Callie’s Cabin: Superfood Pizza for American Heart Month, V-Day

These days, when I make pizza it takes me back to the super snowstorms and power outages of late 2022 on the South Shore. When the lights went out, I thought, “There goes my fresh food. Goodbye frozen gourmet organic pizza.” No gas stove. Delivery? Nah, nobody on U.S. Highway 50 had electricity.

So, I turned on the LED candles, made a fire, and texted my lifeline to sanity, the love of my life, flooding in Sacramento.  Actually, our relationship was rekindled while our Golden State was going down like in the film “Titanic.” I munched on trail mix and mentioned how I wished I were eating a veggie pizza. After all, it is our favorite food, whether it’s take-out or homemade. 

A day later, when the power was back on, I tossed the warm boxed pizza. Later, at our friendly Safeway I stocked up on vegetables, herbs, and scored a freshly baked baguette. When I built the pizza, I thought of folks who say pizza is junk food. Fattening fare that goes right onto your belly.

Not so. If you use natural sauce, less than more cheese, herbs, and vegetables (immune-boosting and rich in disease-fighting antioxidants) you’ve got a comfort food that’s good for you and your heart.

DIY Baguette Pizza

1 baguette

1 cup marinara sauce, infused with olive oil and garlic

1 cup feta cheese, crumbled or mozzarella, shredded

¾ cup tomatoes, chopped

½ cup black olives

1 teaspoon fresh thyme

½ teaspoon oregano

Parmesan cheese (shavings or from a block and shred it)

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Place baguette, cut in half, on a baking sheet lined with foil. Spread the baguette halves with sauce. Sprinkle cheese over the sauce. Top with tomatoes, olives, and thyme. (You can sauté veggies and thyme in a bit of real butter. A few minutes will do the trick. Or not. Either way works. Also, if you like, add other vegetables, such as spinach.) Sprinkle with oregano. Bake for about 20 minutes until crust is golden brown and cheese is bubbly. Cool and slice. Sprinkle with Parm. Garnish with fresh thyme and black pepper. Serves 6 to 8.

So now that I’ve taught you the art of creating a DIY pizza — and it does make your kitchen small heavenly and herby, it’s time to set up that ordered heating pad for the deck walkway. Next storm, less shoveling, hopefully. And the best part, before the next winter storm I’ll make this pizza so I can savor a slice cold.

The Legend of Love and Wild Thyme

Some folks, according to legend, believed thyme growing in the woods was a symbol that fairies had been there. Young girls would go to the forest where wild thyme grew. The lasses with dreams of romance would wait, eagerly wishing to see dancing good fairies so they could fulfill their desires. (Adapted from The Healing Powers of Herbs & Spices by Cal Orey.)

Cal Orey, M.A. Is an author and journalist. Her books include the Healing Powers series (Vinegar, Olive Oil, Chocolate, Honey, Coffee, Tea, Superfoods, Essential Oils, Herbs and Spices) published by Kensington. (The collection has been featured by the Good Cook Book Club.) Orey’s new book is Soulmates with Paws. For more information, go to her website. and blog.

Pizza on baguette with basil.
Getty Images
Cal Orey and her beloved Australian Shepherd.

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