When you are trying to eat healthy, finding quick and easy but still tasty can be a serious challenge. I think people who diet, eat clean, and perhaps strive for better consumption for the well being of the planet suffer. I was thrilled to find this recipe in Clean Eating. I had picked up several back issues from the Goodwill and was placing them in the immediate use pile of my cookbooks.
I have several balls of pizza dough made up, in the freezer. They absolutely always come in handy. Pizza is the most wonderful “go to” food. This recipe in particular now because it is low in carbs, fats and sugars. Removing some of the ingredients and replacing with Xagave or another substitute would reduce them further! Bonus – Kids love constructing pizza. It’s the best way to bring them into the kitchen and start their education.
I adore deep dish pizza. I know there are those of you who are die hard NYC flat tops and that’s fine. NYC pizza is great too. Me personally, I love a mouthful of steamy doughy pie. One piece and I am done. That’s all I want. One piece to satiate my junk food urges. One piece to make me feel less like a bunny (carrot sticks and celery please) and more like a normal human eating well but not being deprived.
- 8 oz Turkey Sausage (I was able to find spicy Italian from the Farmers Market)
- 2 tbsp Olive Oil
- 148 g Yellow Onion
- 1 cup Red Bell Pepper, Sliced
- 1 cup Green Bell Pepper (sweet)
- 1 1/2 cups Button Mushroom
- 1/8 tsp Sea Salt
- 1/8 tsp Ground Black Pepper
- 2 tsp Yellow Cornmeal
- 1 lb Whole Wheat Pizza Dough (see below)
- 6 oz 2% Milk Mozarella Cheese
- 1 cup Tomato Sauce, 100% Natural
- 1 tbsp Fresh Oregano
Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
- Cut a slit along the length of the sausage, remove and discard casing, place sausage meat into a small bowl and refrigerate until needed.
- In a medium saute pan, heat 1 tbspn oil over medium-high heat. Add onion and saute for 2 min. until tender. Add bell peppers and mushrooms and cook for 3 minutes. Season with salt and pepper and transfer to a bowl and set aside.
- Return pan to burner over medium-high heat add sausage meat and cook, breaking up the meat with a wooden spoon, until meat is firm, opaque and fully cooked, about 4 minutes. Pour sausage meat into a paper-towel-lined bowl to drain excess fat.
- Brush insides of a 12 inch deep dish pizza pan or a non-stick cake pan (I used a wedding cake pan. Thank you Wilton for providing the perfect nonstick pizza dish!) with remaining 1 tbsp oil and sprinkle with cornmeal. Roll out dough to about 14 inches in diameter. Place rolled dough directly into pan (diameter should be wider than bottom of the pan). Press dough into the bottom and sides of pan gently, carefully stretching the dough about 1 1/2 inches up the sides of the pan.
- Sprinkle half of mozzarella over bottom crust. Evenly layer sausage meat, then veggies on top of crust. Pour tomato sauce evenly over and sprinkle with remaining mozzarella.
- Place pan into oven and bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until crust is golden brown, cheese is bubbling and filling is hot throughout. Remove from oven and let rest for 5 minutes for filling to set. Cut into 12 wedges and remove slices from pan with a pie lifter. Sprinkle each slice with 1/4 tsp oregano and serve immediately.
- Here’s where you get fancy – you could opt in for chopped aroughala on top, heirloom radishes thinly sliced or something with a little “bite”. Trust me you wont regret it! The heat of the pie steams the flavor of such tart things and on devouring you get all those amazing textures and flavors mixed in. Looking to hide the veggies from the kids? Mix them in and out throughout don’t layer. Kids Veggie Radar can pick that crap up! I also used to finely chop my veggies into itty bitty pieces so it was harder for Pixie to pick them out. After trying a few times on other dishes she gave up 🙂 (Mommy Psychology 101).
Makes: 2 1-lb dough balls
Hands-on time: 30 minutes
Total time: 2 hours
- 1 tbsp raw honey
- 1 cup less 1 1/2 tbsp lukewarm water (105° F to 110° F), divided
- 1 pkg active dry yeast (1/4 oz or 2 1/2 tsp)
- 2 1/2 cups whole-wheat flour, divided
- 4 tsp vital wheat gluten
- 1 tsp sea salt
- 3 tbsp olive oil, divided
Whats up with the Wheat Gluten? Well apparently whole wheat doesn’t bind and get the elasticity needed for really good rising dough. Adding a dab of this (I love Bob’s RedMill) allows the dough to be brilliant and amazing. My local Whole Foods and even grocery stores carry it. There are also always coupons online. It is a great staple for the fridge.
- In a large bowl, mix together honey and 1/3 cup water. Sprinkle in yeast and allow to proof, undisturbed (do not stir or move bowl), for 10 minutes or until yeast is foamy. (NOTE: If yeast does not foam, it is dead and your dough will not rise. Discard and start again with fresh ingredients.)
- While yeast is proofing, mix together 2 cups flour, wheat gluten and salt in another large bowl.
- Once yeast is foamy, add remaining water and 2 tbsp oil to yeast mixture. Pour in flour mixture and gently fold in with a bowl scraper or spatula until combined. Mixture will form a very wet ball. Coat the bottom of another large bowl with remaining oil (make sure that bowl is large enough so that, when doubled in size, the dough will not reach the top). Transfer dough to bowl, rolling ball a bit to coat with oil. Cover bowl tightly with plastic wrap and set aside at room temperature to rise for 1 hour. Dough will be very soft and sticky.
- Lightly dust counter with about 1/4 cup flour. Transfer dough to floured surface and roll lightly in flour as needed. Gently knead dough, using remaining flour as needed, for about 1 minute. Form dough into a ball and place back into bowl. Cover bowl again tightly with plastic wrap and set aside at room temperature to rise for 30 minutes.
- Transfer dough back to floured surface, adding more flour to prevent dough from sticking, if needed, and cut dough in half to form 2 balls. Lightly knead each for about 30 seconds and reform into balls. Dough is now ready to be formed into crust or wrapped for future use. To store, wrap each dough ball individually in plastic wrap. Dough can be kept refrigerated for 24 hours or frozen for up to 1 month.
Nutrients per serving (1/8 of each dough ball): Calories: 96, Total Fat: 3 g, Sat. Fat: 0.5 g, Carbs: 15 g, Fiber: 2 g, Sugars: 1 g, Protein: 3 g, Sodium: 121 mg, Cholesterol: 0 mg.