Pizza Replacement?

No! But a good substitute when you don’t want the fat, calories

The older we get, the more we know we need to change our eating habits.  If not change, perhaps alter a bit.

When we were young, it seems we could eat anything we wanted without any consequences.  Unfortunately, reality has a way of creeping up on you.

Those of you who realized this and turned to a life of proper diet and exercise, you deserve congratulations. For the rest of us — I include myself — it’s never too late to start making better choices.

Making better choices, by no means, mean completely giving up the foods that we love. Perhaps smaller portions or incorporating more fruits and vegetables into our meals would be a good place to start.

One thing I cannot even think about giving up is pizza. But I have to admit, I am not satisfied with just one or two pieces.  It’s tough.

For those of you who love pizza and all its toppings, this Tossed Pizza Pocket is a good substitute when you want pizza, but do not want all the fat and calories.

This tasty pocket/sandwich is just right for a low-fat pizza fix.  Nothing really can compare to eating a pizza, but you may find that this is a pretty good substitute.

My all time favorite pizza is Lou Malnati’s pizza.  Did you know that one slice of that pizza, with sausage, is 489 calories.  (No wonder it tastes so good.)

This does not mean we should or will never have pizza again. Of course not. Pizza is about as American as apple pie. Do you know anyone who does not like pizza?

Perhaps the best thing would be to have pizza once in awhile as a treat, as opposed to two times a week or more.

Trust me, Mark and I will not be giving up our Sunday night Bellacino’s  pizza date. Some habits or traditions are just too hard to break. Plus, I look forward to that veggie pizza.

Unfortunately for me, my favorite part of the pizza is the crust.  The only fix for that is to try not to think about it.

I do like this pizza salad, however.  It has all the components of a tasty pizza (except the crust, of course). Supposedly the pita doubles for the crust, but it’s just not the same.

Arugula gives this pizza pocket a peppery taste. If it is not available or it is too bold a taste for you, it is easy to substitute spinach. A combination of both is good also.

Here’s a “heads up” on the dressing.  I do not like a lot of dressing on any salad, so I only use half as much as is called for. Toss ½ cup of salad dressing with the basil and tomato and then add all the other ingredients.  Add more dressing if the salad seems to need it.

Serve this salad to your family and see what they think.

This would be a great sandwich to pack for a lunch. Just put the salad components in a separate container and stuff into the pita when you are ready to eat.

By doing this, the pita will not become soggy.

Try making this Tossed Pizza Pocket this week. See if it is something your family will enjoy.

Don’t stop eating pizza: just stop eating too much. I’ll try if you will.

And remember,… a good cook always cleans up!

TOSSED PIZZA POCKET

1 package whole wheat pita pockets

3 cups diced tomatoes

1 cup thinly sliced fresh basil

1 cup purchased Italian lo fat dressing

2 small green bell peppers, chopped

2 cups diced fresh mozzarella cheese (about 8 oz.)

5 scallions, chopped

1-3.5 oz. pkg. sliced pepperoni

2 large bunches arugula, stemmed, or half a 7-oz. bag

DIRECTIONS:

Toss, tomatoes, and basil and ½ cup of the dressing in a large bowl; let stand 5 minutes.

Mix in chopped bell peppers, cheese, pepperoni and arugula. Add remaining ½ cup dressing; toss to combine.

Season salad to taste with salt and pepper.

Cut pitas in half. Fill with salad mixture.

Serve immediately.