Written By: Heather Mangieri, RDN
A recent report released by the USDA showed that ~ 1 in 8 Americans consumed pizza on any given day. That’s not surprising. After all, who doesn’t love a good pizza? The problem is traditional pizza is a significant source of calories and fat and ranks as one of the top three leading contributors for sodium in the American diet. But pizza night doesn’t have to be cheat night. If you make it right, pizza can contribute significant nutrients that work to keep your body working well.
Have fun and add flavor to your family’s pizza night by getting creative in the kitchen with one of these twists to the traditional pie.
Start with typical white or portabella mushrooms, clean, then pat them dry with a paper towel. Remove the stems and scoop out the inside of the caps. Add sauce, your favorite cheese and your favorite toppings. Pop the tray in a toaster oven and cook for ~10 minutes at 400 degrees.
Single Serve Tortilla Pizza
Start with a lower calorie whole wheat tortilla or flatbread and top it with sauce or brush with an olive oil and garlic. It’s helpful to toast the tortilla or flatbread in the toaster oven for a few minutes to prevent it from getting mushy in the middle. Then add pizza sauce, toppings and pop in the toaster oven for ~10 minutes.
Thin Crust Feta and Date Pizza
Slim the calories in your slice by making sure to use a thin whole wheat crust. Brush with olive oil and garlic then top with caramelized onions, feta, dates, fresh parsley and sage.
Rye Bread Mini Pizzas
Mini rye pizza breads make a great crunchy crust for pizza. Top six with sauce and fresh Parmesan cheese followed by your favorite vegetables. A six piece serving of only 240 calories makes a great snack or after-school mini-meal for the kids.
Zucchini Pizza Boats
Start by slicing a zucchini in half (length wise) then scoop out the seeds and a bit of the flesh. Create a white pizza by brushing with olive oil and garlic or top with traditional pizza sauce. Add with your favorite vegetables and fresh herbs.