Kiss That Crust Goodbye

Your eyes meet from across the room. An intoxicating smell wafts under your nose and draws you in for a taste. You lick your lips and fall weak at the knees as you think to yourself, what a total babe.

Pizza. That’s right. The man of our dreams can easily fall second string to pizza the moment you and your first cheesy bite lock lips.

Well ladies—today I am kissing pizza crust goodbye and creating a cauliflower crust alternative. With this recipe, we can start a healthy relationship with our pizzas.

The Daily News in 2014 predicted cauliflower would be the “kale of 2015”. Cauliflower has built a reputation for its versatility to be used instead of potatoes, steak, even pizza crust.

Cauliflower is a healthy alternative packed with vitamin A, vitamin B, vitamin C, and manganese. These vitamins boost your metabolism and strengthen your immune system.

Cauliflower also cuts calories. One pound of cauliflower has 113 calories whereas one pound of pizza dough has 1,164 calories.

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From fatsecret.com
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From recipes.sparkpeople.com

I researched 30 different cauliflower crust recipes all claiming to be the best to decipher how I would make this crust. Shopping list in one hand and cart in the other, I tackled the aisles of Walmart to buy ingredients not already in my kitchen.

For the crust:

  • 1 bag of chopped cauliflower (equivalent to a medium sized head)
  • 1 bag of Kraft shredded Mozzarella
  • 1 garlic glove
  • 1 carton of eggs

For the toppings:

  • 1 can tomato basil pizza sauce
  • 2 bell peppers
  • 1 red onion
  • 1 zucchini

I decided to go with a roasted veggie pizza like this one, but feel free to experiment with different toppings.

To start, I took my pre-chopped bag of cauliflower and followed package instructions for steaming it in the microwave.

One step every recipe I researched had in common was to squeeze the liquid out of your cooked cauliflower. This step is crucial for getting a crispy crust.

In a large bowl I added 1/4 cup mozzarella cheese, 1/4 cup parmesan cheese, one egg, and 2 cloves of minced garlic.

After combining those ingredients I added 1 teaspoon of dried basil leaves, 1 teaspoon of oregano, and a pinch of salt, pepper and garlic powder.

I prepared a pan with parchment paper and a little olive oil before placing the mixture on top of it. Make sure to leave the crust about a centimeter thick.

Cook the crust in the oven at 425 degrees for 20-30 minutes, or until golden brown.

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Once your crust is cooked assemble your pizza. For this veggie pizza, I used four tablespoons of tomato sauce, one cup of mozzarella cheese, and piled my chopped veggies on top.

Place the pizza back into the oven for ten minutes or until the cheese is melting and your vibrant low-calorie dish is ready to go.

For the taste test, I held my breath. Could this pizza crust replace one I had loved for so long? Eyes closed and open-mouthed I bit into something that exceeded all my expectations. This pizza was delicious!

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I asked my roommate to come take a bite. “WOW!” She exclaimed.

The crust is packed with flavor. And the personal pie was so filling I did not reach for a second slice.

Overall this recipe took one hour to make, including preparation and clean up. I have officially fallen in love with a new kind of pizza; one that is healthy, filling, and aromatic.

And the text from my roommate asking me to make it again shows me that I’m not the only one.

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