How To Make a Healthy Pizza
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:
- Pizza is junk food.
- Pizza is only good loaded with cheese.
- Pizza is greasy.
- Pizza is too much trouble to make at home.
- Pizza without real cheese is gross.
My top 7 secrets to healthy pizza:
- Make or purchase a whole grain or gluten free pizza crust.
- Make pizzas top heavy so you get full eating less crust.
- Top pizzas with non-traditional toppings like beans, greens, and nuts.
- Use non-dairy cheese.
- Bake first and then broil last couple of minutes.
- Cross ethnicities by making Asian, Mexican or Indian style pizzas. Even barbecue!
- 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|
|red onion||kalamata olives||thyme|
|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|
|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|
|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!).
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)
Worth the Effort
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
|All Vegetable & Nut Crust|
|1 head of cauliflower|
|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|
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.
If you liked this post, you might enjoy:
Oh She Glows vegan blog, How To Make Homemade Pizza Dough
Fork & Beans blog, Gluten-Free Pizza Dough