baking pan.

Brush the dough with 2 tablespoon tomato sauce. Cover them with topping of your choice. Bake for about 10-15 minutes until the outer part of the topping and the edges are slightly burnt. Sprinkle it with fresh cheese, a bit of olive oil, fresh herbs if you want, salt and freshly grounded pepper and serve immediately.

-LS desk


UNDER A DIFFERENT SKY

Listen up

Boys and girls listen up, it doesn't always take two to tango, sometimes it takes one, or even three or four. All the information you are getting right now, through the television, the Internet, the smart boys and the intellectual girls in your school, your parents -- learn to filter them, if you can master that trait you will one day be better than superman, even wolverine or wonder woman.

Listen up boys and girls, don't be selfless, you might loose your self that way. Don't be selfish either; it makes you want to love yourself way more than you can ever handle, it hurts, it bleeds. Be in the middle, not like Buddha, not like his followers but like the crows on the fence and the electric wires, always ready to fly either way, up, down and sideways.

Boys and girls, learn phrases like “in retrospect” and “Hindsight is always 20/20” it will do you good. Once you learn them try to avoid situations where you ever have to use them because they will only make you sound like a pot full of regret, you weren't made for that. Your parents thought thrice before having you, and when they brought you in this world they hoped you were better than them, so chuck those phrases from your dictionary.

Listen up now, girls, dance all the time, even when people are watching, dance even if your body doesn't move. And boys, you too, dance! Not like Hollywood or Bollywood, but like warriors, dance like there is not going to be any more music and you must catch all the beats while they last on your mind.

Boys and girls, don't cry on rainy days. There are enough tears on those already. Cry on sunny ones, the dry, solid days, cry on the fume on the street, cry on rough concrete, make us all feel the tears.

Listen up boys and girls, watch every bird that flies above you, lands in front of you, every leaf that blows, every bit of life that comes and remains ignored, watch them because you never know when they will disappear and they will, especially if you stop watching.

Boys, the women who seem pretty to you today will seem like a dream tomorrow. Everyone changes, even the ones who are evergreen, so catch glimpses of them while you can and then keep them pure in that inside compartment of your mind, the one that no ones knows about.

Girls your first crash will not be your first love, and love is not a complicated word, but I am sure you will make it complicated. So don't stop for your first, second, third...tenth crush. Stop for only sugar free lemonade and yard sales.

Boys and girls, don't sit up, don't look down, don't think too much before you speak. Don't look at the first page of the newspaper, look at the expressions of your parents while they read it. Look at the faces of the people on the streets, count the beads of sweat on their foreheads. They taste just like your tears. Don't touch anyone, but feel all that comes your way.

Boys and girls, listen up, listen up. Take it from me, a nobody, a somebody, anybody, really just an anybody. Listen up boys and girls, listen up.

 

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