Edmonds Healthy Eating: Say Happy Hallo-lean with veggie pizza

Veggie pizza is the perfect antidote to too many tempting Halloween treats.
Veggie pizza is the perfect antidote to too many tempting Halloween treats.

Happy Hallo-lean! We are entering the season of goodies and treats and I know from personal experience that it can be challenging to stay on track with healthy eating. Do you know that Americans spend over $2 BILLION dollars for Halloween candy? Before the Halloween candy is off the shelves we are inundated with Thanksgiving treats and the displays of green and red holiday treats. The last two months of the year can be a “chocolate-thon” if you are not careful!

With Halloween coming up, I thought it would be practical to give you a quick and healthy recipe for Halloween night: Veggie Pizza. What is great about this recipe is that you can have each family member tailor their pizza to their own tastes. They can roll out the dough and put on the toppings of their choice. Since things can get hectic with your trick-or-treaters, this is a fast way to get a healthy meal to the table.

– Purchase pre-made pizza dough from the grocery store. PCC and Whole Foods have delicious whole wheat versions.
– Divide each dough ball into 4 pieces in order to make individual pies. Roll them out into circles or squares and allow them to rest covered with a damp towel.
-Then, here’s where things get interesting: Cut up onions, peppers, garlic, carrots, broccoli, cauliflower and ANY other hard vegetable that you like on your pizza. Toss the veggies with olive oil, salt and pepper. You can mix the veggies or roast them separately depending on your preference. Roast in a 400-degree oven for 15-20 minutes until they are golden brown. Roasting vegetables adds beautiful browning and deep flavors with minimal work. The flavors of the vegetables deepen.
– Grate mozzarella and Parmesan cheeses.
– Put all these different ingredients in bowls. Use your favorite red sauce and/or pesto for the base layer.
– Each person can then choose their toppings and make a delicious veggie pizza pie. Make sure that the cheese goes on top.
– Pop in a 425-degree oven for 10-12 minutes until bubbly.

You can change up the toppings, use different cheeses, add fresh herbs (basil is my favorite) and use up what is in your vegetable bin. Think outside the box. One of my favorites is pear, arugula and goat cheese! Each pizza is unique and healthy because it’s not loaded down with heavy/fatty meats.

Just add a green salad and your meal is complete. Eating in costume is optional but makes for a lovely hallo-lean celebration!

– By Deborah Binder

Deborah Binder Formal PortraitDeborah Binder lives in Edmonds with her family. She is “dancing with N.E.D.” (no evidence of disease) after being diagnosed with Ovarian Cancer in 2009. She is a foodie who loves to cook from scratch and share here experiments with her family. She attended culinary school on the East Coast and currently chef assists at PCC Cooks and NuCulinary Cooking School. Her current interest in food is learning to eat for health and wellness, while at the same time enjoying the pleasures of the table. As Julia Child once said, “Everything in moderation including butter.” Deborah can be contacted at jaideborah@yahoo.com.

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