Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Easy Margherita Pizza

If you follow me on Instagram you might notice I am always posting pictures of my homemade pizza recipes.  Yes I am a dietitian who loves pizza!  I decided it was time to share my easy delicious Margherita recipe with everyone!

This traditional Italian-inspired pizza reflects the colors of Italy. The ingredients typically include a thin crust, marinara sauce, fresh mozzarella, fresh basil, and olive oil. To keep the calories down I typically skip the olive oil, but all of the other ingredients are crucial for this delicious creation.  Each bite will offer a combination of flavors such as a rich pizza sauce and sweetness from fresh basil and mozzarella.

The crust is a crucial part of this recipe creation.  In my efforts of making the best pizza I have tried a variety of pre-made pizza crusts.  I have purchased pizza dough from my local pizza shop, tried the refrigerated canned pizza dough, and even tried the packaged pre-cooked pizza crust.  My  current favorite is a frozen thin crust organic pizza dough from Trader Joes.  The dough from my local pizza shop also creates a delicious pizza, but the crust can get a bit thick (and off course offers more calories).

During my pizza experimenting I also concluded a pizza stone creates a much better outcome.  The pizza stone helps to keep the crust crunchy and crispy. A few key things about caring for the stone to note are they can't be washed with soap (only water), should not experience extreme temperature changes (should be pre-heated), and should be heated for 30 minutes prior to using for baking. Before each baking experience make sure to dust the stone with cornmeal.

Anytime pizza is part of my meal I always pair it with a large spinach salad or vegetables.  Yes pizza can be part of a well balanced diet when eaten in moderation.  Eat the vegetable at the start of the meal for help with portion control of the pizza.

Your family's dietitian,
Kristen Smith

Easy Margarita Pizza
Prep Time: 10-15 minutes
Cook Time: 12-17 minutes (varies)

Ingredients (4 servings)
  • Pre-made thin uncooked pizza dough (my favorite is a frozen version from Trader Joes)
  • 1/2 - 3/4 cup pizza sauce
  • 6-7 fresh mozzarella slices (about 1/4-1/2 inch thickness)
  • Fresh basil leaves
  • Cornmeal
1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. If you are using a pizza stone preheat stone and heat for 30 minutes.
2. If you are not using a pizza stone lightly spray pizza pan with non-stick cooking spray or dust with cornmeal and add uncooked pizza dough. If using pizza stone prepare pizza on on pizza peel dusted with cornmeal (or cutting board - difficult to transfer).
3. Evenly spread pizza sauce onto dough, layer with basil leaves, top with mozzarella slices (see picture in post).
4. Transfer pizza to oven. If using pizza stone carefully remove from oven and dust with cornmeal and place pizza on top (I have also keep stone in oven and added cornmeal and pizza while stone in oven).
5. Bake at 425 degrees Fahrenheit for 13-20 minutes or until crust is golden brown and cheese is slightly browned
Serving size: 1/4 pizza • Servings: 4 • Calories: 240.2 kcal • Protein: 9.5 g • Carbs: 29.5 g • Fat: 9.5 g • Fiber: 2.5 g • Sugar: 5.5 g • Sodium: 665 mg
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