This is your diet on pizza

Pizza--it's hands down my all-time favorite food. (I've been known to skip the steak frites while traipsing around Paris and instead search for a slice.) But, it's not exactly great for my waistline (or heart)--two regular slices have about 550 calories and 20 g of mostly saturated fat, and that's before you add pepperoni or extra cheese--or make it deep dish! Fortunately the good people in frozen and take-out food land are catching on that delicious doesn't have to be a dietary disaster. These are my four new favorite ways to indulge my "pizza tooth" and still fit into my favorite pencil skirt.

1. Uno Chicago Grill's roasted eggplant, spinach, and feta flatbread pizza I love it because: At 220 calories, it's satisfying but much smarter dietwise -- 300-plus calories lighter--than a serving of the deceptively healthy sounding farmer's market vegetable pizza (this baby has a whopping 1,620 calories for an individual pie!!!). Bonus: At the chain's Nutrition Information Center kiosks, you can look up calories, fat, and other vital stats for each menu item.

2. Pizza Fusion's organic mushroom and thyme I love it because: Every pie, salad, and breadstick at this growing chain (now in three states) is made with all-natural and organic ingredients, which means they've got more disease-fighting power than your average parlor picks (plus, mushrooms are packed with antioxidants). The stores are built with Earth-friendly materials such as 100% recycled detergent bottle countertops; the delivery cars are all gas-saving hybrids so I can feel okay about my carbon footprint even if I order delivery.

3. Amy's no cheese roasted vegetable pizza (in grocery stores) I love it because: I love cheese. Yet this has no cheese. Confused? When you have a cheese habit like mine, you've gotta jump on the dairy wagon a few days a week, so to speak, and this totally satisfies my pizza jones sans fromage. If you're sensitive to gluten, stay in the frozen foods aisle to find wheat-free pizza crusts and pizzas like the award winning thin crust cheese pizza from Foods by George.

4. Do-it-yourself dough (in the refrigerated section of Wegmans, Trader Joe's, and Whole Foods)
I love it because:
Well, actually my husband--the main cook in the family--loves it because he gets to pile it with his own ingredients. Just channel your inner pizza-place guy like he does, twirl and toss until thin, and then top with tomato sauce; lots of veggies such as spinach, mushrooms, and onions; a lean protein like shrimp or tofu; and a sprinkling of a flavorful cheese such as Romano. Cook according to package directions.

Got a favorite healthy pizza recipe, tip, or food confession? Let me know!!

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