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Posted by on Mar 11, 2014 in Nutrition, Nutrition Tips, Recipes | 0 comments

March into Spring with fresh seasonal veggies and PIZZA!

An abundance of seasonal spring favorites are about to hit your local produce shelves. A great way to maximize the nutritional value of any recipe is to include a wide variety of veggies. What better vehicle for all this valuable nutrition than the classic favorite…PIZZA! Swapping out traditional ingredients for ones that pack a “bigger bang for your buck” is an easy way to create the healthy pizza of your dreams. Here are some great alternatives to the traditional pizza ingredients we all love. For more great ideas like these and info about how to have The Healthy Nut prepare food for you, check out the NEW website at www.HealthNutAustin.com.

Toppings: The more fresh veggies the better! Don’t be afraid to get creative. Broccoli, asparagus, artichokes, and brussels sprouts all roast well and make delicious additions to any pizza.

Sauce: Pesto, sun dried tomato tapenade, light all natural alfredo sauce, hummus, salsa, olive oil and fresh garlic, are all great alternatives to traditional tomato sauce. If you do go with tomato sauce, try to make sure it doesn’t have added sugar.

Cheese: Use fresh mozzarella and ricotta instead of the processed varieties. More is not always better. Make sure the toppings are the stars of the show.

Crust: Being from Chicago, I will always have a special place in my heart for Gino’s East cornmeal crust deep dish pizza. However, in order to enjoy this special treat every once in a while, I have to make sure to satisfy my more frequent cravings with healthier options. Polenta, cauliflower, and eggplant are just a few alternative crusts that will please any pizza aficionado.

Give this one a try…

Asparagus, Spinach and Artichoke Pizza with Cauliflower Crust

Makes 1 8″-10″ pizza

Toppings: 

1/2 cup chopped asparagus

1/2 cup diced artichoke hearts (canned in water not oil)

1 cup sauce of your choice (My favorite options are sun dried tomato pesto or light all natural alfredo.)

* If you use pesto or an oil based sauce, it goes a long way. You should only need about 1/2 a cup

4 oz ball fresh mozzarella thinly sliced or shredded

1/4 cup Parmesan cheese

1/2 cup fresh ricotta

1 cup fresh spinach leaves

* For the meat eaters out there, spicy Italian turkey sausage compliments this pizza perfectly!

Cauliflower Crust:

1 Small head Cauliflower (3 cups riced)

1/2 cup Parmesan Cheese

1/2 cup Mozzarella Cheese

1 tsp fresh parsley finely chopped

1 tsp fresh Oregano finely chopped

1 tsp fresh Basil finely chopped

1/2 tsp Garlic Powder

1/2 tsp Pepper

1/4 tsp Kosher Salt

1 whole Egg

Red Pepper Flakes (optional)

Pulse the cauliflower in a food processor until it looks like tiny grains of rice. Place all of it in a microwave safe dish and heat for 10 minutes, taking it out every 2 -3 minutes to stir. Place the steamed cauliflower in cheese cloth and allow to cool for a few minutes. Squeeze as much water out of the cauliflower before mixing it with the rest of the crust ingredients. Once you steam and drain you should have about 2 cups or cauliflower. Add the rest of the crust ingredients and mix together. Lay out the mixture on a baking sheet and spread out evenly into whatever shape you want. I like square because it’s easier to cut and share. Once you have an even layer of crust, place in the oven at 400 degrees for about 10-15 minutes or until the crust starts to get lightly golden brown. Combine the sauce and fresh ricotta, this makes the cheese much easier to spread. Once the crust starts to brown take it out and coat with ricotta/sauce mixture and the remaining toppings. Layer on the mozzarella and parmesan cheese. Place the pizza back in the oven for another 10 – 15 minutes, or until the top layer of cheese is golden brown. Let the pizza cool for about 5 minutes before cutting, this will help the crust set. Slice it up and enjoy!
For more delicious recipes and information on how to have Audrey prepare healthy meals just for you, visit www.HealthNutAustin.com today.  Pizza