I don’t know about you, but I LOVE pizza.

Any excuse to have pizza night is fine by me, and grilled pizza or “make your own” pizza night is a special splurge. Both are favorites in my home on Friday nights! And, my Grilled Pizza Bar Party is especially fun! 

I love the adaptability and versatility of pizza night too. It’s really just an opportunity to use up the leftovers, minus a casserole dish (throwback to the 70’s right there!), and with “make your own” pizza, it allows you to load up with veggies, even when your kids might not go that route.

Salad pizza is a great opportunity to empty your fridge of veggies that need to be used and to keep a bit of health intact even with pizza night. Pull out the leftovers, grab a crust (lots of choices) and get creative!

Consider your LEFTOVERS to be taken care of…Easy, Peasy!

  1. Leftover BBQ chicken becomes a BBQ pizza with pineapple segments, red onion, chopped fresh cilantro with a sprinkle of cheddar or mozzarella cheese
  2. Leftover roasted veggies becomes a Salad pizza (see recipe below) with a sprinkle of feta or goat cheese
  3. Leftover chicken teriyaki meatballs becomes and Asian pizza with a smear of sweet and sour sauce, meatballs, green onion, a sprinkle of mozzarella, and slivered almonds
  4. Leftover roasted chicken becomes a Sweet Chutney Chicken pizza with mango chutney and garlic, chicken, arugula, a sprinkle of provolone, and rehydrated dried cranberries. 

Let’s talk CRUST!

If I can be totally honest, it’s the chewy carb-loaded crust that is my favorite. But, the after effect isn’t equally great. Each bite feels like an inch added to the hips, and the gluten isn’t so great on my tummy either. There are lots of alternative crusts on the market these days.

  1. Cauliflower crust – both homemade and store bought
  2. Zucchini crust
  3. Portobello mushroom caps
  4. Eggplant disc crusts
  5. English muffins – whole grain or sprouted grain are best choices
  6. Naan or Pita bread – whole grain or sprouted grain are best choices
  7. Tortilla crustwhole grain or sprouted grain are best choices

Cauliflower crust pizza is best for health, but sometimes you have to live BIG too! A store-bought crust is a real treat, and many markets have whole wheat options. These pre-made crusts save time and when loaded with veggies, they create a yummy and semi-guilt free meal for the start of a fun weekend. 

SALAD PIZZA

Ingredients: truly you can use any veggies you have on hand!

  • 1 pizza crust (about 8 to 12 ounces) see notes below OR use one of the healthier crusts listed above
  • 1/2 cup tomato sauce
  • 1 cup mushrooms
  • 2 plum tomatoes, sliced
  • 1 cup asparagus spears, sliced lengthwise
  •  1/2 cup sliced red onion
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 clove garlic, peeled and sliced thin
  • 4 cups arugula or other fresh greens
  • tablespoon fresh basil, shredded
  • Drizzle of olive oil
  • Dash of vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons of grated Parmesan cheese

Directions:

Roll a pizza crust to a large 10 or 12 inch circle and place on a pizza stone. Preheat the oven to 425F. Top the pizza with the sauce, mushrooms, sliced tomatoes, asparagus, onion, garlic, and oregano. Bake for 20 minutes, or until the crust is golden. Top with arugula, fresh basil, olive oil, vinegar, and Parmesan cheese.

Tips:

Buy your pizza dough from a local market or make it easily yourself: 1 1/2 cups tepid water, 3.5 cups flour, 1 packet of yeast, 1 tsp olive oil, dash of salt and 1 tsp of sugar; knead for 10 minutes to smooth dough. Allow to rise one hour, punch down and use to roll pizza. For whole grain pizza use white whole wheat flour in place of regular flour. King Arthur’s makes a great one found in most baking sections of stores or online.

Serves 4. Each serving: 230 calories, 2g fat, 0g saturated fat, 0g trans fat, 107 mg cholesterol, 586 3mg sodium, 34g carbohydrate, 6g fiber, 3g sugars, 20g protein.