Pizza – A New Twist to July 4th Celebration

July 4th celebration is just around the corner. Have you decided on a menu that does not include hamburgers and hot dogs? If not, try something different to prepare at home. Try making pizza at home, it is easier than you think. This is called thinking outside the box and turn on your oven instead. Your pizza will taste great and is unequaled in taste and limited only by your imagination and how you plan to make it fast, easy or with a complexity of toppings.

Pizza doesn’t have to begin and end with the standard tomato sauce base followed by the usual toppings. Try using olive oil, pesto, or salsa instead of pizza sauce. Try different cheeses, and then personalize your pizza with garden fresh toppings such as basil, oregano, vegetables, and fruits. Any way you make it, it will still be pizza.

The recipe of this pizza is traditional in style but with a slight twist, using a tomato based sauce as the base and broccoli and summer squash are unconventional, but tasty, toppings. Use whatever summer squash you have handy, whether it is zucchini, straight-neck, or patty-pan style.

                           Recipe – Broccoli and Summer Squash Pizza


  • 1 (10 ounce) prepared pizza dough or crust
  • 1-1/2 cups prepared marinara or spaghetti sauce
  • 3 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1/2 cup ricotta cheese
  • 1 summer squash, sliced 1/8″ thick (about 1 cup)
  • 1/2 cup diced red onion
  • 1 tablespoon snipped fresh rosemary or basil
  • 1 to 1-1/2 cups chopped broccoli florets (in 1/2″ pieces)
  • 8 ounces chicken or turkey Italian style sausage, cooked and crumbled or chopped.


  • Preheat oven to 475 degrees F.
  1. Combine spaghetti or marinara sauce with tomato paste.
  2. Spread sauce evenly over crust, leaving a 1/2″ border.
  3. Sprinkle mozzarella cheese and distribute small dollops of ricotta cheese evenly over pizza.
  4. Arrange the summer squash slices as you would pepperoni. Sprinkle red onion, and rosemary or basil over summer squash. Topped with chopped broccoli and cooked sausage.
  5. Bake for 15-18 minutes or until crust is golden brown and cheese is bubbly.

Hmm- Enjoy!  Sprinkle red pepper flakes on top if that meets your taste buds’ fancy.

Safe Food Handling: Hot and Cold Recipes

by Hope Anderson, RD, LDN on 06/30/11


Roasted Lemon Chicken

1 whole 3-pound chicken, rinsed inside and out and all visible fat removed

1/4 cup fat-free chicken stock

1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

1 tablespoon dried oregano, crushed

1 teaspoon grated lemon zest

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper


  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees (or prep your grill).
  2. Place the chicken on a rack in roasting pan. Combine the stock and lemon juice and pour over the chicken. Combine the oregano, lemon zest, salt, and pepper and spread the chicken with the mixture. Cover tightly with aluminum foil and bake in the preheated oven for 1 hour. Uncover and bake an additional 25 minutes, or until the chicken is golden brown and the juices run clear when pierced in the thick part of the leg. Remove the skin before serving.



Cold Pea Salad


2 cups fresh or frozen green peas

1/3 cup light sour cream

1/3 cup non-fat plain yogurt

3/4 cup chopped scallions

1/4 teaspoon seasoned salt


  1. If using fresh peas, steam them until tender, but still firm. Remove from the heat and place the steamer basket under cold water to stop the cooking and preserve the color. If using frozen peas, which have already been slightly cooked, it is only necessary to thaw them.
  2. Combine the sour cream, yogurt, scallions, and salt and mix well. Add the peas and gently fold them in until completely combined.
  3. Cover tightly and refrigerate until cold before serving.



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