Eat on 30 Project – Day 7 Pizza con Pesto e Funghi {Pizza w/Pesto & Mushrooms}

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We’ve reached the final day of our challenge. This week has been full of ups & downs but we made it through! To be completely honest it was truly an emotional rollercoaster. Sometimes my children sulked and were completely unhappy about the whole thing but I think that after all is said and done they learned some valuable lessons this week. I’ve seen them drinking every last drop of what they pour themselves. I’ve seen them put any leftover food in the fridge to go back to later. *Smiling* They were listening this week (well, even if I did have to tell them a few times, ok a lot of times). I would be lying if I said it hasn’t changed me either. I look at food in a whole new light. Today I was at the grocery to pick up a few items & I started to put things into the buggy, I stopped & put some back. I didn’t “need” them, I simply “wanted” them. Big difference.


It was more of a stressful week than I could have imagined. Having to remain on budget is no happy go lucky time. Even so, I’m very glad I participated. I’ve learned so much. I am confident that we will continue to be more aware of what is spent for food & consumed in our house. To not be wasteful. To try and use every bit we can. To that end, I would like to plant a larger garden next spring & start composting so our produce is the best that it can be. I am going to try & make my own breadcrumbs (I can’t tell you how many ends from the loaves I have thrown away. That’s just ridonkulous, I’ll freeze them and toss them into the oven when time comes & then give them a little whizz through the food processor! Voila’ Bread crumbs.) Another small step I plan on doing is to make my own broths whenever possible. Tonight I chucked all the ends from the carrots & onions into a ziplock & put them in the freezer. When I have enough saved up, I’ll throw them in a large stock pot, add some herbs & water & create my own veggie stock. Same goes when I roast a chicken. I’ll save the bones & do the same. I know these might seem like small things but they WILL add up. I’ll be doing my little part to help my family’s budget out.

Tami from Running with Tweezers did an amazing job of organizing this challenge & being a big support system. She cheered all of us on and encouraged us to keep it real. So a big special thank you to her. And also to all of the rest of the Eat on 30 gang for sharing their journeys with us. Hopefully we’ve brought awareness to the issues. That was our goal.

With that said, I’m proud to report that I came in UNDER budget for the week! It was rough with all of our monkey wrenches (biggest of course being budget) but we did it!

Here is a breakdown of our good eats for Day 7!

It was Saturday which meant the entire family was home. We usually cook a big breakfast and today was no different. Fritatta’s are filling and extremely budget friendly. We even splurged and added bacon. Lunch was a filling tuna salad sammie (we saved here on our free bread) with some inexpensive chips & dinner was one of our favorites. Homemade Pizza! I used the Pesto from the night before (again saving tons of money because I used Basil from my herb garden) & the remainder of the mushrooms from other meals.

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Breakfast: Fritatta (8 Eggs, 1 Tomato, 1/2 Onion & Mushrooms, Olive Oil, S/P, Cheese) 1/2 package of Bacon, 2 Coffees, 2 Chocolate Milks

Breakfast Total: $2.80

Lunch: Tuna Sandwiches – 3 can of Tuna (bought on sale for $1.50 total), 2 tbsp Mayo, 2 tbsp relish, bread FREE, 1 can of Pringles

Lunch Total $3.00

Dinner: Pizza con Pesto e’ Funghi {Homemade Pizza with Pesto Sauce & Mushrooms} Recipe Below

Dinner Total: $4.66

Grand Total for Day: $10.46

GRAND TOTAL FOR WEEK: $103.91

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What you’ll need:
Dough: (this dough recipe makes enough for 2 medium pizzas)
4 cups Bread Flour
2 tsp Yeast
2 tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 tsp kosher salt
1 1/4 – 1 1/2 cups of Warm Water
Toppings: (enough for 1 pizza)
3-4 tbsp of Pesto
1- 1 1/2 cups of Grated Mozzarella Cheese
1/2 cup of fresh mushrooms – sliced
s/p

What to do:
In your stand mixer Add the flour, yeast, olive oil & salt. On low mix together with Paddle attachment to incorporate. WHILE mixer is running gradually add in water. After you have added 1 1/4 cups of water IF the dough is still not coming together in a ball then add the remainder of the water. Your dough should be soft & tacky but not sticky. If necessary add more flour or water until this consistency is reached. Add this point, remove paddle attachment & attach dough hook. Knead dough for approx 6-8 minutes. Remove dough from mixing bowl. Add a drizzle of olive oil (enough to coat bottom and sides). Return dough to bowl. Cover with saran wrap & let dough rise for 1 1/2 hours OR until dough has doubled in size.

Once your dough is ready. Place your pizza stone into cold oven & Preheat oven to 500 degrees. Place your dough ball onto a well floured surface. Cut dough in half with a dough scrapper (move one half back to bowl & recover until you are ready to roll it out). Roll your dough out with a rolling pin until it’s fairly thin & is large enough to fit ontop of your pizza stone. At this point, transfer the pizza dough onto a floured pizza peel. Drizzle the top with Olive Oil.

Spread the Pesto onto dough leaving about an 1″ border from sides. Sprinkle your cheese & mushrooms on & add any additional toppings you like. Season pizza with salt & pepper. Gently shake pizza off of pizza peel & onto pizza stone. Bake for approx 6-8 mins or until crust is crisp & cheese is bubbling. Cook time will depend on how thick your crust is and the amount of toppings you use. Carefully remove pizza from oven using peel. Slice & serve.

Buon Appetito!

35 Comments

  1. 1

    ma ti รจ venuta benissimo!!!

  2. 2

    What a great challenge. Congrats on finishing and I think it was SUCH a valuable lesson for your kids. Have to say you never look like you went without and all your meals sounded pretty darn good. Bravo on a job well done!

  3. 3

    Congratulations on a fabulous end to the challenge!!

  4. 4

    Congratulations, Paula! You did really well with the challenge. I do a lot of those shortcuts you mention in your post already, but I still don’t think I could have completed the challenge under budget if I were participating. Way to go!

    I love pesto pizza! Yum!

    • 4.1

      Thanks Christine! Making a few meals out of everything really helped (leftovers especially)

  5. 5

    I love this recipe…Pizza is on my list this week!!!

    Honestly we started yesterday causeof you guys inspiring me to do it!!! IT WAS HARD!…actually I went over my daily budget and fixed a substandard dinner (well to me anyway!) My youngest got sick and we had to go to the DR. which in itself is a great feat cause we are a one car family…after spending 3 hours in the Dr. office and pharmancy it was very tempting to order pizza or go to McD’s…but we only went over budget by 34 cents including the pedialyte I bought my little one so…
    Hopefully today will be better!

    • 5.1

      Hi Juanita! So sorry to hear about your little one! Congratulations on staying on budget though that’s awesome (even with your monkey wrenches) Brava!

  6. 6

    Paula, watching your project’s been interesting! Pizza is our Friday night dinner every week, actually. Homemade, of course. Different toppings, deep dish pie or thin crust, we never get tired of it, because it’s always different. Yours looks yummy!

    • 6.1

      Ciao Alyssa! Nothing like homemade pizza. It couldn’t be any easier. Hardest part is waiting on the dough to rise. & Oh that smell, love the smell of pizza dough!

  7. 7

    it looks great bella! and congrats on completing the challenge!!! x

  8. 8

    great job staying under budget. your food looked delicious all week

    • 8.1

      Thanks so much, I really appreciate that! It was an incredible experience.

  9. 9

    Kudos on completing the challenge Paula!!! Shopping on $30 a week is very very difficult… perhaps I should join you all next time…

    • 9.1

      Thanks Asha! You should! I think Tami is planning on having another one in January so stay tuned : )

  10. 10

    What an accomplishment! Well done!

  11. 11

    Looks wonderful! Love pesto and of course pizza! Great job on that challenge!

    • 11.1

      Thank you Mariana. We adore homemade pizza. So good & the homemade Pesto is a great changeup from the usual tomato sauce base.

  12. 12

    I have to say, I’m with you on the stress levels when eating on a budget. When Peef was on the job market, we were cutting back EVERYWHERE. And, of course, one of the places where we have the most flexibility is in the food budget. WAAAH. I hated having to think about every penny, and sometimes I even started to resent grocery shopping (which I normally love). But, it was great for me in the long run. I’ve actually become more creative with my cooking… and I can differentiate between needs and wants a whole lot better these days. huh. :)

    Awesome pizza, btw.
    that’s the sort of food that never makes you feel like you’re scrimping!

    • 12.1

      Thanks Lo! Yes sadly one of the first things to cut back on is the food budget. & I agree Pizza doesn’t make you feel that way. So many creative toppings & it never gets old ; )

  13. 13

    Sounds good.. In case I miss it, please keep me in the loop.. tracking your posts j.i.c :)

  14. 14

    btw, clarification .. is it $30 per person? or per household?

    • 14.1

      Thanks Asha! Will do! It is $30 per person for the challenge! That includes everything you eat & drink for the entire week per person : )

  15. 15

    I made your pasta fagioli recipe tonight and it was fabulous! Thanks! I can’t wait for left overs for lunch tomorrow :)

    • 15.1

      Thanks Tina! I LOVE Pasta e Fagioli. It’s even better the next day. If it needs a little thinning out just add a little water or stock ; )

  16. 16

    done already? LOL…j/k. I never thought about saving the chicken bones to make broth. I do (when I remember) save the veggies frozen in a ziplock for broth…you just have to be careful that you save what you’d eat…otherwise it can become bitter. Well….my hat’s off to you. I’d love to say I could do it, but I’m not so sure I could. But I could be more conscientious of what is wasted. thank you for sharing your experience

    • 16.1

      Thanks Danielle! I just actually made some vegetable broth tonight! Waiting on it to cool down so I can put it into containers & pop them into the freezer! Lovin’ it!

  17. 17

    Looks. so. fantastic!!! Keep up the great work and inspiration!!

  18. 18
    Hazem /

    Amazing crust. It’s going to be my default pizza crust from now on. Thank you for posting this.

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