Friday, July 10, 2009

Pizza Margherita & A Quick Balsamic Salad

Tonight’s dinner was the perfect quick, light, summer meal that was completely healthy, delicious and filling.  Who doesn’t LOVE homemade pizza and salad on Friday night?!  Our entire meal was done in 30 minutes ~ woohoo to that!

This recipe was inspired by one of my favorite go-to recipes on  I modified it to add a little spice and make it a tad bit healthier.

Quick Pizza Margherita


1 Trader Joe’s Whole Wheat Pizza Dough or make our own
1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil, divided
1 garlic clove, minced
Pinch of crushed red pepper flakes
5 plum tomatoes, thinly sliced (about 3/4 pound)
1 cup (4 ounces) shredded fresh mozzarella cheese
1/4 cup shredded parmesan cheese
1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
1/2 cup thinly sliced fresh basil
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon black pepper

* Make it VEGAN by using Veggie Shredds Mozzarella (they taste like the real deal) and omitting the parmesan.

Preheat oven to 400°.

Place dough onto a pizza stone that is prepared with olive oil.; roll with flour into a 13 x 11-inch rectangle and poke holes with a fork throughout. Bake at 400° for 8 minutes. Remove crust from oven, and brush with 1/2 teaspoon Olive Oil that is combined with garlic and a pinch of crushed red pepper flakes.

Arrange tomato slices on crust, leaving a 1/2-inch border; sprinkle evenly with cheeses. Bake at 400° for 12 minutes or until cheese melts and crust is golden.

Combine 1/2 teaspoon olive oil and vinegar, stirring with a whisk.  (I used a little of the dressing I prepared below since I had extra).

Sprinkle pizza evenly with sliced basil, salt, and pepper. Drizzle the vinegar mixture evenly over the pizza. Cut pizza into 8 pieces.

Yield: 4 servings (serving size: 2 pieces) – 2 slices are 6 Weight Watcher Points

I took a short cut and used Trader Joe’s fresh Whole Wheat Pizza dough.  I LOVE this dough because it has great nutritional information AND it tastes good. The Husband doesn’t eat wheat anything but I can slide this by him and he actually likes it.

IMG_8836  IMG_8835

I preheated my oven while letting the pizza dough rest on my Pampered Chef Square stone. If you have a stone, use it for pizza – it makes your pizza incredible, but, better yet, your pizza is still hot when you go back for another piece.  Roll out your dough using a little whole wheat flour and a rolling pin.  Poke holes in the crust to keep it from bubbling up and bake it at 400 degrees for 8 minutes.


While your pizza dough pre-cooks, you can prep the rest of the ingredients.  Slice up your tomatoes.


Thinly slice/chop your basil.


And prep your EVOO, Garlic and crushed red pepper mix.


Take your pizza out of the oven, and brush your garlic olive oil mix evenly over the top.


Top your pizza with your tomato slices.


Sprinkle it with your cheeses. 


Bake for an additional 12 minutes or until it’s golden brown.  When it comes out of the oven, top the pizza with your chopped basil and your balsamic sauce.


While the pizza was cooking the second time, I prepped a super easy salad with one of my favorite homemade dressings.

Easy Balsamic Vinaigrette over Organic Mixed Greens


1 tsp Honey

1 tsp Djjon Mustard

1 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil

2 Tbsp good quality Balsamic Vinegar

Dash of Garlic salt & freshly ground pepper

I whisked the dressing together and drizzled it over organic greens.  For this salad, I tossed it all together, topped it with the extra tomato slices and a sprinkle of mozzarella.  Super simple, healthy and light.  It tastes just like the salads you get at an Italian restaurant.

I had two slices of my Quick Margherita Pizza for dinner.


The Husband convinced me to try dipping my pizza in the homemade Low-Fat Buttermilk ranch we made up for the Buffalo Chicken Salads.  I tried it on the pizza, but, decided it tasted best on just the crust only.


With a Perrier Fizzy water and all my vitamins.


The best part is we have leftovers ~ I cannot wait to have this tomorrow – YUM!

Ok ~ quick side note.  When I stopped in at TJ’s tonight for the pizza dough, this product caught my eye because of the love The Husband has for ribs.  OMG, I was FLOORED when I looked at the nutritionals!!! 


Wouldn’t you be embarrassed as a company to publish your nutritional stats if they showed 920 calories and 50 g of fat for ONE SERVING!  I guess it just shows you that just because TJ’S sells it doesn’t mean it’s good for you….crazy!  I didn’t buy it, but, I had to snap pictures to share :) LOL…..


Alright all ~ I am off to relax with one of my new books and get caught up on sleep.  I am excited for tomorrow because I am heading to my Weight Watchers meeting and the Farmer’s Market I LOVE plus we are getting a new garage door – Fun!  Before and after pictures to come!



  1. Yummy pizza! I like the addition of the balsamic sauce!

    Have a great weekend:)

  2. We're big fans of homemade pizza - I made one last night, too! On whole wheat crust as well. I do have a pizza stone, but I thought you had to put it in the oven first? Is that not right? Can I build the pizza on the stone and then stick the whole thing in the oven?

  3. Yum, yum....
    Love those salad on top of the pizza...really tempting.

  4. What a great pizza!! Love the step by step pictures :)

  5. Delicious looking pizza. Yum!
    <3 jess

  6. that pizza dough is such a find! I wish i had some over here -- i would definitely make some yummy calzones. m'mmmmmm

  7. I am loving the simple deliciousness of that pizza.

    And WOW on the ribs. Ack!

  8. That pizza looks delicious! And I love that TJ's whole wheat dough too-- it's so good :)

  9. Ok so I tried to make pizza ONCE, with TJ's whole wheat dough on a new pizza stone. The dough stuck so bad, it was ruined. I wonder if using olive oil on the stone would have prevented, I've been scared to try again. :(

    And OMG to those ribs. The husband and I like to joke about the nutritionals on the Hungry Man dinners when we are shopping....we try to find the worst.

  10. Marisa ~ I LOVE balsamic - it adds such great flavor. Hope you are having a great weekend too!

    Jenn ~ Nope, you should not have to preheat your stone first. I never do and build my pizza on it every time.

    Christine ~ I LOVE veggie variations on pizza too.

    K ~ Thanks - it's delish!

    Havefaith ~ it's good and easy.

    Jenny ~ Ohhhh - I NEED to make Calzones again -it's been a long time since I've done that.

    C.G. ~ sometimes simple tastes best, huh? I couldn't believe those ribs either - shocker!

    Anne ~ All their pizza doughs rock!

    Danielle ~ Oh - yes, you definitely have to have to oil your stone first. In the beginning it takes more oil, but, as your stone gets "seasoned' it takes very little. I usually pour it on ~ 1-2 Tbsp and use a paper towel to rub it around. Do not use nonstick spray because it ruins your stones too. Funny game you play with the hubs, I need ot check those dinners out too for fur lol :)