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Thursday, September 2, 2010

Windy City Winnipeg Pie

A while ago I thought it might be a good idea to start eating "clean". I know, I'm a total follower, and not only that, I'm clearly behind on the movement. I bought a couple of magazines, but the meals were so much work! And so, I don't know, healthy? Which I understand is the point of clean eating, but I couldn't commit.


The other day my husband starts reading one of my old Clean Eating magazines and we start talking about meal planning (my nemesis). I decide to make a plan for the week's meals using some CE recipes. There on page 39 of the March/April 2010 issue was my new love. Windy City Pie.

It's not well known, but Winnipeg used to be known as the Chicago of the North. It was a major trading city before everything moved east. And it's windy as hell here in the winter. So while the Windy City in this recipe is supposed to be Chicago, I'm going to go ahead and swap in Winnipeg since that's where I live.

This is deep dish cheesy goodness in its most perfect form. I have rarely had pizza this thick and good, but not too gooey, crusty but not glued to the pan.

Of course I adapted the Windy City recipe, but the pizza dough was perfect as is.

CE's Whole Wheat Pizza Dough


1 tbsp. honey
1 c. lukewarm water, divided
2.5 tsp active dry yeast (1 pkg)
2 1/2 c. whole wheat flour, divided
4 tsp. vital wheat gluten
1 tsp. salt
3 tbsp. olive oil, divided


In a large bowl mix the honey and 1/3 c. water. Add yeast and allow to sit until foamy. (If after 10 minutes your mixture isn't foamy you've got dud yeast. Order takeout, then buy some new yeast.)

Mix 2 c. flour, the vital wheat gluten and the salt. Once the yeast is foamy, add the remaining water and 2 tbsp. of oil. Stir in the flour mixture until just combined. You'll have a very wet dough. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and let rise for an hour at room temperature. I put mine on top of the fridge since it's a bit warmer up there.

Turn out dough onto a floured surface and, adding flour if needed, knead for about 1 minute until smooth and no longer sticky. Place ball in bowl again, cover tightly and let rise another 30 minutes.

Transfer the dough back to your floured surface and knead for about 30 seconds. Divide into two balls using a sharp knife. Each ball is enough for one 12-14 inch pizza.

*To store the extra dough you can keep it tightly wrapped in the fridge for 24 hours, or freeze it (tightly wrapped) for up to a month.

Windah-Citah Winnipeg Pie


8 oz. (about half a package) turkey sausage (I used smoked sausage)
2 tbsp. olive oil, divided
1 c. button mushrooms, sliced
1/2 medium zucchini, sliced
2 tbsp. cornmeal
8 oz. mozzarella cheese
4 tbsp. salsa or tomato sauce


Preheat your oven to 425F.

Heat 1 tbsp. oil over medium high heat. Add mushrooms and zucchini and sauté until tender. Mushrooms will be slightly browned and zucchini skin should be bright green. Add salt and pepper to taste, then remove to a bowl to cool.

If you have turkey sausage that needs to be cooked, do so now. Remove casing, slice it thinly, then sauté.

I used a 10 inch stainless steel skillet for all prep and to cook my pizza. You could call this a one dish dinner too! Coat your skillet (or pan, whatever you're using for your pizza, but it should have high sides) with oil, then sprinkle with cornmeal.

Roll out your dough to about 12 inches around, then transfer to your skillet. Make sure you keep a deep edge around, about an inch and a half. Sprinkle about 1/3 of your cheese on the bottom, then layer your sausage and veggies. Spoon on your tomato sauce. I used thick salsa that I canned last year since it need to be used. Finally, layer on the rest of your cheese, making sure to get some on the crust too.

Place your skillet in the oven and bake for 30-35 minutes, depending on how crispy you like your crust. Remove from oven and let it sit for 5 minutes before slicing to allow filling to set.

(For the clean eaters, a serving is supposed to be 1/12 of the pizza. Good luck with that.)

This really only feeds two people. I know you're supposed to have side dishes and stuff, but really, it has veggies, meat, cheese and grains. It's a meal onto itself. Make two or even three if you have a family to feed.

I was so excited to eat this last night that I forgot to take a photo, but don't worry! I'll take a photo when I make it again tonight. Yes. It's that good.

ETA - I made this again tonight and it was delish again even though I used the original oven setting of 450F instead of the 425F that I used last night. The crust was a bit more browned than I'd like but really tasty. Tonight I used mushrooms and green peppers for the filling and I used a bit of Parmesan cheese along with the recommended amount of mozzarella.

If you have a 12-14 inch stainless steel skillet, USE IT! The pizza comes out like a dream.

I took plenty of photos tonight, but the laptop doesn't have a card reader, so they'll only be up tomorrow (Sept. 3). Sorry about that!

ETA #2 - Photos darling!

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