The Dude Diet: Pizza Party

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It’s been a so-so week for The Dude Diet, but I’ll take mediocre over “complete and total shit-show” any day. Needless to say, the enormous candy-filled Easter baskets from my mom didn’t exactly bolster my efforts to get Logan back on the wagon. He’s apparently incapable of eating jelly beans and bite-sized candy in any way other than by the handful and in rapid succession until he makes himself ill. However, Logan’s diabetes-inducing sugar consumption is a subject for another time. Today, I would like to focus on a food that is pretty much the bane of The Dude Diet’s existence…Let’s talk about pizza, dudes.

“I smell pizza.”

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: Logan loves pizza. He loves it more than any other food and most of his friends and family. Sadly, pizza is one of his favorite topics of conversation, and his obsession with Dominos borders on fetishism. Other than barbecue, pizza is the light of Logan’s food-based life, and it’s been one of the Dude Diet’s largest and most enduring stumbling blocks.

Prior to The Dude Diet, Logan ate more pizza than I thought was humanly possible. Although he has reined it in a bit, he still manages to regularly shock me with his pizza consumption. This is saying a lot, since I’ve become relatively anaesthetized to Logan’s scarier eating habits over time. The worst part is that Logan refuses to accept responsibility for his frequent pizza binges by making all sorts of ridiculous claims such as, “It’s all they were serving at school!” or, “It was the only thing I could grab on the run!”

First of all, unless Columbia is regularly hosting some sort of high reward pizza-eating contest, it is not necessary to eat 3-4 giant slices every time that it’s served at school. As far as grabbing something on the go, I hear a banana fits in one’s hand pretty nicely. Logan has also has been known to eat a slice of pizza when he’s feeling a little peckish between meals. For the record, dudes, pizza is never a snack. It is always a meal. No excuses.

When it comes to pizza, Logan’s not just indulging in the plain cheese variety. While I’m sure he wouldn’t turn down cheese pizza in an emergency situation (i.e. when he’s “starving” on the walk home from the subway), he prefers something along the meat-lovers route. Logan’s current go-to is deep-dish pepperoni with peppers and onions, which he crushes with the giddiness of a kid on Christmas morning. For a long time, I wasn’t even sure that Logan knew what pizza tasted like, since he mostly just uses the slices as a vehicle for disgusting quantities of ranch dressing.

While Logan will eat pizza of almost any kind from almost anywhere, he has a special soft spot for Dominos. I’m pretty sure that ordering “D-nos” is the highlight of his week, and it has become a non-negotiable staple of No-Calorie Sunday.  From the second he places the order, Logan remains in a state of anticipatory anxiety until the buzzer rings, at which point he sprints to open the door to have the type of creepy interaction with the delivery boy that he usually reserves for finger-food servers at cocktail parties. “AWWWWW yeah, dude. Whatcha got for me?? Bring it on.” It is both disturbing and strangely endearing at the same time.

A recent extravaganza.

In case you need more evidence of Logan’s Domino’s fetish, these are the types of emails that I receive on a regular basis:


———- Forwarded message ———-
From: Domino’s Pizza ‪<[email protected]>‬
Date: Mon, Mar 18, 2013 at 3:44 PM
Subject: 50% off pizza ordered online until March 24
To: logan
Enough said.

Let’s get something straight, dudes. Pizza is The Dude Diet’s kryptonite. It is a hot mess of carbs, gluten, fat, and sodium. Large quantities of bread, cheese, and fatty meats are a wonderland body’s worst enemies. You know this. Just to nip a few idiotic protestations in the bud:

1. No, the presence of tomato sauce on your pizza does not make it “healthy.”

2. No, adding a couple vegetables to your meat-lovers pizza does not make it “healthy.”

3. No, ordering thin-crust does not make your pizza “healthy.” Especially if you plan on eating twice as much of it.

Pizza should be eaten sparingly and in reasonable portions, dudes. If nothing else, please slow your pizza roll for vanity’s sake. Excluding Chinese food, nothing will make you blow up faster than a pizza. Without fail, Logan’s face swells like a puffer fish after an average Domino’s binge. Chubby baby faces are cute. Chubby man faces? Not so much. Get it together, dudes.

I know that Logan will never stop eating pizza, and if I’m honest with myself, I don’t really want him to.  Who am I to rob him of the joy of tripping over himself to answer the door when Domino’s rings the buzzer? However, because I’d prefer Logan didn’t die of a pepperoni-induced heart-attack, and I don’t want to have to roll him to the beach this summer, I figured that it was in my best interest to come up with some Dude Diet-friendly pizza options. It wasn’t easy, but I am pleased to report that there are now some pretty epic pizzas in the Dude Diet’s repertoire.

Without further ado, I give you the Buffalo Chicken Lavash Pizza:


Buffalo tomato sauce with grilled buffalo chicken, scallions and a blend of low-fat cheddar and part-skim mozzarella on a Lavash crust. Take a second to soak that in. It’s a crispy, cheesy, spicy flavor bomb that won’t derail your diet plan. You can even get some fat-free ranch involved.

If buffalo chicken and ranch on a pizza doesn’t make you breakout in excitement hives like Logan, perhaps you’d prefer this Sausage and Veggie Lavash Pizza:


Based on my research, sausage, peppers, and onions are always a dude-pleasing combo. In this case, I lightened things up by using Italian turkey sausage, part-skim mozzarella, and sneaking in more than a full serving of veggies. There’s even some nutrient-rich spinach involved.

The real waist-saving aspect of these pizzas lies in the flatbread crust, dudes. In case you haven’t already met, allow me to introduce you to Lavash:


Lavash is a thin flatbread, sometimes called “cracker bread,” of Armenian origin (thanks, Google). I used a multi-grain variety as the base for these pizzas, which was one of the better ideas I’ve had in a while. First of all, it’s pre-made (which is awesome), and it crisps up beautifully in the oven. More importantly, multi-grain Lavash is higher in fiber and protein and much lower in calories than your average belly-building pizza dough.

Obviously, these Lavash pizzas can never replace your favorite pizza. Sometimes you need to indulge, and I would never begrudge you the opportunity to (very) occasionally eat your weight in deep-dish. But on those random nights when you’re considering crushing an entire pizza by yourself out of laziness or intense craving, please try one of these.  They’re light, delicious, and guaranteed to hit the spot without throwing you into a shame spiral. Plus, they can be ready in 20 minutes total. Pizza party on, dudes.

Buffalo Chicken Lavash Pizza: (Makes 2 pizzas)
2 pieces multi-grain Lavash (I like Toufayan Bakeries Hearth Baked Multi Grain Lavash)
2 thin-sliced boneless skinless chicken breasts (about ¼ lb each)
½ cup tomato sauce
3 ½ tbsp Frank’s Red Hot Buffalo Wings Sauce
¾ cup part-skim mozzarella, shredded
¾ cup reduced-fat cheddar, shredded
4 Scallions, finely sliced
2 tbsp fat-free ranch dressing (optional)

Preparing your Buffalo Chicken Lavash Pizza:

*Pre-heat your oven to 400 degrees. Place a baking sheet or pizza stone in the oven while it heats.

-Place chicken breasts in a grill pan (or a regular non-stick pan if you don’t have grill pan) and cook for 3 minutes on each side or until cooked through.


-Remove chicken from the pan and slice into small cubes. Place chicken in a small bowl with 1½ tbsp hot sauce and toss to coat.


-In a small bowl, combine ½ cup tomato sauce with 2 tbsp hot sauce. (Voila buffalo tomato sauce!)

-Spread each lavash with ½ of the buffalo tomato sauce.


-Combine the mozzarella and cheddar in a small bowl. Sprinkle each lavash with ¼ cup of the cheese mixture.


-Divide the buffalo chicken and sliced scallions among your two pizzas and top each with another ½ cup of cheese.



-Carefully transfer your lavash pizzas to you heated baking sheet and bake for 10 minutes until the cheese is bubbling and the lavash is browned and crispy. Drizzle with ranch if you’re into that. Prepare to get all hot and bothered, dudes.


Sausage and Veggie Lavash Pizza: (Makes 2 pizzas)

2 pieces multi-grain lavash
1 spicy Italian turkey sausage, casing removed
1 clove garlic, minced
½ cup marinara sauce
1 cup part-skim mozzarella cheese, divided
¼ of a whole red bell pepper, thinly sliced
¼ of a whole yellow bell pepper, thinly sliced
¼ of a small red onion, thinly sliced
2 cups baby spinach

Preparing your sausage and veggie lavash pizza:

*Pre-heat your oven to 400 degrees. Place a baking sheet or pizza stone in the oven while it heats.

-Place sausage in a pan with the minced garlic. Cook, breaking up sausage with a spatula, over low heat for about five minutes or until the sausage is cooked through. Remove from heat and set aside.


-Place spinach in a pan with 1 tbsp water.


-Cook until just wilted. This should take less than a minute. Remove the spinach from the pan and drain any excess water.

-Spread each lavash with ¼ cup marinara sauce.


-Sprinkle each lavash with ¼ cup mozzarella.


-Divide the cooked sausage, spinach, onions, and bell peppers among the two pizzas and top each with another ¼ cup of mozzarella.


-Carefully transfer your lavash pizzas to your heated baking sheet and bake for 10 minutes until the cheese is bubbling and the lavash is browned and crispy. Remove from the oven, slice, and get down.


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  1. SmIfVxY on September 3, 2013 at 5:22 pm

    640719 148908I like this blog so a lot, saved to bookmarks . 525575

  2. Andrea on April 14, 2013 at 9:00 pm

    Those pizza looks super delish.

  3. Anonymous on April 6, 2013 at 2:40 pm

    Dominos Deep dish is not the move. You gotta get a regular and thin crust and cheezy bread. Logan must be a JV orderer.

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