Well, since Miranda wrote about IC friendly pizza and Irene wrote about gluten-free pizza, I decided I had to jump on the pizza bandwagon and write about weight-friendly vegetarian pizza. This was a good bandwagon to jump on.
Like everyone else in the world, I love a good pizza. Every once in awhile I'll indulge in real, delicious, perfect pizza, but obviously that's not an everyday kind of thing for me--but I want to eat pizza every day! It's a true conundrum. That being the case, I have to find ways to get my pizza fix without totally undoing my long spinning sessions at the gym.
(side story: there was a point in time when Miranda and I literally ate pizza every single day, before she was diagnosed with IC. This was years ago. It was perhaps not our proudest hour)
The easiest way for me to get pizza'd and keep it relatively healthy is to turn to good ol' Amy. Amy's Kitchen makes really tasty organic pizzas in single serving sizes that are great for me when I'm in a pizza pinch. I really like to have one alongside a simple green salad with olive oil and vinegar for dinner after a cardio gym session. They're satisfying and truly delicious; I've never had any other frozen pizza that actually tastes good. I do bake my Amy's pizzas in the oven, rather than heat them up in the microwave, because microwaving pizza is for suckers.
The pies are all under 500 calories, are totally organic, and while they're a little high in fat, it's nothing that makes me run for the hills. The few extra fat grams are totally worth smashing a pizza craving. The Margherita is my favorite.
When I'm not in the mood for frozen pizza and I have a lot of time on my hands, I love to make a honey whole wheat dough and pizza sauce from scratch. Guess how often I have that much time on my hands?
The thing about making dough from scratch is you have to let it rise and knead it out and yadda yadda yadda. Come on. I need pizza now!
The good news is, I came up with a fabulous quick and easy pizza recipe that I turn to when I'm not feeling the Amy's and don't have time for all the kneading and rising.
Check it out:
This recipe serves one and I enjoy this for under 400 calories! Actually, as long as I keep an eye on the cheese, I can usually make it for just under 300 calories. Unreal!
1 Flatout flatbread. I use the multigrain with flax kind.
1-2 tbsp pizza sauce. I usually have some homemade marinara on hand that I use, but I won't judge if you use jarred sauce. I do it in a pinch.
2 oz. freshly grated part skim mozzarella. I do insist on the freshly grated stuff. There's nothing like a soft mound of freshly grated mozzarella cheese. It totally beats the pre-shredded stuff in the bag that's coated in cornstarch. That stuff will ruin your life.
Garlic salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
1 tsp olive oil
Your favorite pizza toppings. I used mushrooms, onions, sundried tomatoes, and fresh basil!
Parmesan cheese, grated
Preheat the oven to 400 F. Spray a cookie sheet with cooking spray and sprinkle a little garlic salt on top. Place the Flatout flatbread on the cookie sheet and spread the olive oil around the edges of the flatbread. Spread the pizza sauce on the flatbread; be careful not to use too much. One tbsp should do it, but you can use a little more if you really like sauce, just remember that the flatbread is relatively thin. Spread the freshly shredded mozzarella on the pie and finish it off with your favorite toppings* and salt and pepper to taste. Bake in the oven for about 10 minutes, top with fresh parmesan cheese and fresh herbs, then cut into quarters and eat it up!
*If you're using fresh herbs like basil on your pizza, sprinkle them on top after the pizza is done. If you put them in the oven they'll burn up!
The whole process from beginning to finish (not including the eating) takes about 20 minutes. This is a great way to eat pizza and keep it healthy. The Flatout flatbreads are about 100-110 calories apiece. Add the sauce, the cheese, and some veggies on top and you have a complete meal!
Like Miranda and Irene, I also really enjoy eating at Mellow Mushroom and Pizza Fusion. Both restaurants have options for people who are looking to keep it healthy. Mellow Mushroom is great because they use part-skim mozzarella; my big thing there is that I have to keep my portions in check. I love their Magical Mystery Tour pizza, add onions, no jalapenos. It has a pesto crust and is loaded with mushrooms. When I go there I get a single serving pie, eat two slices, and save the other two for the next day. Leftover Mellow Mushroom is the best! The slices on the small pies are a good size. I'm still waiting for MM to come out with nutritional information, but several reputable calorie counter sites report that a slice of cheese pizza from MM is around 250 calories, which is pretty awesome. I tend to think they're probably closer to 300 calories apiece. Mellow Mushroom, please come out with nutritional info!
Pizza Fusion has lots of great vegetarian options and they have nutritional information posted on their website (go Pizza Fusion!) Their pies are thin, they offer multigrain crust, and they're mostly organic. It's a win-win-win. I love the Farmer's Market and the Bruschetta single serving pies the best; it's always hard to choose.
So there you have it. There are plenty of weight-friendly pizza options out there for you; after all, a life without pizza is not much of a life at all, is it?