As I’ve grown older, I’ve noticed how much my love of pizza has grown, too. It’s not that I never liked it, but growing up, pizza was considered a “treat”, since it can be a not-so-healthy option at restaurants. Funny that during my four years at Bryant University, this treat became a twice-to-three times a week meal I’d choose to eat. I’d like to blame that on the fact that pizza is a fairly inexpensive option and when you’re a “starving college student” it seems like a smart choice, but it’s also due to the fact that it tastes 100 times better after a night of too many drinks!
Anyway, fast forward to five years later, and today my love of pizza is at an all-time-high. I tend to make and re-make my favorites, such as sautéed vegetables with tomato sauce and roasted corn, or white pizza with ricotta, feta, and mozzarella on a whole grain crust. And when I go out for pizza, I usually stick with those favorites. Also, the crust of pizza is my favorite part of all. I must admit, I’ve enjoyed a range of white, whole-grain, thin, and even the occasional deep-dish crust over the years, and it’s truly the part of the pizza I look forward to most. So you can imagine I was quite skeptical when I began to read about “cauliflower pizza crust”. No bread? I almost didn’t try it, but I’m so glad I did!
I happened to have all of the ingredients on hand last night, so I gave it a go. To my surprise, it was delicious. Chewy and cheesy, almost like pizza. I won’t say it tastes like your traditional pizza crust, because it doesn’t…it’s not bread. But as a no-carb, low-fat, healthy option, this will certainly please your waistline and trick your taste-buds.
Cauliflower Crusted Pizza with Chicken and Veggies (adapted from Paula Deen)
Ingredients (for crust)
Non-stick cooking spray
2 ½ cups grated cauliflower (about ½ a large head)
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1 cup shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
2 TBSP grated Parmesan cheese
salt and black pepper to taste(about 1/2 tsp each)
For pizza toppings(add any toppings you’d like, this is just what I did!)
1/4 cup tomato sauce
1/2 cup shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
Sautéed onions, mushrooms, and more cauliflower
Roasted shredded chicken breast (about 1/2 cup)
1) Heat oven to 425 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
2) Grate the 1/2 head cauliflower using a box grater until you have 2.5 cups of cauliflower crumbles. Place in a large bowl and microwave for 7-8 minutes, or until softened. Remove and let cool for a few minutes.
3) While the cauliflower is cooking, chop desired vegetables and/or other toppings, and sauté on stove in 1 tsp olive oil and/or cooking spray. Remove from heat once sautéed.
4) Once the cauliflower has cooled off, mix in the egg, mozzarella, Parmesan cheese, and salt and pepper. Once combined, pat into a 10-inch round on the parchment-paper prepared pizza pan. Spray lightly with non-stick spray and bake for 10-15 minutes, or until golden.
5) Top the pizza crust with the sauce, mozzarella cheese, and in my case, the chicken and vegetables. Bake in the oven until melted and bubbly, about another 10 minutes. Cool, and serve.
Looks like pizza, right? I was very surprised how much this tasted like pizza and Brandon was too, so I will certainly be making this again. Serve yours with a side salad to round-out this healthy meal. Hope you enjoy it!