Marge Perry, Newsday's weekly 3 Simple columnist, also writes, broadcasts, teaches and speaks about cooking, food and nutrition.
TIP You can usually buy freshly made pizza dough from your local pizza shop.
Pizza needn't be limited to Italian flavors. Use ready-made pizza dough as a foundation: try thin or regular crusts in a tube, refrigerated or frozen dough or prebaked, seasoned crusts.
MU SHU PIZZA
1 (15-ounce) pizza dough
4 tablespoons hoisin sauce, divided
12 ounces pork tenderloin, cut into thin strips
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon canola oil
3 cups shredded cabbage mix
1 red pepper, cut into thin strips
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons cornstarch
2 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
1/2 teaspoon Asian chili-garlic sauce (or to taste)
1/3 cup chopped scallions
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Lightly oil 10-by-15-inch baking sheet pan.
2. Stretch dough out into a 14-inch-long oval. Spread 2 tablespoons hoisin on the dough, leaving 1/2 inch clear all the way around the edge. Bake 20 minutes.
3. Meanwhile, make topping: toss pork with 1 tablespoon hoisin and garlic. Heat oil in large, nonstick skillet over medium high; add pork-garlic-hoisin mixture and cook, stirring, until pork is barely pink, about 3 minutes. Remove from skillet.
4. Add cabbage, red pepper and salt to skillet and cook, tossing often, until tender, about 4 minutes. Dissolve cornstarch in soy sauce and stir in remaining 1 tablespoon hoisin. Pour into skillet; add pork back in and cook, stirring, until mixture is well glazed, about 2 minutes. Spread mixture over pizza crust and return to oven for 5 minutes. Sprinkle with scallions and serve immediately. Makes 6 servings.
Nutritional analysis for each serving 325 calories, 7 g fat, 1 g saturated fat, 19 g protein, 3 g fiber, 711 mg sodium
MIDDLE EASTERN PIZZA
1 (13.8-ounce) tube pizza dough
1 (7-ounce) jar roasted peppers, drained
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1 pound lean ground beef
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/4 cup pitted Kalamata olives, chopped
1/4 cup raisins
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground coriander
1/4 cup parsley, chopped
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Coat a large baking sheet with cooking spray.
2. Unroll pizza dough onto baking sheet; bake 6 minutes and remove from oven.
3. Puree peppers and sugar; spread on pizza dough, leaving a 1/2-inch border clear all around the edge.
4. Combine ground beef, onion, olives, raisins, cumin, cinnamon and coriander in a nonstick skillet over medium high. Cook, stirring to break into crumbles, until no longer pink, 6 to 7 minutes. Spread over red pepper mixture; bake pizza until crust is browned, 6 to 8 minutes. Makes 6 servings
Nutritional analysis for each serving 311 calories, 9 g fat, 3 g saturated fat, 17g protein, 3 g fiber, 767 mg sodium
POTATO, BACON AND EGG PIZZA
4 slices center-cut bacon
1 (10-ounce) whole-wheat ready-to-heat pizza crust
2 new potatoes (about 4 ounces), very thinly sliced
2 scallions, thinly sliced
4 large eggs
3/4 cup shredded low-fat mozzarella
1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
2. Cook bacon in skillet until slightly less done than desired; transfer to a plate lined with paper towel; cool, chop bacon.
3. Place crust on a large baking sheet. Top with potatoes and sprinkle with bacon and scallions. Crack the eggs directly onto the pizza and sprinkle the entire surface with cheese. Bake 8 to 10 minutes, until eggs are slightly jiggly and cooked through. Makes 4 servings
Nutritional analysis for each serving 357 calories, 14 g fat, 6.3 g saturated fat, 24 g protein, 6 g fiber, 735 mg sodium