The Newest Health Food: Pizza

Question: When is pizza a health food?

Answer: 1. When your name is Domino’s, 2. You belong to the US Congress, or 3. When you start thinking outside the box.

A couple of days ago, I was sent an article link detailing the many creative ways to use cauliflower in place of wheat, gluten, chick peas, packing insulation (ok, that one I may have made up, but I’m sure there’s a significant number of people out there who feel that is what cauliflower is best suited for).

The link itself was posted on Buzz Feed and it’s here for any of you who like a gander: 23 Insanely Clever Ways to Eat Cauliflower Instead of Carbs.

Now, I’d be remiss if I didn’t point out that cauliflower, being a vegetable and all, is actually a carbohydrate-based food. So that title of the article would more appropriately read: 23 Insanely Clever Ways to Eat Vegetables Instead of Stuffing Yourself on Nutritionally Devoid, Heavily Refined Grain Products…

But I guess the editors must have vetoed that.

Anyway, comments about factually incorrect titles aside, the article did highlight how a little creativity in the kitchen is a great way to still enjoy many of the foods we’ve come to know and love, without the guilt (or calorie bomb action) of the meals.

Cauliflower is one of those vegetables that is surprisingly versatile and you can do quite a bit with it, as highlighted in the article.

After reading that piece, it reminded me that I should really post an updated recipe of my own. Several years ago, I showed how cauliflower makes an excellent substitution for white potatoes in meals like shepperd’s pie.

Today, I’d like to share with you my recipe for cauliflower pizza.

The key with this recipe is that you don’t boil the cauliflower (which turns your crust into a mushy mess), but rather rice the cauliflower and then microwave the cauliflower crumbles in the microwave.

You get tender cauliflower pieces without excess water… win/win!

With 1/4 of this pizza giving you a macronutrient breakdown of:

  • 350 kcal
  • 28 g of carbs (7 being fiber)
  • 28 g of protein
  • 16 g of fat
  • and a full day’s worth of vitamin C due to the cauliflower

That ain’t too shabby… not too shabby indeed. For those of you who wanted to drop the calorie and or fat count even further, you’d could use partially skimmed mozarella in there as well.

Of course, what good is giving you a recipe and telling you it’s healthier for you… there a billion health bloggers out there telling me to eat more vegetables.

As a loyal reader of this blog, you are above merely being told to do stuff. Rather, you are among the refined readers who like getting your learn on with a healthy dose of facts… and sarcasm.

So for today’s stroll down nutrition idiocy lane, I took the liberty of heading over to the Domino’s Canada website for a quick pizza comparison.

Now if you’ve ever been to to Domino’s Canada website, best of luck finding their nutrition info.

kim_hacking_illo_main

 You’ll have greater luck finding the Supreme Leader than a calorie count for a meat lover supreme…

Locating this information is such a monumentally difficult task, that I would strongly suggest that Sony hire the Dominos web designers to be their new chiefs of internet security.

Eventually, I was able to locate what I needed and immediately was greeted by the following statement:

dominos

Nice Play Domino’… using a document with a tenuous grasp on human biochemistry to support your health claims…

I guess I must have missed the part of the food guide where it covers “pizza” as a food group.

This got me wondering, was this document written by the same US Congress who deemed pizza sauce to be a legitimate serving of vegetables in US school?

After that winning cover page, what followed was the most convoluted approach to displaying nutrition data I’ve ever seen.

You might image that if you were interested in knowing the calorie content of a slice of medium Domino’s Deluxe pizza, you’d look under a table for “Deluxe pizza, 1 slice (1/6 of a pie), medium” or something of that nature to find the information you needed.

You’d assume that… and you’d be dead wrong.

Domino’s has decided to give you the nutrition facts for each individual ingredient.

Domino nutrition facts

Urgh… just looking through this table is making my brain hurt.

On the one hand, you can just image the suits as Domino’s smugly informing us that this approach allows “consumers to pinpoint exactly their unique pizza make-up”. On the other hand, Domino’s knows full well that 99.99% won’t take the time to look up this info and those who do won’t be bothered to calculate it for themselves.

Well played Domino’s… well played.

So I took the liberty of running the data myself for 2 slices of a large deluxe Domino’s pizza.

Ingredient Calories Carbs (g) Fiber (g) Fat (g) Protein (g)
Crust 320 60 2 5 12
Sauce 22 4 1 0 1
Cheese 90 0 0 9 11
Green pepper 4 1 0 0 0
Mushroom 8 1 0 0 1
Pepperoni 80 0 0 6 4
Sausage 90 2 0 8 2
Totals 614 68 3 28 31

As you can see, 2 slices of Domino’s pizza will give you close to 2x the calories, 3x the carbohydrates and nearly 2x as much fat as making your own with cauliflower as the base.

Canada Food Guide and “healthy, balanced diets” for the win!

If you really want to make pizza part of a healthy balanced diet, get in the habit of making it yourself. With cauliflower as the crust, you’ll be making huge inroads into getting your daily servings of vegetables, while keeping your calorie consumption in check.

Pizza: part of a healthy diet… just not the way Domino’s or the US Congress would recommend we do it 😉

Train hard and eat clean!