Thursday, December 3, 2009

Pita Pizza

Ah pizza, the Food of Gods.

When I decided to lose weight, I was so sad about losing pizza - until I realized that was completely unnecessary. The cheesy, saucy, crispy-crusted deliciousness you see above is an unbelievable 400 calories. I first experimented with pita pizza out of desperation, but soon discovered it can actually be even yummier than take-out and certainly yummier than store-bought types. My version uses tomato paste for sauce which gives a powerful kick of flavour, and low-fat cheeses that not only reduce the fat grams but also provide a cleaner tasting, un-greasy final product. The single tablespoon of parmesan gives a nice sharp finish, since the low-fat cheeses can be a bit bland alone. And my spreadsheet does not lie, this entire thing isn't even a full meal's worth of calories.

I still indulge in a good restaurant wood-fired pizza once in a while...but rarely. My own is just too good to bother with other higher-calorie kinds. I make a basic pizza dough crust if I am feeling ambitious, but the pitas from the grocery store work great. The thin pocket-style ones I get are 140 calories each and come in whole wheat, but the kind I prefer is a greek-style pita, almost a flatbread, by a company called Pita Delight . If you can find these, they are the best for pizza! Slightly higher in calories at 200, but when you are looking at an overall total of 400, who cares. Whatever pita you use, just read the label to make sure it's not one of those crazy super-high-calories ones, they are out there.
I accompanied this cheesy beast with a big pile of broccoli sprinkled with leftover parmesan, and a slice of pork loin for added protein.

Now when I hear people who are on diets lament about how much they miss pizza, I feel sorry for them....because they don't know any better! Seriously, make a pita pizza and quit yer bellyaching!!

Pita Pizza
for each pizza:

1 pita, preferably Pita Delight
1 Tbsp tomato paste
1/4 tsp oregano
1/8 tsp cayenne
45g low-fat mozzerella (15% m.f.)
15g low-fat old cheddar
1 Tbsp finely grated good parmesan (no Kraft shakers here, people!)
1 mushroom

Prepare the sauce: Mix the tomato paste with the spices and a tiny bit of water to thin out to a pizza-sauce consistency. Spread over the pita.

Grate cheddar and mozza, combine and sprinkle evenly over sauce. Sprinkle a bit of parm over top, then place mushrooms lovingly and top with remaining parm.

Turn on oven or toaster oven to 400F and place pita pizza on a baking sheet inside (don't bother to preheat, the extra blast of heat from the elements warming gives a nice crispy crust). Bake until golden brown on top, about 20 minutes. I am guessing at the time...I never remember to look, grr. But you'll know when it's done....oh, you'll know.

Nutritional info: 400 calories, 15g of fat, 28g protein, 38g carbs, 3.5g fibre, 900 mg sodium.

You could also add some turkey pepperoni or ham for an additional 50 calories or so. Or load it up with delicious veggies like thin-sliced red peppers, onions, marinated artichoke hearts, even zuchinni (but make sure it goes on top of most of the cheese or you will end up with too much moisture and have pizza mush). Or add zing with cured black olives or sundried tomatoes. Or go nuts and add some rendered bacon peices, woo hoo! Even with BACON you can keep it under 500. Insane!


  1. Cousin I love you! I'm gonna try this tonight! I had take out pizza this weekend and felt so guilty.. And yucky after I ate it! Not worth it at all. Keep up the good work! I send your link to everyone! Auntie fran sounded excited about the pizza too.. Tty R xo

  2. You are so right about pizza not being off limits when losing or maintaining your weight! I make whole wheat pizza crust for L and I (half a pizza is 4 points, crust only).

    Woolrich Farms makes wonderful crumbled goat cheese (the black lidded tub) for a zesty topping (just a few teaspoons) that's low-fat. I also like Yves veggie pepperoni, and hot capicollo for protein - both of those are super low cal/fat.

  3. R - That's awesome, I am glad to have inspired a new choice! Say hi to Auntie Fran!

    Sheila - I LOVE the Yves veggie pepperoni as well! I was really skeptical but J convinced me to try it, and I think it's wonderful because it does not get all greasy when it's heated (in fact I tuck it under the cheese so it doesn't dry out). And hot capicollo is awesome too!! Haven't had that in a while, I think it's time!

  4. I just wanted to thank you for sharing this!!! The picture convinced me it might be big enough to satisfy, so I gingerly dared to buy the ingredients yesterday, and just finished Enjoying it!!!!
    I used a 150 cal whole wheat pita, 1 Tbsp tomato paste with Italion seasoning for 15 cals, sliced sweet onion for 18 cals, 1/5 of a bag of thawed asparagus stir fry mix for some red pepper strips/squash/broccoli flowerets for 25 cals, 28gm mozzarella for 80 cals with 2 Tbsp shredded parm cheese for 42 cals. Altogether I used about 330 calories for a wonderfully satisfying lunch!
    It was actually very crisp, yet tender in the crust, and a very generous amount of cheese!
    It's been a LONG time since I've had pizza-- Thanks again! 2beittybitty, aka Janet
    If something weird happens, it's the way I chose the profile- don't understand that, lol!

  5. I love pita pizzas. Mine ends up being slightly higher in calories - about 450. Partially this is because I use store bought pizza sauce. Part of it is butter.

    I like a really crispy crust and I find that buttering the pita before applying sauce & toppings makes it very crispy. Without the butter the edge of the crust gets crispy but the middle isn't. With the butter I have a crispy crust all the way through.