Hello friends, and happy Wednesday!
Today, I spent all day at the studio recording a series of voice overs! So it’s a good thing you’re reading this, instead of listening to it, because my voice is shot!
I’ll tell you what, when I was in the VO booth, I was DREAMING about these pizzas!
I knew that they were waiting for me at the end of the day, and boy oh boy, did that help get me through hour #six behind the mic!
So… P I Z Z A!!
Pizza is one of those comfort foods you can literally eat anytime of day: breakfast, lunch, dinner or midnight…pizza will always hit the spot!
Since adopting the Specific Carb Diet almost 10 years ago though, I have not been able to enjoy a slice of ‘za unless I made it myself!
SO…I wanted to share my FAVORITE way to indulge in the greatest food known to man! A grain free crust, topped with pesto, blistered veggies and fresh basil! (I topped my special gentleman’s pizza with cheese and pepperoni too, which he thoroughly enjoyed!)
AND the best part, is that it is boyfriend-approved! AKA…”normal” eaters will love it too!
It’s grain and gluten free, paleo, keto, and Specific Carb Diet friendly!
And I’ll leave it up to you if you want to spill the beans on its secret ingredient: CAULIFLOWER!
Plus, it’s absolutely packed with protein from the almond flour!
Here’s What You Need: (Serves 2)
1/2 head of cauliflower, riced
1/2 cup almond flour
2 Tbsp EVOO
1/4 tsp salt
freshly cracked black pepper
2 cups fresh basil
1 garlic clove
1/3 cup pine nuts, toasted
2 pinches of salt
Juice of 1/2 lemon
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup parmesan cheese (optional…or, add at the end after taking some out for the dairy free folks)
1 red bell pepper, cut into matchsticks
1 red onion, diced
5 garlic cloves, minced (or less, but I like it punchy with garlic!)
4 baby bell mushrooms, sliced
1 Tbsp dried oregano
1 Tbsp dried basil
Pinch of crushed red pepper
Salt and pepper
Mozzarella cheese, or goat cheese
Fresh basil for garnish
Preheat your oven to 400 degrees F.
Rice your cauliflower in the food processor, or use store bought, pre-riced cauliflower…which is what I did. If making your own, be sure to wring out the excess liquid afterwards, by placing your riced cauliflower in a clean kitchen towel and wringing it out over the sink. This is a really important step!
In a mixing bowl, combine your crust ingredients to form a batter: riced cauliflower, almond flour, eggs, EVOO, salt and pepper.
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Divide the batter into 4 even parts, and scoop them onto the baking sheet – evenly spaced. Then, place your second sheet of parchment paper over the top and then with your hands, smoosh out the batter to form four crusts. You’ll want them to be relatively thin, about six-seven inches in diameter.
Bake with the top paper on, as a parchment sandwich for 15 minutes. After fifteen minutes, take them out of the oven, peel off the top parchment paper, spritz with olive oil, and return to the oven for another 5-10 minutes, until the edges begin to turn golden brown.
Meanwhile, make your pesto by combining all of the pesto ingredients (minus the cheese) into the food processor, and blitz until it forms a smooth pesto. You’ll need to stop and scrape the sides several times. At this point, if you have dairy-free eaters, remove a portion of the dairy free-pesto and set aside. Then add the cheese to the food processor, and finish the pesto.
Also, prep and make your veggies. In a large nonstick pan, heat about 2 Tbsp EVOO, and then add your peppers, onion, garlic, mushrooms, salt, pepper and spices to the pan, and let them cook for about 10 minutes over medium-high heat, until they begin to soften. Then, remove from heat and set aside.
To assemble: top your pizza crust with a thick layer of pesto, a healthy portion of veggies, and fresh basil. (This is the SCD/Keto version.) You can also add cheese and pepperoni, and then pop it under the broiler for 1 minute to melt the cheese.
I served it with a filet of halibut, and it was the perfect, filling supper that my gentleman and I could enjoy together after a long day!
But I mean…wow. Just look at how beautiful this dish was! The colors were jumping off the plate, and the FLAVORS!! Oh my gosh, I think I could eat pesto every day for the rest of my life.
It is so bright and fresh! And garlicy and just the perfect pop of flavor with the savory, herby veggies! The bell pepper gave them a slight sweetness, which also was complimented by the basil in the pesto, and the nuttiness of the crust!
You see, a beautiful thing happens with this crust in the oven. It takes on a NUTTY flavor! Because the cauliflower becomes golden brown and caramelizes, releasing its subtle sweet nuttiness, and then the almonds in the almond flour toast in the oven. It is just PERFECT!
And so chewy and delightful! The texture of the bread is like a hearty flatbread…it is absolutely divine!
I can’t believe it’s so healthy!
And of course, the cheese took it over the top. But then, when else has cheese ever let you down?
Make these pizzas this weekend! They’re a wonderful Lenten supper on Friday, when you’re feeling tired of a fish fry!
Thanks for reading, and I’ll see you tomorrow!
“This is what the Lord says to these bones: I will make breath enter you, and you will come to life.” Ez 37:5
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