Friday recipe: Asian chicken and edamame pizza

May 4, 2012 —

Did your mother ever tell you to chew your food slowly and thoroughly? If so, it appears her advice was spot-on for weight control: A recent Iowa State University study found that chewing each bite 40 times before swallowing causes healthy young adults to eat less.

James Hollis, an ISU assistant professor of food science and human nutrition, and Yong Zhu, a doctoral research assistant, divided 20 ISU students into two groups, instructing one to chew their pizza 15 times per bite and the other group, 40 times per bite. They monitored the subjects’ appetites and took blood samples to study plasma glucose levels and hormones, reported an ISU news release.

“When people chewed the pizza 40 times before swallowing, there was a reduction in hunger, preoccupation with food and a desire to eat,” Hollis was quoted in the release. “There was an increase in CCK, which is a hormone related to fullness and satiety. And there was a reduction in ghrelin, another hormone that stimulates the brain to increase appetite.”

Hollis has future plans to isolate mastication and study its effect on appetite. He and Zhu learned in the study that subjects didn’t enjoy chewing their food more than they had to, which might have contributed to their appetite suppression.

The study inspires today’s recipe, compliments of the United Soybean Board, which is full of flavor to motivate more mastication.

Asian chicken and edamame pizza

Photo: United Soybean Board

  • 3 tablespoons peanut butter
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons soy sauce
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons white rice vinegar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons fresh ginger, minced
  • 1 12-inch pre-baked pizza crust
  • 1/2 cup reduced-fat mozzarella cheese, shredded
  • 1 cup cooked chicken breast, diced
  • 1/2 cup edamame, shelled, cooked according to package directions
  • 1/2 cup red bell pepper, sliced
  • 1/4 cup chow mein noodles

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Combine peanut butter, water, soy sauce, vinegar and ginger in small bowl; stir until smooth. Place pizza crust on foil-lined baking sheet. Spread peanut butter mixture evenly over pizza crust. Sprinkle cheese, chicken, edamame, bell peppers and chow men noodles evenly over crust. Bake 8 to 10 minutes until cheese is melted. Cut into 8 slices and serve.


Endlessly curious and easily entertained, Barb Dietrich Boose loves being a member of the friendly, fascinating DMU community and its creative communications team. The University's publications director and DMU Magazine editor, Barb is always on the hunt for story ideas, good books and new recipes to try out on her family, such as her surprisingly tasty pork-and-bean bars.