If you want a quick pizza, then there are many alternatives to a standard pizza base. Yes, pizza bases are lovely, but sometimes all you want is a snack meal, so it’s perfectly normal to use other pizza bases. One popular base is to use a ciabatta bread as your pizza base. And, handily, I’m trying to eat my way through the freezer at the moment and it happened to have a frozen ciabatta bread in it!
While it’s easy to freeze ciabatta bread, it does take up unnecessary space in a freezer and it’s good to have a fast turnaround of items in the freezer, rather than just having a freezer of food you never seem to eat. I have a small freezer, which means that I can’t stockpile a vast selection of products, I have to be a little careful about what I do freeze. The freezer’s large enough to hold about five loaves of bread, which isn’t a great deal at all. I try to eat what I’ve bought, rather than making/freezing too much as it just becomes a liability once it’s frozen!
Shopping and cooking entirely for one is completely different to how families shop and cook, purely because of the constraints on space and speed of using things up! I have a zero waste policy in the house: if I buy it, I HAVE to eat it, I have to eat it all, zero food waste!
This is what I bought the mini oven for! To cook, to heat, to reheat, small amounts of food, whether they’re main meals or snacks – although, for me, a snack IS a main meal as I tend to eat “little and often”.
- 1 frozen ciabatta bread
- 50 grams cheese, grated or sliced
- 4 cherry tomatoes or one regular tomato, sliced
- 1½ teaspoons dried onions
I cooked this in my mini oven, which makes perfect sense as it’s just something small I’m making. The ciabatta packet said that it needed to be defrosted before using, but I didn’t bother with that. The packet also said to pre-heat the oven to 200°C and it’d take a further 10 minutes to cook.
I didn’t defrost the ciabatta, I didn’t pre-heat the oven! Is this extreme food cheats? How cavalier of me.
- Slice the ciabatta bread in half and place the two halves on a baking dish, or some foil
- Sprinkle the dried onions across the inside of the ciabatta bread.
- Lay the sliced tomatoes on the ciabatta
- Slice/grate the cheese onto the ciabatta bread
- I used the following mini oven settings: 190°C, bottom shelf, just the top (grill) element on
- Cook for 12 minutes.
After 12 minutes it’s just a question of taste – how dark/brown you wanted your ciabatta pizza topping to be; I’m in the camp of liking food to not be burnt, so I tend to whip it out of the oven a bit sooner than others might.
The dried onions really gave a great extra taste to this – they rehydrate really quickly, so are definitely cooked after this amount of time. Cooked and unnoticeable except for the taste. I am in love with my tub of dried onions, that I use as a taste enhancer in a lot of dishes.
Cost to Make:
The ciabatta bread I picked up at Sainsburys when it was reduced, it was the Sainsbury’s Half Ciabatta, Taste the Difference x2 which (full price) would’ve been £1.80, but I got this for £0.40. I’d certainly not pay full price, I’d rather go without. So the base was £0.20.
For the toppings, 1/5th of a 250 gram pack of tomatoes at Lidl on their Pick of the Week Deal, so they were about £0.06. The dried onions were a huge bag costing under £1 some months ago, probably £0.01 for the onions. 50 grams of cheap cheddar cheese at, say, £4.50/Kg was £0.23. So this snack meal’s inexpensive at a total cost of about £0.50. So that makes it into my “50p Dinners” category. As a snack I could’ve had just one piece.
Don’t look! This is about 400 calories just for those itsy bitsy bases!