Who says you can’t enjoy pizza and still have a healthy diet? You can…the catch is you must be willing to be creative. Enter the cauliflower crust. Skip your usual pizza crust to sidestep the extra calories and pile your favorite toppings on a cauliflower crust instead. No kidding! You can make cauliflower into a tasty crust for crave worthy pizza. Here’s why, and how.
Cauliflower crust?! Yes, please!
Cauliflower is a nutritional powerhouse. Put it on your plate and help yourself to a wealth of nutrients like phosphorus, folate and manganese as well as vitamins c, k and b6. So many vitamins and nutrients means you can feel good about indulging in one of your favorite foods. Instead of guilt you get help with digestion and detoxification, reduced inflammation and better hormone balance. The benefits don’t stop there. Eating cruciferous vegetables like cauliflower regularly can help reduce your risk of cancer, obesity and heart disease. You even get a boost in eye health. Plain old flour doesn’t even come close to providing so many health benefits.
How to make a cauliflower crust
Pioneer Woman Ree Drummond offers her cauliflower pizza crust recipe via the Food Network. If you’ve ever seen her show you know she has an army of ranchers, family and friends to feed. If this recipe meets their seal of approval, it’s a sure bet it will be a hit in your home.
1 medium head cauliflower, cut into florets1/4 cup grated Parmesan1 teaspoon Italian seasoning1/4 teaspoon kosher salt1 large egg2 cups freshly grated mozzarella1/4 cup Spicy Pizza Sauce, recipe followsFresh basil leaves, for garnish
4 cups baby greens2 tablespoons olive oil1 tablespoon balsamic vinegarKosher salt and freshly ground black pepperParmesan shavings, for topping
Spicy Pizza Sauce:
1 to tablespoons olive oil3 cloves garlic, minced1 medium onion, finely chopped1/2 cup chicken brothThree 15-ounce cans crushed tomatoes1 tablespoon brown sugar1 teaspoon red pepper flakesKosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
For the pizza: Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Pulse the cauliflower florets in a food processor to a fine snowy powder (you should have about 2 1/2 cups). Transfer the processed cauliflower to a microwave-safe bowl and cover. Microwave until soft, 4 to 6 minutes. Transfer to a clean, dry kitchen towel and allow to cool.
When cool enough to handle, wrap the cauliflower in the towel and wring out as much moisture as possible, transferring to a second towel if necessary. In a large bowl, stir together the cauliflower, Parmesan, Italian seasoning, salt, egg and 1 cup of the mozzarella until well combined. Transfer to the prepared baking sheet and press into a 10-inch round. Bake until golden, 10 to 15 minutes.
Remove the crust from the oven and top with the Spicy Pizza Sauce and remaining 1 cup mozzarella. Bake until the cheese is melted and bubbly, 10 minutes more. Garnish with fresh basil leaves just before serving.
For the salad: Meanwhile, add the greens to a large bowl. Whisk together the olive oil, balsamic and salt and pepper to taste in a measuring cup. Pour over the greens and toss. Top with Parmesan shavings.
Spicy Pizza Sauce:
Heat a pan over medium-high heat until hot. Add a tablespoon or so of olive oil, throw in the garlic and chopped onions and give them a stir. Cook until the onions are soft, 4 to 5 minutes. Add the chicken broth, whisking to deglaze the bottom of the pan. Cook until the liquid reduces by half. Add the crushed tomatoes and stir to combine. Add the brown sugar, red pepper flakes and salt and pepper to taste and stir. Bring to a simmer, reduce the heat to low and simmer for 30 minutes. Let cool, then puree the sauce.
Sounds pretty tasty, right? Who says you have to choose between great nutrition and great taste? Make this recipe tonight and get the benefit of both. Bon Apetit!