With “national diet season” officially under way, most people consider traditional pizza as an off-limits entrée. However, it is important to remember that carbohydrates are not the enemy. Just as there are healthy and unhealthy sources of fat and protein, there are also healthy and unhealthy sources of carbs.
Through trial and many dirty dishes, I have come up with a go-to veggie pizza recipe on actual dough (versus cauliflower crust or other low-calorie crust alternatives).
This pizza recipe is easy and delicious and serves two to three people. I used half whole-wheat flour and half all-purpose flour to add some healthy whole grains into my dough. You could use all whole-wheat flour, but I find that makes the dough too dense. Also, I switched from regular whole-wheat flour to white whole-wheat flour, which makes the texture difference virtually undetectable.
To make a personal-size pizza, I recommend mixing the dough then dividing it into halves or thirds, then freezing the amount you will not immediately use.
Very Veggie Pizza with Whole Wheat Crust
1 packet pizza dough yeast
2/3 cup warm water
1 1/2 teaspoon sugar
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup whole-wheat flour
1 to 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 cup fresh spinach
1/4 cup sliced red onion
1/2 cup sliced zucchini
1/2 cup sliced yellow squash
1/4 cup sliced artichoke hearts
4 to 5 cherry tomatoes, sliced in half
1/4 cup fresh basil leaves
3/4 cup part-skim mozzarella cheese
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
Mrs. Dash Garlic and Herb Seasoning Blend
Crushed red pepper (optional)
1/2 cup marinara or pizza sauce (I like classic Prego)
For the crust:
Combine whole-wheat flour, salt, sugar and yeast in a large bowl. Add water and oil and stir with a wooden spoon until the flour is incorporated (dough will be very sticky). Turn out onto a floured surface and knead for about 4 minutes while adding remaining (all-purpose) flour as needed to keep dough from sticking. Shape into a ball and lightly coat with olive oil. Wrap the dough ball in plastic wrap and store on the countertop while you prep the toppings.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spray an inverted baking sheet well with nonstick spray and sprinkle with flour.
Using a lightly floured rolling pin, roll the pizza dough into a circle or rectangle on a floured surface. Once it has reached the desired thickness, carefully lift up the dough and place on the prepared baking sheet. (You may need to adjust the dough to get it back to desired shape once on the pan.)
Par-bake the crust on the middle rack in the oven for about 8 minutes. Remove crust from the oven and increase the temperature to 400 degrees.
Using a metal spatula, carefully loosen the pizza dough from the baking sheet and flip it over so the bottom side is now the top side. Spoon the pizza sauce onto the dough and spread evenly.
Top the sauce with spinach and then add the mozzarella cheese over the spinach. Top evenly with remaining veggies except for the basil.
Place pizza back in oven on center rack for about 5 minutes. Remove and top with Parmesan cheese.
Turn the broiler on and place the pizza on the top rack for 2 minutes or until Parmesan is melted and toppings are lightly browned (or until preferred level of doneness). Sprinkle the torn basil on top of the pizza and then top with desired amount of Mrs. Dash seasoning and red pepper flakes.
Cut into eight slices and enjoy!
Regarding the toppings, you may top the pizza with any combination of vegetables you desire. The ones listed here are what I use.
Following this recipe and cutting the pie into eight slices, I calculated each slice to be approximately 174 calories.