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Guilt Free Pesto Pizza + Recipe

by Sima Cohen

January 15, 2014 | 4:47 pm

WHO DOESN'T LOVE PIZZA?
I know I do! I love it with thin, thick or medium crust. I love it when it's extra warm, and when the cheese is melting in my mouth... I love eating pizza, but don't like the sluggish or guilty feelings I get afterward. As you may know by now, my philosophy is, "I want to have the cake and eat it too." In this case, I want to apply the same philosophy to pizza; I want to eat it all, enjoy every bite of it, and know that it contains ingredients that are loaded with the vitamins, calcium, and friendly fats that are good for me. That's why I came up with this delicious idea: pizza that is actually good for you! And the best part is that it takes only 10 minutes from beginning to end.

WHAT’S IN A PIZZA?
A typical slice from a 14-inch cheese pizza with regular crust contains between 250-350 calories and 10-17g of fat. Now add pepperoni, sausage and a cheese-stuffed crust, and you increase these numbers to nearly 500 calories and 26g of fat per slice. "Gourmet" pizza restaurants that offer individual pizzas do not fare much better with pizzas that contain between 1,400 and 1,700 calories and 30 g of fat each!

YOUR CURRENT OPTIONS.
Pizza is an easy go-to food loved by people of all ages. With frozen, delivery, take-out, gourmet and bake-at-home options aplenty, pizza is a quick fit for just about any occasion. An occasional indulgence in commercial pizza is okay, but if it is a regular feature in your diet, you may want to consider alternatives.

Pizza can be a healthy option if you avoid the grease and refined-flour. Try giving it a makeover, just as I have done in the recipe below:

GUILT-FREE PESTO PIZZA(Serves 2)

prep: 5 mins
cook time: 10 mins

Ingredients

2 Eziekel tortillas; OR
2 Brown rice tortillas; OR
1 pc. 100% whole-wheat pita
4 T Pesto sauce
4 oz. Goat cheese, shredded
1 Tomato, slices
6 Olives (optional)
½ Avocado, cut into 2 equal pieces

Preparations

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees
2. Spread each tortilla with pesto sauce, top with shredded goat cheese, sliced tomatoes, and olives.
3. Bake pizza for 8-10 mins or until cheese is melted.
4. Remove from oven and let cool for few minutes.
5. Add avocado on top and enjoy!

HOME-MADE PESTO SAUCE 

Ingredients

2 C fresh basil leaves (fresh parsley can be used as well)
¼ C extra virgin olive oil
1-2 garlic clove(s)
¼ C low-fat Parmesan cheese
¼ C raw walnuts, toasted (optional)
1T fresh lemon juice
grated zest of 1 lemon
fresh black pepper

Preparations

1. Combine all ingredients (except cheese) in a food processor or high-speed blender.
2. Puree until smooth. It should become a thick paste.
3. Stir in the cheese and season with black pepper.

* FYI: This sauce can be used on pizza, on pasta, as dressing for salads and sandwiches, or marinade for chicken and fish. I even like it as a dip with my homemade lavash-chips. The possibilities are limitless!

Will keep fresh in the fridge for 5-7 days.

Other optional toppings:

Sun dried tomatoes, mushrooms, onions, turkey bacon, pineapple, red bell pepper, arugula, dried oregano, minced garlic, fresh basil.

Do you have any other favorite toppings? What's your favorite pizza?

Let me know in the comments below.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

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Sima (which translates “Joy” in Hebrew) is poised to become the next big hit in health and wellness in America. An Israeli immigrant, Sima came to the states 20 years ago...

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