Grilled Barbecue Chicken Pizza
As parents we are always teaching our children and I enjoy when the tables are turned and they teach me something. At work I have the good fortune to mentor nutrition students and the learning flows both ways. Morgan, an incoming senior, is home from college for the summer and interning in our office. For this post I’ve turned the reins over to her to share a favorite summer dish. ~Trina
When I was younger, one of my mom’s favorite dinner dishes was pizza. She even liked to make it on hot summer days. Her secret? The grill! Grilling pizza is a great way to beat the heat by keeping the oven cool and still preparing a delicious, hot meal.
A fully balanced meal is one that includes all five food groups. This pizza recipe does just that with the addition of fruit! Cheese, from the Milk + Milk Products food group, is an excellent source of calcium and protein. Broccoli and tomatoes, from the Vegetable group are full of vitamins. Pizza dough, which is a part of the Grains + Cereals food group provides many health benefits as well. Whole wheat dough provides an even greater range of essential vitamins, so be sure to use whole wheat when possible. Chicken and pine nuts from the Meat + Beans group are great sources of protein and other nutrients. ~Morgan Podmajersky
It’s great to see how Morgan is following in her mother’s footsteps and grilling pizza now that she’s an adult. As a nutrition student she understands that all foods can fit in a healthy diet in moderation. She's inspired me to pull my boys out of the kitchen and put them at the grill to try out their own pizza recipe. Have your kids create their own pizza recipe with this fun online game, My Very Own Pizza.
Adapted from California Milk Advisory Board
Pre-made whole-wheat pizza dough
2 cups Monterey Jack and Parmesan cheese blend
½ cup barbecue sauce
2 cups pre-cooked chicken (diced or shredded)
1 cup broccoli
½ cup tomatoes
¼ cup pine nuts (optional)
Tip: The key to making this meal quick and easy is to pre-cook the chicken, lay out all of the ingredients, and make sure the grill is fired up and ready to go.
You can make your own dough or buy pre-made dough at your local grocery store. First, lay a small amount of flour down and mold the dough by flattening it and pulling it out. Be careful not to rip it. You want a nice round pizza with about a 12 inch diameter. Do not push up around the edges (this will interfere with the grilling process).
When the grill is ready, and all of the ingredients are laid out, brush the grill with some olive oil, lay the pizza dough directly on the grill plates (cookie sheets help transport the pizza dough from the kitchen to the grill), and close the lid.
After 2-3 minutes, check to see if the bottom of the pizza is brown. If browning unevenly, shift pizza so that it cooks evenly. Once the bottom of the pizza has browned, remove it from the grill.
Flip pizza so brown/grilled side is up, brush with olive oil and spread barbecue sauce over dough. Be careful not to use too much barbecue sauce as it will make the pizza soggy. Sprinkle Monterey Jack/ Parmesan cheese onto pizza and garnish with chicken, tomato, broccoli, and pine nuts (optional).
Place pizza back onto grill, close the lid and let cook for 2 more minutes or until cheese bubbles. Remove from grill when pizza is finished cooking and serve.
What’s your favorite childhood recipe? What do you think your children will make when they are responsible for all the cooking?
Trina Robertson, MS, RDN is a registered dietitian nutiriton with a master’s degree in nutrition. As a HealthyEating.org Mom she shares her positive approach to healthy eating with the goal of inspiring others to prepare and enjoy foods from all the food groups. As a Project Manager with the Dairy Council of California, Trina develops, evaluates, and promotes nutrition education materials for students and adults. At home she enjoys cooking and sharing meals with her family. Her most rewarding accomplishment is that her boys are good eaters and are learning to cook. Follow Trina on Twitterand find more Healthy Eating ideas on Facebook.
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