A Simple Hack for a Healthier Pizza
A simple hack for a healthier pizza
My simple hack for a healthier pizza? Eliminate the crust.
I know! I know! Cue eye rolls. “But, Kelly, I thought you were OFF the low-carb bandwagon!” You’re right, I am. I rediscovered my love of carbs when I realized that they weren’t making me fat — but that’s a story for another day.
However, I am still on the no-processed-crap bandwagon (most of the time). I try to live by Michael Pollan’s food rules: If you want to eat junk, eat as much as you want…but make it yourself…from scratch.
Take a gander at the ingredient list on a store-bought pizza crust. I mean, would you really add calcium propionate, modified food starch, or artificial colors into your own homemade baked goods? I wouldn’t. For this reason, I typically shun pre-made pizza crust.
Of course, that means I’d have to make my own pizza crust every time we want pizza, which is at least once a week. Have you ever tried to make a good pizza crust? It’s a boat-load of work to get something that tastes even close to decent. (Let’s be honest, even most store-bought pizza crusts are disgusting too.)
So, if I’m not willing to make pizza crust myself from simple, wholesome ingredients, I choose to eliminate it altogether…and use chicken, pounded thin, as the “crust”.
Maybe I should just call it chicken Parmesan…but seriously…whether or not it’s actually pizza, this is a fantastic dish!
A simple recipe for a healthier pizza
Chicken Crust Pizza
2 chicken breast halves, pounded thin
Pizza sauce, preferably organic or homemade
Step 1: Preheat your oven to 375 degrees F. Cover a flat surface with a layer of plastic wrap. Lay the chicken breasts on top of the plastic wrap. Put another layer of plastic wrap over the chicken. Using a meat mallet or a hammer, pound out the chicken breasts until they are ¼ to ½ inch in thickness.
Step 2: Discard plastic wrap. Press chicken breasts onto a rimmed baking sheet, rimmed glass dish, or a cast iron pan. I usually baste the chicken with a little olive oil and sprinkle with sea salt, black pepper, and dried Italian seasonings, but I didn’t list it in the ingredients (because I know most people don’t like or have time for long ingredient lists), so this is optional. Put chicken in the preheated oven for 25 to 35 minutes, or until completely done.
Step 3: Remove from the oven and carefully drain any liquid from the cooked chicken. Top chicken with pizza sauce, cheese, and desired toppings. Bake for another 10 minutes, or until the cheese is melted.
Step 4: EAT IT!
Upgrades for a healthier pizza
Add veggies! Need I say more?
Actually, I do need to say more. This is your chance to get creative with your pizza and boost your health! Use traditional pizza toppings like mushroom, olive, and banana peppers. Or go crazy-veggie and add loads of chopped broccoli, cauliflower, and bell peppers. When it comes to pizza, almost anything goes! A few other creative healthy pizza ideas:
Try goat cheese and dried cherries or figs.
Margherita-style: loaded with homegrown tomatoes, fresh basil, and real mozzarella cheese.
Mexican-style: use salsa in place of the pizza sauce, and top with fresh avocado or a dollop of guac.
Greek-style: use hummus in place of pizza sauce, and top with feta, olives, spinach, orange bell pepper, and sliced cherry tomatoes.
Did you try making healthier pizza?
I hope you enjoyed reading this post as much I enjoyed the “research” in creating it. Wink, wink.
If you made this recipe, let me know how it turned out!
I hope you enjoyed this post and thank you for reading!
If you want to stay updated on blog posts and all the happenings at Kelly Bailey Wellness, please sign up to receive my bi-monthly newsletter! Just scroll to the bottom of the page and enter your email address where it says “subscribe”!
Blog Author: Kelly Bailey, IIN certified holistic nutrition coach, and NPTI certified personal trainer
Learn more about the author here.