Tuesday, March 4, 2014

English Muffin Pizzas


When I first started losing weight, I ate a lot of Lean Cuisine meals because I thought it was the only way I could still enjoy my favorite foods without abandoning my diet. I was particularly obsessed with their Deep Dish Three Meat Pizza. Like eat it everyday without fail obsessed. The "meal" is basically just a personal size pizza that you microwave. As with all Lean Cuisine meals, the calorie count is relatively low, but they seem to achieve this by using low-calorie or fat free ingredients that aren't the best quality or the most flavorful. Why settle for a frozen meal when you can easily (and quickly) make something that tastes better at home? Enter the English Muffin Pizza. 

Ingredients
English Muffins
Pizza Sauce
Shredded Mozzarella
Other Toppings (optional)
Note: You can make these lower in fat/calories by using Light English Muffins, a low fat pizza sauce, and a low fat/fat free mozzarella. If pepperoni is your thing, try turkey pepperoni. It has fewer calories and less fat than the regular kind. You can also add fresh herbs to this recipe for an even bigger flavor boost. I hid some fresh basil under the cheese ;)

Method
This is one of those recipes that is almost too easy to be called a recipe, but here we go. Preheat your oven to 450 degrees. Cut an English Muffin in half and lightly toast the halves. They should be very lightly browned. I did this step in a toaster. Top the toasted halves with about a tablespoon of pizza sauce and spread it over the top of the English Muffin. If you are using fresh herbs, I recommend adding them now. If they go on top of the cheese, they may wilt/burn in the oven. Next, sprinkle a thin layer of shredded mozzarella over the pizza sauce. I think I used about 1.5 tablespoons per English Muffin half, but my cheese gets pretty melty. Add more cheese if you need it to cover your English muffin half. It's okay if you can still see dots of sauce through the cheese. Remember that the cheese will melt together when you put your pizzas in the oven. 

If you are using additional toppings like pepperoni, add them on top of the cheese. Pro tip: These pizzas are small, so slicing your pizza toppings so they fit better is a good life choice. Or you can be practically uncivilized like me and tear your pepperoni into quarters instead of using a knife. It's up to you. The pizzas will still taste good either way, they just may not be as photogenic. Once your mini pizzas are assembled, transfer them to a baking sheet and pop them in the oven until the cheese melts and your sauce gets hot. In my oven this took 8-10 minutes, but cooking times may vary. Once the cheese melts, take the pizzas out of the oven and serve them hot. Enjoy!

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