Sometimes all you want for lunch is pizza. But especially on those days, if you are restricted to eating in a cafeteria or are on some sort of campus, it is either not on the menu or the sight of their greasy pizzas are far from appetizing.
If you think about it, pizza is pretty simple to make. Vegetables? Tortillas or flatbread? Cheese? These staple ingredients in most pizzas are often found around salad bars or a deli section within a standard cafeteria. The only tricky part may be finding that perfect coal oven to bake it with…
While most school or campus dining halls do not offer this luxury, most places have a panini press nearby the deli area, which if you think about it, serves just the purpose you need to bake your makeshift pizza. Even if the cafeteria you are in is so deprived, a waffle iron could even work (if you’re feeling especially crafty that day).
For my pizzas, I first pick out either a flatbread pita pocket and separate it to be flat, or I just grab a standard corn tortilla. I then add a dash of olive oil to the tortilla to help melt the cheese. I sprinkle shredded cheddar and mozzarella cheese on top of the oiled flatbread and start to gather vegetables from the salad bar. I choose anything from locally grown tomato slices to sliced green peppers, mushrooms, onions, and artichokes. I toss these into a bowl with olive oil, salt, and pepper to pull out the various flavors.
Here’s my favorite trick. I throw the vegetables onto the panini grill part before I add them to the tortilla. This way they are not raw going onto the tortilla and have time to get those makeshift “grill marks.” After they cook I put all the ingredients together on the tortilla and place my pizza on the panini press, leaving the top open in order to prevent a huge mess.
And it’s that simple! This version of a pizza is a much healthier option with fresh vegetables, a low carb base, and way less grease! Plus, it allows you to choose your favorite ingredients and make creative combinations.
If you are cooking from home, the Hamilton Beach 25460 Panini Press (pictured) is a great tool to use for this. Some of my favorite recipes for flatbread pizza are Carrie Underwood’s No Guilt Veggie Pizza, Wallflower Kitchen’s Vegan Tortilla Pizza, and Cookie+Kate’s Greek Flatbread.