Pizza is easily one of America's favorite foods. We like it in all it's forms--delivery, frozen or at a pizzeria. Most of these versions do not have the reputation of being healthy. However, it does not have to be this way. You can enjoy pizza in a healthy way very easily and quickly. Most of the fat and extra calories in pizza comes from the meat and the cheese. Here is a healthy way to enjoy pizza.
First--the cheese. You do not have to pile on a lot of it to achieve the taste and texture of cheesy pizza. A little actually goes a long ways. I personally am not a fan of the really low calorie/low fat cheese because they melt funny. However, mozzarella made with 2% milk actually melts pretty nicely, and you do not compromise on flavor either. My rule of thumb with cheese is this--I put on just enough so it "covers" the pizza, yet you can still see what the toppings underneath are. You can see how I do it in the picture below (although that is a little sparse because I think it was the last of my mozzarella).
Now for the meat--I love pepporoni and sausage pizza. Neither pepporoni are good for you, so I substitute turkey pepporoni and the sausage with ground turkey spiced up with a little Italian Seasoning. It works and I can hardly tell the difference. My latest favorite is roast chicken. I take a chicken breast, bake it in the oven with a little olive oil and Italian Seaoning, cut it up in small pieces and put it on the pizza.
Veggies--I often use pizza as a reason to use up leftover veggies in the fridge. Sliced tomatoes, quartered artichokes, bell peppers, mushrooms, and zucchini are some of my favorites. I often sautee the peppers, mushrooms and zucchini for a few minutes in olive oil before putting them on the pizza. The best part about the veggies is they give you some extra nutrients and a lot of flavor and they do not add a lot of calories.
Now for the quick and easy part--I confess that I am not a baker. I really do not enjoy working with dough at all. However, the Betty Crocker pizza mix is very easy to handle and I have never had an issue with it. Follow the directions and you will end up with a great crust in a short amount of time.
Now for my secret to great pizza--sauce! I love pizza sauce and a lot of it. I do not make it homeade, but use the Contadina brand that squirts out of the bottle. I am pretty liberal with the sauce because I love the flavor and I feel it makes up for using a smaller amount of cheese. That is my finished pizza--the crust is a little more thin than I usually make it.
You can not really call this pizza from scratch because of the sauce and the dough, but it is quick, easy and healthier than most pizza options. I can make a pizza in 20-30 minutes with cooking time included. Delivery often takes longer than that and some frozen pizzas take 35 minutes to cook. So my recommendation--keep some pizza making ingredients on hand and save yourself time, money and calories!