People do crazy things all the time. I do crazy things all the time. But one of the crazy things I will not do is put CAULIFLOWER in my PIZZA CRUST.
I mean, at least call it something else. Cauliflower crust isn’t real pizza. Let me show you what’s real pizza.
Ooey gooey with a nice and chewy, slightly crisp crust. This is pizza:
But there’s something special about this one. Compare to average pizza, this is healthier, whole grain, and, in my opinion, tastier than the pizzas from Papa Johns. 😉
Usually, 100% whole grain breads are tough and dense, but this pizza crust is light, chewy, and soft. I think it’s delicious as it’s nutritious.
So if you thought that you can’t have a couple slices of delicious melty cheesy real pizza when eating healthy, think again! 🍕
Here are 3 simple tips I have for incorporating pizza into a healthy clean diet.
- Use a whole grain crust. Whole grain is superior to refined grains because it’s higher in protein, fiber, and nutrients. My recipe for healthy pizza starts with a homemade pizza crust, which is 100% whole wheat and even has a bit of flax seed for an extra omega-3 boost.
- Top your pizza with real cheese, and mozzarella is a good choice. You don’t have to skimp out on the cheese. It’s a pizza, after all! Mozzarella cheese is the most common pizza topping, and it also happens to be lower in fat than most cheese. For the meltiest, stretchiest cheese, I choose part-skim mozzarella cheese, which also is lower in fat than whole milk mozzarella. For the best flavor, I like to use the fresh blocks of cheese and shred the cheese myself. Just make sure you don’t get the fat-free cheese, which not only tastes like rubber but is also filled with preservatives and unnatural ingredients.
- Share your pizza! And serve it with a big leafy salad. Although healthified, pizza is not a health food. Practice portion control by not eating the entire pan (stick to 2 medium slices) and fill up on fresh salad (dressed in balsamic + olive oil).
I hope you find these tips helpful, and I hope that I’ve shown you that, yes, you can eat and enjoy real pizza that’s not made from cauliflower while eating a healthful, nutritious diet.
Here’s the recipe.
Whole Wheat Pizza Dough
Makes 1 pizza: 8 slices or 4 servings
This pizza dough is super easy to make and is healthy. You will need to prepare a couple hours ahead of time in order for the dough to rise. However, when done right, this whole grain crust should turn out soft and tender.
1 cup of whole wheat pastry flour
1 tsp flaxseed meal
1 tsp vital wheat gluten (optional)*
Pinch of salt
A big tsp instant yeast
1-2 tsp extra virgin olive oil
2 tbsp warm water (#1)
1 tsp honey
2-4 tbsp water, room temperature (#2)
Mix all of the dry ingredients together except for the instant yeast. Add to the instant yeast, the water #1 (the warm water) and the honey and oil. Add this wet mix to the dry ingredients. Slowly add in water #2 (the room temperature water) until a sticky dough has formed. You may or may not use all of the water.
Knead the dough, by hand or by machine (I used a bread machine), for about 15 minutes. Working the dough is necessary to build the gluten to ensure that you get a soft and tender crust.
Oil a warm pot. Let the dough rise for 1- 2 hours, until double in volume. Then, punch down the dough. Flour a surface (cutting board, counter top), and knead the dough for a few times, punching down the dough, slapping it against the surface.
*Vital wheat gluten is optional. If you really work the dough (knead it well), you won’t need to add it.
Spinach Pesto Pizza 🍕 // Assembling the pizza
Of course, you can customize your pizza toppings to whatever you like, but I’ve highlighted the necessary ingredients with a *.
*Mozzarella cheese (I suggest you buy it fresh and shred it yourself – a lot tastier!)
Homemade spinach basil pesto (Will post the recipe for this healthy pesto if interested!)
*Extra virgin olive oil (for brushing)
*Fresh cracked black pepper
*The 100% Whole Wheat Pizza Dough
Preheat the oven to 450F. Place a pizza stone in the oven and let it heat up. If you don’t have a pizza stone, simply preheat an empty oven and just use a baking pan.
Meanwhile, prepare the pizza toppings. For this vegetarian pesto pizza, I like to use sundried tomatoes to give the pizza some texture and because it goes well with pesto and fresh mozzarella cheese, which I shred myself. (I think the pre-shredded cheese doesn’t taste as good as fresh-shredded.)
To assembly the pizza, stretch the dough and roll it as thick or thin as you want into any shape you prefer (I like it on the thinner side, and clearly I don’t make circular pizza’s 😛 ). Pull out the pizza plate from the oven (be careful!), top it with some cornmeal, and transfer the pizza dough onto the hot plate. Then, top the dough with pesto, cheese (be generous, it’s pizza after all!), sundried tomatoes, and black pepper. This is optional (and I forgot to do it this time), but for a golden pizza crust, brush the pizza dough’s outer edge with olive oil.
Bake for 12-13 minutes (keep a close eye).
Enjoy fresh from the oven while the cheese is still melty and hot!
*If you try this yummy pizza out, don’t forget to share your creations on instagram and tag me @vivanttang! I love seeing your rendition of my recipes! 🙂