Pizza Done Light

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By Heather Jeffcoat

In our house pizza is one of those staple dishes our family can always agree on, but some weeks we need it quick and light. That is where these recipes come in handy.
We can’t always do the heavy pizza loaded with sausage, pepperoni, mushrooms, and bell peppers (even though it sure is good when we do), so we top them with lighter choices found in the vegetable drawer.  And when we’re up against a tight schedule, we have turned to using quick and creative crusts like naan, whole wheat pitas, and even portobello mushrooms.

Everyone is happy because we let each person design their own pizza, putting out lots of options for toppings. We have gotten really competitive at times, trying to outdo each other by making our pizzas very unique and visually stunning. My husband and I will combine toppings that may be a little off the norm for pizzas, but the results have been pretty tasty. It’s fun to be adventurous! This is also the perfect occasion to use up extra veggies and cheeses that you have bought and can’t use in a full recipe. Think leftover asparagus, broccoli, and that half of an onion sitting in the veggie drawer. That sounds pretty good together!

Well Bobby has cooked up with some creative and healthy ideas for this classic dish. Try the Smoked Salmon Pizza with goat cheese, chives, fresh dill, salmon, shallot, and arugula atop a crispy naan crust—a delicious combination of flavors! Or if you like feta cheese, make the Mediterranean Pita Pizza. Its tangy Smoky Eggplant Spread puts it over the top. For something really different try the Mexican-Style Pizza on Portobellos. Corn, salsa, black beans, Monterrey Jack cheese, avocado, and cilantro on portobellos are so nutritious, you’ll want to have a fiesta! You can find all of these recipes at cookingwithpauladeen.com

No matter which pizza you choose, rest assured that you can make this comforting family favorite lighter and tastier. What are some fun toppings and bases you have used for pizzas lately?

Heather Martin Jeffcoat recalls an early love of being in the kitchen. It developed from the days of being beside her Grandmother Louise as she cooked for everyone who visited her small-town Alabama home as well as time spent baking with her mother, a Michigan native transplanted to the South after marriage. To this day her mother combines the best of Northern and Southern fare. Heather now spends every spare moment in the kitchen. It’s a way for her to relax and enjoy time with her husband, son, and daughter, who often participate in cooking meals at their home. A love of writing steered Heather into journalism school and then into publishing. After several years working in print and online media, she began freelancing for Cooking With Paula Deen magazine, and she was recently tapped to join the staff full time as the managing editor. She has come to realize that her childhood memories cooking in her grandmother’s and mother’s kitchens, full of love and hospitality, have given her the best education she could have asked for.
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Reader Comments:

54321

Is there anything in this whole world that can take the place of PIZZA? I don't think so, think about it, It is #1 in everyones book basically. All your towns have them , on every corner. When your hungry, right!!! It's Pizza time. Thanks Paula for the recipes. Love you smile

By johnnie calvin on March 16, 2014

54321

Love your recipes Paula. I'm a type 2 diabetic and have to be careful with what I eat. So I make most of my meals at home. Just recently I made a version of a calazone. With spinach chicken breasts and parmesean cheese and I made my own dough. This made it extra good. I'm definitely doing it again. My family loved it

By Dyana Lyon on February 28, 2014

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love the table paula would look good on my new patio. so glad you are back. I hope to get there to see you in person one day.i will start tomorrow to find the patern form the tablecloth.
Gladys Rainesl in Savannah Style: A Spring Table for Two on April 13, 2014 at 7:45 pm

I just want to say this I don't even know if is the right page all I ever wanted to say to Paula Deen welcome back I have missed you. You are my favorite home down girls keep your head up and hang on and feel the love. P.S. from a woman of color.
in Chicken Salad: A Southern Staple on April 13, 2014 at 2:55 pm

I just love love love the table and flowers and am so glad that I can still access all of Paula's recipes, her family life, Bobby's lighter versions and Brandon's beautiful work. Truly thankful to see such beautiful tablescapes. You guys are my heros.
Patricia in Savannah Style: A Spring Table for Two on April 13, 2014 at 9:14 am