You know that desert island question? The one where you mull over which food item you’d enjoy if you’re permitted one edible delight ONLY – and that’s it for the rest of your natural born days?
What’s your answer? Me? Pizza. Pizza. Pizza. Although I worry – if I ask for pizza and that wish is granted, will my lifetime supply come along with proper refrigeration and an oven? Just thinking ahead about food safety. If I’m stranded on an island I don’t need food poisoning on top of everything else. Can you tell I’m not the outdoorsy, camping type? 😊
If I CAN have anything I want, let me be more specific. Ordering! Pepperoni pizza, please, which presents a number of issues. I know it’s not good for me and don’t bother trying to sell me on turkey pepperoni swaps. Don’t mean to offend anyone, but ick. Just ick.
My love of pepperoni pizza is ancestral, genetic. My dad knew I hated eggs so he’d sneak a little side dish of pepperoni my way so I could mix it into the scramble. You know, to zhuzh up those bland (invariably runny) huevos. Even so, I know my favorite cured meat is a guilty pleasure – despite the conjuring of pleasant ‘pepperoni with pops’ memories.
My discovery? My lifelong love of pepperoni is really about the spice and seasonings and I can recreate that yummy taste without the nasty health implications (nitrites, fat, salt, preservatives) and the whole “how the sausage is made” imagery that I struggle with.
This pic from my kitchen this morning shows simple veggies – almost a fridge clean out – of yellow onions, garlic, tomatoes, and spinach. Mixed in – a little salt, Italian seasoning, red pepper flakes and olive oil.
Et Voila! I bring you pepperoni flavoring in a veggie sauté that makes a delicioso pizza topping. Or bruschetta topping…or flatbread topping…or a pasta mix-in. Heck, I ate it on some leftover crackers just a bit ago. Don’t judge.
This blend has become my new favorite utility player in the kitchen because it’s the best-ever fresh topping to a boring frozen cheese pizza. It’ll take whatever you’ve got — a few mushrooms if you have those on hand. Peppers? Sure. I’ve even done this with finely shredded carrots and while I know that sounds ridiculous, you don’t notice them from a taste point of view but they do add a little crunch and color. What’s wrong with that?
That’s my story and I’m sticking to it. I still want pizza as my desert island food, but if that’s not possible (with or without pepperoni) I’ll run through my other favorite foods in the “P” category: potatoes, peanut butter, pineapple. What about you?