When I first designed Game Day Grub for a writing class, my concept for the blog was that it would be sports-oriented. I believe that sports can bring people together to create community, as food can. Watching sports provides camaraderie – whether it’s by rooting for the same team or through friendly rivalries – and occasion to hang out with friends and family, catch up, and eat good food. I would write my earlier posts with a story or reflection, a recipe, and then feature a game that would air that day or that week.
When I revived the blog, I decided to revise the format. It felt unnatural to throw in a game at the end of every post. My recipes can be made for game day, but they can be shared at other get-togethers. They aren’t limited to sports.
Having said all that, this week’s recipe is perfect for game day. I even recall making a similar pepperoni pizza appetizer for football Sunday at my good friends Andy and Rachael Halls’ home in San Diego. For several years, we would come together every Sunday to watch football during the day – usually at their house, but sometimes we would venture to a nearby sports bar to catch a game.
And it always involved food, with Rachael and I alternating weeks of who cooked. Whether I consciously realized it back then, these times inspired the Game Day Grub concept. In fact, the original banner picture for my blog featured a group of us sitting in the living room of the Halls’ home on one of these Sundays.
This past Wednesday evening, I made these Skinny Pepperoni Pizza Bites, reminiscent to the version I had once made for football Sunday with the Halls.
Craig had just come home from work and was getting cleaned up while the Cubs game was blaring from the living room TV. After tasting the first pizza bite, I yelled in at him, “I think we’ve got a hit!” to which he replied, “Who got a hit? Was it Javi? Kris Bryant?”
Guess I should refrain from yelling out sports idioms when the game is on.
If you ever seek out low point Weight Watchers recipes or are a reader of my favorite food blog, Skinnytaste.com, you may have seen the super simple and healthy bagel recipe that has been floating around on the Internet. I’ve made the bagels and they are tasty, satisfying, and – depending on what seasoning you top them with – only 3-4 points each!
When Gina of Skinnytaste posted this Stuffed Bagel Balls recipe, I realized the possibilities were endless and I had to make a pizza version.
Here’s what I came up with.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Combine flour, baking powder, salt, oregano, garlic powder, and crushed red pepper in a large mixing bowl and whisk well.
Add nonfat Greek yogurt to bowl. Use a fork to lightly stir until yogurt and flour are well combined.
It will look like little chunks of dough. Like this:
Lightly flour a work space and start kneading dough about 15 times. Add flour as needed until it’s tacky but doesn’t stick to your hands.
Divide dough into 8 equal pieces. Flatten out each piece with your palm and add pepperoni and mozzarella. Then seal the filling by pinching the four sides together. (I pulled two opposite sides together first so it resembled a taco, then pulled the other two sides, and pinched all four together.) Then roll dough into a ball.
Brush egg wash on top of each. Sprinkle with half of the parmesan.
Bake for 25 minutes or until golden. Drizzle melted butter on top of each, sprinkle with remaining Parmesan and parsley, then serve with a side of marinara.
Skinny Pepperoni Pizza Bites
Prep Time: 15 minutes Cook Time: 25 minutes Yields: 4 servings, Serving Size : 2 pizza bites (note: each pizza bite is a fairly good size – so 2 is an adequate portion size)
WW Totals: 7 Freestyle Points
1 cup flour, all-purpose, unbleached
2 tsp baking powder
1 cup plain nonfat Greek strained yogurt (do not use regular yogurt – dough won’t work)
1 tsp oregano
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp salt
½ tsp crushed red pepper
15 slices of pepperoni, chopped (I use Hormel 25% reduced fat)
½ cup part-skim mozzarella cheese, grated
1 egg white
1 tbsp Parmesan, divided
½ tbsp of melted light butter (I use Brummel & Brown)
1 tsp of parsley, chopped (optional)
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit and spray a baking sheet with oil to prevent sticking.
- Combine flour, baking powder, salt, oregano, garlic powder, and crushed red pepper in a large mixing bowl and whisk well.
- Add nonfat Greek yogurt to bowl. Use a fork to lightly stir until yogurt and flour are combined. It will resemble little pieces or chunks of dough.
- Lightly flour a workspace and knead dough about 15 times until it is tacky but not sticky. Add flour as needed if it sticks to your hands.
- Divide dough into 8 equal pieces. Flatten out each piece with your palm until it’s a circle and add pepperoni and mozzarella. Then seal the filling in by pinching the four sides together. Roll this into a ball.
- Brush egg wash on top of each. Sprinkle with half of the Parmesan.
- Bake for 25 minutes or until golden. Drizzle melted butter on top of each and sprinkle with remaining Parmesan and parsley if using. Serve with a side of marinara.