This is a guest post from one of my best friends and fellow poler – Ryan Dolan! Ryan is a super foodie and I trust his food recommendations implicitly. I’ve had one of his famous pizzas and can confirm it was one of the best I’ve ever eaten! As a pizza hound, I do not say this lightly!
As I write this, it’s spring time here in England and the few sunny days we’ve had recently (in between the snow flurrys – no, really, we have snow flurries in May now, apparently), inspired me to arrange a social for my friends and gym crew.
A social to me means food – and best of all pizza! Delicious pizza is one of my favourites, I love it in its every form. Even so much that last year I built a pizza oven in the north of England. I know – insane for the 2.5 days of sun we get each year and it was a mammoth effort but so worth it as it gets hotter than Sarah Scott in an advanced pole flow and that’s what you need to make pizza to die for.
As the title suggests this, is “healthy” pizza but can I share a secret with you?
There isn’t really such a thing.
Pizza obviously isn’t the healthiest of meals, but there are ways to make it loads better for you. You may have seen other ways to make a pizza base from such things as cauliflower and other vegetables but to be honest that ain’t pizza, it’s cauliflower cheese. Trust me, I’ve done it. I’m not knocking it, but if you’re a true pizza lover, it’s just not the same.
Secrets to a healthier pizza
So here are my secrets to a pizza variation that will help you to keep that authentic flavour and texture but won’t ruin all your hard work on the pole:
Secret 1: We’re going to mix up different flours so there isn’t such a massive insulin hit from the white flour, but not too much as we do want to keep that good pizza texture.
Secret 2: Make your dough super thin! If you see the picture above of one of my friend’s helping out, that’s the perfect thickness e.g about the same thickness of a pound coin and maybe a little thinner. I’ll post at some point a vid of how to throw a pizza as my friend is a pizza ninja and can do super thin crusts, but I just use a good old rolling pin. No shame in that.
Secret 3: Choose a really good mature or strong flavoured cheese as this means you can put less on without losing the flavour.
Secret 4: The last thing to think about is the toppings. Stay away from pepperonis, bacon and chorizo – it’s the fat that makes it sooo good but this what’s makes it so naughty too! I’ve put some substitutes for these flavours below for those that just can’t do without. Instead, choose lean meats like pulled pork without all the sticky sauce, chicken, fish or pork medallions. You can also add any vegetables you want but don’t overload the pizza! If you get the base and sauce right you only need a light spreading of toppings as the taste of the first two will blow you away on their own.
So let’s get down to some cooking shall we?
About this recipe
✓ Nutritional balance includes protein, carbs, good fats and lots of vitamins and minerals
✓ Not boring – this is all about flavour, flavour, flavour
✓ Good on the eye as well as on the plate
✓ Fresh and seasonable
Makes: 5 x 10 inch pizzas
Difficulty level: Average (making the dough takes some time if you’re new to it but once you’ve mastered it you can do it in minutes).
Ideas for toppings:
- Chickpea pepperoni sauce, mozzarella, chicken
- Tomato sauce, mozzarella, mixed peppers, low fat sausage
- Chickpea pepperoni sauce, mature cheddar, trimmed lamb
- Smoked salmon and fromage blanc
1. The beautiful crispy bready dough
- 2.2 cups warm water
- 1 teaspoon active dry yeast
- 2 cups white 00 flour
- 2 cups whole meal spelt flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
We need to get the dough on the go first as this takes some time to do its thing. If you like to be super prepared and organised, you can make this and put it in the fridge overnight and it will rise there. However, DON’T forget about it – I did that once and opened the fridge to a ball of dough the size of a small planet. 🙂
- Measure out the flour and add it to a large bowl. Create a well in the centre and pour in the water, olive oil and dried yeast.
- Around the edge, sprinkle the salt on the flour but don’t put it in the well as salt and yeast don’t like to come into direct contact with each other.
- Now get a wooden spoon and mix away until a dough ball is formed. You are looking for a soft wet dough mix but not so much that it sticks to your hands. You might need to add a little more flour or water depending what flour brand you use.
- Turn the contents of the ball onto a hard surface with plenty of room and kneed away. If you’ve never kneaded, that’s ok check this video out for bread kneading which is the same for pizza dough kneading.
- After about 10 minutes of kneading, pour a small amount of olive oil on a table and lightly roll the dough around in it. Transfer it to a clean bowl, cover with cling film and put somewhere warm but not in direct sunlight.
- The dough should be ready when it has doubled in size and that will take 2 – 3 hours depending on how warm your house is. So go chill out, try some pole moves, watch some YouTube videos of pole, think up some new combos whilst making your toppings…
- Next, it’s time to get your oven mad hot. Get a metal tray or a pizza stone if you’re proper fancy and put it right at the top of the oven. Turn the oven up to full and let the stone heat while you get the pizzas together.
- Get your friends’ kids to help out by throwing flour all over the place and seeing how much they can get in their hair and down your front. After sorting out that carnage, cut your dough into 5 even pieces and roll it out about a pound coins’ thickness, or less if you can. If you’re anything like me (captain anal), you can run a knife around a plate and make them perfectly round (but don’t tell Neo, she loves wonkey pizzas and thinks I’m mental, lol).
- Put the rolled dough on a floured flat plate or pizza peel if you have one. This will make life a lot easier when you have to get it on the tray.
- Add your toppings, but don’t go mad with the cheese remember – this is supposed to be “healthy” pizza!
- Once the stone or tray is hotter then hell, get it out of the oven, flour it with semolina or white flour and quickly slide your pizza on to it. Bob it back in the oven, right at the top.
- Wait 10 -15 minutes and it’s done! Do keep an eye on it though as it can quickly turn from perfect to incinerated!
2. Best pizza sauce in the world
- 2 tins good quality chopped tomatoes
- 4 cloves of garlic
- 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 20 basil leaves (no stalks)
- 2tsp sugar
- Pinch salt
Right let’s get making the best tomato sauce I have ever made – and I have tried so many different ways! This is by far the best. Also, its worth saying I use loads of this sauce as its really so simple and so nice. If you get addicted like me simply make a bigger batch and freeze the rest for when you need it.
- Get a large sauce pan and tip the tomatoes in, add the sugar, salt and garlic. Turn the heat on and put on a soft simmer. Put the lid on and forget about it for 30 minutes.
- After 30 minutes, come back and mash it with a potato masher. Put the lid back on and leave for another 15 mins.
- Take off the heat and leave it to cool for 10 mins, then add the olive oil and basil leaves.
3. Chickpea pepperoni sauce
- 170 g (about half a tin) chickpeas
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tsp paprika
- Chilli powder, depends how you like it ! I’m a wus and just sort of show the sauce the chill tin and then put the chilli away again
- 2 tsp fennel seeds
- 1 tsp onion powder or seeds
- Pinch of salt
Right, this is so easy!
- Put everything into a frying pan, turn the heat half way up and fry for 5 mins – but don’t let it burn!
- Done. How easy is that?!
Enjoy the pizza and don’t think because its healthy you can eat twice as much. Only I’m allowed to do that………….
If you’d like to geek out with me on nutrition for pole dance, or you want more details on how to programme your training for pole, check out my book – Strength and Conditioning for Pole – available now in hard copy or as a downloadable ebook.
Content on this website is provided for educational/informational purposes only. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice. You should consult your Doctor or Health Care Professional before doing any exercises or fitness programs to determine if they are right for your needs.