Pizza has always been one of my favorite foods. Not the gourmet, wheat-crust, arugula-topped, “healthier” stuff. I’m talking Domino’s extra-cheese, meat-lovers supreme. And throw in some cinna-sticks while you’re at it.
My brothers and I even used to rationalize eating so much pizza by pointing out that it did hit most of the major food groups. Grains, meats, dairy, vegetables…never mind the fats, sugars and carbs. Can I have my teenage metabolism back, please?
As I grow older, I’m learning to be (a bit) smarter about the foods I eat, and while I usually allow myself a couple of cheat meals every week, this year, I gave bread up for Lent. Which, in hindsight, was maybe a tad ambitious. Do you know how hard it is to have a decent cheat meal without bread?
So with domino’s obviously out of the question, I decided to try these eggplant pizzas to see if they would be an adequate substitute for my mild, pizza addiction. And were they ever?
One bite of these delicious, veggie pizzas and you will forget all about how you used to crave that over-buttered, carb-stuffed crust. I will be enjoying this recipe long after my 40 bread-less days are over.
And bonus: Eggplant is high in fiber, iron, calcium, vitamins A, C and B and can help with things like controlling diabetes, lowering cholesterol and fueling brain health. In fact, I’m feeling smarter already.
Ok, so there’s still a tiny whole in my heart from no Domino’s, but these will more than suffice for a healthy, quick weeknight meal! I hope you enjoy!
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1 eggplant, sliced 3/4 inch thick
extra virgin olive oil
toppings (I opted for veggies, but you could even add some lean chicken or turkey)
Place the sliced eggplant on a paper towel and salt generously. This will pull a lot of the moisture out of the eggplant so your pizzas won’t be mushy. Let them sit for about 30 minutes and then pat dry and wipe off excess salt.
Drizzle the eggplant with olive oil and sprinkle with salt, pepper, basil and oregano. Place in a 375 degree oven for about 20 minutes. I let mine cook for about 25 minutes, which I think was too long. Next time I will cook them for less.
Since I was topping mine with peppers and onions, I sautéed the veggies for about 5 minutes, just to soften them up. But this step is completely optional.
Top the pizzas. I topped mine (in order) with a spoonful of tomato sauce, fresh mozzarella, pepper and onion sauté, black olives and some parmesan. I know, probably too much cheese. But it was a cold, nasty day and my soul desperately needed some warm, gooey, melted cheese. What’s a girl to do?
Place the pizzas under the broiler for 5 minutes, or until the cheese has melted. Then plate up and serve with a fresh salad.