Monday, October 4, 2010

Pizza--the Quick, Healthy and Easy Version

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!

No comments:

Post a Comment