How to Build a Better Pizza

  1. If you have “issues” with pizza, like you can’t stop eating it, or you are not eating wheat or cheese or whatever, then don’t even start.
  2. If you have problems with honesty, forget about it. This is the kind of food assemblage that requires brutal honesty.
  3. But if you really enjoy pizza, and would like to have it once in a while without breaking the calorie bank, read on.

I made this pizza out of stuff I had leftover in my fridge. Look through your refrigerator and see what you have that might be good for pizza toppings. In my opinion, you need mozzarella cheese and marinara sauce for it to be a real pizza.

What I had on hand: mushrooms, onion, pineapple, roma tomatoes, a little bit of pepperoni, and some olives. I use Trader Joe’s whole wheat pizza crust. I love this stuff. The dough comes pre-made in a plastic bag that you can stick in the freezer until the mood hits.

You also need a piece of scratch paper to write down the calories on all the stuff you add to the pizza. This pizza dough is supposed to make enough crust for 8 slices. But I stretched it extra thin, so it ended up making 12 nice sized pieces.

I measured out the marinara sauce (I used Contadina’s for this. I also like TJ’s marinara sauce.) Both of them are pretty low in calories. I used string cheese for the cheese. Just because they are pre-measured, and I don’t use much cheese. I thought I would only use 2 (2 ounces.) That was really pretty skimpy, so I added a third. I sliced the mushrooms and onions, and spread them on there. And then measured out a couple Tbsp of olives, and cut up one cup of fresh pineapple. And I cut the 8 little slices of pepperoni into little bits and spread it around. Oh, and then I cut up one roma tomato and added that on top.


Now here’s where the brutally honest part comes in. It would be so easy to add just a little bit more of this, or a dab more of that. But if you want to enjoy your pizza without guilt, just be honest. Only use what you measure and count.

Here’s how it added up:

  • Pizza dough:  960 cal
  • Pepperoni:     100 cal
  • Pineapple:       80 cal
  • Olives:              30 cal
  • Sauce:              60 cal
  • Cheese:         240 cal
  • Mush/Onion     45 cal
  • Tomato             15 cal

Grand total: 1530. Divided by 12, that makes it 127 calories per slice. The first night I took three slices, but that was really too much. Two slices would have been just right. The rest of the pizza was wrapped in foil and frozen for later. I reheat almost everything at 425 in my toaster oven. Just like fresh baked.

I always like to have some kind of plain green vegetable with my pizza. Not that I make pizza all that often–I probably make pizza once or twice a year. This was so delicious!


So did you guys hear that we had a freak snow storm here on Tuesday? It dumped so much snow so fast that I couldn’t get home for about three hours. There were cars sliding off the road all over the place, and both main roads that I take to get home were closed. I was so happy to get home before dark and to find that the electricity was still on.

Noah LOVES the snow.


The view off my deck the next morning:


We took a walk before it all melted away.



The end.



19 thoughts on “How to Build a Better Pizza

  1. I love a good pizza and it’s one of Mr. Helen’s favorite foods. I like all sorts of pizza, even the kinds that don’t have a tomato sauce base. You are correct that it does require brutal honestly in the eating of it when you are trying to watch your intake. I generally make a huge salad and have that first and it helps.

    I’m happy for Noah that you got the snow. He would love to be in Connecticut this winter.

  2. I eat pizza maybe twice a year and when I do I just enjoy it and eat the whole pizza.

    I hate snow but like Noah, Bella loves it. She turns into a little puppy again when she can play in the snow.

  3. I’m new to your blog and I thought Noah was a Polar Bear in that 1st pic! What a handsome fella! I was surprised to see how Vegas rack up the calls…I usually am NOT honest about them….duh!

    • LOL. I thought at first you were some Vegas scam artist!

      And yes, the calories in veggies count, but you can have a LOT more veggies than pepperoni for the same amount of calories!

  4. I’m still desperately in love with Noah. It’s so fun to watch dogs play in the snow! Glad you were finally able to get home AND still have electricity! Whew!

    Pizza – that’s another thing I should probably just not eat for awhile because it’s way too easy to grab “just one more” slice! I think my kids would love to make a pizza from scratch though, and it would probably taste better too!

    Good post – and I loved your warnings at the top! 🙂

  5. Love that shot of Noah in the show – such a happy, happy boy! What a crazy storm, though!

    You are doing exactly what it takes to be aware and honest about your food consumption – let’s face it, it’s NOT easy to write down all the ingredients, amounts, calorie totals and then do the math – but this is why you are losing weight. And eating well, too!

  6. I love how you had a side dish of broccoli – a great way to fill you up without having to eat the entire pizza. Because of the planning and preparation, I know you felt accomplished and proud of yourself. We all have to remember that – sometimes the prep work seems too much, but when it’s over, you can give yourself a really nice pat on the back for staying committed to getting results.

  7. We have also discovered the TJ’s whole wheat pizza crust and made our own a couple of times, but I still have to be careful. I love pizza and have a tendency to lose focus once I start. We made an excellent imitation of Papa Murphy’s Chicken Bacon Artichoke Pizza using that whole wheat crust.

  8. I usually have pizza out, just because I don’t like having to wrap up all the individual pieces of a leftover pizza. Or I make impostor pizza using a sandwich thin or a pita. 🙂

    Pretty snow, but I’m sure it was nerve-wracking trying to get home.

  9. I am new to your blog too! I just want to say that we make or buy pizza every Friday night and have for the last 25 years or so.(since our children we old enough to eat it) I think when you have it all the time it is easier to walk away from. We have experimented with all kinds of toppings. I do WW and always count the points. I never seem to want more than 2 slices and sometimes skip it entirely. I do have weight to lose but I guess pizza isn’t a big deal for me probably because I make it so often.

  10. I just made pizza last weekend. Used reduced fat cheese, marinara sauce, mushrooms, olives, reduced fat turkey sausage in a link (sliced). After I removed it from the oven, I put fresh tomatoes and spinach all over it..doesn’t take long for the fresh spinach to wilt on the pizza. It was so good…I am on Weight Watcher’s so the veggies are free! Now back to salad, fruit
    and veggies! 😦

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