Double Cheese Zucchini Pizzas

Let’s talk about cheese.

Melty, ooey-gooey cheese atop a crisp crust, paired with zesty marinara sauce, and crowned with fresh slices of zucchini.

Are you hungry yet?

These individual Double Cheese Zucchini Pizzas are going to change your life, no exaggeration. They are so good; I’m talking scarf-the-whole-thing-down-in-60-seconds good. But you know what?

They’re guilt-free. I’m talking low-calorie, low-fat, and packed with nutrients. Let me pause for a moment while we praise the pizza gods…

Since I’m so utterly obsessed with pizza, I am constantly trying new ways to get my pizza fix while still eating healthy. I’ve made everything from Light English Muffin Pizzas (AWESOME) to Pizza Burger Pitas (also delicious). It’s all been incredible, perfect for silencing the pesky voice pleading for pizza in my head. However, this zucchini pizza is the best guilt-free pizza recipe I’ve ever tried. Why? Because it tastes exactly like full-calorie, full-fat pizza!

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Mini Zucchini Frittatas

Everything is so much cuter when it’s mini. Cupcakes, cats, DQ Blizzards…you name it. Even shoes are cuter when they’re tiny. Try and tell me you’ve never walked into the children’s section at a shoe store and gone, “OMG, LOOK AT THESE. THEY’RE SO SMALL!”

These mini frittatas are the perfect example of the appeal generated when something is miniaturized. Regular frittatas are good. Mini frittatas are great. My Mini Zucchini Frittatas are bite-sized and fun to eat. You’ve probably never thought of frittatas as finger food, but these little guys will open your mind. Don’t be deceived by their small surface area; these babies are packing even more flavor than a full-sized frittata.

Each little bite of eggy goodness is perfectly sized to cradle a slice of fresh zucchini. Just look at the photos, and you’ll know these mini frittatas were just begging for it. The zucchini serves a two-fold purpose: one, it’s so cute on top of the little frittatas, and two, it adds a bite of freshness and flavor. The zucchini cooks just perfectly upon the eggs, turning tender while still retaining a bit of crispness.

I also employ a generous amount of tangy, salty parmesan cheese. Scallions and garlic lend their fragrant flavors as well. You can eat these guys plain or do as I like to and dip them into marinara sauce. It’s so fun and delicious!

Now I must divulge the secret to cooking my mini frittatas: a Babycakes Maker. For those who are unaware, Babycakes Makers are meant for cooking up mini cupcakes and muffins in a matter of minutes. I, however, have expanded its possibilities to Pancake Poppers, frittatas, and more. It steams my mini frittatas just right, cooking them through all the way until they reach fluffy perfection. It’s super quick, and just so darn fun! However, if you don’t have a Babycakes Maker, never fear. You can cook these guys in mini muffin tins in the oven instead.

A Few Tips Before You Get Cooking:

  1. Don’t like parmesan? Use a low-fat cheddar or mozzarella instead.
  2. Shallots would be lovely in place of the onions.
  3. Warning: your Babycakes Maker is going to make some scary noises while these guys are cooking, but don’t be afraid! It’s totally normally; it’s the sound of the heat rising through these hot frittata tamales. Be strong and frittata on!
  4. Make sure you spray the Babycakes Maker liberally with nonstick spray or you’ll leave half the frittata behind in the pan.
  5. These are great for party appetizers or brunch.
  6. These are super low-calorie, so they make a great healthy meal.

Mini Zucchini Frittatas
By The Smart Cookie Cook

Yield: 16 mini frittatas

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup Egg Beaters
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup chopped scallions
  • 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 1 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp. pepper
  • 1 zucchini, sliced into 16 1/4-inch slices
  • 16 teaspoons shredded parmesan cheese (about 6 tablespoons)
  • marinara sauce, for dipping

Special Equipment: Babycakes Maker or mini muffin tin*

Directions:

  1. Preheat your babycakes maker. Liberally spray with nonstick cooking spray.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the egg beaters, garlic, scallions, grated parmesan, salt and pepper. When the babycakes maker is hot, quickly poor about a tablespoon of egg mixture into each slot; they should be 2/3 full. Place a slice of zucchini on top of each frittata and close. Let cook for 5-10 minutes, or until golden brown and center is cooked through all the way. Use a fork and knife to gently lift the frittatas out and onto a serving plate. They will come out big and fluffy then deflate, don’t worry. Immediately sprinkle a teaspoon of shredded parmesan onto each frittatta. Cover and let the cheese melt. Serve with sauce for dipping.

*If using a mini muffin tin, preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray pan liberally with nonstick cooking spray. Fill the tins until 2/3 full and top each with a slice of zucchini. Sprinkle a teaspoon of grated cheese on each and bake until golden brown and centers are set.


Pizza Burger Pita

Pizza is my lifeline.

I need it; I crave it. I inhale that sliced stuff at least once a week. I don’t know what is about pizza, but it calls to me. Pizza, I love you.

…Except for when pizza “calls to me” on days when I’m eating healthy. Then we’re not friends, Pizza. You see, Friday nights are typically reserved for pizza in the Smart Cookie household. So when it’s only Tuesday, and the thought of pizza starts wafting through my impressionable brain, I lose my cookies.

One of my favorite ways to show those cravings who’s boss is with my Light English Muffin Pizzas for under 200 calories. SO GOOD. However, I often forget to buy English muffins at the grocery store, and then I’m up the creek without a paddle.

Luckily, I stumbled upon a new, possibly even more delicious way to satisfy those nasty pre-pizza night cravings: The Pizza Burger Pita. I must credit this brilliant meal to my mother, who dreamed it up. I guess I should pass a little credit to my sister as well, since it was seeing her actually make my mother’s creation that prompted me to try one as well. Thank who you want to thank for this Pizza Burger Pita. All I know is, it’s delicious.

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English Muffin Pizza: Less Than 200 Calories

Sometimes, fierce pizza cravings consume me with the force of one-thousand ruthless armies. When this happens I have two options: eat pizza or suffer through slow, painful, all-consuming withdrawal (the brunt of which is inflicted upon my mother as she receives my endless whining about how bad I want pizza). Now, I typically set aside one night a week for pizza (Pizza Friday, to be exact), but sometimes, I get struck with a craving mid-week on a day when I’m trying to eat healthy. Then what is there to do?

On one of those treacherous days, I found myself staring into the depths of my fridge, pondering what on Earth I could have for dinner besides pizza that was healthy and also somehow equivalent to the deliciousness of pizza. I was just about ready to wave my white flag, when at last I spotted a package of Multigrain English Muffins. Almost instinctively, my eyes then traveled to the jar of light marinara sauce.

In that moment, this recipe hit me like a ton of bricks.

I whipped up a hot and cheesy English Muffin Pizza for 195 calories, and quite frankly, I stuffed my face. It was the perfect weapon to combat my pizza craving while simultaneously eating healthy. This cute little pizza is low in calories, low in fat, and high in protein. But let’s remember what’s really important: it is completely delectable.

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Grilled Cheese Roll-Up Dippers

When I think of childhood American eats, I think of PB & J, Spaghetti-O’s, sugary cereals, and grilled cheese. Although I adore all of these treats, grilled cheese is the one that takes the special spot in my adult heart. You see, all of those other foods, delicious as they may be, are specifically classified as “kid food.” Grilled cheese, however, is not limited to any one age group (although it is a go-to kid lunch). You can enjoy grilled cheese until you’re 97 if you want (as long as you have dentures to chew it with), and no one will judge you.

If you know anything about your Smart Cookie Cook, then you know I love me some starch. Give me a hunk of good bread and I will go to town. Of course, I take pleasure in some mounds of melted cheese too. Therefore, the grilled cheese, which combines these two beautiful foods, is basically the holy grail of comfort food in my eyes. I know I’m not alone in this opinion. No matter how old we get, our love for ooey, gooey cheese inside of warm, golden bread never weakens.

Now, I know grilled cheese is wonderful enough in its most basic form, but I would like to introduce you to a whimsical new way to enjoy this gooey classic: Grilled Cheese Roll-Up Dippers. We’re taking tasty grilled cheese and turning it into fun, dippable* roll-ups!

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