Who doesn’t love pizza? It’s inexpensive. It’s tasty. It’s customizable. It’s convenient.
And it’s often considered junk food — but it doesn’t have to be! In fact, pizza made right in your own kitchen can be super healthy and delicious! Add a slice of nutrition to your diet and enjoy this food favorite without feeling guilty. We’ll show you how.
Sure, it’s tempting to pick up the phone and have a piping hot pie delivered right to your door. But all that gooey cheese dripping with grease and a crispy yet pliable crust piled high with pepperoni and sausage is what gives pizza a bad reputation. If you are pressed for time or just prefer take-out, be sure to skip the fatty meats and choose veggie toppings instead. With conventional options like mushrooms, green bell peppers, onions, fresh tomatoes and black olives, and unconventional options like broccoli, artichokes, spinach, eggplant, zucchini, butternut squash, roasted red peppers and more — the combinations are endless!
With that said, a truly healthy and delicious pie starts at home….
A homemade whole-wheat crust is the perfect nutritious base for toppings like fresh chopped garlic, extra virgin olive oil, mozzarella and Fontina cheese, with spinach and sundried tomatoes. Or try caramelized sweet onions, Brie cheese, thinly sliced pears and a drizzle of honey balsamic vinaigrette. Or maybe a basil pesto sauce topped with grilled shrimp or chicken, roasted asparagus, and Gruyere cheese. Is your mouth watering yet?
It’s All About The Crust
For the more traditional crowd, go with a traditional homemade crust. Whip up a few ahead of time and freeze them for a quick weeknight meal. Of course, if you are really pressed for time, try personal-sized pizzas on pitas or flatbread, or you can find pre-made pizza crusts at the grocery store. Better yet, visit your local pizzeria or Italian market and ask for a few uncooked dough balls to prepare at home.
And The Cheese
When it comes to cheese, four to six ounces should cover it. Choose from flavorful varieties like, mozzarella, cheddar, Swiss, ricotta, provolone, Gouda, blue, feta, and Parmigiano Reggiano. Always use cold cheese straight from the refrigerator to prevent it from overcooking, and steer clear of oily processed cheeses. When it comes to pizza, keep it real.
The Classic Pie
One of our favorite traditional pies is the Margherita pizza. Like the colors of the Italian flag, this classic pie has vine-ripened, ruby red tomatoes, creamy white, fresh mozzarella cheese, sliced thick, and aromatic, freshly picked green basil leaves. Classic pizza at it’s best!
The Low-Carb, Gluten-Free Pie
If low-carb or gluten free is your thing, skip the grains and get creative! A quick search on Pinterest or online will give you an abundance of pizza recipes that use freshly grated cauliflower as a crust. This creative alternative is actually really delicious and good for you too!
Easy, Homemade Pizza Sauce
Of course, homemade pizza is not complete without our easy, homemade pizza sauce. In a small saucepan coated with a good drizzle of extra virgin olive oil, lightly sauté one to two cloves of freshly crushed garlic. Add a large can of crushed tomatoes, a small can of tomato paste, a dash of salt, and a pinch or two of your favorite seasonings to taste. For a spicy sauce, try oregano and crushed red pepper. For a sweeter sauce, go with basil and a little sugar. You can even skip the fresh garlic and use garlic powder if you prefer. But whatever you choose, simmer your pizza sauce for a half hour to mellow the flavors together before adding to your pie.
Once your pizza is fully assembled, it’s time to get baking! Cook time will depend on the size and thickness of your pie, but 10-20 minutes is average. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees for a thin crust and 450 degrees for a thick crust. For the perfect pizza at home, bake on the lowest rack on a pizza stone or tray until your crust is crispy and your cheese is melted and bubbly. Mangia!
At TheRTAStore, we know the kitchen is the heart of the home. Visit our website to learn how we can make your kitchen dreams a reality. And check out our blog for more great recipes. So tell us, what’s your favorite healthy pizza topping?