Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Adventures in Low Carb Cooking: Cauliflower Pizza Crust Pizza

Last night, we braved the Cauliflower Pizza Crust that I've been seeing so much on Pinterest. 

I wish I had pictures to show you, but alas I could not find the camera. It is hiding after our trip to Idaho apparently... However, my pizza didn't turn out as "pretty" as the pictured  pizza in the recipe I used, so maybe you don't want to see it...

My husband has given me permission to try again some other time so I can work out the kinks. In his opinion, it wasn't bad, but it wasn't amazing enough that he'd want to give up regular pizza crust...I thought it was good, but could have been better. I think I just need a little more practice at it, and need to work out a few kinks that I found in the recipe as I was making it.

 I used THIS recipe.
(photo courtesy "Stick a Fork in It")

Again, I wish mine had turned out this pretty....

As we didn't have any dried garlic powder and I was feeling lazy and didn't want to mince or crush any fresh garlic last night, I used onion powder in lieu of crushed garlic. I actually would highly recommend this change. It added another dimension of flavor and I think that with just garlic it would have been overpowering or fallen flat...

As far as the rest of the recipe is concerned...

I used the suggestion to use half the suggested amount of cheese. I somewhat wonder if the crust would have set up better if I'd used a whole cup instead of half a cup...because mine definitely DID NOT look as good as her picture. However, I didn't feel like using half the cheese was a detriment to the flavor in the long run, so if you're concerned about fat content, I say go for it and use half.

I also think the crust was WAAAAAY too salty.  I would highly recommend only using half the salt in the recommended recipe.

When it comes to ricing the cauliflower (grinding it up) I would say just go for the cheese grater. I tried using my food processor and it kept just getting stuck. I finally moved to just quartering large pieces and using the cheese grater to rice the cauliflower and it was MUCH, much faster.  

Definitely cook the riced cauliflower for the 8 minute time mark. I think it would have helped to mash up the cauliflower a little more and would have made it set up better. I only cooked it for 6 minutes. I also would suggest using half the water to steam it in the microwave. When I poured my crust out to shape it, it was very watery. Maybe I just had a pretty "juicy" cauliflower, but in my experience, you can always add more water, its harder to take it away, especially if you don't notice that its watery until you're pouring it out...

I think I also formed my crusts too thin. The recipe said it is supposed to make a 9 inch crust, I think next time I will err on the side of an 8 inch crust. I think it just needed a little more thickness to get crusty and crispy as it baked up.

When it comes to preparation and clean up: I used my spiffy Pampered Chef measuring cup/tupperware thing to mix the crust...it has a spout and has the cup measurements along the side. It made clean up a breeze. I say, if you have a way to mix and measure everything all at once, go for it!  As far as ease and clean-up of this recipe are concerned, I think that was one of the best parts. It made much less mess than a homemade pizza dough does.

As far as serving size is concerned: ITS HUGE! This recipe is a single serving 9 inch pizza, and when I worked out the amount of carbs per this serving it seemed too good to be true, but it is.  Here are my measurements. We had pepperoni and mushroom pizzas.

Cauliflower- 2.2 grams carbs
Cheese- 0.7 grams carbs
Egg- 0.24 grams carbs
Mushrooms- 0.5 grams carbs
Pizza sauce- 1/4 cup at 4 grams per serving (I didn't use that much, but I don't want to sit down and figure out how much of a percentage of 1/4 cup 3 TBS is....and some people like really saucy pizza so...there you go...)
Pepperoni- 16 slices= 1 gram carbs

So, your own personal, giant 9 inch pizza is 8.64 grams of carbs!!!!

(Somewhat related but unrelated side note: I found a new favorite website to help me out: http://www.carb-counter.org/  it has carbohydrate measurements for practically EVERY food you could eat.  I will be referring to it a lot more and as I post recipes I will be trying to give you a carb total for each one so that you can see how much you're getting in a serving. )

I only ate half of my pizza with a side of salad with balsamic dressing, so I didn't even get that many. It was so big I couldn't eat it.  So, that myth of not being able to get full off of "diet food" is dispelled! 

I'm pretty sure my husband only ate half of his as well, but i also have to wonder if that has more to do with him not being 100% thrilled with it, and him having snacked all through the afternoon. (He's such a trooper. We bough a multi-pack of potato chips for snackage for our trip to Idaho and he's been eating away at them so that I have no temptation in the house. Didn't I marry a sweetie?)

In short, we will definitely be trying it again. Judging by how it turned out last night, I'd give it 2 out of 5 stars... Maybe, when I try it again with the adjustments I've thought of, that rating will go up.

All in all, if you're dieting and you have to have pizza this is a good alternative. Its not as 100% satisfying as a greasy, bready slab of pizza is, but it did kill the pregnancy craving I'd been having for over a week...so it was pizza enough for me.

Bon appetit darlings! Let me know if you use some of my adjustments and how it turned out. 

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