I’m forever on a quest to find a way to eat pizza and be healthy. The two don’t exactly go hand in hand, but I feel like it’s my kryptonite. Pizza is just one habit I can’t kick and, being completely honest, I’m not entirely sure I want to… 🍕
My latest attempt at getting that saucy, cheesy satisfaction without all the, y’unno, bad stuff is to take classic pizza toppings and load them into a fresh vegetable rather than on top of a thick, doughy crust. I won’t lie to you – no, it’s not the same. You can’t swap a deep dish for a red pepper and expect not to know the difference. BUT, it still tastes delicious.
It gave me the same yummy flavour I was after but with half the calories and none of the guilt. It’s also oozing nutritional value, unlike pretty much any pizza ever! This comes in at around 221 calories per person which is bloomin’ fantastic. I’ll happily eat pizza when those sorts of numbers are involved!
So, this is how I did it…
1. First off, add a very small dash of cooking spray or a teeny drop of oil to a baking tray, use a tissue to spread it across the tray and place the bell peppers, skin side up. Don’t let it get too oily, otherwise the peppers will go almost soggy, which is great for a succulent roast pepper but not great to hold their structure when stuffed. Season and cook for 20 – 25 minutes on 200°C.
2. Pour the passata into a bowl and stir in a hefty helping of herbs, garlic and seasoning.
3. Remove peppers from the oven and fill with the pizza stuffing – one layer of passata, torn chunks of mozzarella (drain as much as possible!) and the pepperoni, chopped or torn into small pieces.
4. Place back into the oven, stuffed side up, for another 20 minutes or so.
5. Switch on the grill and leave the peppers underneath for a couple of minutes, just until the tops crisp up and the parmesan cheese browns. Delish!
I’ve stuck to a classic pizza toppings, mozzarella and pepperoni, but of course you can stuff your peppers with whatever pizza combo you like. Not to mention, when it comes to the peppers, it doesn’t really matter which colour pepper you use – whatever is in the fridge! Personally, I think they’re all pretty much one in the same… aaaand that’s why I’m not a qualified chef.
I’ve listed the ingredients I’ve used below, along with cheapest supermarket option on the market right now.
2 Bell Peppers, Halved and Deseeded – 3 Salad Peppers – 97p – Morrisons
1 Ball of Light Mozzarella Cheese – Light Mozzarella – 49p – ASDA
4 Large Slices of Pepperoni – Cucina Italian Style Pepperoni – 85p – Aldi
1/2 Carton of Passata – Smartprice Passata – 35p – ASDA
Sprinkling of Parmesan or “Hard Cheese” – Dried Grated Hard Cheese – £1 – Sainsbury’s
Mix a good dose of garlic flakes, dried basil, dried oregano, salt and pepper into the passata so the pizza sauce has strong flavour. With the peppers, they shouldn’t need much tweaking – just a touch of salt and pepper on the outside.