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It's a new pizza season, friend, and here's a bit of a creative boost. A fresh garden salad pizza, chock full of crisp veggies, makes a great casual, warm-weather family meal. It's better than the



Published: Wed, October 11, 2006 @ 12:00 a.m.



It's a new pizza season, friend, and here's a bit of a creative boost. A fresh garden salad pizza, chock full of crisp veggies, makes a great casual, warm-weather family meal. It's better than the predictable take-out or delivery pizza, and you can make it, bake it and have it on the table without much trouble. Just start with some of that store-bought frozen roll dough you keep on hand.

Homemade pizzas are nutritious, easy and fun to make. In honor of the special place backyard grills have in our hearts, try this saucy BBQ chicken pizza, full of big chunks of chicken, tomatoes and peppers (this one may be your favorite.) And there's a recipe here for (are you ready?) German chocolate pizza. It really is decadent enough to knock 'em dead at dessert time.

Also, adventurous taste buds will go gaga for a surprisingly tasty gorgonzola walnut pizza. This new buffet of pizza flavors is all made with, you guessed it, frozen roll dough.

And here's one more idea: For an added trick, try really simple, but cool-looking, twisty breadsticks using ready-to-go dough. With their garlicky, buttery flavor they'll be great alongside pizzas or most any entree. They're even a meal in themselves.

GARDEN SALAD PIZZA

6 Rhodes Texas rolls, thawed and risen

1 8-ounce tub soft chive-flavored cream cheese

Cherry tomatoes, halved

Sliced black olives

Small cucumber, thinly sliced

Red onion, cut in thin rings

Fresh asparagus, blanched

Dried dill

McCormick/Schilling Salad Supreme seasoning, if desired

Press rolls together and form a ball. Roll into a 13-inch circle. Place on a 12-inch pizza pan coated with nonstick cooking spray. Bake at 350 degrees for 10-12 minutes or until lightly browned. Keep bubbles from forming in the middle of pizza by pressing down 5 minutes into the baking cycle. Remove from oven and cool.

Spread crust with cream cheese. Arrange vegetables in a decorative pattern. Sprinkle with dill and Salad Supreme, if desired.

Variation, Fruit Pizza: Prepare crust as above, but spread with strawberry or pineapple-flavored cream cheese. Arrange the following on top: sliced kiwi, halved strawberries, mandarin oranges, blueberries, etc.

GERMAN CHOCOLATE PIZZA

6 Rhodes Texas rolls, thawed and risen

1 cup milk chocolate chips

1 cup shredded coconut

1 cup chopped pecans

1 14-ounce can sweetened condensed milk

Press rolls together and form a ball. Roll into a 13-inch circle and place on a 12-inch pizza pan coated with non-stick cooking spray. Bake at 400 degrees for 5 minutes. Layer pre-baked crust with chocolate chips, coconut, pecans and condensed milk. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes.

GORGONZOLA WALNUT PIZZA

6 Rhodes Texas Rolls, thawed & amp; risen

1 cup walnut pieces

1 tablespoon olive oil

2 or 3 medium red onions, sliced

1 teaspoon sugar

Salt and pepper to taste

1 cup crumbled Gorgonzola cheese

1 tablespoon olive oil

Press rolls together and form a ball. Roll into a 13-inch circle and place on a 12-inch pizza pan coated with nonstick cooking spray. Cover with plastic wrap and set aside. Heat oil in a skillet. Sprinkle with sugar, add onions and cook slowly, stirring frequently, about 20 minutes or until golden brown. Season with salt and pepper. Spread onions over prepared pizza dough. Spread little chunks of Gorgonzola over the onions, then sprinkle with walnuts.

Brush edge of crust lightly with olive oil. Bake at 425 degrees for 12 minutes or until crust is golden and walnuts are toasty. (Can also be made into two 6-inch pizzas.)

BBQ CHICKEN PIZZA

6 Rhodes Texas(tm) rolls, thawed and risen

1 6-ounce boneless, skinless chicken breast, diced

1/2 yellow onion, chopped

1 cup barbeque sauce, divided

1/2 green pepper, thinly sliced

1/2 red pepper, thinly sliced 1/2 cup sliced mushrooms

1 small tomato, diced

1 cup grated mozzarella cheese

Cook chicken and onion in 1/2 cup barbeque sauce until chicken is no longer pink. Set aside. Press rolls together and form a ball. Roll into a 13-inch circle. Place on a 12-inch pizza pan coated with nonstick cooking spray. Bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes.

Spread with remaining 1/2 cup barbeque sauce.

Top with chicken and onion mixture, peppers, mushrooms and tomato. Sprinkle with cheese. Bake at 350 degrees for 10-15 minutes.

FRESH TOMATO PIZZA

Vegetable oil spray

1 (10-ounce) package refrigerated pizza dough

3 or 4 medium Italian plum tomatoes, thinly sliced

1/4 cup snipped fresh basil or parsley

Freshly ground black pepper

1 cup shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

Spray 12-inch pizza pan with vegetable oil. Press dough evenly into prepared pan. Arrange tomato slices on top. Sprinkle with basil and season with pepper. Sprinkle with cheese. Bake 15 to 20 minutes or according to package directions. Cut into 8 wedges.

For best results, use fresh Italian plum tomatoes, which are available all year.

Makes 4 servings, 2 slices each.

Nutrient analysis per serving: Calories 284, protein 15g, carbohydrates 40g, total fat 7g (saturated 3g, polyunsaturated 1g, monounsaturated 2g), cholesterol 16mg, sodium 500mg

Source: American Heart association

GRILLED VEGETABLE PIZZAS

Pam for Grilling Spray

1 medium red bell pepper

1 medium yellow bell pepper

1 medium yellow zucchini

1 medium green zucchini

1 small red onion, peeled, cut in half

6 large mushrooms, cleaned, sliced in half

2 containers (13.8 ounces each) refrigerated pizza dough, shaped into 2 rectangles, about 1/4 inch thick

1 cup pizza sauce

8 ounces fresh mozzarella cheese, sliced

1/4 cup fresh basil leaves

Coarsely ground pepper blend (optional)

Spray grate of outdoor grill and utensils with grilling spray. Preheat grill to medium heat.

Grill vegetables until browned, about 10 minutes. Remove from grill and slice into smaller pieces for pizza topping.

Place dough on grill until browned, about 5 minutes per side. Move to cooler part of grill to keep warm.

Spread 1/2 cup sauce on each crust. Layer with cheese, vegetables and basil. Heat on grill until cheese melts, about 2 minutes. Cut each pizza into fourths. Sprinkle with pepper blend, if desired.

Makes 8 servings (1 slice pizza each).

Source Pam for Grilling

SHRIMP PIZZA

3 cloves garlic, finely minced

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 tablespoons fresh rosemary leaves

1 large ready-to-eat pizza crust

1/3 cup Horizon Organic shredded Parmesan cheese

12 ounces (3 cups) Horizon Organic shredded mozzarella cheese

1/2 pound uncooked medium shrimp, cleaned, shelled and deveined

5 yellow pepper rings

5 green bell pepper rings

7 slices fresh tomato

2 tablespoons fresh basil, cut into thin strips

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. In skillet, saut & eacute; minced garlic in olive oil 2 to 3 minutes. Add rosemary and saut & eacute; another minute or two. Brush olive oil mixture over pizza crust. Cover with a sprinkle of Parmesan cheese, followed by a layer of mozzarella cheese. Top with prepared shrimp, pepper rings and tomato slices. Sprinkle fresh basil strips over pizza. Bake 10 minutes, until cheese is bubbly and shrimp are cooked.

Makes 4 servings, 2 slices each.

Nutritional information per serving: 282 calories, 14g fat, 19g carbohydrate, & lt;1g dietary fiber, 20g protein, 533mg sodium.

Source Horizon Organic Dairy




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