Meal Planning Monday ~ Pizza, Healthy and Delicious!

This week’s blog post is by Christine Luken.

 Some people assume because I’ve adopted a healthy eating plan (Diet Free Life), that I avoid indulging in pizza.  I’ll admit that pizza can be a calorie bomb, especially if it’s a deep dish variety, smothered with meat and extra cheese.  The good news is that there ARE healthier alternatives out there that taste great but won’t add inches to your waistline.  It’s nice to see that quite a few pizza restaurants are offering thin crust pizzas, some of them made with whole-wheat flour, loaded with veggies, chicken, and other lean proteins like Canadian bacon or ham.

 I’ve rounded up some great recipes you can make at home that will satisfy your pizza cravings and are surprisingly healthy.  My new favorite is my pizza casserole, pictured above!  The original recipe came from my friend Julie Brawley over at EatingClean4Life.com.  I modified the recipe to serve four people instead of eight, and used turkey pepperoni and ground turkey.  My version with nutritional information is below, along with some other creative pizza-style recipes.

    •  Portobello Mushroom Pizzas – Mushroom lovers, you may never eat regular pizza again after trying this!  The mushroom takes the place of the crust, which means you can eat two of these “pizzas” for under 400 calories and 14 total carbs. Just take a 4 oz. Portobello mushroom cap (washed and dried), spread with 1 Tbs. of prepared pesto, thin slice of tomato, topped with ¼ cup of shredded mozzarella cheese.  Bake at 450 for 12 – 15 minutes. (I’ve also made them on the grill!)   Have two for a great fat-burning vegetarian meal, or have one with a grilled chicken breast or steak.  Also, makes a great snack!  7 g Carbs; 180 Calories; 2 g Fiber; 10 g Protein (For each mushroom)
  • Hungry Girl’s Mini Thin Crust PizzasThese mini pizzas use wonton wrappers to make a thin crispy crust.  Their small size makes them perfect for snacking when your pizza craving hits!

    • Gluten Free Low Card Pizza – I found this recipe on Food.com.  The crust has zero flour in it, so it’s great for those people who are gluten intolerant or for those who are closely watching their carb intake.  The only downside to this recipe is that no nutritional info is provided, so you’ll have to calculate that for yourself.
  • Grilled Chicken Pizza – We all know that you can add grilled chicken to your pizza, but what about when the grilled chicken is the pizza? Essentially, the grilled chicken breast becomes your crust!   I saw this recipe on Facebook and haven’t been able to find the original link.  It’s pretty simple though.  Grill your chicken breast until it’s no longer pink (but don’t overcook).  Top with pizza sauce, cheese and toppings of your choice.  (Depending on the toppings, you may need to sauté them in a bit of olive oil first.)  Put the chicken back on the grill or in the oven until the cheese is melted and bubbly.

Christine’s Pizza Casserole

 

  • ½ pound of ground turkey (85%) lean
  • 4 oz. fresh mushrooms, chopped
  • 2 cups of cooked whole wheat penne or rotini pasta
  • 14oz. jar of Classico Fire Roasted Pizza Sauce
  • 1 – 2 tsp. oregano
  • 1 oz. of sliced black olives
  • 16 slices of turkey pepperoni
  • 1 cup of shredded mozzarella cheese

 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Spray a 9 x 9 glass baking dish with Smart Balance cooking spray.  Saute ground turkey and mushrooms in a small amount of olive oil or coconut oil until turkey is no longer pink.  Drain well.  Mix the ground turkey, mushrooms, pasta, pizza sauce, and oregano together and put the mixture in the glass baking dish.  Cover with the mozzarella cheese.  Evenly distribute the olives and the turkey pepperoni.  Cover the dish with foil and bake for 25 minutes.  Remove foil and bake for an additional 5 minutes.  Serves four.

Calories – 375;  Carbs – 32 g; Fiber – 4 g; Protein – 26g

 

 

Comments

  1. Scott says:

    This pizza looks very good. Can’t beat health and taste in the same recipe. Thank you :)

  2. Cyndie says:

    I love the mushroom pizza recipe. I really need to start cooking more healthy options

  3. Great post! I think I’m going to have to try a Portobello Mushroom Pizza ;)

  4. I love pizza and struggle with missing it when I am watching what I eat. Can’t wait to try out your casserole!

    Take care,

    Trish

  5. Tracie says:

    Mmmm! I love a good pizza, and my life could always use more healthy eating. I love that the two can now be combined.

  6. Thanks for sharing your healthy recipe, that’s a mouthwatering pizza you got there, I’m sure a lot of people will agree :-)

  7. Ruby says:

    This is making me so hungry.

  8. Joanne says:

    Great recipes – thank you for sharing. The mushroom pizza sounds awesome!!

  9. Thanks for sharing. I’m such a pizza lover, especially Chicago style, but recently had to try to go gluten free. I’m amazed at how many recipes there are for folks like me. So…it’s your yummy casserole recipe for the family and I’ll try the gluten free one you shared here. :)

  10. Wow, I love these ideas! Can’t wait to try the casserole.

  11. I’m always looking for new recipes. My family would love the pizza casserole. I won’t even tell them that it’s healthy!

  12. These all look so yummy. I think I can even get my little one to try a few of them too. Cant wait to try a few of them.

  13. That looks absolutely scrumptious!