Learning to Cook the Foods you Love—Guest Blog and Recipe from Denise Roden

Friday, January 31, 2020
Portobella Pizza Crust with Low-Carb and Bariatric-friendly Ingredients...Served Up on Livliga's Celebrate Plate!

Soon after my bariatric bypass surgery, I realized I must find a way to enjoy the foods I love!  My favorite foods are Italian: lasagna, pizza, spaghetti and meatballs; and any food that contains pasta, sauce, meat and cheese. Unfortunately, these dishes are also my “trigger foods.” “Trigger ” are foods, or occasions, that cause you to completely fall off the wagon. Understanding this dilemma, I started my quest to satisfy my cravings with healthy ingredients.

The biggest challenge was eliminating refined wheat, often found in pizza dough or pasta. I experimented with many keto and paleo recipes, without success. I knew I had to feel satisfied or I would scramble back to the kitchen for unhealthy choices.

One day, while shopping, I noticed huge portabella mushroom caps. They usually come 3 or 4 to a pack and they are a vegetable—right? Also, mushrooms are a perfect complement to my other ingredients. I thought of turning them upside down, removing the stems and scraping the gills.  That makes a nice space for all of my ingredients. I use my own tomato sauce, made from local tomatoes in the summer, with no added sugar. However, Rao’s Pizza Sauce contains only 2 grams of sugar per ¼ cup and is available at most supermarkets. Next, assemble your toppings. Use any protein! Most meats and cheeses are low in carbohydrates. I like to use mild Italian sausage and shredded mozzarella. Feel free to add any veggie you like. Vegetables contain carbs, but they’re the “good carbs.” Pop these pizzas in the oven and get ready to savor.


  • 3 Portobello mushrooms caps 
  • 8 oz of mild Italian sausage 
  • ½ cup Rao’s Pizza Sauce 
  • ½ cup shredded mozzarella cheese


  1. Wash the mushroom caps and remove the stem and gills.
  2. Turn your oven on broil and broil gill side up for 5 minutes then flip and broil the other side for 5 minutes.
  3. Remove the mushroom caps and start assembling your pizza. I divided the ingredients listed above among the 3 caps starting with the sauce, meat then cheese
  4. Put the mushroom caps back in the oven and heat until the cheese is melted. Usually 2 to 3 minutes.

Nutritional Information
Serves: 3. Calories: 270; Total Fat 19g; Saturated Fat 3.6g; Total Carbohydrate 5g; Dietary Fiber 1g; Protein 16g.

To view a short video on Portobello Mushrooms Pizza’s please visit my Facebook page Bariatric Center for Success.

Guest Blogger Bio

Denise Roden is a successful Roux-en Y Gastric Bypass patient since 2004.  Denise is committed to providing quality education & coaching services to the bariatric community. She is credentialed as a Bariatric Support Group Leader, a Success Habits Trainer, a Back On Track Trainer, and a Bariatric Health Coach.

Explore Livliga's Bariatric Room

1 comment

  1. This was super easy and so delicious! Thankyou for this wonderful recipe!