Thinking Outside the Pizza Box
The history of pizza is a bit hazy, but legend claims it came from Italy and depending on your family’s origins, Sicily, Napoli and Rome are all in the running. Travel through Italy and you will find flat bread topped with a barely-there red sauce, a scattering of fresh buffalo mozzarella, chopped fresh basil, a sprinkle of salt and that’s it, simple yet delicious. However, walk into any pizzeria in America and the dough gets thicker, the toppings heavier and the cheese, mama mia! There is enough cheese to cause chronic sinus infections when eaten in excess.
Since pizza has become a standard in America’s menu plans, why not think out of the box and make your pizza using quality, alternative ingredients? Commercial pizza crusts are now available made with rice or spelt flours. Dairy-free cheese alternatives and organic tomato sauce can also be purchased in whole foods markets or local grocery stores. Experiment with what looks good to you, then round out the meal with a steaming bowl of vegetable soup or an organic vegetable salad.
What follows are two recipes to get you started (find more recipes here), but feel free to share your favorite healthy pizza recipe here with your fellow Care2 readers.
Spelt Bruschetta Pizza
Yield: 8 servings
6 plum tomatoes, finely chopped
1 onion, diced
2 tablespoons capers
1/2 cup fresh basil
1 cup cannellini beans, cooked and rinsed
4 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
8 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
sea salt to taste
1 large spelt pizza crust
1 cup dairy or non-dairy mozzarella cheese
1. In a large bowl, combine tomatoes, onion, capers, basil and beans.
2. Stir in the balsamic vinegar and olive oil.
3. Season with salt.
4. Place tomato mixture aside.
5. Prepare spelt pizza crust by adding 1 tablespoon olive oil, chopped garlic and salt around the top of crust.
6. Place in a pre-heated 350-degree oven for 10 minutes.
7. When done remove and spread tomato mixture over crust.
8. Top with mozzarella and return to oven another 3 minutes.
Polenta Pizza w/ Broccoli
Yield: 6 servings
1 cup course corn meal
1/2 tsp sea salt
1 teaspoon dried basil
1 tablespoon oregano
4 tablespoons olive oil
2 cups water
1/2 cup grated Parmesan or soy parmesan (optional)
2 cups broccoli pieces, lightly steamed
1 1/2 cups Tomato sauce
1 cup Monterey Jack soy cheese, grated.
1. Pre-heat the oven to 400 degrees.
2. In a medium size bowl mix together the crust ingredients, minus 2 tablespoons oil and set aside.
3. Lightly steam the broccoli and set aside.
4. Drizzle remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil over the bottom of a 9 x 13 casserole pan and place in the hot oven for 10 minutes.
5. Assemble all ingredients.
6. Remove the hot dish from the oven and pour the cornmeal mixture into the pas so that it covers the bottom of the dish.
7. Top with broccoli, tomato sauce and grated cheese.
8. Return to the oven and bake for 20 minutes.
Delia Quigley is the Director of StillPoint Schoolhouse, where she teaches a holistic lifestyle designed to achieve optimal health and well being, based on her 28 years of study, experience and practice. She is the creator of the Body Rejuvenation Cleanse, Cooking the Basics videos and classes, and Broken Bodies Yoga. Delia’s credentials include holistic nutritional counselor, natural foods chef, yoga instructor, energy therapist and public speaker.
Quigley is the author of seven books on health and nutrition, including:The Body Rejuvenation Cleanse, The Complete Idiots Guide to Detoxing Your Body, The Everything SuperFoods Book, and Empowering Your Life With Meditation, available on Amazon.com. To view her website go to: www.deliaquigley.com