Wednesday, February 3, 2010

National Wear Red Day®

Logo is from NHLBI website.
February 5th is National Wear Red Day® hosted by The National Lung and Blood Institute. It is to encourage women to understand how to take care of themselves, be heart healthy, take control of the risk factors, and to decrease heart disease. It is time to get healthy and it all begins by taking care of yourself. Being stressed out, smoking, drinking, lack of sleep, poor diet are factors that lead to an unhealthy lifestyle and can increase the chance of heart disease. One of my favorite blogs, Big Red Kitchen is making an event for this special day for women to make a heart-healthy meal and to share with other bloggers! Right away I knew I had to be part of this because I thrive to make heart-healthy meals and to live a healthy lifestyle by working out, having a clean diet, less stress and just being happy! Who loves pizza? It probably one of the best meals because it an easy meal made up of bread, cheese and sauce! It may be easy but not the most healthiest option. Some pizzas are loaded up with grease, too much cheese, fatty meats that all adds up to a whole lot of calories and unhealthy fats. Definitely all leading to an unhealthy lifestyle and can increase the changes of heart disease. I'm a huge fan of pizza but I had to find a way that would satisfy my pizza craving but without all the fat and calories. 

I bring to you, Pita Pizza! I came up with this pizza 3 years ago when I started losing weight and was watching my calories. Mind you I don't count calories anymore but it is always good to be aware of calories being consumed in some meals. This pizza helped with my craving the saucy and cheesy goodness. Not only that but the healthy benefits were even better. This was also when I started to realize counting calories didn't mean what I was eating can be considered healthy. I started learning more about nutrients in foods and how to stay satisfy by using healthy fats lean proteins, fruits and vegetables. It started with using whole wheat pita bread. I got my fiber and benefits of using whole grains. I used tomato paste as my "sauce" and gave me amazing flavor and extra lycopene when heated up in the oven! I used part-skim mozzarella which was lower in fat and good source of protein. To bulk it up I would add vegetables like spinach, mushrooms, broccoli, zucchini, red bell pepper etc. If I had some lean turkey sausage or grilled up chicken breast, I'd add that to my pizza as well. To enhance the flavor and get that Italian pizza taste I use seasonings like garlic powder, basil, oregano, and red pepper flakes. I would serve this with a green salad and it was my perfect go to meal. My Pita Pizzas would range from 250-300 calories with a side salad, making for a very satisfying meal.

It gets even better. People are usually always in a "rush" so ordering pizza would be an easier alternative. Well pita pizza is great for when you don't have much time and need a quick meal. It comes together very quickly and it is healthy at the same time! I have taken photos of the steps to constructing a pita pizza, so next time you are in a rush this can be your go to meal! It also be great way to get children involved in the kitchen because they can learn about healthy ingredients and they can build their own pita pizzas!  

Pita Pizza By Fallon  
100% Whole wheat pita bread
Tomato paste
Cheese (I use part-skim mozzarella or goat cheese)
Pizza toppings (vegetables, fruit, and/or lean protein, sun dried tomatoes, fresh basil, olives etc.)
Seasonings (Salt, pepper, dried basil and oregano, garlic powder, red pepper flakes)

First preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Line a small baking sheet with tin foil and spray with a little olive oil so pita pizza doesn't stick, just in case! 1. Take a 100% whole wheat pita and lightly pat with water. This helps create moisture and forms a perfect crust for the pizza.

This is the brand I use. I've only seen it at Wholefoods in the 
refrigerated section with the other breads and wraps.
Love the nutritional stats!100 calories and has 4g of fiber and 7g of protein. 
Ingredients like fresh carrots, barley flour, millet flour, lentil flour and 
spelt flour that you can't find in other 100% whole wheat pitas!
2. Take a tablespoon of tomato paste and spread around. Season with garlic powder and basil.

3. Next take your toppings of choice and pile on top. I used spinach and mushrooms. Season with salt and pepper.

This great big tub of organic spinach came from 
Sam's Club and only cost around $3.00.
4. Top with cheese of choice, I used mozzarella. I then decided to add sun dried tomatoes and sprinkle the top with oregano and red pepper flakes.

They are packed in olive oil and you can simply just pat the oil off 
on a paper towel. Just a few will add a lot of flavor!
5. Place into preheated oven and let cook for 10 minutes. After 10 minutes set the oven to broil and let the pizza form a nice bubbly, brown top for 1-2 minutes. Next, cut into 4 sections and ENJOY!

The perfect serving, a whole pita pizza for oneself!
  Look at the deliciousness from the broil! 
I couldn't just stop there. Since pita pizza is a meal I consume about 2-3 times a week I thought I'd also share a quick dessert I consume often as well. I usually keep a granny smith apple cut up in a plastic baggie in the fridge that has been sprinkled with cinnamon. Great for quick nibble or snack for work since it all ready to go!
I also have many jars of nut butters opened and my choice for this dessert was Nuttzo! A great source of Omega- 3 which are healthy fats and are very good for you! Just one serving gives you 50% of your daily needs. This particular nut butter is a mixture of Valencia peanuts, flaxseed ground and whole, hazelnuts, cashews, almonds, Brazil nuts and sunflower seeds. Plus everything is 100% organic! To learn more about the nutrition in Nuttzo check out this page on their website.

Sadly my last jar!
Granny Smith apple with cinnamon + nut butter= pure satisfaction!

Thank you to Robin Sue at Big Red Kitchen for coming up with this exciting event. This post has shown a different side to my blog and kind of lets you know my healthy lifestyle I do live. I hope this meal is heart-healthy enough for the The National Lung and Blood Institute. I also hope that you've enjoyed this post and try Pita Pizza as soon as possible! You won't be disappointed!!

Have a heart healthy day!!


Shelby said...

Your pizza looks great Fallon. It is something I would definitely eat! I also am pretty impressed with the nutrition facts on the pita bread. Because I don't eat a lot of protein I like to buy foods that are high protein like this! I don't think that brand is in my area though.

Fallon said...

Thank you! Yes the pocket breads or pitas are FANTASTIC! I buy several bags at a time and freeze them because I'm always worried they won't have them. Which has happened to me a few times. lol

I would check your local "health" food type of stores. Ezekiel Bread is pretty popular around those stores. And if you have a Wholefoods, they should carry them! It can also depend on the store though.

Robin Sue said...

Thank you Fallon, Iwill be posting this tomorrow. Glad you joined me!

Sook said...

That is a great and healthy way to enjoy pizza flavors! Love it.