As I’ve worked to lose weight, I’ve learned to make healthier choices. My family loves pizza, but we just couldn’t afford (financially or calorically) to order take-out regularly. I have many fond memories of making homemade pizza with my Grandad Glenn, so I knew I could do it. I also knew I’d have to “healthy-up” his recipe.
I could probably make a homemade crust (I’ve seen lots of recipes), but for my life right now, the Betty Crocker Pizza Crust is just too easy. Of course, I can’t just follow the directions. Before I add water, I sprinkle in a couple of teaspoons of McCormick Basil and Garlic seasoning. The directions say to use flour on your hands to pat out the dough, but I use olive oil. It helps the edges brown nicely, tastes great, and is better at keeping the dough from sticking to my hands.
Another healthy trick that works for us is to use Hormel’s Turkey Pepperoni instead of the “real thing”. We honestly can’t tell the difference in taste, and I love that it doesn’t come out of the oven with greasy puddles in the middle of each pepperoni. (I used to soak the top of my pizza with a napkin… does anybody else do that??)
I love our pizza pans. The holes make for a crispy crust! I have two pans, since I usually make two pizzas – one “just pepperoni” for the kids, and one with pepperoni and veggies (onions, bell peppers, mushrooms, black olives) for the grown-ups.
Homemade Pizza (1 pizza)
1 pouch Betty Crocker Pizza Crust Mix
2 tsp McCormick Basil and Garlic Seasoning
1/2 cup warm water
Olive oil to coat hands
scant 1/3 cup Betty Crocker Pizza Sauce
About 20 slices Hormel Turkey Pepperoni
About 2/3 cup veggies of your choice
1 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
Preheat oven to 400 F.
In a medium bowl, mix the Pizza Crust Mix and Basil and Garlic Seasoning. Add water, stirring with a wooden spoon until well moistened. (If it’s a dry day, you may need to add more water. I’d start with 1 tsp at a time.) Set aside for a minimum of five minutes.
Spray pizza pan with no-stick spray and slice/dice veggies.
Drizzle a little olive oil on your hands, then pick up the pizza dough. Place it on the pizza pan and pat it out to the thickness you like. (TIP: I balance the pizza pan on the edges of the sink, so that the holes are over the sink. Otherwise, the dough will push through the holes and stick to the counter. Not Good.) I bunch up the edges a little to form a barrier so that the toppings won’t slide off.
Spread the pizza sauce over the crust. Go easy – too much makes a soggy crust.
Sprinkle your pepperoni and other toppings, followed by the cheese. Again, go easy.
Bake at 400 F for 11-15 minutes. Start checking after 10 or so. The cheese should be melted nicely, and the edges of the crust a pretty brown.
(TIP: To get the pizza off the pan, I hold it over the sink and run a spatula between the pizza crust and the pan. The little bits of crust that poked through the holes fall into the sink.)
And now, the hardest part: Let the pizza cool for just a couple of minutes before slicing.
Confession: I’m so cheesy that I made heart-shaped pizzas for my family last night. Yes, it’s true. And they loved it.