Pizza In A Bowl

This week I’ll pass along one of my favorite “weekend recipes”. I call it that because, as you’ll see, it contains some indulgences that I wouldn’t recommend people eat on a daily basis. However, when compared with the original dish this is based upon, it is far healthier and can be a perfectly safe meal to consume.

Growing up, my favorite day of the week was Friday’s. On this night, my family would order pizza and I’d get an entire large pepperoni pizza and finish it all in about 15 minutes.

My biggest fear before eliminating grains was that I would miss pizza. But, after 30 days without bread substances, I ordered a pizza and, after one slice, ended up eating the toppings off the pizza and throwing out the crust because of its cardboard-/sponge-like consistency. Sure, it is salty and garlicky, but compared to the tomato sauce, cheese, and toppings, it added nothing to the flavor.

Finally, after 2 years of grain-free living, I realized that, as a kid, the bread was merely a delivery medium for the best part of the meal. Whether it’s pizza crust, topped with cheese and sauce, or pasta topped with Bolognese sauce…it was never the grains my body craved, but the salt, fat, and protein (again, all things that are necessary for life…particularly for a growing boy).

So, without further ado, I give you, “Pizza in a Bowl”:

1.)    Pour half a cup of unsalted, pure tomato sauce into a saucepan and turn stove on low

2.)    Put a few tablespoons of butter into a frying pan and place over medium heat

3.)    Place desired amount of ground beef into frying pan and chop into small pieces with a spatula as it browns

4.)    Once the meat is sizzling, chop up mushrooms, olives, onions, garlic, and whatever other topping you enjoy most, and toss into frying pan

5.)    Keep stirring the toppings around as you add your favorite seasonings to the tomato sauce

6.)    Once the beef is cooked, pour everything into the saucepan and stir for a few minutes

7.)    Turn off the stove and pour your sauce and toppings into a bowl

8.)    Shred your favorite cheese on top (if you tolerate dairy)

9.)    Enjoy!

You can try experimenting with your own favorite ingredients, or the ratios of each of these inputs. I tend to use more beef and the result is closer to chili, but still amazing!

I mentioned that this is a good meal to indulge with…that depends on the ingredients you include. I usually slice up some dry salami or pepperoni if I can find relatively healthy options. This can be difficult between the use of nitrites, nitrates, or corn syrup to preserve the meat and enhance the flavor. Also, the incorporation of cheese will greatly increase the calorie content so beware!

As with all the recipes I post on here, keep in mind that all the beef and dairy should be 100% grass-fed and the vegetables and other ingredients are ideally locally and naturally grown.

That last note is important to mention because, believe it or not, grass-fed beef is actually leaner and less inflammatory for the body than most white meat (such as chicken, turkey, or pork).

Typing up this recipe makes me realize that I need to do some posts on dairy, nutritional comparisons of red and white meats, as well as the use of nitrites and other preservatives that may be found in prepared meats. But, I’ll save those topics for another time.

Let me know if you enjoyed this healthy alternative to typical pizza and what your favorite ingredients are! See you all next week!

2 thoughts on “Pizza In A Bowl

  1. Hey Paul,

    Interesting recipe for an alternative “pizza”.

    Actually my body does “crave” carbs or more properly carbohydrates because the basic fuel of the body happens to be glucose( a carbohydrate) which in turn fuels the production of ATP in the cells. If we relied solely on fats and proteins they would be converted by the body into glucose( a very basic carb) to be used, again, for fuel. This is what I learned as an undergraduate biology major. This doesn’t mean we need to gorge on carbohydrate sources and especially not refined and devitalized sources like white sugar, white bread and so forth. Nor does it even mean we should chow down on tons of complex, whole grains. It is a question of balance. I’ve practically eliminated sugar and I feel much better.

    Thanks as always. Hope to see you soon. Got get back to work.


    • Excellent points Nick! The phrase I always use with my clients is “base your carbohydrate intake on your activity level”.
      You’ve definitely got your chemistry down! But, one important distinction, is the “craving” for carbs you mention. The desire for carbs you feel is actually based upon the reward-centers of the brain lighting up when you consume sugar in any form (glucose, fructose, sucrose, etc). It’s not that the body needs it, since, as you mentioned, the body can convert fats and proteins to carbs…it’s more akin to addiction. Even the medical and dietetic community will admit that sugar-addictions exist…they just haven’t grasped the concept that all carbs will eventually turn into sugar, thus furthering our dependency on such a short-term fuel source with potential negative side-effects.
      I’ll discuss the relationship between humans and carbs in a later post but just briefly, consider when sugars are available – in the summer and fall, right before winter when food used to be scarce. Our bodies were meant to store sugars in the muscle and liver, with excess being stored as body fat to help fuel us through the winter.
      So, in conclusion, another fun phrase: “earn your carbs”! Haha.
      See you in the gym Nick!

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