Pizza….that hot (or cold) slab of deliciousness, dripping with meats, cheeses and flavorful sauce is a favorite food for many kids and adults alike. According to a 2015 Washington Post editorial, Americans devour 300 billion pizzas a year!
The term “health food” generally does not apply to pizza…and for good reason. The average pizza is calorically dense and loaded with sodium. Many pizzas are heavily- processed and pack more carbohydrate into a couple of slices than we might need for the entire day.
Try making pizza at home for a healthier version of this favorite family meal!
The pizza shown above features a home – made thin crust, topped with spinach, onion, mushroom, green and yellow bell pepper, artichoke and tomato. The cheese is a mixture of mozzarella and parmesan.
Garden Veggie Pizza
Notice that specific amounts are not listed. This is the great thing about making pizza yourself. YOU get to decide how much to add!
Any combination of three or more sliced vegetables (bell pepper, onion, fresh spinach, mushroom, tomato, artichoke, etc.).
Extra virgin olive oil
One thin ready to bake pizza crust (whole grain is a plus). OR make your own crust!
Pasta sauce (choose one that does NOT contain high fructose corn syrup)
Black or green olives (OPTIONAL)
Fresh garlic (or garlic powder)
Italian seasoning blend
Shredded cheese of choice (mozzarella, Italian blend, Parmesan, etc.)
Lightly sauté the vegetables (they will continue cooking in the oven). If using thinly sliced tomatoes they do NOT need to be sautéed first. Place the vegetables to the side.
Preheat oven according to pizza crust directions.
Brush the crust with extra virgin olive oil.
Spread a thin layer of pasta sauce over the entire top of the crust.
Top with the lightly sautéed vegetables (and sliced olives if using)
Season with Italian herb blend and fresh garlic or garlic powder.
End with a generous sprinkle of shredded cheese (Italian blend, mozzarella, parmesan, etc.).
Bake according to directions on crust.
Serve the pizza with a green salad, tossed with olive oil, vinegar and a bit of salt and pepper.
Written by Jenny Favret, MS, RD, LDN
Nutritionist, Duke Pediatrics Healthy Lifestyles Program
Check out Jenny's bio here!