Pizza Power Meals
Nope, we’re not kidding. Pizza and power: this issue just keeps on giving, doesn’t it?
WHEN YOU VENTURE BEYOND THE BASIC CHEESE- AND- SAUCE COMBO, pizza can be a sneaky (and still delicious) way to get all five food groups on to your plate. First, the base: split a 450g ball of pizza dough into quarters and leave at room temperature for 20-30 mins. Heat a pizza stone or baking tray in the oven at 230C. With your fingers, stretch the dough balls into 20cm rounds. If they shrink, cover with a tea towel, rest for 10 mins more and stretch again. Place on a baking-paper-lined chopping board and add toppings.
Transfer the pizzas – with the paper – to the pizza stone or tray and bake in the oven (the paper will darken but won’t burn). Each recipe makes 4 pizzas-for- one.
1 / CLAMS AND KALE Clams are packed with inflammation-taming omega-3 fatty acids and blood-boosting iron.
In a pan over a medium heat, add 1 tbsp olive oil and 1 minced garlic clove. Tip in ½ small bunch stemmed and chopped kale and 60ml bottled clam juice (£ 4.25 for 236ml, melburyandappleton.co.uk). Cook, stirring, until kale is wilted (about 5 mins). Add 75g chopped clams, 2 tbsp lemon juice and 1 tbsp white wine, and cook for another 5 mins. Divide the mixture between the pizza bases, then bake for 5 mins. Sprinkle 35g grated Parmesan cheese over the pizzas and return to the oven. Bake until the crust is golden (roughly 5-7 mins more).
2 / SWEETCORN, CRÈME FRAICHE AND HAM Some brands of creme fraiche have probiotics to support digestion.
Spread 100g crème fraiche over the pizza bases, then tear bite-size pieces of fresh mozzarella from a 150g ball and scatter on top. Cut 4 slices of ham into strips and add to each pizza along with corn kernels from 1 cob. Bake until the crust is golden (about 12 mins).
3 / CANNELLINI BEAN, PANCETTA AND ROCKET Cannellini beans are high in muscle-building protein and digestion-aiding fibre.
In a pan, cook 85g pancetta (cut into thin strips) in 2 tbsp olive oil until crisp; transfer to a plate. Add 1 minced garlic clove and ½ tsp chopped fresh rosemary to the pan, stirring until fragrant. Stir in 425g drained and rinsed cannellini beans, and mash. Mix in the pancetta. Drizzle olive oil over the pizza bases and spread bean mixture evenly on top. Top with 115g thinly sliced Gruyère cheese and bake until the crust is golden (about 12 mins). Top with fresh baby rocket before serving.
4 / PEAR, PECORINO AND WALNUTS While high in salt, pecorino cheese contains conjugated linoleic acid, an omega-6 fatty acid that preserves muscle tissue.
Top the pizzas with 1 thinly sliced pear, 115g shaved pecorino cheese and 30g chopped walnuts. Season with 1 tsp chopped fresh rosemary leaves, a pinch of salt and a drizzle of extra-virgin olive oil. Bake until the crust is golden (about 12 mins).
5 / ROASTED BEETROOT, FENNEL AND CITRUS Beetroot is a good source of potassium, which aids muscle function.
Slice 3 beetroot (any variety), 1 bulb fennel and 2 peeled blood oranges, and place in a roasting tin. Toss with a little extravirgin olive oil and roast at 220C until tender (about 25 mins). Increase heat to 230C. Divide veg between the pizzas, top with 170g crumbled feta cheese and bake until the crust is golden (about 12 mins).
6 / RICOTTA, ANCHOVY, EGG AND KALE Sneak in these omega 3and protein-rich fish by adding them to your pizza.
Heat 3 or 4 anchovy fillets in a pan with 1 tbsp olive oil, breaking up with a spoon until melted into the oil. Add 1 sliced garlic clove and 1 bunch stemmed and sliced kale; stir until kale is wilted (5 mins). Bake pizza bases for 4 mins. Scatter over 125g ricotta, top with the kale mixture and sprinkle over 50g shaved Parmesan. Bake until crust is just golden (about 5 mins more). Crack an egg into the centre of each pizza and return to oven until the whites are cooked through (about 5 mins).
These pizzas-for- one range from 350- 610 kcals (versus a potential 300+ kcals per slice for your dodgier takeouts). Pair with a side salad for a full, nutritious and virtuous meal.