"Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food" - Hippocrates

Monday, October 4, 2010


I must admit, pizza probably isn't the most healthy food, that is if you order it out. But you can make a healthy pizza at home if you include these tips: 
  • Use a whole grain crust. You can purchase a pre-made whole wheat pizza crust, or make your own by substituting whole wheat flour for part or all of the white flour in your bread-maker pizza crust recipe. Whole grains add fiber which will keep you feeling full longer and is crucial for a healthy digestive system.
  • Use lots of sauce. Tomato sauce is an excellent source of lycopene, a powerful antioxidant that may help to prevent some chronic disease.
  • Cut back on the cheese. Although cheese is an excellent source of calcium, a lot of the calories of a pizza come from the cheese. Use just a light sprinkling of cheese, or choose a lower-fat type of cheese to cut calories and saturated fat.
  • Don't use greasy processed meats. Pepperoni and sausage are high in fats, and processed meats are associated with stomach and colorectal cancer. Choose lean topping options, such as chicken or shrimp, or skip the meat altogether and make a delicious vegetarian pizza.
  • Load the pizza up with vegetables. Since they are nutritious and low in calories, use generous amounts of vegetables as toppings. Some delicious choices include sun-dried tomatoes, onions, broccoli, spinach, olives, spinach, peppers and mushrooms. Really, any of your favorite vegetables would make the perfect choice.
Saturday I was looking forward to watching the Oklahoma Sooners (my alma mater) play Texas. What better to go with the football game, homemade pizza! I made the pizza including the crust and sauce from scratch but you could substitute a whole wheat pre-made crust and jarred sauce.
This recipe for pizza dough is super easy. I used half the dough to make a personal size pizza and froze the other half to use later.

Whole-Wheat Pizza Dough

Makes one 12-inch pizza crust.
1/2 cup warm (105°F - 110°F) water
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 package active dry yeast
1 cup whole-wheat flour
3/4 cup all-purpose flour


Put the warm water, oil and salt in a small bowl and sprinkle in the yeast. Let stand 5 minutes until foamy.
Combine both flours in a food processor. With the machine running, pour the yeast mixture through the feed tube. After the dough forms a ball, move it to a lightly floured counter. Knead briefly until smooth and elastic.
Spray a large bowl with nonstick spray; put the dough in the bowl. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm spot until it doubles in size, about 1 hour.
Preheat the oven to 400°F. Punch down dough and roll into a 12-inch circle. Spray a nonstick cookie sheet with nonstick spray. Place the dough on the tray and top as desired. Bake until light brown and crunchy, 12 to 15 minutes.

I love making a big batch of grilled or roasted veggies. I use them throughout the week in different recipes including pizza, pasta, omelets, wraps or sandwiches. Or they are delicious by themselves. And as you might have guessed, I used them on my pizza! Here is the recipe:
2 medium zucchini, diced
2 medium yellow squash, diced
1 red bell pepper, diced
6-10 mushrooms, sliced
1/2 onion, diced
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp rosemary
1 tsp thyme
1 tsp salt
1 tsp oregano
1/2 tsp black pepper

Slice vegetables and place in a large bowl with olive oil, rosemary, thyme, salt, oregano and pepper. Toss to coat. Preheat pan (I used a grill pan but a saute pan would be fine) over medium heat. Add vegetables and cook until tender, about 10 minutes. I just had to take a picture to add to the blog. Isn't it colorful!

I also made homemade sauce. It is so easy and doesn't contain the added sugar and sodium of commercial varieties. Plus, again I can use it in other recipes including pasta and wraps. Take a can of unsalted diced or crushed tomatoes. Add a can of tomato paste and spices including basil, oregano, thyme and a little salt. You can even add a little balsamic vinegar or wine. This homemade sauce is packed with flavor, much better prepackaged sauce from a jar or a can.

Ok so now for the pizza. Preheat your oven to 400. Roll out dough and place in a pizza pan. I used a baking stone which is great for making pizza. It transfers the heat evenly for a crispier crust. Top the dough with sauce. Add veggies and your choice of protein. I had some leftover soy crumbles that I used. Then add cheese. I used finely shredded part-skim mozzarella. Another tip- add finely shredded cheese. You don't have to use as much. Bake in the oven at 400 degrees for 10-15 minutes. Enjoy!