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Tips to make your pizza low-fat, low-sodium

October 4, 2010 12:00:00 AM PDT
Good news, pizza lovers! Nutritionists have given pizza a thumbs up because it's a complete meal. With that tomato sauce, cheese and crust, you've got a little bit of everything, but depending on how you top it, you could have a food felony or a food find. Kristi Ritchey, executive chef at Green Leaf Gourmet Chop Shop, said she used work with duck confit, butter and the likes, but eating those high-end gourmet goodies put her in the hospital.

She dropped 100 pounds and swapped duck fat and butter for some healthier choices, like lower fat, low-sodium pizzas.

Ritchey said on her pizzas, she prefers to use a whole-wheat tortilla for her crust. If not, she said she'll use a whole-wheat pita, bagel thins or a wheat crust.

"My version is the healthier version that you could eat every day if you wanted to," she said.

For the base, Ritchey uses a goat-cheese spread as one of my options as a base, or on some pizzas, she uses a romesco sauce.

"Romesco is a sauce from roasted peppers, almonds and a little chili flake and caramelized onions," she said.

She also uses an avocado pesto as a base to "keep that moisture and flavor profile going."

She swaps high-fat cheese for heart-healthy flavorful fats like avocado and nuts.

One example is her chicken broccolini pizza with romesco sauce. It's a colorful pie, with just a hint of parmesan on top.

Ritchey said one of her favorites is the BLT pizza.

"I did them all in bagel thins, so another quick easy way to do a different type of pizza," she said.

To make this, spread avocado pesto, sweet cherry tomatoes and lean turkey bacon, and top with a fresh lettuce and a dollop of the pesto.

Right off the tree, Ritchey grilled figs for a goat-cheese pizza, topped with arugula and a sprinkle of Pecorino cheese.

Choices at the market are getting better. Tofurky has 3 new pizzas that are completely vegan and are proving popular, while Trader Joe's has a handful of vegetarian pizzas that are also thin crust and tasty.

It's also a nice idea to stock up on things like sun-dried tomatoes, artichokes, and even Kalamata olives to your pantry. It's another great way to add a little more produce to your pizza.


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