Yeah, you read that right, not only is it my first recipe on Vegetarian Rehab, but it’s also a recipe that DEFIES THE LIMITS of grain-free life.
I cannot express in words how bad I have missed pizza ever since I became grain-free. I think B misses it too, but he doesn’t dare tempt me because of what happened the last time we had pizza.
To summarize, I had a bender weekend back in January, and it involved pizza. After a failed attempt by my wonderful boyfriend to poach some air-dried, salted cod we bought while up in Northern Norway (it tasted *almost* like rubber…), we decided to order some pizza from the local (terrible quality) pizzeria. One of the roughest parts about living outside of New York is that if you eff up dinner after 9pm on a Saturday night, you’ll be hard-pressed to find an open grocery store or other food place that offers something healthy to eat to replace it. Even most restaurants stop serving dinner after 9:30pm.
And so we ordered pizza. And you know how when you’re down, you might as well go ALL THE WAY down? I had a beer that night too.
How’d that go, you wonder? Let’s just put it this way: NEVER. AGAIN.
I have never been so miserable in my life (okay, that’s probably a small exaggeration). But seriously, my stomach bloated so bad it made my back hurt (I imagine it’s kind of like the way being 8 months preggo makes your back hurt), and my heart basically started beating as though I had run a marathon, except that I couldn’t move, so obviously that wasn’t possible. Then I got constipated for three days. It was…awesome.
Needlesstosay, I had a weekend whirlwind trip to New York to see some friends (and buy my very first apple computer) back in February and despite my urging need to have pizza while there, I controlled myself and filled up on meat (and a few vegetables for good measure) at Plataforma Churrascaria instead (that place was fabulous, by the way). And ever since that bloating incident, I’ve been scouring the interwebs for a decent Cauliflower Crust Pizza recipe that didn’t require a microwave.
I finally found one by a lady named Casey Cooke. From what I know about her, she promotes low-fat stuff, and since that’s the opposite of the point of this blog, I’ll let you google her if you want to see what she’s about.
So without further ado…
CAULIFLOWER CRUST PIZZA
- One head of cauliflower, stems removed and cut into one-inch pieces
- 3 egg-whites (try it with the yolks too, those are good for you!)
- 250 grams fresh mozzarella cheese (the real Italian stuff), divided in half and chopped
- salt, pepper, dried basil, dried parsley and garlic powder, to taste
- tomato sauce (if you’re buying from the store, be sure to check the label for sugar)
- one red pepper, thinly sliced
- one green pepper, thinly sliced
- one half white onion, thinly sliced
- 325 grams Italian sausage, encasing removed and broken into 1 inch pieces (I got mine here, and it had sage in it)
Preheat oven to 450 degrees F (225C). Cut a piece of parchment paper to fit a medium sized baking pan.
Steam cauliflower until you can easily pierce it with a fork. Then drain it and put it into a food-processor and purée until smooth (I have a small one, so I did this in two batches).
Blend the cauliflower, one half of the chopped mozzarella, and egg whites in a bowl and mix well. Add spices to taste (or in my case, to smell). Spread cauliflower mix evenly on the parchment paper into a rectangle and put it in the oven for about 20 minutes, or until the edges start to turn golden brown and the center has set.
While the crust is in the oven, put the sausage pieces into a pan over low heat and cook until done. Taste a few to, you know, make sure. 😉
Remove finished crust, let cool for a couple minutes, and then spread the tomato sauce on it, leaving an inch perimeter around the pizza. (I didn’t give a measurement in the ingredients because I feel like everyone has a different preference on their pizza sauce amounts. I like my pizza drier, and especially since the cauliflower crust is already moist, I didn’t need more than about a half cup.)
Next, layer on onions and peppers, and then put the pizza back in the oven for another ten minutes until they are cooked through (longer if you don’t care if they’re crispy or not; we like them on the crispy side in our house). Add the rest of the mozzarella cheese, and the cooked sausage and return to oven. Beware that the mozza will melt quickly, so keep an eye on it this time, and remove when at desired level of doneness (if you leave it in too long, the cheese will begin to brown pretty quickly).
Remove from oven, let sit for a few minutes so you don’t burn your tongue, cut into four squares, and then enjoy!
Serves 4, unless you’re really hungry like we were, in which case, it serves 2.