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Friday, March 7, 2014

Pizza- Cauliflower Crust Success Story

This week has been a pretty good week.

Monday:  Body Pump
Tuesday:  3 mile run
Wednesday:  Body Pump
Thursday:  Rode the horses
Friday:  5 mile run
Saturday:  15 (i hope) mile run.

I have also been cooking up some delicious and healthy meals  (spiralizer!).  If you have been reading this blog you have been with me through the ups, the downs, oh and all the pizza fails.  I could probably write an entire blog on pizza fails.   But I won't so you can read about them HERE  oh and HERE Regular crust, zucchini crust, cauliflower crust, I have destroyed them all.  

Well today kids.  I have a success story (GASP)!  APPLAUD!  I have made several successful normal pizzas, but have never mastered the other crusts-  until this week.

This girl finally made a decent veggie "crust" pizza!  

While wasting away the hours on instagram, Jill posted a delicious looking image of a cauliflower crust pizza- and she said it was succesfull.  

Challenge accepted.

I had a head of cauliflower I need to used (and I love cauliflower) and had a hankering for pizza.  Thursday night I channeled the pizza gods and attempted to make a cauliflower crust. I used This Recipe from Tasty Kitchen to make my crust.  And for the first time.. it was edible. 
Not just edible, it was downright delicious! 

Some really important things to remember when following her recipe:   Cauliflower in the food processor, microwave the cauliflower, and use a dish towel to squeeze all the water out.  I was amazed how much water came out and how much the cauliflower started to resemble dough. 

Adding the cheese and spices is what makes this crust so delicious.  This was after adding everything and pressing out the dough, and before cooking it.  Not too thin, not too thick- justttt right.  Another key here is to heat up your pan or pizza stone in the oven and put your raw dough on a hot pan.  Cook it on an oiled peicce of parchment paper and it will slide off like a champ.

This was the crust after it had cooked and ready for topping. You want it set but you don't want it too cooked so it burns when you add your toppings.  About 15 minutes until the edges were browning.  

Back in the oven until the cheese melt and topping cooked.  
I even threw it under the broiler for a few minutes (keep a close eye!).
( I could also write an entire blog on broiler fails...)

And when it was all said and done- this was my masterpeice.  Beautiful, and delicious 

It cut up like it should have, looked like it should have.  

I could even pick it up and eat it like a pizza slice!

Follow her recipe and don't skip any steps.  If I can do it... so can you.
Oh and if it fails miserable tell me all about it because those pizza fail stories are way better than the success stories.  

DISCLAIMER:  While I call this pizza, I do not consider this pizza and by no means can this substitute the beautiful delicious creation that is real crusted pizza.  It is a nice mid week meal that is delicious in its own right and a great way to incorporate more veggies.  
But pizza on a doughy crust cannot be replaced :) 


Original Recipe as seen on The Lucky Penny Blog 
                                            makes one approx. 10-12 inch pizza

1 small to medium sized head of cauliflower - should yield 2 to 3 cups once processed
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon dried basil (crush it even more between your fingers)
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano (crust it even more between you fingers)
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
optional a few shakes of crushed red pepper
1/4 cup shredded parmesan cheese
1/4 cup mozzarella cheese
1 egg
optional 1 tablespoon almond meal

Place a pizza stone in the oven, or baking sheet if you don't have a pizza stone. Preheat oven to 450 degrees. On a cutting board, place a large piece of parchment paper and spray it with nonstick cooking oil. 

CAULIFLOWER:  Cut off the florets, you don't need much stem. Pulse in your food processor for about 30 seconds, until you get powdery snow like cauliflower. Place the cauliflower in a microwave safe bowl and cover. Microwave for 4 minutes. Dump cooked cauliflower onto a clean tea towel and allow to cool for a bit before attempting the next step.

Once cauliflower is cool enough to handle, wrap it up in the dish towel and wring the heck out of it. You want to squeeze out as much water as possible. This will ensure you get a chewy pizza like crust instead of a crumbly mess. 

Dumped ringed out cauliflower into a bowl. Now add 1/4 cup parmesan cheese, 1/4 cup mozzarella cheese, 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt, 1/2 teaspoon dried basil (crush up the leaves even more between your fingers before adding), 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano (crush up the leaves even more between your fingers before adding), 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder (not garlic salt), and a dash of red pepper if you want. I also added 1 tablespoon almond meal because my cauliflower yielded closer to 2 cups of cauli snow, this is optional and I would not add the almond meal if you have closer to 3 cups of cauli snow. Now add your egg and mix away. Hands tend to work best. 

Once mixed together, use your hands to form the dough into a crust on your oiled parchment paper. Pat it down thoroughly, you want it nice and tightly formed together. Don't make it too thick or thin either.

Using a cutting board slide the parchment paper onto your hot pizza stone or baking sheet in the oven. Bake for 8 - 11 minutes, until it starts to turn golden brown. Remove from oven.

Add however much sauce, cheese, and toppings you want. I'm not gonna give you measurements for this. You know how you like your pizza - so go for it! Slide parchment with topped pizza back in the hot oven and cook for another 5 to 7 minutes until the cheese is melted, bubbly, and slightly golden.

Test your patience and allow it to cool for a minute or two. Probably closer to two. Then using a pizza cutter and a spatula serve up your delicious grain-free cauliflower crust pizza!

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