With the only close contender being sushi, pizza is my absolute favourite food on the planet. If I had no worries about health, I could eat it multiple times a week. I've loved pizza for most of my life, and even when I have been at my absolute strictest with my diet, watching ever morsel of food consumed to maximize performance, I would work in "cheat days' which heavily focused on pizza.
The healthier I get, the more my taste in pizza changes. At my "worst", I crave greasy, doughy pizza and breadsticks, which I then lather in sauce. Typically, I also want "more" toppings, always with meat. As I rack up more and more small wins towards my health, these meals become less and less enticing. The healthier my eating patterns, the more I crave simplicity. I began savoring less greasy options, crusts which are foldable, personally preferring ones that "crack" such as New York-style (or Neopolitan, which I then re-bake). I pay attention more to the flavors in the sauce, finding more toppings actually reduces my enjoyment. More often than not I will order a simple Margherita. If I do use a dipping sauce, it is typically more sparingly for the crust.
Pizza can be a very tricky art. I've tried to do it over many years, even following recipes that take days of work that I learned or modified from The Pizza Bible by 12-time world Pizza Champion Tony Gemignani. With enough practice, time and guidance from a book like this, masterpieces are possible. That said, it is still pizza and will still be quite calorically dense. Also, most do not have days of time to make pizza. Over the years, I have experimented with lower-calorie options. Some of the issues I've encountered are tortilla wraps get sorry, even when limited ingredients are used, and pita shells get far too crunchy, too quickly.
Practice leads to improvement, and I have found ways to mitigate the issues above. I prefer a tortilla wrap instead of a pita shell, as it is easier to "crunch up" the tortilla then prevent the pita from getting too crunchy.
For a simple margherita pizza, what you'll need:
- Tortilla shells (I use whole wheat or multigrain)
- Pizza Sauce
- Cheese (I use manchego for this "healthier" pizza option)
- Fresh basil
What I add:
- 2 tablespoons of pizza sauce, spread across the large wrap evenly (22 calories)
- Several leaves of basil, coarsely chopped (negligible calories)
- 25g Manchego cheese (80 calories)
272 calories per "pizza"
- Pre-heat over to a broil
- First, crisp up the wrap. I get a crying pan set at medium heat, and lightly brown one side until it appears as bellow:
- From there, you will need to flip the tortilla, so the uncooked side is face up with the hardened side on the bottom
- Add the toppings and add the "pizza" to the bottom rack for 1 minute and 45 seconds.
- After that, move the "pizza" to the top rack. Remember, this is only broil the entire time. The "pizza" will only stay on the top rack for 30 seconds, so stay by the oven. Food burns very quickly on the top rack while broiling.
If you like the crust a little crispier, you can try adding a bit of olive oil to the "bottom" of the tortilla- less than a tablespoon, a teaspoon at most. While this may improve the taste, for you, it is important to note the calories.
For a couple other ingredient options, below are two others I made. The one on the top is a margherita with a few dollops of mascarpone cheese, the one below is sun-dried tomatoes and kalamata olives. Both are still "low calorie" compared to alternatives but will have slightly more calories than the simple margherita pizza.