Okay so recently I have been trying to train myself to live a healthier lifestyle. (Especially with the dreaded swimsuit season fast approaching.) So I’ve really been looking at what I eat, what I do for activities, and what products I’ve been using. I want to feel like a superhero-athlete-model 100% of the time (I want to feel like I can conquer the world and look like an absolute badass doing it) and that outcome takes a lot of daily choices that I need to start making.
One of which is healthier eating. I never really considered my appetite one that was outlandishly bad for me, I LOVE veggies and incorporate them in every meal, but I have a ton of junk food indulgences that I need to stop. (Midnight drunk food trips to halel stands?…erm…guilty…) I mean, I enjoy stuff that is good for me, why not just stick with that? I realize that sometimes they don’t seem as exciting if I’ve had the same meals over and over again–so it’s time for me to be adventurous and branch out from the overdone stirfrys and salads.
Thus leads me to the DUN DUN DUNNNNN: Cauliflower Crust Pizza! (I don’t know why I added the ‘dun dun dunnn’ it’s actually not menacing at all…) I have been hearing about this dish a lot and thought I would give it to go. I mean, I love cauliflower, I love pizza…so why not? I was a little worried the prep would be a little too crazy for me to handle on a work night, but it actually turned out better than I thought! Here’s what Idid:
Step One: Gather ingredients
NOTE: This first attempt was a huge improvisation/test, so I did not follow the recipe 100% like I should have. (Recipe I kind of followed here.) Second Note: I don’t have a ton of time to make multiple grocery stops during my week, so a lot of these ingredients are just things I had in my fridge and not gourmet/fresh… (i.e. garlic, parmesan…) I also didn’t have the shredded mozzarella cheese, which I will explain later on why I regret that. (And yes, I was too lazy to shred the little mozzarella balls. Girl had to sleep and couldn’t waste all night on this!) While I got everything I needed, I set the oven to 425 degrees to heat up!
Step Two: Sauté some garlic & tomatoes
Remember how I said I didn’t follow the recipe 100%? Yeah, this step was part of that. Instead of tomato sauce, I decided I just wanted to sauté some grape tomatoes with garlic & seasoning. No regrets with this choice. If you’d like to replicate what I did, in a small pan combine: 2 tbsp olive oil, some halved grape tomatoes (eyeball it…I think I did like 10 or so, but the more the merrier!), 1 tbsp minced garlic (or maybe more. I love garlic…thus my fantasy of marrying Damon Salvatore from Vampire Diaries could never be… #heartbreak), 1.5 tbsp balsamic vinegar. Season to taste with dried basil, dried oregano, pepper, salt, onion powder, and red pepper flakes. Set your heat to medium and stir frequently. When the tomatoes become a little tender, put them to the side. (Don’t worry, they’ll be heated up again later when you pop this all in the oven.)
Step Three: Make dat crust!
This step actually had me the most worried for time constraints! But then I realized my magical blender actually had a chop function! OH HAPPY DAY! Never again shall I pine for a food processor because this baby DID THE TRICK! So after I cut my 1/2 head of cauliflower into florets (keeping most of the stalk because waste not, want not–amirite?) I chopped them babies up in mr. magicblender until they were a fine crumble. Then I popped these delightful crumbles into the microwave for a bit.
NOTE: This next part holds my biggest regrets for this recipe, so heed my wisdom and learn!
In a medium mixing bowl, I combined the warmed crumbles, a pre-whisked egg, and grated parmesan. I also sprinkled in some pepper and salt by sight for seasoning. What I did not have/combine is the shredded mozzarella–which I regret because that one thing would have served as better glue to hold the crust together. (Instead I ended up with kind of a flaky mess of a crust as an outcome–ah well, we’re not all perfect on our first try, are we?) Once your satisfied with your mixing skills, set the “dough” aside while you lay out some parchment paper on a baking sheet. Then gently spray that sheet with some cooking spray. I did not have cooking spray so I drizzled a tsp of olive oil on the sheet and spread it thin. (MY SECOND REGRET! The olive oil actually ended up probably moistening the crust far more than I would have liked. And I wanted it crunchy! Try and get some cooking spray if you can or your crust might be just as soggy as mine!)
Once your pan is set up, spoon on your “dough” and pat it down so it forms a thin-ish crust. Pop that sucker in the oven until it is golden brown. The longest part of this step was just waiting for things to heat! Not a pain at all!
Step Four: Top it off
Once your crust is nice and golden, take it out and spread all your toppings on. I cut up some fresh basil, mozzarella bites, and some additional grape tomatoes to add to my tomato-balsamic-garlic mixture on top. I added a dash of more seasoning (red crushed pepper, oregano, grated parm, salt, pepper) to the top before popping this mouth watering morsel back in the oven to get all melty.
After a short period of time: WAH-LAH! Your healthier pizza alternative is complete!
Now, like I said, when I did it, it didn’t turn out perfect. It actually fell apart a little so I was forced to eat it with a fork. (SIGH!) But the taste–the taste was absolutely delicious! I didn’t miss the carb-y crust at all. And the fresh combination not only filled me but didn’t make me feel like a gross, greasy troll after consuming it. WIN! In short, I would so (and will) make it again!! (This time following the recipe a little more closely!)
So what do you think? Will you try this recipe? If you did, how did it come out for you? Leave a comment to this! Or if you have a healthier dish than this for me to try, please let me know!