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In the kitchen with Kelley: Personal portobello pizzas

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Can pizza be healthy? Of course it can. Instead of piling on loads of disease-producing processed meats, like pepperoni and sausage, you can pile on the veggies.

You can even toss out the traditional pizza crust for something miraculous… a mushroom.

But not just any mushroom… the magnificent portobello: the vegetable world’s thick meaty answer to… well, meat.

Even if you don’t have any health issues with wheat, like gluten sensitivity or celiac, you should consider personal portobello pizzas. Portobello mushrooms, especially when grilled or baked, have a full-bodied meaty taste that will leave you wondering if it really is a plant.

But it is — and a darn nutrient-dense one at that. Mushrooms are a rich source of unique nutrients, antioxidants and compounds that work in numerous ways to support your health, especially your immune system…

One family of carbohydrates found in mushrooms is beta-glucans. Carbohydrates can fuel the body in many ways, but beta-glucans have a particular affinity for immune cells. They stimulate macrophages, lymphocytes, T-cells and Natural Killer cells, among others. They are especially focused on your innate immunity, your “first responders.”

Not surprisingly, mushrooms have been researched for their cancer-fighting properties as well in mainstream medicine’s cutting-edge field of immunotherapy.

You can’t pass that up — or the saucy, cheesy (heart healthy parmesan) goodness in this recipe. And just like with any pizza, feel free to experiment with toppings. I love adding black olives to my portobello pizzas.

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