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This week… we’re getting our hands dirty.

One of the things I want to talk about… is exploration. As a newbie clean eater, everything will feel like exploration, adventure, and chance at first. How willing are you to try? To screw up? To make it fun, no matter how good – or awful – it gets?

Arugula, goat cheese, tomato pizza with a rosemary and flax seed crust.

Arugula, goat cheese, tomato pizza with a rosemary and flax seed crust.

Let’s use pizza as an example.

When I first started making pizzas in my house, I looked for the most complicated pizza sauce recipe I could find. It had every single herb or spice in the history of mankind in it. It wasn’t complex, it was just freaking complicated! Damn – does pizza sauce have to include everything in the cabinet?

And my dough – ohhh, my dough – I remember when I found my first dough recipe. It was from Dianne from Dianne’s Dishes, and she was super gracious with sharing her insight with me as far as breaking down the dish because, hell, I didn’t know what I was doing. And, after I learned…whew, I was making pizza left and right… as evidenced by the pizza gallery (that sorely needs updating.)

And, something you learn when you explore things like heirloom veggies, raw eating and just cooking in general, you learn to appreciate the actual flavors of ingredients as they are, without having to cook them down to a thick reduction, or without having to roast them into oblivion. You get creative. You learn to play with things. And, the more you play, the more you appreciate both the complexities of well-put together flavors as well as the simplicity of a well-grown veggie.

And I value those simple parts the most, because it means it’s easier on my wallet.

I’ve simplified my recipe – no longer do I put sugar in my dough, nor do I need half my spice cabinet in my pizza sauce for it to be delicious – in ways that make homemade pizza making easier and more accessible for everyone. Besides, do I really need marjoram in pizza sauce? Jeez.

So, this week, we’re going to explore making pizza. You’ll need the following things:

flour*

yeast

sea salt, or kosher salt

two 28oz containers of whole peeled tomatoes

fresh raw mozzarella (comes in a ball, is not pre-shredded)

fresh basil

…and that’s at a bare minimum. *If you’re gluten-free, we’ll explore that later on (I like to play with different kinds of flours, too.)

Don’t ever let ’em tell you clean eating doesn’t include pizza… or fun. You’re getting both this week.

Who’s still hangin’ in there? Check in!