Cauliflower Crust Pizza


Cauliflower Crust Pizza

Recently, my Mom and cousin shared a recipe on Facebook for a no carb pizza crust, containing cream cheese, eggs and a few other ingredients, which my Mom decided to try. She said it was very good, but didn’t get crispy. I was thinking about it today, but being a thin, crispy crust lover, I figured it wouldn’t suit me. The wheels started turning, as did my search for a no-carb/low-carb crust alternative. I came across a few using cauliflower, which received fabulous reviews so decided I would give it a shot, making my own adjustments. Well, let me tell you that I was floored with how good this crust is. Seriously. Delicious! While it’s not zero carbs, it does only contain 15 carbs (9 net carbs) for the whole crust!!! And as my friend, Johnathan says, “Definitely a healthy alternative. And is a good source of fiber, vitamin C, potassium and folate.” I should add the crust is gluten-free, and after doing the math, one slice of my pepperoni pizza (10 inch pie cut into six pieces) is a mere 133 calories! However, I sliced mine thinner into eight pieces, so just 100 calories per slice.

The original recipe calls for cooking it at 450°F for 15 minutes, but that resulted in very crispy edges. Mind you, I have an antique stove, so my cooking times need to be to be watched (except in the case of today when I was doing other things). That said, I recommend using a lower temp and keeping an eye on the crust so it doesn’t burn.

Update 6/22/13: I made this again last night & changed a few things due to what I had on hand… substituted liquid egg whites for the egg, used a part-skim Mexican cheese blend instead of mozzarella, and added a teaspoon of dried basil and 1/2 teaspoon of dried parsley to the recipe below. For my first pizza, I finished cooking it (with the toppings) under a broiler, but last night, just turned up the oven and finished it off in there. I prefer that method, so changed the directions below to reflect that. I’ve included a few more pictures so you can see the difference in the two pizzas. Both versions are amazing – it’s really just a matter of personal preference. Obviously, using egg whites reduces the calories so if that’s a concern, I’d recommend going that route.

Ingredients (Crust)

  • 1/2 medium-large head cauliflower (or 2+ cups shredded cauliflower)
  • 1 large egg (or 2 egg whites = 1/4 cup liquid egg whites)
  • 1 cup part-skim shredded Mozzarella cheese (or Mexican cheese blend)
  • 2 tbsp. grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano (feel free to add some dried basil, parsley, etc.)
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/4 tsp. Kosher salt
  • 1/4 tsp. ground black pepper

Grating Cauliflower

Crust Ingredients

The Crust - Pre-Baked

The second crust using a Mexican cheese blend and the addition of dried basil and parsley.
The second crust made w/liquid egg whites, a Mexican cheese blend & the addition of dried basil and parsley.

Baked Crust

The second cooked crust with Mex cheese blend.
The second cooked crust.

Ingredients (Pizza)

  • 1/2-1 cup pizza sauce
  • 1/2 cup Mozzarella cheese
  • Toppings of your choice (I used pepperoni and goat cheese)

Sauce, Cheese and Toppings Added

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 375°F.
  2. Spray a cookie sheet or pizza pan with nonstick cooking spray.
  3. Grate the cauliflower in a large bowl using a box/cheese grater until you have 2 cups of cauliflower crumbles.
  4. Place bowl in microwave and cook for 7-8 minutes, or until softened (no water). Remove and let cool.
  5. Mix in the egg, Mozzarella, Parmesan, oregano, garlic & onion powders, salt and pepper, stir well.
  6. Once combined, pat into a 10-inch round on the prepared pan. Spray lightly with non-stick spray and bake for 15 minutes, or until golden (make sure to monitor it).
  7. Remove from the oven, turn the oven up to 425°F. *See note below.
  8. Spread pizza sauce over crust, leaving 1/4 to 1/2 inch border around the edge.
  9. Sprinkle with 1/2 cup Mozzarella cheese (or the cheese of your choice), and add your favorite toppings.
  10. Place back in the oven for approximately 5-10 minutes, or until cheese has melted and toppings are hot. Keep an eye on it to avoid burning.
  11. Slice and serve immediately.

Fresh Out of The Oven

Pizza Slices

Delicious Pizza

Second pizza made with egg whites and Mex cheese.
Second pizza made with egg whites and Mex cheese.

Note: you can also turn the oven to broil and place under broiler for 3-4 minutes.

Top ↑

Healthy Fettuccine “Alfredo”


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I recently saw a post on Facebook from Daphne Oz about her take on Fettuccine Alfredo using a cauliflower puree as the substitute for alfredo sauce. Since I’ve made cauliflower mashed “potatoes” before, and it turned out delicious, I was overly anxious to try her recipe. And as expected, it turned out delicious! Feel free to add some chicken, seafood or tofu if you desire some protein with your pasta. I pretty much followed the recipe to a tee, which is rare, since I usually put my own take on it, but didn’t really see a need for changing anything. This does yield a ginormous amount of pasta, so divide it in half if you’re not feeding a large family or small army 😉

Ingredients

  • 1 pound fettuccine
  • 4 cups cauliflower (cut into large chunks)
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 tbsp. butter
  • 1 large shallot (finely minced)
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • 1/4 cup Parmigiano-Reggiano (freshly grated)
  • 1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg
  • 1/3 cup Parsley (chopped)
  • 1 tbsp. olive oil
  • Salt and pepper

Directions

  1. Place the milk and the cauliflower in a large sauce pot and season with salt and pepper.
  2. Bring up to a boil and reduce to a simmer, cover and cook until fork tender, about 8 to 10 minutes.
  3. Using a slotted utensil, transfer the cauliflower to a blender.
  4. Add the milk to make a creamy puree.
  5. Add the butter and continue blending until smooth. Taste and adjust seasoning.
  6. Bring a large pot of water to a boil and season generously with salt (Daphne writes, “so it tastes like the ocean”).
  7. Cook the pasta one minute less than the packaged instructions.
  8. While the pasta is cooking, place a large sauté pan over medium heat and add 1 tbsp. of olive oil. Add the shallot, season with salt and cook for 2 to 3 minutes, or until slightly tender.
  9. Deglaze with the white wine. Reduce by half, about 1 to 2 minutes.
  10. Add the cauliflower puree to the sauté pan and thin out with about 1/3 cup of pasta water.
  11. Remove the pasta from the water, add it to the cauliflower puree, and then sprinkle ground nutmeg over the top.
  12. Toss again and add more cooking water if the pasta seems too dry.
  13. Add the Parmigiano and parsley, and toss to coat.

Note: For leftovers, you can reheat in the microwave or on top of the stove, but may want to add a little milk or water to make it saucier after being refrigerated.

Top ↑

Cauliflower Goat Cheese Mash


This is a lovely side dish that not only tastes great, but is very low in carbs.

Cauliflower Goat Cheese Mash

Ingredients

  • 1/2 large head cauliflower, cored and cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 2 Tbsp. whipping cream
  • 2 Tbsp. unsalted butter
  • 2 Tbsp. freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 Tbsp. goat’s cheese (I recommend herb-coated)
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Directions

  1. Cook the cauliflower over medium heat in a large pot of lightly salted water until completely tender, 20-30 minutes.
  2. Drain the cauliflower into a colander. With a bowl or small plate, press on the cauliflower to remove all the water. Toss the cauliflower and continue pressing. This step is very important to the texture of the dish.
  3. Transfer the cauliflower to a food processor (or blender).
  4. Add the cream and puree until completely smooth. If you like a chunkier texture, mash by hand, adding the cream after the cauliflower is mashed.
  5.  Return to the pot. When you are ready to serve the puree, heat over low heat, stirring constantly.
  6. Add the butter, Parmesan and goat’s cheese. Stir until incorporated and season with salt if necessary.
  7. Serve immediately.

Note: Feel free to add 1 tsp minced garlic and/or 2 tbsp chopped fresh chives for additional flavor.