Monday, March 12, 2012

National Nutrition Month + Homemade Veggie Pizza

March is here and that means it's National Nutrition Month.  This year's theme is "Get Your Plate in Shape" and focuses on the importance of making healthy, informed food choices while practicing good eating and physical activity habits.  The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetic's website has some amazing resources for nutrition month.  Check out their salad bar and smart snacking guides.

To me, "Get Your Plate in Shape" is all about balancing your diet to include all the healthy food groups.  You want to see more vegetables on your plate and less greasy foods.  It's crucial to get enough whole grains and low fat dairy products in your diet too.  My husband and I sit down every Sunday, plan our weekly menu, and hit the supermarket to make sure we have all the ingredients on hand.  I find it much more efficient to go to the store with a shopping list versus wandering the aisles and hoping a week's worth of meals pop into my head.  And yes, there are weeks where we don't have time to plan ahead so we usually wind up eating more convenience foods than I would like.  You don't have to be perfect,  just give it your best shot.

Plus, menu planning doesn't have to be exact.  To make it quick, only write down the main ingredients i.e. chicken, rice, and broccoli.  You can figure out the culinary details once you have those ingredients.  The biggest obstacle is having the right foods on hand. 

Ideally, half your plate should be filled with vegetables.  Salads and stir fry are obvious ways to get more greens in the diet but sometimes you just want pizza!  I like to make my own pizza from scratch (dough and all) and I COVER it in scrumptious veggies.  Here's my go-to whole wheat pizza dough recipe:

Vegetable Whole Wheat Pizza

Bread Machine Pizza Dough
Yields 2 medium pizzas
1 c. warm water
2 tsp yeast
2 T sugar
2 T olive oil
1 tsp salt
3 c. flour (half whole wheat, half white)
2 T ground flaxseed

Tomato Sauce
Shredded low fat cheese
Favorite vegetables

My Pizza (Pre-oven)

Hubbie's Pizza (Pre-oven)
Place ingredients into bread machine and set it for the dough cycle.  Once finished, place dough in a greased bowl and let rise for 1-2 hours.    

Divide dough into two equal parts.  Shape dough into medium circles and place on separate pizza pans.  Lift shaped dough and spray cooking oil under dough to avoid sticking.  Top with favorite sauce, a modest amount of shredded cheese, and A LOT of veggies.  I used sauteed kale, frozen chopped broccoli, garlic, mushrooms, onion, and red pepper.  Bake at 375° for 15 min or until the cheese is bubbly.

My Pizza Post-oven

Enjoy it hot!
Take Out Style (AKA on paper plates)

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