Tag Archives: pizza

Beet That Holiday Bulge

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Pureed beet pizza sauce

If you haven’t caught on by now, part of what I love about cooking is the chance to experiment! Because so many people find eating healthy to be flavorless and boring, I embrace the challenge of finding new, and I admit sometimes unusual, recipes to satisfy their cravings without leaving them saddled with guilt and love handles.

If the eggnog and holiday cookies got the best of you, and even if they didn’t, try this yummy pizza recipe that is loaded with flavor… and vegetable superpowers : )

Instead of regular tomato sauce, this recipe uses pureed beets. Like most vegetables, beets have numerous health benefits. The nutrient, Betaine, found in beets has been shown to prevent inflammation and protect cells from environmental stress. If you are an athlete, consider making beets a part of your training regimen as they have been shown to improve performance by increasing tolerance for high intensity exercise and decreasing the oxygen cost of low intensity exercise. The effect of drinking beet juice 2-3 hours before workouts is not minor. According to Runner’s World, performance is increased 12-14% which translates to a 1-2% decrease in race time. For more details on the ergogenic properties of beets, click here. Or, ask Olympic marathoner Ryan Hall who is reportedly a fan of the juice.

To make this pizza, I made a homemade crust out of 100% Whole Wheat flour and pre-baked the crust before topping it. Directions for making the crust can be found here. For the sauce I pureed 1 can of beets in a food processor with 3 cloves of garlic, 1 tbsp olive oil, juice from half a lemon, and a dash of salt. Next I piled on spinach, organic shredded cheddar cheese, diced mushrooms, and olives. Bake for 10-12 minutes @ 350 degrees and enjoy!

Light and Healthy Portobello Mushroom Pizzas

IMG_1747Ingredients:

  • 2 portobello mushroom caps
  • Tomato paste/puree (ingredients should be only tomatoes!)
  • Nutritional yeast
  • Garlic-stuffed olives
  • Basil
  • Oregano
  • Salt and pepper
  • Asparagus

Directions: Spread tomato paste on inside of each mushroom. Slice 3-5 garlic-stuffed olives longways and place flat side down on top of tomato sauce. Sprinkle each pizza with nutritional yeast, basil, oregano, salt and pepper. Bake at 350 degrees for 12-15 minutes. Meanwhile steam asparagus in a covered microwave safe dish and 1/4 inch of water for 2-3 minutes. Plate asparagus and pizzas and enjoy!

Pesto Pizza

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Choose a whole wheat crust- you can buy one that is ready-made or start from scratch. Spread with pesto and top with olives, tomato, and artichoke hearts. Add a small amount of cheese or parmesan if you prefer. Bake at 350 for about 10 minutes. With a ready-made crust you can have this dinner ready in 15 minutes! How about that? Try a spinach salad on the side for extra greens and nutrient power:)

Stealthy Veggies: Cauliflower Pizza Crust

The grated cauliflower florets being dried are on the left. Once dry, mix in with remaining ingredients.

The grated cauliflower florets being dried are on the left. Once dry, mix in with remaining ingredients.

Well, most of my blog posts involve recipes that are fairly simple and easy to make, but I am letting you know right now that this is not one of them! Ha! I wanted to give this recipe a try because I am all about adding veggies into a meal wherever I can, but I am not sure how often I will be making this one in the future.I tried this twice in the last week and both times found it to be just “okay” after a very labor-intensive preparation process.

By using a cauliflower crust, the pizza is relatively low- carb compared to a conventional pizza, which is typically not desirable for the competitive athlete, who depends on carbohydrates for fuel and recovery. However, those with celiac disease can enjoy as many slices of this naturally gluten-free pizza as they want!

Anyways, I thought the idea was an interesting one so I still thought I would share it with you. Inspiration was found here for the crust, and here for a yummy basil, nectarine and balsamic pizza. Let me know if you have a better experience with this than I did.

Finished crust, ready for your creative decoration

Finished crust, ready for your creative decoration

Ingredients:

  • 1 egg
  • 1 C plain nonfat greek yogurt
  • 2 C grated cauliflower (I used my food processor and it only took a few seconds to grind each cup)
  • 1 tsp Italian seasoning ( I used this.)
  • Your choice of pizza toppings, check out the two variations I tried below
Thin layer of pizza sauce, chopped spinach and basil leaves, sliced tomato & goat cheese. I would recommend less cheese, this was too much!! Oops.

Thin layer of pizza sauce, chopped spinach and basil leaves, sliced tomato & goat cheese. I would recommend less cheese, this was too much!! Oops.

Directions: Pulse cauliflower in food processor 1 C at a time until it is grated as much as possible. Press each batch between a towel or paper towel to remove as much moisture as possible (this is the time consuming part!), allow to air dry further if you are doing other tasks in the kitchen. Combine with egg, yogurt, and seasoning in a bowl and mix well. Spread onto a pizza pan and bake for 30 minutes at 400 degrees. Add toppings and put back in the oven for 10-12 minutes. Let cool and enjoy!

Also worth mentioning about this pizza “crust” is that it definitely does not have the same flavor, texture, or strength that a normal crust would have. I thought it tasted good and provides a good alternative for those looking for low-carb pizza options, but the crust is kind of crumbly and falls apart easily. The basil, nectarine, and balsamic pizza was delicious!! Amazing flavor combination–try that one! A final warning is that your kitchen WILL smell like cauliflower for the rest of the afternoon. I bet you are just dying to make this now after the glowing review I have given this recipe! : )