Tuesday, 12 March 2013

Guilt Free Pizza (with Cauliflower Base)

MMmmmmm....Pizza.  It has all my favorite things...gooey, melty, cheesey cheese.  Fluffy, yummy, doughy base.  Pepperoni, tomato sauce, and toppings galore.  Unfortunately, it is also packed with carbohydrates, calories, and fat....boooo! hiss!! Pizza is honestly my worst temptation food.Unfortunately for my waistline, I could quite easily scoff down 1500 calories worth of pizza without batting an eyelid. I know....it's shameful.  Another unfortunate circumstance is that I am watching my figure lately (HA...what else is new?!), and 1500 calories worth of fatty, yummy, carby pizza is not on the cards for me any time soon.  So, I've concocted this recipe in order to trick my taste buds into thinking that they are tasting their favorite food, when in fact I'm feeding them a substitute with a much lower fat and calorie count (see the end of the post for nutritional values). All the while, this guilt free pizza helps to satisfy the craving.  (Though, I have to warn you, the first mouthful of the cauliflower crust is slightly weird, because it looks so much like normal pizza crust but doesn't taste the same..Once you get past that, it is great!)

For Pizza Base:
1/2 head of cauliflower (grated in food processor)
2 eggs (or 4 egg whites for less calories)
30g (1oz) half fat mozzarella cheese
Pinch of Salt and Pepper
25 g (~.8 oz) whole wheat breadcrumbs
optional for baking surface:
5 g (~.2oz) Parmesan cheese
1/2 tsp olive oil (or other oil)
100g (~3oz) pizza sauce
50g (~1.5 oz) reduced fat mozzarella cheese
10 g (~.3 oz) feta cheese
A few sliced mushrooms
1/4 chopped bell pepper
A few sliced black olives
Crushed red pepper to serve
(EDIT: These are just the toppings I used...it was a little bland, so next time I would probably use a little more sauce, and maybe substitute a bit extra feta for some of the mozzarella, and add sun dried tomatoes.)

1. Preheat oven to 220 C or 450 F.
2. Place baking paper onto a cookie sheet or pizza stone, and brush on 1/2 tsp olive oil and sprinkle Parmesan cheese onto the baking paper. (or spray with low calorie cooking spray if you choose to omit the Parmesan cheese and olive oil)
3. Combine all of the ingredients in a large bowl, and then press evenly onto the baking paper. (I did mine about 1cm thick)
Cauliflower Crust Prior to Baking
4. Bake in the oven for about 15 minutes or until golden brown.  
Cauliflower crust after baking
(I actually doubled the recipe, and made two batches of crust, cut this one into 4 slices and put it in the freezer. Supposedly it should be okay to freeze and then use another time...I guess we will see!)

5. After you bake the crust, add your pizza sauce and toppings, then just pop it back in the oven, or under the broiler until your cheese is bubbly, and starting to brown, and voila! Enjoy tricking your taste buds!
The finished product
 You can have 1/2 pizza as prepared with roughly the following nutritional values:
Calories: 326 Fat: 15.9g Carbohydrates: 24.8g Protein: 28.9g Dietary Fibre: 7.6g Weight watchers ProPoints: 8
(Here is a little perspective, you would be able to eat 1/2 of Domino's, classic crust, pepperoni pizza for almost triple the values of calories, carbs, and fat....yikes!)

And, of course, I couldn't finish the post without some pictures of my sous chef!

My Little Helper
...and his handy work! 

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