Everybody makes the resolution to lose weight at the beginning of the year—so much so that it’s trite. But with the prevalence of Bad Food in our grocery stores and supermarkets today, it becomes increasingly harder to not only keep your resolution, but to continue it even after you’ve lost the weight. A great way to stay on the path to your fitness goal is to alter your diet in a healthy and non-dramatic way. But healthy weight loss is kind of slow… and so, I go the crazy-pants route by cutting carbohydrates out of my diet completely. (Disclaimer: This is NOT healthy and NOT maintainable! I will explain further below.)
My girlfriend’s bachelorette party is in Las Vegas, and one of the events on the itinerary is a Beach Club—if you’re not familiar with the idea, it’s a day club that is poolside and outdoors, with cabana service replacing bottle service along the sides. Basically, everyone is in their skivvies and there is no place to hide from judging eyes. I realized that this was going to be a part of the trip about a month before the trip… and that’s why I took such drastic measures and cut carbs out.
With all of that said, I decided to try my hand at cauliflower pizza because it was, in my mind, a great way to have Bad Food (pepperoni pizza) without sacrificing my diet. And yes, technically there are no starchy, carbohydrate components. But what it doesn’t have in carbs it makes up for in fat: cheese, cheese, and more cheese. This cauliflower pizza crust recipe is delicious, but I just wanted to debunk the idea that it is healthy because it doesn’t have bread in it. This is not the case. However, if you are looking for a way to have pizza that is gluten-free… this is the recipe for you.
The key to making the crust cohesive and not crumbly is the amount of water you wring out of the ground cauliflower before shaping the crust. You cannot do this half-heartedly—I don’t know how else to emphasize this point, other than to say that your hard work will look more like cheesy cauliflower mash than crust. I spent over 5-7 minutes just wringing the water out of the cauliflower as hard as I could, and I ended up with a perfect crust that held together—even when I picked it up by the edges.
This recipe is for the crust only and not for the toppings, as I am assuming you have an idea of what you would prefer on your own pizza. For reference, I have used tomato sauce, mozzarella cheese, and thinly-sliced pepperoni… simple, but delicious!
Recipe adapted from The Lucky Penny Blog.
- 1 medium-sized cauliflower head
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon dried, crushed basil
- 1/2 teaspoon dried, crushed oregano
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/4 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
- 1/4 cup mozzarella cheese
- 1 egg
- Place your pizza stone/upside-down baking sheet in the oven and heat to 450F.
- Trim the large green leaves and stems from the cauliflower and roughly chop into 2 inch pieces.
- Rinse the cauliflower under running water.
- Place the cauliflower in a food processor or blender and pulse until the cauliflower is finely ground—it will look like powdery snow. If your processor/blender is smaller, just ground the cauliflower in batches.
- Remove the grounded cauliflower from the processor/blender and place in a microwave-safe bowl. Cover the bowl loosely with a paper towel or plastic wrap and microwave for 3 minutes.
- Place the (hot!) grounded cauliflower onto a dish towel and spread evenly so that it will cool down faster. After the cauliflower is cool enough to handle, gather the cauliflower into a pile in the center of the dish towel, gather the corners, and wring the water content out of the cauliflower over a sink. This is VERY IMPORTANT—spend a few minutes wringing out the water! Just one or two wrings will not get the job done. I spent ~5 minutes on mine.
- Empty the cauliflower from the dish towel back into a bowl. (Don’t be alarmed if the amount of cauliflower without water fits in your hand—this is still enough to work with!)
- Mix the cauliflower with the mozzarella and Parmesan cheeses, the oregano, basil, kosher salt and garlic powder. I used my hand and found this easier than using a spoon.
- When everything is mixed, add the egg and mix again with your hand until the egg is fully integrated.
- If you have a pizza paddle( called a peel), place parchment paper on the paddle. If not, a cutting board will still do the trick—just place your parchment paper on top of the board.
- Dump the cauliflower mixture onto the parchment paper and form into a 12-in. diameter crust with a thickness of ¼ inch. [NOTE: You may want to grease your parchment paper well before placing the mixture to ensure that the crust doesn’t stick to the surface!]
- Slide the parchment paper off your peel/board and onto the pizza stone/baking sheet in the oven and bake for 8-11 minutes, or until the crust is golden-brown and looks crispy at the edges.
- Grab the parchment paper and slide it and the pizza crust back onto your peel/board, close the oven, and garnish with your chosen toppings.
- Place the pizza and the parchment paper back into the oven and on the stone/sheet for another 5-7 minutes. My pizza finished baking in 5 minutes!
- Let it cool down for a few minutes before slicing up and digging in.