The Healthy Appetite: Polenta Mini Pizzas

The Healthy Appetite: Polenta Mini Pizzas

As a kid, it was always a special treat when we would get to spend a Friday night making homemade pizza with my parents. I was always so amazed when my dad would toss the dough in the air to make a perfectly round pizza pie. My sister, Kelsey, and I were enjoying our last couple days of Christmas Break at home and decided it would be fun to relive some of those old memories by making pizza for dinner.

I''m not a huge fan of gluten-free breads and flours because they always taste a little funky, so I got the idea to use Trader Joe''s Pre-cooked polenta as the crust. I found a recipe for polenta pizza on Edible Perspective just to make sure I was on the right track, but this version is a little simpler because the polenta is already pre-cooked.

The final product had a delicious crunchy crust and all the ooey-gooey cheesy deliciousness of traditional pizza. The crust does NOT taste like traditional crust, but if you like polenta, you will love this pizza! I used sauteed mushrooms, heirloom tomatoes, olives and sundried tomatoes as my toppings, but feel free to get creative with all of your favorites!

Ingredients:1 roll of Trader Joe''s Pre-Cooked Polenta

Sauce, cheese, and toppings of your choice!

I used pre-made TJ''s pizza sauce, low fat mozzarella cheese, and mushrooms/tomatoes/olives

Using a food processor or immersion blender, pulse polenta, olive oil, pepper, garlic, and basil until a doughy consistency is achieved. The polenta is pretty firm and almost rubbery straight out of the package, so blend it until it can be formed into a ball.

On a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper, place a thin even layer of cornmeal on parchment to prevent dough from sticking. Form 3-4 balls of dough and roll them in cornmeal until they are evenly coated. Use a rolling pin or hands simply flatten dough balls into mini pizzas.

For crispier pizza, make crust thinner. Mine were about 1/2-inch thick and were a little soft and chewy in the middle. If you want a little extra crunch, add some more cornmeal to the crust.

Once crusts are formed, chill in refrigerator for 30-60 min (depending on how patient you are!) Preheat oven to 450 degrees while crusts chill.

Bake crusts at 450 degrees for about 15-20 min, until crust begins to firm. Remove crusts and add sauce, cheese, and toppings. Place pizzas back in oven and broil for 5-10 minutes until cheese is melted and bubbly. Allow pizzas to cool for a few minutes before eating so crusts can firm up a bit more.

Happy Friday everybody, have a great weekend and eat some pizza!

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