no fast food fridays

Last week a lone tweet went out, and it filled me with excitement. Girl-school giddiness in fact. Rob Smart, an amazing Pro Food advocate wondered aloud if people would embrace a No Fast Food Friday pledge the same way millions have thrown support, one meal at a time, behind the Meatless Monday movement. The idea being small changes by many people can have a big impact on the planet and how our food is produced.

Fast food is not a regular part of my family’s eating routines. I often pack the Mr.’s lunch so he can enjoy homecooking in the midst of insanity during the workday. Our mainstay Friday meals have been homemade pizza for years.

Yet, I got exactly the point Rob was making.

Growing up convenience was king, and if it was a good pay week for my dad, that meant a treat like Burger King come Friday night. Yes, me, the modern-day Martha Stewart, has put away a few Whoppers in her lifetime—just pickles and ketchup for me, please. After a long week of work for my father, and countless cleaning of dishes and rearing two children for my mother, Friday was a day to chill, and the less thought about cooking, the better I suppose was the sentiment.

I’m betting we weren’t alone. In fact, I’m sure the same holds true for many families today.

So why do I go to the effort to make pizza every Friday instead of just dialing the local pizza joint? My love for cooking may seem obvious, but the other motivating factor that drives me to cook most every meal, seven days a week is quality control and cost.

I live across the street from one of the most written about pizza places in Brooklyn. The line starts forming at 5:30, rain or shine, and Lucali’s doesn’t even open until 6:00pm. The pies are pretty excellent too, but for the price of admission—$24 a pie, without toppings, I can make three of them just a few doors down in my very own kitchen. The quality of ingredients in my homemade pizza are comparable, if not better too—local, organic flour, homemade sauce with organic tomatoes from Fishkill Farms, and hand-formed mozzarella from the local Italian market, Caputo’s.

The dough comes together in a snap, then rises all day in the fridge while I go about my work. I make a big pot of sauce at the start of each week, stretching the leftovers through to Friday with enough left for making the pizza.

And there’s the kids. They’d eat pizza everyday if I let them. While I’ll admit I’m no Kim in the kitchen, with them clinging and flinging dough, they love to help out too, scattering the cheese on top. Sometimes they set up chairs in front of the stove, and request I turn on the oven light so they can watch the Pizza Network.

While a few of us figure out how we can spread the word about No Fast Food Fridays, I figured there’s no time like the present to plant the seedlings. Here are some pizza recipes to get you excited about what to cook tomorrow.

Crisp Thin Crust Pizza — Simple Scratch Cooking

Spicy Pepperoni Pizza with Caramelized Onions — Two Peas and Their Pod

Spinach, Mushroom & Feta Whole Wheat Pizza — Recipe Girl

Chanterelle Mushroom & Kale Pizza — Savory Sweet Life

Breakfast Pizza — Smitten Kitchen

Broccoli Rabe, Ricotta & Mozzarella Pizza — In Jennie’s Kitchen

Pizza Three Ways — Healthy Green Kitchen

Naan Pizza — eat.live.travel.write

Fig-Prosciutto Pizza with Arugula —The Pioneer Woman

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What’s New at In Jennie’s Kitchen: French Onion Tart

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10 Responses to “no fast food fridays”

  1. I love this concept! I’ve finally learned how to make a good pizza at home and I haven’t been ordering out since. Friday night is a great night for pizza. It’s actually faster to bake your own than to call for delivery, plus we use the money we save to enjoy a good bottle of wine.

  2. Great idea – as my new friend Rod said, change comes from the bottom up, not from the top down. If we want to change our food culture, we have to do it ourselves – with our kids in the kitchen. And teach each other how to eat better – it’s about our health and the planet too!

  3. Lovely! I make pizza frequently too, but don’t have it scheduled into my week as tightly as you do. Another way to look forward to Fridays. . .

    Here’s a pizza I like to make in Fall/Winter:

    http://sagesprout.blogspot.com/2010/04/butternut-squash-and-goat-cheese-pizza.html

  4. Love homemade pizza. I often forget how easy it is to make myself. I’m going to have to visit the pizza place across from you next time I’m in NY! Thanks for the include on the link love 🙂

  5. Count me in, Jennie!

    Here’s some winter pizza inspiration when fresh tomatoes & basil can’t be had:

    http://www.simplebites.net/winter-pizza-inspiration-recipe-caramelized-onions/

    ~ $24/pie? Really?

  6. I absolutely love the idea of No Fast Food Fridays! I need to work out how to make successful pizza dough (ahem, hence my naan pizza bases!) for myself 😉 This term for Les Petits Chefs, I am having guest chefs come in to show the boys some dishes and I know that pizza is on the list. They will be thrilled to make their own and I will be thrilled to see them enjoy it more than store bought. Michelle is right – it starts with us and kids in the kitchen! An awesome post Jennie!

  7. I never eat fast food anyway, but love the idea. Fast food and my waistline just don’t go well together! And who can beat a really good homemade pizza? Now I want pizza.

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