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Yep, Pizza Can Be a Recovery Fuel

The secret is in the toppings

Pizza is a delicious reward after a tough workout. But we shouldn’t always treat it as an indulgence. (Photo: Hannah McCaughey)
Pizza is a delicious reward after a tough workout. But we shouldn’t always treat it as an indulgence.

Pizza is a delicious reward after a tough workout. But we shouldn’t always treat it as an indulgence. Consider the flatbread, pizza’s somewhat healthier cousin. Shawn Hueglin, senior sports dietitian for the U.S. Olympic Committee, says the basic concept here is nutritious and versatile. With the right toppings, the final product can offer a winning combination of carbs and protein—perfect before a big effort or to recover afterward, Hueglin says. We turned to George Schenk and Clay Westbrook of American Flatbread in Vermont for a high-performance recipe.

Nine-to-Five Foccacia ­Flatbread

  • 3 1/4 cups all-purpose
  • bread flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon active dry
  • yeast (not fast-rising)
  • 1 tablespoon
  • kosher salt
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1¾ cups cool water
  • ½ cup arugula
  • 1¹⁄³ cups cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 cup fingerling potatoes,
  • boiled and sliced
  • 1/2 cup cured bacon,
  • chopped
  • 4 tablespoons Parmesan
  • cheese
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic
  • vinegar

In a bowl, mix and knead the bread flour, yeast, salt, olive oil, and water until well incorporated. Shape dough into a ball, cover with oiled plastic wrap, and let rise for six to ten hours. Divide equally and shape into two balls. Allow to sit for one or two hours. On a lightly floured counter, flatten and shape the dough by dimpling it with your fingers and stretching it with your hands and a rolling pin until each is ten to twelve inches in diameter. Place dough on a baking pan or skillet coated with olive oil. Top with the arugula, cheddar, potatoes, bacon, Parmesan, and balsamic. Preheat oven to 475 degrees. Cook for seven to ten minutes or until the crust is golden brown.

Mix It Up

Choose the toppings you crave or that serve your nutritional needs. Schenk likes these three combos.

  • Grilled lamb, pickled ramps, ricotta, parsley, and mint gremolata
  • Cherry tomatoes, wilted Swiss chard, ricotta, rosemary, nutmeg, and walnuts
  • Tomato sauce, mozzarella, marinated roasted sweet peppers, and pesto

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From Outside Magazine, March 2018
Filed To: RecipesRecoveryFood and Drink
Lead Photo: Hannah McCaughey