Nutritiously Delicious...Pizza is My Weakness

Pizza might be my all time favorite food. Actually, I think it is my all time favorite food. That or Costco cake... judge away.

I love, and I mean LOVE, melted cheese. When my sister and I were younger, we used to cut up fresh mozzarella (you know the kind in the ceran wrap with the little knots on the ends), put it in a glass bowl and microwave it for 20-30 seconds. The result was a melted cheese bowl...might sound ridiculously gross, but trust me, if you're a cheese lover, it's ridiculously good. A few years into our culinary discovery, Dori had a bad experience with said cheese bowl and a movie involving a red-head, so she never ate one again, and without my cheese bowl sidekick the idea seemed less appealing.

Cheese bowls no longer an option, I turned to more conventional means of consuming melted cheese, you know on other things and not by itself...yea...

Perhaps this cheese bowl concoction came from the fact that I was a very picky eater as a kid, and I mean VERY picky. Who knows, maybe I was just weird. Anyway, pickiness, weirdness, cheesebowlness aside, I always loved pizza, and since it was a politically correct thing to eat, I got to do so a lot. During swim meets (we have a home video of me eating pizza mid-swim meet on the dock while the other kids raced), on a Saturday night, on my weekly Tuesday afternoon dates with my mom while my sister was in a class, for lunch, homemade... anyway I could have it, I did..I loved pizza. As I got older my love for pizza took a back seat to my love for a waistline and ultimately, to my love for stomach-pain-free morning afters (last year I discovered I'm a gluten intolerant; not celiac but I feel better when I don't eat gluten). So, in the last year I'd say I've had pizza maybe once or twice and each time I remember how much I love it, and miss it.

So, you can imagine my excitement when the make-pizza-on-things-other-than-dough phenomenon burst through the internet in recent months.

First, I found a recipe for portobello mushroom pizzas (cute little nuggets you'll want to eat right out of the oven, warning: they will burn you) and most recently, a recipe for cauliflower crust pizza. When I found both I knew I had to try them immediately and now, no shock, both are staples in my gluten-free, melted-cheese, pizza-obsessed diet!

I usually make the portobello mushroom pizza as my dinner, but I introduced my mom to these little gems this winter and she has been making them as appetizers when we have friends over.  She just uses a pizza cutter to cut them into 4 equal parts and that way everyone gets a taste of the magic. They work great either way!

Portobello Mushroom Pizza (I found my recipe here but there are tons out there)
Serves: 1 person (2 mushroom caps, if I'm having this as my dinner otherwise, make as many as you want and cut them up)

2 portobello mushroom caps (remove the stems & "gils")
pizza sauce
shredded cheese
toppings of your choice (I like black olives or soy pepperoni

Remove the stems and gils from the portobello mushrooms. Spread desired amount of sauce, about 1/4 cup, of sauce into bottom of mushroom (you don't want them to be overflowing with sauce because then it will bubble up and spill out while you're cooking). Sprinkle with cheese and add your toppings. Bake on a cookie sheet at 350 degrees for about 10-15 minutes or until cheese is melted and bubbly.

Cauliflower Crust Pizza (This is the recipe I worked off of but altered it a bit)
*I doubled the recipe and it served 2 people with 1 slice left over. Plan accordingly.

For crust:
1 cup cooked, riced cauliflower
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese (I use the kraft fat free kind to cut calories here)
1 egg beaten
1 tsp oregano
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp crushed red pepper

For top:
Pizza sauce
Shredded cheese
Choice of toppings

To rice the Cauliflower: 

- Remove stems and leaves, and chop the cauliflower florets into chunks. I don't have a food processor so I grated the whole thing by hand with a cheese grater (blood, sweat and tears baby) but if you're a civilized human being and have kitchen utensils, use the food processor. (Food processor method: add cauliflower chunks to food processor and pulse until it looks like grain; do not over-pulse or you will puree it). 

- Place the riced cauliflower in a microwave safe bowl and microwave for 8 minutes. Do not add water, the natural moisture in the cauliflower is enough to cook itself, and if you add water it will turn to a mush pile.
*Note: One large head of cauliflower should produce approximately 3 cups of riced cauliflower, since you only need 1 cup for this recipe (or 2 if you're doubling it). You can keep the remainder to make more pizza crusts tomorrow once you realize you're addicted at a later time, or store it in the refrigerator for up to a week (or if you're like me throw it away because your fridge is approximately the size of your left calf).
To Make the Pizza Crust:
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Open front door of apartment so as not to set off smoke alarm. Spray a cookie sheet with non-stick cooking spray, (I'd spray it well especially in the middle, to avoid the well known- stuck on you anthem from haunting you in your sleep).
In a medium bowl, stir together riced cauliflower, egg and mozzarella. Add spices and mix. Transfer to the cookie sheet, and using your hands, pat out into a round crust looking shape.
Bake crust at 450 degrees for 15 minutes.
Remove from oven. Add sauce, toppings and cheese. Place under a broiler at high heat just until cheese is melted (approximately 3-4 minutes).

Devour and say out loud "oh my god this is almost as good as a cheesebowl real pizza"

My first cauliflower pizza...amazingly good

Happy cooking!