A few days ago I added a recipe for my favorite homemade pizza sauce. It’s easy to make and way better than any canned stuff at the store. Now I’m going to share a healthy pizza to use the sauce on. Pizza isn’t something that normally is associated with being healthy, but by making a whole wheat crust and choosing colorful veggies instead of greasy meats you will add fiber and other nutrients and will cut down on the fat and calories.
Black Bean Veggie Pizza
1 recipe whole wheat pizza crust (see below)
1 cup pizza sauce
1 can black beans; drained and rinsed
2 handfuls of spinach chopped (about 1 1/2 cups)
1/4 cup red onion; thinly sliced
8 cherry tomatoes, chopped
1 zucchini; halved and sliced
1/2 of a red bell pepper; sliced
1/2 of a yellow pepper; sliced
3 tablespoons chopped basil
1 cup mozzarella cheese
- Preheat oven to 450 degrees with your pizza stone in the oven. If you’re not cooking on a pizza stone, skip this step, and preheat your empty oven to around 400 degrees.
- If you are using a pizza stone, assemble your pizza on a pizza peel or something that allows you to quickly transfer the pizza into your oven and onto the pizza stone. Using cornmeal on the pizza peel helps transfer it to the pizza stone. Cutting the pizza recipe in half and making two smaller pizzas also helps. If you’re using a regular pan/baking sheet go ahead and assemble your pizza directly on it.
- Thinly slice all vegetables. Try to keep everything a relatively uniform thickness (they will cook evenly this way).
- Place ingredients on the pizza dough in the order listed.
- Once the oven is hot and the pizza is topped and ready to go transfer your pizza onto the hot stone in your oven as quickly as you can. If you are baking on a tray just pop the tray in the oven.
- Bake for 15-20 minutes. Since all ovens are a little different check pizza after 10 minutes and keep your eye on it to ensure you don’t over cook it, once you’ve made the pizza a few times you’ll get a good feel for how your oven will bake the pizza.
Here’s a little tip when making this pizza crust. Split the dough in two equal balls and form two pizzas. It will make it easier to transfer to a pizza stone and it will help you roll the dough out thinly enough that you don’t end up with really thick, uneven pizza crust. On that note, my next bit of advice is to roll your dough out as thin as you can. When I first started making pizzas I always felt like I was rolling them out too much and that I would end up with paper-thin, crunchy pizza crust, but the crust will rise a bit in the oven and it tastes so much better because everything will cook evenly. Each ball of dough should make a pizza that is about the same size as a pizza stone. Also, thinner pizza crust makes the pizza even healthier.
If you are having trouble rolling out two balls of dough then try four. Once you get the hang of it then go back to trying two.
Whole Wheat Pizza Crust
- 2 1/2 cups whole wheat flour, plus more for dusting
- 2 1/4 teaspoon active dry yeast
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup warm water
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- In a small bowl, combine yeast, water and 1 tsp sugar. Let sit for five minutes.
- In a food processor add the 2 1/2 cups whole wheat flour, proofed yeast, remaining sugar, oil and salt. Pulse processor to combine all ingredients. Then process until the dough forms a ball on the blade. Remove dough to a large lightly greased bowl. Cover with plastic wrap or a kitchen towel and let rise in a warm place for 45 minutes to an hour or until dough has doubled in bulk.
- Punch down dough and transfer to a floured board and knead briefly.
- Roll out into a circle of desired crust thickness and let rest about 10 minutes (at this time you can put on your desired toppings).
- Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. Place pizza in oven and bake about 10-15 minutes, or until crust is golden brown and toppings are baked. Let pizza rest for about 10 minutes before slicing.