Recipe: Chicken Pita Pizza
Vanity isn’t all about fashion and makeup. A major component of looking and feeling beautiful is what you put in your body, not just what you put on it. I’m a bit of a health nut and was fortunate to have been raised by a family with similar lifestyle philosophies. When I look back on my childhood, 99% of our meals were home cooked and baked. No additives, no preservatives, no trans-fats. But when I moved away from home at age 18, it was suddenly up to me to either sink or swim when it came to eating right. My mother – who is an amazing chef – was always a great inspiration and lent me many of her own recipes. I did, however, come to develop my own, especially since I never had a whole lot of time to cook.
Over the years, I’ve created and modified a lot of nutritious, healthy-living recipes for on-the-go individuals and families. Most everything I cook takes me 15-20 minutes from start to dishes. Tonight, I’m going to share one of my easy 15 minute favourites: chicken pita pizza. Whether you’re a veteran chef or a college student learning how to navigate the kitchen, you will love this meal. Perfect for a quick lunch or supper, and it’s also a hit with kids when you let them make their own. Even better, you probably have most of these ingredients already in your fridge. (This meal is also vegetarian friendly; just omit the chicken!)
The following will take you step-by-step (with pictures) though the cooking process. A full list of Ingredients and their quantities are listed at the bottom of this post as well as the condensed Preparation Instructions.
Before you start, preheat your oven to 375° Fahrenheit and find a non-stick pan.
Lay your whole wheat pita on the pan, turning it so the edges face upward.
Next, evenly spread 1 tbsp of marinara sauce onto the pita.
Marinara is a tomato-based pasta sauce. I used a garlic and basil marinara, but you can switch it up depending on your tastes. Remember to look for a sauce that has low sodium and low fat (fat free is best).
Add a few evenly distributed dashes of Italian Herb and then Lemon and Herb (or Lemon and Pepper) seasoning to the sauce.
Next, chop 1/4 cup of boneless skinless white chicken into cubes. Add cubed chicken to pita.
If you don’t want to cook a chicken, you can find many prepackaged, cooked and sliced chicken breasts in grocery stores. Free range chicken with no antibiotics administered is best. If unavailable, look for grain-fed. Maple Leaf Prime™ Fully Cooked and Sliced Chicken Breasts are a great choice!
Vegetarians and vegans, you can substitute tofu for the chicken or add extra veggies.
Next, chop up a few leaves of spinach (I prefer baby spinach) and some red onion – 1/8 of a cup of each. Add to pita.
If you’re not a fan of red onion, yellow or sweet onion is also a nice addition.
The spinach is more for nutrition than taste – you’ll barely taste it! Spinach has amazing health benefits though: it’s a great source of iron and calcium.
Vegetarians and vegans, I would recommend adding extra spinach to meet your daily nutritional needs. This is also a great idea for lactose intolerant individuals (like me).
Chop up 1 medium-sized white mushroom and 1/8 of a cup (roughly 2 slices) of red pepper. Add to pita.
If you dislike mushrooms, please omit them. You can also substitute white mushrooms for your favourite type – I just like them as they’re easy to obtain.
I strongly recommend red pepper as it has the most health benefits, but if you dislike the taste, try adding green or yellow peppers instead.
Chop up 1/8 of a cup of cherry (or baby) tomatoes and add to pita. Regular tomatoes can also be substituted, but I like the sweet taste of the smaller variants.
Also, if you’re like me and love a little kick, add 3-4 bottled banana peppers (slices, not the full pepper). If you dislike heat, however, just omit these.
Finally, smother your pita in 1/3 of a cup of shredded cheese. I used Kraft Habanero Heat Shredded Cheese (which includes pizza mozzarella, cheddar, and Monterrey Jack with habanero and jalapeno peppers) because I love a pizza that has some kick.
I suggest using a cheese that is reduced or low fat. Cracker Barrel and Kraft have a variety of shredded cheese products that meet this standard, as should your local deli.
Vegetarians and vegan, just substitute soy cheese.
Then pop it in the oven for 8 minutes!
The result should be a little crispy and full of flavour. Bon appetit!
If you choose to make this dish, let me know how you liked it and how it turned out!
Ingredients (for 1 pizza):
1 whole wheat pita
1 tbsp of marinara sauce
Italian Herbs (dried)
Lemon and Herb seasoning
1/4 cup cubed chicken breast (cooked)
1/8 cup spinach (chopped)
1/8 cup red onion (chopped)
1/8 cup red pepper (chopped)
1/8 cup white mushrooms (sliced)
1/8 cup tomatoes (chopped)
3-4 bottled banana peppers (slices, not the full pepper)
1/3 cup shredded cheese (e.g. mozzarella, cheddar, Monterrey Jack)
1) Preheat oven to 375° Fahrenheit
2) Place pita bread on a non-stick pan
3) Spread marinara onto pita
4) Add Italian Herb and Lemon and Herb seasoning to taste
5) Add cubed chicken, spinach, red onion, red pepper, white mushrooms, tomatoes, and banana peppers
6) Drizzle with shredded cheese
7) Bake in oven for 8 minutes until cheese is melted and pita edges are slightly crispy
8) Remove from oven, let cool for 1-2 minutes, and enjoy!
Prep time: 7 minutes
Cook time: 8 minutes