Protein Pizza

by Khushboo on September 14, 2015

In my group of childhood friends in Nigeria, each of our homes was known for at least one specialty dish.  For example, my friend Rids had brownies & cheese balls; we always requested crispy noodles at Nitya’s home; Ayesha’s pantry was always filled with the best variety of crisps & biscuits; Henna’s baked spaghetti was untouchable; I die just remembering the sausages that used to come out of Sonali’s barbecue. And my home?  We had pizza DOWN…more specifically heart-shaped pizzas courtesy of the madre.  Side note: weren’t my friends & I one heck of a healthy bunch ;).  Going back to those heart shaped pizzas- we always had the bases & sauce ready in the fridge in case my friends came over or I wanted a snack. 

Protein Pizza (whole)

Although we no longer use a cookie cutter when making pizza at home, it continues to be one of my favourite foods.  Thick crust, thin crust, lots of cheese, or cheeseless- I’ll take it all.  Unfortunately pizza is one of those foods that automatically receives a bad rep of being ‘unhealthy’.  Like almost any other food, it all comes down to how the food is prepped & how it is served.  A few quick tweaks can easily boost a pizza’s nutrition including: 

  • Opt for thin-crust
  • Replace all-purpose flour with wholewheat flour when making the base
  • Limit the amount of cheese used
  • Load up on veggie toppings rather than red meats like pepperoni
  • Exercise portion control 

Protein Pizza (cutter)

Remember I mentioned that I hardly cooked during the summer?  Now that I am back in Mumbai, I feel like I am back in the game.  To get my pizza fix last week, I decided to try using one of my favourite flours of late: chickpea flour.  Gluten-free & containing 5g of fibre, 10g of plant-based protein & 101mg of folate per 1/2 cup serving, chickpea flour is a nutritional goldmine. Aside from using it for Socca Flatbread, I tend to use chickpea flour for making pancakes, quesadillas and now pizza.  Wait let me rephrase that: Protein Pizza.  

Protein Pizza (slice)

Between the chickpea flour, cheese and veggies, each pie racks in 23g of protein and nips the pizza craving in the bud like no other.  Rather than crisp, the crust of this Protein Pizza is deliciously soft and doughy.  Texturally speaking, it’s quite similar to the pies that come out of a pizza stone. And because there’s no better way to celebrate Meatless Monday than pizza, here’s the recipe:

Protein Pizza
Serves 1
This post shares a recipe for a high-protein, gluten-free pizza.
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Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
20 min
Total Time
30 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
20 min
Total Time
30 min
Ingredients
  1. 1/2 cup chickpea flour (=45g)
  2. 1/2 cup water, warm or room temperature
  3. 1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary
  4. 1/2 teaspoon oregano + more 1/2 teaspoon for garnish
  5. 1/8 - 1/4 teaspoon salt
  6. 1/4 cup marinara sauce
  7. 1 oz grated cheese
  8. 1/4 cup sliced mushrooms (or your choice of toppings)
  9. Chili flakes - optional
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 180*C
  2. In a bowl, mix together the chickpea flour, oregano, rosemary & salt.
  3. Add the water & whisk to combine into a smooth, lump-free batter.
  4. Coat a flat skillet with cooking spray (or oil) & place over medium heat. Pour the batter onto the skillet, swirling skillet evenly to coat.
  5. Reduce heat & cook for 2-3 minutes. Flip & cook for another 2-3 minutes, until golden brown. Turn off heat.
  6. Spread marinara sauce across the base & top with cheese and mushrooms (or your choice of toppings). Transfer skillet to oven & grill for 10-12 minutes until the cheese has melted to your desired consistency.
  7. Remove pizza from oven & add oregano, chilli flakes. Cut into slices and enjoy!
Notes
  1. i) I used cheddar but try experimenting with your favourite variety of cheese. For a vegan alternative, go cheeseless!
Khushboo's Blog http://kthadani.com/
 Go on…have your cake pie & eat it too!

What’s your favorite pizza topping (s)?

How do you make your pizza healthier?

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{ 14 comments… read them below or add one }

Parita @ myinnershakti September 14, 2015 at 5:21 pm

Olives and pineapple = best pizza toppings ever!

And my mom left me with a bag of chickpea flour, so definitely going to experiment with your recipe and make me some pizza!

Reply

Khushboo September 21, 2015 at 11:32 am

Mmm love olives on pizza, particularly black!

Reply

Shyamla Chattlani September 14, 2015 at 6:28 pm

sounds delish!! can’t wait to try. Think you need to bring the cookie cutter back for pizza.. Sameer would love when he’s older !!

Reply

Khushboo September 21, 2015 at 11:33 am

Bring Sameer to Bombay and I’ll make any shape pizza his heart desires <3

Reply

Amanda @ .running with spoons. September 14, 2015 at 8:48 pm

Pizza is not a horrible thing to be known for! 😉 I think my house was latkes. Or maybe pierogies? OH! Or chocolate chip oatmeal cookies. I’ll come over to your place for dinner and you come over to mine for dessert, deal? Deal. :mrgreen:

Reply

Khushboo September 21, 2015 at 11:33 am

Haha done and done- you bring the cookies & I’ll make the pizza 😉

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Shashi at RunninSrilankan September 14, 2015 at 11:26 pm

I love that you used chickpea flour/besan flour to make this pizza base! I usually add beets and almond flout to mine – but I’ve gotta try your version, Khushboo!

Reply

Khushboo September 21, 2015 at 11:33 am

Love the idea of adding beets to the base- sneaky way to add more nutrition :)!

Reply

Jen @ Chase the Red Grape September 15, 2015 at 7:30 am

I am really lucky that I have managed to find a great gluten free pizza base from a supermarket here in Aus – no nasties inside unlike a lot of GF products back in the UK. But I do also enjoy a cauli pizza crust – just view it as something different!
I enjoy a variety of toppings but really love a pizza with pesto as the sauce, yum!

Reply

Khushboo September 21, 2015 at 11:35 am

Oh wow that’s awesome about the GF crust. So many GF products pack in plenty of chemicals & dodgy ingredients yet wear the halo of being “healthy”!

Reply

Tara @ Sweat like a Pig September 16, 2015 at 6:19 pm

Being in Italy has taught me that pizza can be healthy! The way they prepare it here feels so much lighter than the stuff I’d get back home. I totally had a heart-shaped pizza on Sunday – it was my first ever!

Reply

Khushboo September 21, 2015 at 11:35 am

Haha after being in Italy, I bet the idea of using chickpea flour as a base totally cringes you out ;)!

Reply

dixya | food, pleasure, and health September 17, 2015 at 3:01 am

for me its good old mushroom, bellpepper, and cheese.

Reply

Khushboo September 21, 2015 at 11:35 am

Love bell pepper on pizza!

Reply

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