Pizza is one of those foods that often gets tossed in the “junk food” category. For a significant amount of time in my life, I, myself, shied away from the food unless an occasion was deemed special enough. There’s a reason for this way of thinking: The pizza you can get delivered from Domino’s or your favorite local pizzeria is loaded with sodium and saturated fat. But at its core, pizza is simply dough, vegetables, cheese and maybe some meat. None of these things are inherently unhealthy. The key, as always, is portion control. And there is no better way to control pizza ingredients than to make the pizza yourself.
At the risk of sounding dramatic, homemade pizza has changed my life. I once described myself as “not really a pizza person.” Now I make pizza at home at least once a week. Pizza dough is a great vehicle for anything and everything that you have in the fridge. Have some veggies you need to get rid of? Throw it on dough. Craving just a few slices of pepperoni? Throw it on dough and load the rest of the pizza with fresh produce. Homemade pizza is extremely customizable, you don’t have to follow a recipe and (the best part!) you don’t even have to make your own dough.
This simple recipe incorporates all of the macronutrients (carbs, protein and fat) in addition to vitamins and minerals, from the veggies, for a well-balanced, delicious meal.
Vegetarian Pizza with Soy Chorizo
– 1 package store-bought pizza dough (I like the Trader Joe’s brand)
– ½ bell pepper, chopped
– ¼ red onion, chopped
– 3 medium button mushrooms, sliced
– 2 tbsp BBQ sauce
– Soy chorizo (also from Trader Joe’s)
– Gruyere cheese
1. Preheat oven to 475 degrees. Warm a cast iron pan in oven (if you don’t have a cast iron, a regular baking sheet will do just fine).
2. When pan is slightly warm, flour the dough and spread into pan.
3. Add sauce, vegetables and as much/little soy chorizo and cheese as you like.
4. Pop into the oven for 15-20 minutes.
Top photo: Jean Hanks