The dreaded time when starting a new diet often begins with the idea that pizza should not be eaten on a regular basis in order to lose weight. What if I told you that pizza is healthy as a dinner option? It’s no secret that pizza is a staple meal all over the world. In the United States alone, it is estimated that we eat 100 acres of pizza every day! What is it about pizza that makes it such a huge part of our lives? Keep reading to learn more and snag a healthy chicken parmesan pizza recipe, too!
Pizza is Healthy For You, Even on WW.
It started over a thousand years ago when pizza was first mentioned in a Latin text written in Southern Italy. It was originally a dish eaten by the poor during the winter months. In the early 20th century when Italian immigrants began moving to New York City, pizza gained popularity in America.
Lombardi’s in NYC originally opened as a grocery store and began selling pizza in 1905, and it is still open today! However, pizza around the world has developed its own unique style and flavors ranging from thin crust to deep dish and any topping you can imagine has probably been used on a pizza at some point in time.
Pizza is Healthy When You Choose Healthy Toppings
Speaking of toppings, the key to how healthy a pizza is can be determined by the toppings that are placed on top. If you stick to lean proteins and add in all the vegetables that you want can make for a nutritionally packed meal. Protein is a vital nutrient to the body as it is a building block for every cell in your body. Hair, nails, skin, blood, hormones… every part of your body requires protein to function.
In addition to the protein found in your lean meats and cheese, the tomatoes in the pizza sauce contain an enzyme called lycopene. Lycopene is a powerhouse for heart health because of its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties that help lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels. It is also known for its ability to prevent skin damage due to UV rays. In a small 12 week study performed by the University of Manchester, scientists found that participants who ingested tomato paste daily were less affected by UV exposure than those who did not.
What are fun facts about pizza?
- Chicago’s Deep Dish pizza was created in 1943 by the Pizzeria Uno chain.
- Frozen pizzas were first sold in grocery stores in 1962.
- The Hawaiian pizza was created by a Greek native living in Canada.
- The largest pizza in the world weighed 51,257 lbs and was 131 feet in diameter.
- Pizza has been delivered all over the world, including out of this world to the International Space Station in 2001!
- In Philadelphia, there is a museum called “Pizza Brain” that contains the world’s largest collection of pizza memorabilia.
- The most popular days to order pizza is on Halloween, the night before Thanksgiving, New Year’s Eve, New Year’s Day and Super Bowl Sunday.
Can I eat Pizza on myWW (Weight Watchers)?
The beauty of weight watchers is that you are not restricted as to what you can eat as long as you stick to your points. If you use intelligence and make healthier choices, there are certainly pizzas that you can enjoy on this way of eating. With great pizza crust substitutions like cauliflower crust, flatbreads, wraps, or even cloud bread. A popular recipe for pizza dough for those following WW is made up of only 2 ingredients that could leave you scratching your head. It is simply self-rising flour and nonfat plain Greek yogurt. How easy is that?
Top with your favorite “Free Point” foods and you have a delicious pizza to curb your cravings without sacrificing a ton of points. The solution I discovered is to use your protein as your crust, like this recipe that uses ground chicken.
What is “Real Good Foods” Pizza?
Real Good is a brand of frozen products including stuffed chicken breasts, appetizer bites, enchiladas, pastas and pizzas. It is mainly marketed to those following low carb or keto eating habits but it's also a great option for WW. Their product line launched with their pizzas, quickly gaining popularity as the crust was made from ground chicken, significantly lowering the total carbs and raising the protein count.
I'll admit, I was skeptical at first about a pizza made from chicken. Could a crust made from meat really compare to real pizza? The first time I made it, I was a fan. It wasn't like a “pizza” per say, as I still used a knife and fork. In fact, it was a bit juicy and chewy for a pizza crust. However, the flavors were all there.
I discovered that if I cooked my RealGood pizza in my air fryer, the crust would get the nice crispiness to give me that crunch I needed.
They can be a little expensive when they are not on sale, my Publix sells them for $6.99 each or you can get them online directly from them, often cheaper, depending on shipping costs.
The “Supreme” Pizza from Real Good Foods is Only 8 Points!
I started watching youtube videos and finally discovered a bunch of people that had made their own version of a chicken crust for pizza. Low Carb Recipes with Jennifer had the simplest explanation and I used her video as a guideline for making my version of a Chicken Parmesan Pizza.
Chicken Parmesan Pizza
6 Points on myWW Green Plan!
4 Points on myWW Blue Plan!
4 Points on myWW Purple Plan!
Chicken Parmesan Pizza
- Baking Sheet
- Large Bowl
- 1 lb Ground Chicken Breast
- ¾ cup Fresh Grated Parmesan (8 Points)
- 1 tsp Oregano
- 1 tsp Garlic Salt
- 1 tsp Basil
- 1/4 cup Zero Point Marinara Sauce (See link to recipe below)
- 1/2 cup Freshly Shredded Part Skim Mozzarella (5 Points)
- Fresh Basil Leaves (Optional: For Garnish)
- Preheat oven to 400º. In a large bowl, stir together ground chicken, 1/2 cup Parmesan and spices.
- Spray prepared baking sheet with cooking spray.
- Form chicken mixture into a large round crust, about 1/2” thick.
- Next, Bake until chicken is cooked through and golden, 20 to 22 minutes.
- Remove from oven and heat broiler.
- Spread a thin layer of marinara sauce, leaving a small border around the pizza.
- Continue to top with mozzarella and broil until cheese is melted and browned, 3 to 4 minutes.
- Feel free to add other toppings and customize as much as you like! I love sprinkling fresh basil on top.
SmileysPoints has a fantastic recipe for Zero Point Marinara Sauce!
This will become one of my staple meals, especially for those busy nights. If you’re looking for another super simple recipe, serve it up with this easy broccoli stir fry.
What toppings would you put on your pizza?