National Pizza Day on February 9th! [Peek Into Kelly’s Kitchen]
I checked a couple of things off my bucket list last week. One was to visit New York City and to attend a Broadway production. I saw Kinky Boots. The other was to eat a slice of New York style pizza—the Neapolitan kind you have to fold over to eat properly. I did it. Twice. Yes, I thoroughly enjoyed two slices of the best pizza I’ve had in a long time. Maybe it was the fact that I was in New York City that made it so delicious. Maybe it was the sassy and hilarious personality of the little Italian woman who waited on us. Maybe it was the fact that we’d walked over 5 miles before noon and I was really, really hungry. In any case, the pizza was fantastic!
I’m a bit of a pizza connoisseur. I remember making it with my babysitter as a child and being totally grossed out that she would put pineapple on her pizza. For the record, I now like a good Hawaiian pizza pie. In fact, I like most pizza pies. Whether it’s a chewy New York thin crust, a deep-dish Chicago style, or anything in between, pizza is a perennial favorite at the Radi house. Some of you may remember one of my early BLEND Peek Into Kelly’s Kitchen blogs where we made crustless grilled pizza foil dinners or how we used naan bread as a quick and easy pizza crust.
Did you know pizza even has its own day? Yes, it’s a thing. National Pizza Day is observed annually on February 9th. To honor this much-loved dish, here are some interesting facts about pizza:
- Pepperoni is the most popular pizza topping. It’s on 36% of all pies ordered.
- Over 3 billion pizzas are sold in the USA each year. Add an additional 1 billion for frozen pizza purchases.
- 17% of all restaurants in the United States are pizzerias.
- Antica Pizzeria, the first Pizzeria, opened in Naples, Italy, in 1738.
- Gennaro Lombardi, the first Pizzeria in the United States, opened in 1895 in New York City.
- Americans consume on average 23 pounds of pizza per person each year.
Are you worried about the impact of pizza on your health? Frozen pizza is a convenient, once in a while treat, and is the perfect opportunity to use your NuVal knowledge! Of course, not all frozen pizzas are created equally. Just look at the NuVal scores on the shelf tags to select the more nutritious pizza option. The higher the NuVal score, the better the overall nutrition. It’s so easy! Just TRADE UP for a better pizza selection.
Let’s Have a Pizza Party!
Carve out some family time and celebrate National Pizza Day with a family pizza party. Instead of grabbing a frozen pizza, get the kids involved in production. You can use a pre-made naan crust or make your own. Use your NuVal knowledge to select a sauce and to gather a selection of toppings. Boost nutrition by preparing a bunch of colorful veggies. Your kids can help dice up some bright red or yellow bell peppers. They can help chop up some mushrooms, spinach, onions and tomatoes. Then let the fun begin! Kids are more likely to try new foods when they’ve helped in preparations. Encourage creativity. Make pizza faces with red pepper lips and black olive eyes. Or see who can use the largest number of different veggies on their pie. Not only are you introducing new foods and teaching kitchen skills, you’re making happy family memories. Remember, food is fun!
Here’s a fantastic 5-minute French-inspired pizza crust recipe from my friend Catherine Katz (wife of NuVal founder David Katz). Video used with permission from Catherine Katz/Cuisinicity.
This is a guest blog written by Kelly Radi.
Kelly is a former BLEND employee and current BLEND advocate who is passionate about food and nutrition. Professionally, she is a public speaker, freelance writer and author of Out to Sea: A Parents’ Survival Guide to the Freshman Voyage. Kelly lives in Sartell where she is often spotted at Coborn’s scouring the shelves in search of the best NuVal scores. You can reach Kelly at firstname.lastname@example.org.