Aug 17, 2012

pizza! pizza! (sorta, sorta)

well hello any of you who are reading this after one of my long absences from blogging!  lots has been going on in the last few months.  i've moved in with the bf, been accepted to grad school (starting 8/27!  eek!), and have started going to a personal trainer.  i'm sure there will be future blogs on all of these topics, but what inspired me to blog tonight was - yup, you guessed it - food.  i've been back on weight watchers (yes, again) for about 2 months now, have started working out with a trainer once a week and am happy to report that as of yesterday i am down 10.6 lbs!  i haven't felt too deprived because i still allow myself certain treats (read: wine) and have found a great resource in gina from skinnytaste.  her blog has given me so many great recipes and options for healthy cooking that i've been able to change up what i make without getting sick of things or feeling like i'm eating "diet" food.  

unfortunately, there has been one craving that simply refuses to go away.  pizza.  yummy, sinful, point-laden pizza has been on my mind for weeks now.  i did allow myself some pizza during the weekend the bf and i moved but that was an exception because frankly we were too tired and annoyed to bother cooking.  since then i've been wanting to have it again but self has vetoed me.  for once, i'm glad her bossy ass was able to overrule me.  i was perusing pinterest, aka biggest time suck known to modern woman, and ran across a few pins of cauliflower pizza crusts.  because i'm dying for pizza, i figured i'd give it a go tonight and see exactly how this cauliflower crust measures up.  the result - omg.  i made it tonight and it was SO good.  i'll tell you up front that it doesn't taste like a regular pizza crust but it is pretty tasty and gives you a great base for all of those yummy toppings without all the guilt.  

i adapted a recipe found on to be a little more ww point-friendly.  here is my version:

1 cup cooked, riced cauliflower
2/3 cup shredded fat-free mozzarella cheese
2 egg whites
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp crushed garlic
1/2 tsp garlic salt (next time i might replace this with sea salt since i used more crushed garlic than the original recipe called for, but we'll see)
1 T chopped fresh basil
fresh ground pepper to taste

rice the raw cauliflower (i used a hand grater because i don't have the right blade for my food processor), cook in microwave for 8 minutes, stirring halfway through.  let cauliflower cool and squeeze water from it.  mix cauliflower with mozzarella and egg whites.  add garlic, spices and basil.  pat evenly on baking sheet, bake at 450 for 15 minutes.  top with your choice of toppings, return to oven and broil a few minutes until cheese melts.  note:  i would line the sheet with foil and spray some cooking spray on it before spreading the dough.  i sprayed the pan and the crust stuck quite a bit when it was baked directly on it.  next time i will go straight for the foil. easier clean-up, too!

it started out great.  i decided to separate the "dough" into two portions because i wanted to make two different single serving pizzas.  here are the ingredients i prepared for my pizza feast:

because of the problem i had with the crust sticking to the baking sheet, it looked like this when i scraped it off the pan:

i almost tossed it in the garbage and chalked it up to a pinterest failure, but then i tasted a bit of the crust and decided i had to salvage it.  this crust is good enough to just eat on its own!  so i tried to press it back together on the baking sheet (lined with foil this time) and it actually wasn't too bad.  here are the pizzas bc (before cheese):

and after:

i brushed both crusts with a little garlic and basil infused olive oil (only 1/2 T total) and then topped each differently.  on the left is a version of my absolute favorite pizza from pizza express in london - the padana.  it consists of caramelized onions, spinach, red onion and goat cheese. yum. yum. yum.  the pizza on the right has spinach, sliced garlic, tomatoes, chicken and fat free mozzarella.  that's right - i decided to eat 2 kinds of onions and a ton of garlic tonight.  my poor bf.  each pizza was about 5 inches in diameter.  i had to eat this with a fork because the crust was a little soft.  i think if i do a better job of squeezing the water out of the cauliflower before baking next time it will be a little crisper. i also noticed that the leftover pieces were solid enough to pick up and eat by hand so letting the pizza sit for a few minutes before serving could help, as well.

because i'm such a piglet, i forgot to take pics of the finished pies and only have the leftovers to show:

since goat cheese and fat-free mozzarella don't really melt like other cheese, they don't look that different from the pre-broiled pics above.  one or more of those leftover pieces may have also disappeared between the photo and the time this blog was written 2 hours later.  don't judge me.  

a nice arugula salad with cherry tomatoes and shaved parmesan cheese completed the meal:

ok, i'm lying.  the salad was great but a glass of wine would have really completed the meal!  alas, i did not imbibe tonight but will pair this with some vino next time.  i will definitely be making this again.  it's so nice to know i have a healthy pizza alternative now!