On “healthy” pizza

I made cauliflower crust pizza. It was totally healthy. I mean, yeah there was a LOT of cheese. And yeah, BBQ sauce and more cheese. But also veggies and…whatever, it was SO GOOD.

Baked Pizza 4

First, you need cauliflower. If you’re using a fresh head of cauliflower, you’ll need to chop it into manageable florets and then pulse those pieces in a food processor or blender until its fine enough to look like grains. That will be the base for your “flour” to make the pizza dough.

OR if you are fortunate enough to live near a Trader Joe’s you can find frozen riced cauliflower in their freezer section. Trust me when I say this is totally worth searching for. It works amazingly for this recipe and you can use it in place of many carb-loaded dishes. Truly, a game changer.

Asian BBQ Cauliflower Crust Pizza

What you need for the crust:
riced cauliflower
1 egg
1-1 1/2 cups of shredded cheese (your choice) – I used parmesan
1 tsp crushed red pepper
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp italian seasoning herbs
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper

Preheat your oven to 375. Now that you have small cauliflower pieces, cook them slightly before making the pizza crust. If you’re using the frozen stuff, pour it into a saucepan and let the heat slowly cook away any extra moisture – takes about 8 minutes. If you’re using the fresh stuff, transfer into a microwavable bowl, lay a damp paper towel over the top and microwave for about 7 minutes to steam. When it’s cooled, squeeze out the excess water using a clean dish towel. You may have to repeat the squeezing process a few times before the cauliflower is dry enough to work with like flour.

Riced Cauliflower_

Now that your cauliflower is cooked, cooled and dry, you can add the other ingredients starting with the dry spices, then the cheese and finally the egg. Stir well together  – your dough should be lightly sticky. Form into a ball and place onto a floured surface. I used semolina flour for added texture. Using a rolling pin, roll the dough into about a 14″ round to form the base of your pizza. Keep the thickness of the dough as even as possible. Transfer to a sheet of parchment paper and then place onto a baking tray or pizza stone.

Cauliflower dough

Bake for 10-12 minutes, or until golden brown. You can make this base and use it with any toppings you like.

Baked Crust

For the Asian-inspired veggie BBQ pizza you will need:

green onions (2 stalks chopped or as onion-y as you like your breath to be)
1 cup (chopped) shiitake mushrooms
1 cup (chopped) soy sausage patty
1/4 cup of (chopped) red onion (probably not a date night pizza…)
1/2 cup of shredded cheese (I used a cheddar blend)
2 tbsps of sriracha hot sauce
1 tbsp of pizza sauce or marinara
2 tbsp of BBQ sauce (Trader Joe’s has a great spicy garlic BBQ sauce)
1 tbsp of hoisin sauce (soy bean paste easily found at your local asian grocer)
1 tsp of sesame oil

For the sauce, combine the sriracha, pizza sauce, BBQ sauce, hoisin and half the sesame oil in a bowl. Smear that spicy sauce over the top of the baked cauliflower pizza crust. Top with your mushrooms, soy sausage, red onions and cheese. Bake for 7-10 minutes at 375 or until the cheese melts and is golden. Garnish with the chopped green onions and drizzle with remaining sesame oil. Cut into slices and inhale.

 

This pizza is an explosion of flavor that feels sinful but is sneakily good for you. WIN! The tangy BBQ sauce offset with the spicy-sweet crunch of the onions and earthy mushrooms on that guilt-free cauliflower crust…Mmmm brb gotta have another slice!

Baked Pizza 3

 

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