By Tracy Morin
Call it a byproduct of being America’s favorite food. Whether your customers are gluten-free, paleo, keto, plant-based, vegan, pescatarian or any other dietary designation, chances are that pizza has an iteration to meet their needs. However, no matter what diet they’re trying out or what lifestyle they’ve decided to adopt for the long haul, those customers aren’t willing to compromise when it comes to flavor.
“We are finding that our customers are, more than ever, looking for that elusive combination of healthy and excellent taste,” notes chef Vincent Barcelona, director of sales—national accounts and culinary for Stratas Foods in Memphis, Tennessee. “The palates of consumers get more sophisticated and more experimental every year.” To help meet a range of customers’ dietary desires, we sourced a selection of better-for-you recipes to inspire your own takes on the various approaches to healthier pizzas.
Cast Iron Skillet Pizza
Provided by Christine Cochran, executive director,
Grain Foods Foundation
“Pizza can be a great way for both kids and adults to get some vegetables, lean proteins, and essential grains,” Cochran says. “This pizza provides both heart-healthy whole grains and nutrient-rich enriched grains through its blended crust, plus plenty of colorful vegetables—and enough thin-sliced prosciutto and cheese to make it delicious!”
- 250g (about 2 c.) all-purpose flour
- 250g (about 2 c.) whole-wheat flour
- 30g salt
- 700g (about 2.75 c.) lukewarm (100ºF) water
- 60g (4 tbsp.) unsalted butter, melted
- 40g (about 2.5 tbsp.) olive oil, plus more for greasing
- 5g (about 1 tsp.) active dry yeast
Suggested toppings: tomato sauce, red onion, red sweet peppers, prosciutto, fresh mozzarella, fresh spinach, fresh basil
- Combine the flours and salt in a large bowl. In a separate container, combine the water, melted butter, oil and yeast. Let sit for 1 to 2 minutes. Add the water mixture to the flour mixture and stir with a rubber spatula. The dough will be sticky. Mix until it comes together into a shaggy dough. Cover and let sit for 30 to 45 minutes. Uncover the dough and knead with flour for 5 minutes or less, until the dough is no longer shaggy. Move it to a clean bowl, cover and let stand for 3 to 5 hours at room temperature. Move the dough into the refrigerator and let sit, ideally overnight (6 to 24 hours). Remove the dough and divide into portions of roughly 600g each. Grease a 10” cast iron pan with olive oil and place a dough ball in each. Ensure the dough has a light covering of oil. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise to room temperature (about 3 to 5 hours).
- Preheat the oven to 400° for at least 30 minutes. While the oven is preheating, gently spread the dough so it fills the pan and place the chosen toppings on top. Bake for about 45 minutes, checking occasionally. (Depending on the oven, you may need to lightly place aluminum foil over the top to prevent burning.) Let the pizza cool for 5 to 10 minutes before serving. Makes 3 pizzas.
Pescatarian Piadina Pizza
Provided by chef Stephanie Harris-Uyidi, author, The Posh Pescatarian: A Collection of My Favorite Sustainable Seafood Recipes
Stephanie Harris-Uyidi is a pescatarian, meaning she follows a plant-based diet supplemented with seafood. “This Pescatarian Piadina Pizza was inspired by my trip to Capri, Italy, and is filled with fresh ingredients,” she says. “Piadina is a simple yeast-free Italian flatbread that is straightforward to make, but a naan-style bread or a Greek-style pita would also work for this recipe.”
- 2 flatbreads
- ½ lb. shrimp, peeled and deveined, tails removed and sliced in half lengthwise
- 1 tin of blue mussels in olive oil, drained, oil reserved
- 1 tbsp. of olive oil
- Juice of ½ lemon
- Black pepper, to taste
- ½ c. mozzarella cheese, grated
- 1 handful of black olives, sliced
- 1 large tomato, sliced thin
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- ½ c. arugula leaves
- 1 tsp. red pepper flakes
- Preheat the oven to 450°. Add the 1 tbsp. of olive oil along with the reserved tinned mussel oil to a medium-size skillet. When the oil is hot, add the shrimp, garlic and lemon juice to the pan, along with a little freshly cracked black pepper. Cook for 2 minutes, until the shrimp just starts to turn pink. Remove the shrimp from the pan and set aside; reserve the olive oil sauce in a separate container. Lay the flatbreads out on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Use a pastry brush to spread on the reserved olive oil sauce from the pan. Next, layer on the topping ingredients: cheese, tomato, shrimp, mussels, olives and red pepper flakes. Add the baking sheet to the oven and cook for 6 to 8 minutes or until the cheese is melted. Remove from the oven, top with fresh arugula, slice as desired and serve immediately.
Provided by Matthew GaedkeMatthew Gaedke, founder, KetoConnect
The keto diet may require low-carb eating, but its adherents still crave pizza! “This is a classic keto recipe and is loved by just about everyone who tries a keto diet,” Matthew Gaedke says. “It’s usually one of the first copycat recipes someone makes when they start keto.”
- 1½ c. mozzarella cheese, shredded
- 2 oz. cream cheese
- 1 large egg
- ¾ c. almond flour
- 1 tsp. baking powder
- 1 tsp. Italian seasoning (optional)
- Preheat oven to 425°. Combine mozzarella and cream cheese in a bowl and microwave for 30 seconds. Take out of microwave and mix. Microwave for another 30 seconds and mix again. Add almond flour, baking powder, egg, and any herbs and spices to the melted mixture. Mix all of the ingredients together with a fork until they combine and begin to cool. Then knead by hand and form into a pizza crust on a nonstick pan. (Tip: Place parchment paper over the crust and roll with a rolling pin. The dough can be difficult to shape by hand.) Bake for 10 to 12 minutes. Remove from the oven, add desired toppings and bake for an additional 5 to 7 minutes.
Tracy Morin is PMQ’s senior copy editor.