Healthy Garden Pizza

                  Healthy Garden Pizza

Fresh pizza dough, colorful healthy toppings, and bubbling melted mozzarella cheese all work to create a tasty semi-homemade pizza for two or a crowd.  In order to maintain my sanity with school and work full-time, I like to make semi-homemade recipes that are good for you, taste great, and above all simple. This recipe for healthy garden pizza is an easy and quick recipe that is worth the little extra step here and there. My local grocery store, Publix, sells fresh pizza dough made daily in their bakery. These delicious balls of dough allow you to still get that quality homemade taste that is lacking in the canned variety, without going through the effort of making your own dough on a busy weeknight.

          Hot Italian Turkey Sausage          steamed broccoli

 I couldn’t find my rolling pin, so I hand-stretched and tossed the pizza dough like those guys you watch at an Italian restaurant- minus the finesse. Lightly sprinkle flour on the surface you are using to work the dough into your desired shape.  Before I laid my dough on the baking sheet I added a scant amount of cornmeal for crunch and to prevent sticking to the aluminum foil (I ran out of parchment paper). I let the dough for my healthy garden pizza rest under a damp paper towel while I prepared the toppings for assembly and preheated the oven.

Seasoned Dough IMG_1108 Pizza ready for the oven

I happened to have onions, black olives, steamed broccoli, and hot Italian turkey sausage on hand, but these easy homemade pizzas would go great with any toppings of your choice. I crumbled the contents of one hot Italian turkey sausage link and cooked them through, chopped my onion, and halved the black olives. Instead of a rich tomato sauce, I opted for a very thin coating of light creamy alfredo on top of the well-seasoned dough. The easy pizza was lightly sauced, topped with veggies, sausage and cheese, and small little dollops of creamy ricotta throughout for richness before being popped into the oven.

                  Pizza Pie Perfection

The pizza was hot and delicious and tasted healthy. Not like a heavy delivery pizza that weighs you down. The abundance of fresh veggies and light sauce helped keep the flavors light and refreshing. This garden pizza is just one of many varieties to enjoy. The best thing about this pizza is the savory seasoning on the dough and its chewy, light texture. Next time I’ll add lots of red pepper flakes. Take back dinner friends, and cook at home!

Healthy Garden Pizza

Serves 2-3 generously

Slice of pie

1 ball fresh pizza dough from your local bakery

Brush with olive oil

Sprinkle with Italian Seasoning and Salt to taste

½ cup light Creamy Alfredo Sauce

3-4 ounces crumbled Hot Italian Turkey Sausage

¼ chopped Red Onion (or to your liking)

4 ounces Broccoli, steamed

1/3 cup Extra-Large Black Olives, halved

1 cup 2% Mozzarella Cheese

6-8 tsp Part-Skim Ricotta dolloped on pizza

Preheat oven to 350. Roll out pizza dough or hand-toss and stretch dough to your desired shape. Make sure your surface is clean, sprinkle with flour if needed. Scatter cornmeal on baking sheet to prevent sticking and add crunch. Lay pizza dough flat and cover with damp paper towel. Crumble and cook sausage till cooked through, dice onion and halve black olives. Lightly brush dough with olive oil and sprinkle with Italian herbs, salt, and pepper. Thinly spread alfredo sauce, add toppings, cheese, and a little more toppings. Bake at 350F for 30 minutes or until crust and cheese are golden and browning.

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