I’ve seen a few recipes floating around these days talking about using riced cauliflower as a substitute for rice, but it was this recipe for using it to make a pizza crust that intrigued me most.
The idea of having a low-carb, nutritious option for when I have some of my gluten-free friends over for pizza night sounded great. Little did I know that I would fall in love with this simple, tasty recipe. However, there were a few speed bumps along the way, which I include in this post. We all know that not all recipes work out when you make them and you sometimes have to fiddle around a bit…which can be half the fun 😉
What you’ll need:
1 cup Cooked, Riced Cauliflower (see directions below)
1 cup Low-Fat Mozzarella Cheese
1 tsp Dried Oregano
1 tsp Dried Parsley
1 tsp Dried Basil
Whatever pizza toppings you prefer, just make sure that any meats are cooked.
To make the riced cauliflower, you need about 3 cups of raw chopped cauliflower to make 1 cup riced. Place the pieces into a covered microwavable dish (do not add water!) and microwave until it is cooked, approx 8 minutes. Using oven mitts, carefully pour out any water and allow to cool.
If you don’t have a microwave, follow these directions:
Steam large pieces for a few minutes until they are cooked through, but not soft. Remove the pieces from the pot and let cool until you can safely handle them.
Now for both steamed and microwaved cauliflower, you need to grate the pieces to create a rice-like consistency. You can also use a ricer, food processor or sharp knife. Using your hands, squeeze as much moisture out of the riced cauliflower as you can. You’ll be surprised by how much water there really is!
In a medium bowl, combine cauliflower, egg and mozzarella.
Press the mixture onto a baking sheet and sprinkle evenly with basil, oregano and parsley. Now this is where I made my first mistake. I used a greased baking sheet which the crust got stuck to as it cooked. The next time I tried this I went with parchment paper instead, but we’ll get to that in a minute.
Bake at 450 degrees for 12-15 minutes (15-20 minutes if you double the recipe).
Remove from the oven, turn up the oven to broiler and add on whatever sauce, cheese and toppings you prefer. Place under the broiler just until the cheese is melted.
See how it got stuck? It ended up falling apart a bit because I was trying so hard to lift it. Still tasted amazing, but it came out more like a bowl of pizza stuff, than an actual pizza. So now its onto take two!…
This time I decided to mix up the cheese and added half low-fat mozzarella and half low-fat old cheddar. I also doubled the recipe because I wanted to make a bunch of mini pizzas that I could freeze for easy weeknight dinners.
I learned my lesson with the greased pan and used my trusty parchment paper this time. Easy to just peel off the paper, perfect for layering in the freezer bags AND super fast clean up. (Nobody likes scraping cooked cauliflower off their baking sheets…even if you can try and kid yourself that its an arm workout).
This time the mini pizzas came out fantastic. Perfectly portioned mini pizzas that are thin and crunchy, but still gooey and cheesy at the same time. I made the one of the right into a square because I wanted to try it out as a pizza sandwich for lunch the next day (like a flatbread). Sooo good!
I loaded up my mini pizza with homemade pomodoro sauce, sauteed veggies and ground chicken, a little more low-fat old cheddar and a nice big shake of parmesan. Just pop it back into the oven with the broiler on until the cheese is melted.
And volia! Low-carb, high-flavour pizza deliciousness. With lots of cheese. I can’t live without cheese. Lifeblood I tell ya.
I’m looking forward to trying lots of different variations on this recipe now that I have a bunch of mini pizza crusts frozen in the freezer. Taco Pizza? Bruschetta Pizza? Anything-and-everything-left-in-the-fridge Pizza? The options are endless!