Budget: Have your pizza, and eat it too!

“‘ We want man-food for twenty-five,’ the Ents said, so you can see that somebody had counted your company carefully before you arrived.” – J.R.R. Tolkien, The Two Towers

My favourite memory of summer was picking up a gluten free pizza (akin to what the Ents consider ‘man-food’) after finishing a show.  There was something profoundly rad knowing that in half an hour I could be at home and eating one of my favourite meals. However – It got me thinking a couple things.

 

Yes, please!

 

On one hand:

The pro’s of ordering a pizza: someone else makes it, no stress, and overall ease. 

On the other hand:

The financial strain and resulting stress as a student, can start to outweigh the pro’s of ordering out. For example, I’ll drop around $38 for two gluten free pizza’s (and they are only medium!). 

Can I have the best of both worlds? Is it possible to have my pizza and eat it too?

It seems my only option is to get my cook on. Except, it’s one thing to say “cook all your food and save all the money” and another thing to actually be in a mental, technical, and financial place to do it. 

A couple things that can be over looked are: time, money, a recipe that works, ingredients, cooking appliances, know-how, etc…  Eating well can be a very difficulty thing, for a variety of reasons. Although cooking your own meals can be great and save you money, – as we know – it depends on a lot of things. So what can you do to make it as easy and affordable as possible?

I’ll break this up into two ideas, the first: Organization. 

Examine what you can control – here are three things that I keep in mind:

  1. Find a rad recipe with ingredients that are in season, in bulk or are in strange abundance – and read it a bunch of times before starting to cook
  2. Get into the habit of setting up your kitchen in a way that makes sense (Here’s a great link: http://thenourishinghome.com/2012/04/the-secret-of-success-mastering-mise-en-place/)
  3. Remember this saying, “The most important things are the things worth messing up the first time” (I picked it up a few years ago, not sure who it’s by – I’ll look for more info.)

 

Second: Get your cook on, and have fun (basically, just turn on good music and make a mess).

 All the Pizza!

Gluten Free Pizza

From: Hunter Cardinal
Prep Time: 20 Mins Cooking Time: 8 Mins Total Time: 28 Mins
Ingredients:
  • ¼ cup heavy cream and water (of ½ cup of milk instead)
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 beaten egg
  • 1 ½ cup of Tapioca Starch
  • ¾ cup parmesan cheese, grated (or in a container)
  • ¼ tsp of dried oregano
  • pinch of pepper
  • Additional tbsp of Tapioca Starch if dough is sticky
  • 1 lb Fresh or Buffalo Milk Mozzarella (or regular if you prefer)
  • 28 oz can Whole Plumb Tomatoes
  • One small bunch fresh Basil (optional)
Directions:
  1. Preheat oven to 500 degrees F.
  2. In a saucepan, combine the cream, water, butter, and salt and bring to a simmer on med/low heat. Do not boil.
  3. Place your tapioca starch in a large bowl. Once the cream/water mixture has come to a simmer, add it to the starch and stir it to combine well. Let it cool for five minutes.   Add the beaten egg, and knead together with your hands until egg in incorporated into the dough. Then add the Parmesan cheese, white pepper, and oregano.  Mix together until it’s all combined and no longer sticky.
  4. To make the simple tomato sauce, drain a can of whole plumb tomatoes. Crush each tomato with your hands into a medium bowl. Drain excess juice into sink, and season remaining sauce with salt or pepper to taste. 
  5. Split the dough in half.  Working with one half of the dough at a time, begin to flatten out your first pizza.  Pressing your dough out into a flat disk is easiest by pressing the dough out onto the parchment paper it will be baked on, with lightly oiled hands if the dough is too sticky. Aim to flatten your dough roughly a quarter inch in thickness.  If your dough rips while your stretching it out, don’t fret!  Just pinch it together and keep on pressing until the desired thickness.
  6. Transfer the dough to a large cookie sheet without removing it from the parchment (see how easy that was?). With a fork, poke some holes through several times to ensure the dough does not puff up. Bake for 4 minutes. Spoon half of the crushed plumb tomatoes sauce over pizza, then scatter cheese evenly. Bake for another four minutes. Slice and enjoy!

“‘ We want man-food for twenty-five,’ the Ents said, so you can see that somebody had counted your company carefully before you arrived.” – J.R.R. Tolkien, The Two Towers

My favourite memory of summer was picking up a gluten free pizza (akin to what the Ents consider ‘man-food’) after finishing a show.  There was something profoundly rad knowing that in half an hour I could be at home and eating one of my favourite meals. However – It got me thinking a couple things.

 

Yes, please!

 

On one hand:

The pro’s of ordering a pizza: someone else makes it, no stress, and overall ease. 

On the other hand:

The financial strain and resulting stress as a student, can start to outweigh the pro’s of ordering out. For example, I’ll drop around $38 for two gluten free pizza’s (and they are only medium!). 

Can I have the best of both worlds? Is it possible to have my pizza and eat it too?

It seems my only option is to get my cook on. Except, it’s one thing to say “cook all your food and save all the money” and another thing to actually be in a mental, technical, and financial place to do it. 

A couple things that can be over looked are: time, money, a recipe that works, ingredients, cooking appliances, know-how, etc…  Eating well can be a very difficulty thing, for a variety of reasons. Although cooking your own meals can be great and save you money, – as we know – it depends on a lot of things. So what can you do to make it as easy and affordable as possible?

I’ll break this up into two ideas, the first: Organization. 

Examine what you can control – here are three things that I keep in mind:

  1. Find a rad recipe with ingredients that are in season, in bulk or are in strange abundance – and read it a bunch of times before starting to cook
  2. Get into the habit of setting up your kitchen in a way that makes sense (Here’s a great link: http://thenourishinghome.com/2012/04/the-secret-of-success-mastering-mise-en-place/)
  3. Remember this saying, “The most important things are the things worth messing up the first time” (I picked it up a few years ago, not sure who it’s by – I’ll look for more info.)

 

Second: Get your cook on, and have fun (basically, just turn on good music and make a mess).

 All the Pizza!

Gluten Free Pizza

From: Hunter Cardinal
Prep Time: 20 Mins Cooking Time: 8 Mins Total Time: 28 Mins
Ingredients:
  • ¼ cup heavy cream and water (of ½ cup of milk instead)
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 beaten egg
  • 1 ½ cup of Tapioca Starch
  • ¾ cup parmesan cheese, grated (or in a container)
  • ¼ tsp of dried oregano
  • pinch of pepper
  • Additional tbsp of Tapioca Starch if dough is sticky
  • 1 lb Fresh or Buffalo Milk Mozzarella (or regular if you prefer)
  • 28 oz can Whole Plumb Tomatoes
  • One small bunch fresh Basil (optional)
Directions:
  1. Preheat oven to 500 degrees F.
  2. In a saucepan, combine the cream, water, butter, and salt and bring to a simmer on med/low heat. Do not boil.
  3. Place your tapioca starch in a large bowl. Once the cream/water mixture has come to a simmer, add it to the starch and stir it to combine well. Let it cool for five minutes.   Add the beaten egg, and knead together with your hands until egg in incorporated into the dough. Then add the Parmesan cheese, white pepper, and oregano.  Mix together until it’s all combined and no longer sticky.
  4. To make the simple tomato sauce, drain a can of whole plumb tomatoes. Crush each tomato with your hands into a medium bowl. Drain excess juice into sink, and season remaining sauce with salt or pepper to taste. 
  5. Split the dough in half.  Working with one half of the dough at a time, begin to flatten out your first pizza.  Pressing your dough out into a flat disk is easiest by pressing the dough out onto the parchment paper it will be baked on, with lightly oiled hands if the dough is too sticky. Aim to flatten your dough roughly a quarter inch in thickness.  If your dough rips while your stretching it out, don’t fret!  Just pinch it together and keep on pressing until the desired thickness.
  6. Transfer the dough to a large cookie sheet without removing it from the parchment (see how easy that was?). With a fork, poke some holes through several times to ensure the dough does not puff up. Bake for 4 minutes. Spoon half of the crushed plumb tomatoes sauce over pizza, then scatter cheese evenly. Bake for another four minutes. Slice and enjoy!

Share It :

More

About the author

Hunter

Hunter Cardinal is a writer and resident food experimenter at the elevenses blog. His column explores the tangible aspects of holistic health, attempting to harmonize it with a busy schedule. When he's not eating or thinking of food (which is rare) you can catch Hunter performing at Rapid Fire Theatre in Edmonton and finishing his Bachelor of Fine Arts in Acting at the University of Alberta.

Related posts

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *