Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Flat Bread Pizzas

Today I thought I'd give you a recipe that isn't likely to pop the button off your jeans. ;-)

Being on the low-fat bandwagon, one thing we miss is pizza. All you have to do is look at the nutrition information on the menu of one pizza place to figure out that you will never find "diet food" in a pizza parlor. Even if you try to cut the carbs by ordering a thin-crust pizza, the cheese and other toppings will blow your calorie count for the whole day.

In order to take control of the calories, you have to go homemade. Personally, I like vegetarian pizzas, and nixing the meat definitely helps keep things healthy, but my husband isn't crazy about them. So, in my quest to create a homemade, healthy pizza, I discovered two things: flatbread, and turkey pepperoni.

I picked up some Flatout Light Original Flatbread, which is only 90 calories per flatbread. It's whole wheat, so the flavor is different from a traditional pizza crust. If you don't like the flavor, you can pick up their original flatbread instead, which is slightly higher in calories but has a more "white bread" taste. Just take note that the original flatbread doesn't get quite as crispy as the light version.

Boar's Head makes a Turkey Pepperoni that tastes like the real thing, but is 70% lower in fat and 50% lower in calories than regular pepperoni. You can't beat 70 calories per ounce and only one gram of saturated fat.

As for other toppings, sliced mushrooms are a standby for me, because they are practically a freebie when it comes to calories. I get the baby portabella mushrooms because they last longer in the fridge than standard white button mushrooms, and they have a better flavor and texture. We also like black olives, thinly sliced zucchini, tomato and, of course, mozzarella cheese.

Personally, I don't believe that non-fat cheese qualifies as real cheese. I like to keep the "fillers" in my food to a minimum. Sargento makes some fabulous reduced-fat cheese made from 2% milk, and as long as you weigh out no more than 1 serving for your recipe, you can eat this cheese while dieting.

Tomato sauce also isn't high in calories, but with a flatbread pizza, you don't want to put too much on or else you'll over-saturate the bread. We like Newman's Own Marinara Sauce for our pasta, so I use it on our pizzas as well.

The ideal pan for making flatbread pizzas is a pizza pan with holes in it. It allows the crust to get crispy to the center, rather than being crispy on the edges and soggy in the middle. I got one from Cuisinart and it's fabulous. I can fit two flatbreads on my pizza pan, so I don't have to feed us in shifts.

So here is how you put it together:

April's Flatbread Pizza

Preheat your oven to 425 degrees.

Place your flatbread on your pizza pan (1 per person).
Spread a thin layer (2-3 teaspoons) of tomato sauce to the edges of your flatbread.
Layer turkey pepperoni, mushrooms, olives, and any other toppings you like.
Put a serving (28 grams by weight) of low-fat mozzarella on top of other ingredients.

Put your pizza in the oven for 15-20 minutes, or until the top is golden brown.

As soon as it comes out of the oven, sprinkle an Italian Spice blend on top. If you're feeling a little naughty, you can also sprinkle a little bit of Parmesan cheese on top.

Cut and enjoy immediately. It cools off quickly, so make sure you are ready to eat when it comes out of the oven. We like to serve ours with a green salad.

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