#SundayCookingAdventures: Pizza Strudel

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I think a big reason people don’t like to diet or eat more vegetables is because they feel deprived. At least that’s how I feel. I miss the rich desserts, sweet treats and high fat food I have learned to love.

Sigh. I’m making myself hungry.

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One of the reasons I like the recipes created by nutritionist Ellie Krieger is I feel satisfied after I’m done eating. I don’t feel deprived. This recipe for pizza strudel is great, and you wouldn’t know it was full of vegetables. This is a meatless meal. If you wanted you could add chicken or turkey or lean beef or — use your imagination. I also substituted cheddar because I ran short on mozzarella. If you love pizza (as I do), you’ll find this to be a great lower-calorie substitute. I had green beans with this, but you could just as easily pair it with a salad.

It’s a little tricky to roll out the dough. I started out with a rolling pin, but then I folded it in half, put it on the baking pan, and stretched it out with my hands the rest of the way.

This was a delicious dish that offers a big enough portion so you don’t feel deprived or hungry. You could make it on a weeknight in a little more than half an hour.

Pizza strudel came from Ellie Krieger’s newest cookbook, “Weeknight Wonders, Delicious, Healthy Dinners in 30 Minutes or Less,” (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2013, $29.99). I doubled it and made two. Two pieces make a serving, so two strudels made 16 pieces. If you are on Weight Watchers, one serving equals 9 PointsPlus.

Hope you like this one.

Pizza Strudel

3 cups lightly packed baby spinach leaves
4 ounces part-skim mozzarella cheese (1 cup shredded)
6 sun-dried tomato halves
8 fresh basil leaves
1 large ripe tomato
1 tablespoon cornmeal
1/2 pound whole-wheat pizza dough, thawed if frozen
cooking spray
1/4 cup part-skim ricotta cheese
1 large egg white

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.
1) Finely chop the spinach and shred the mozzarella. Finely chop sun-dried tomatoes and cut the basil into ribbons. Slice the ripe tomato into thin half-moons.
2) Sprinkle a work surface with the cornmeal. Using your hands and/or a rolling pin, stretch the dough into a 10 by 186 inch rectangle. Spray a baking sheet with cooking spray and transfer the dough to the baking sheet.
3) Spread the ricotta along the middle of the dough, leaving a three-inch border on each long side and a 1/2-inch border on the top and the bottom. Sprinkle the spinach and sun-dried tomatoes over the cheese. Arrange the tomato slices on top then top with the mozzarella and basil. Whisk the egg white, and brush it along each side of the dough. Fold the two short sides of the dough over the filling then roll the whole thing up lengthwise like a jelly roll. Press with your finger to seal the top and bottom firmly. Position the roll so it is seam side down (diagonally if needed to fit the pan).
4) Brush the entire surface of the dough with the remaining egg white, and cut four one-inch slits into the top of the dough, spaced about two inches apart.
5) Bake until the crust has browned and the cheese has melted and bubbles slightly from the slits, 14-15 minutes. Using a serrated knife, slice into eight pieces and serve.

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