Kayla over at Short Presents always makes sure to have a great balance of health and deliciousness in the recipes she posts. This balance means that I get to follow along and make what she's putting out there without feeling super guilty about cheating on my pre-wedding diet... I mean, just a little cheating is okay, right?
We like our pizza crust crispy, and so I encourage this by brushing the bottom of the pita with some really fragrant olive oil and then lightly sprinkling it with corn meal to help give my homemade pizza a gourmet crunch. I add a lot of vegetables to my pizza (I never met a vegetable I didn’t like), and so it really does eat like a meal, especially when served with a side salad.
I’ve been making these pita pizzas since I was a little young novice chef in junior high school. Once prepared in the microwave, the ingredients have matured as much as my taste buds and my cooking skills (I might add). Making the progression from canned pizza sauce, veggie pepperoni and cheese to tomato chicken pesto with olive oil brushed crust pizza. Never the less, you don’t mess with a good thing and this pita pizza recipe is a great foundation to endless pizza possibilities.
Using frozen spinach nuggets for the pesto and pre-cooked grilled chicken makes this pita pizza ready in a pinch! You can buy grilled chicken pre-packaged at cost-co or your regular grocery store it might be a bit more expensive, but it is worth it if you are short on time.
I use mini bella mushrooms; you know the ones that are brown? I’ve really become obsessed with these mushrooms, as I find them to have a real earthy taste. Did you know that mushrooms only have 15 calories PER CUP? I don’t know about you, but that’s GOT to be the best ratio for veggies aside from celery of course.
I eyeball this recipe (as I do most), but I’ve tried my best to guesstimate the closest measurements for how I typically prepare this meal. You might want to play around with the oil and spice quantities to suit your taste. Sorry. Recipe fail. This is why I need my own cooking show people, so you could just watch! HAHA! Oh my goodness! Can you imagine? It would be a disaster, but definitely sheer entertainment at the blundering messes I would create trying to talk and cook at the same time.
1 whole wheat pita
½ to 1 tsp of olive oil
1 tsp of corn meal
For the pesto:
1 TBS olive oil
1-2 frozen spinach nugget (defrosted with 1 TBS of water in microwave)
2-3 TBS basil
1 TBS parmesan cheese
Pinch of cayenne pepper
Salt and pepper to taste
Low-fat mozzarella cheese
Pre-cooked grilled chicken slices
1-2 mini bella mushrooms sliced (thin)
1-2 slices of tomato (or more so good on pizza!!)
Oregano and pepper to taste
Make the pesto first; simply defrost your spinach nuggets in the microwave in about a tablespoon of water, using a fork to encourage the spinach to break apart. Usually about 1 minute stirring in between. Combine all ingredients in a small bowl with the spinach and set aside.
Brush olive oil over one side of the whole wheat pita, and sprinkle with corn meal covering the entire pita. Flip the pita over and place on a baking sheet or pizza pan. I used a pizza stone, but you don’t have to.
Spread the pesto mixture down first with a spoon being sure to cover as much of the pita as possible.
Next add the chicken, and a thin layer of cheese. I like adding the chicken first because it absorbs the pesto flavors really well.
Add a thin layer of cheese and then add the tomato slices. I love putting the tomatoes between the layers of cheese because they stay soft (don’t shrivel up) and REALLY hang onto their flavor. Sometimes I even gently press the cheese down into the pizza making sure that everything is working together.
After topping your tomatoes with more cheese, add mushrooms and olives (optional, but encouraged) then sprinkle the entire pizza with oregano and pepper to taste.
Bake in the oven on 350 for 10-15 minutes. If you like the cheese on your pizza to be well done, put you pizza under the broiler for the last minute or so, and this will brown your cheese a bit. Just don’t leave it too long or it will scorch, and set off your smoke alarm. Burning meals? It happens people. Don’t judge.
Cut your pizza into 4 and serve with your favorite salad, or serve alone with some fizzy water for a delicious lunch recipe.