Author Topic: New York Times Article: Healthier Pizzas  (Read 5158 times)

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Online Pete-zza

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New York Times Article: Healthier Pizzas
« on: May 25, 2009, 05:08:37 PM »
An article appeared recently (May 25, 2009) on healthier pizzas based on using whole-wheat flour, at http://www.nytimes.com/2009/05/25/health/nutrition/25recipehealth.html?hpw. I have copied and pasted the article below. I will post recipes for specific pizzas in succeeding posts:

May 25, 2009
Recipes for Health
Healthier Pizzas By MARTHA ROSE SHULMAN

Pizza is many things to many people, but one thing it usually is not: healthy. I blame chain-store pizza and their thick, doughy crusts, usually loaded with cheese even before the extras like pepperoni and sausage are added.

But in any pizzeria in Rome or Naples, you’ll find a dizzying array of offerings that really are healthy. The crusts are thin, often topped with seasonal vegetables, and the slices are reasonably sized. There may be cheese on top, but not more than a few ounces.

It’s not tomato season yet, but that doesn’t stop me from making a range of pizzas. They’re white pizzas — instead of tomato sauce, they’re topped with caramelized onions and fennel, or roasted peppers, or mushrooms, goat cheese, walnuts and arugula. My crust, made with half whole wheat flour, is wholesome but light, full of flavor.

This week’s pizza recipes also make for a handy way to sabotage the picky habits of vegetable-averse kids. Just tell them they’re having pizza for dinner.

Whole Wheat Pizza Dough

Whole wheat pizza crust has a nutty flavor and real nutritional value. Since the crust is what pizza is primarily about, this is a good thing. But a crust made with too much whole wheat flour can be heavy, dry and tough. I’ve found that this formula, which combines whole wheat and all-purpose flour, makes a crust that is both delightful to eat and full of whole grain nutrients, especially fiber.

2 teaspoons active dry yeast

1 cup warm water

1/2 teaspoon sugar

1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil, plus additional for brushing the pizza crusts

1 1/4 cups stone ground whole wheat flour

1 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour, plus additional if necessary for kneading

1 1/4 teaspoons salt

1. Combine the yeast and water in a 2-cup Pyrex measuring cup. Add the sugar, and stir together. Let sit two or three minutes, until the water is cloudy. Stir in the olive oil.

2. Combine the whole wheat flour, all-purpose flour and salt in a food processor fitted with the steel blade. Pulse once or twice. Then, with the machine running, pour in the yeast mixture. Process until the dough forms a ball on the blades. Remove from the processor (the dough will be a little tacky; flour or moisten your hands so it won’t stick), and knead on a lightly floured surface for a couple of minutes, adding flour as necessary for a smooth dough.

3. Shape the dough into a ball, pinched at bottom and rounded at top. Transfer the dough to a clean, lightly oiled bowl, rounded side down first, then rounded side up. Cover the bowl tightly with plastic wrap, and leave it in a warm spot to rise for 1 to 1 1/2 hours. When it is ready, the dough will stretch when it is gently pulled.

4. Divide the dough into two equal balls. Put the balls on a lightly oiled tray or platter, cover with lightly oiled plastic wrap or a damp towel, and leave them to rest for 15 to 20 minutes. Afterward, the dough balls can be placed in a wide bowl, covered with plastic wrap and refrigerated for up to three days. Alternatively, you can wrap them loosely in lightly oiled plastic wrap and refrigerate them in a resealable plastic bag. When you are ready to roll out the pizzas, you will need to bring the balls to room temperature and punch them down again.

5. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Place a pizza stone on the middle rack of the oven. Roll or press out the dough to a 12- to 14-inch circle. Lightly oil pizza pans, and dust with semolina or cornmeal. Place the dough on the pizza pan. With your fingers, form a slightly thicker raised rim around edge of the circle. Brush everything but the rim with a little olive oil, then top the pizza with the toppings of your choice.

6. Place the pizza pan on the stone. Bake as directed.

Yield: Two 12- to 14-inch crusts.

Advance preparation: The pizza dough can be refrigerated after the first rise for up to three days (see step 4). The rolled out dough can be frozen. Transfer directly from the freezer to the oven.


Peter


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Re: New York Times Article: Healthier Pizzas
« Reply #1 on: May 25, 2009, 05:09:56 PM »
Pizza With Green Garlic, Potatoes and Herbs

A pizza topped with potatoes may sound strange, but this is much loved in Italy. Make it now, while you can still get luscious, juicy green garlic.

1 bulb green garlic, sliced; or if the bulb has formed cloves, 4 cloves, sliced thin

1/2 pound new potatoes or other waxy potatoes, scrubbed

Salt

3 tablespoons olive oil

1/2 recipe whole wheat pizza dough

Freshly ground pepper

1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary, or 1 teaspoon crumbled dried rosemary, or 2 teaspoons dried oregano

1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1. Bring a medium pot of salted water to a boil, and drop in the garlic. Blanch for 30 seconds, and transfer to a bowl of cold water using a slotted spoon. Drain and dry on paper towels.

2. Add the potatoes to the pot, and bring to a gentle boil. Cover partially, and simmer the potatoes until just tender when pierced with a knife — 10 to 15 minutes, depending on the size of the potatoes. Drain and rinse with cold water. When cool enough to handle, slice about 1/4 inch thick.

3. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees with a baking stone inside. Roll or press out the pizza dough, and line a 12- to 14-inch pan. Brush all but the rim of the crust with 1 tablespoon of olive oil, and sprinkle on the Parmesan. Top with the sliced potatoes and sliced garlic. Season generously with salt and pepper, and sprinkle withthe rosemary or oregano. Drizzle on the remaining olive oil. Bake until the crust is browned and crisp, about 15 minutes. Serve hot or at room temperature.

Yield: One 12- or 14-inch pizza.

Advance preparation: The cooked potatoes and blanched garlic will keep for a day or two in the refrigerator. The dough can be made up to three days ahead and kept in the refrigerator.


Online Pete-zza

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Re: New York Times Article: Healthier Pizzas
« Reply #2 on: May 25, 2009, 05:14:43 PM »
Pizza With Mushrooms, Goat Cheese, Arugula and Walnuts
By MARTHA ROSE SHULMAN

Eating this dish is like eating a salad and a pizza at the same time.

1/2 recipe whole wheat pizza dough

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1/2 pound mushrooms, trimmed, cleaned and sliced

Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves

4 ounces goat cheese

4 walnuts, shelled and chopped

About 1 heaped cup arugula leaves

1/4 teaspoon balsamic vinegar

1 teaspoon walnut oil

1. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees with a baking stone inside, if available. Roll out the dough to fit a 12- to 14-inch pizza pan.

2. Heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil over medium-high heat in a large, heavy skillet, and add the mushrooms. Cook, stirring, until the mushrooms are tender and moist, four to five minutes. Season with salt and pepper, and remove from the heat.

3. Crumble the goat cheese into a bowl, add the walnuts and lightly toss together.

4. Brush the dough with 2 teaspoons of the remaining olive oil, and top with the mushrooms. Sprinkle on the thyme, and place in the oven. Bake 10 minutes. Remove from the oven, sprinkle the goat cheese and walnuts over the crust, and return to the oven for five to 10 minutes, until the crust is nicely browned and the cheese has softened. Remove from the heat.

5. Toss the arugula with the remaining teaspoon of olive oil, the balsamic vinegar and the walnut oil. Scatter it over the pizza, and serve.

Yield: One 12 to 14-inch pizza, about three servings.

Advance preparation: The dough can be refrigerated for up to three days.


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Re: New York Times Article: Healthier Pizzas
« Reply #3 on: May 25, 2009, 05:17:19 PM »
Pizza With Spring Onions and Fennel
By MARTHA ROSE SHULMAN

Fennel and spring onions, cooked gently until they begin to caramelize, make a sweet topping for a pizza. Fennel is an excellent source of vitamin C and a very good source of fiber, folate and potassium. Fennel also contains many phytonutrients, including the flavonoids rutin and quercitin, as well as a compound called anethole, mainly responsible for its anise-y flavor, that may have anti-inflammatory properties.

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1 medium size sweet spring onion, chopped, about 1 cup

Salt, preferably kosher salt, and freshly ground pepper

1 1/4 pounds trimmed fennel bulbs, tough outer layers removed, cored and chopped

2 large garlic cloves, minced

2 tablespoons minced fennel fronds

1/2 recipe whole wheat pizza dough

Parmesan

1. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees, preferably with a baking stone in it. Heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil over medium heat in a large, heavy skillet, and add the onion and about 1/2 teaspoon salt. Cook, stirring often, until the onion is tender, about five minutes. Add the fennel and garlic, and stir together. Cook, stirring often, until the fennel begins to soften, about five minutes. Turn the heat to low, cover and cook gently, stirring often, until the fennel is very tender and sweet and just beginning to color, about 15 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Stir in the chopped fennel fronds, and remove from the heat.

2. Roll or press out the pizza dough and line a 12- to 14-inch pan. Brush the pizza crust with the remaining tablespoon of olive oil and sprinkle on the Parmesan. Spread the fennel mixture over the crust in an even layer. Place on top of the pizza stone, and bake 15 to 20 minutes, until the edges of the crust are brown and the topping is beginning to brown. Remove from the heat. Serve hot, warm or room temperature.

Yield: One 12- to 14-inch pizza.

Advance preparation: The fennel topping can be made a day ahead of time and kept in the refrigerator. The dough can be made up to three days ahead and kept in the refrigerator.


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Re: New York Times Article: Healthier Pizzas
« Reply #4 on: May 25, 2009, 05:20:44 PM »
Pizza With Roasted Peppers and Mozzarella
By MARTHA ROSE SHULMAN

If you can’t get your kids to eat peppers in a salad, you might try this pizza. Even without tomato sauce, this is still a red pizza.

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 large red peppers, roasted

1 to 2 garlic cloves, to taste, minced

Salt and freshly ground pepper

1/2 recipe whole wheat pizza dough

1 large green pepper, sliced in rings

4 ounces mozzarella, sliced thin

1 ounce slivered Parmesan

2 tablespoons slivered fresh basil

1. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees with a baking stone in it.

2. Peel the roasted red peppers, remove the seeds and membranes (holding the peppers over a bowl to catch the juices), and slice in thin strips. Toss in the bowl with the juices, salt and pepper to taste, the garlic, and 1 tablespoon of the olive oil.

3. Roll out the dough, and line a 12- or 14-inch pizza pan. Brush all but the rim of the dough with the remaining olive oil. Arrange the green pepper rings over the dough. Place in the oven for 10 minutes. Remove from the oven, and top with slices of mozzarella, placing the cheese inside and between the pepper rings. Distribute the roasted peppers over the surface of the pizza, and drizzle on the juice remaining in the bowl. Return to the oven for five to 10 minutes, until the crust is nicely browned and the cheese has melted. Remove from the oven, scatter the shaved Parmesan and the basil over the top, and serve.

Yield: Makes one 12- to 14-inch pizza.

Advance preparation: The peppers can be roasted a day ahead. The dough can be made up to three days ahead and held in the refrigerator.


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Re: New York Times Article: Healthier Pizzas
« Reply #5 on: May 25, 2009, 05:25:10 PM »
Provençal Onion Pizza
By MARTHA ROSE SHULMAN

Pissaladièr is a signature Provençal dish from Nice and environs, a pizza spread with a thick, sweet layer of onions that have been cooked slowly until they caramelize and garnished with olives and anchovies.

3 tablespoons olive oil

2 pounds sweet onions, finely chopped

Salt and freshly ground pepper

3 garlic cloves, minced

1/2 bay leaf

2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves, or 1 teaspoon dried thyme

1 tablespoon capers, drained, rinsed and mashed in a mortar and pestle or finely chopped

1/2 recipe whole wheat pizza dough

12 anchovy fillets, soaked in water for five minutes, drained, rinsed and dried on paper towels

12 Niçoise olives

1. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees, preferably with a pizza stone inside. Heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil in a large, heavy nonstick skillet over medium-low heat. Add the onions and cook, stirring, until they begin to sizzle and soften, about three minutes. Add a generous pinch of salt and the garlic, bay leaf, thyme and pepper. Stir everything together, turn the heat to low, cover and cook slowly for 45 minutes, stirring often. The onions should melt down to a golden brown puree. If they begin to stick, add a few tablespoons of water. Stir in the capers, then taste and adjust seasonings. If there is liquid in the pan, cook over medium heat, uncovered, until it evaporates.

2. Roll out the pizza dough and line a 12- to 14-inch pan. Brush the remaining tablespoon of oil over the bottom but not the rim of the crust. Spread the onions over the crust in an even layer. Cut the anchovies in half, and decorate the top of the crust with them, making twelve small X’s and placing an olive in the middle of each X. Place on top of the pizza stone, and bake 15 to 20 minutes, until the edges of the crust are brown and the onions are beginning to brown. Remove from the heat. Serve hot, warm or room temperature.

Yield: One 12- to 14 inch pizza.

Advance preparation: The onion topping can be made a day ahead of time and kept in the refrigerator. The dough can be made several days ahead and kept in the refrigerator, or it can be frozen.




Offline Essen1

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Re: New York Times Article: Healthier Pizzas
« Reply #6 on: May 25, 2009, 05:44:07 PM »
Peter,

it's funny that you just posted those recipes. I was reading up on some healthy pizza info and found this little tidbit:


Quote
It is possible to enjoy healthier pizza, but probably not at a restaurant. One slice of pizza usually has at least 300 calories, so it doesn't take long to eat most of your day's calorie needs in one sitting. Interestingly, since it is also difficult for many people to estimate portion sizes for wedge-shaped foods, overeating can be very easy.

We don't typically think of pizza as a component of a healthy diet because it is high in total fat, saturated fat, sodium and calories. This is important to remember when planning family menus because high-fat diets lead to being overweight and obese.

If you do order a pizza at a restaurant, be sure to eat a healthy green salad first so that you feel fuller before indulging -- and don't end up eating half of the pizza.

Making a Healthier Pizza

You can easily make your own healthier pizza at home. You may find that one slice really does fill you up without adding lots of unwanted calories and fat. Cut back on high-fat ingredients and add lots of low-calorie, high-fiber vegetables. Try these tips:

    * Use a whole grain crust. You can purchase a pre-made whole wheat pizza crust, or make your own by substituting whole wheat flour for part or all of the white flour in your bread-maker pizza crust recipe. Whole grains add fiber which will keep you feeling full longer and is crucial for a healthy digestive system.

    * Use lots of sauce. Tomato sauce is an excellent source of lycopene, a powerful antioxidant that may help to prevent some chronic disease.

    * Cut back on the cheese. Although cheese is an excellent source of calcium, a lot of the calories of a pizza come from the cheese. Use just a light sprinkling of cheese, or choose a lower-fat type of cheese to cut calories and saturated fat.

    * Don't use greasy processed meats. Pepperoni and sausage are high in fats, and processed meats are associated with stomach and colorectal cancer. Choose lean topping options, such as chicken or shrimp, or skip the meat altogether and make a delicious vegetarian pizza.

    * Load the pizza up with vegetables. Since they are nutritious and low in calories, use generous amounts of vegetables as toppings. Some delicious choices include sun-dried tomatoes, onions, broccoli, spinach, olives, spinach, peppers and mushrooms. Really, any of your favorite vegetables would make the perfect choice.

    * Try these healthier pizza recipes:
          o Pita Pizza
          o Pizza Makeover
          o Low Fat Mediterranean Pizza

Sources:

Ritchie LD, Spector P, Stevens MJ, Schmidt MM, Schreiber GB, Striegel-Moore RH, Wang MC, Crawford PB. "Dietary patterns in adolescence are related to adiposity in young adulthood in black and white females." J Nutr. 2007 Feb;137(2):399-406.

Laroche HH, Hofer TP, Davis MM. "Adult fat intake associated with the presence of children in households: findings from NHANES III." J Am Board Fam Med. 2007 Jan-Feb;20(1):9-15.

Godwin S, Chambers E 4th, Cleveland L, Ingwersen L. "A new portion size estimation aid for wedge-shaped foods." J Am Diet Assoc. 2006 Aug;106 1246-50.

Rao AV. "Processed tomato products as a source of dietary lycopene: bioavailability and antioxidant properties." Can J Diet Pract Res. 2004 Winter;65(4):161-5.

Gonzalez CA, Riboli E. "Diet and cancer prevention: where we are, where we are going." Nutr Cancer. 2006;56(2):225-31.

Tsugane S, Sasazuki S. "Diet and the risk of gastric cancer: review of epidemiological evidence." Gastric Cancer. 2007;10(2):75-83. Epub 2007 Jun 25.

USDA National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference, Release 19.
Mike

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Offline Derzerb

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Re: New York Times Article: Healthier Pizzas
« Reply #7 on: February 11, 2010, 10:43:05 PM »
Food Chemists Slice Up Healthier Pizza

sciencedaily.com/videos/2007/0702-healthier_pizza.htm

Basically the article advocates a 2 day rise using whole wheat. Then using High Temp and Longer Duration to release the antioxidants in the Whole Wheat.

Hope someone tries it! I stopped the whole wheat path since I don't have a stand mixer.

Online Pete-zza

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Re: New York Times Article: Healthier Pizzas
« Reply #8 on: February 12, 2010, 10:59:21 AM »
For convenience, here is the link in active form: http://www.sciencedaily.com/videos/2007/0702-healthier_pizza.htm.

Peter

Offline Davydd

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Re: New York Times Article: Healthier Pizzas
« Reply #9 on: February 12, 2010, 11:32:22 AM »
It kind of depends on what the definition of healthy is. Healthy for the heart? Just healthier than traditional pizza? It makes a difference. The New York Times pizzas are not exactly heart healthy if going by the reversing heart disease advocates like Dean Ornish, MD and several others. They advocate eliminating oils, refined sugars, salt and refined white flours from your diet. You can't eliminate it all but you can reduce from the normal.

That science article promotes anti-oxidants as the reason for whole wheat. That is minor compared to the benefits of whole wheat over refined white flour. The science article points to a recipe that is 100% whole wheat. NYTimes, Ornish and book below combine whole wheat with unbleach flour.

"Healthy Bread in Five Minutes a Day" by Jeff Hertzberg, MD and Zoe Francois gives a basic whole wheat pizza dough recipe that is kneadless. It meets the science article recommendation for two day (or longer) ferment. 100% whole wheat recipes without unbleached flour are harder to do but I have managed it with baking bread but have not tried pizza yet. It helps to add about a 1/4 cup of vital wheat gluten for bread in the kneadless recipes.
Davydd


 

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