Minimalist Thinking and Zucchini Pizza Bites

These Zucchini Pizza Bites are made with pepperoni, but just as good served Vegetarian. A great little garden snack!

Zucchini Pizza Bites | Reluctant Entertainer.com

This past weekend we cleaned, purged, worked in the yard, and on home improvements, like wild, crazy people. We’re on a mission to get stuff done around our house. Do you ever feel that way? Maybe it’s the fresh air that we’re experiencing, after a month of heavy, thick forest fire smoke hanging over our valley, where quite honestly, we didn’t feel like doing anything!

Zucchini Pizza Bites | Reluctant Entertainer.com

The more space you have …

Saturday the neighbor girls came over, and we picked zucchini and tomatoes from the garden. I love how they are my little helpers. I let them play as I go through boxes of stuff, paperwork, clean the cupboards, stuff in the attic, closets—our house is not huge, but let me tell you, the more space you have, the more junk you acquire.

Zucchini Pizza Bites | Reluctant Entertainer.com

I’m fine with baskets and baskets of tomatoes and zucchini, but I’m not okay with paperwork, stuff we are no longer using, piles of boxes and too much clothing. Stuff I’ve been hanging on to for years, that hasn’t gotten used.

One cherished piece of paper I came across was a lovely letter, both front and back, from a friend’s mom, and also from one of my mom’s good friends. It was so lovely, I took a picture of both sides with my phone and texted it to her daughter. Beautiful words and writing, I knew my friend would appreciate this little token, as she can barely write now with her MS.

Zucchini Pizza Bites | Reluctant Entertainer.com

Simplifying.

I went through tablecloths. Some I folded nicely and placed into a big bin for my daughter (some of my favorite Williams Sonoma tablecloths that fit a smaller table). I read an article awhile back that upcoming generations are not going to want our “stuff.” That even the most cherished family heirlooms, there will be no need for, that they will actually become a burden when we try to pass them down. People are simplifying, and the burden of these beautiful things will be too much, resulting in a trip to the consignment store.

I’ve talked about this with several friends. Some are true minimalists. They get it, they don’t want it, and they don’t want to burden their kids with great-grandmother’s china (that never ever gets used). Some are so nostalgic and love the heirlooms, and cannot imagine them leaving the family. I warn them … our kids think differently than we do. The friends don’t like my words, and are in denial of this, but I see it coming …

Minimalism.

(By the way, what is a minimalist? To sum it up, minimalism is the intentional promotion of the things we most value, and the removal of everything that distracts us from it:) I am not there at all, but I do love the “idea” of this.

I’m okay with it. I’m not saying that we get rid of everything. Our family piano means the world to us, but it gets played on a regular basis. Someone else may have a piano that’s been in the family for 100+ years and not one person plays it. How long do you hang on to these things? They are things, yes, and they do have a story. But …

I go back and forth.

Stuff, stuff, and more stuff.

Over time, we will not miss all of this stuff that we carry from house to house. As I go through our attic, I see things that I brought with me 10 years ago, which have never been touched, and now I think … what will I do with this? Who will want this? Into the yard sale box it goes.

I am reluctant to give up precious space in our house for more stuff. In fact, I really want less.

I’m ready to change the way I live—with less—and more of what really matters.

Zucchini Pizza Bites | Reluctant Entertainer.com

Zucchini Pizza Bites.

As I took the zucchini from the warm sun and sliced it up to lightly fry in a pan (one side only), I made little pizzas for lunch.

Zucchini Pizza Bites | Reluctant Entertainer.com

Zucchini, pizza sauce, a slice of pepperoni (that I had in the freezer).

Zucchini Pizza Bites | Reluctant Entertainer.com

Topped with a hunk of mozzarella cheese. Broiled to perfection (yes, it looks like marshmallows!)

Zucchini Pizza Bites | Reluctant Entertainer.com

Then freshly-sliced tomato.

Zucchini Pizza Bites | Reluctant Entertainer.com

My husband, son and I sat out on our back patio for a quiet lunch of Zucchini Pizza Bites.

I looked around the yard, the beauty of the clear skies, eating from our garden, being with my favorite people in the entire world — I want more of this, I told myself.

Are you a minimalist, or do you prefer to hang on to your heirlooms, no matter their usefulness?

Zucchini Pizza Bites

Yield: 24 bites

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 20 minures

Delicious with green or yellow zucchini, with or without pepperoni (if you want to make Vegetarian).

Ingredients:

  • 2 medium zucchini, sliced in 1/2-inch slices (24 slices)
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1/4 cup pizza sauce (I buy DeLallo Foods)
  • 24 pieces of pepperoni (optional, if you want to make these vegetarian)
  • 4 ounces fresh mozzarella cheese, cut into 24 pieces
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • Fresh tomatoes
  • Basil

Directions:

  1. Line a rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil; preheat the broiler to high.
  2. Trim the ends from the zucchini, and slice each zucchini crosswise into 24 1/2- to 3/4-inch rounds.
  3. Heat the olive oil in a large nonstick skillet set over medium-high heat. Add the zucchini and cook on one side only, 4-5 minutes, until browned.
  4. Transfer the zucchini to the baking sheet, browned side up. Top each round with 1/2 teaspoon of the pizza sauce, a pepperoni slice, and a piece of mozzarella.
  5. Broil the zucchini until the cheese is melted, 4-5 minutes (watch the pizza bites closely, as broiler intensities vary).
  6. Top with a slice of fresh tomato and chopped basil. Salt if needed. Serve!

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Zucchini Pizza Bites

11 comments

  1. I am 68 and my mother is 94. As we cleaned her house out two years ago, I saw that my girls did not care to have the crystal bowls, tablecloths, furniture etc that she had accumulated and I did not need them because I had my own collection. Mother will still say to me how I got rid of her (whatever). She says she wished she still had it. A lot of her things are in my basement because i did not want to get rid of it while she was still living. I want to de-clutter my home but I am so torn when i think about getting rid of family items. But no one wants them or has space to store them. We are in the process of having a company digitize our family photos, slides and movies. It has been so much fun for our whole family to watch the results on television. It is sad to see the shift in what is consider important.

    • I agree, Carold, the memories of photos, movies, etc. is so important. My dad has done the same thing with family slides. One idea is to save one bowl, one set of linen, etc. for the girls. The heirlooms are still important, but minimalizing those items is what I am going to try to do! I would think that your family members would understand, especially if you ask them first if they want some of the stuff? Thanks so much for sharing!

  2. Sandy, I am so there! Started purging in Feb because I was weary of too much stuff in every room, closet & cabinet! My girls have only taken a few things; their houses are smaller than mine!
    There is a feeling of liberation when things are not so cluttered & over-flowing.
    Thanks for the encouraging posts!

    • Thanks for sharing, Carolyn. I think it’s important to let our kids take what is important to them. And maybe save the things we think they may want later. But it does feel good to get rid of stuff. I’m using the approach … if I haven’t used it in a year (it’s gone!)

  3. I think I’m somewhere in between when it comes to a minimalist way of thinking…yes, less is more, but I think I’d have to do it just right so it didn’t look like a “blank, sparse space”.

    This dish looks yummy

  4. I am a minimalist and actually had a good friend of mine point that out to me. I keep a large basket in the garage and routinely fill it up to take to Goodwill. I truly feel overwhelmed by a house full of “stuff”.

  5. Moving a few times has helped us de-clutter for sure. It’s hard to let go of all of those birthday cards, letters, and cute drawings. Sometimes I just take pictures of them. I love nostalgic things though, they bring back memories!

  6. Minimalism is the best thing that ever happened to my family. Thanks to Joshua Becker and The Minimalists (Joshua Millburn and Ryan Nicodemus) and a few other minimalist bloggers/writers, minimalism has created freedom in our lives from all physical, emotional and mental clutter. It was a journey for sure and not easy but freedom from everything but what you truly love and matters the most (relationships, experiences) is ah-mazing. We will never go back to the way we were. We entertain a lot. I used to have 32 sets of dishes, innumerable glass and flatware, table decor, linens, hundreds of candle holders and sticks, really I could go on and on. Got rid of it all along with most everything else. We entertain the same amount of people now anywhere from 2-60 people. We just do it differently now. And I’m not stressed anymore entertaining (although I have always loved doing it) and it takes far less preparation. Minimalism stripped our entertaining experiences down to the most fundamental element, people. Oddly enough, not one family member or friend or acquaintance has mentioned the lack of table decor or ambiance or visual experience. When everything is stripped down, the meal/event becomes about people only (and food of course, ha!) but mostly people.

    • Thanks for sharing, Annie. I agree, and everyone does have their own style, but you really need the basics + people to have a great time. Oh, and yes, good food. :)

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