Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Healthy Pizza

Can pizza be healthy and yummy? I say, Absolutely!

Start with a healthy pizza crust. It could be made from scratch or bought in the store. We recently used 100 % whole wheat crusts premade. But in the past I have been able to make my own using my preferred flour (whole wheat, gluten free, organic, etc.) add some yeast, a bit of water and olive oil, maybe a pinch of sugar (especially to activate the yeast) and some favorite spices. Voila! Healthy pizza crust!

Next, I omit pizza sauce. Instead I use a bit of olive oil or an olive oil spread like Smart Balance (from the butter section of the grocery store). I spread on the olive oil, fairly lightly.

Then I sprinkle my Italian spices. Fresh is always better where spices are concerned. Common Italian spices include Basil, Cilantro, Oregano, Garlic, Red Pepper or Cayenne Pepper (as desired), Parsley, maybe some Rosemary or Coriander, etc.

Then I add fresh veggies. Real veggies. You are welcome to slice and dice as much as you like. The reason I sometimes use big chunks of veggies is it is easier to cut and easier to pick off should my company not want to eat a particular veggie. However, my family prefers to have the veggies tiny for delicious flavor in every bite. We add tomatoes, green peppers, onion, etc.

Then we add cheese. I try to use low fat cheese and reduced salt cheese. Typical Italian pizza cheeses include: Mozzarella, Parmesan, Romano, Provolone, etc.

At this point, you have a wonderful vegetarian pizza that will taste delicious.

However, for the meat lover, feel free to add meat as you desire. I have added bits of chicken, peperoni, precooked sausage, precooked ground beef, salami, ham, etc. I usually put meat on top so that everyone knows that particular pizza has meat. However, if you desire to add cheese on top of the meat, that is certainly okay with me. In fact, if you have a healthy cheese, you could add two layers. Make it as you prefer, just keep in mind the olive oil and cheese contain the most of the fat content.

Also, if you would like a stuffed crust pizza, prior to adding any toppings, you can stretch the pizza crust about one to two inches over the edges of the pan, place string cheese along the pans edge and roll the crust over the cheese, pressing the crust down to seal the inner edge.

Bake in a 450 degree oven for about 15 minutes. I tend to check my pizza and rotate it, etc. The cooking time will vary based on the pizza thickness.

Yummy! Enjoy!

1 comment:

  1. An idea for super-quick personal pizzas...try buying whole wheat pita bread from the store (I check the ingredients on the package - fewer is healthier). There is also a product called Flat Out wraps that has fewer calories than pita bread and is also a quick pizza crust. Just top and bake in the oven...