Monday, July 16, 2012

Recipe for Cauliflower-Crust Vegetarian Pizza with Mushrooms and Olives (Low-carb, Gluten-free)

Cauliflower-Crust Vegetarian Pizza with Mushrooms and Olives
This low-carb and gluten-free Cauliflower-Crust Vegetarian Pizza can be cooked on the grill or in the oven.

Last year I started noticing cauliflower-crust pizza showing up on healthy cooking blogs, but I didn't pay much attention to the idea until a few readers wrote and said they were sure I would love it.   One person sent me a link to this recipe from Eat. Drink. Smile. and that's the one my nephew Jake and I used as our starting point when we decided to experiment with a cauliflower crust.  It took us three different tries and the addition of both almond meal and grated Parmesan cheese to get a crust that we thought was about as crispy and bread-like as you could get when the main ingredient was cauliflower, and we both loved how the final pizza turned out.  I'm not sure this will ever replace regular pizza for some people, but if you'd like to try a pizza crust that's low-carb, gluten-free, and more nutritious than regular crust made with flour, I think you'll be pleased with this version.

I have a pizza stone for the grill, and that seemed like the perfect way to cook our pizza when it was hot outside, but the inspiring version was cooked in the oven so I'm sure that will work too.  Cooking times will be slightly longer if you don't use a pizza stone.  This cauliflower crust pizza is a good way to get an extra dose of vegetables in your pizza, and this could be a Meatless Monday dish that the whole family will enjoy.  (You can find more meatless recipes by using the label Meatless Monday or checking Vegetarian Recipes in the recipe index, and I'm also doing a meatless slow cooker recipe each Monday on Slow Cooker from Scratch.  For more Meatless Monday ideas from other bloggers, check Meatless Monday at BlogHer, where I write a weekly post spotlighting one of the fabulous meatless recipe ideas I find around the web.)

Here's the pizza stone grilling kit I bought with a pizza stone that goes on the grill.

Before you start to make the crust, start heating your pizza stone on the grill or in the oven.  (If you don't have a pizza stone, just heat the grill or oven.)

You only need one cup of califlower for a crust, but we were going to make several versions, so we buzzed 1/2 large cauliflower in the food processor until it was finely chopped.

Put 1 cup finely chopped cauliflower in the microwave and cook until the cauliflower is soft, 7-8 minutes.

I had a coarsely-grated mozzarella blend, so I used the food processor to chop it up so it would mix into the other crust ingredients better.  (This is way more cheese than the amount used for one pizza!)

Combine the cooked cauliflower, cheese, almond meal, grated Parmesan, oregano, garlic powder, salt and a beaten egg to make the crust.

Spray a sturdy cookie sheet with nonstick spray and then use your fingers to form the crust, spreading it as thin as you can get it.

When your grill or oven temperature reaches 450F/230C, start cooking the crust (on the pizza stone if you have one.  (If you're cooking on the grill without a pizza stone, heat the entire grill and then turn the heat off on one side too cook the crust.)

While the crust cooks, saute the mushrooms and slice the olives.

Take the crust out when it's firm and lightly browned.

Cover the crust with desired toppings.  We used low-sugar pizza sauce, a small amount of finely grated mozzarella, sauteed mushrooms, and black olives.

I put the pizza back on the grill for about 5 minutes more to melt the cheese and heat the toppings, but if you're cooking in the oven you can do this under the broiler.


Cauliflower-Crust Vegetarian Pizza with Mushrooms and Olives (Cooked on the Grill or in the Oven)
(Makes about 2 servings but recipe can easily be doubled.  Adapted from Eat. Drink. Smile.

Crust Ingredients:
1 cup finely chopped cauliflower (chop in food processor or grate with a cheese grater)
1/2 cup finely grated low-fat mozzarella cheese
5 T almond meal
3 T finely grated Parmesan cheese
1 tsp. dried oregano
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
pinch of salt
1 egg, beaten

Pizza Toppings:
1/4 cup low-sugar purchased pizza sauce
2-3 T finely grated mozzarella cheese
4 oz mushrooms, sliced and sauteed
1-2 tsp. olive oil, for sauteeing mushrooms
1/4 cup olives, sliced in half (or more)

Instructions:
Turn on the oven or grill, place the pizza stone inside (if using), and preheat grill or oven to 450F/230C.   (If you don't have a pizza stone I might let the temperature get slightly higher.)

Use a food processor or the large side of a cheese grater to finely chop the cauliflower, until it resembles small kernels of rice.  Put the cauliflower into a bowl and microwave until it's cooked through and soft, about 7-8 minutes.  (Don't add water; the cauliflower will release moisture.)

While the cauliflower cooks, slice the mushrooms, heat the oil in a large frying pan, and saute mushrooms until they're soft and cooked through.  Slice olives in half lengthwise.  (If you don't have finely grated Mozzarella, I would buzz it a few times in the food processor so it's more finely grated.)

In a small bowl, combine the cooked cauliflower, 1/2 cup finely grated low-fat mozzarella, almond meal,  Parmesan cheese, dried oregano, garlic powder, and salt.  Beat the egg with a fork and then mix it into the other ingredients, combining them well. 

Spray a heavy cookie sheet with non-stick spray.  Form the crust ingredients into a ball and place on the cookie sheet, then use your fingers to form the crust, spreading it out as thin as you can get it.  Put the cookie sheet on the pizza stone in the oven or on the grill and cook with the door or lid shut until the crust is firm and lightly browned, about 13-15 minutes.  (If you're cooking the crust on the grill without a pizza stone, you will need to preheat the entire grill, then turn off one side and cook the pizza on that side, using indirect heat from the side that's still turned on.  This will probably add a little to the cooking time.)

When the crust is done, spread with pizza sauce, sprinkle with cheese, and arrange sauteed mushrooms and olives on top.  Put pizza back on the grill to melt the cheese and warm the toppings, or turn the oven to broil and cook it under the broiler for about 3-4 minutes.  Serve hot.

This reheats well, and is even good cold for breakfast!

Printer Friendly Recipe


South Beach Suggestions:
Even with the nutrient-dense foods here like low-glycemic cauliflower and almonds and using low-fat mozzarella, there is still quite a bit of fat in this pizza from mozzarella cheese, Parmesan cheese, almond meal, and olives.  I would consider this a "once-in-a-while-treat" and limit myself to half the pizza shown here for phase one or two of the South Beach Diet.  You could eat it more often for phase three.

Nutritional Information?
I chose the South Beach Diet to manage my weight partly so I wouldn't have to count calories, carbs, points, or fat grams, but if you want nutritional information for a recipe, I recommend entering the recipe into Calorie Count, which will calculate it for you.

More Interesting Pizza Ideas You Might Like:
(Recipes from other blogs not always South Beach Diet friendly; check ingredients.)
Delicious and South Beach Diet Friendly Flatbread Pizza from Kalyn's Kitchen
Grilled Zucchini Pizza Slices from Kalyn's Kitchen
Skillet Tortilla Pizza from Simply Recipes
Gluten-Free Pizza Crust from Gluten-Free Goddess
Bacon, Egg, and Cheese Breakfast Pizza from Barbara Bakes
(Want even more recipes? I find these recipes from other blogs using Food Blog Search.) counter customizable free hit

48 comments:

  1. I've wanted to try this cauliflower crust business for a while now but it just hasn't happened. Your pizza looks so tasty! Thanks for working out the crust recipe for us.

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  2. So glad to see a recipe for cauliflower crust pizza on here! I've been seeing them out there but not from any source I trust like Kalynskitchen!! Thanks!
    Sara

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  3. This is the first I've heard of a cauliflower crust! Sounds interesting, but I love my carbs way too much!

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  4. I keep reading about the cauliflower crusts, but haven't tried it myself. This pizza is gorgeous, Kalyn, and I think it needs to find a place in our Friday pizza night rotation.

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  5. Jake and I were actually surprised at how much we liked this! Glad to hear it sounds good to people.

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  6. Wow. Wow! Wow!! This is fantastic and will be on our grilling menu this week. Although I use cauliflower as a low Carb substitute for many dishes, I never would have thought of using it as a pizza crust. Thank you for this!

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  7. Christine, Jake and I were skeptical but this really was good!

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  8. Hi Kalyn I will be passing this onto Coeliac and Wheat intolerant friends. Night even give it a go myself.
    Great

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  9. Kalyn I have been looking forward to seeing your version since you mentioned it on Twitter. I love the mushroom and olive toppings too.

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  10. Hi Kalyn...I don't have a food processor, can I just cook the cauliflower and then mash it? The recipe sounds good and I'd like to try it...thanks

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  11. I would grate or finely chop the cauliflower with a knife if you don't have a food processor. I don't think mashed cauliflower will work.

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  12. I'm willing to try it!

    I love cauliflower raw...

    Mimi

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  13. Wow! This looks great Kalyn!
    I can't wait to try it. I'm gluten free and vegan and would subsitute Daiya vegan cheese for the cheese and nutritional yeast for the parm.
    I'll let you all know how it turns out.

    Thanks for creating this for us!
    Heidi

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  14. Mimi, it was surprisingly good!

    Heidi would love to hear how the vegan version turns out. Can't think of any reason it would not work.

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  15. Finally, a way to eat cauliflower that I just might like! Must try it.

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  16. What a great looking pizza. This would be my favorite way to eat cauliflower.

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  17. Lydia and Barbara, I think this is a cauliflower recipe for non-cauliflower fans!

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  18. Brilliant!! This is my first time seeing a cauliflower crust but it sounds delicious. I will have to experiment with this too!

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  19. Beautiful pizza! I only recently tried cauliflower crust and I think it's delicious! Your pizza must be absolutely delish, and the photo is wonderful. Pinned!

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  20. Cold for breakfast? That is the true test! I'm not surprised that this pizza passed, Kalyn, as it looks so delish. I've been wanting to make a cauliflower crust pizza. Thanks so much for figuring it all out for me! :-)

    Shirley

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  21. That cauliflower crust pizza is looking really good! I have been wanting to try the cauliflower crust for a while now!

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  22. I'm happy that so many people are interested in trying this! I think there can be endless variations of this recipe.

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  23. Would love to try this, BUT . . . don't have a grill or a pizza stone-- can I still make it? I have a Pampered Chef clay stone pan and a regular oven. Will it work?

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  24. I thought I had made it clear in the recipe that you can make it in the oven or without a pizza stone. You may have to cook the crust longer or at a slightly higher temperature but it will definitely work.

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  25. Thanks I'll try it! I probably skimmed the recipe too fast and missed it.

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  26. We made this tonight, though with wild variation on the toppings and a bit of added flax in the crust - so good!!!! My only addition to the recipe would be to let the pizza rest for five minutes after the final bake; when we first served it up the crust had become a bit soggy, but a few minutes later (after we'd devoured our first servings) it had hardened up again. I've tried a couple of other cauliflower crusts but this is the best by far! Thank you!

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  27. McGirl, so glad you liked it. I had to take pictures of mine before I ate it, so that must have been why I didn't notice the crust being soft at first!

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  28. There is none left over for breakfast around here! Yum!! My store didn't have the Almond Meal, so I subbed Flaxseed Meal. I don't know if that's gluten-free but it worked well :)

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  29. Glad you liked it. I do think Flaxseed meal is gluten free, but I'm not positive.

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  30. On Fridays, I share my favorite food finds in a series called Food Fetish Friday - and I love the crust on this cauliflower crust you created for this pizza so I'm featuring it as part of today's roundup (with a link-back and attribution). I hope you have no objections and I'm happy to be following along with your creations...

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  31. That's great; thanks for the feature.

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  32. Wow! I just made Chinese "faux" fried rice using cauliflower and now I am hooked on substitutions. I cannot wait to try out this 'faux' pizza crust.

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  33. I may have missed the information earlier but roughly how long does the crust take to cook in just the oven?

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  34. I haven't made it in the oven, but since my grill has a temperature gauge the same as the oven, I think the cooking time would be about the same. I would check it a few times to make sure the edges aren't getting too done.

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  35. Is there anything I can substitute for the almond meal? I have everything else but that in the house.

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  36. I haven't tried it with anything else, but if you don't need it to be gluten-free it might work with flour, or maybe quinoa flour or some other type of flour would work. I can't say for sure though.

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  37. I'll give it a try this weekend and report back!

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  38. wondering if Heidi every tried this with Daiya cheese. My son doesn't eat wheat/ dairy/ egg but loves pizza...

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  39. Claire, I don't know but I'm doubtful you can get it to hold together without cheese and egg, because you need something to hold the cauliflower together. You might try googling "vegan cauliflower pizza" to see if anyone has tried it.

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  40. I made this last night substituting whole wheat flour for the almond meal. It worked very well.

    A friend had tried another recipe for cauliflower crust and was not impressed. This was wonderful. My husband loved it as well.

    I'm going to share the link on my blog this weekend, I got a lot of interest on it from the photo I posted on facebook!

    Thanks for an awesome, healthy and easy recipe...I have another cup of cauliflower processed and ready to go, so it looks like this will be dinner again sometime this weekend.

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  41. Just wanted to thank you--this was incredible! My husband is on a low-carb diet, and I try to eat fewer processed carbs, so I thought I'd give this a go...and wow, we were both really impressed. I topped it with roasted peppers and onions, but all other ingredients were more or less the same.

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  42. Just so everyone knows... I was one of those readers who suggested Kalyn try cauliflower cust pizza... so, it's kinda like I'm famous.... :D

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  43. Yaay Sarah, and thanks for suggesting it!

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  44. I'm sorry if I missed it, but what diameter pizza have you made in the photos? Thanks.

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  45. Ann, the size is kind of determined by your pan. I just measured and that pan I used is 9 inches across, so the pizza was slightly smaller than that!

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  46. Thanks, Kalyn. I made it in a traditional pizza pan without going all the way to the edges. I had a little trouble with the cauliflower (I eat it a lot, but never did the rice thing - I wasn't watching it in the microwave and it turned into a burned hockey puck), but succeeded on my second try. The crust is really tasty. A bit high in calorie and fat for me (I made 1/3 pizza a serving) but yummy. Thanks for your help.

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  47. Delicious! I forgot to microwave the cauliflower and it still turned out. It would be even better if I hadn't forgotten that part. I cooked the crust in the oven for almost 20 minutes before topping it.

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