Pizza brings to mind a crisp chewy crust, tangy red sauce, and oddles of toppings swimming in a pool of melted cheese – a comfort food indeed.
But for many who are watching their diets, pizza is relegated to the realm of a taboo item, pushed aside to the junk food category alongside potato chips and candy bars.
Can pizza be redeemed? Absolutely, and it should be!
A healthier homemade pizza is a smart choice that can provide fiber, protein, vitamins, and minerals. Not to mention, it it almost guaranteed to be lower in sodium (and often sugar!) than the frozen, delivery, or restaurant optoins that are so commonly available.
Preheat oven to 400°F. Make the crust first. In a large bowl, combine the two types of flour and the yeast. Pour the warm water and olive oil into the flour mixture and stir to combine. If needed, add more flour to the dough to make it easier to work with. Knead the dough until it is elastic, about 5 to 7 minutes. Place back into the bowl, cover, and set aside in a warm place. Let it rise for about 15 minutes (note that it will not rise much).
Next, prepare the sauce. Combine the tomato puree, minced garlic, and Italian seasoning.
Lightly grease a 14-inch pizza pan (or two 12-inch pans) with olive oil. Shape the dough to fit the pan, stretching it gently. Bake for 5 minutes, or until crust is slightly crispy to the touch. This will keep your pizza from getting soggy when you put the sauce and toppings on top.
Ladle sauce onto the center and swirl to coat, leaving a one-inch border for the crust. Sprinkle cheese and your choice of toppings on top.
Bake for 20 minutes, or until the crust is brown and crispy. Remove from oven and let it cool in the pan for 3 minutes before slicing. Top with fresh basil if using.
*Low-fat, low-sodium meat optoins include sliced grilled chicken breast or sliced turkey
Lynne is a stay-at-home mother of two boys. As a former US military officer and the spouse of an active duty US military member, Lynne enjoys traveling the world (although not the moving part!) and finding new cuisine and methods of preparing food. She also has the habit of using parenthesis way too much!