There are very few simple pleasures left in life.
There’s either “an app for that” or something that is so technologically advanced, you feel like you’re part of some sci-fi experiment gone rogue.
Gone are the days where a bon fire and the night sky were your entertainment for the evening.
However, there are still a few untouched, simple pleasures in life.
One of those being diving into a cold pool, head first, on a 98 degree, humid summer day.
Another, is pizza.
Technology can evolve, and cooking gadgets can come and go, but at the end of the day, the best pizzas are still made the old fashioned way: with open fire in a wood burning oven.
Well, I love me some pizza. Always have, always will. And just because I am gluten free doesn’t mean I can’t scarf me some pizza pie every now and then. The only difference now, is that I have to get creative.
Enter: my Paleo Pizza Pie!
A grain and gluten free, Specific Carb Diet friendly, Paleo Pizza, with a Vegan option!
It has an amazing crust with a hidden ingredient: cauliflower! But I promise, you won’t taste it at all!
It’s smokey, crispy on the outside, chewy on the inside just like a crust should be!
You see, here’s the thing about other cauliflower crusts: they all use gobs and gobs of cheese. It’s practically a big ol’ cheese crisp with a sprinkling of cauliflower to make you feel okay about eating 4 pounds of shredded cheese.
This crust has no cheese. As you know, I follow the Specific Carb Diet. It has kept my Ulcerative Colitis in remission for almost 8 years now (praise God!) – but one of the stipulations of the diet is no grains, and no dairy. (There are a few cheeses allowed, but not in the quantity needed for one of these crusts!)
But any who – I had to get creative about how to create a cauliflower crust with no cheese!
Enter my favorite kitchen dark horse: almond flour! It’s a protein packed, grain free flour alternative that makes everything ten times better.
And this crust is no exception.
Here’s what you need: (Serves 1)
1/3 head of cauliflower, riced and wrung dry
2 egg whites (Vegan option: 2 flax/chia eggs)
1/4 cup almond flour
1/4 tsp sea salt
pinch of garlic powder
1/2 yellow onion, sliced
1 zucchini, sliced thin
5 shiitake mushrooms, sliced
3 cloves of garlic, minced
3/4 tsp dried basil and oregano
salt and pepper
1 tomato, sliced in 1/2 inch slices
Preheat oven to 400 degrees
Put the raw cauliflower florets into the food processor, and process until it resembles rice. Then place the “rice” in either a cheese cloth (or a clean kitchen towel, or paper towels) and wring out all the excess liquid. This is a really important step! Wring out as much liquid as you can!
Combine the cauliflower “rice” with the almond flour, salt, egg whites, and garlic powder. This is your batter.
Cut 2 sheets of parchment paper the size of a baking sheet.
Put your batter onto one sheet of parchment, and place the other sheet on top. “Smoosh” it out to form a thin disk, the size of a pizza.
Leave the top parchment paper on, and bake as a “parchment sandwich” for 20 minutes.
Meanwhile, over medium-high heat, sauté the onions in 1 Tbsp of extra virgin olive oil, salt, pepper, and spices for about 3 minutes, until they begin to soften.
Then, add, the zucchini slices, and let them cook for about 2 minutes. Finally, add the mushrooms and garlic and let them cook for about 2 minutes.
Remove from heat the the veggies are still slightly firm – they’ll finish in the oven.
Finally, take the par-baked crust, remove the top parchment paper, spray it with olive oil spray, and top it with your veggie mixture. Place the tomato slices on top, and bake for 15 more minutes at 350 degrees. (Optional: sprinkle with parmesan or a light dusting of mozzarella cheese if desired before placing in the oven again.)
Wow. Wow. Wow.
All I can say is, who needs grains anyway?!
Seriously, this was such a treat. The crust positively blew me away. It had a delightful mixture of crunchy, crispy, and chewy textures.
And I love what the oven did to the tomatoes: they were just bursting with tomato flavor, thanks to the oven roasting.
The veggies were wonderfully caramelized and gave such a nice, depth of flavor, that complimented the kiss of delicate herbs from the oregano and basil.
A simple please in full glory.
What are some of your simple pleasures in life?
See ya tomorrow morning on the Podcast! (Which is free, every day, all this week, so be sure to check it out!)
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