July 7, 2011

Weeknight Solution: Fancied-Up Frozen Pizza

The night I threw this together, this little blog o’ mine was the farthest thing from my mind. I was in a bad mood, and hungry, and wanted to be eating supper 30 minutes ago. I was not my best self, nor was I living in a state of splendor and gratitude. But, well: that’s life, and those moods need tending to just as much––if not more than––those charmed moments of delight and beauty. I mean, let’s get real.

On my walk home, I was conducting a mental inventory of the fridge. We had some leftover arugula––what super easy thing could I do with that? Wasn’t there half a lemon rolling around on the counter top, a little dried out but, eh, still usable? And wasn’t there an emergency pizza in the freezer? Couldn’t I almost throw together a quick little dinner inspired by the prosciutto and arugula pizza they serve at our cozy little neighborhood Italian restaurant that my best self frequents, wearing liquid eyeliner, a sexy little outfit, and feeling totally relaxed with a glass of wine?

Almost! So I laid a few slices of prosciutto over the top of the pizza (you could use basil, or skip it all together). I tossed the arugula with lemon juice and a little olive oil, dusted it with salt and pepper. And when the pizza came out of the oven, I overturned that bowl of peppery salad right onto the center of the pizza (another upgrade? Shave some parmesan over the greens), and perfectly respectable and really delicious dinner was ready in––I kid you not––15 minutes.

What I also love about this? I’m a big fan of a recipe that features veggies, protein, and carbohydrates all in one go. And while I wouldn’t exactly call this dinner healthy, it’s a hell of a lot better than chowing down on egg rolls and barbecue spareribs. In my book, that’s a total win.

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  • Katie: YUM. Sounds completely fantastic.4 years ago

  • Cadi: I do love when inspiration strikes from the back of the freezer and the dregs of the veg bin. There are nights when healthy should truly be sacrificed for ease and taste, and this is the perfect example of that!4 years ago

  • It really, really is. I love surprisingly awesome meals like this. And with the leftover arugula, make this.4 years ago

  • Julie: Such a brilliant dinner idea. I just used a frozen crust last night, topped with mashed sweet potato, black beans and cheddar. So many great opportunities for using up odds and ends!4 years ago

  • Laureen: Totally inspired, Sarah. Doesn’t it feel like a monumental victory when you fight the urge to just order take out and whip up a complete success from the bits and pieces on hand?4 years ago

  • brie.: i always feel so smart when things like this come together – so should you! looks great! and great inspiration.4 years ago

  • SarahJ: thank you, Sarah. i love this one. it gets ugly at my house if one of us gets too hungry. way to class up some frozen pizza (one of my guilty pleasures).4 years ago

  • Designing Diva: Oh, YUM! Love the creativity and ease. When I’m in the same mood, I sometimes take a big naan bread, add olive oil, fresh basil and chives, chopped cooked shrimp, and some parmesan, along with whatever odd bits and pieces I may have waiting to be used up. Turns out great and my hubby is amazed that something so spur-of-the-moment easy is so delicious! Everyone wins and nobody gets stressed out trying to figure out what to eat for dinner.4 years ago

  • Paige: One of my fiancé’s wishes for his upcoming birthday is a cookbook full of recipes with detailed enough instructions so that he can learn to cook them. Mostly I’m including favorites that we eat over and over, but I’m not even going to try this before I put it in the book, since I know it will be fabulous. It’ll probably be the simplest “recipe”, (well, maybe after “prepare Trader Joe’s potstickers according to package directions, serve with clean green leaf lettuce leaves and dipping sauce made with equal parts soy sauce and rice vinegar) but it’ll be a good reminder to us both that being hungry and short on time doesn’t necessarily have to mean takeout.4 years ago

  • Tami -- Teacher Goes Back to School: Thank you! Sometimes in reading other people’s food entries I end up feeling bad because I haven’t managed to make a masterpiece from scratch every night.

    Working folks need to take short cuts sometimes, esp around dinner time on a Wednesday!4 years ago

  • EB: No fair knocking the spareribs! Their porky deliciousness has served you well my child!

    You gussied up Amy’s does sound delightful though!4 years ago

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Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage.
- Anais Nin