Let me start off by saying that I’m a big fan of pizza. I’ve loved it all my life and continue to eat it to this day. There’s just something about the combined taste of hot, fresh dough, creamy cheese and toppings that just ends up digesting itself into pure happiness within my body, and for a while this has presented a really big problem for me. I was horribly out of shape because of my eating habits, and my love of pizza among other things. So one day, I decided that it was time for a major change in diet and lifestyle. At the same time, however, I didn’t want to quit pies entirely, so I started really doing my homework about healthier variants of pizza, and I’ve got to say that I’ve learned some pretty amazing recipes since then. Today I want to share some of them with you, so that you too can keep enjoying pizza without worrying about your health and waistline with every single bite you take.
Thai Chicken Pizza
- Whole-wheat pizza dough, 20 ounces
- Smooth peanut butter, ¼ cup
- 3 tablespoons of water
- 2 teaspoons of rice vinegar
- 2 teaspoons of soy sauce
- 2 teaspoons of minced ginger
- 1 teaspoon of canola oil
- 1 clove of minced garlic
- 8 ounces of diced chicken breasts
- 1 red bell pepper
- 1 cup of shredded mozzarella cheese
- 4 scallions
Preheat the oven to 450 °F and place the oven rack in the lowest position possible. Cover the pan with a baking sheet and apply cooking spray to it. Stretch out the dough on a floured surface until you get an oval shape roughly around 16 inches in diameter, and place it In the oven to bake for 8 to 10 minutes. Combine the peanut butter, soy sauce, vinegar, water, ginger and garlic in a bowl and stir until homogenized. Heat the oil in a skillet over medium-high heat, add the chicken and cook for 2-4 minutes, while stirring the entire time. In a medium-sized bowl, combine the chicken with the pepper, a single tablespoon of the peanut sauce and the scallions, and make sure to stir them up real nice. Remove the crust from the oven and use the leftover peanut sauce to cover it evenly. Top the crust with the chicken mixture, sprinkle it with cheese and put it back in the oven for 11 to 13 minutes until the cheese melts and the crust is cooked to a golden brown. Done!
Corn & Black Bean Pizza
- 1 diced plum tomato
- 1 cup of corn kernels (fresh)
- 1 pound of whole-wheat pizza dough
- 2 tablespoons of cornmeal
- ⅓ cup of barbecue sauce
- 1 cup of shredded, smoked mozzarella
Preheat your grill to medium, use a bowl to combine the tomatoes, beans and corn. Sprinkle the cornmeal onto a baking sheet, and stretch the dough into a 12-inch circle. Place it on top of the cornmeal, making sure to coat the whole underside. Move the crust on the baking sheet to the grill and cook until the crust puffs up slightly and obtains a nice light brown color (this can take up to 5 minutes). Flip the crust, spread the barbecue sauce across it and sprinkle it with cheese and the tomato mixture. Put the lid on again and wait 4-5 minutes until the cheese melts.
- 1 ½ cups of chopped broccoli
- 1 cup of mozzarella cheese (shredded)
- ⅔ cups of ricotta cheese
- 4 scallions
- ¼ teaspoon of salt
- ¼ cup of chopped basil
- ½ teaspoon of garlic powder
- ¼ teaspoon of pepper
- 20 ounces of whole-wheat pizza dough
- 2 teaspoons of canola oil
Preheat the oven to 475 °F, take two baking sheets and coat them with cooking spray. Put the broccoli, mozzarella, ricotta, scallions, corn, basil, salt, pepper and garlic powder into a medium-to-large bowl, and then you can start dividing your dough into 6 equal pieces. You need to roll each of the pieces into an 8-inch circle, while placing a ¾ cup filling on half of each (the trick is to leave a 1-inch border of dough on all sides). Now fold the edges over and seal the calzones, using a fork to make a few slits in the top so the steam can vent out. Brush them all with oil, put them on the baking sheets and in the oven. Bake for about 15 minutes.
Pesto & Feta Pizza with Tomatoes (Grilled)
- 1 pound of pizza dough
- ½ cup of pesto
- 4 plum tomatoes in thin slices
- ½ of feta cheese
- Ground pepper
- ¼ cup of basil leaves
Heat your grill to a medium-high, and place the dough on a floured surface. Divide the dough into 4 parts and roll each of them into a round crust about 8 inches in diameter and ¼ inch thick. Lay the crusts on the grill, cover it and cook until the crusts are lightly puffed (up to 3 minutes). Flip the crusts and quickly spread the pesto over them, topping them off with tomatoes as well. Sprinkle the feta and the pepper, cover the grill and cook until the undersides are lightly browned. After removing the pizza from the grill, sprinkle it with a bit of basil and you’re good to go.
Blue Cheese & Pear Flatbread
- 3 cups of onions
- 20 ounces of whole-wheat pizza dough
- 2 teaspoons of olive oil
- ⅓ cups of walnuts
- 2 teaspoons of sage
- 2 teaspoons of vinegar
- Pepper (to taste)
- 2 sliced pears
- ½ cup of blue cheese
Heat the oven to 450 °F, prepare a large baking sheet coated with cooking spray. Heat up the oil in a large skillet, add the onions and cook them until they reach a golden brown color (for about 6 minutes, and remember to stir occasionally). Decrease the heat, cover and cook for another 5 minutes until the onions are soft. Roll out the dough on a floured surface until it’s the size of the baking sheet you prepared. Put it on the sheet and bake the dough until it’s lightly crisped (about 8 to 10 minutes). Use a small dry skillet to heat the walnuts on a low heat setting, and keep stirring them until they’re golden brown. Put the vinegar, pepper and sage into the pot with the onions, and then spread it all on the crust, topping it with pears, walnuts and cheese. Put the crust back in the oven until the cheese is melted and the crust is crispy.
As you can see, it’s perfectly possible to indulge in pizza every once in a while without compromising your health and your waistline, and hopefully you’ll grow to love some of these recipes in time. If you’re serious about switching to a healthier diet, I highly recommend you check out Sun Basket – a delivery service for organic and healthy ingredients that you’ll definitely need for most healthy recipes (check out this sun basket review if you want to know what it’s about). Stay healthy!