I am a member of the Balance Your Plate team and helping spread the word about CALIFORNIA PIZZA KITCHEN oven-ready pizzas. As a team member, I receive product and incentives in exchange for participating in brand-related activities.
It is no secret that the average American diet is not very healthy. But few of us probably realize how bad it is – Most Americans only meet the U.S. Dietary Guidelines for proper nutrition about 7 days out of the year! That is only 2% of the time, which is quite a disturbing statistic. And one of the most important things we can do to make our meals better is to include more fresh fruits and vegetables.
Being healthy and improving your diet doesn’t mean you have to make huge changes and give up foods you love, instead it is all about balance. Like most moms I am very busy, and I don’t have time to make a full meal from scratch every night. So sometimes I turn to convenience foods, like the frozen pizzas from California Pizza Kitchen.
The key to using convenience foods well is to pair them with other dishes to balance out the meal. During the 15 minutes a pizza cooks in the oven there is plenty of time to chop up some veggies and make a tasty fresh salad to serve with the meal. With only a little effort you have made a difference in nutrition.
Another important thing to do is to actually read the box and find the correct serving size. If a serving of pizza is two slices eating half the pizza is not a good idea! And you can find more than just the serving size on the box. California Kitchen Pizza includes pairing suggestions for salads or steamed vegetables right on the box, which makes it easy to figure out what would go well with your pizza.
Finally you need to make sure that the convenience food you are eating is made with quality ingredients. The pizzas from California Pizza are made with ingredients that are selected at the peak of freshness, so I can feel good about serving them to my family. I also like the wide variety of flavors they offer, with pizzas like BBQ Recipe Chicken with Bacon, California Style White or The Works. As long as you make smart choices and think about balance, pizza can be part of a healthy meal.
I served a White Pizza with a Strawberry Cranberry Salad this week, and it was delicious. The sweet strawberries and tangy dried cranberries made a great contrast to the spinach and cheese on the pizza. And it only took 5 minutes to throw together this very simple salad, which the family enjoyed. My kids always like salads better when they include fruits along with the vegetables, and there are many fresh fruits available all summer to choose from.
- 4 cup lettuce
- 12 strawberries
- 1/4 cup dried cranberries
- 2 Tablespoon sunflower seeds
- 2 Tablespoon olive oil
- 2 Tablespoon balsamic vinegar
- Put the lettuce in a bowl.
- Slice the strawberries and place on top of the lettuce.
- Sprinkle on the cranberries and sunflower seeds.
- Drizzle the oil and vinegar on top.
Nutrition facts are estimates.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 4
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 143 Saturated Fat: 1g Sodium: 10mg Carbohydrates: 13g Fiber: 2g Sugar: 9g Protein: 1g
Learn more about how you can Balance Your Plate and use frozen foods as part of a wholesome meal here. And let me know your favorite salad to pair with pizza!