The best Friday nights include a movie and a slice of pizza. I love that pizza is a blank canvas for different types of protein and vegetables, and the crust provides carbs for energy. Plus, it’s a cheap dinner everyone in the family will eat!
Remember what a balanced plate looks like: 1/2 plate vegetables, 1/4 plate carbs, 1/4 plate protein, and a tablespoon of healthy fat. How can we create a balanced plate with pizza? Here’s how:
- 1/4 Plate Carbs = Crust
- 1/4 Plate Protein = Cheese/Lean Meats
- 1/2 Plate Vegetables = Vegetable Toppings or Side Salad
- Tablespoon of Healthy Fat = Olive Oil
When possible, I like to choose high fiber carbs, so I often use this whole wheat crust recipe from Tastes Better From Scratch. However, if you don’t have any yeast in your cabinet or have jumped on the sourdough trend, I recommend this recipe by Food. com.
Here are some tips when making your pizza:
- Always pre-bake your crust before adding toppings, so it doesn’t become soggy.
- After pre-baking your crust, brush it with olive oil before adding your toppings. This step will also keep it crispy.
- Pour ~1/2 cup of sauce in the center of the crust and spread it in a circular motion using the back of your spoon. Continue to do this until the sauce is evenly spread.
- With that said…you don’t always have to use sauce! Sometimes adding a sauce as a topping AFTER baking can add a nice flavor. For example, you could treat your pizza as a flatbread and drizzle a balsamic glaze over your toppings once it’s done baking.
- It seems natural to cover every inch of the pizza with cheese, but allowing some sauce to show in between the cheese will help the pizza keep a crisp texture.
Sauce Ideas: Pesto, marinara, alfredo, olive oil
Cheese: Shredded mozzarella, ricotta, goat cheese, parmesan
Meats: Grilled chicken, meatballs, chicken sausage, canadian bacon, bbq pulled chicken, turkey pepperoni, eggs over easy, tempeh,
Produce: Artichokes, banana peppers, black olives, cherry tomatoes, chopped garlic, basil, green bell peppers, jalapeños, mushrooms, onions, pineapple, red onion, red pepper, roasted garlic, spinach, roasted zucchini, roasted eggplant, roasted broccoli, arugula, kale, figs, leeks, caramelized onions, roasted cauliflower, asparagus, sun-dried tomatoes
Toppings: Arugula, balsamic glaze, barbecue sauce, ranch, buffalo sauce, pesto, olive oil, ranch, nutritional yeast, greek yogurt, tapenade, thai chili sauce, curry sauce, hummus, salsa, cilantro, rosemary, red pepper, thyme, basil, oregano
What are your favorite topping combinations?