Having a green kitchen and cooking with green methods is an area of interest to me. As a mother and wife, I like the idea of feeding my family healthy and nutritious meals from my green kitchen. This means not visiting the frozen food section, but using green cooking methods and reusing items to fix nutritious meals.
Cooking green does not mean sacrificing taste or food selections. Anything can be made “greener” in a kitchen, including reducing kitchen waste and expanding produce selection to homegrown herbs or vegetables.
To show you how easy it is to cook green, I took my favorite semi-homemade pizza recipe and used “greener” kitchen practices to prepare it.
Anyone can make a semi-homemade pizza from store bought organic pizza crust. If you are a better cook than me, you can even make pizza dough from organic white whole wheat flour.
An organic pizza crust cost me less than $5, and the package included two thin-style pizza crusts. I only used one pizza crust, and wrapped the other in plastic wrap to be used at a later date. Reusing and reducing waste is a number one tip in greener cooking.
For pizza sauce, you can use any organic tomato sauce. A greener way is to make your own sauce from homegrown tomatoes. A tomato plant does not require a lot of room, but they would need to be tied as tomato plants grown almost like weeds. Crushing and pureeing your own homegrown tomatoes can be a great way to enjoy organic produce that was not grown using harmful chemicals.
As far as toppings for your semi-homemade, “green” pizza goes you can use any leftovers. Remember, reusing is a great green cooking method. On this particular day, I reused shrimp leftovers. The night before we had steamed shrimp, but for my pizza I shelled leftover shrimp and roughly chopped them. Leftover shrimp were already seasoned with Old Bay, therefore I did not have to do use additional seasonings.
With shrimp pizza recipe, I also reused red onion leftovers. I enjoy red onions in beef mixtures for tacos or fresh organic salads. One red onion can go a long way, for this one crust pizza I only needed half a red onion that was left over from a previous night.
Every pizza needs cheese in order to reach its meal perfection. Making an organic semi-homemade pizza is easy with organic cheese. Grocery stores today sell a wide selection of organic cheeses, including mozzarella or Italian cheese mixes that are great on pizzas. For this particular recipe, I used a bag of organic mozzarella cheese. What makes it organic is that milk comes from cows who are fed an organic diet. There is no genetic engineering or chemical pasteurizing to produce cheese products.
Making a semi-homemade pizza recipe can even be greener if you use other smart practices. Some of those greener methods include taking your own plastic bags to a grocery store, which is also considered recycling.
Herbs and vegetables such as tomatoes can be grown in backyards, even if you do not have much space. A small herb garden can even be planted in herb pots and kept indoors. Food and scraps can be composted, and compost can be used for gardening which would also reduce waste in our trash cans.
Buying local produce is another green practice that can be used for this cooking idea. Anything can be bought locally, including chicken which can be used as a topping or ground beef. Local farmers are great resources for finding organic and farm raised meat. Eggs, milk and even vegetable produce can be purchased from local farmers that use organic, eco-friendly practices.