Friday, May 11, 2012

Cauliflower Pizza Crust - It Works!!

Over the winter, I discovered much to my dismay that wheat and sweets were the cause of my inability to lose weight.  The two things I love most.  I love bread more than dessert.   No bread not even whole wheat. So with courage and discipline in hand, I set out to see what would happen if I cut out wheat and sweets and it made a huge difference.  I also want to add that I have cut out all processed foods.  No protein bars, no low calorie frozen meals as much fresh vegetables and fruit as possible.  I have lost 30 pounds and have done it with not a great deal of difficulty.  There have been set backs, but over all not as hard as other diets have been. 
As summer comes a main worry was how much I love fresh veggie pizza and especially pizza margarita.  What was I going to do for crust?  Could I just make them thin, and go for it or was there an alternative.  Thanks to pintrest and my friend Mary Averbeck I found a pizza crust made from cauliflower AND it works. 
From a blog called Eat, Drink and Smile from Beth from Nashville I found the following recipe.
Cauliflower Crust Pizza
Serves 2; Adapted from Your Lighter Side.
1 cup cooked, riced cauliflower
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese ( I used fresh)
1 egg, beaten
1 tsp dried oregano  ( i used fresh)
1/2 tsp crushed garlic
1/2 tsp garlic salt
olive oil (optional)
pizza sauce, shredded cheese and your choice of toppings*
To "Rice" the Cauliflower:
Take 1 large head of fresh cauliflower, remove stems and leaves, and chop the florets into chunks. Add to food processor and pulse until it looks like grain. Do not over-do pulse or you will puree it. (If you don't have a food processor, you can grate the whole head with a cheese grater). Place the riced cauliflower into a microwave safe bowl and microwave for 8 minutes (some microwaves are more powerful than others, so you may need to reduce this cooking time). There is no need to add water, as the natural moisture in the cauliflower is enough to cook itself.
One large head should produce approximately 3 cups of riced cauliflower. The remainder can be used to make additional pizza crusts immediately, or can be stored in the refrigerator for up to one week.
To Make the Pizza Crust:
Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Spray a cookie sheet with non-stick cooking spray.
In a medium bowl, stir together 1 cup cauliflower, egg and mozzarella. Add oregano, crushed garlic and garlic, salt, stir. Transfer to the cookie sheet, and using your hands, pat out into a 9" round. Optional: Brush olive oil over top of mixture to help with browning.
Bake at 450 degrees for 15 minutes.
Remove from oven. To the crust, add sauce, toppings and cheese. Place under a broiler at high heat just until cheese is melted (approximately 3-4 minutes).
*Note that toppings need to be precooked since you are only broiling for a few minutes.

I made my topping from cherry tomatoes that I cooked in olive oil and garlic until the tomatoes were soft and popped and made their own sauce.  I used fresh mozzarella in the “crust” and on top.  I topped the cooked pizza with fresh basil. The following photos show how well things worked out.  It was great and I could pick it up like a slice of pizza.  

Ready for toppings
 I used a pizza stone and really liked how it cooked
 Using the pizza stone did cause a little crustiness - but it make the crust crispy

Cauliflower pizza crust it works.  Was able to pick it up like real crust.

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