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How To Make a Healthy Pizza

Pizza can be diet friendly and filled to the rim with supreme body fuel.
PIZZA Trader Joes crust-0071

Tip the cook instead of the delivery driver

Pizza is one of my favorite foods. I wasn’t about to give up pizza when I stopped eating junk food and meat. As you can see by scrolling through this post– PIZZA IS ALIVE AND WELL IN MY HOUSE!

My 5 myth-busters about pizza:

  1. Pizza is junk food.
  2. Pizza is only good loaded with cheese.
  3. Pizza is greasy.
  4. Pizza is too much trouble to make at home.
  5. Pizza without real cheese is gross.

My top 7 secrets to healthy pizza:

  1. Make or purchase a whole grain or gluten free pizza crust. 
  2. Make pizzas top heavy so you get full eating less crust.
  3. Top pizzas with non-traditional toppings like beans, greens, and nuts.
  4. Use non-dairy cheese.
  5. Bake first and then broil last couple of minutes.
  6. Cross ethnicities by making Asian, Mexican or Indian style pizzas. Even barbecue!
  7. Make homemade dough in batches of 3 and freeze for future use.

Load up your pizza with healthy, low calorie ingredients. Sprinkle in nutritious, higher calorie toppings for flavor and variety.

One or two slices is a meal.

MIX & MATCH TOPPINGS

Click on links provided to broaden your horizons with hearty meat substitutes, dairy free cheese, and other toppings worth trying! Print this list for future reference.

LIMITLESS SPARINGLY SPICE IT UP
mushrooms black olives basil
onion green olives marjoram
red onion kalamata olives thyme
shallots pimentos italian seasoning
garlic cannellini beans taco spice
spinach black beans red pepper flakes
kale azuki beans fresh ground pepper
green pepper navy beans rosemary
red pepper garbanzo beans mint
orange pepper almonds olive oil
yellow pepper pine nuts granulated garlic
artichoke hearts brazil nuts onion powder
tomatoes unsalted peanuts buffalo wing spice
cauliflower pineapple salsa
peas fat-free refried beans mango salsa
broccoli vegan sausage black bean & roasted corn salsa
cabbage vegan hamburger low sodium teriyaki glaze
jalapeños vegan pepperoni lemon zest
poblano peppers vegan chick’n tarragon
green beans Daiya mozzarella cheese shreds barbecue sauce
roasted corn Daiya cheddar cheese shreds oregano
banana peppers Daiya pepper jack cheese shreds cilantro
green chills avocado creole seasoning
sauerkraut capers chili spice
zucchini unsalted sunflower seeds parsley flakes
sun dried tomatoes raw pumpkin seeds curry powder

The Foundation: The Crust

3 healthy crusts:

Easy Breezy- store bought (hey, still a great option over take-out!)

Worth the Effort- 100% (and I mean 100 percent!) whole wheat homemade crust

Breadless and Beautiful- crust made out of vegetables and nuts! (gluten free).

Cooking: I recommend pre-heating oven to 425F and baking in center of oven for 20-25 minutes. Then switch to broil on high for 2-5 minutes to brown top (watch carefully!).

EASY BREEZY

Purchase one of these pre-made whole grain pizza crusts or doughs.

Trader Joe’s Whole Wheat Pizza Dough (recommended and pictured below)

Ezekiel 4:9 Pocket Bread (quick, healthy alternative for one serving pizzas and if you like a very thin crust)

Udi’s Gluten Free Pizza Crusts (if you’re sensitive to whole grains)

Boboli 100% Whole Wheat Pizza Crust (if you’re desperate)

PIZZA Trader Joes crust-0068

Trader Joe’s not as good as homemade but still delicious and super easy to use!

Worth the Effort

PIZZA whole wheat crust-0019

PIZZA whole wheat crust-0023

This recipe was inspired by one of my favorite vegan chefs, Robin Robertson. I have recommended her book, Vegan Planet, to everyone who wants to cook healthy (regardless if you’re vegetarian). I tweak the recipe by using all whole wheat flour. And never regretted it. Add optional ground nuts, seeds, or fresh herbs to enrich this hearty crust.

100% Whole Wheat Pizza Crust
1 packet quick rise active dry yeast
3/4 cup warm water
2 1/4 cup whole wheat flour
1 tsp salt
1/8 tsp sugar
1 T olive oil

Add 1/4 cup of the water to the yeast and stir. Set aside for 10 minutes.

In a food processor (preferably with a dough blade), combine flour, salt, and sugar. Gradually pour in the yeast mixture, olive oil, and remaining 1/2 cup warm water. Pulse until the mixture starts to look like small balls of dough forming (think of dippin’ dots ice cream:). As you remove from processor, press the mixture into one large ball of dough. 

Knead the dough with your hands on a lightly floured surface. The whole wheat flour makes this a little tiring but it’s worth it. It won’t really stretch but you can press, pull and roll it for a few minutes.

Transfer dough to a large bowl with a little olive oil. Move the dough around to coat the outside with the oil. Cover with plastic wrap and place in a draft free area allowing it to rise for about an hour.

Roll the risen dough onto a cookie sheet and top with a can of organic pizza sauce. I piled on mushrooms, cubed chick’n gardein, diced tomatoes, black olives, white beans, garlic, onion, Daiya mozzarella cheese shreds, and Italian seasoning. Baked at 400F for 20 minutes. Broiled for about 3 minutes. Allowed to cool 5 minutes. 

Breadless and Beautiful

Not even a teaspoon of flour!

Not even a teaspoon of flour!

All Vegetable & Nut Crust
1 head of cauliflower
3 carrots
1 cage free egg OR egg replacer
2 tsp oregano
1 tsp granulated garlic
1 tsp garlic salt
1/4 cup brazil nuts
1/4 cup raw almonds
1/4 cup unsalted hulled sunflower seeds
Olive oil

The vegetables take the place of flour- who knew?!  Remove stems and leaves from a dry head of cauliflower and discard. Chop into small chunks. Place cauliflower in food processor and pulse until it looks like a course powder. Make sure not to puree it. Do the same with the carrots. Place the cauliflower “grain” and pulverized carrots into a microwaveable bowl and cook for 8 minutes.

While the vegetables are cooking, chop nuts finely. Add all remaining ingredients, except the oil, to the cooked vegetables and mix thoroughly. Place mixture onto a cookie sheet and press out to cover the pan. Gently brush across the top with olive oil. 

You need to bake the crust by itself first (before topping).

Baking is the tricky part because timing can depend on how fresh the vegetables were that you used (how much moisture within). Bake in a pre-heated oven at 450 degrees on center rack for 20 minutes. Check the bottom. If not at all brown, cook another 10 minutes. You should start to see a slight change in bottom color now.  If not, cook for another 10.  Move crust to top rack and broil on high for 3-5 minutes watching carefully. Remember, the crust will continue to cook after the toppings are put on. 

This gorgeous crust will not be crispy like a traditional flour crust. The pre-cooking is designed to firm the crust and evaporate some of the moisture.

Remove and allow to cool 5-10 minutes before spreading with sauce. Once topped, cook as you would the whole wheat crust pizza above.

PIZZA vegetable crust-0010

PIZZA Trader Joes crust-0084

"I may not win immediately but I will definitely win."

 

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If you liked this post, you might enjoy:

Oh She Glows vegan blog,  How To Make Homemade Pizza Dough

Pick Your Pocket- Fakin’ Bacon Pita Pizzas

Bringing Side Dishes to Center Stage

Fork & Beans blog, Gluten-Free Pizza Dough

3 Comments Post a comment
  1. Liz #

    I wish you could just come live with me and cook for me all the time! Looks amazing! Keep up all of the great posts!

    March 4, 2013
    • fitskitz

      Thanks for the encouragement! Homemade vegan pizza is just an 8 hour drive. Bring some bals with ya:)

      March 4, 2013
  2. DonnaK #

    Hum-m–looks like I had better take more time in reading this post. Some mighty fine sounding dishes here.

    March 15, 2013

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