Friday Night Pizza

Published 3:57 pm Friday, May 7, 2010

Who doesn’t like pizza? Well, there may be a few out there who don’t consume the product for one reason or another. Too much cheese, too much fat, too much everything.

But, there are ways you can make this wonderful pie healthy and delicious — especially if you make it at home.

Start with a great homemade crust rolled out so thin it’s like a cracker and the toppings you can put on can make a great meal eaten with one hand.

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I’ve made homemade pizza on many occasions and each time my family raves about it. I don’t do anything that especially awesome, but when you make a pizza at home you have the chance to put on what you like and leave off what you don’t.

One family favorite at my house is a Buffalo chicken pizza. Starting with a nice, thin crust I add caramelized onions and plenty of shredded chicken. Top it off with a small sprinkling of mozzarella cheese and finish it off with several drizzles of wing sauce (whatever kind you like). Bake it until the crust is nice and crispy. Just before serving, drizzle on a little (fat free) ranch-style dressing. My family devours this pizza every time it comes out of the oven.

Any pizza can be made lower in fat by using reduced-fat or low-fat cheeses and sauces.

If you’re looking for a different kind of pizza for your family, try one of these recipes.

Barbecue Chicken Pizza

1 (12 inch) pre-baked pizza crust1/2 cup barbecue sauce

1/2 cup diced grilled chicken

1/4 cup chopped red bell pepper

1/4 cup chopped green bell pepper

1/4 cup chopped red onion

1 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.

Place pizza crust on cookie sheet. Spread with barbecue sauce. Scatter chicken over top. Sprinkle evenly with red pepper, green pepper and onion. Cover with cheese. Bake in preheated oven for 10 to 12 minutes, or until cheese is melted.

For a pizza with a little more zip, try this recipe that combines two favorites of kids everywhere.

Taco Pizza

1/2 pound ground pork

2 tablespoons taco seasoning

1 (6.5 ounce) package pizza crust mix

1 cup salsa

1 cup reduced fat shredded Colby Jack cheese

2/3 cup coarsely crushed tortilla chips

1 1/2 cups shredded lettuce

2 tablespoons sliced ripe olives

Heat oven to 400 degrees F. In large non-stick skillet, cook ground pork with taco seasoning mix over medium heat for approximately 10 minutes or until pork is crumbly and no longer pink. Prepare pizza crust according to package directions. Spread crust evenly on greased 12-inch pizza pan and top evenly with salsa. Sprinkle on taco meat, cheese, and tortilla chips. Bake in 400 degrees F. oven for 18-22 minutes or until crust is golden brown. Remove from oven, top with shredded lettuce and olives.