Monday, January 20, 2014

Mini Cauliflower Crust Pizza

I am a Registered Dietitian and I eat pizza.  In fact pizza is one of my favorite foods.  Do I eat large amounts of pizza everyday?  The answer is no.  My philosophy is all foods can fit into a balanced diet when consumed in moderation and coupled with adequate physical activity.

During a post last year I discussed, Your Guide to Eating Healthier Pizza.  One tip I did not offer in this post was using cauliflower rice for pizza crust.  After seeing multiple recipes for Cauliflower Crust on Pinterest I finally decided to give the concept a shot.  I found a recipe from the Lucky PennyThe Best Cauliflower Crust Pizza and wanted to test if the title really held some truth.  The recipe passed the test!

DISCLAIMER: Although the Cauliflower Crust Pizza has a delicious and lower calorie outcome, the preparation is not easy.  Specifically for first timers, allow yourself a bit of time and patience.  If the instructions are not followed precisely you will not have a favorable outcome.  A few steps to not avoid include properly squeezing the liquid content from the cauliflower (see recipe instructions) and cooking the the crust (before sauce is added) until browned.

Of additional note the process may add a slightly unpleasant odor to your kitchen.  My kitchen certainly had an unpleasant smell for a bit, but quickly went away.

For today's post I followed the recipe from the folks at The Lucky Penny.  However instead of making one large pizza I divided the dough into sixths and made fun Valentines shaped mini pizzas.  You could certainly get creative!

I promise you this will be a recipe you love!

Your family's dietitian,
Kristen Smith
Mini Cauliflower Crust Pizza

by Kristen Smith
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Keywords: appetizer entree
Ingredients (varies)
    • 1 small to medium sized head of cauliflower (should yield 2 to 3 cups once processed), washed and chopped (remove stems)
    • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
    • 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
    • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
    • 1/4 cup shredded parmesan cheese, shredded
    • 1/4 cup low fat mozzarella cheese, shredded
    • 1 egg, beaten
    • optional: 1/2 teaspoon of garlic powder
    • 1 - 1 1/2 cup low fat (2%) mozzarella cheese, shredded
    • 1/2 - 1 cup pizza sauce
    1. Preheat over to 450 degrees Fahrenheit. Place a pizza stone in the oven, or baking sheet if you don't have a pizza stone. On a cutting board, place a large piece of parchment paper.
    2. Wash and dry a small head of 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.
    3. Once cauliflower is cool enough to handle, wrap it up in the dish towel and ring the heck out of it. You want to squeeze out as much water as possible to ensure a chewy pizza rather than a crumbly mess.
    4. Add ringed out cauliflower into a large mixing bowl. Add remaining ingredients for crust and mix well with large spoon (may even need to mix with hands).
    5. Form "dough" into a ball. Break away portions of the dough (about 1/6) to create a mini pizza. You can either make small round mini pizzas or fun shapes of your choice. For the round version roll into small balls and press evenly onto parchment paper (Note: I was also successful in making recipe without parchment paper just using non-stick cooking spray). For the fun shapes place cookie cutter onto parchment and pat dough inside cookie dough. Once you remove cookie cutter dough should keep shape.
    6. Once all mini pizzas formed carefully transfer parchment paper baking sheet or pizza stone (may need to remove stone or baking sheet from oven for a minute). Bake at 450 degrees for at least 10 minutes or until crust is nicely browned. The crust will not really cook once cheese is added so make sure to cook well.
    7. Remove from oven and spread sauce and add remaining cheese. Top with any other desired toppings. Cook for additional 5 minutes or until cheese slightly browned.
    Serving size: 1/6 • Servings: 6 • Calories: 136.5 kcal • Protein: 10.5 g • Carbs: 9.5 g • Fat: 6.6 g • Fiber: 2.9 g • Sugar: 2.5 g • Sodium: 520.7 mg
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    1. Very cute looking pizza...and beautifully made.. look very tempting.

    2. This pizza is perfect for me I get tired of the red sauce pizza's



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