Thursday, February 9, 2012

Twelve Big Thumbs Up

Pizza Night was a super big hit and I was skeptical to say the least. With all the children, Mommy and Daddy giving this meal a grand total of 12 thumbs up I think i's safe to say that this could make it to the "regular" menu with ease. So how do you make pizza with no flour? Another great find on Pinterest is how. It's called Cauliflower Pizza. We only doubled this recipe and served with two sides; Zucchini and Mushroom Crumble and a Spinach Balsamic Feta Salad (recipes also included).

This meal could very easily be vegetarian as well. We choose to put some cooked chicken on our pizza, along with spinach, peppers and onions.

Cauliflower Pizza
serves 2

1 cup cooked, riced cauliflower

1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese

1 egg, beaten

1 tsp dried oregano

1/2 tsp crushed garlic
1/2 tsp garlic salt
olive oil (optional)
pizza sauce, shredded cheese and your choice of toppings*

To "Rice" the Cauliflower:
Take 1 large head of fresh cauliflower, remove stems and leaves, and chop the florets into chunks. Add to food processor and pulse until it looks like grain. Do not over-do pulse or you will puree it. (If you don't have a food processor, you can grate the whole head with a cheese grater). Place the riced cauliflower into a microwave safe bowl and microwave for 8 minutes. There is no need to add water, as the natural moisture in the cauliflower is enough to cook itself.
One large head should produce approximately 3 cups of riced cauliflower. The remainder can be used to make additional pizza crusts immediately, or can be stored in the refrigerator for up to one week.

To Make the Pizza Crust:
Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Spray a cookie sheet with non-stick cooking spray.
In a medium bowl, stir together 1 cup cauliflower, egg and mozzarella. Add oregano, crushed garlic and garlic salt, stir. Transfer to the cookie sheet, and using your hands, pat out into a 9" round. Optional: Brush olive oil over top of mixture to help with browning.
Bake at 450˚F degrees for 15 minutes.
Remove from oven. To the crust, add sauce, toppings and cheese. Place under a broiler at high heat just until cheese is melted (approximately 3-4 minutes).
*Note that toppings need to be precooked since you are only broiling for a few minutes.

My husband is not a picky eater (good thing because not all things I make are great), but there are a few things he's just not a fan of: 1) Mushrooms, 2) Tomatoes 3) Those icky peppers on frozen pizza (who could blame him on that one). So you could imagine how shocked I was when he asked for seconds on the mushroom, zucchini crumble. He said "It tastes a lot like stovetop stuffing.". I did put a bit too much salt (my salt-a-holic son even agreed), but it was delicious. I got this recipe from our Chiropractor's office and it too will find itself on the pages of our favourite recipes.

Zucchini and Mushroom Crumble
serves 8-10

6 medium zucchinis, washed and chopped
3 cups mushrooms, mixed variety, chopped
1 medium onion, diced
1 tbsp dried thyme and parsley (or to taste)
sea salt and cracked black pepper (to taste)
1 tsp coconut flour
1 tbsp coconut oil

1 1/2 cup almond flour
1/2 cup sliced almonds
2 tbsp cold, unsalted butter
3/4 tsp sea salt
1/3 cup parmesan cheese, grated

Prepare the topping:
Combine almond flour, butter and sea salt in the food processor and pulse until it resembles bread crumbs (or you can work it together with your fingers). With your fingers, work in the sliced almonds until well combined. Refrigerate the crumble, covered, until the filling is ready to be topped.
Prepare the filling:
In a large skillet, heat about 1 tbsp of coconut oil at med/high heat. Add the onions and sauté for about 5 minutes, until softened. Add zucchini, thyme, parsley, salt and pepper. Stir to combine. Cover and reduce heat to low. Simmer for about 12 minutes with lid on or until zucchini is slightly softened.
Remove lid and stir in the chopped mushrooms. Return heat to med/high and cook about 10 minutes, until mushrooms have shrunk and released their water. Sprinkle with 1 tsp. of coconut flour and stir to thicken the mixture/absorb the excess liquid.
Pour the mushroom/zucchini mixture into a large glass casserole dish (9x13). Spread crumble mixture evenly over the top. Sprinkle the top with parmesan and bake at 300˚F for about 20 minutes or until crumb topping is nicely browned and cheese is melted. 
Note: Watch the topping closely because almond flour/almonds/nuts brown quicker than flour or oats.
* Use organic, grain-fed, raw ingredients as much as possible.

Spinach Balsamic Feta Salad
servings 4-6

6 cups baby spinach, washed
2 cups sliced, red, orange and yellow peppers
1 cup feta cheese, diced (or crumbled)
1/4 medium red onion, finely diced (or 1 shallot)
1 tbsp dried oregano (or to taste)
sea salt and cracked black pepper (to taste)
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup grape seed oil

Combine all dressing ingredients and mix well. Toss salad ingredients and add dressing. Toss again and serve.

Over all this was one of the best suppers I had made all month I think. We all walked away from the table feeling very full and satisfied. I won't lie, this won't ever really replace traditional pizza for us, but now we know that there are choices. Most of the time I hope to choose health over easy, greasy take out or store bought pizza. We will probably make our own 98% of the time in the months and years to come and this recipe will be in there for sure.

NOTE: Most of the time we choose to use our small plates, but this time we pulled out the larger dinner plates. Each pizza was about 5-6" wide.