Pizza a vegetable? I say yes!

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SARASOTA, Fla. -- When I was young, my mother always told me to eat my vegetables. “They’re the building blocks of your diet,” she’d say. Unfortunately for the both of us, I have never liked playing with blocks.

As I’ve gotten older, however, I’ve learned that my mother wasn’t too far off from the truth. As a starving college student, I struggle to get the nutrients I need at a price I can afford. It seems like the ramen noodle diet is doing nothing for my figure, but fresh pickings from the farmers’ market are doing a number on my wallet. However, I think I’ve finally figured out the solution to my dilemma, getting all of the vegetables I need at an affordable cost: I order a pizza.

Pizza is a super food. Seriously, a girl can get all of the health benefits she needs. Mainstream pie eaters can attest to the delicious additions of green peppers and onions, or a mushroom and sausage pizza. Even white pizza lovers can get a full serving of spinach and olives on the go. Then of course there are other healthy toppings such as pineapple, garlic, oregano and every meat you can think of. And don’t forget to get your daily dosage of calcium and grains that are cleverly packed in with the cheese and crust. It’s a dietician’s dream!

In the past few weeks, I’ve been shopping around for a good pizza place. Much to my surprise, the best pizza I found wasn’t offered at a specialty pizza restaurant at all, but at Café Americano in Sarasota. During my two outings to the Café, I ordered the newest items on their recently renovated menu. I started with the white pizza, my personal favorite.

Upon its delivery, I knew this pizza was going to be a winner. Heaping mounds of cheese covered the white sauce and a crispy, light crust was just waiting to be devoured. It was too much for me and my roommate to eat in one sitting, so we got to experience it a second time on the couch in our apartment.

Café Americano must have seriously made an impression on me, because the second time I went there I ordered another pizza -- this time mushroom and pepperoni -- which is not something I would have traditionally dreamed up. I asked to put the mushrooms on one side and the pepperoni on the other. The pizza gods were kind to me, delivering one of the most scrumptious pizzas I’d ever eaten. Baked to perfection, I went home wishing I were a cow with seven stomachs. I just couldn’t get enough.

After all, pizza is my favorite vegetable, and Café Americano knew just how to cater to me.