Pizza is one of my most favorite foods, but the high carb crust and loads of cheese from restaurant style pizza doesn’t always fit into my macros that well. Of course, I could make a few slices fit, but then I would not be eating much the rest of the day. And I like to eat. Flexible eating is all about choices. So, I have chosen to find amazing alternatives that satisfy my pizza cravings.
I have always done a Paleo pizza crust with an almond flour and arrowroot powder base but have been looking for an even lower carb option. Cauliflower is so versatile when it comes to cooking and really takes on the flavor and consistency of really whatever you need it to be. Cauliflower rice is a staple in my diet. So I decided to try making a cauliflower pizza crust and was blown away at how flavorful the “crust” was and how much you actually get to eat of it and still not burn up a ton of macros.
Many recipes I’ve seen call for a very quick prep time which is moderately true. With all the chopping and cuisinarting and cooling, I would set aside about 30 minutes and actually prep the mixture ahead of time if you could so you can stick it in the refrigerator for a while before you make your crust. Also, if you have a pizza stone I would recommend baking the pizza on it, but a baking sheet lined with parchment paper will do just fine. The toppings are up to you. I love a loaded pizza but realize when you’re dealing with a delicate crust that you may end up eating your pizza with a fork and knife because the crust may not be able to sustain the heavy load of veggies and meat! Pizza toppings of choice last night were: pepperoni, red onion, olives, mushrooms, chopped artichoke hearts and garlic.
If you are on a flexible eating program, the macros for the crust only are:
247 calories – 14C/14F/19P
Cauliflower Crust Pizza (2 servings)
1 Small Head of Cauliflower
1/4 cup Shredded Parmesan Cheese
1/4 Cup Shredded Mozzarella Cheese
1/4 tsp Salt
1/8 tsp Pepper
1/2 tsp Garlic Powder
1/2 tsp Dried Basil
1/2 tsp Dried Oregano
1 tsp Red Pepper Flakes
2 tbsp Almond Meal (Blanched is best)
Cut up head of cauliflower and place florets in a large cuisinart. Try and cut most of the stem out and just use the tops. Pulse the florets in your food processor until very fine. Should yield approximately 2-3 cups of cauliflower bits. Transfer cauliflower into a microwave safe bowl, cover with a paper towel and cook for 4 minutes. Place cooked cauliflower onto a clean dish towel and let cool. Once the cauliflower is mostly cooled, wrap up the cauliflower in the towel and ring all of the moisture out. You will be shocked at how much comes out. Get as much out as possible. Your cauliflower will now look more dough-like.
In a large bowl dump the wrung-out cauliflower and add the shredded Parmesan and Mozzarella cheeses, salt, pepper, garlic powder, dried basil and oregano, almond meal and red pepper flakes. Then add the egg and mix thoroughly with your hands and form into a ball.
Place in the refrigerator for 20-30 minutes. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees and place either the pizza stone or baking sheet in the oven to warm. Line a cutting board with parchment paper and lightly coat with non-stick spray.
Take the crust from the refrigerator and form a nice round circle with the dough. Make sure the dough is tight and about 1/3 inch thick.
Slide the parchment paper and crust onto your pizza stone or baking sheet, put in the oven and bake for 12 minutes or until it turns a light brown on top. Remove from oven.
From here, add your sauce, extra cheese, and your favorite toppings. Bake for an addition 8 minutes. Remove pizza from oven and let cool for a few minutes before slicing and serving.