Stouffer's says that its Corner Bistro Margherita Flatbread brings
the taste of a restaurant meal into your home.
It sounds pretty nutritious. Topping off the flatbread, which is
seasoned with basil and Parmesan cheese, are tomatoes, basil,
garlic, red onions and mozzarella cheese in a tomato olive oil
However, a look at the nutrition label shows that the calorie count
is anything but healthy. With 550 calories per flatbread, you'd save
almost 100 calories by eating two medium slices of hand-tossed
cheese pizza from Pizza Hut instead.
Plus, the pizza would be cheaper because each flatbread costs about
But the photo on the Stouffer's box made me hungry, so I went home
and put this flatbread on a diet.
My cheese-tomato topping is easy to make, and it tastes good with
very little oil, which saves calories and fat grams.
Instead of mozzarella, I use an Italian blend of provolone, Parmesan
and mozzarella cheeses made with 2 percent milk.
The healthiest changes happen in my homemade flatbread, which is
adapted from a "Cooking Light" recipe.
First, I use white whole-wheat flour in place of half of the
all-purpose flour, putting more fiber and nutrients into the mix.
Most flatbreads contain quite a bit of oil, but mine doesn't need
much, thanks to the additions of fresh basil and Parmesan cheese to
And this flatbread doesn't take long to bake, so you'll only have to
spend a few minutes in a hot kitchen.
If you eat my margherita flatbread instead of Stouffer's, you'll
save 230 calories and 11.2 fat grams. My version is also lower in
sodium and carbs.
But even if you don't want to make the flatbread from scratch, you
can still save some calories by topping flatbread from a bakery with
my cheese-tomato mixture.
For example, one serving of my cheese-tomato topping on 4 ounces of
focaccia contains about 100 fewer calories than
KATHY'S MARGHERITA FLATBREAD
For basil-Parmesan flatbread:
- 1 cup boiling water
- 1/3 cup yellow cornmeal
- 1 package dry yeast (about 21/4 teaspoons)
- 1/4 cup warm water
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 cup white whole-wheat flour
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons olive oil
- Cooking spray
- 1 tablespoon yellow cornmeal, divided
- 1 tablespoon grated Parmesan cheese, divided
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil, divided
Note: If you use whole-grain cornmeal, you'll need to increase the
all-purpose flour to 1 1/4 cups.
Combine boiling water and 1/3 cup cornmeal in a bowl; let stand 20
minutes, stirring occasionally. Dissolve yeast in warm water in a
small bowl and let stand 5 minutes. Combine flours and salt with
cornmeal mixture. Add yeast mixture and 2 teaspoons of oil, stirring
until well-blended. (You may need a little more warm water, a few
drops at a time, to completely blend the ingredients.) Turn dough
out onto a floured surface and knead lightly 4 or 5 times.
Place dough in a bowl coated with cooking spray, turning to coat
top. Cover and let rise for 1 hour or until dough is doubled in
size. (Press two fingers into dough. If the indentation remains, the
dough has risen enough.)
Punch dough down, cover and let rest for 5 minutes. Divide dough
into six equal portions, shaping each into a ball. Gently press 1/2
teaspoon each Parmesan cheese and basil into each ball of dough.
(Cover remaining dough while working to prevent it from drying.)
Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
Roll each ball into a 6-inch by 5-inch oval.
Place three ovals on a baking sheet lightly dusted with 1 1/2
teaspoons cornmeal. Repeat procedure with remaining ovals on an
additional baking sheet.
Bake at 450 degrees for 10 minutes, then cool flatbread on wire
For tomato-cheese mixture:
- 2 cups tomatoes, cored, seeded and chopped
- 1 tablespoon fresh basil, finely minced
- 2 tablespoons red onion, finely minced
- 3 cloves garlic, finely minced
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 1/2 cups Italian three-cheese blend made with 2 percent milk, finely
Preheat the oven's broiler.
In a bowl, combine tomatoes, basil, onion, garlic and olive oil. Top
each flatbread with one-sixth of the tomato mixture (about 1/3 cup).
Sprinkle 1/4 cup cheese over the tomato mixture and broil the
flatbreads for 2 to 4 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and
Per serving: 320 calories, 38 carb grams, 15.2 protein grams, 435mg
sodium, 3.7 grams fiber, 11.8 fat grams, 16mg cholesterol.