By Sara Mallicoat
January is a time for setting new goals, but mine isn’t new. One of my missions as a mother and wife is to feed my family a wholesome, vegetarian, grain-free meal at least one night a week.
Considering my husband is not a vegetable fan (bless him for tolerating my experiments) and my 2½-year-old is very picky about the vehicle in which his food is served, this is next to impossible if I don’t want to be a short order cook for the night! This mission is even more critical after the holidays for two reasons: 1. We overindulged and need to get back on track; 2. My family thought we were feeding an army and sent me home with a ton of leftovers after each holiday gathering. My mother always sends home leftover vegetables, and I never really know what to do with them.
I tried a vegetable stir-fry, but that didn’t really float by husband’s boat, so I decided to come up with something that would work for both of us (and the 2½-year-old, too) — pizza!
This pizza starts with a grain-free cauliflower crust and is topped with anything your heart desires. My favorite is topped with a tomato broccoli sauce, sautéed mushrooms, onions, garlic, peppers, a little arugula or spinach, and a sparse dusting of Gouda and mozzarella cheese. Even the toddler ate it because to him it was pizza — and who can resist pizza? It left this momma overjoyed that I got my son and husband to eat vegetables! Of course, my husband’s concern was that I would quit making my flour pizza crust, but once I said that I would still on occasion give him that indulgence, he agreed to make this a permanent recipe in our house.
How to “rice” cauliflower
The recipe calls for cooked, “riced” cauliflower. To do this, remove the stems and leaves of one large head of cauliflower, and chop the head into chunks. Put chunks into a food processor, pulse just until it looks like rice. (If you don’t have a food processor, you can grate the head.) Next, steam the “riced” cauliflower. I did this by placing it in a microwave-safe glass bowl and microwaving it for 8 minutes. The natural moisture of the cauliflower is enough to cook itself, so there’s no need to add water. This should yield the 3 cups needed for the recipe. Any leftovers can be saved in the fridge for a few days and used as a great swap for traditional rice.
Cauliflower Pizza Crust Recipe
Prep Time: 15 to 20 minutes
Cook Time: 20 to 30 minutes
Yield: 1 crust
Ingredients for the Crust:
- 3 cups cooked, riced cauliflower
- 2 eggs, beaten
- 1 cup shredded cheese (you can use more or less to your taste, but the cheese helps bind the crust)
- 2 teaspoons Frontier Pizza Seasoning
- 1 ½ teaspoon Frontier Garlic Bread Seasoning
- ¾ teaspoon of sea salt
- 2 teaspoons olive oil
- Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Spray a cookie sheet with non-stick cooking spray, or line it with parchment paper.
- In a mixing bowl, mix all ingredients together.
- Transfer to the cookie sheet. Carefully press mixture out on cookie sheet, making it as thin as possible without creating holes. Just make is as large and thin as you can.
- Bake for about 15 minutes, keeping an eye on it.
- When the crust is golden brown, remove from the oven and lift the crust to check for browning on the bottom. If the crust is slightly browned, cool for about 5 to 10 minutes. If not, return to the oven for a few more minutes.
- Set oven to broil.
- Top with sauce, shredded cheese and your choice of toppings (see suggestions below). Keep in mind that all toppings need to be pre-cooked as you will only be putting the pizza back in to melt the cheese.
- Broil pizza just until the cheese is melted, 5 to 7 minutes. Watch it closely so it doesn’t burn.
- Remove from oven. Cool and serve.
Note: While this crust will have the appearance of a flatbread, this is not a crispy crust since there is no flour. Instead, this recipe produces a softer crust that you might want to eat with a fork.
Sauce: Pizza sauce, garlic herbed butter, pesto, Alfredo, BBQ, salsa or a drizzle of olive oil.
Tip: To sneak in even more vegetables try adding a ¼- ½ cup of a vegetable puree like broccoli, roasted red peppers, green beans, squash, carrots or spinach!
Toppings: Your favorite meats and vegetables.
Cheeses: Fresh mozzarella, Italian blends (Asiago, Provolone, Romano and Parmigiano-Reggiano), goat cheese, Munster, Jack, feta, Gouda or Provolone
Tip: Using a stronger flavored cheese means you can use less cheese, which is good for cutting down the fat and making a healthier pizza.
The flavor combinations are endless! And when you make your own pizzas at home, you pick the ingredients and have a chance to turn your family’s favorite meal into a healthy meal. That’s a win-win in my book! Just get creative. Your family might learn they like something new when you sneak it in and cover it up with a little bit of cheese — because everything is better with cheese, right? So, the next time you are at the store pick up that cauliflower head and try out this recipe!
What is your favorite pizza combination?
About the author: Sara works in Research & Development at Frontier, which means she works with many internal departments to find innovative ways of meeting customer demands. Outside of work, she enjoys turning leftovers into something new, stretching food boundaries with her family, camping and, of course, spending time with her sweet little boys!