If there is one thing that I have never heard before- it’s the phrase “I don’t like pizza.” Now that I’ve said that, I’m sure there are some that can prove me wrong. In my house- we heart pizza to the moon and back. There is nothing like a hearty slice of piping hot pizza…except for one thing. One slice usually leads to two, which leads to four and before I know it, that pie is gone! Outside of the fact that I can easily consume more than a day’s worth of sodium in just two slices- those two slices can increase my caloric bank by 500 calories or more…empty calories to be exact. Well, that stinks. Can I get some nutrients up in here?
So, now you are thinking- how in the world can pizza can’t be part of a healthy diet? Making pizza nutritious is all about proportion. It is possible to eat pizza without undoing your hard work at a healthy diet. The best way to enjoy a healthy pizza is to make it yourself, since YOU can better control the ingredients.
Build your base- Whole-wheat pizza dough is fiber-packed and delicious, not to mention the added heart healthy benefit of the grain. If whole wheat isn’t your thing (just yet..) choose a pre-made dough or crust, but be sure to check the label and avoid those that contain Trans fats.
Check what you choose- Limit greasy meat and cheese toppings to a minimum to keep calories, sodium, and saturated fat in check. Choose a tomato based sauce over the creamy kind and lose a significant amount of saturated fat and sodium. Also, stick with the leaner cuts of meat, like chicken over sausage or pepperoni. It would even be beneficial to skip the meat all together and load up your pie with a variety of sliced veggies. Substituting low-fat mozzarella for regular cheese lowers saturated fat and cholesterol. I’ve learned that low-fat cheese melts better than fat-free. Here’s a tip for more melting power- before baking the pie, mist with cooking spray.
This pizza is a simple and quick to boot. Oven baked BBQ chicken is in and out in a snap- and allows for a deliciously lean addition to my store bought crust and pre-made sauce. A sprinkle of bold flavor with sharp white cheddar and finito!
Now that’s amore!
2 (4 oz) boneless, skinless chicken breasts
2/3 cup barbecue sauce, plus 2 tablespoons, divided
1 (10 oz) store-bought thin pizza crust (such as Boboli)
3/4 cup (3 oz) sharp white cheddar cheese, shredded
1/2 cup cilantro, chopped
1/2 cup red onion, vertically sliced
Preheat oven to 350°.
Place chicken on an ungreased baking sheet; spoon 1/3 cup barbecue sauce over chicken. Bake at 350° for 40 minutes or until chicken is done. Cool; chop and set aside.
Spread remaining sauce evenly over pizza crust, leaving a 1-inch border. Top crust evenly with chicken and remaining ingredients.
Bake at 350° for 15 to 20 minutes or until cheese melts. Cut into 6 slices.