Category Archives: high fiber

Simple, Healthy Meals: Pizza

We all love pizza, right?  And generally with pizza, you’re taking on a load of calories, fats and the bloat to go with it all.  It doesn’t have to be that way.

Many times (like recently), I’ve been very busy with work so when it comes to dinner time, I turn to some of my quick, healthy meals.  Last night?  It was gluten-free veggie pizza.

Because gluten free crust is hard to come by and takes forever to make from scratch, we’ve been using our high-fiber, gluten-free lavash as the basis for our pizzas for 5 or 6 years or longer.  (I’ve mentioned the lavash before in my quick morning go-to for my husband when he needs the energy to play 18 holes of golf in the searing heat.)

All you need to do is to decide on your sauce and toppings.  Your choices are limitless!

Pizza BasicsPreheat the oven to 350 degrees.

I start with the lavash and spread with my sauce du jour.

Sauces:

If you prefer a red pie which we do sometimes, and I have a homemade marinara on hand, I use that since it will be organic.  You can buy jarred organic pasta sauces but be warned – they’re generally loaded with sodium.

If you like a ‘white’ pie, I spread on a herbal butter/olive oil blend that I make.   For that, mix in a jar equal amounts melted organic butter and organic olive oil with a few cloves of garlic that have been pressed, and a tablespoon of mixed herbs (usually oregano and thyme). Warm slightly in the microwave for 15 seconds.  Shake or stir well.  Refrigerate and use for toppings for pizza, for garlic bread or for anything else you desire.  Tip:  Udi’s makes a nice baguette that can be brushed with this garlic/herb oil/butter mixture and baked in minutes.  Yum!

If you like a pesto base, a homemade pesto is simple!   In a small food processor, add fresh basil, pine nuts, a bit of citrus (lime or lemon) salt, pepper and olive oil.  All are available in organic.

Toppings:

Simple is always good so my choice for simple is the classic Pizza Margherita:  Add pieces of torn basil leaves and your favorite shredded Italian cheeses.

Veggie toppings, to name a few: mushrooms, onions, artichoke hearts, black olives, broccoli, zucchini, sliced tomatoes, green onions, eggplant, red, green or yellow peppers, broccolini, pepper flakes and grilled Portobello mushrooms.  Some like a Hawaiian pizza with pineapple and ham. The produce section offers many veggie treats for your creative pizzas!

Meats:  While pepperoni is preferred by many, it is high in sodium and fat, and has no vitamins, no fiber and very little else to offer.  Some alternatives include parma ham, grilled chicken, or crumbled, cooked chicken or turkey Italian sausage.  Grilled and sliced (or chopped) portobellos give a meaty flavor without the meat.

Cheese:  You MUST have cheese!   The standard Italian cheeses just can’t be beat. Parmesan, Romano, Asiago are hard cheeses that melt well. Pecorino is flavorful and a slightly different twist.  You can add Gorgonzola for a bit of a bite.  As you may remember, when it comes to cheeses, I prefer cheeses that are not made in the US (and thus guaranteed to beFresh Veggie Pizzacontaminated with GMO).  You can find, by the way, organic cheeses made in the US that will not have GMO’s.  Organic Valley has a small selection. When I can find true Italian Fontina, I use it.  This isn’t a hard cheese but it is a wonderful-gooey mess when it melts.  Experiment!

Finally, don’t be afraid to use pizza for other courses and other meals.

Dessert pizza:  Spread with cream cheese, top with fresh berries and bake just a few minutes. You can also add any fresh-fruit organic marmalade or jam.  Just be sure that you stay away from the chemicals and high-fructose corn syrup.

Breakfast pizza:  Whip your eggs as usual, carefully pour on the crust, add a bit of cheese, perhaps a bit of ham, veggies, bake and you’re good to go.

If you’ve forgotten how much I love cheese (the ONLY dairy we eat), please feel free to check out this August post:  Cheese, Glorious Cheese!

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Quick, Super-Energy Breakfast or Lunch

My husband plays golf on Mondays and in our oppressive heat, he often looses steam on the back nine.  We’ve found that if he does a high-fiber, high protein breakfast before he leaves, he is able to maintain his energy the entire 18 holes.  This of course, would be helpful for anyone who wants to keep moving and stay focused all day.

This particular concoction is my own updated, healthy version of something my Mom used to make us for lunch – a peanut butter and banana sandwich.  Of course, since we’re gluten free, it’s ix-nay on the ead-bray.   So instead, we use a millet and flax lavash and roll it up.

As a fan of fiber and protein, it’s not surprising this is packed with both.  The fiber count is 14 grams (or maybe 23 grams) – about 3 grams in the banana, 2 grams in the peanut butter and a whopping 9 grams of fiber in the lavash.   (I suspect, however, that the labeling is wrong on that particular product. They’ve changed their numbers several times over the years.  It says that 1/2 of a lavash is 9 grams of fiber so the ‘or maybe’ above is if that is in fact true. ) Quick Easy breakfast energy

The protein count is 11.5 grams with the Peanut butter contributing 8 grams of protein, the lavash has 2 grams of protein, and banana is about 1.5 grams of protein.   Now if this doesn’t pack a punch to get one from 7 AM to 2 PM, nothing will!

It’s doggone simple to make and barely needs a recipe.  I soften the refrigerated lavash with a spritz of water and bring it to room temp or give it 20 seconds in the microwave.  Then I spread on 2 TBS of organic, crunchy peanut butter.  Then, peal the banana and slice, arranging slices over the lavash.  Then, simply roll it up and eat it!  How easy is that?

The bananas are of course, organic as is the peanut butter.   The lavash?  It’s not labeled as such.  It’s almost impossible to find gluten free AND organic in any sort of similar product to this.

What’s great about this is that it doesn’t really require a special shopping trip.  I like my bananas on the green side so I buy them green-ish (See the pic).  Then when they ripen, my husband likes them ripe to mushy.  So they don’t go to waste.  The lavash can be in the freezer or the fridge, and the peanut butter stays fresh until it’s gone.

If you have problems with peanuts, you could substitute almond butter.