Wednesday, February 17, 2010

What's for dinner?

It was 6 weeks ago that I was listening to the Christian morning show, on 95.5 The Fish with Len and Brooke, and they were discussing making healthy food choices to go with the bud of the new year. That week there was one interview that really stood was with a man named David Zinczenko who is the author of, Eat This, Not That a book that discusses the application of making nutritional food swaps in order to lessen daily caloric intake which in turn helps you lose weight. I thought it was an interesting concept but the shock factor kicked in when he started discussing the calories in prepared foods (like restaurants) vs. the homemade edition. He mentioned PIZZA! HE had my ear because pizza was a weekly staple, mainly for convenience but also because we love it. He said that order out restaraunt-style pizza, from lets say Pizza Hut, is equivalent to 2,100 calories vs. homemade 500 calories (these are approximations). WOW! I was amazed. Now being that I had already began on my quest to getting the same amount of food for the family on far less money, I decided that maybe the homemade version would be not only a healthier option but also a more cost effective option which would give us back one of our comfort dinners. So I tried it...

First, let me just say that it is so much fun to work on dinner with my kids! Lily likes to help me every step of the way (good math review!) and this is an easy meal to make with children. So in the past we would order pizza for convenience but then have to go pick it up... a 20 minute round trip. Making pizza takes just about 20 minutes to prepare and cook. Hmmm...maybe a few more dishes but overall, espcially with no chopping involved, this qualifies as an easy dinner night!

Second, this definitely saves a ton of money. I make TWO 1/2 sheets pizzas on two large cookie sheets. I use four bags of pizza dough, one jar of pizza sauce, 4 cups of Mozzarella cheese and I spray a little cooking spray on the sheets prior to laying the dough. All that for both extra large pizza's~~you can certainly modify if you are feeding less. I get these items on sale and use coupons so my total is ~$6. It feeds our family of 6 and we have left overs that go in the boys lunches the next day. When we used to order pizza out, it would cost $15 for ONE pizza of the same size...AND it was far more greasy!

Lastly, homemade pizza IS kids request it! Pair it with some cut carrots or tossed salad and you have a wonderful meal without the guilt for under $10!

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