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Press release from Business Wire

Kick Off the New Year Right with a Flavorful Slice of America's Favorite

<p class='bwalignc'> <i>Homemade pizzas loaded with wholesome ingredients like Muir Glen</i><sup><i>®</i></sup><i> Organic tomatoes offer a delicious way to uphold New Year's resolutions</i> </p>

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Kick Off the New Year Right with a Flavorful Slice of America's Favorite09:00 EST Tuesday, January 10, 2012 MINNEAPOLIS (Business Wire) -- Pizza is one of the most beloved foods in the United States, with 93 percent of Americans eating at least one pizza per month.* And considering three of the top 10 weeks of pizza consumption occur in January,* now is the perfect time to kick off the New Year with healthified homemade pizzas, prepared and enjoyed at home with family and friends. Healthified Homemade Pizza (Photo: Muir Glen Organic) For variety, put a twist on your favorite pizza and make it “pizza chic” with trendy toppings. Gourmet pizzas continue to rise in popularity, with fresh ingredients such as spinach, arugula, sprouts, eggplant and artisan cheeses. Topping pizzas with game meats such as venison and duck is also on-trend.* When making this Mediterranean-inspired treat, choose wholesome toppings and sauces packed with nutritious ingredients, such as olive oil, tomatoes and other vegetables. And pizza's no-rules recipes lend themselves to creativity and casual entertaining—a favorite weekend activity. Finding That Perfect Ingredient for That Perfect Sauce Great pizzas begin with a delicious sauce. However, finding flavorful fresh fruits and veggies in winter can be a challenge. In many areas, selection is limited and produce must travel further, reducing freshness. Muir Glen Organic nutritious canned tomatoes are a delicious way to enjoy the bounty of summer harvest without sacrificing taste. From smoky fire-roasted tomatoes to zesty pizza sauces, Muir Glen uses tomatoes harvested at the peak of ripeness and canned within eight hours—locking in that true tomato taste to enjoy year-round. They are a go-to staple for that perfect sauce for any homemade pizza. What's Your Pizza Style? Host a Pizza Party with a Twist Whether it's a cozy family dinner or a festive get-together to watch sports with friends, pizza perks up any menu and encourages experimentation in the kitchen. For your next get-together, prepare your favorite pizza dough or use store-bought crusts and assign each guest to bring a topping that represents their favorite pizza style or regional taste and preferences. Are they “zesty barbeque” or “ragin' Cajun?” Give some criteria to select a healthy topping and provide a few recipes for inspiration. Serve a variety of beverages to pair with the different recipes. For starters, try these healthified recipes, featuring wholesome ingredients like Muir Glen tomatoes and pizza sauce, olive oil, whole grains and plenty of veggies. Here's a great tip for even tastier pizza: preheat a pizza stone in the oven while guests chop and assemble ingredients. The stone's uniform heat will reduce cooking time and create perfect, crisp crust worthy of your favorite pizza restaurant. Healthified Homemade Pizza: A delicious pizza crust recipe should be a staple of every home cooks' repertoire. This no-rise version calls for five simple ingredients: flour, baking powder, salt, fat-free (skim) milk and olive oil. Top with a flavorful mix of Muir Glen diced tomatoes, chopped baby spinach leaves, yellow or green bell pepper strips, a little oregano, garlic powder and black pepper. For extra fresh flavor and color, add a handful of fresh baby spinach leaves just before serving. Grilled Sausage and Pepper Pizza: Who says grilling is just for summer? Dress up a refrigerated pizza crust with olive oil place directly on grill rack, grilling both sides. Remove from grill and then top with Muir Glen pizza sauce, grilled peppers, reduced-fat Italian cheese and lean Italian turkey sausage and oregano. Place back on rack and grill until crust is golden brown and cheese is melted. Serve with a tossed Italian salad for a perfect pairing. Mediterranean Beef Pita Pizzas: Instead of the traditional pizza crust, top toasted pita bread halves with a meat mixture of cooked beef or lamb, onions, garlic, Muir Glen tomato sauce and rosemary and sprinkle with shredded mozzarella cheese and bake until melted. Then top with the Mediterranean flavors of fresh spinach, tomatoes, feta cheese and olives just before serving. These make a perfect meal that can be individualized. Pizzas That Take Shape, Game Day Ideas Let pizza-inspired flavors and a few secret ingredients transform classic dishes into the unexpected with crowd-pleasing savory, hearty meals with a slightly healthy twist. Serve these with a variety of side dishes such as roasted seasonal veggies and baked sweet potatoes. Mini Pizza Meat Loaves: This recipe adds a cup of bran cereal shreds for a nutritious twist on the classic comfort food. Start by mixing crushed cereal, Muir Glen pizza sauce and fat-free (skim) milk. Add chopped pepperoni, egg, salt, oregano and ground beef. Spread in baking pan, cut to form 8 mini-loaves, top with additional pizza sauce and bake until no longer pink. Sprinkle with remaining pepperoni and cheese and bake until melted Bake these ahead of time when serving a large group, and the leftovers make excellent weekday lunches. Cheesy Pizza Burgers: These delicious and nutritious burgers offer another excuse to fire up the grill. Mix ground turkey breast with quick-cooking rolled oats, egg product, oregano, salt and pepper. Grill until no longer pink, top with cheese, and continue grilling until the cheese melts. Place burgers on toasted buns, top with warm Muir Glen pasta sauce and a pinch of oregano. Don't let the winter festivities postpone your healthier eating goals for 2012—kick off the year right with better-for-you twists on one of America's favorite meals. Visit www.muirglen.com for more recipes or go to www.Facebook.com/MuirGlen and sign up to join our community of tomato-loving fans. You can also follow Muir Glen on Twitter (@muirglenorganic) to get their latest updates. For more healthified recipes, visit www.eatbetteramerica.com. Muir Glen is a registered trademark of Small Plant Foods, Inc.*Pizza Facts Sources: Parade Magazine, Bolla Wines, National Restaurant Association Photos/Multimedia Gallery Available: http://www.businesswire.com/cgi-bin/mmg.cgi?eid=50127627&lang=en For General MillsLia Sherman, 612-305-6290lia.sherman@exponentpr.comorJulie Johnson, 763-764-2865julie.johnson2@genmills.com