Green Pizza

I got bored with the South Beach Diet. That boredom also coincided with a plateau in weight loss.   A while back, I had bookmarked these 500 calorie menus on Eating Well so I thought they were worth a second look. This pizza recipe is unique in that it uses no tomato sauce and is completely vegetarian. AJ is my patient food tester. He ate four slices. What do you think? I asked him. “No meat,” he observed. Everyone’s a critic. Well, I thought it was crunchy and chewy and had the salty tang of olives and the nutty flavor of edamame.  Of course, I played around with the recipe so it’s not exactly 323 calories per serving. So though the menu is under 500 calories no one can eat just one slice of pizza. I ate two.

1 recipe pizza dough, preferably whole wheat (I used Whole Food’s prepared pizza dough)
2 cups broccoli florets (I used up some cooked leftover broccoli, edamame, green beans, and spinach)
5 ounces (6 cups) arugula
1/2 cup pesto (I used green olive tapenade)
salt and pepper to taste
1/4 cup water
2 cups shredded part skim mozzarella cheese

Blind bake the crust. Preheat oven 450˚F. Spray cooking spray on a pan. I used a rectangular 11×17 inch rimmed baking sheet. On a lightly floured board, roll out the pizza dough as thin as possible to fit the prepared pan. I suggest pricking the dough with a fork before sliding the pan into the oven to prevent it from puffing up. Bake 8-10 minutes or until the bottom of the crust is lightly golden. It’s not a disaster if the crust puffs up. I didn’t do this step and the top looked like a calzone. I simply poked the crust all over with a fork to deflate it.

Prepare the topping. Heat the water in a large skillet. Add the broccoli florets and cook 3 minutes or until crisp tender. Add the arugula to the broccoli and toss until wilted, about 1-2 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Cool slightly. I recommend draining the vegetables or squeezing out the excess water.

Assemble and bake the pizza. Spread the pesto or tapenade on top of the baked crust. Top with the broccoli mixture. Sprinkle mozzarella cheese evenly on top of the vegetables. Bake the pizza 8-10 minutes or until the edges are lightly golden and the cheese has melted.

Serve. I served the pizza with a side of sliced fresh tomatoes drizzled with olive oil and sprinkled with salt, pepper, and basil.

Variation

  • For the meat lovers, add chopped Italian sausage (sweet or hot) to the topping.
  • Add chopped fresh or roasted red pepper, for color–then it won’t be a green pizza but a red and green pizza!
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