I love pizza. And I love it all year long, but when it’s July in Chicago (and the temperature is hitting the 90 degree mark), there’s no way I’m turning on my oven. Even for pizza. Thank goodness I don’t have to! That’s because even though I live in a small apartment in a big city, I still make my way out to my tiny deck to grill! And with some simple, yet, very delicious ingredients, I can make some pretty fabulous pizzas! Like this Grilled Cabot Cheddar BBQ Bacon Pizza!
Is hummus just a dip? Is it merely the perfect accompaniment to your carrot sticks and pita wedges? If so, then I’ve got news for you! Hummus is more the dip and it’s got me feeling all happy inside. So happy, that I made pizza – Mediterranean Pizza!
I know you and I know you love pizza.
You love it so much that you insist on ordering it at least once a week from your favorite pizza place. While that’s fine and good, it’s um, actually not. Many pizza places load on the heavy toppings and leave you feeling like you just ate a vat of oil topped with a salt lick. Yuck. Ok, well, maybe it tastes good at the time, but it can leave you feeling pretty gross. But don’t worry, I have a solution! My famous (or soon-to-be-famous) Easy Pizza Toasts.
Yes, pizza can be yours and it can taste good and leave you feeling awesome!
What’s the trick? There isn’t one! Yup, it really is easy. Let me explain. Start with some yummy whole wheat bread then slice it thinly. Cook up some yummy veggies (this toast I made with onions and squash) – hint, cut them up small so that they cook fast (this also makes them look super cute on your toasts). Spread a little marinara on top of those bread slices, top with a little cheese (a good, flavorful sharp cheddar is my favorite), then add the veggies. Slide them into the oven for about 10 minutes and you’ve got Easy Pizza Toasts!
So, no more heavy pizza for you (ok, have it every once in awhile), instead enjoy the crispy, crunchy, veggie-goodness of these Pizza Toasts!
Quickly sautéed veggies piled high on whole grain bread topped with cheddar cheese then toasted in the oven.
- 1/2 loaf, 15-ounce whole wheat baguette, cut into 1/2-inch thick slices on the bias
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1/2 small onion (about 2 1/2 ounces), diced small
- 1/2 medium zucchini (about 5 ounces), diced small
- 1/2 medium yellow squash (about 5 ounces), diced small
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
- 1/2 teaspoon oregano
- 1 cup canned or jarred marinara sauce
- 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
- 1/4 cup fresh basil, thinly sliced
- Preheat the oven to 400’F. Line a 9×13-inch sheet pan with parchment paper or foil.
- Heat the oil in a large pan set over medium heat. Add the onion and cook stirring often, until softened, about 5 minutes. (You may need to adjust the heat to prevent burning.) Stir in the zucchini, squash and salt and cook an additional 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Add the garlic and oregano and cook one more minute. Remove pan from the heat.
- Spread marinara sauce evenly over bread slices, then sprinkle with cheese. Top each slice with some of the squash mixture. Transfer pan to the oven and bake for 10 minutes or until bread is toasted and cheese has melted.
- Garnish with fresh basil before serving.
- This recipe makes 20 pizza toasts. A great appetizer or main dish!
- Serving Size: 5
- Calories: 476
- Sugar: 7
- Sodium: 1034
- Fat: 23
- Saturated Fat: 11
- Unsaturated Fat: 11
- Trans Fat: 0
- Carbohydrates: 50
- Protein: 20
- Cholesterol: 49
Everyone has a favorite food, right? Mine just happens to be pizza. I mean, is there really another food that’s more perfect? Doughy crust, tangy, tomatoey (yup, I’m using that word) sauce, divine vegetables all topped with flavorful, umami-bursting cheese? Yes, please!!! Thus, the birth of the caramelized onion and fennel pizza.
As a food-lover, it’s a dish that constantly pleases me. From the myriad of toppings to the simplicity of a delicious pizza crust, it’s an ever-evolving food that can surprise, yet also elicit the feeling of familiarity and comfort. The dietitian in me, loves that pizza is the perfect platform for the wide assortment of delicious, nutritious foods out there. The combinations of those foods is almost limitless. I love whole wheat pizza dough topped with wild mushrooms or an array of broccoli, tomatoes, onions and peppers. Heck, you can even put fruit on top or what about grilled barbecue chicken or Thai-style pizza with cilantro, jalapenos, carrots and peanuts? See what I mean?
I’m always trying new things on my pizza and since I happened to have some extra fennel laying around, I decided to try that on my pizza. Caramelizing it with some onion, brought out a delicious sweet flavor and tasted amazing with fresh tomatoes and spinach. It turned out to be a winning combination that even my 2 1/2 year old loves. Try it now and let me know what you think!
Slow cooked onions and fennel make the perfect topping for pizza!
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 medium yellow onion, thinly sliced (about 1 cup sliced)
- 1 fennel bulb, core removed, thinly sliced
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 pound refrigerated pizza dough (preferably whole wheat)
- 1/4 cup marinara/pizza sauce
- 2 cups fresh baby spinach
- 1/2 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
- 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
- 1/2 cup shredded parmesan cheese
- 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
- Coat a large bowl with non-stick cooking spray, remove dough from packaging and place inside. Cover the top of the bowl with plastic wrap and rest on the counter while you prepare the caramelized onions and fennel.
- Preheat the oven to 420’F and place the rack in the lowest setting of the oven. (Don’t skip this pre-heating step! It’s important that your oven is nice and warm before putting your pizza in there! If you have a pizza stone, use it!)
- Heat the oil in a non-stick skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and fennel. Cook, stirring frequently for 5 minutes. Turn down the heat to low and cover with a lid or foil. Cook until onion and fennel are tender, stirring occasionally, about 35 more minutes. Remove from heat and season with salt.
To make the pizza
- Dust your counter or other clean work surface lightly with flour (any flour will do). Remove dough from the bowl and place on your work surface. Using a rolling pin or your hands, shape dough into a 12-inch circle.
- Transfer dough to a piece of parchment paper. Spread the pizza sauce over the crust and top with the spinach, caramelized onions and fennel, tomatoes and the cheese. Sprinkle with Italian seasoning.
- Keep the pizza on the parchment and either transfer it to the oven directly onto a pizza stone or set it on an inverted cookie sheet before placing in the oven.
- Bake for about 15 minutes, until cheese is melted and crust turns golden brown.
- Remove from the oven, cut and enjoy!
- Serving Size: 6
- Calories: 349
- Sugar: 8
- Sodium: 1101
- Fat: 17
- Saturated Fat: 5
- Unsaturated Fat: 10
- Trans Fat: 0
- Carbohydrates: 39
- Protein: 11
- Cholesterol: 13