March 3, 2014

Carb Free Cauliflower Crust Pizza

Hi everyone!

Tonight I made a pizza with a cauliflower crust. I was very skeptical when I kept seeing pins on Pinterest featuring cauliflower crusts. However, I decided to give it a try since I love pizza and rarely eat it due to the traditional flour crust. This is a great recipe for anyone who is gluten free or who wants to enjoy pizza without the guilt of eating mass quantities of carbs. Trust me, my boyfriend is a BIG TIME pizza lover. He was extremely skeptical of this recipe and I have to admit, I was a little too once I started prepping the "dough." But he really liked it! And that's saying a lot. What you lose in crust, you make up for with cheese! :-)

Step one is to add your pizza stone or baking sheet into a 450F oven. Cut your small head of cauliflower away from the stems. You don't need a huge head, just a small one.

Next, add your cauliflower to a food processor. A blender may work if you don't have a food processor. You want it to look like cauliflower "snow," not pureed. You should end up with 2-3 cups of "snow." Then place the "snow" into a bowl and microwave for 4 minutes. Why? I have no idea, but that's what the original recipe I found said. Once you take it out, let it cool!! Leave it for about 15 minutes because you will need to squeeze the moisture out of it and it'll burn your hands if you don't let it cool off. Once cool, dump into a tea towel and then wring it to death until barely any more water comes out. I took advantage of my boyfriends upper body strength for this part. :-)

The cauliflower will reduce down immensely. It will make you question what you're doing... just stick with me here! Once all the water is squeezed out, transfer this pulpy stuff to a bowl. Now add the mozzarella, parmesan, egg, and spices. It will start to resemble something you can work with, believe me. Use your hands to really mix it all together well. Then form it into a ball. Place a piece of parchment paper or Silpat onto a cutting board or your counter. Spray with cooking spray. Take the dough ball out of the bowl and put on center of oiled parchment. Knead it out into a circular shape, so that it's about a 10" circle of dough. Use your fingers to smooth the edges and try to keep it all a uniform thickness. Pop it onto the heated stone/baking sheet for 8 to 11 minutes until it is golden brown. It'll look like this...

Now comes the fun part! No more weird cauliflower to dough transformation... Put as much sauce and cheese as you like. Add other toppings if you wish. I used a basic pizza sauce from Trader Joe's, fresh mozzarella, and shaved parmesan. I also sprinkled a little oregano on top. But you know what you like on your pizza, so be creative. Once your toppings are on, place back into the oven for 5-8 minutes until cheese is bubbly and just starts to brown. Ta-da!

Look, the boy couldn't even resist. I caught him already stealing a piece before we sat down. ;-) And he really enjoyed it. In his words, "You can't even taste the cauliflower." So there you have it... a very low-carb, delicious pizza chock full of vitamins and fiber.

Carb Free Cauliflower Crust Pizza
Adapted from Tasty Kitchen

1 head (Small Head) Cauliflower
1/4 cups Parmesan Cheese
1/4 cups Mozzarella Cheese
1/4 teaspoons Kosher Salt
1/2 teaspoons Dried Basil
1/2 teaspoons Dried Oregano
1/2 teaspoons Garlic Powder
1 whole Egg
Pizza sauce
Pizza toppings of your choice

Preheat oven to 450F and insert baking sheet or pizza stone. Cut your small head of cauliflower florets away from stem. Place florets into a food processor and pulse until it resembles "snow." Place "snow" into a bowl and microwave for 4 minutes. Once heated, dump out "snow" onto a tea towel. Let cool for 15 minutes, then wring out all the water VERY WELL while snow is in tea towel.

Place the leftover pulp into a medium sized bowl and add cheese, salt, spices, and egg. Mix all together using your hand. Form a dough ball. Transfer dough ball onto a piece of parchment paper sprayed with cooking spray that is on top of a cutting board or counter. Knead dough out into approximately a 10" circle. Make sure the dough is uniform thickness across and use your fingers to pinch the edges if they start crumbling.

Place crust onto the stone/baking sheet with parchment paper for 8-11 minutes until golden brown.

When crust is done, remove using the parchment. You can leave the stone or baking sheet in the oven. Top crust with pizza sauce, more cheese, and any other toppings you like. Place back on stone or baking sheet for 5-8 minutes until cheese is bubbly and just starting to brown. Remove and let cool before slicing with a pizza cutter.



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