Power Pizza Nutrition Highlights: Vegetables, beans, calcium, fiber, and protein
This unbelievably scrumptious, homemade pizza looks, smells and tastes just like the real thing, but with added carrots, sweet potatoes, and white beans hidden completely in the sauce! If you’ve got uncooked pizza dough on hand, or just some pocketless pita breads, this pizza is quicker to make than calling out for delivery from the local pizza place – and it’s a whole lot better for you.
I mix the healthy purees right into the bottle of store-bought tomato sauce (it looks perfectly normal), then I let the kids do the rest, adding any additional toppings they like. The Sneaky Chef Orange Puree of sweet potatoes and carrots actually makes the sauce taste sweeter, something everyone always comments on. It gives me a deep sense of satisfaction when, as a mom responsible for feeding my kids the best foods possible, I can achieve natural, healthy sweetness like this using only vegetables. Plus, those same sweet, healthy veggies make the sauce less acidic so it’s easier on everyone’s digestion. And no one has ever suspected anything else is in the sauce, especially under that blanket of bubbly cheese.
You can even prepare this pizza ahead of time without cooking it, and then refrigerate for a day or two. Simply bake when you’re ready to eat. Enjoy in good health!
Makes 1 large pizza or 4 smaller pizzas
* 1 store bought pizza dough or 4 “ Greek style”
pocketless pitas (whole wheat preferred)
* 3/4 cup store-bought tomato sauce
* 3 tablespoons Orange Puree (See Make-Ahead Recipe #2
* 1/4 cup White Bean Puree (See Make-Ahead Recipe #9
* 1 to 2 cups low-fat shredded mozzarella cheese
* Optional extra boost: sliced mushrooms, onions, sweet
peppers, or artichoke hearts
Preheat oven to 400 degrees and preheat a pizza stone, if using one, or spray a baking sheet with oil.Stretch pizza dough, or roll out with floured rolling pin on floured surface, to form a pie and transfer it to the stone or baking sheet. If using pocketless pitas, place them on the prepared baking sheet. Combine tomato sauce with White Bean and Orange Purees. Mix well. Spread 1/2 to 1 cup of the sauce mixture across the large pizza dough (use only 1/4 cup of sauce for each pita), then top with about 1 cup of mozzarella (use about 1/2 cup of cheese per pita). Cover and refrigerate at this point, or bake for 15 to 20 minutes until bubbly and lightly browned. Allow to cool a few minutes, then cut into triangles and serve.
Sneaky Chef Make-Ahead Recipe #2: Orange Puree
* 1 medium sweet potato or yam, peeled and rough chopped
* 3 medium to large carrots, peeled and sliced into
* 2-3 tablespoons water
In a medium pot, cover carrots and potatoes with cold water and boil for about 20 minutes until yams, and especially carrots, are very tender. If the carrots aren’t thoroughly cooked, they’ll leave telltale little nuggets of vegetables, which will reveal their presence (a gigantic no-no for the Sneaky Chef). Drain the potatoes and carrots and put them in the food processor with two tablespoons of water. Puree on high until smooth; no pieces of carrots or potatoes should remain. Stop occasionally to push the contents from the top to the bottom. If necessary, use the third tablespoon of water to make a smooth puree, but the less water the better. This makes about 2 cups of puree. Double the recipe if you want to store another cup of puree. Store in refrigerator up to three days, or freeze ¼-cup portions in sealed plastic bags or small plastic containers.
Sneaky Chef Make-Ahead Recipe #9: White Bean Puree
* 1 15-ounce can white beans (great northern, navy,
butter or cannellini)
(If you are starting with dry beans, soak 1 cup for an
hour, then cook according to instructions.)
* 1 to 2 tablespoons water
Rinse and drain the beans and put in the bowl of your food processor. Pulsing in on/off turns, puree the drained beans with just 1 tablespoon of water in processor until smooth, stopping occasionally to scrape down sides of bowl. The goal is a smooth, but not wet, puree. (You are aiming for the consistency of peanut butter.) If necessary, thin with a little more water by one teaspoonful at a time until there are no flecks of whole beans visible. Store in the refrigerator up to 3 days, or freeze ¼-cup portions in sealed plastic bags or small plastic containers. Makes about 1 cup of puree. Double this recipe if you want to store another cup of puree.
About The Sneaky Chef: The Sneaky Chef is the brainchild of Missy Chase Lapine, whose New York Times bestseller, The Sneaky Chef: Simple Strategies for Hiding Healthy Foods in Kids’ Favorite Meals (Running Press, March 2007) inspired a whole new brand in the healthy eating/lifestyles category. Missy is the former publisher of Eating Well magazine and the founder of a natural baby product line Baby Spa®. She is currently on the Culinary Arts faculty of The New School, in New York City and is also a collaborator with The Alliance for a Healthier Generation, a partnership between the American Heart Association and the William J. Clinton Foundation, helping schools serve healthier lunches. Missy serves on the Children’s Advisory Council of Morgan Stanley Children’s Hospital of New York-Presbyterian where Sneaky Chef recipes are served to patients. Her highly-anticipated second book, The Sneaky Chef: How to Cheat on Your Man in the Kitchen, debuts in April, 2008. Look for Missy’s simple and easy recipes every month at Modern Mom.