Meatless Monday: Veggie Garbage Bread

Garbage bread is way less trashy than the name implies -- fill store-bought pizza dough with cheese and your favorite veggies.
By: Michelle Buffardi

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veggie garbage bread
Meatless Monday is a global movement, a way of life. It’s not a campaign to turn everyone in the world vegetarian or vegan; in fact, many involved are meat-lovers. Eating less meat has been proven to reduce the risk of disease, curb obesity and has important environmental impacts, too. Will you join us in giving up meat, just for one day a week?

When I was a kid, my mom used to make us something called "garbage bread." The name instilled fear instead of craving, of course; one surefire way to get your kid to avoid a meal is to let them think it's made from trash. But at some point, she convinced me (forced me?) to try this bread that was made not from garbage, but from pizza toppings all folded into pizza dough. The unfortunately-named loaf was amazing and became something I requested over and over again.

I can only assume that the name "garbage" is used for this stuffed bread to illustrate the fact that it can be made with all kinds of fillings -- it's not pepperoni bread or sausage bread or broccoli bread  -- it can be made with any or all of those things. So instead of All Kinds of Stuff Bread, someone used the name Garbage Bread and it stuck.

You can fill garbage bread with whatever you like -- I like to fill store-bought pizza dough with leftover sauteed greens and whatever kind(s) of cheese I have sitting in the fridge. This recipe uses sauteed zucchini, squash, onions and tomatoes -- it's like a baked veggie sub. Or an inside-out vegetable pizza. But whatever it is, actual garbage it's not.

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 medium yellow squash
1 medium zucchini
2 medium Roma tomatoes
1 Vidalia onion
1 teaspoon oregano
Salt and pepper
1 pound pizza dough
8 to 10 thin slices mozzarella
1 egg, whisked

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

Heat the olive oil in a pan over medium heat and add the minced garlic to cook for a few minutes. Cut the yellow squash and zucchini in half lengthwise and then chop the halves into thin slices. Thinly dice the tomatoes and onion.

Increase the heat to medium high and saute the onions with the garlic until they are translucent. Add in the squash and zucchini and saute them until they are crisp tender. Then add in the tomatoes and saute those until they just begin to break down, 3 to 4 minutes. Add in the oregano, salt and pepper and saute the mixture an additional 2 minutes.

Roll out the pizza dough on a flat surface in the shape of a rectangle, approximately 11 by 17 inches in dimension.

Lay out the mozzarella cheese on the dough, overlapping the slices to form a bed and to prevent the vegetable juices from seeping through the bread and making it mushy. Spoon the veggie mixture over the cheese and roll the pizza dough up, tucking in the ends as you would a burrito. Seal the end with the egg wash and then brush the entire roll with the remaining egg wash.

Place the roll on a baking sheet and bake until the crust is firm and lightly browned and the dough is cooked through, 40 to 45 minutes. Cut the bread into 2-inch slices and serve.

More Nostalgic, Inspired-by-Childhood Foods Gone Meatless:

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