Pizza is a soul satisfying meal and it can be healthy. Just make sure to not bog it down with cheese, heavy meats and sauces. Choosing unrefined, whole-grain pizza dough can boost the nutritional value of the pizza by A LOT. Whole wheat has a higher content of fiber, protein, vitamins B and E, magnesium, zinc, folic acid and chromium.
Zucchini has many health benefits and is nutrient dense. It’s loaded with folate, potassium, manganese and vitamin A, yet is low in calories!
Eggplant is the meat for vegetarians! High in fiber, folate, potassium, manganese, vitamins C, K and B, thiamine, niacin, – yet so low in calories. Overall, a GREAT weight loss food!
Tomatoes contain lycopene, which is known for its antioxidant and cancer-preventing properties. In addition to lycopene, the vitamin B6, niacin, potassium and folate found in tomatoes are potent protectors against heart disease.
The brighter tones of bell peppers have the highest concentration of carotenoids. Also, they have three times the recommended daily allowance of vitamin C—way more than a citrus fruit. Red peppers also contain lycopene.
Basil is considered the “king of herbs” and is revered as “holy plant” in many Asian traditions. Basil leaves contain many health benefiting essential oils that have anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties. This herb also has flavonoids, which have been found to protect cell structures as well as chromosomes from radiation and oxygen-based damage.
1 quantity basic, fresh pizza dough (preservative free)
1-2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup olive oil
1 small brightly colored organic bell pepper, sliced (yellow, red, orange)
1-2 zucchini, thinly sliced
1 medium eggplant, cut in half lengthwise and sliced
1 pint organic heirloom cherry tomatoes, halved
4 ounces fresh mozzarella di bufala, squeezed gently to release moisture, sliced, then drained on paper towels
½ cup tomato sauce
Sea salt, freshly ground pepper, and/or chili flakes to taste
1 cup fresh organic basil leaves, chopped finely
Preheat oven to 425ºF with pizza stone inside. In a small sauté pan, cook minced garlic and the olive oil over low heat for 3 minutes. Roll out the pizza dough on a lightly floured surface to the desired size. (I like to roll it out really thin, so it’s a little crispy.) Brush half of the garlic oil mixture and tomato sauce evenly on top of the dough. Then, place the eggplant slices over the dough. Top with bell peppers, tomatoes, zucchini and cheese. Drizzle the remaining oil over the pizza and sprinkle the salt and pepper over the pizza. Slide the pizza onto the hot stone in the oven and bake for 15 to 17 minutes, until the crust is golden and crisp, and the cheese is bubbly. Garnish with fresh basil before serving.
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