Sometimes frozen mini pizzas are all you can muster for a meal. That's been the story for us the past few days.
This week has been a long one. Every day seems to drag by and move slower than the day before. We lost a college friend in a tragic accident. It's hard to wrap your mind around the fact that someone, who was perfect healthy and well this time last week, is no longer here. The silver lining through it all has been this: realizing my college community is alive and well nearly 10 years later. The friends I at Luther College in Decorah, Iowa have made this week bearable in the way they have come together to remember the laughter and wonderful joy we shared together. Remember to appreciate your friends each and every day. Give your loved ones extra hugs. Don't take important people in your life for granted.
Honesty time: I'm sure I haven't been the most present mother lately, which is probably why the level of picky-eating seems to have risen exponentially. Or maybe it is just all part of the toddler process. Either way, I'm working on keeping food on hand that are sure to please on the worst of days. These mini pizzas, made with mini whole wheat bagels, are topped with a roasted red pepper pizza sauce. It's not as fancy as it sounds. Basically, I took store-bought pizza sauce, poured it in the food processor, and added 3 large roasted red peppers. A few pulses later, I was left with a bright red, super flavorful and vitamin-packed sauce that was perfect for my little hunger-striking-2-year-old.
There isn't a trick to making these freezer-friendly aside from this: freeze the pizzas on a large sheet pan before transferring them to a freezer bag. I let mine freeze overnight but I think 4 hours would be sufficient. Once they are frozen, you just take them out as needed and bake them in the oven for a quick 12 minutes and serve. Easy snack? Check. Pizza dinner? Check.
I don't know if I've learned this after almost 3 years as a parent or if this knowledge just comes with age, but I'm realizing that preparing for days when all you want to do is stuff your face with greasy take-out and ice cream is super important. Having healthy choices like this at the ready makes even the roughest weeks feel a little less brutal.
Frozen Mini Pizzas
- 10 mini whole wheat bagels, halved
- 1 cup pizza sauce
- 3 large jarred roasted red bell peppers, drained
- 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
- Place the bagel halves on a rimmed baking sheet, cut side up. Set aside.
- In a food processor, add the pizza sauce and red peppers. Pulse 5 or 6 times until well combined.
- Spoon the sauce on top of the bagels.
- Sprinkle the bagels with cheese and press down lightly so the cheese comes into contact with the sauce (this will help keep the cheese in place).
- Put they tray in the freezer for at least 4 hours and up to 8 before transferring to a freezer bag.
- When ready to make the pizzas, preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and place desired number of pizzas on the paper. Bake 12-15 minutes or until the cheese is melted and just turning golden on top.