Hello everyone! Welcome back.
I’ve been itching to write some more, but I’m trying to pace myself (and I really should stop putting off my actual studies).
I thought I would start with one of my go-to recipes. This is one of the easiest, cheapest and most versatile meals I have in my arsenal. Like any pizza, you can top it however you choose! All you need is the healthy base.
I thought I would give you one of the ‘cleanest’ versions of it, but please feel free to adjust to your tastes. I recommend adding a large amount of spinach to the base, it bulks out the meal and spinach is really wonderful for you. It’s full of loads of nutrients, such as iron and Vitamin A. And I really mean add a lot, spinach wilts dramatically when cooked!
When planning out healthy meals, the three biggest factors are generally calories, cost and time. I want a meal to be good for me, but I’m not in any position to be forking out for costly ingredients. Also, I’m usually running in from work with my hair on fire trying to cook/exercise quickly so I can relax. Most of the meals I make are pretty basic, but that should never be a bad thing. Eating healthy isn’t expensive like everyone makes out, veggies are dirt cheap! (But I do spend an unholy amount on peanut butter, please forgive me…)
I’ll start with the calories:
If you take this recipe exactly as it is, the total is 469cal, including oil. And not only that, these are good calories. I find calorie counting extremely helpful, but you have to make sure you are not eating empty calories. Just because you hit a certain number it doesn’t mean it’s good for you. Make sure to eat whole foods.
Moving on to the cost, I’ll give you a breakdown of everything (minus spices, pantry essentials are kind of pointless trying to cost). I won’t do this every time, I just want to prove a point that a good meal can be cheap. This is based on a recent shop at Asda, I usually shop at Tescos but it doesn’t differ hugely:
- 1 wholemeal tortilla wrap: 11p (89p per 8 pack)
- 1 Tbsp tomato puree: 5p (70p per tube)
- 1/3 bag of spinach: 24p (70p per bag)
- 1/2 yellow pepper: 15p (93p per 3 pack)
- 1 salad tomato: 11p (69p per 6 pack)
- 10 pitted green olives: 15p approx (75p per jar)
- 3 sun-dried tomatoes: 30p approx (£1.40 per jar)
- 1/2 tin of chickpeas: 18p (35p per tin)
And that comes to a grand total of £1.29 per pizza.
With all perishable food, you just have to be savvy with your meal plans and make sure to reuse ingredients in other dinners. Peppers and tomatoes can be used in almost anything, and the tortilla wraps can be used for dishes like chimichangas or be frozen for a later date.
And lastly time: this pizza took me roughly 30 minutes. The pizzas take only 10 minutes in the oven, the extra time is just for chopping and frying off the chickpeas for 10-15mins. Easy!
MEDITERRANEAN HEALTHY PIZZA
- 1 wholemeal tortilla wrap
- 1 Tbsp tomato puree
- 1/3 bag of spinach
- 1/2 yellow pepper, chopped
- 1 salad tomato, chopped
- 10 pitted green olives, halved
- 3 sun-dried tomatoes, halved
- 1/2 tin of chickpeas, drained and rinsed
- 1 tsp cumin
- 1 tsp paprika
- 1 Tsp olive oil
- Preheat the oven to 200 C.
- Drain and rinse the chickpeas. Add to a mixing bowl with the cumin and paprika, and gently toss with a spoon to combine.
- Gently heat the oil* in a frying pan, and fry the chickpeas on a medium heat for roughly 10-15 minutes. You should start to hear them ‘pop’; cook to your preference of crispiness, remembering they will go in the oven for an additional 10 minutes. Once they are done, remove from heat.
- While the chickpeas are frying, chop your veggies.
- Lay a tortilla wrap on a pizza tray, and spread the tomato puree on your base.
- Lay the spinach out evenly across the base, and then add all the toppings. Tip: it is easier to lay out the additional toppings if you flatten the spinach with your hands first.
- Place on the middle shelf of the oven for 10 minutes, until the edges start to brown and crisp.
- Place on a plate and enjoy!
* If avoiding oil, you could probably do without it, but I would guess the chickpeas wouldn’t be as crispy.
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