Sunday, March 17, 2013

Cauliflower Pizza Crust

I have been curious about this cauliflower pizza crust "craze" for awhile.  A couple weeks ago, the hubby was gone and I had some leftover cauliflower (from an awesome vegan soup I made that I'll post soon!) so I decided to give it a whirl.

I did not have a recipe to use so I got online and did some research.  I read MANY different ones and finally found one that seemed to be the perfect combination.  I got everything out, processed my cauliflower and tossed it in the microwave for 8 minutes like the recipe said.  I really should have taken a picture, but you get the idea when I say I burned it.  It was black and dried out.  Whoops.  I guess I have a powerful microwave and thankfully I still had cauliflower left to try again.  Round 2 went much better and I stirred it after 4 minutes and I only cooked it for a total of 5-6 minutes.  I added the other crust ingredients, put it in the oven and honestly, was not expecting much. 

Right before going in the oven

I opened the oven door and was pleasantly surprised!  I made sure to take a spatula and go around all the edges to release it from the pan while it cooled to make sure it didn't stick.  I had no problems with it sticking and it held together much better than I expected.

I sauteed some onions, baby bella mushrooms and spinach in avocado oil and sprinkled them on my pizza along with Trader Joe's pizza sauce.  (I think theirs is the best store bought brand I've found.)  I finished it with some mozzarella cheese and back in the oven it went.

Now, came the moment of truth.  The crust looked nice, it held together and it didn't stick.  I topped it with delicious toppings and it came out of the oven looking delicious.  How would it taste though?  Let's just say I have now made this recipe three times in the last two weeks.  I'm slightly obsessed.  It tastes GREAT!  Furthermore, I can't wait to make it for my Grandpa who is on a gluten-free diet.  What a great way to eat pizza!  I made it for two friends last week and they both agreed it was very tasty.  Now, I just need to get Josh to agree to take a bite.  That night on the phone our conversation was quite simple:

ME: I made a great new recipe for dinner tonight.  It's pizza made with cauliflower crust.

JOSH:  Gross.

And, that was the end of our dinner discussion.  I will find a way for him to taste it one of these days, but for now, the fact that two friends loved it as much as I did I deemed it blog worthy.

Most recipes I read said this was pizza that you had to eat with a fork and a knife and there was really no way to get it to stick together.  I ate this with my hands like regular pizza just fine!

*If you're really watching your weight/dairy intake I would recommend loading up on healthy toppings and not much cheese.  Next time I make this, I am going to try it with no cheese on top or maybe just a touch of goat cheese and a bunch of veggies.  There's SO much cheese in the crust already, I think I'll still be satisfied with the taste.  Enjoy!

Cauliflower Pizza Crust
Recipe from:

1 cup cooked, riced cauliflower
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese 
1 egg, beaten
1 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp minced garlic
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/4 t. red pepper flakes (original recipe didn't call for this, but I like red pepper flakes on my pizza and it gave the crust a nice kick)
pizza sauce, shredded cheese and your choice of toppings

Remove stems and leaves from 1 head of cauliflower, and chop the florets into chunks. Add to your food processor and pulse until it looks like grain. Do not over-do pulse or you will puree it. (You can also use a cheese grater). Place the “riced” cauliflower into a microwave safe bowl and microwave for 8 minutes (may need to adjust according to your microwave so yours doesn't burn like mine did!) No need to add water.

One large head will produce between 2 and 3 cups of riced and cooked cauliflower. The remainder can be used to make additional pizza crusts immediately, or can be stored in the refrigerator for up to a week.

To make the pizza crust:
Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Spray a cookie sheet with non-stick cooking spray. In a medium bowl, stir together 1 cup cauliflower, beaten egg and mozzarella. Add oregano, minced garlic and salt, mix well. Transfer the mixture to your cookie sheet, and pat out into a 9″ round.
Bake at 450 degrees for 15 minutes.
Remove from oven and let cool awhile. This helps to make the crust more solid.  Use a spatula to release all edges of the crust to prevent from sticking.

To make the pizza: add sauce, toppings and cheese. Place under a broiler at high heat just until cheese is melted (approximately 3-4 minutes). *Toppings need to be precooked since you are only broiling for a few minutes.

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