Cauliflower Crust Pizza

As cliché as it sounds, January is my time to loose the extra pounds I’ve gained eating my face off during the holiday season, and for refocusing on my health and feeling top-notch.  Usually I go hardcore until February, but this year I gained a little but more than usual, and I’ve got to start wedding-body-prep!  So my health kick will continue until March until I feel fabulous and comfortable going wedding dress shopping!  However, I’d be lying if I said I didn’t have cravings everyday, so yesterday I jumped on the bandwagon and tried a Cauliflower Crust Pizza to satisfy my love for pizza but without any guilt.

Pinterest is literally filled with ideas on how to use cauliflower as a carb-substitute, and I must say I’m a big fan.  Cauliflower mashed “potatoes” are a staple for us, so I’ve been meaning to try a cauliflower crust for a while now.  The only reason why I haven’t is probably because pizza still needs to be topped with cheese, and the steps for making one seemed a little daunting.  Surprisingly it was much simpler than I imagined and I have a feeling I’m going to be making many more from now on!

This cauliflower crust recipe is pretty basic.  Almost all the recipes I found online were exactly the same, minus measurements on dried herbs or the type of herb that they used.  I just used dried basil and oregano which is pretty standard, but you could also add a little dried rosemary or whatever else you’d like.   I’m happy to say that it turned out very well!  Of course it’s nothing like ordering a fresh hot NY slice at a pizzeria, but it gave me a sense of eating an actual slice which satisfied my craving.  The smell when baking the crust smelled exactly like how baking a frozen pizza smelled, so my senses were already prepped to expect pizza!  Also, it tasted good!

This recipe is for the cauliflower crust, but you can add whatever toppings you’d like!  I added a cup of jarred marinara sauce and a cup of part-skim shredded mozzarella on top.  For veggies I did the classic sliced peppers and red onion, and if I didn’t live with a mushroom-hater I’d add some of those as well.  I topped it all with a sprinkling of parmesan cheese.  If you want to limit the cheese you could even do fresh basil and veggies  with a couple chunks of fresh mozzarella.  1 serving (1/4 of the pizza) was only 268 calories, so I had two portions and called it a day!  For a Friday night when I’d usually be eating wings/pizza/pasta and drinking copious amounts of beer I’d call this a win-win.  Oh… I’m also not drinking until February… and it just feels… awesome… I guess… (heavy sarcasm).

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Cauliflower Crust Pizza (serves 4)

Ingredients:

  • 1 head cauliflower
  • 1/4 cup part-skim shredded mozzarella
  • 1/4 cup grated parmesan
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/2 tsp dried basil
  • 1 cup marinara and additional cheese and veggies of your choice to top the pizza

Directions:

Pre-heat the oven to 450º.  Remove the leaves and stems from the cauliflower and chop it into chunks.  Place the chunks into a food processor and pulse until completely pulverized and has a rice-like consistency.  Put the cauliflower crumbs in a microwaveable bowl and microwave for 4-5 minutes.  When the cauliflower is done microwaving let it rest to cool off for about 10-15 minutes.  Then grab a dishtowel and load the cooked cauliflower in the middle, and wring out as much water as possible.  Keep going and going until all the moisture is all gone.  When you open the dishtowel it should look like you’ve got a ball of dough in the middle.  Place this in a bowl and add in the parmesan, mozzarella, egg, and seasoning and mix to combine.  Once mixed, pack it together and transfer it onto a pizza pan.  Spread the cauliflower dough out to fit the pan or to your desired thickness (I spread it out pretty thinly to fill a 16″ pizza pan).  Put the crust in the over for about 15-20 minutes, or until the edges are golden brown and crisp and the center is firm and crust-like.  Remember, this will go back in the oven for about 10 minutes so you don’t want the edges too dark.

Remove the crust and top it with sauce, cheese, and toppings of your choice.  Put back in the oven for about 10 minutes until the cheese it melted and the veggies are tender.  Yum!

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