It's not Lou Malinati's deep dish pizza, but it's healthy, easy and damn good

I love Lou Malnati's deep dish pizza. Really, who doesn't!?

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l think I could eat it at every meal for the rest of my life and not get sick of it. I save the crunchy, slightly greasy-in-a-good-way edges for last. They're the best.

I shutter to think about how much fat and cholesterol are in two slices, my usual portion. So I won't.

Fortunately, I like thin crust pizza too.  To me, the crunchy-crispy factor is key, just like Lou's deep dish. So what I do is eat Lou's once in awhile (instead of getting a daily fix) so I don't go into cardiac arrest in the near future.

And more often, I make a healthier, crunchy version of a thin crust pizza at home.

The really cool thing about this pizza is that you don't have to make the dough. That's right. I have found a way to make a pizza dough-like crust out of--you won't believe this--whole wheat bread!

That's crazy, you say. Crazy like a fox.

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There are two secrets to the deliciousness of this crust: a rolling pin and olive olive oil. It's what puts this pizza in a category way, way above an ordinary grilled cheese sandwich. Read the recipe, and you'll see what I mean.

As much as I try to ingest mostly foods with whole wheat flour instead of white flour, this is the only whole wheat pizza that I've tasted with a crunchy good texture!

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You'll notice I included fennel seeds as an option in the recipe, which are often found in Italian sausage. Fennel seeds add a wonderful, real Italian flavor, a trick I learned from Connie Damico, a fabulous cook and the real Italian mother of PR mavin Michelle Damico.

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I bake this pizza in the toaster oven (hence the name of the recipe), but if you don't have one, I don't see why you couldn't do the same in your oven.

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Toaster Oven Pizza

1 slice of whole wheat bread, room temperature
olive oil
1 T. tomato sauce or salsa
1 slice of slice of cheese or 1 ounce of cheese
optional seasonings and vegetable toppings: oregano, basil, crusted red pepper, fennel seeds, minced garlic, grilled mushrooms, onions, bell pepper, broccoli, etc.
Parmesan cheese

1. Cut off crust of bread on all four sides and save for another time (croutons, perhaps).

2. On a cutting board, with a rolling pin, roll bread until it's as flat and thin as possible without tearing it. Brush with olive oil and place oiled side down on a toaster oven tray. Then brush other side of bread with olive oil.

3. Bake flattened, oiled whole wheat bread in a 325 degree oven for five minutes or until lighter browned. Turn over and bake for another four minutes, until both sides are lightly browned.

4. Place 1 tablespoon of tomato sauce or salsa on each slice and spread with back of teaspoon. Sprinkle seasonings and/or topping over it. Place cheese slice or pieces over sauce. Sprinkle with Parmesan and bake about five minutes or until cheese is bubbly.

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