Last week I stumbled on this recipe for pizza snowballs. So, okay, that’s not real food. But it gave me an idea…. Anything can be made with real food, right? Right?
That gave me yet another idea. I’m having a small problem right now. Lunch. I can pull together anything for the kids (they’re eating bits of leftover pasta, cheese cubes, and last week’s coconut candy as I write this), but for me? Or to go? Please. I am lame at that, apparently. Which led me to believe that I really need to find some new and improved lunch solutions.
I thought you might like to see my ideas, too.
So thus begins my recipe mini-series on “freezable, to-go lunch ideas.” (Seriously, I’m terrible at titles. It’s why I don’t name my own books. I always ask readers to submit suggestions and vote. Which is how my newest book, Simply Summer, got named — coming Jun. 18th!) For the next few weeks, or as long as I can manage, you’ll see several prepare-in-advance meal ideas that will be easily made in large batches, easily frozen, and easily reheated. In some cases they won’t necessarily need heating, just thawing.
These ideas would be awesome for:
- People who work outside the home
- Kids, for school lunches
- Play dates/on the go lunches
- Fast dinners on busy nights
- Any time you don’t want to cook
Could it be any better? If you like the recipes, and the mini-series, please share. Please pin it, post it to Facebook, whatever! We so appreciate it when you share content you like.
Today’s selection is “Pizza Balls.” Now, these can come with so many variations, if you’re not into pizza. You could use almost anything — any meat, cheese, or veggies you like.
- 4 c. white whole wheat flour
- 1/2 c. olive oil
- 1 1/4 c. water
- 2 tsp. sea salt
- 3 tsp. yeast
- 1 lb. mozzarella, shredded
- 1/4 lb. pepperoni, chopped into bite-sized pieces
The night before you want to make these, mix the flour, oil, and water together in a bowl. Cover it, and set it aside. This is the soaking step, and we do this to neutralize the phytic acid (which makes it healthier and more digestible). It needs to sit at least 12 hours in a warm place. (I was crazy tired and forgot to take pictures of these initial steps, sorry!)
The next day, add the sea salt and the yeast and stir it together. Knead it for about 10 minutes, until smooth and elastic. Return it to the bowl and place it in a warm location. Allow it to rise until doubled, about 2 hours.
Punch it down. Shred your mozzarella, if it doesn’t come that way. I accidentally did twice as much as I needed so I froze the rest for another time.
Chop up your pepperoni into bite-sized pieces. I started with Applegate Farms’ sandwich-size pepperoni slices. It is nitrate-free and uncured. I chopped each slice into 16 pieces.
Now, you could choose to add diced green peppers, sliced and sauteed mushrooms, cooked sausage, or whatever other pizza toppings you prefer. I kept it simple this time, but next time I might try using peppers, mushrooms, and sausage! (Which my kids wouldn’t eat…oh well.)
Take three small pieces of dough and roll them into balls. 1″ balls work great in regular-sized muffin trays (which should be greased), and 1/2″ balls work great in mini-muffin trays.
Grab your dough balls in your hand.
Add a tbsp. or so of cheese and 4 – 5 pepperoni pieces.
Mash it all together into a rough ball-shape, with the toppings mostly in the center. Put this into the muffin trays.
See how pretty they are now?
Let this rise for about an hour. Preheat the oven to 425 (but don’t accidentally put them in the oven to rise and forget that when you go to preheat!). Bake the pizza balls for about 15 minutes.
When they’re done, pop them out and serve them with tomato sauce for dipping, or let them cool completely and put them in a bag and freeze. They can be reheated by placing them separated on a tray and baking at 400 for 5 – 10 minutes.
They are a bit of work in the initial stages. It took me a good hour to get the whole batch done. But I got almost three dozen minis and 12 regular, so that will work for quite a bit of lunches! I serve with some veggie sticks and home-canned fruit for a really simple meal.
**This post has been entered in Real Food Wednesdays and Frugal Days and Sustainable Ways, Monday Mania.**
How would you like your pizza balls?
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