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Healthy Eats: Pizza Party

By Trish Coffman

It’s what many of us crave after a particularly crushing training ride or for our post-race meal. And although it may be true what they say – that there’s no such thing as bad pizza – there is such a thing as better-for-you pizza, and that starts at home. Here’s our homemade pizza primer.

The Dough

No matter what your tastes in pizza dough – thick crust or thin, Neapolitan- or Sicilian-style, whole wheat or white – there’s a recipe for you. Find recipes online and experiment to find your favorite. Many are as easy as stirring together flour, water and yeast, and the best doughs are made at least one day in advance (meaning you can do the prep work the night before, then come home from a ride the next day to ready-to-bake dough!).

The Sauce

This super sauce is simple, and provides a great foundation for your favorite toppings. Want more healthful saucy options? Dress your pizza with hummus, pesto<link to:>, garlic-infused olive oil, or even salsa.

You will need:

  • 2 cloves garlic, smashed
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 28-oz cans whole tomatoes only, juice drained (we love the organic, fire-roasted variety)
  • 1-2 anchovy fillet(s) (The secret to great sauce; it enhances flavors, but doesn’t contribute a “fishy” taste – we promise.)
  • ½ tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Red pepper flakes, to taste
  • 1 sprig fresh thyme

Heat olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the smashed garlic cloves and sauté briefly, until golden and fragrant.

Combine all the ingredients, including the garlic and olive oil, in a blender and process until smooth. Pour mixture into the saucepan, along with the thyme, and simmer for an hour or so, until reduced and thick.

The Toppings

Yes, you have your favorites, but there’s a whole wide world of ways to top your pizza. These combinations make our top ten.

  1. Tomatoes + olives + capers + sliced fresh oregano and basil
  2. Sauteed kale or Swiss chard + egg (cracked over the pizza during the last 5 minutes of cooking time)
  3. Sauteed spinach + fresh or frozen corn kernels + feta
  4. Shredded chicken + broccoli + sliced garlic + pine nuts + fontina cheese
  5. Red onions sautéed with rosemary + toasted pistachios + Parmesan cheese
  6. Potato (sliced paper thin with a mandolin) + sautéed leeks + fresh thyme +  goat cheese
  7. Pancetta + asparagus + fontina
  8. Roasted butternut squash + caramelized red onions + ricotta
  9. Cooked squid (calamari), shrimp and scallops + lots of red pepper flakes + mozzarella
  10. Broiled or grilled eggplant + roasted red peppers + fresh mozzarella
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