Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Tomato Basil "Cauliflower Crust" Pizza (17 Day Friendly)


Tomato Basil Cauliflower Crust Pizza

I always wondered what cauliflower pizza tasted like. And I don't mean the kind that's a traditional dough crust with cauliflower as a topping. I mean the kind where the crust is made with cauliflower! Sounds crazy right? Well call me crazy because I made it for dinner tonight! My Italian Grandmother who made incredible homemade pizza is probably turning over in her grave right now because I made cauliflower pizza crust. Sorry Grandma. Maybe she'll forgive me since I'm still on the 17 Day Diet and can't have breads. I was craving pizza and the only way I was going to be able to eat pizza is if I tried making pizza with cauliflower crust. So I made Tomato Basil Cauliflower Crust Pizza. Well I'd like to share with you my impressions of this recipe….pretty darn good! Who in the world ever came up with this crafty little recipe? I'd like to thank this person! It's delicious and it satisfied my craving for pizza without the extra carbs and calories, and for anyone who eats a gluten free diet this is a perfect solution. Now don't get me wrong, it doesn't taste like you're biting into thick slice of sicilian pizza. But it does taste like you are biting into some type of pizza. Dave thought it was really good, but thought it was a stretch to call it pizza. Zachary and Tyler had a couple of pieces and liked it but they prefer real pizza, who doesn't though, right?

Surprisingly, making this crust was pretty easy. You rice the cauliflower with a blender, mix it with an egg and mozzarella cheese, then spread it on a round pizza tin and bake for 15 minutes. That's it! I wanted to keep my recipe simple so I just added cherry tomatoes, fat free shredded mozzarella cheese and fresh basil. I will make this again and experiment with different toppings. You could really add any topping that you would put on top of your traditional pizza, so be creative. The one thing I would change next time is the amount of cheese I added to the top. Since the crust has one cup of cheese mixed into it, adding another cup or two on top makes for a heavy cheese flavor. Plus, I used fat free cheese so that helped as far as reducing the amount of calories. So if you're not using fat free cheese you will add on extra fat which in my opinion defeats the purpose of a cauliflower crust to begin with. I've also read reviews where people said if you don't strain the excess water after the cauliflower is microwaved, it will result in a mushy watery crust. So make sure to do that step for a crispy crust.

Since I am still on Cycle 1, Day 10 of the 17 Day Diet, I have to significantly reduce my carb intake so making a pizza like this curbed those cravings. It's amazing to think a little head cauliflower can be so many things….mashed cauliflower and rice cauliflower (Click for recipes) are two that I've made so far and I'm glad to add cauliflower crust to the list! Next I want to try couscous cauliflower so stay tuned for that one.

Salute to Tomato Bail Cauliflower Crust Pizza and amazing alternative to traditional carbilicious pizza!
Cycle 1, Day 10 of the 17 Day Diet Menu and Impressions

Morning Beverage: 2 cups hot water with lemon

Breakfast: Greek yogurt with blueberries and a cup of green tea

Lunch: 2 pieces of egg casserole

Dinner: Tomato Basil Cauliflower Crusted Pizza and a mesclun salad with olive oil and fresh lemon. A cup of green tea

Exercise: 17 minutes of leg squats

Impressions: I tried on my red shorts again this morning because  was so happy about how they fit 24 hors prior. I was hoping they would be even looser today…no such luck…but the same as yesterday so that's good. I wore a black skirt to work today and it seemed to fit better than it had in the past so that was also a good sign. Dave gave me his hug/squeeze tests this morning and he said yep, you are getting slimmer by the day. Food for breakfast and lunch were the same as yesterday because I didn't prep/plan ahead of time. Planning meals ahead of time is crucial to help with your satisfaction of each meal. Luckily I was really busy at work today so eating blah wasn't that big of a deal. I didn't crave any snacks today. In fact I really haven't been hungry on this diet…it's not that I'm eating any less than I was before the diet…it's that what I'm consistently eating is different. The past three days I haven't had much going on so that helps being able to stick to the diet. I have a ton of social events coming up this weekend and all throughout next week. One being Local Restaurant Week!!! Our dear friends Tom and Christa spearhead the event here in Western New York and we always dine out 2-3 times during the event. My motto next week will be "I think I can, I think I can!
A cauliflower crust! Unbelievably good!
17 Day Diet Friendly, low carb, low calorie and gluten free
It all starts with a head of cauliflower 
Rice the cauliflower in a blender or grater
It will look like this when it's riced
Mix the cauliflower, fat free mozzarella and egg
Shape into a flat round crust and bake
Just out of the oven, now to add toppings
How delicious does this look?

Cauliflower Crust Pizza
Tomato Basil Cauliflower Crust Pizza

Tomato Basil Cauliflower Crust Pizza: (Click to print recipe)

Adapted from Paula Dean

Preparation and cook time: 45 minutes

Serves 4

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups cauliflower, grated (about 1/2 a large head)
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 2 cups fat free mozzarella, shredded and divided
  • 1 cup grape tomatoes, sliced in half
  • 1/4 cup basil leaves, for garnish

Heat oven to 425°. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.

Grate the cauliflower using a blander or box grater until you have 2 cups of cauliflower crumbles. Place in a large bowl and microwave for 5 minutes, or until soften. Remove and let cool and * important step - strain as much liquid as you can from the cauliflower. Mix in the egg, 1 cup mozzarella, Parmesan cheese, and salt and pepper. Once combined, pat into a 10-inch round on the prepared pizza pan. Spray lightly with non-stick spray and bake for 15 minutes, or until golden.

Top the pizza with remaining mozzarella and cherry tomatoes. Bake in the oven until melted and bubbly, another 10 minutes. Top with basil before serving.


3 comments:

  1. "I think I can. I think I can." should be my motto too! But instead, during Local Restaurant Week I find myself saying, "So many restaurants, so little time." :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Totally agree with you by the way! Looking forward to dining out during Local Restaurant Week even though I'm on the 17 Day Diet! The challenge begins Tuesday night at Lombardo's…the monkfish entree may be my choice.

      Delete
  2. Andrea, I cannot wait to try this (and I think you know how very much I despise getting out our food processor!) It is SO festively colored, too - always just LOVE your posts! So timely and looks amazingly healthy & delicious - THANK YOU!

    ReplyDelete