Cauliflower Pizza Crust…Not even kidding!

I enjoy most vegetables.  Cauliflower is not one of them.  I might even go so far as to say, I hate cauliflower.  Darren might dislike cauliflower even more than I do.  Dousing it in cheese sauce doesn’t even help, and Scarlett is a lost cause when it comes to most vegetables, so cauliflower doesn’t stand a chance.  The fact that the gross, mangled ears of boxers and other contact sports athletes are named after this vegetable does not help its case in my book.

An example of cauliflower ear.  Ewww.

An example of cauliflower ear. Ewww.

 

So, when our weekly fresh produce box contained a GIANT head of cauliflower, I was feeling a bit panicky.  My first instinct was to give it to my mom, but the thing was huge, there was no way she could eat it all.  My next thought was to make soup, but then I kind of felt like that was taking the easy way out.  I wanted to find something to make cauliflower, if not delicious, at least tolerable.

Here she is, in all her glory.

Here she is, in all her glory.

 

Okay cauliflower, let’s do this.

And I think we did it.  Cauliflower pizza crust, friends.  It seriously tasted like a fancy, gourmet, thin crust pizza.  Darren was talking about how delicious it was.  He knew it wasn’t a “real” crust (because I told him he would be shocked when he found out how I made it), but he thought it was good!  Now, when I told him it was made out of cauliflower, he said, “I really wish I didn’t know that,” but he continued to eat it, and reconfirmed it’s deliciousness when he was done.

Here is how I did it.

First, I used a box grater to grate the cauliflower florets.  You want the texture to be like rice.

 

"riced" cauliflower

“riced” cauliflower

 

Next, I added a cup of grated mozzarella cheese, a beaten egg, minced garlic, salt, and oregano.  I stirred this so everything was uniformly moistened.

the "dough"

the “dough”

 

Then, I turned this out onto a parchment paper lined cookie sheet, and using the back of a spoon and my hands, flattened and shaped it into a round “crust” that was about 9″ in diameter.

"Crust" spread onto parchment paper

“Crust” spread onto parchment paper

 

Next, I popped it into a 450 degree oven for 15 minutes.  It came out all beautiful and golden brown and crunchy looking.

Baked "crust"

Baked “crust”

 

Then, I let it cool for about an hour.  I was hoping that it would “harden” up a little bit if I let it cool, and it did.

Once cool, I dressed it like I would dress any pizza.  Started with tomato sauce, added shredded mozzarella cheese, salami, tomato slice, hot peppers, and goat cheese.  But really, you can put whatever you want onto it.

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After dressing the pizza, I  popped the cookie sheet back into the oven which was now set to broil for about 5 minutes, just until the cheese started to bubble and everything looked nice and pizza like.

Ready to eat

Ready to eat

 

After pulling it from the oven, I let it sit for a few minutes, and then sliced and served.  The texture of it was great, seriously, just like a thin crust pizza.  You could not taste even a hint of cauliflower.

Looks legit!

Looks legit!

 

This one was a home run.  The deliciousness of a gourmet pizza, without the carbs, gluten-free even!


 

Cauliflower Pizza Crust
Makes one 9 inch pizza crust

Ingredients:
1 c. cooked, riced cauliflower
1 c. shredded mozzarella cheese
1 egg, beaten
1 tsp. dried oregano
1/2 tsp. minced garlic
1/2 tsp. salt
tomato sauce, shredded cheese and your choice of toppings

Method:
Remove stems and leaves from 1 head of cauliflower, and chop the florets into chunks. Use a box grater to “rice” the cauliflower. Place the “riced” cauliflower into a microwave safe bowl and microwave for about 8 minutes.

One large head of cauliflower will produce between 2 and 3 cups of riced and cooked cauliflower.

To make the pizza crust:
Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Spray a cookie sheet with non-stick cooking spray (or use parchment paper on a cookie sheet). In a medium bowl, stir together 1 cup cauliflower, beaten egg and mozzarella. Add oregano, minced garlic and salt, mix well. Transfer the mixture to your cookie sheet, and pat out into a 9″ round. Bake at 450 degrees for 15 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool awhile. This helps to make the crust more solid.

To make the pizza:
Add sauce, toppings and cheese. Place under a broiler at high heat just until cheese is melted (approximately 3-4 minutes). Slice as you would any pizza, and serve.

 

The BEST (and easiest) Zucchini Bread!

I love zucchini bread.  It might be my most favourite treat.  Last summer, the zucchinis in our garden were OUT OF CONTROL, so I did a lot of experimenting with zucchini bread recipes.  This summer, sadly, our zucchinis did not do well at all, but I still want to fill my freezer with loaves of zucchini bread.  Nothing tastes better in the dead of winter than a slice of summer.

I currently have a batch baking in the oven, and the smell is amazing.

Here is what I do to make the most moist and delicious zucchini bread ever.

First, use a box grater to shred the zucchini.

Grated zucchini

Grated zucchini

 

Then, in a large mixing bowl, combine the zucchini, eggs, oil, pineapple, golden raisins, and vanilla.

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Today as I was baking this, I realized that I was short one egg.  I did however have some flax seed.  You can replace an egg in a recipe by combining 1 tablespoon flax seed with 3 tablespoons of water and letting it sit for a few minutes until it thickens and becomes gelatinous before adding into a recipe where you would use eggs.  This is a great egg substitute if you are vegan, but also if you want to benefit from the nutritional powerhouse that is flax seeds.

1 tbsp. ground flaxseed mixed with 3 tbsp. water is a substitute for 1 egg

1 tbsp. ground flaxseed mixed with 3 tbsp. water is a substitute for 1 egg

 

Next, combine the dry ingredients and mix them into the wet, stirring until just moistened.

Add dry ingredients

Add dry ingredients

 

Stir until moistened

Stir until moistened

 

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Then, grease 2 loaf pans and pour the batter into the two pans.

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Finally, bake at 350 degrees for 45-50 minutes.

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Let cool slightly in the pans before continuing to cool on a wire baking rack.

IMG_5322

 

I find that if I double wrap these in saran wrap, followed by foil, and then put into a freezer bag, you can pull them out of your freezer months later and they still taste like you just baked them.


 

Zucchini Bread with Pineapple and Golden Raisins

Ingredients:
2 c. of shredded zucchini
1 ( 8oz ) can crushed pineapple
1 c. golden raisins (you could use any raisins, I just like golden)
3 eggs
1 c. vegetable oil
2 tsp. vanilla extract
3 c. flour
2 c. sugar
2 tsp. baking soda
½ tsp. baking powder
2 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
1 tsp. salt

Method:
– Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease 2 loaf pans.
– In a large bowl, combine the eggs, zucchini, oil, pineapple, raisins and vanilla.
– Combine dry ingredients. Stir until just moist.
– Pour batter into loaf pans.
– Bake for 45 to 50 minutes, or until done.