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Try making your own pizza instead of ordering one

| Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Make this pizza -- it's faster than sending out and easy on the pocketbook.

Anything goes on pizza these days. Use this pizza or use whatever you have on hand to create your own. You can find thin-crust pizza bases in the market, or, try a pita-bread base or leftover crusty country-style bread.

Pizza with sweet red and green bell peppers is a wonderful vegetarian dish. Or, substitute goat cheese and sun-dried tomatoes for a more California version.

Crushed red pepper gives extra zing to the pizza. I like to serve it on the side and let people add their own heat. Open a bag of washed, ready-to-eat salad and toss with 2 tablespoons reduced-fat vinaigrette dressing to complete the meal.

For the wine choice: Pizza calls for Chianti.

Pizza with Red and Green Peppers

• Olive oil cooking spray

• 1/2 medium onion, sliced (about 1 cup)

• 2 teaspoons minced garlic

• 1 medium-size sweet red bell pepper, sliced (about 1 cup)

• 1 medium-size sweet green bell pepper sliced (about 1 cup)

• 2 large tomatoes, diced

• 1/4 pound shredded part-skim milk mozzarella cheese

• 2 tablespoons grated parmesan cheese

• 1 large or 2 small thin-crust pizza bases

• 2 teaspoons crushed red pepper (optional)

Heat the oven to 400 degrees. Heat a nonstick skillet over medium-high heat and coat with cooking spray. Add the onion, garlic, red and green peppers and tomatoes. Saute for 5 minutes, or until vegetables soften.

While the vegetables saute, coat the pizza base with cooking spray. Sprinkle the shredded mozzarella over the base. Spoon the pepper mixture over the cheese. Sprinkle with parmesan cheese and place on a foil-lined baking tray. Bake for 15 minutes. The pizza should be golden brown and the cheese melted. Sprinkle crushed red pepper on top or serve on the side.

Makes 2 servings.

Nutrition information per serving: 648 calories (35 percent from fat), 25 grams fat (9 grams saturated), 40 milligrams cholesterol, 30 grams protein, 81 grams carbohydrates, 8 grams dietary fiber, 820 milligrams sodium.

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