Quarantine Cooking: Vegetarian Pizza with Soy Chorizo

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

Ingredients:

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

Directions:

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

About Jean Hanks (7 Articles)
Jean Hanks is a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist, passionate runner and lover of all things food. Jean grew up in Brooklyn, New York and attended Brooklyn Technical High School, where a mandatory health class sparked her interest in nutrition. She went on to pursue a Bachelor of Arts in sociology (with a minor in dance) from Tulane University in New Orleans, and then a Masters of Science in nutrition from Hunter College in New York City. While attending grad school, Jean wrote for the Jewish Daily Forward as the Food Intern, commenting on food news, reviewing cookbooks, and posting original recipes to the publication’s website. Jean is now the head dietitian at Buena Vida Continuing Care and Rehabilitation Center in Brooklyn. She has run eight half marathons and made her marathon debut in Philadelphia in November 2018. You can often find Jean in the kitchen, cooking, with a glass of red wine. Feel free to contact Jean with any nutrition-related questions at jhanks3181@gmail.com.