A Healthier Pizza

Ok, you’re probably a bit surprised to find me writing about pizza here on a “yoga blog”. “Isn’t she supposed to be drinking decaf green tea and eating a strict diet of tofu and sprouts?” Well, one thing that I think yoga serves to do for me is to bring out and celebrate my authentic self. I actually do enjoy tofu and sprouts, but that doesn’t mean I am going to restrict myself to them. I have been a big lover of pizza my whole life, and let’s admit it…there are times when you just have to have a couple of slices and an ice cold beer. You must allow yourself to have some enjoyment now and then; it makes you a more joyful person to be around. Ordering pizza 3 times a week a shoving down a whole pie on your own…not so cool.

My husband and I have decided to cut back a bit on our pizza forays, to save money and a few calories. Now we’ve been enjoying it a few times a month, made fresh at home by yours truly. Putting the time and love into preparing your own food is a much more soulful experience. Try out the recipe below–it’s a snap to make and this pizza is a much healthier, lower fat, portion-controlled alternative to the greasy, gigantic delivery pizza.

8 small vine tomatoes (I like Trader Joe’s “tomatoes on the vine”)
1 herb garlic crust (thank you also Trader Joe’s)
Garlic Cloves
Buffalo Mozzarella (this comes in a round ball packed in water. It is mozzarella made with Buffalo milk–it has a very smooth, creamy flavor and is much easier on your digestive system, an excellent alternative to cow’s milk)
2 tsp Olive Oil
Fresh Basil
Salt, pepper

Pre-heat the oven to 400 degrees. Toss the tomatoes in a bowl with 1 tsp olive oil. Space them evenly apart on a cookie sheet and roast for about half an hour. You should see the skins splitting and the tomatoes starting to caramelize a bit and break down into sauce. Place them back into the bowl and mash up well with a fork. The skins should break down and mix right in. Place 4-5 raw garlic cloves in the sauce and add a few cranks of fresh sea salt and pepper. Mix well, cover with plastic wrap and chill for a few hours in the fridge.

Before we move on to the next part, I highly recommend investing in two things:
-A Pizza Peel This is a large, over-sized paddle for pulling a nice hot pizza put of the oven. I got mine from Surfas in Culver City.
-A pizza stone–really critical to preheat this in the oven–it is a miracle product for creating evenly cooked, crispy crusts.   Also easy to find at Surfas or order it online.

For the crust, I recommend only taking HALF of what you are given in the Trader’s Joe’s pizza dough package. This will not only keep your crust crispy and thin, but it will keep things properly portion controlled for two people.  Preheat the oven to 450 with your stone on the middle shelf. Set the dough out for about 10 minutes to come to room temperature. Sprinkle some flour on a work surface and just barely knead/pat the dough out to make an 8-10 inch circle.

Now have all your ingredients handy–you will want to slice into discs half of the mozzarella cheese ball.  Have your sauce, a ladle, your fresh basil, olive oil, salt and pepper right next to the oven.  With oven mitts, slide the shelf out with the pizza stone.  Carefully and gently lay out your dough onto the stone.  Quickly… ladle on the sauce, sprinkle with basil,  arrange your cheese slices, and top with fresh salt/pepper and drizzle with olive oil.

Close up the oven and bake for about 12 minutes when the crust is crisp and golden.  A perfect pizza for two people, best enjoyed with a fresh tossed salad and a glass of wine.

Enjoy and Namaste!

McKenna Rowe is the Founder of Chakra 5 Mobile Yoga, an experienced team of corporate yoga instructors that provides mobile yoga classes on location and by appointment at businesses, schools and organizations throughout greater Los Angeles. Call us to start your corporate wellness program today: 310-853-3885.

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