When you get home late and really want a pizza, the usual response is to pick up the phone and order one to be delivered. In the same amount of time you'd wait for it, and for a lot less money, you can make a tastier and more healthful pizza yourself. In fact, it will cost you less than half as much and you will be eating only about half as many calories and half as much fat and cholesterol. That's quite a savings any way you look at it!

First you make my quick and easy Herbed Pizza Crust dough. While it is resting, place one of the shelves in your oven as low as it will go and then preheat the oven to 425 F. Then slice some fresh vegetables and some part-skim mozzarella cheese. For the pizza sauce, you can either make your own or buy a prepared pizza sauce; there are a few very good all-natural ones on the market.To assemble your pizza, top the unbaked crust with 1/2 cup of pizza sauce spread evenly over the surface of the crust. Add enough thinly sliced fresh vegetables such as zucchini, yellow squash, red, yellow and green bell peppers and onion to cover the top of the pizza. Cover the vegetables with 4 ounces of thinly sliced part-skim mozzarella cheese and then bake in the preheated oven for 15 minutes or until the cheese is melted and starting to brown. Remove the pizza from the oven and allow it to rest for 5 to 8 minutes before slicing into eight wedges.

After tasting your own delicious, easy-to-make pizza, and comparing the cost of yours to the one you could have ordered, you may never again use the phone for a pizza!

- EACH SLICE (without topping) contains approximately 73 calories; no cholesterol; 1 gm fat; 149 mg sodium. Each slice with topping as described would contain approximately 135 calories; 8 mg cholesterol; 4 gm fat; 308 mg sodium.

This is the kind of tasty fare you would get in an expensive spa, but you can make the same kind of food at home with the assistance of my pamphlet, Low-Calorie Spa Recipes. For a copy, send a stamped (45 cents), self-addressed, legal-size envelope to Spa, P.O. Box 847, Gibbs-town, NJ 08027-9911.- Jeanne Jones is a consultant on menu planning, recipes and new-product development for major hotels and spas. She is also the author of 18 cookbooks.

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Cook It Light

(Deseret News)

P.O. Box 1212

La Jolla, CA 92038

1991 by King Features Syndicate, Inc.

Quick and Easy Herbed Pizza Crust

2 1/2 cups whole-wheat flour

1 package Rapid Rise yeast

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon sugar

1 teaspoon dried oregano, crushed

1/2 teaspoon dried basil, crushed

1 cup water

1 tablespoon olive oil

In a large mixing bowl or food processor fitted with a dough blade, combine 11/2 cups of the flour with the yeast, salt, sugar, oregano and basil; mix well.

Heat the water and the oil until hot to the touch (120-130 F). Add the hot liquid to the dry ingredients and mix well. Add the remaining cup of flour, a little at a time, mixing well after each addition. Knead the dough for several minutes or until smooth and elastic, either by hand or in the food processor. Add additional flour, if necessary, until dough is no longer sticky.

Form dough into a ball, cover and allow to rest for 10 to 15 minutes, then divide the ball in half. (If you are going to use only half of the pizza dough, refrigerate the remaining half to use in the next few days or freeze it for future use.) On a lightly floured surface, roll each half out into a circle 10 to 12 inches in diameter. Place the crust on a pizza pan that has been coated with a non-stick vegetable spray and top with sauce and topping of choice.

Makes two 12-inch pizza crusts, 8 slices pizza per crust.