If you’re a friend of mine, or have ever gone out for dinner with me, you probably know that I LOVEE a good pizza. While a restaurant or take-out pizza is something to indulge in and enjoy from time to time, being high in refined carbohydrates and saturated fats, it definitely shouldn’t be something that’s eaten everyday (unfortunately).
Pizza, however, doesn’t ALWAYS have to be unhealthy! To satisfy a recent pizza craving, I decided to try making a healthier version at home: one that supplied complex carbs (whole wheat dough), healthy fats (olive oil and hemp seeds), plenty of veggies and fiber. I used my recipe for hemp seed pesto, which I’ve previously enjoyed on zucchini noodles, pasta, and salmon (see here and here). I love using hemp seeds because they are a complete plant-based protein, which is perfect for vegetarians or vegans. Adding nutritional yeast in the pesto provides a delicious cheesy flavor, and is one of the few non-animal sources of vitamin B12, a nutrient that can often be lacking if you follow a vegan diet.
This recipe uses a pre-made whole wheat pizza dough from Trader Joe’s (you can find it in the refrigerated section), simply because it is MUCH quicker than making your own dough. If you’d prefer, of course, you can make your dough at home, too.
I hope you guys enjoy this healthier take on pizza! As always, feel free to experiment with different toppings – this is a dish that’s fun to make and to get creative with. If you have kids, get them involved and have them help decorate the pizza! Let me know in the comments if there’s a combination of toppings I must try 🙂
RECIPE: HOMEMADE HEMP SEED PESTO PIZZA WITH SUMMER SQUASH, TOMATOES & FETA
Time: 25 minutes | Makes one 12-inch pizza; about 8 slices
- 1 pack of Trader Joe’s Whole Wheat Pizza Dough (Whole Foods sells these too, I believe)
- 1/2 yellow summer squash or zucchini
- 3 pearl tomatoes
- 2 tbsp feta cheese (optional; leave out if vegan)
- salt + pepper to taste
- flour for rolling dough
- for pesto:
- 1 cup fresh basil leaves
- 1 clove garlic
- 1/4 cup hemp seeds
- 1/3 cup nutritional yeast
- 1/3 cup olive oil
- Preheat oven to 425F and remove dough from fridge (let sit at room temperature while you prep the other ingredients)
- Add pesto ingredients to a food processor and mix until smooth
- Slice squash and tomatoes into 1/4 – 1/2 inch rounds
- Roll dough following package instructions; place rolled out dough onto a parchment lined baking sheet BEFORE adding toppings (or else it’ll be very tricky to move the dough!!)
- Spread pesto onto dough, leaving space on the edges for the crust
- Top pesto with veggies, sprinkle feta, add a few basil leaves, salt + pepper
- Bake in oven for about 6-8 minutes until ready. Slice into 8 pieces.
- Leftovers can be stored in the fridge for a couple days and enjoyed cold as well!