{5 min. Pesto Caprese Pizza}

Summary:

Craving greasy takeout pizza for lunch? Here is a quick alternative. Use whole wheat pita or flatbread as the dough. Spread sauce and top with your favorite vegetables. I used my favorite italian ingredients: fresh mozzarella, tomato and basil pesto. I was surprised to find out the nutrition facts about fresh mozzarella. According to “The Everything Family Nutrition Book,” mozzarella cheese can be a smarter choice than soft cheeses, such as Brie, and rich hard cheeses, such as cheddar, because mozzarella tends to contain fewer calories and less saturated fat. It is also a good source of protein. For more information check out the Livestrong website. Moreover, this yummy home made pizza is cooked in 5 min! Lunch in 5 min! Who can beat that? Plus it’s very tasty….the melted cheese, the hints of basil and garlic, the tomatoes….yum yum yum….Hope you get to try this quick and easy healthier italian recipe!

Ingredients:

1 whole wheat pita slice

4 tomato slices

2 fresh mozzarella slices

1/4 cup of chopped fresh spinach or basil

Healthy Vegan Pesto (click for my recipe)

Directions:

1- Preheat oven at 425 degrees on “bake”.

2- Chop 4 tomato slices. Take 2 slices of mozzarella cheese and slice them again to make 4 slices (this will help save some calories).

3- Take a whole grain pita as the pizza dough. Spread some vegan pesto. Layer with the tomatoes then with the fresh cheese.


4- Chop up some spinach and 1-2 basil leaves. Sprinkle them on top of the pizza. Don’t worry if it looks kind of messy, after baking the pizza the spinach will reduce in size and the mozzarella pieces will melt together.


5- Place the pizza in a cookie sheet/baking pan and bake for 5 min. Like crispy pizza? Bake for a total of 7-8 min.


NOTE: The amount of calories largely depends on the pita you use. I made my pizza with a 150 cal. pita slice and the whole yummy pizza ended being around  less than 300 cal.! So this is very reasonable for a light lunch or dinner. This also makes a great appetizer for any party.

Have you experimented with other pita pizzas? Please comment below!

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{Healthy Vegan Pesto}

Summary: Regular pesto usually contains a high amount of fat. Most are made with butter and lots and lots of cheese. So there are a couple of reasonable and tasty substitutions that can be made in order to reduce the … Continue reading

Asparagus Pesto Pasta

Summary: This pasta is crunchy, tangy, hearty, and healthy. It’s the perfect weeknight dinner plus it reheats wonderfully. Asparagus has been shown to be packed with vitamins and minerals (plus it’s considered an anti-inflammatory food). Wheat germ is a great source of vitamin E (a powerful antioxidant) and folic acid. I use this as a healthy topping option; it makes food look more attractive and delectable without packing the extra calories and fat. So enjoy!

Serving Size: 4

Ingredients:

10 stems fresh asparagus
1/2 cup fresh basil leaves, finely chopped
lemon rind, from half a lemon
lemon juice, from half a lemon
1/2 cup olive oil
3 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 cup white wine
1/2 cup fresh parmesan , shredded
1/4 cup wheat germ, optional
1/4 cup sliced almonds, optional
1  box whole wheat penne pasta

Directions:

1. To prep the asparagus: wash them and cut off about 2 inches from the top. Save for later. Next you can chop the asparagus however you like: as circular pieces or longitudinal. I prefer to chop them longitudinally because it looks more elegant plus if you cut them thinly they will cook faster. For the longitudinal version: cut in half along the length of the asparagus stem. Place the flat side to the cutting board, now chop 3-4 times more (depending on how thin you want your asparagus strips). Repeat until you’ve chopped all. (This is the hardest step, but I promise it will be worth it).

2. Bring water to a boil. Season with salt and some olive oil. Add the pasta when the water is ready. Cook according to package directions. Drain and set pasta aside.

3. Chop the basil and the garlic.

4. To cook the asparagus add all the olive oil and wine to a non stick pan. Turn on to medium heat. Let cook for about 10 min. covered. Add the garlic, lemon juice and lemon rind. Mix.

5. ASSEMBLE: add the pasta to the asparagus mixture. Add the parmesan slowly, mixing in between. Add the chopped basil. Stir.

6. GARNISH with wheat germ and sliced almonds. (I prefer to add a bit to each plate).

NOTE: this sauce is very subtle and light. If desired adjust by adding more olive oil once you’ve added the pasta and parmesan.