|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.)
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!)
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.)
(Makes about 2 servings but recipe can easily be doubled. Adapted from Eat. Drink. Smile.
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
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)
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!
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.
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.)