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Healthy(er) Pizza Recipe

April 2, 2019

Most of us are fully aware pizza isn’t something you should eat all the time. But pizza night isn’t going away anytime soon.

This recipe is a better option than what you’d pick up at a restaurant. 

 

The Problems with Pizza

 

Pizza is a favorite in our house. In fact, Seth has come a long way from his frozen pizza bachelor days, and he’s now a bit of a pizza snob.

 

But let’s face it, there are two main problems with almost any kind of pizza:

 

1. Calories

 

We recently picked up a pizza from our favorite joint and happened to see the nutritional info (check out “The Right Way to Read Nutrition Labels”). The calories per serving were based on 1/12 of the pizza.

 

Who cuts their pizza into 12 slices?!

 

This meant 1 REAL slice of pizza was 510 calories. For most people, that’s a full meal. Which is fine if you only have one slice, but you have to go into it with that being the plan (read “How to Survive Pizza Night”).

 

2. Processing

 

Most store bought pizzas are ultra processed. A diet high in this type of food leads to a significant risk of early death (as this study shows).

 

It’s because of these two issues — and the fact that we love pizza so much — that we’ve learned to make it at home.

 

It gives you control of what you eat, which creates an awareness of the quality of foods you have on a regular basis.

 

Here’s how we do it…

 

The Dough

 

I looove my bread maker, which has a dough setting. If you don’t have this, it doesn’t take much to knead a pizza dough with a mixer.

 

If you’re not ready to make your own dough, you can buy some at a grocery store, but I recommend finding one from the deli or bakery area that has been made in their kitchen to get the least processed option.

 

Side note, I’m not a fan of cauliflower crust. Why?

  1. It’s not real pizza.

  2. Homemade, it’s extremely messy.

  3. Anything pre-made is highly processed.

  4. It’s not real pizza.

 

That said, if you like it and aren’t scared of the mess, go for it.

 

Here’s my dough recipe:

  • 1 1/2 cups water

  • 1 1/2 tablespoons vegetable oil (or olive oil)

  • 3 3/4 cups bread flour (Why bread flour? This gives crispier outside and chewier interior!)

  • 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon sugar (granulated)

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons active dry yeast

 

Directions:

 

Add ingredients to your bread machine in the order recommended by the manufacturer. Choose the dough cycle.

 

Remove the dough and roll it out to fit into pizza pans, forming a 1-inch thick edge.

 

Brush with a little olive oil or vegetable oil, then let the crust rise for 10 to 15 minutes. Spread with tomato sauce, cheese, then toppings of choice.

 

Bake pizza at 400ºF for about 20 to 25 minutes, or until crust is browned and cheese is melted and bubbly.

 

The Sauce

 

I like this recipe because it doesn’t have sugar added to it, and it’s as unprocessed as you can get without making your own sauce from tomatoes.

  • 1 (6 ounce) can tomato paste

  • 1 1/2 cups water

  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

  • 2 cloves garlic, minced

  • salt to taste

  • ground black pepper to taste

  • 1/2 tablespoon dried oregano

  • 1/2 tablespoon dried basil

  • 1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary, crushed

 

Directions:

 

Mix together the tomato paste, water, and olive oil. Add garlic, salt and pepper to taste, oregano, basil, and rosemary.

 

The Toppings

 

This is where you can get creative. I let our kids add whatever toppings they want (with a little encouragement toward some veggies).

 

Find a balance of proteins and veggies. Our personal favorite toppings are chicken, bacon, and green peppers.

 

Protein ideas:

  • Chicken

  • Turkey sausage

  • Ground turkey

  • Smoked oysters

  • Shrimp

 

Veggie ideas:

  • Spinach

  • Bell peppers

  • Broccoli

  • Mushrooms

  • Zucchini

  • Basil

  • Tomatoes

  • Roasted brussel sprouts

  • Red onion

 

Final Word

 

Even made at home, pizza isn’t low calorie. It’s also not the most balanced meal in the world.

 

But that doesn’t mean you should never eat it.

 

Try to save it as only an occasional indulgence, like on a special family movie night (if you have kids, let them help and teach them the principles outlined here).

 

Pizza may not ever be the BEST option, but by making it at home, it becomes a BETTER alternative.

 

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