In Michael Pollan's excellent book Food Rules, a highly readable common sense collection of rules for healthful eating, #39 is "Eat all the junk food you want as long as you cook it yourself." I love this rule! I don't want to live in a world without pizza, but most delivery is an abomination of sugar, salt and grease. Good luck finding whole wheat crust, sauces are laden with sugar, and I'm not even going to address the greasy, oily cheese situation at most delivery places.
But there's good news: It's very easy to make your own pizza at home that is A. Delicious, and B. Nutritious. Plus, C. It's easy to make, and D. Pizza made at home can easily support your health and fitness goals!
Pizza at Home Like a Boss
- 100% Whole wheat pizza dough with SIMPLE ingredients--no preservatives or additives. Whole Foods offers an excellent dough with whole wheat flour, yeast, salt and little else; as does Wegmans and Trader Joe's.
- A couple Tablespoons of 100% whole wheat flour
- Jarred or fresh marinara sauce. The sugar content for a 1/2 cup serving should be less than 5 grams of sugar, and it should be naturally occurring in the tomatoes. That means the ingredient list should not contain sugar, cane sugar, high fructose corn syrup or any additives or preservatives beyond salt.
- Loads of vegetables cut into very thin slices. Onions, bell peppers, fresh tomato, zucchini, canned artichoke hearts, whatever you like! Get creative with other toppings, like olives, basil pesto, smoked tofu, spinach or baby kale
- Optional toppings for finishing your pizza, like a drizzle of tahini (sesame seed paste), a sprinkle of nutritional yeast (cheesy-tasting flakes found in natural food stores), or Parmesan cheese
- Leave the dough out on the counter ahead of time and allow it to warm up closer to room temp
- Preheat your oven to 400F, and line one or more cookie sheets with parchment paper (DON'T SKIP THE PARCHMENT!)
- Sprinkle about a tablespoon of flour on a large cutting board of a clean counter space.
- Divide up your dough if you'd like to make personal pizzas, and note that the dough freezes exceptionally well if you don't want to use it all.
- Roll it into a very thin crust (it will rise a small amount), adding more flour to your surface or rolling pin if the dough is very wet and sticky
- Transfer the rolled dough to your parchment-lined cookie sheet, layer on the sauce and load up your toppings
- If you've rolled the crust very thin, check at 15 minutes for done-ness. A thicker crust, or lots of wet toppings may take closer to 20 minutes.
- If you like a charred top, turn the broiler on for a couple minutes before removing from the oven.
- Add any additional finishes, allow your pizza to cool a couple minutes, then slice it up and enjoy. Like a boss.