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Homemade Pizza Creations Stretch Budget

October 4, 2014

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOctober is national pizza month and tips the hat to our love of pizza. In the USA according to pizza is a $30+ billion industry. Americans eat 100 acres of pizza daily or 350 slices per second. The Food Industry News shows pizzerias making up 17% of restaurants and 10% of all foodservice sales. At least once per month pizza is served in 93% of American homes, with average per capita consumption at 23 pounds per year.

Pepperoni is the most popular, with 251,770,000 pounds of pepperoni consumed on pizzas annually in addition to mushrooms, peppers, onions and cheese. According to Bolla Wines 62% of Americans prefer meat toppings while 38% prefer vegetarian toppings. In 1957 the first frozen pizzas were introduced and soon became the most popular frozen food. A year later the first Pizza Hut opened in Wichita Kansas.

According to the American Dairy Association pizza is the food cited as the fourth most craved by Americans, behind cheese, chocolate and ice cream. In other countries the toppings vary widely and may include eel or squid (Japan), shrimp and pineapple (Australia), coconut (Costa Rica) or curry (Pakistan).

Pizza Hut uses 300 million pounds of cheese while Papa John’s uses another 100 million pounds. This doesn’t include what some think of as the best pizza – homemade!

One of the easiest and best crust recipes – which I’ve not created a better one – is at but the sauce and toppings equally “make” the pizza!

In a small sauce pan combine 24 ounces of tomato sauce with ½ teaspoon each oregano, rosemary, crushed red pepper and salt and ¼ cup vegetable oil, simmering briefly while browning the meats. A pound of Italian sausage, bacon (crumbled), ground beef or ground turkey are all favorites here as well as pepperoni. While the sauce is simmering and the meat is browning slice up some onions, green or red peppers or other vegetable. This is also a great way to use leftovers – that half cup of leftovers that you didn’t want to waste.

If you grow your own peppers you can make a color coded easy to grab pizza pepper bag. Dice peppers and bag in one cup amounts the green. Use green and red peppers for two cup amounts and add yellow peppers for the two cup with hot peppers in it. With this preparation it makes pizza making a snap – grab sweet or hot color coded peppers!

Set this entire aside and roll out your dough as directed, be it in a large square pan or traditional pizza pans. Divide your sauce to cover the pizza then top with browned meat and vegetables. You can use variety slicing hot dogs in half and using as “spokes” of the wheel. Top it off with sliced cheese and plenty of it! Mix different types of cheese – not just mozzarella but sharp cheddar or crumbled goat cheese or mild cheeses.

October is national pizza month but pizza is a year round treat. Once you start making your own you can get creative with what you put on it. Some like adding BBQ sauce to the tomato sauce, or replacing ¼ cup of the tomato sauce with steak sauce if you’re using beef. Almost anything can be put on a pizza – look back at grilling pizza too!

Make a new tradition – making homemade pizza instead of carry out!

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