It was a gorgeous day in the city today, but unfortunately I was roaming the hospital all day and only got to enjoy the beautiful view from the floors. I am so glad it is Friday! That means a weekend of sleep and COOKING! This entire week I have been too tired to cook very much after coming home from a long day. I guess I am still adjusting to work-life.
Growing up, we frequently had Friday night pizza nights, and most of the time my mom and I made homemade pizza from scratch. Although it is a long process (mostly waiting for the dough to rise), it is worth it in the end! To this day, I rarely order pizza because I enjoy homemade pizza much more. Sometimes it is so nice to stay in, eat homemade pizza and watch a movie on a Friday night.
I remember my old colleague coming back from a doctor’s appointment and telling me he had told her pizza is the most unhealthy food you can eat. Now, this was a problem for me because I consider myself to generally have healthy eating habits – except for my love for pizza! I agree that most pizza by delivery and store-bought contain a huge amount of fat and sodium, but when I make my pizza from scratch I add much less sodium (I even use a no-sodium pizza sauce when I can), use a minimal amount of low-fat mozzarella cheese, and try to top it with freshly cut organic vegetables. How can that be unhealthy ;)? It is definitely much more work than calling up your favorite pizza place and having them deliver a pizza to your door in 30 minutes, but it is better for you and so FRESH!
In other news, I am excited to announce that I am the newest member of the Cooking Light Bloggers’ Connection. I am so excited about this, and can’t wait to share some of their delicious, healthy recipes with you guys!
Now back to this homemade whole wheat vegetarian pizza….
- 1 package dry yeast (2¼ tsp)
- 1 cup warm water
- 1½ cups whole wheat flour
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp sugar
- 4 tbsp olive oil, divided
- 2 cups pizza sauce
- 1½ cups low-fat mozzarella cheese
- 2 cups artichoke hearts, sliced in half
- 1 cup frozen organic chopped spinach
- 2 organic tomatoes, thinly sliced
- 1 organic red bell pepper, chopped
- 1 cup non-fat feta cheese
- 1 cup fresh organic basil leaves
- Pepper to taste
- Add yeast, sugar and warm water to a mixing bowl. Let stand for 7 minutes.
- Add salt and whole wheat flour and mix with a wooden spoon or a hook attachment if using a stand mixer.
- Add olive oil and remaining flour a little at a time while mixing.
- Continue to mix until dough is clearing the sides of the bowl without sticking (add more flour if needed).
- Turn onto a floured surface and knead for 10 minutes (or continue mixing with the stand mixer using a hook attachment for 8 minutes).
- Place dough in a lightly greased bowl and cover with a dish towel.
- Let the dough rise for 1 hour in a warm place, then punch down.
- Allow the dough to rise another hour, chopping the vegetables while you are waiting.
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
- Cut the dough in half and roll one half as thin as you would like your crust to be with a rolling pin on a floured surface.
- Transfer the dough to a greased pizza pan, and repeat for the other half of the dough (or save for later in the refrigerator up to 2 days).
- Top the dough with ½ tbsp olive oil and spread around the top.
- Spread 1 cup of pizza sauce around the dough, and top with cheese and vegetable toppings. Sprinkle with pepper if desired.
- Bake each pizza for 15-20 minutes.
- Remove from oven and top with fresh basil before serving.