Gourmet Pizza for Less than a Buck
I’m a pizza fanatic. I will never turn it down. Ever. While living in Omaha, I looked forward to lunches with my coworkers at the closest Zio’s Pizzeria. For about $6, you could get two slices of your favorite gourmet pizza and a soda. Sure it was a zillion calories, but it was something I just couldn’t live without.
Then I moved to a small town about 50 miles away from Big O-town. With only 1800 people in the community and less than $20,000 a year to live on, gourmet pizza was a forbidden dream at best. Looking for ways to find an affordable and easy gourmet pizza recipe close to that hand-tossed idol I came to know from Zio’s was next to impossible. But after some very frugal adaptations, I came up with the following scheme:
Since Red Baron or Tombstone was always 3/$9 at one of the grocers in the county, they were a constant supply of mediocre pizza meals. Occasionally, you could even get a better brand rising-crust variety or a brick-oven type for less than $4. Paired with choice toppings and a better cheese, it was quite possible to get a gourmet knockoff for less than $5 a pie. Split the creation with 4 friends (because 900 calories really is enough) and add a salad or fruit, and you have a meal. The pizza will not cost you more than $1 a person!
Here are my favorite recipes based on the $5 limit. While it may cost more to purchase a unit of the toppings, you can make 2-3 pizzas per item (can of artichokes, for example) and keep your $1 a slice formula.
Greek – Cheese pizza with 1 cup shredded frozen or fresh spinach, 1 small can sliced black olives, and ¼ cup crumbled feta cheese.
Linsey’s Special – Pepperoni pizza with ½ cup chopped artichoke hearts (canned work best), ½ cup baby bella mushrooms, and ½ cup shredded Italian cheese blend.
Fajita – Cheese or hamburger pizza with small amount of shredded chicken seasoned with taco or fajita seasoning, ½ sliced green pepper, and ¼ small diced white onion.
Cobb – Any variety pizza with 2 slices cooked crumbled bacon, 1 sliced roma tomato, and ¼ diced red onion.
Asparagus, shrimp, salami, meatballs, zucchini, broccoli, eggplant, pineapple, green olives, garlic, sun dried tomatoes, jalapenos, pesto, and anchovies also make great toppings in the combination that works best for you. Even if you were add a bit of your own extra pizza sauce, with the money you save on pizza, you can put the savings toward that cheap bottle of shiraz you were eyeballing!