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The College Student’s Guide To Eating Healthy Pizza

We all know that pizza is our number one choice in college for dinner. Don’t lie, we all have our fair share of pizza. Unfortunately, a regular 14-inch pizza clocks in at about 272 calories, 9.8 grams of total fat, and about 4.3 grams of saturated fat per slice! This one slice of pizza provides approximately 1/6 of your daily total intake of fat. If you love pizza, but would like to try some healthy alternatives to a long-time classic, then simply follow some of the recipes below:

Easy Homemade Tortilla Pizza:

Ingredients:

  • Soft tortilla for the crust
  • 2 tablespoons pizza sauce
  • ½ cup shredded mozzarella
  • Optional: add peppers, onions, olives, or spinach 

Instructions: 

  1. Put oven on broil setting (525F) 
  2. Spread the pizza sauce over the tortilla crust. Adding cheese and toppings as desired.
  3. Use a flat baking sheet and bake pizza for about 1-1.5 minutes on each side

Low-Carb Zucchini Pizza Boats:

Ingredients – 4 servings 

  • 4-5 medium zucchinis, halved lengthwise
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon oregano, fresh or dry
  • 1 cup marinara sauce
  • 1 ½ cups mozzarella cheese, shredded
  • Salt & pepper to taste

Instructions:

  1. Pre-heat oven to 400F. Line a sheet pan with foil or parchment paper and set aside.
  2. In a small bowl, combine garlic, olive oil and oregano.
  3. Lay zucchini halves on pre-pared baking sheet and brush with garlic oil mixture. Top with about 2 tablespoons of marinara sauce then with a generous drizzle of shredded mozzarella cheese. Season with a sprinkle of salt and pepper.
  4. Bake 18-20 minutes or until the cheese is bubbly and almost golden. Remove from oven and serve warm. Eat with hands or use a fork and knife. Enjoy!

Cauliflower Pizza Bites:

Ingredients:

  • 1 cauliflower head, medium sized
  • 1 egg
  • ¼ cup Parmesan cheese
  • ½ cup shredded Italian cheese blend (or mozzarella)
  • 1 cup pizza sauce
  • ¼ cup mini pepperoni
  • ½ tablespoons Italian seasoning (optional)

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400F. Pulse cauliflower in food processor until florets have broken down into crumbs, resembling rice. Transfer to microwavable bowl and loosely cover with a paper towel. Microwave on high for 5 minutes.
  2. Once the cauliflower rice has cooled, transfer to dish cloth and squeeze out as much juice as possible. Transfer dried cauliflower to another dry dish cloth and squeeze again to get more juice out. Transfer to bowl and mix in egg, Parmesan cheese and seasoning.
  3. Spray mini cupcake pan with nonstick spray and pour tablespoon of mixture to each cavity. Use your thumb to press down into middle to create a dip in each cauliflower base. Bake for 20 minutes or until golden brown. Remove pan from oven and add some pizza sauce to each cauliflower base with a little cheese and some mini pepperonis. Return to oven to bake for 10 minutes or until cheese has fully melted.

Weight Watchers Veggie Ranch Pizza:

Ingredients:

  • 2 8-oz reduced-fat cream cheese, softened
  • 1 (1-oz/28g) package powdered Ranch dressing mix
  • 2 (8-oz/226g) cans reduced-fat Pillsbury Crescent Rolls
  • 1 cup (91g) fresh broccoli, chopped
  • 1 cup (175g) fresh red bell pepper, chopped
  • 4 green onions, chopped
  • 1 ½ cups (120g) shredded cheddar cheese

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350F
  2. Place cream cheese and Ranch dressing mix in large bowl. With electric mixer, beat on medium until smooth and creamy. Set aside. You can soften cream cheese in microwave so that it’s easier to mix with the ranch.
  3. Remove crescent rolls from the cans and roll out in one big piece onto a large, greased cookie sheet. Pinch seams together, if needed. Bake for 8-10 minutes or until golden brown. Let cool.
  4. Spread cream cheese mixture onto cooled crust. Top with cheese and veggies.
  5. Use a pizza cutter or large knife to cut into squares. Serve immediately or store in refrigerator in airtight container for up to 3-4 days.

Greek Yogurt Fruit Tart:

Ingredients:

  • 15 Medjool dates, soaked in warm water for 10 minutes
  • 1 ½ cups raw unsalted cashews
  • 1 cup Greek yogurt
  • Assorted sliced fresh fruit

Instructions:

  1. Spray the bottom of a 9-inch tart or cake pan or pie dish with nonstick spray and line the pan with parchment paper on top. Set aside.
  2. Make sure your dates are soft by soaking in warm water for 10 minutes. Make sure you drain them and chop in half before using.
  3. Pulse the dates and cashews together until thick “dough” is formed and the cashews are all broken up, as pictured above. The dough will be moist from the oil in the nuts. Press evenly into prepared tart pan and partly up the sides.
  4. Spread the yogurt on top of the crust. Decorate with fresh fruit. Slice, serve & enjoy.

*Crust may be made ahead (1-2 days): cover tightly and keep in fridge until ready to serve and then continue with step 4.

Eggplant Pizza:

Ingredients:

  • 2 large eggplants, sliced 1 inch thick
  • 24 oz jar tomato sauce
  • 20 slices provolone cheese (or mozzarella)
  • 3-4 oz. fresh cherry tomatoes, sliced
  • 1 cup fresh spinach
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • Pepper flakes, optional

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 425F. In two baking trays, arrange sliced eggplants and sprinkle with salt. Bake for 15-20 minutes.
  2. Remove baked eggplants and turn on broiler. Spread one tablespoon of tomato sauce over each eggplant and one slice of provolone. Arrange some fresh spinach and cherry tomatoes over the cheese and boil 3-5 minutes. Make sure to keep a close eye on eggplant under the broiler so they don’t burn. Serve while hot.

Whole-Wheat Brussels Sprout, Squash and Ricotta Pizza:

**This recipe might be best with more time and ambition

    Ingredients for 100% Whole-Wheat Pizza Dough:– 4 servings

    • ¾ cup plus 2 tablespoons warm water
    • 1 teaspoon honey or agave syrup
    • 1 teaspoon active dry yeast
    • 2 cups white whole-wheat flour, plus more for kneading
    • Salt
    • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

    Instructions: 

    1. Stir together the warm water, honey/agave nectar, and yeast in measuring cup or small bowl. Let sit until a small layer of foam develops at the top (roughly 3-5 minutes).
    2. Whisk the flour and ½ teaspoon salt together in a medium bowl.
    3. Add the foamy yeast mixture and olive oil and mix together with a stiff rubber spatula. Form the dough into a uniform ball in the center of the bowl. Be sure to scrape and use any dough stuck to the sides.
    4. Cover the bowl tightly with plastic wrap and keep in a warm place until the dough has doubled in size (about 2 hours).
    5. Lightly dust a baking sheet with flour. Sprinkle a generous amount of flour on a clean, dry work surface. Scrape the dough onto the floured surface and knead for a couple of minutes, working in just enough flour to make the dough less sticky but still moist to the touch.
    6. Form the dough into 1,2 or 4 balls, for large, medium and small pizzas. Place the dough ball(s) on the prepared baking sheet.
    7. Cover loosely with plastic wrap or a dish towel, let rest for 30 minutes. The dough can then be shaped and cooked as desired or wrapped well and frozen for up to 1 month.
    8. Thaw frozen dough at room temperature, shape and cook as desired.

    Ingredients for pizza toppings:

    • 2 cups 1/2-inch cubes of butternut squash (10 oz.)
    • Cooking spray
    • Salt
    • 8 oz. brussels sprouts
    • ¾ cup part-skim ricotta cheese
    •  Zest and juice of 1 lemon
    • 100% whole wheat pizza dough (recipe ingredients below), divided into 2 balls
    • ¼ cup grated Parmesan
    • 2 tablespoons pumpkin seeds, toasted
    • 4 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
    • Crushed red pepper

    Instructions:

    1) Preheat oven to 350F

    2) Spray baking sheet with spray and add dough.

    3) Top dough as desired with olive oil, ricotta & parmesan cheese, brussel sprouts, squash, pumpkin seeds, crushed red pepper flakes and juice of lemon and sprinkle with salt.

    4) Cook pizza for 8-10 minutes (checking to see if squash and vegetables are cooked and if the crust is golden brown; may need longer time).

    I'm a Dietetics student at UW-Stout! My passions are health & nutrition, music, movies, sports, eco-friendly living, and being around fun-loving people.
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