Pile veggies atop a cauliflower crust to make a low-fat, low-calorie pizza

For people of all ages, do-it-yourself pizza can be a healthy replacement for the high-fat versions available at pizzerias. Kids can choose their own veggies and grown-ups can choose lean options and spicy sauces. Instead of going out for a pizza for dinner, why not treat your family to a weekly stay-at-home pizza-and-movie night?

Here are some tips for a healthful DIY pizza.

Base: Use a pre-made flat bread (tortilla, pita, naan, lavash or bagel half). Using a whole-wheat or whole-grain base will increase the amount of nutrients and fiber. For gluten-free diets, a veggie base could be slices of eggplant, zucchini or portobello mushrooms. Better yet, try today’s recipe for Cauliflower Crust Pizza.

Cauliflower Crust Pizza is topped with spinach, mushrooms and mozzarella.
Cauliflower Crust Pizza is topped with spinach, mushrooms and mozzarella.

Sauce: Offer guests a selection of jarred sauces: spaghetti, BBQ, pesto, buffalo or even canned tomato sauce with Italian seasoning. Buy sauces with a low-sodium or low-fat content. Want to be different? Consider adding a delicious Asian flavor like sweet chili sauce.

Toppings: This is where kids and adults can get creative with sliced veggies, including mushrooms, peppers, squash, cauliflower, black olives, tomatoes (fresh or sun-dried) and onions (red or white). Go green with super nutritious toppings like spinach, arugula, kale and broccoli. For a surprising contrast, try sliced fruit like pineapple, apples, peaches or even dried figs, raisins or cherries.

Protein: You’ll need some lean protein to help keep you satisfied. Pick one of these already-cooked options: chicken, turkey sausage, turkey bacon or shrimp. Even chopped nuts will work. Think pecans, walnuts, pistachios, pine nuts or inexpensive peanuts for a Thai-flavored pizza.

Cheese: Add cheese for extra flavor, but use it sparingly to avoid the extra salt and fat. Cheese can hold your toppings in place, and it provides a pleasant contrast, especially with tomato sauce. You might use traditional part-skim mozzarella but could also try Parmesan, pepper jack, cheddar, feta or goat cheese.

Spices: Now, you get to add extra flavor. Go for garlic, chives, chili peppers or herbs like rosemary, basil, thyme and oregano.

Bethany Thayer is a registered dietitian nutritionist with Henry Ford Health. For more recipes and health information, visit henryford.com/blog. For questions about today's recipe, email HenryFordLiveWell@hfhs.org.

Cauliflower Crust Pizza

Cauliflower Crust Pizza is topped with spinach, mushrooms and mozzarella.
Cauliflower Crust Pizza is topped with spinach, mushrooms and mozzarella.

Serves: 6 / Prep time:  25 minutes / Total time: 1 hour 10 minutes

1 large head cauliflower, broken into florets

¾ cup liquid egg replacement

½ teaspoon oregano

½ teaspoon baking powder

¼ teaspoon kosher salt

½ teaspoon garlic powder

¾ cup pizza sauce

¾ cup low-fat, shredded mozzarella cheese

1 cup baby spinach

¼ cup red onion, chopped

½ cup red pepper, chopped

½ cup fresh mushrooms, sliced

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a baking sheet with vegetable oil. Place cauliflower florets in a food processor and pulse into small pieces or flakes. Transfer cauliflower flakes to a microwave-safe bowl and microwave on high for 10 minutes. Allow cauliflower to cool and drain standing water. To remove excess water, place cauliflower in cheesecloth, or ricer and squeeze.

Return cauliflower to food processor. Add egg substitute, baking powder, oregano, salt and garlic powder. Process until smooth (about 2 minutes). Transfer cauliflower dough to the center of a prepared baking sheet and spread into a circle, resembling a pizza crust. Bake for 25-30 minutes. Top the crust with a layer of sauce. Sprinkle with mozzarella cheese, spinach, red onion, red pepper and sliced mushrooms. Bake for an additional 15- 20 minutes.

From Henry Ford LiveWell.

128 calories (26% from fat), 3.5 grams fat (2 grams sat. fat), 16 grams carbohydrates, 12 grams protein, 486 mg sodium, 7 mg cholesterol, 290 mg calcium, 5 grams fiber. Food exchanges: 3 vegetable, 1 protein.

This article originally appeared on Detroit Free Press: Pizza with cauliflower crust has just 128 calories per serving