Friday, September 17, 2010

Yes, you can eat pizza.

Every town has at least one gem of a pizza place. Mine happens to be located just off the city beach, situated next to an active train stop and within walking distance of a newly renovated carousel. The sights and sounds alone overwhelm the senses, but the pizza itself really takes on your taste buds. It might possibly be the best pizza I've ever had. For real, it's that good. The crust is thin, the veggies are perfectly chopped and the sauce...oh, the sauce. It's delightful in the exact way a pizza sauce should be. And then some. But in the end, it's still just another pizza that must be consumed cautiously. Despite the veggies, one slice can pack a pretty serious amount of calories. But that's not to say that pizza can't be healthy.

I made the tasty guy below for lunch yesterday. The crust is a combination of ground turkey (protein) and oats (carbs), and I used cottage cheese instead of mozzarella. Sounds weird, but that's what makes it a bit healthier. The whole thing measured about five inches in diameter, so it was the perfect serving size. I found the original recipe in the September issue of Oxygen, but I tweaked it slightly to accommodate my taste buds. I also doubled the ingredients (reflected below) so that I could make a pizza for Jason, too.

1 cup oats
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp ground flaxseed
1/4 lb ground turkey
1 cup spinach, chopped
5 basil leaves, chopped
1 large garlic clove, minced
1/4 cup low-sodium tomato paste
1/4 cup low-fat cottage cheese
2 tbsp red onion, chopped
2 tbsp red bell pepper, chopped
1/4 cup sliced mushrooms
Italian seasoning

Preheat your oven to 350F. Mix the oats, baking powder, flaxseed and turkey in a bowl. Separate the dough into two portions, then flatten each on a single pizza pan. Bake for five minutes, flip and bake another five minutes, then remove the pan from the oven.

Spread the minced garlic across the two crusts, then add the tomato paste. Follow with the spinach and basil, then the mushrooms, pepper and onion. Top your creation with dabs of cottage cheese and a few dashes of Italian seasoning. Bake the entire thing for another five minutes, or at least until the cheese melts a bit.

Eat it slowly, and savor every last bite. For some zing, splash a bite or two with Frank's Red Hot sauce. If you like hot things, you'll love Frank's Red Hot sauce. I promise.

Question: What's the one pizza ingredient you can't live without? And what's the craziest pizza you've ever consumed? Don't tell me it involves anchovies, I just might puke.

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