Tag Archives: pizza

Pizza can be a Hasty Tasty Meal

What prevents pizza from qualifying as a quick meal is the crust. If you have a ready-made crust, great. But don’t make a trip to the supermarket just for pizza crust or dough. In the time it takes you to shop, you can be halfway to making your own. Or, if you can plan, make pizza crust dough the night before and stick it in an oiled zippered storage bag and refrigerate for later.

Don’t be intimidated by the professional pizzeria. Throwing dough in the air to stretch it takes practice, and it’s partly for show. But you do need to stretch the dough, not roll it. This isn’t a pie crust. Gently stretch the dough (little tosses, not ceiling-high ones) until you get the thickness you prefer.

The rest is easy. Prebake the crust while you assemble the toppings of your choice. Today I used leftover pasta sauce from yesterday’s dinner, but use whatever you like. The secret to delicious pizza is good cheese. If you can, grate your own mozzarella and Parmesan. The grated cheese in bags are convenient, but they contain additives to prevent clumping (and flavor!).


Hasty Tasty Pizza

Makes one 12″–14″ round pizza

Dough Ingredients:

  • ¾ cup warm water
  • 1 Tbsp. + 1 tsp olive oil
  • ½ tsp. Kosher salt (or I use pink Himalayan salt)
  • 2 cups flour (your choice of bread, all purpose, or a blend of whole wheat/bread flour)
  • 1 tsp. dried yeast

Pizza toppings:

  • 16 ounces prepared sauce (Plain tomato sauce with Italian spices added works)
  • 1 cup chopped meat or vegetables of your choice
  • ½ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • ½ cup grated (or sliced) mozzarella (or more, to taste)
  • (optional) ribbons of fresh basil


  1. For pizza dough, combine all ingredients into a bowl, cover with a towel, and set aside.
  2. After the dough rises, punch it down and toss gently to stretch into the desired shape (round or rectangle, depending on the pan you use to prebake)
  3. Preheat oven to 425°F
  4. Bake the crust in a greased pan for 15 minutes or until done (slightly brown).
  5. Remove crust from oven but leave oven on.
  6. Gently remove crust from pan and place on a pizza peel (this step is optional but I recommend it for thin and crispy crust).
  7. Top the pizza crust with sauce, toppings, and cheese. Leave a minimum ½” around the edges plain to discourage oven spills while baking.
  8. Using the peel, carefully place the pizza on the middle rack in the oven. Or if baking in the pan, place the pan on the middle rack.
  9. Bake at 425° for 15-20 minutes, or until pizza is bubbly and cheese starts to brown.
  10. Turn oven off. Carefully slip the peel under the pizza and remove it from the oven. Allow pizza to cool for 5 minutes before slicing.
  11. Slice and serve!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Leave a comment

Filed under pizza crust

Guilt-free Pizza

Are you shunning America’s favorite fast food because it’s rich with fat and calories? Good news: You can have your pizza and eat it, too. The caveat: you need to make your own. With the growing availability of whole grain, thin crusts, you can make pizza that isn’t labor-intensive.

Today I took leftover pasta sauce (which I’d made using ground lean turkey, lots of garlic and onions, and San Marzano tomatoes crushed using my Vitamix) and spread it on a store-bought crust. I added a few items (sliced Crimini mushrooms, a bit of green bell pepper, and sweet onion), topped with reduced fat Mozzarella cheese and Parmesan cheese plus a sprinkle of Redneck Pepper Italian. I baked it ten minutes in a preheated 450° oven (but I used a Pampered Chef stoneware baking pan. If you use a metal pizza pan, reduce heat to 425°). After removing it from the oven, I sliced it into six pieces (3 servings).

You can use any combination of toppings you like. There are pizza sauces available. Just read the labels to be sure you don’t get too much fat or sugar. Shred your own cheese or buy it already shredded and ready to use. The two big offenders that make pizza less healthful are meats and refined flour crusts. If you stick to meat-free or lowfat meats like ground turkey, and if you use a thin, whole wheat crust, you can enjoy two slices of pizza without wrecking your diet.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Leave a comment

Filed under Healthful Eating