Friday, February 26, 2016

Guilt (and GRAIN) Free Pizza!

Friday's. What is it about Pizza Friday's being THE way to start the weekend?  The pizza cravings usually start to roll in around noonish. Then I usually get an email from Pizza Hut an hour or so later, just taunting me with those delectable (and free) crust do they know?! And to make matters worse, Friday nights have turned into my movie nights with Damon. Seriously though, what goes better together than a movie and pizza?! Throw a snugly and adorable toddler in there and I mean come on, who can resist.

Today, when the pizza cravings hit, I decided that I wanted to make my own pizza! Again. Do you know what I hated about my previous cauliflower crusts? I've had the obvious - way too soggy and crumbly which falls apart when you try to pick it up. I've had the way too thick crust that only bakes halfway through and sticks to the bottom anyway. Also, I don't play around when it comes to size on pizza night. We need pizza to feed an army basically.... so here's what I did tonight, it was pretty darn successful! Forget everything you know about parchment paper and give it a shot! Let me know if you enjoy it =)

Guilt and Grain Free Cauliflower Crust


1- 2 lb bag cauliflower florets
1/2 tsp sea salt
1 tsp dried basil
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp garlic powder
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
1/4 cup shredded mozzarella
2 eggs
about a 1/4 cup almond meal


1. Preheat oven to 450

2. I used almost a full bag of these cauliflower florets (I have probably about a cup leftover). Cut any long stems off and put the florets in the food processor. Chop in the processor for about 30 seconds, until you don't see any big pieces left and you're left with a fine rice texture. I did this in two batches and ended up with about 7 cups of "cauliflower rice"

3. Combine all the cauliflower rice in a microwavable bowl, cover but keep it vented so the steam doesn't stay in, and microwave for 4 minutes. 

4. Now the REAL FUN begins. I never said this was an easy process...yummy and worth it though!  Dump the cauliflower onto a clean kitchen towel. Let it cool for a few minutes before you wrap it all up and wring the heck out of it to get all that extra moisture out. This step really contributes to getting a crust that's chewy and not just crumby and moist. I probably got over a cup of water out of my towel! Put that muscle into it! 

5. Back into the bowl goes the rice. Now add your seasonings, eggs, cheese and the secret weapon - almond meal! I used about 1/4 cup.

6. All recipes I have read say to preheat pans and use parchment paper. Forget it all. A baking pan sprayed with olive oil spray is what I used. Form your cauliflower mixture into a dough ball with your hands. Plop it down onto your pre-sprayed baking sheet and flatten into a crust. Mine fit the whole pan perfectly! 

7. The baking time for your crust will depend on your oven. It's important to watch for color rather than go by time. Watch for that nice golden brown crust color that you know and love so much. Mine took about 20 minutes at 450 degrees. 

8. Remove crust from oven when it's nice and golden brown. Top with an organic, no sugar added pizza sauce and have your favorite little one sprinkle on the cheese. Top with parsley sprinkles and pop it back into the oven. Bake until bubbly - about 5 minutes!

 This crust cuts very easily. I used a regular old pizza cutter but didn't press very hard so I didn't damage my pan. Using a large spatula, the pieces came up SO easily and didn't fall apart! They were delicious and I didn't feel an ounce of guilt from eating 6 slices  =)

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