Making homemade pizza is easier than you think

Make Your Own Pizza

by Leanne Ely

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If you've adopted a healthy new lifestyle for you and your family, you might be starting to miss some of your favorite meals to sit down to. Maybe you miss meals like pizza, for instance.

Announcing that it's "Pizza Night" is an easy way to get the family together around the table, but a lot of the chain pizza joints serve greasy, cheesy junk.

Luckily, homemade pizza is just as convenient as takeout (if you know how to do homemade pizza right) and there's no contest that it's healthier for you.

How can you make homemade pizza convenient? There are several ways!

Prep ahead of time!

If you're planning on making Friday pizza night, keep that in mind through the week. When you're chopping veggies for a stir-fry on Wednesday, set aside some extra for your pizzas. The same goes for meat. If you're cooking ground beef and bacon for a separate dish, you should set some aside in a container for Friday's pizza.

On Friday morning, before work, grate some cheese while you're making breakfast and set it aside in the fridge for later.

When you get home from work, make your favorite crust, get the sauce going, and simply put your toppings on and bake! Or, involve the kids and let everyone make his/her own favorite pizza.

Freeze it, baby!

Another thing you might want to consider is making your own batch of frozen pizzas!

Make your favorite crust recipe and your favorite sauce. When the crust is ready for the pan, bake it for about seven minutes. After the crust is out of the oven, allow it to cool and then top with sauce (the sauce must be completely cooled), cheese, meats, and veggies of your choosing. Freeze for three to five hours. Then, wrap in plastic wrap, label, and date. Voila! Next Friday, you can just take a pie out of the freezer, heat your oven to 375 degrees, and bake for 20 minutes or so, until the pizza is golden and bubbly.

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I would recommend making a few of these at a time while you're going to the trouble, so you can have a stack in the freezer ready when you need them.

When you serve your pizza, whether it's Paleo, gluten-free, or a traditional variety, be sure to put as many veggies and lean, local meats on there as you can and go easy on the cheese. Always serve with a great big green salad.

Also try thinking outside the pizza box a bit with your combos. Top your pizza with fresh basil, figs and goat cheese. Or make it Thai and top with peanut sauce, chicken and bean sprouts! Why not?

Leanne Ely is a New York Times best selling author of Body Clutter and the popular Saving Dinner cookbook series. According to Woman's Day Magazine, she is the expert on family cooking.

Leanne's syndicated newspaper column, The Dinner Diva can be found in 250 newspapers nationwide and in Canada. Her vast broadcast experience includes media satellite tours, QVC several times as well as guesting on several national television shows, including HGTV's Simple Solutions, ABC Family's Living the Life, Ivanhoe's Smart Woman, Small Talk for Parents and Talk of the Town. She has guest chef-ed on the cooking show, Carolina Cooks and has taught cooking classes all over the country for Bloomingdale's.

In addition, she is a seasoned radio personality. Leanne's own radio show, Heart of A Woman aired during drive time in two major California markets, Los Angeles and San Diego. Her current show, The Dinner Diva is one of the top Blog Talk Radio shows on the Internet.

On the Internet, she pens the Food for Thought column for the immensely popular,, with over half a million readers weekly. She has been featured in Woman's Day magazine, the Chicago Tribune, St. Petersburg Times, Orange County Register - to name a few. Additionally, she is a sought after speaker and has spoken all over the country, with keynote addresses to corporate and non-profit entities. Visit Leanne Ely on Google+.

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