This week marks the end of a 60 day fitness challenge I’ve been doing with some friends.
We all came up with our own goals for the challenge since everyone is in such different places physically and time-wise. My goals included healthy eating, mindful snacking, and a commitment to exercise. I mostly wanted to improve my overall fitness and prevent people from thinking I was pregnant again (I’m not). I’ve been pretty happy with the results of the last two months (sorry, you’re not getting a before and after photo). I’ve dropped a few pounds and felt my physical fitness improve.
One of the hardest day to day things about eating healthy is knowing what exactly to eat. I believe in the 80/20 rule, eating super healthy 80 percent of the time and not worrying too much about the other 20. I try hard to avoid artificial sweeteners and other ingredients, dyes, and high fructose corn syrup. Still, I don’t think you need to completely swear off certain foods or live a life of bland eating in order to be healthy or lose weight.
This spinach and egg pizza is what I would consider a healthy compromise. If you’re avoiding carbs pizza is never the answer, but otherwise this is great. A wheat crust is topped with a veggie packed spread and given a unique protein punch by cooking eggs on top.
This hearty and flavorful pizza hits all four food groups, making it ideal for giving your body the energy it needs before or after a work out. You can serve this alongside a fresh salad or grilled vegetables to keep your portions small while still filling up. You’ll only need half the dough from the recipe below, allowing you to either freeze the rest for another night or make a second pizza with different toppings for the pickier folks in your house.
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Spinach and Egg Pizza is perfect for breakfast or dinner!
- Cornmeal for dusting the pan
- 1 cup warm water (120-130ºF)
- 1 packet quick rise yeast
- 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
- 3 tablespoons olive oil, divided, plus more for coating the bowl
- Coarse kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper
- 1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
- 1 1/2 - 2 cups whole wheat flour or white whole wheat flour
- 1 large shallot, chopped
- 5 ounces (about 2 1/2 cups) baby spinach
- 1/4 cup sun-dried tomato (not packed in oil)
- 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
- 1/2 cup shredded fontina cheese
- 3-4 medium or large eggs
- Crushed red pepper flakes (optional)
Preheat the oven to 450ºF. Dust a medium sized baking sheet with cornmeal. Set aside.
Pour warm water into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook and sprinkle with yeast. Allow to rest for five minutes, until the yeast has become a little foamy. Add sugar, 2 tablespoons olive oil, and 1 teaspoon of salt. With the mixer running on low speed, slowly add the all-purpose flour. Once the flour has been mostly incorporated, slowly add the wheat flour until a soft but solid dough ball forms. You should need about 1 1/2 cups of whole wheat flour. The dough shouldn’t feel dry but also shouldn’t stick to your fingers when touched. Allow the mixer to knead the dough for a few minutes, then transfer to a lightly floured work surface and use your hands to form it into a ball.
Coat a large bowl lightly with olive oil. Place the dough ball in the bowl, turning it to coat it completely in the oil. Cover with plastic wrap or a clean kitchen towel and allow to rest in a warm (not hot) place until doubled in size, about 20-30 minutes depending on how warm your kitchen is.
While the dough is rising, make the spinach topping. Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Once hot, add the shallot and cook 2-3 minutes, stirring, until softened. Add the spinach and continue to toss for another 2 minutes until it is wilted. Transfer the spinach and shallots to a fine mesh strainer and allow to cool briefly. Using your hand or the back of a spoon, press the spinach into the strainer over the sink to drain it of excess moisture.
Combine spinach, shallot, sun-dried tomatoes, and Parmesan in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse the mixture until it is coarsely chopped. If you prefer a smoother sauce, stream in a bit of olive oil with the motor running. Transfer the mixture to a small bowl and season with salt and pepper to taste.
Once the dough is risen, cut it in half. Place one half in a freezer safe bag, squeeze out all the air and seal. Store in the freezer for up to three months. Stretch or roll the other half into a rectangle that will fit onto your prepared cookie sheet. Spread it out evenly and top with the spinach mixture. Sprinkle with the fontina. Carefully crack the eggs on alternating sides of the pizza, allowing about one per slice. Sprinkle with salt, pepper, and crushed red pepper flakes to taste.
Bake the pizza 12-15 minutes, watching carefully at the end. You can gently shake the pan to test the doneness of the eggs. You want the whites fully cooked but the yolks a bit runny. The yolks will firm up quickly toward the end. Remove from the oven, slice, and serve. Serves 3 hearty or 5 small portions.