I think I would eat it everyday if I could. That is, if I could eat it everyday. Made the traditional way with a thick yeast crust and toppings like four cheese blends, multiple meat toppings and even sometimes yummy things like bechamel sauce, it can end up being, like, 4 million calories (not really, but you get it).
So why not enjoy all that pizza goodness with a bit more “healthy” and a bit less guilt? Mind you, this isn’t calorie free (you need to add cheese to the crust to get it crispy) but, for all of you out there trying some of the popular diet trends like low carb, vegetarian, gluten free and paleo, this recipe lets you enjoy this awesome dish all while staying on your eating plan.
Now, let me just say here…this does not have the same mouth-feel as regular pizza (I’m not going to lie to you. If you want a “crispy on the outside, chewy and doughy on the inside” pizza, just eat the real thing!). But, like a lot of foods, we are now able to re-create some of our guilty pleasures with a few alterations and enjoy them without all the guilt. Yes, this has calories and yes, you can still top it with calorie laden ingredients to push it over the edge. But, if you want to increase your veggie intake (hello, all you new parents…great way to get veggies into your kids’ mouths!), this is worth a try!
1 head of cauliflower, riced (see below)…should be about 4 cups
2 cloves of garlic
1 large egg
1/2 cup hard cheese (parmasan, romano, asiago, etc)
1/2 cup semi hard cheese (like gouda, fontina, provolone, etc)
1 tbsp chopped parsley (you can use 1 tsp dried but fresh is better),
1 tbsp nutritional yeast*
2 tbsp almond flour (optional)
1 tbsp coconut flour (optional)
*nutritional yeast is a yeast that is cultivated as a food crop to be used as a nutritional supplement and adds a nutty, cheese-like sweet flavour. It does not have leavening powers as it’s cells are inactive.
1. Cut up the head of cauliflower into smaller pieces and put into a food processor along with the cloves of garlic; pulse until it is in small pieces (resembling rice)…
…it should look like this!
2. Microwave for about 3-4 minutes and, with a slotted spoon, squeeze out as much water as you can; drain (this is important to get a crispy crust).
3. Once the cauliflower is cooled down, add egg, cheeses, nutritional yeast and parsley; mix. This picture above is the crust I used without the flours. It is good (especially if you are trying to lower your carb intake), but the structure is a bit more stable if you add the flours…
…this one is pictured with coconut and almond flours. I also added another egg because mine were really small that day (they were farm eggs from my neighbours, but if you are using large grocery store eggs, one will do)
4. Now, get your hands in there and mix it all together (if more liquid comes out, drain that as well!). It’s not going to be stretchy like regular dough but it should come together like this.
5. If you are making a regular pizza, press it into a pizza pan that is greased with oil or cooking spray and sprinkled with corn meal (I used a pan I have that is made out of the same material as a pizza stone; you can use a cookie sheet – just line it with parchment first…that’s what I used when I made the large pizza below with grilled veggies).
6. Now bake it off for about 10-15 minutes at 400 until the base is browned. Top with your choice of toppings and bake again for about 10-15 minutes or until the cheese is bubbling. The above pizza was just a simple pizza made with seasoned tomato passata (tomato puree with salt, pepper, minced garlic and chopped parsley), chopped onion, sliced mushroom, prosciutto and mozzarella.
I also tried the same crust made in a large rectangle on a cookie sheet (lined with parchment). I browned the crust in the oven as above and then topped it with finely chopped mushrooms and Swiss chard (from my garden!!); then I added a mixture of mozzarella and Asiago. I grilled sliced zucchini and Ontario asparagus and topped the pizza before I browned the toppings in the oven…
…doesn’t it look yummy??
The final way I tried this crust was to make it into mini pizza bites. Make it as above, but form it into small rounds (about 2 ” in diameter) and brown…
…it will look like this!
I topped these with tomato passata (recipe above), chopped swiss chard, chopped roasted peppers, sliced speck (like prosciutto but made with beef) and smoked gouda.
Totally yummy, right?
Tell me you wouldn’t just chow down on that?