Last year hubby and I started our own family tradition, by dedicating one night a week as pizza night.  Since we both love pizza, and ‘usually’ get a long well in the kitchen, we figured it would be a fun opportunity to spend time together, as well as, create a tasty dinner that we’d both enjoy!

During our weekly ‘cooking’ sessions, we experimented with many dough and sauce recipes, as well as, all the endless possibilities for toppings.

 Yep, in a years time, we had tried pretty much every topping imaginable, including those that sounded a bit…horrifying- like sauerkraut. (I know…I was aghast when hubby suggested it, but it was actually quite remarkable mixed with the sweetness of pineapple.)

Unfortunately, like all good things, those weekly sessions had to finally come to an end.  No, it wasn’t because hubby and I grew tired of each other(although there were a few times he got pretty bossy)-or even that we’d grown tired of pizza.  No, sadly, it was because our waistlines were starting to show the effects of eating all those cheesy creations we were cooking up!

So, we both decided that maybe we should cut back a bit, and only have pizza night once a month. We also agreed that maybe we should start experimenting with some ‘healthier’ topping options.

I have to say-when I first told hubby that we were making pizza with ground turkey, I wasn’t surprised when his usual ‘pizza enthusiasm’ dropped to all time low.  To be honest-I wasn’t very excited myself.  Don’t get me wrong-I love turkey! Turkey sandwiches-turkey at Thanksgiving-but turkey on pizza-and ground at that?  NO!!!!
 While I was freaking out about the ground turkey-hubby was having reservations about the feta cheese.  ‘How about if we just try one new thing at a time,” he said, while scowling down at the container of feta.  And then a bit later (with a slight whine in his voice) he said-  “Since we’re going the low-fat route with the meat, can’t we just pile on the cheddar and mozzarella?”

Actually,the recipe did call for mozzarella, (although, much less than what we normally pile on) but I didn’t tell him that until just before it was ready for the oven.  If only you could have seen his face when I did!  PRICELESS!

By the time the pizza was almost ready to come out of the oven-hubby’s nose was starting to twitch!  He actually looked surprised that this ‘healthy’ pizza smelled so SCRUMPTIOUS!  (Don’t tell him, but so was I!)

There was a WHOLE lot of flavors going off on in my mouth, after the first bite of this pizza delight! The tangy, slightly salty taste of the feta-the sweetness of the sauce-and the bite of the red onion were just a start.  Add in the savory flavor of portebella mushrooms and oregano, and I completely forgot this pizza was supposed to be healthy.  I also forgot my earlier fears that the turkey would taste blah.

It didn’t.  And hubby-well, let’s just say he didn’t miss the TONS of cheese that we normally pile on- at all!

If you want to make this tasty AND healthy pizza creation- here is what you’ll need:

Pizza Dough:

1 pkg of dry active yeast
1 cup warm water
1 tsp sugar
2 1/2 cups flour
2 Tablespoons olive oil
1 tsp salt

Sauce-I used 1/2 jar of Ragu Homemade Style.  It has the same ingredients as homemade-and has become our go-to sauce, whenever we don’t have time to make it ourselves!

1 Tablespoon olive oil
1/2 lb of ground turkey
1 tsp Italian seasoning
kosher salt and ground pepper to taste
2 cloves of garlic(minced)
1 small red onion (sliced thin)
5 portebella mushrooms (sliced thin)
 4 oz.  (1 cup) feta cheese
1 cup mozzarella cheese

Preheat oven to 400.  Dissolve yeast and sugar in water. Let sit for 10 minutes. (It will turn cloudy-that’s okay)  Stir in flour, salt and oil, and beat dough for 5 minutes, or until smooth. ( I use a stand mixer with the dough hook- but you can do this by hand too.)  Cover dough and let sit for up to an hour. (You can use right away, but this recipe makes a lighter, fluffier crust if you let it rise for a bit.)

Grease a 9×13″ pan.  Roll dough onto the pan evenly.  Bake crust only in oven for 10 minutes.  Meanwhile, heat olive oil in a medium skillet, and add ground turkey, garlic, salt, pepper and Italian seasoning.  Cook until turkey is browned. Drain any grease.

Remove pizza crust from oven.  Pour on sauce-and spread evenly.  Sprinkle on onions, mushrooms, meat mixture, and top with cheeses.  Bake in oven for 12-15 minutes, or until cheese is golden brown.

What are your favorite ‘healthy’ pizza recipes?  Jot me a line-I’d love to try them!  Until then-grab a slice of pizza with me-and say a toast to FAMILY TRADITIONS!

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