Pizza Night, the Mediterranean Diet Way
For people of the Mediterranean region, the Mediterranean diet has been a healthy way of eating for centuries of years and has become an adapted diet for people from all over the world because of the many health benefits it offers.
The basic diet is one that is rich with local foods such as vegetables, fruits, nuts, legumes, olive oil and fish. Carbohydrates are abundantly found in the form of whole grain bread and pasta. Meats and dairy products are consumed rarely and are limited.
Pizza has been found to be a staple food for many of the people in the region and is often the main course offered along with a healthy salad.
Pizza night in itself has come to be enjoyed by people all over the world.
What better way could there be to enjoy pizza night than the Mediterranean diet way, homemade, rich in flavor and nutrients and enjoyed with family and friends.
Start with whole wheat pizza dough, I cheat and purchase mine in the bakery department of my local super market, or you can be real ambitious and make your own.
Flour your work surface and then roll the dough out thin to your liking; I start by punching the dough into the basic pizza shape and finish by rolling out thin.
Place your crust on a pizza pan and sprinkle and brush both sides of your pizza lightly with olive oil and place in pre-heated 450 degree oven for 2-4 minutes and remove. Now you are ready for some true pizza fun.
For Greek pizza, light spread ricotta cheese, top with chopped tomato slices, sliced black olives and spinach. Sprinkle lightly shredded mozzarella, and feta cheese for a delightful and nutrient rich white pizza. Bake at 475 degrees for approximately 20 minutes (watch for crust and cheese browning)
For an Italian twist, replace ricotta cheese and spinach with a light marinara sauce with mushrooms and add garlic to taste. Sprinkle shredded mozzarella and sliced black olives.
Add anchovies to either pizza for excellent flavor and additional nutrients.
For a true pizza night experience you can roll out 8 inch personal size pizzas and have guests experiment with a number of different ingredients and toppings as they create their own unique pizzas to share among the group.