Thursday, June 12, 2014

Cauliflower Pizza Crust -- Perfect Pizza Fix!

Peter : "Idk if you can call this pizza... it's just a lot of vegetables on top of each other..."
Well he's right...This wasn't necessarily "pizza" but it sure did look/taste like it!
This was my first time trying out the Cauliflower Crust craze, which I adapted from here.
It turned out really well! But, the only downside was I was not able to pick a slice up like a normal pizza, so I ended up eating it with a fork, which was fine because it did its purpose -- it was the perfect pizza fix!
The great thing about this pizza is it has half the amount of fat + calories than a regular piece of pizza. Let alone, a Bacon pizza. When I "Googled" the nutrition info for a pizza slice, on average I found that 1 piece of pepperoni pizza (*with no extra toppings) can pack over 240 calories, 12-14g of fat, and about 34g of carbs!

That ain't no slice of fun... nope. Uhh uh.
Yep, you read it right!
This piece of pizza is only 130 calories and is loaded with Jalapenos, Turkey Bacon, Cheese, Onions, Roasted Garlic Sauce + Cauliflower Crust.
The best part? It only has 7g of fat, 9g carbs, + 8.5g of protein... boom!
How's that for a pizza night?

1 Large head of Cauliflower (about 5 cups)
1/2 jar Marinara Sauce (I used Trader Joe's Roasted Garlic flavor)
2 Large Eggs
4 slices Turkey Bacon
1 small handful pickled Jalapenos
1 Roma Tomato (sliced)
1/2 White Onion (chopped)
1/2 cup Shredded Italian Cheese
1/2 cup Shredded Mozzarella Cheese
1/2 TSP Olive Oil
1 TBSP Dried Basil Leaves
1 TBSP Garlic Powder
1 TSP Onion Powder
1 TBSP Italian Seasoning
1 TSP Crushed Red Pepper
I am prepare you in advance... for the massive amounts of pictures, but the recipe I based mine off of had tons of pictures that I found to super helpful -- so there ya go!
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Meanwhile, remove Cauliflower florets from the stem. Place washed + dried florets in a food processor and pulse until it makes "Cauliflower Snow".
Literally, it will look like snow. Part of me wanted to ditch the pizza idea and throw it up in the air, turn on some Christmas music and pretend it was snowing... but that would have be weird... right?
2. Next, place the Cauliflower snow in a microwave safe bowl. Cover and place in microwave for 3-4 minutes (I did mine for 4 minutes) on High.

3. Spread the Cauliflower over a thin towel on top of a large cutting board or pan (helps it cool faster) and allow the Cauliflower to cool completely. Believe me you do not want to handle hot Cauliflower while doing the next part, believe me.

4. After the Cauliflower has cooled, use a thin towel to squeeze the excess water out and there will be a lot of it.
I actually was extremely surprised at how much water was in this stuff.... And I think that is where I went wrong. I kept squeezing and squeezing and more and more water kept coming out. I thought I had gotten it all out, but I didn't, which is why my crust came out softer than I wanted it to!
This is what it looked like when I was done squeezing. I think if you squint it really looks like flour!
5. After squeezing the excess water out combine the Eggs, Basil, Garlic Powder, Onion Powder, Italian Seasoning and Crushed Red Pepper together and knead the "dough" until everything is evenly distributed.
6. Next form the "dough" into a ball -- like you would with regular pizza dough.

7. Place a sheet of parchment paper (or wax paper) on your pizza stone (a pan would work fine too)and drizzle with 1/2 TSP of Olive Oil -- spreading out evenly with your fingers. This will help keep the crust from sticking to the paper!
*This step may have been the most important for me. Since my crust was very soft, some ended up sticking to the paper, I can only imagine how messy things would have turned out if it were stuck to the pizza stone!
8. Using your hands, begin to spread the "dough" out evenly.
This really did feel like pizza crust when I did this and it was a lot easier than I thought it was going to be!

I had enough crust that I was able to form mine into a deep dish type crust, which worked out great because it was able to hold all ingredients I was about to top it with!

9. Next, bake the crust for 8-10 minutes. Or until slightly crispy.
Okay, so this is where I think I went wrong too... I definitely should have baked it for longer. But I was too excited to try it that I was in a rush and didn't care. Next time I do this, I am definitely going to bake it for longer (until it is golden brown).

10. Top with your favorite ingredients! I used Turkey Bacon, chopped White Onions, Roma Tomato slices, Cheese and Jalapenos.
I have to say, I just happened to top mine with all of that because it was what I had on hand and it turned out pretty darn good! You could use anything your heart desires, but I highly recommend the Turkey Bacon. It added tons of protein to the pizza and isn't as fattening as regular bacon. I cooked it in the microwave before placing it on the pizza for about 4 minutes (so it wasn't raw), sliced it and threw it on top!
My excitement while taking these pictures was almost obnoxious... almost.
What you can't see in this picture is Cabela trying to eat it, Peter asking when it was going to be ready, my sister with a T-shirt wrapped around her head asking when it would be ready (side note, she read somewhere that it helps with frizz HAHA), and then there's me, smiling with glee ignoring all of them...  we really need our own TV show.
11. Bake the pizza for more 15 minute with toppings or until cheese and edges of the crust are a nice golden brown.

12. Serve, enjoy + try not to eat the entire pizza in one sitting.

Seriously, try to contain your excitement, and your taste buds, while looking at this beauty of a pizza. 
When  I cut into it, it was a piece of pizza (I mean *cake) but when I went to scoop it up with a spatula that was a little harder than expected. I was expecting it to be firm like a slice of pizza would be, but it was much softer. I was able to keep it in tact to take a picture of the slice so you guys could see what it looked like.
Hence, why I made suggestions earlier during the process! The crust was not firm enough to hold like a normal pizza, but still did the trick of packing in the pizza flavor, without the added fat or calories.
So... we ended up eating the pizza with forks. But everyone went back for a seconds and even Peter said it was good... and Peter doesn't lie when it comes to food!
In conclusion (yep, we are gettin' fancy over here), this here Cauliflower Crust did not turn out as I had planned, but it did the job of serving as a healthy alternative to pizza!
Which is all I really wanted : )
And they lived happily, ever after... with pizza.
Nutrition per slice:
130 Calories, 9g Carbs, 6.9g Fat, 8.5g Protein
*Recipe makes 8 slices
Have a fit + fantastic afternoon y'all!

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