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Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Pizza VS Calorie

Pizza doesn’t have to be the calorie-crammed meal we all tend to think of it as. It is possible to make healthier pizzas at home or even order more figure-friendly options in a restaurant and still enjoy it.

When eating out, choose pizzas with thin rather than thick bases and make sure your toppings include mainly vegetable and low-fat options e.g. grilled or Cajun chicken, mince, steak, avocado, light sprinkling of feta, spinach, ham, pineapple, sun-dried tomatoes, olives, banana, seafood, tuna, onion, sweet peppers or garlic. It is also possible to ask for a pizza without cheese.

Portions are important. Order a mixed side salad (with the dressing on the side) and eat half the pizza with the salad. The other half can be taken home in a doggy bag and eaten for lunch the next day.

Here are a few tips and ideas for making homemade pizzas with pizzazz at home:

  • Make your own or buy ready-made pizza bases and spread generously with tomato-and-onion mix and fresh or dried herbs.
  • Use a combination of any of the following ingredients – ham, pineapple, banana, chopped grilled chicken breast, grilled seafood (calamari), anchovies, garlic, mushrooms, asparagus, spinach, avocado, peppadews and sweet peppers or chilli.
  • Avoid bacon, sausage, salami and mince (unless made with extra-lean beef mince or ostrich mince).
  • Use half the usual amount of cheese or replace mozzarella and other yellow cheeses with a sprinkling of feta, Parmesan, mature cheddar, blue cheese, Danish feta or goat’s cheese. Very little of these more strongly flavoured cheeses is needed to achieve the same cheese flavour.
  • Serve the pizza with a lovely mixed green salad, balsamic vinegar and olive oil.

When entertaining at home, homemade garlic pizza bread is a great snack for sundowners, around the braai or even when you're watching rugby. This is healthy and can be thrown together in five minutes:

  • Pizza bases (large or mini) with a sprinkling of feta, spinach and garlic or a thin spreading of pesto.
  • Garlic pizza breads made with pizza base with garlic and herbs
  • Chilli pizza breads - sweet chilli sauce and finely chopped sweet red and yellow peppers sprinkled over plain pizza bases.
See: how to make the healthy salad


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