Wednesday, May 22, 2013

French Bread Pizza with Chèvre


Stressing out about what to make for Meatless Monday? Take a breather, vegetarian meals don’t have to be difficult to elaborate to prepare. In fact, many popular foods are meatless, making them easy to incorporate into your diet (think Mac and Cheese, cheese pizza, ravioli, cheese quesadilla). Notice any trend? Often vegetarian meals use cheese as the protein in the dish. Yes cheese is a protein and is delicious, but it is also high in saturated fats (the kind that clog our arteries) so portion control is key. I would also encourage you to experiment with other foods for protein instead of relying on cheese. Beans, quinoa, whole grains, nuts, seeds, soy products, milk/yogurt are all good choices! Instead of always focusing meals around the meat, I encourage and challenge you to eat a more plant based diet. 

I have been enjoying my freshly made chevre at home and decided to use it as a topping for a tomato/mozzarella pizza. Homemade pizza is quick, easy to make and you can personalize it to your taste preferences. It certainly is cheaper than ordering out (and paying $2.00 per topping!) It's fun too, so can be a great entree for parties or if you want to get the kids involved in the kitchen!

Instead of making fresh dough, I used a baguette that was a few days old. This was a great way to use up food that otherwise would have been wasted, plus I saved some money because I didn’t need to make or buy fresh dough! A win-win situation. 

In my house we always start our pizza meals with a nice garden salad to squeeze in some extra vegetables and to help with portion control. This helps you feel full and satisfied without overdoing it on pizza and feeling over-stuffed.

French Bread Pizza with Chevre
Serves 4                      

1 large Baguette, sliced in half
1 cup low-sodium pizza or marinara sauce
2 cups part skim mozzarella cheese
¼ cup crumbled chevre (optional)
Garlic powder, red hot pepper flakes, dried basil/oregano (to taste)

1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
2. Spread pizza sauce on baguette, sprinkle cheese and chevre on pizza. Top with preferred spices.
3. Bake on a pizza stone or baking sheet for 10 minutes, until cheese is melted.
4. Enjoy hot with a side salad.

Nutrition Facts: 5 inch slice of French bread pizza
370 calories, 46 g carbohydrate, 3 g fiber, 12 g fat (6 g saturated), 22 g protein, 800 mg sodium
*Nutrition Facts will vary with size of baguette.

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