Saturday, August 24, 2013

My Pizza-An Update

I tried this again yesterday with a couple changes.  I also wanted to try using a cookie sheet rather than the pizza stone.  The updates are in red at the bottom...
I learned a lot of things when I joined LLU last year.
 (If you are interested in more about that, click on either LLU or Weight Loss Journey in the LABELS to the right)
One thing I learned is that I have trigger foods. 
These are foods that if I have a bite of, I am hard pressed to stop with usually snowballs from there. 
For me grains are a trigger. 
Another thing I had to learn last year was how to cook for my family in a way that accommodated my lean menu as well as for a family who enjoys bread, pasta and rice. 
 I learned that simply by preparing a lean protein, like chicken, turkey or fish as well as two veggies and a starch, everyone was happy.
I omitted the starch for myself and doubled up on the veggies.  
It worked for us.
Now, I am not saying that I never eat grains, but I know now that if I do so when I am stressed or overwhelmed, I fall back into my comfort foods....pasta, bread...whatever. 
 I can't do that anymore. 
Just can't.
I knew I wanted to make homemade pizza before Shaggy left for school, but also knew the fact that he was leaving home would have my emotions running amok.
I wanted to feel as though I was in on the pizza night as well, so I started looking around for substitutions. 
Cauliflower pizza crust had been brought to my attention and I found a recipe that might just meet my criteria. 
It promised that it would hold up to toppings and be dairy free and gluten free.
The recipe I used is from The Lucky Penny Blog. 
I was still a skeptic because it is after all, cauliflower and not pizza dough.
But to keep me on track both mentally and physically, I was game.
I am here to tell you that is worked like a charm
I changed hers a bit and below is exactly as I made mine. . 
I cut the florets off of a medium size cauliflower and put them through my food processor. Michelle (at Lucky Penny Blog) calls this cauliflower snow.  It does rather feel like that.

 Then pop it into the microwave for 4 minutes.  Let it cool until you can handle it and wring the living daylights out of it in a CLEAN kitchen towel. 
 See how much water was in it?
 Same bowl.

To the cauliflower, add:
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
2 tablespoons almond meal
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 egg

Smoosh it all up with your hands until fully incorporated.
Dump out onto a parchment paper lined sheet pan or pizza peel. 
 Press firmly into a disk shape. 
 You want it pack it tightly so it stays together.
  This is where I erred on the side of caution. 
I made it a bit too thick because I was afraid of it falling apart. 
 I thought I wanted a rim to hold the toppings on...turns out it wasn't necessary. 
 I also should have made it thinner.  It tasted fine, but took a longer time to cook.

Preheat your oven to 450 with the pizza stone inside.
I think you could probably make this in a cookie sheet, but might not firm up as much on the underside as with the stone.
Transfer the parchment paper and crust to the stone and bake for 12 minutes...mine took closer to 20.
When it comes out it should be golden.
Now add your toppings. 
I used my homemade Marinara, diced, cooked chicken, mushrooms and basil.
Pop it back in the oven until bubbly and hot.
 I only ate half of it. 
I saved the rest for lunch the following day and it still held up pretty well after being reheated.
  Does this taste like a normal pizza crust? 
Did it fuel my body and head properly?
Did it make me feel like I was eating pizza like my family? 
 It is a terrific and tasty alternative and I will make this often.

Okay...I prepped the cauliflower in the same way, but used an orange cauliflower instead. 
 Right off the bat, it looked prettier. 
I also pressed the mixture VERY thing...probably 1/8" thick. 
I baked in on  a lined cookie sheet for 15 minutes. 
The results? 
The edges got crispy and the top was a gorgeous golden color. 
The underneath was still very soft....
I placed a second cookie sheet on top and flipped the entire thing over and back into the oven for another 10 minutes. 
 This enables the bottom (now top) to cook and firm up.
The verdict? 
It was good. 
A Pizza stone, while not a necessity does make this easier and faster.
It was too thin to have held up to pizza toppings, but for just a side dish, it was very good. 


Anonymous said...

You have definitly intrigued me with this.
I will try it!
I can just see my guys noses turning up now. I'll be they won't attempt to try it. LoL

Janice said...

Glad I was checking out your blog again- I haven't tried anything like this and need to. I don't think I'll be able to convert Bill to this but it would be nice to enjoy while he's enjoying his. I have 'converted' him to my homemade spaghetti sauce on spaghetti squash. It isn't his fav, but he likes knowing he's getting the veges in.