February 6, 2018

National Pizza Day is here, and for me (and subsequently my family) it’s just an excuse to eat more pizza.

About me: I love pizza.

I grew up in Chicago, spent several years in New York, and have lived in LA for over 20 years. Other than Italy, I’ve lived in, IMHO, the best pizza hubs in the world. For the record, eating Margherita pizza in Naples, where pizza is thought to have originated, is on my bucket list.

If I had my druthers, dinner would be a giant slice of Lou Malnati’s spinach and cheese. Chicago style pizza has a deep-dish crust, chunky tomato sauce and tons of cheese. It’s what I grew up on and the first food I eat when I visit my hometown.

Don’t get me wrong, I adore a good New York slice. I chose my apartment in Brooklyn for its proximity to Patsy Grimaldi’s. This Chicago girl had NO idea how delicious a thin crust and fresh mozzarella cheese on pizza was until my tenure at Patsy’s began at the ripe old age of 25!

These days I’m particularly fond of paper thin crust with fresh tomato sauce, burrata, caramelized onion and fresh arugula (an exceptional way to “Eat More Greens” in this RD’s humble opinion). I’d like to think my pizza tastes are maturing alongside me.

Our SNP Chefs have done a sensational job providing our students with several “versions” of pizza. The handmade calzones filled with fresh tomato sauce and mozzarella are lunchtime perfect. They’re gooey and full of flavor and the crust is so tender, you’d never know its whole grain. The pizzadilla is a simple and ingenious way to incorporate tomato sauce and veggies into an otherwise traditional quesadilla. The substitution of the mozzarella for the cheddar turns whole wheat tortillas into perfect vessels for a creative spin on pizza. The pizzadilla recipe is featured in our soon-to-be published cookbook “A Chef Walks into A Cafeteria” along with several other “pizzacentric” recipes, including “Pizza Soup” and the “Pizza Bagel”.

SNP’s out of box thinking led to these tasty twists on pizza, that satisfy our students’ cravings at school and will surely do the same for your families at the dinner table and beyond.

Keep an eye out for the pizza recipes as well as tons of other healthful and delicious recipes in our new cookbook “A Chef Walks into A Cafeteria…”