Sunday, February 28, 2010

Pizza From Scratch, and Being Active at Work

I hope you are all having fantastic weekends. Mine has been productive, and relaxing. Today I'm planning on doing some cooking for the week, and working on some blog posts for our workplace wellness company. For today's post, I'm finally celebrating "from scratch weekends"! Melinda, this one is for you.

Quick, Cheap, and Healthy Recipe #14
Oat Bran Pizza Crust

3 cups oat bran flour
1 (.25 ounce) package active dry yeast
2 T extra virgin olive oil
1 t oil (for your fingers when spreading the dough)
1 t salt
1.5 T sugar
1 cup warm water

Possible Modifications

  • Use whole wheat flour, or all purpose flour (less nutritious if you use the latter)
  • Use canola oil or just regular olive oil
1) Preheat oven to 375 degrees

2) Combine and mix the flour, salt, sugar, and the yeast in a medium sized bowl. Next, add the EVOO and water.

(It sort of stuck to the side of the bowl. I just scrapped it off and put it back into the ball.)

3) Coat your hands with some oil, or non-stick spray. Use your hands to spread the dough evenly on a pizza pan, the larger the better.

4) Add topping as desired. Cook for 20-30 minutes (depending on your oven and how crispy you like your pizza!)

I put pizza sauce on Nick's half, and EVOO on my half. Pizza sauce has spices in it that I cannot eat, as they are part of FODMAPS.

I ended up putting sauce on 3/4 of the pizza, because that's how much Nick typically eats. One-fourth (or two large pieces) of the pizza is always sufficient for me, especially because I usually have pizza with a nice beer. On this particular night, it was a Great Lakes Burning River (pale ale).

  • Sauce or EVOO
  • Mozzarella cheese (Organic, I usually buy organic dairy) (~3/4 cup)
  • Chunks of grilled chicken (Trader Joe's) (~3 ounces)
  • Green pepper (~1/2 cup, only on Nick's side)
  • Spinach (~1/2 cup, only on my side)
  • Tomato (~1/4 cup, only on my side)
Basil (~1 T)
Garlic (~2 t)
Cayenne (~1/2 t)

Nick's Rating: 10 out of 10

My Rating:
9 out of 10
** While this pizza was AMAZING I will use a larger pizza pan the next time I make it. The pieces were really thick and that made it difficult to get the middle crust completely cooked. It was so thick I could barely eat my two pieces, and in fact, Nick only had two pieces himself!! I have never seen him eat only two pieces, EVER. **

Nutrition Facts for the CRUST Only
(Serving Size: 1/8 of the pizza)
** This crust received a C+ rating, but once you add some healthy toppings, like lots of veggies and calcium-packed cheese, it will be a healthier meal!! Also, it is better than a crust made with white flour, as this one provided almost 5 grams of fiber per slice! **

Being Active During the Day
Many people responded to the comment I made on my post a couple days ago, regarding the fact that working out once a day isn't necessarily the end all be all when it comes to weight management and overall health. Some people think they can workout for an hour, then sit on their butt all day, but this just doesn't cut it! I'm not saying you need to be walking and moving all day, but if you workout for 60 minutes, then go to your job and sit all day, that's a problem. What can you do to get a little more activity into your day?
  • Park far away whenever you go anywhere. This will force you to walk more.
  • Get up and walk to the furthest bathroom whenever you have to go.
  • Get up and walk to the furthest drinking fountain, whenever you need a drink.
  • Instead of paging someone, get up and personally tell them the message.
  • Walk to your car and back during your lunch break.
  • Do a set of push-ups (10 slow) every 30 minutes
  • Ask about getting a Wii for the office!
  • Ask your boss about sitting on a stability ball during work. Sitting on a stability ball, rather than a chair, will require the use of different muscles, rather than sitting in a nice relaxing chair, which requires use of very few muscles.
Question: Are there any other ideas you would like to add to this list?

Have a great day everyone! As always, thanks for reading :)


  1. Great post! I just made homemade pizza this weekend- I feel like every time I make it, it comes out different. This time the inside was too think and the crust was too thin - still delicious (actually we both liked it better the next day) but not yet perfected! :)

  2. Love making homemade pizza. I usually cheat and buy raw dough from TJ's, but it's so fun to get creative with toppings and easy to keep it pretty healthy. Looks delicious!

  3. Looks like delicious pizza! You wouldn't even miss the sauce!

    I do the pushups thing between grading sets of papers, and it always helps me feel a little less stagnant :-)

  4. I like to do jumping jacks, etc... from time to time.

  5. The pizza looks great!

    I wish I sat in a nice relaxing chair at work!! My chair is more of a torture chamber than anything else ;)

  6. wow! this is so awesome gina :) do you let the dough rise? or do you just automatically make it (like spread it out)..

    i love this recipe and i love that you made it so simple :) i feel like so many people think that homemaking pizza has to be super difficult but it doesn't at all :)

  7. I get up to walk everywhere, do jumping jacks in the bathroom, and practice deep breathing!

  8. I have been looking for a new pizza crust recipe - thanks!!

  9. Great job! I also have a smaller pizza pan, and my crust always turns out a bit too thick. And I don't like thick crust...

    Great suggestions how to get more activity into your day! I think being conscious about moving more really helps!

    Have a great week!

  10. Thank you so much for your sweet comment on my last post. I appreciate you reading my blog, and truly have learned soo much from yours (dont worry, Ill still be checking in!!). It just became more of a chore than a hobby, though, so Im going to focus my energy on my kids at work/all my after school commitments! ;)

    Have a great Sunday, Gina!!!

  11. Thanks for the reminder about the importance of being active all day! It's so easy to forget. I like to wear a pedometer at work - it motivates and reminds me to take the long route wherever I have to go. I stand a lot instead of sitting and occasionally do some squats, lunges, or stretches.
    And thanks for the simple and delicious pizza recipe! It looks great.

  12. I've never made a pizza with oat bran crust before...but it looks like it turned out as a success! That looks so delicious. And walking is my savior during the week and in between long periods of forced sitting. Love it.

  13. To remedy the thick crust, maybe you could split into two medium pizzas...that may be a better portion??

    I pretty much chug water at work so it gives me an excuse to get up every hour to use the restroom:)

  14. If any office has a wii in it, I would DEFINITELY apply to be a worker there

  15. Loving that Pizza Dough girl!!!!!

    The pizza looks fab too!!

    I feel ya on the being active, so many ways to add extra exercise to your day!!


  16. Your pizza looks so delish! I love being active throughout the day - it is so important to me!

  17. I love how you and Nick can make one pizza that you both enjoy, looks delicious.
    Clearly being active in kindergarten is not a huge challenge (do I ever sit?). However, I thought your suggestions were really good for sitting in an office. I am actually thinking I may sit on my stability ball when I get home at night and read blogs and stuff. Could be kind of fun actually :)

  18. The pizza looks wonderful!

    I am soooo guilty of just sitting at work. I work in clinics which are a lot smaller than a hospital setting and I sit at my desk ALL day! I even page people - ahh! Although I workout a lot, and I've even picked it up a lot (25 miles of running + 2 hockey games this week!), my weight is not going down. I gained 15 pounds in 2 months after starting my job -- that's how sedentary I am! I need to look into getting a stability ball, and also in doing some push-ups when I can. That I could handle! Thank you for this, Gina!

  19. Quick, cheap, healthy pizza? What more could we want? That looks delicious. Pizza is a family favorite and my kids love it home mead.

  20. Great post, Gina!

    Love the homemade pizza!

    And, love the ideas for more activity. I totally agree-it's funny, working in wellness- I actually spend a huge amount of my day sitting at the computer. I love all your ideas. I would add to wear a pedometer and try to get more steps all throughout your day.

    Thanks also for your thoughtful comments on my loss of Lucy. I really appreciate it!

  21. 1st thing: The pizza looks really yummy! Thanks for the recipe.

    2nd thing: You know I'm agreeing with you on the activity recommendation. People wonder why they have low back pain, or hip issues when they sit all day long. Sitting is B-A-D bad! When a client's goal is weight loss the first thing I discuss is their daily activity level, not including exercise.

  22. hope you had a nice weekend! before i started the masters in nutrition program, I taught communication skills to children with autism- We basically taught them how to be normal kids and how to play! We had a big donation and got two Wii's , plasma TV's and a tons of new playground equipment, we took nature walks twice a day, had a bounce room... It was my job to play ALL day.. it was the best job ever but I lost a bunch of weight unintentionally because I was just go go go all the time! I wish every job gave you play time or even "nature walk" time twice a day to clear your head.

  23. A couple things I do during the work day is:
    1. Take the stairs when possible.
    2. Keep a flex band or hand weights at your desk. When talking on the phone do arm curls.
    3. I will also do squats in my cubicle but only when others are not around:)

    I haven't tried to make dough. I'm kind of scared of it but the dish you made looks very good!

  24. That pizza crust sounds excellent! I have never made my own, but that seems easy enough :-)

  25. What a great idea to use oat bran for a crust! I've only worked with wholewheat flour for homemade pizza crusts so far, but I bet the oat bran would add a great texture.

    Looking forward to hearing your thoughts on Amazing Grass.

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  27. Yum! I'll have to look for oatbran flour!

    One thing I used to do for a little added electric toothbrush has a 2 minute timer one it, and while I brushed my teeth, I did walking lunges until the tooth brush turned off. I looked silly, but I got my heart rate up. I should start doing that again....

  28. mmm homemade pizza sounds so amazing! I love the idea of it being made with oatbran too! how healthy and delicious!

    I am giving a presentation in a few weeks at work and one of the topics is working ouat at your desk and little tips to fit in exercise at work like parking far away, taking the elevator, stretching in your chair! I think lots of people will benefit from your tips, gina :)

  29. I just started experimenting with gluten free pizza crust. I am loving the homemade version I can create and not worry about what may or may not be on it. I can see why Nick loved the pizza!

    Great tips about work. I try to get so exercise in. As a teacher I am usually on my feet and running around :)

  30. Mmmm that pizza looks delicious! I bet I would love the crust! I usually like a dense, thick crust and I bet oat bran gives it that texture. I used to make oat bran pancakes and they were the same- hard to get the middle to cook all the way, so they end up a bit doughy, but I loved them nonetheless. A preference thing I guess.
    Great tips for keeping active at work!
    Have a wonderful Monday!

  31. Ooooh, oat bran pizza!! So cool! It looks so gorgeous, with all those glorious toppings!!

    I love all your tips for staying active during the day! One of my favorite parts of working as a nurse is that I almost never ever sit down - maybe for a total of 1 hour in a 13 hour shift... :-) When I was in college, though, and had to be still a lot to study, I would do push ups or sit ups every 30 minutes! I was excited to see the push-ups on your list of tips! :-)

  32. Your pizza looks great! Thanks for the tips! I try to get off a subway stop early so that I can walk an extra couple of blocks (except when it is freezing out..hence the winter weight gain haha).

  33. That pizza looks great.

    I also try to take the stair instead of the elevator. My work is on the 6th floor of the building so it helps...but sometimes not so fun when in heels.

  34. That pizza looks great.

    I also try to take the stair instead of the elevator. My work is on the 6th floor of the building so it helps...but sometimes not so fun when in heels.

  35. I love homemade pizza! It's nice to make a big batch of dough and then freeze it, too. Then you just take it out to thaw in the morning, and by the evening it's all ready to roll out and add the toppings. Easy peasy.

  36. I definately try to get up and walk around every 45 min - 1 hr.

    It always makes me laugh seeing people circling the parking lot at the gym looking for the closest parking spot.

  37. came back for your pizza dough recipe. hey, it looks easy and delish! thanks!

  38. It's so hard to be active at a sit-down job. I work out in the morning and then head to work and sit ALL day. During the warmer months I will walk for a 1/2 hour at lunch, but right now it's still cold out and I've been a lazy bum!

  39. Looks awesome. I am so glad you have a from scratch weekends success. Pizza is really good, but it is so much better from scratch. Thanks for the shout out too on this one. As for the tips, you got most of mine, except my fave is slightly different than what you have: insyead of emailing somone down the hall, get up and walk there. Also, always take the stairs. I think we know the common ones we have been using for years.

  40. Very nice and simple crust recipe, thanks! :)

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