Semi-homemade - Veggie pizza on TJ's Garlic Herb Dough and soup

 Soup and Pizza. YUM!
I just love pizza - the combination of sauce and cheese on warm bread, topped with a salad makes my taste buds and tummy, incredibly happy. 

What I love even more than just eating pizza is making it. Don't get me wrong, I just LOVE trying local brick oven pizza and it something that's on my Ironman race week to-do list for I just love pizza two nights before my race. It's a great comfort food that makes me yum and smile. 

Karel and I made a shop at Trader Joe's here in Greenville SC a few days ago and we came across a variety of pizza dough's. There was no hesitation to throw the garlic and herb dough into our cart for we never have specific days when we are allowed certain foods. Wednesday (yesterday) just happened to be a great day to enjoy semi-homemade pizza after our evening interval hilly ride (eventually I will omit the word hilly when I talk about our rides because no ride that we do is without a few thousand feet of climbing). 

Before our 2 hour ride, we removed the dough from the 'fridge so that it would be room temperature to roll when we returned home. 
To save some time for meal prep if you are ever making your own pizza w/ store-bought dough, chop your toppings ahead of time. This saves some time so that you have a salad bar of options to top your individual pizza. 

Karel and I split the dough so that we could each have our own personal pizza and we had a little left over for bread sticks. 

So sweet. Karel made me a heart out of the dough. 
Don't cut any corners when it comes to pizza sauce. Choose plain pizza sauce and add your own fresh basil (chopped) mixed in the sauce for a really great tasting sauce. 

For our toppings, I used mushrooms, sweet green pepper, asparagus, garlic and onions.
Karel added corn on his pizza. 

For our proteins, I had tempeh for my pizza (far back picture) and Karel had seasoned sausage that he got from TJ's.

After we dressed our pizza with sauce, cheese, toppings and protein, the 400 degree oven was ready for some pizza cooking!

What a delicious meal that was ready in less time than if we drove to a pizza place, waited to get a table, sat down and ordered pizza at a restaurant and then have it served or had it delivered to your house. We reserve those times for traveling when we get to enjoy the full pizza experience (smells and all!).  From start to finish, it took around 40 minutes for us to prep our meal and then cook it. 

As we prepped our pizza, I also prepared some soup using Trader Joe's low sodium vegetable broth

Because I love leftovers, I used the entire container (which was only 4 servings) and then added my own ingredients:
chopped asparagus
chopped mushrooms
chopped garlic
cooked lentils (leftovers)
chopped celery

I brought the soup to a boil and then covered (with lid tilted) to low heat for 20 minutes or until vegetables were soft. I served with a bread stick from our dough. 

These two dishes are super easy and you can purchase the ingredients at almost any grocery store (and veggies from the farmers market). 
Have fun with your meals - dress them up with a variety of ingredients to maximize the nutrition density of your meals.

And don't forget to yum!