As a hardcore, born and raised New Yorker, nothing makes my heart sing more than a damn good slice of pizza. Pizza and I have had a complicated relationship the last few years, mostly due to my long-held belief that pizza cannot be both healthy and tasty. I used to firmly believe that pizza was a “treat” meal or only reserved for special occasions or late-night drunk binges.
Pizza and I have tried all kinds of ways to make things work for us, however the best pizza hack came to me when I was low on money in 2019, living alone in a lacking good pizza part of Denver. Homemade pizza was the answer to my healthy/tasty struggles! The first few times I bought pizza dough at Trader Joes, I epically failed and burned the life out of my pizza leading to sad burned mess. On a separate occasion I managed to pile so many toppings on my homemade pie that it didn’t cook enough! My brother, Kevin, actually taught me the proper way to cook homemade pizza earlier this year and since then the homemade pizza has become a Friday night dinner game changer for me and my boyfriend.
So how do I make homemade pizza fit in my macros and taste good? My tip is simple, tracking your pizza first, then add protein to your pie and track backwards from there. This hack has helped me make my favorite diary free cheese dreams come true! By simply accounting for the carbs and protein first thing in my food log, I am able to accurately plan and arrange my day so that I still hit my goals and do not have to make a gross pizza just to get it to fit.
A few of the ways that I make my pizza macro friendly, high in nutrients and tasty af are by using crushed or pureed San Marzano tomatoes instead of highly processed pizza sauces, swapping regular mozzarella for Trader Joes Almond Mozzarella alternative, and using high protein toppings such as chicken sausage and prosciutto. These three simple swaps up the protein of my pizza by 10’s of grams and makes my pie more filling and satisfying. Another healthy, high protein pizza option I have made is buffalo chicken pizza! Simply mix up some zero-calorie buffalo sauce and grilled chicken (I use premade Trader Joes Simply Grilled Strips) and top your pizza with that macro friendly goodness.
Just because I love rolling out some homemade pizza does not mean I do not have some take out favorites in the Denver metro area! My top 3 favorite, authentic NY style thin crust pizza places definitely have to be Anthony’s near DU, Ian’s Pizza in the Ballpark area and KAOS Pizza on Pearl Street. Some other great Denver pizza joints include Sexy Pizza, Pizza Pedal and Pizzeria Local.
My go to pizza recipe is below!
**Pro tip – You must let the dough sit out and rest in room temperature for at least 20-40 minutes before rolling. Once the dough is rolled, floured and shaped, be sure to prebake the solo dough for 10-15 minutes before loading it up all your sauce and toppings!
- Trader Joes Garlic and Herb Pizza Dough (1/2 A Container)
- 2-4 Tbs. of all-purpose flour
- ½ Can of San Marzano Tomato Puree
- 1 Oz. of Trader Joes Shredded Almond Mozzarella
- ½ Oz. of Trader Joes Crumbled Goat Cheese
- ½ of a Trader Joes Spicy Chicken Italian Sausage chopped finely
- 1 Oz. of Trader Joes Sliced Prosciutto
- 30 grams of red onion, sliced
- 30 grams of raw arugula
- 50 grams of raw baby Bella mushrooms chopped
Go forth and pizza make your heart out! For more of my healthy eats check out my Insta stories @who.wod.wear