If you’re like me, it’s only Friday but you’re already thinking about what you need to do over the weekend to plan, shop and prepare next week’s meals. This weekend, let us help you put those cares away. We’re enlisting the kids in your family, big and small, to join us on a food adventure that will make your life easier and their lives really tasty. You may even make these pita pizzas your favorite Meatless Monday rotation recipe.
We’ve got 3 great reasons to jump aboard this Easy Cheesy Pita Pizza Adventure:
1) You’ll get to show your kids how easy and fun it is to cook their food from scratch vs. pulling their food out of a box and heating it up. Kids who cook their food are more likely to love it!
2) You’ll get another use for those sandwich pitas you just bought for your family’s school lunch sandwiches avoiding waste and making your ingredients last.
3) You’ll have an amazing opportunity to show your kids how yummy, savory and fun it is to eat an entirely veggie focused meal without even noticing the pepperoni is missing in action.
First, have your kids help you organize the pizza sauce ingredients:
- 2 cups strained tomatoes (puree from a box or can)
- 3 sprigs of fresh thyme, chopped (or 1 teaspoon dried)
- 3 garlic cloves, smashed and chopped
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Don’t forget to turn on your oven to 475F. We like to put our cookie sheet with a rim in early so it gets hot.
Now make the sauce:
- Have the kids smash the garlic with the back of their hands and peel off the skin. They can also help you pull the leaves off the thyme. This is a great sensory experience. Have them smell the ingredients.
- You can do the chopping.
- Add all the ingredients to the pot and put on medium-low heat.
- Ask a helper to stir the sauce periodically and keep it from bubbling over.
- This sauce needs to simmer on low heat for approximately 15 minutes. Add salt and pepper as desired (to your taste).
While the sauce is simmering, get your roasted veggies ready:
- We like to use 1 red onion, 1 red bell pepper, and 1 green bell pepper. You could add other veggies your family likes.
- Cut the onions and peppers into strips.
- Have your kids help you toss them in 2 tablespoons of olive oil and put them on a parchment lined cookie sheet.
- Ask a child to help you sprinkle 1 teaspoon of salt on top of the veggies. Have them hold their hand up high and release slowly. Show them how this helps the salt to fall down like snow all across the area.
- Roast for 25 minutes.
Get your decorating station set-up
This is a great activity for kids to show them how we can be organized while we cook.
- Line another cookie sheet with parchment and place 4 pita rounds on the cookie sheet. We like to use a sheet that has an edge. We found these little pizzas can get messy on a very flat cookie sheet if the sauce starts to run or cheese melting occurs (it will)!
- Put your tomato sauce near the pan with a small soup ladle next to it.
- Put your cheese in a bowl, ready to be added. We use a fresh mozzarella cut into discs because we like the fresh taste and it is actually less expensive than buying the big bulk bag of pre shredded cheese.
- When the veggies come out of the oven, place them into a bowl near the pitas.
Make your easy pita pizzas
- We put down one ladle of tomato sauce and spin it out with the spoon in a circle. Leave some space around the edges of the pita. Kids are GREAT at assembly so have them do this.
- Allow each family member to decide what they want on top of their pizzas. If you have fresh basil to add, that’s great, too!
- Cook at 475 F for 15 minutes. Check after 10 minutes to see if they are done enough. We like them crunchy on the bottom.
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