Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Cauliflower Pizza Crust - Low Carb

Here are the pictures of my pizza experiments and opinion/review of a pizza crust made from cauliflower.

I used a whole head of fresh cauliflower, shredded up with no seasonings, 1 cup of mozzarella and two eggs, which I split into two batches.

This first pic is of the raw cauliflower before cooking after being shredded in the food processor. I then cooked it covered for 6 minutes in the microwave.

This next picture is of the cooked cauliflower with the cheese and egg mixed in. Looks kinda like scrambled eggs.

Then the mini pizza crust cooked.

And the mini topped and cooked the second time. The minis were too thick, so if I do those again they will be MUCH thinner. Side Note: I did discover that I would really like these minis cooked this way just plain by themselves as a cauliflower side dish however!

Here I was doing a larger pizza made on a small 12" teflon pizza pan sprayed with EVOO cooking spray. This first picture is the rest of the microwave steamed cauliflower "dough" spread very thinly. I formed sort of an edge to it.

This one is the oven baked, undressed dough (which I did not flip over, some folks do) after about 40-45 minutes in a 450 degree oven. I usually use Great Value pizza sauce because it's low in carbs, but this time I made up my own with a can of tomato sauce, a tablespoon of tomato paste, garlic powder, a heaping teaspoon of Sugar Twin and italian seasoning, simmered for 15 minutes.

These last two are of the finished pizza after being topped (half eaten oops lol... almost forgot to snap a picture!) and returned to the oven under the broiler. It did not stick at all and lifted easily from the pan when I transferred it over to the cutting board.

Okay ... now the review. 

Though some folks over on the low carb board swear that you cannot taste the cauliflower, I certainly could. But I didn't use any seasonings in or on the "dough" to mask the flavor this time, because I first wanted to try it plain. And I happen to like cauliflower anyway. And while the edges of the pizza were nice and crispy as you see it's overall pretty soft to the hand but no problem to hold.

I think rather than putting it under the broiler for the second cooking, that next time I'll try it back into a very hot oven after adding the toppings. The broiler seemed to me to soften it up again and didn't give the crust enough time to warm back up either after being out of the oven long enough for me to top it. Just a thought for next time.

I definitely liked the larger pizza much better than the minis I made but I will give it another go with seasonings in or on the crust dough. I will tell you though, my husband is not a veggie eater and there is no way that I would "trick" him with this one. For me however, this is an "acceptable" low carb substitute when you can't do the real stuff and while nothing like real pizza to me (purist that I am and all) the second experiment was pretty tasty but why wouldn't pizza toppings be no matter what you put them on?

This crust using cauliflower has been around the net for years but here's the basics.

Cauliflower Pizza Crust

1 cup shredded and cooked cauliflower
1 egg
1 cup mozzarella cheese
Italian seasoning, to taste
Great Value pizza sauce
Toppings as desired
Additional mozzarella cheese to top

Preheat oven to 450 degrees and generously spray a pizza pan with non-stick spray. In a medium bowl, combine cauliflower, egg and mozzarella, drop onto the pizza pan and spread evenly, pressing from the center out. Sprinkle with Italian seasoning.

Pre-bake the crust at 450 degrees for about 15 minutes. Add the sauce and toppings and cheese and place under the broiler just until cheese melts.


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