10, 9, 8—get ready for a flavour blast off with this spinach loaded pizza. This pizza is an impressive creation that’s great for entertaining or if you just want something delicious.

Delicious vegetarian (add meat if you want) pizza

MAKES 4 SERVINGS | TAKES 2 HOURS 30 MINUTES

Dough: Chicago style cornmeal pizza crust

Sauce: Zesty Italian pizza sauce recipe

Stuffing: One small box fresh baby spinach and 1 cup light shredded cheese or dairy-free cheese substitute.

Chicago style cornmeal pizza crust:

INGREDIENTS

  • »  1 1⁄2 Tbsp yeast
  • »  2 cups warm water
  • »  1 1⁄2 Tbsp sugar of choice
  • »  3 1⁄2 cups all-purpose flour of choice
  • »  1⁄2 cup stone-ground cornmeal
  • »  1⁄4 cup olive oil
  • »  2 tsp salt
  1. Combine yeast, sugar and warm water; whisk and set aside until the yeast has been activated and starts getting frothy. Add olive oil and salt to liquid mixture and pour into a well of blended flour and cornmeal. Stir until liquid is absorbed. Pour the dough out onto a well-floured surface and knead for eight to 10 minutes (think of the great upper body workout!) until formed into a springy, smooth ball of dough. Place the dough in a lightly oiled bowl, cover with a damp tea towel and set aside to rise until doubled in size, about 45 minutes.
  2. Use for stuffed crust pizza or cut in two and reserve smaller piece for a quick thin crust.
  3. Roll or press the larger ball on a floured work surface into a quarter-inch crust.

Adapted from The Great Chicago Style Pizza Cookbook by Pasquale Bruno, Jr.

Zesty Italian pizza sauce

INGREDIENTS

  • »  2 cloves garlic, minced
  • »  2 Tbsp olive oil
  • »  1 large onion, diced
  • »  1 28 oz can plum tomatoes
  • »  1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • »  3 dashes Tabasco sauce.

Toppings: Olives, or other toppings of your choice.

  1. Start by making the crust (see above). Once the dough has doubled in size, punch it down and knead to form two balls of dough, one slightly larger than the other. Roll dough out into a large circle, big enough for your deep dish piz- za, cake pan or cast iron frying pan of choice. Place the dough in the pan and gently press against the upper rim of the pan, leaving approximately one inch of dough hanging over the edge. Roll out the smaller piece, large enough to fit inside the pan, and set aside until needed.
  2. Wash baby spinach, remove any long woody stems and spin dry. Coarsely chop the spinach and mix the cheese or substitute.
  3. Preheat the oven to 475°F.
  4. Press the spinach mixture into the pizza pan and lay the reserved piece of dough overtop. Pinch the two pieces of dough together to form a raised edge along the rim of the pan. Press gently on the dough and filling with your palms and cut a one inch slit in the center to allow steam to escape.
  5. Spread the zesty Italian pizza sauce (recipe above) over the top crust.
  6. Bake this beauty on the lowest rack of the oven for the first 10 minutes, then lower temperature to 425°F and move to the middle rack to bake another 25 to 30 minutes, until the crust is lightly browned and the top crust is fluffy (fully cooked).

Nutritional information per serving: Calories 411; Fat 25g; Carbohydrates 37g; Protein 15g

More Inspiration: Here’s three more delicious, healthy pizza recipes!

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