Okay, so I have a not-so-secret love for all things bread and cheese; put them together in a heavenly pizza and you had me at “hello”. But when I eat too much of either of these delicious items, it turns into a not-so-fun bloated situation, as in 4-months-pregnant belly bloat. So, I have found a very simple, very healthy, and oh-so-satisfying alternative. Insert: Cauliflower Crust Pizza!
This delicious recipe mimics the real thing very closely, is incredibly filling, is loaded with healthy carbs and fiber, is a crowd pleaser, and should never leave you feeling bloated.
I still include some dairy in my personal recipe; however, this can be made completely vegan, if needed. Make sure you pick up all the toppings that sound appetizing when doing your grocery shopping. My favorite go-to toppings include caramelized onions, fresh mozzarella, bell-pepper, zucchini, mushrooms, and fresh sliced tomato after it’s been baked.
The added bonus to this recipe: I’ve been able to convince Shane to eat it, and actually enjoy cauliflower! The jury is still out on whether the kids love it, but let’s be honest: if it’s not shaped like a French fry or dinosaur nugget, they are always going to question whether it’s edible.
For the crust:
- 1/2-1 full head of cauliflower (depending on size); to save time, buy pre-riced cauliflower.
- 1 large egg beaten
- 3 tbsp. shredded Parmesan cheese
- 1/2 tsp. each: onion powder, dried oregano, dried basil, garlic salt, pepper, and sea salt
- spaghetti or pizza sauce of your liking – desired amount depends on personal choice
- 1/2 -1 cup shredded part skim mozzarella or sliced fresh mozzarella
- sweet onion – fresh or caramelized
- zucchini sliced thin
- red bell-pepper chopped
- mushrooms sliced thin
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
1) Prep the Cauliflower
Chop your head of cauliflower into small florets, throw in your Cuisinart in batches, and pulse until it’s riced. Do this in stages and place in a large bowl. Once you’ve completed the ricing process, bring a pot of water to a boil, transfer the rice into the pot of water, cook for 4-5 minutes then transfer to a strainer. Let drain completely, then transfer onto a very thin dish towel. Make sure you allow time for the cauliflower to cool a bit as to not burn your hands.
Wrap the cauliflower up in the towel and squeeze over the sink until you can no longer release anymore water. This will take several times. Don’t neglect this step, as you want your “rice” as dry as possible to create a stable crust base. Transfer your cauliflower to a bowl, add your beaten egg, seasonings and Parmesan cheese, combined well.
2) Prep the Crust
Place a piece of parchment on a cookie sheet, spread your mixture onto the sheet with your hands, pressing it into a 1/3 inch thickness crust in a shape of a circle or square. Create a lip around the edges to mimic the crust of a pizza. Bake in your preheated oven for 35-40 minutes.
Remove it from your oven, add desired toppings, and bake for another 5-10 minutes or until toppings are cooked to your desired amount.
Transfer to plate and cut pizza into slices.