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Pizza has a special place in our family. My husband and I met while I was managing a pizza restaurant, you may say it was love at first slice. In fact, I’m pretty sure that I would win wife-of-the-year if I greeted my husband each night with a slice of pizza, but as a mom and a dietitian I strive for balance. In case you missed my previous post on picky eating I have to juggle being a healthy-eating dietitian and satisfy my picky eating crew. Pizza comes to the rescue probably more nights than I would like to admit.
I would love to say that I serve my family a four course dinner every night, but I would much rather spend my evenings with my family at the pool. So pizza tends to be the perfect meal to stop and eat and head right back to playing. But I can’t completely remove my dietitian hat just because it’s summer. So while, pizza is convenient I need to serve it up with a healthy side. You have probably already jumped to the conclusion that a “healthy” pizza side has to involve a salad, but that won’t fly in my house. I do have a few criteria that my sides have to meet.
- It has to resemble something healthy
- It has to be a hit with my picky eaters
- it has to be prepped in less than 20 minutes
- preferably cooked along side my main entree
Also, if I am spending time preparing a side I don’t want to put in extra effort for preparing a main entree too, so usually I pick one or the other that requires more prep. This leads me to venture down the frozen foods aisle at my local Walmart and grab my Tony’s® Pizzeria Style Cheese Pizza because the prep is none so I can focus my energies on making an amazing side.
One of the things I love about Tony’s is that there are ZERO dishes. This pizza slides right out of the box into the oven and then right onto your plate.
As a fun side note for my KC area readers, Tony’s started in Salina Kansas in 1960. I love to support all things local and how cool is it that Tony’s company mission is to keep families together through the busy summer months by having a quick and easy dinner. In an effort to continue to serve the local community Tony’s is offering a sweepstakes that the grand prize winner will receive up to $10,000 in donations to your child’s team or athletic department. The best part is that the winner will be selected from those residing in Kansas or Missouri!
Ok so back to the side, if I’m not dishing up a salad, how can I serve up something healthy? In my family our idea of pizza night is pizza and breadsticks. But remember they can’t be just any breadsticks, because of the whole “healthy” thing.
So I created these picky eater approved breadsticks with chickpeas. That’s right, breadsticks with those little legumes that make amazing hummus. Research has shown that adding 1 1/2 cups of legumes to your diet per day reduces inflammation in your body. Why not eat your legumes in a variety of forms, say in the form of a breadstick, to add extra nutrition to you and your picky eater’s diet and fight off inflammation too? Don’t you dare call them “beansticks” because my picky eaters don’t need to know!