Guilt-free pizza (so there, Doctor!)

There IS a way to fight back when the doctor says no more pizza.

I’m going to tell you right away that you’ll be arming yourself with a cauliflower pizza crust. Don’t stop reading! Instead, take a good look at this recipe, try it, and I guarantee you’ll quickly prefer this to regular pizza even if the doctor rescinds his orders.

I found this recipe online, but of course I wasn’t Cauliflower crust pizzasatisfied with it as is and decided to tweak it. For one thing, it was pretty plain. For another, it called for tomato sauce, which doesn’t agree with me.

So, to start, here are the ingredients I finally came up with:

Nonstick spray
2-1/2 cups grated cauliflower, or about one-half a large head
1 large egg, beaten lightly
1-1/4 cups shredded mozzarella cheese (I tend to use a bit more)
2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
garlic salt and coarsely ground black pepper
onion powder
garlic powder
2 avocados
lime juice
1 cup of grape tomatoes, sliced in half, or less if you prefer
1/2 boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut into half-inch cubes (or more if you’re a meat-lover)
crushed red pepper flakes
fresh basil leaves (optional)

Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper, and preheat oven to 425°.

Grate the cauliflower using a box grater until you have 2-1/2 cups of cauliflower crumbles. Place in large bowl and microwave on high for about 8 minutes, or until soft. Remove from microwave and let cool.

While the cauliflower is cooking in the microwave, cut the raw chicken breast half into half-inch squares, and make a single layer in the bottom of a shallow baking dish. Sprinkle with garlic salt, pepper and thyme. Pour water over them to about halfway up the pieces. Cover and cook on high in the microwave for 3 or 4 minutes. Remove and set aside for now.

Now mix the beaten egg, one cup of mozzarella, Parmesan cheese, garlic salt and pepper with cooled cauliflower. Once it’s combined, pat into a 10-inch round on the prepared pan. Spray lightly with nonstick spray and bake for 10 to 15 minutes until it’s golden.

While the cauliflower is baking, scoop out the insides of of the avocados and mash together with lime juice, garlic powder and onion powder, to taste. (If using one of those plastic lime-shaped containers filled with lime juice, I use about 4 healthy squeezes.)

Top the cauliflower crust with the avocado mixture, chicken cubes, 1/4 cup of mozzarella cheese (I use a bit more than that because we like cheese) and grape tomatoes. Sprinkle with garlic powder and crushed red pepper flakes (how much depends on how hot you like your food). Bake in the oven for about 10 minutes, until the cheese is melted.

If you like, top with fresh basil.

Even if you don’t like cauliflower, you’ll like this, because all the other herbs and ingredients mask the mild cauliflower taste. They don’t mask the vitamins, though, and you get a crust with far fewer carbs than with a regular pizza crust.

This pizza is extremely low in bad fat, low in carbs, and full of things that are really good for you. But it belies the old adage that says to be healthy, “if it tastes good, spit it out.” You’ll be asking for seconds on this one, and feeling so smug that you’ve bested that spoilsport doctor!

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About Monica Sawyn

I'm a retired newspaper reporter/columnist, and although I still freelance, I miss the weekly column I used to write. I still "see columns" in everyday life and need a place to put them after they're written--thus, this blog. I'm Catholic, have been a Benedictine oblate since 1977, and live with my husband and our beagle in Sturgeon Bay, Wis. When I'm not writing, I'm probably reading, sewing, taking photos or walking the dog. I actually have two blogs here: one about ordinary things at monicaspen.wordpress.com; and one about Catholic and Benedictine things at heartsponderings.wordpress.com.
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8 Responses to Guilt-free pizza (so there, Doctor!)

  1. Denise says:

    Can’t wait to try it and I go food shopping tomorrow!

  2. Monica Sawyn says:

    I’m glad you’re going to try it. I think you’ll love it. Let me know.

  3. Jennifer says:

    I have been trying to reduce my carb intake for quite a while and one of the hardest things for me to give up was pizza. My friend and I are going to have a retro movie night and give this pizza a try!

  4. blb1 says:

    Day late reading but Monica no way will I use my oven during our triple digits. Oh ok I don’t really use the oven any more. 😉 Sure is pretty though.

  5. Monica says:

    I read this post last week, and ever since the idea of Cauliflower crust was spinning in my head..I have always love cauliflower, especially if it is warm.. so I got to it today.. but like you…. maybe it is something related to the name Monica… I had to tweak it….. I added chopped portabella mushrooms and green onions to the crust… I had learn to eat spicy so I added some yellow chili powder to the crust… then while crust was cooking… I made a salad, with spring lettuce mix, chopped celery, sliced olives, grill chicken, grill zucchinis, avocados, fresh mozzarella and I dressed the mix with avocado oil and balsamic vinegar…. I first cooked the crust and later added the salad as a topping.. oooohh!!!!! soooooo delicious. Thank you for this idea, I had given up on pizza so long ago. Due to the outrageous amount of “weight watchers points” a slice of pizza kills from one’s diet.. and by my own experience of having too much of it and had to deal with loosing the extra weight afterwards.

    • Monica Sawyn says:

      I love your tweakings! There are endless ways to switch this recipe up. Like you, I like things spicy. My doctor told me I had to lower cholesterol and sugar, so I’m doing things like this. Not so much deleting foods from my diet, as adding healthy things, like grape-seed oil. I suspect I’ll be doing new things to this recipe just about every time I try it. 🙂

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