Pizza has become a bit of a challenge now that we are striving to eat healthier and my older daughter is a vegetarian. She will no longer eat the pizza from our local place, and has also started declining our homemade version (too much cheese for her). So we needed to come up with an alternative. This one has been adapted from a Cooking Light recipe to fit our tastes and her preference.  We focused on getting in as much vegetables as possible with just a bit of cheese to keep the taste satisfying.  Use it a jumping off point and adapt it to fit your needs and tastes!

                                         Deep Dish Pizza with Roasted Vegetables

The Dough

Whole wheat flour, 3/4 cup

All purpose flour, 3/4 cup

Quick rise yeast , 1 package or 2.25 teaspoons

Salt, 1/2 teaspoon

Sugar, 1/2 teaspoon

Warm water, 2/3 cup ( very warm but not too hot)

Olive oil, 1 tablespoon

I use my Kitchenaid stand mixer  with a dough hook but you can use a food processor or alternate with a blade attachment. Place all dry ingredients in the bowl and mix briefly to blend. Add water and oil while the mixer is running and mix until the dough forms a ball, about 1 minute. I kneed mine for just a few minutes more but you can omit it if desired. Place ball of dough in a bowl, preferably glass, that is coated in non stick spray. Turn to coat and cover with a clean kitchen towel. Allow to rise until doubled in size, 15-30 minutes depending on the heat/humidity of the day.

Pizza Filling

1 medium green pepper, cut into 1 inch (bite size) pieces

1 medium red bell pepper, cut into 1 inch pieces (optional, my preference)

1 (8oz) package of baby bella mushrooms, sliced (you can sometimes find them pre-sliced)

1 medium sized red onion, cut into 1 inch pieces

1 teaspoon dried Italian seasoning

1/2 cup pitted black olives

4 plum (Roma) tomatoes, coarsely chopped

6 oz part skim mozzarella cheese

1/2 cup pasta sauce of choice

For the filling:

1-Preheat oven to 475*F.

2-Line a cookie sheet with foil (this saves clean up time), combine the peppers, mushroom and onion together and coat with cooking spray, sprinkle with the Italian seasoning and toss well. (I would also roast the tomatoes personally but my daughter prefers to add them later.)  Bake at 475* for 20 minutes then stir and bake for another 5-6 minutes or until they are roasted to preference.

3-Add the black olives and tomatoes to the pepper mix and combine well.

4-Reduce oven temp to 450*F

5-Pan choice is your option–I’ve done it two ways and enjoyed both. Choose either (a) a round tart pan (like a Corelle pan) or (b) a 13 x 9 inch rectangle pan. Coat with non-stick spray.

6-Roll out the dough to fit the pan with just a little extra for the crust. Place in preferred pan and press dough up sides of pan and then roll the extra to form the crust edge.

7-Spread the sauce over the base of the crust. Sprinkle 1/3-1/2 of the mozzarella cheese over the sauce (if you like move of a cheese topping use less on the bottom or just put on the top.  Top with the roasted vegetables, spreading evenly. Sprinkle with the remaining cheese.

8- Bake at 450* for about 20 minutes or until the crust is browned and cheese is melted and bubbling.

9-Allow to cool for 5 minutes before cutting into 6 slices/portions.

Using the round pan….

                                        or the 13 x 9 rectangle one…..either way, its a delicious way to have a healthier pizza!