In my humble opinion, pizza is one of the all-time best foods. You just can’t beat the combination of melted cheese, tangy tomato sauce and crispy crust. BUT, when you order pizza from a restaurant, you can count on the fact that it will be loaded with sodium, too much cheese and white flour crust—in other words “unhealthy”. This does not mean you have to avoid eating it. Contrary to popular belief, there is a place for pizza in a healthy diet. Enter the homemade pizza!
Personally, I’d rather make my own pizza than order it in because I can make it healthy and fully enjoy it guilt-free. And this homemade pizza is DANK (this word is taken from my 23-year old daughter’s vocabulary and it is used to describe AMAZING things like food or clothes. Unfortunately it has never been used to describe any outfits that I wear, but I promise it accurately describes this pizza).
The key to this pizza is a sprouted-grain crust called Flatzza by Angelic Bakehouse. This crust is made from wonderful ingredients like whole wheat flour and whole sprouted grains and it contains a good amount of fiber and protein. Look for it at Mariano’s, Whole Foods and Sunset Foods.
There are a few key elements to making a delicious, healthy pizza:
- The crust: Go for whole wheat or whole grain, and if you ask me, use this sprouted crust from Angelic Bakehouse called Flatzza. It’s thin and flavorful, and adds fiber and protein.
- The sauce: Canned tomatoes are super healthy as they are loaded with lycopene. So make your pizza saucy and choose either canned crushed tomatoes, tomato sauce or pizza sauce, making sure the one you buy does not contain too much sodium or added sugar. Keep a little bowl of warm extra sauce on the side to add to your pizza as you eat it!
- The spices: Spices are little gems that are big on flavor and packed with anti-inflammatory properties. Add lots of oregano and crushed red pepper to your pizza to make it flavorful and zesty!
- The toppings: The key to a healthy pizza is tons of vegetables. So load on the veggies–mushrooms, tomatoes, spinach, peppers. You choose! Vegetable pizzas also help fill you so you can manage your portions!
- The cheese: This is where you need some finesse. Go easy on the cheese to keep your pizza healthy. And when you have all of the other delicious elements working for you, you don’t need much cheese anyways. Combining a few different cheeses, definitely one that is tangy such as asiago or feta, adds a nice touch.
- The side dish: How do you stop yourself from overeating too much pizza? Always serve it with a big green salad on the side. This will help you slow down when eating the pizza and again, it will help you feel full which will in turn help you control how many slices you consume.
So stop feeling like Pizza Night = Cheat Night. Make a homemade healthy pizza and you can enjoy Pizza Night on a regular basis!
Homemade Greek Pizza
This healthy, delicious pizza rivals any you can get in a restaurant.
- 1 12" Flatzza sprouted grain pizza crust or any whole wheat pizza crust Flattza can be found at Sunset, Whole Foods and Mariano's
- 1 cup Rao's homemade pizza sauce
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil divided
- 1/2 large red onion thinly sliced
- 3 Roma tomatoes thinly sliced
- 1 bunch fresh organic spinach rinsed, leaves chopped and stems discarded
- 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
- 1 teaspoon oregano
- 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes can be eliminated or increased to your liking
- 1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
- 1/4 cup shredded asiago cheese
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Brush the pizza crust with about 1/2 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil.
Heat 1/2 tablespoon of olive oil in a pan on the stove top. Add the onions and cook until browned, about 15 minutes. Then add the balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper. Stir and cook for about 5 minutes until the vinegar has thickened.
While the onion is cooking, steam the spinach in the microwave for about 2-3 minutes. Let cool and squeeze out excess liquid.
Top the crust with the tomato sauce. Season the sauce with the oregano and red pepper flakes.
Top the pizza with the balsamic onions, steamed spinach and sliced tomatoes. Sprinkle the cheeses on top.
Place pizza directly on oven rack and cook for 10-20 minutes until crust is golden brown around the edges and the cheese is melted.
Slice and enjoy!