Tag Archives: pizza

Veguary day 11: healthy pizza time!

The other day I posted about making healthy swaps so you can still eat the foods you love. Because, really, who wants to live on salads forever and ever? Even if they are freaking delicious. One of my favourite swaps was introduced to me by my friend Chris at a pizza-making party (four people and a bottle of wine makes it a party, right?): using lebanese bread as pizza bases!

1 standard pizza base: 657 calories
1 piece of wholemeal lebanese bread: 287 calories

How good is that? It means you can eat twice as much pizza and still be consuming less calories than if you were using normal pizza bases. And this is for the full-size pita pockets, not the mini versions, although if you’re cooking for one and don’t want to make leftovers, you can always use those instead. Not only is wholemeal pita much lower-GI than traditional pizza bases (meaning you’ll get longer-lasting energy from them, and feel fuller for longer) but they’re physically thinner too, so your topping-to-bread ratio is much better. And I’m sure we all know that making food at home is better for you than if you were to buy takeaway pizza… for comparison’s sake, a veggie pizza from Pizza Hut packs a delightful 1472 calories. Eeek. Anyway, I love making homemade pizza – it’s so easy, you can add whatever toppings you feel like and/or have in the fridge, and next-day-pizza is famous for being just as good (if not better) than fresh from the oven!

Here are a couple I made the other night – a traditional veggie pizza and a slightly more ‘pizza nouveau’ option. You might as well make two pizzas at once for a bit of variety – if you’re an omnivore, you can do one with meat or one without, or if not you can do what I did and go for a tomatoey one and a cheesy one.

 

 

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Pumpkin and ricotta pizza

  • Half a butternut pumpkin
  • Light ricotta
  • Grated parmesan (or any other sharp cheese)
  • Grated mozzarella
  • 1 large wholemeal pita pocket

Preheat your oven to 180C. Roughly chop the pumpkin, cover with water and microwave for 5 minutes. Add a good sprinkling of parmesan and mozzarella to the ricotta (enough to thickly cover your pita bread) and combine. Drain pumpkin and mash roughly. Spread the cheese mixture on the pita, top with pumpkin mash and season with pepper and any herbs you have lying around. Bake in the oven for 5-10 minutes or until the pita is golden and slightly crispy.

Roast veggie pizza

  • 1 large portabella mushroom
  • 1 zucchini
  • 1/2 eggplant
  • 1 red capsicum
  • 1/2 small tub pizza sauce (I’m a Leggo’s girl, myself)
  • Grated mozzarella
  • 1 large wholemeal pita pocket.

Preheat your oven to 180C. Slice veggies thinly and roast in the oven for 15 minutes or until slightly softened. Spread pizza sauce on your pita. Add veggies, top with mozzarella, season with pepper and herbs, and bake for a further 5-10 minutes or until the veggies are soft and the pita is golden and crispy.

Serve with a side salad (or perhaps some cauliflower soup!) and enjoy the smug satisfaction of having made something delicious and super healthy. Smug face, GO!

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Takeaway the healthy(ish) way.

I work nights at a cinema, which means that I often have to throw dinner together quickly so that I can eat and get out the door by 5pm (or pack dinner to take with me if it’s a longer shift). This is why I try to keep a few dinner staples ready to go in the fridge – roast veggies that I can chuck into a sandwich, for example, or leftover prawns in enchilada sauce (love that stuff) that I can wrap in a tortilla with some salad. It doesn’t always work out that way, though. The other day I was caught out with no particularly appetising combinations of food in the house (carrot sticks and pesto for dinner, anyone?) so I had to dash out in my dinner break and buy food. Unfortunately, Chat For Tea (my usual semi-healthy takeaway of choice) was closed for the holidays so it was woodfired pizza all the way! Oh, what a shame. I doubt it’s news to anyone that takeaway pizza is not particularly nutritious, and I do tend to avoid it (especially the overly processed pizzas from Dominos and Pizza Hut) as much as possible. Thankfully, woodfired pizzas tend to have thinner crusts (reducing the amount of refined carbs), use less oil, and have somewhat healthier toppings. They’re still not great, but sometimes a girl just has to have some pizza, okay? Shh. Don’t judge.

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This is how I made my impromptu pizza dinner slightly less calorific. Remember the Rule of Quarters? All you have to do is slap some salad (or veggies) down onto half of your plate. It’s not perfect (that pizza is mostly carbohydrate, with a leetle bit of protein – the goat’s cheese and, as far as I can see, one pine nut – plus a smidgeon of veg) but it’s much better than just eating a pizza on its own. This way, I was full after eating 1/3 of the pizza, so it lasted me three meals all up. Healthy and thrifty.

This works well with all manner of takeaway foods. Chinese/Indian? Do up a quick salad or some steamed/roasted veggies to fill half your plate, make your own brown rice or quinoa (way cheaper than buying it takeaway) to fill another quarter, and then korma it up on the remaining quarter. I’ve even done it at restaurants: once, I was super keen to try some chicken and beetroot arancini balls from the tapas part of the menu, so I ordered a full-size garden salad (no dressing) and then popped the arancini balls on top. The concept is the same: fill up on salad, appreciate every bite of the not-so-healthy food.

Happy takeawaying!

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