Saturday, May 28, 2011

Saturday Smells Like . . . Cauliflower Low-Carb Pizza

Hello all, J. here. JE has gotten herself into another sticky wicket with Time. I have repeatedly asked that she mend her differences with him, but the two continue to banter back and forth like two school children playing the dozens. Time always complains when
I intercede. He protests that two against one is not square, until I remind him that, by the very rules of the game, he will win in the end and, as such, it is only sporting to let JE win some battles along the way, by hook or by crook.

Time then typically responds by sharing new euphemisms for "lawyer" that he has learned since we last met.

Taking Time's example, I hope to share with you a new dish I recently made: pizza with a low-carb cauliflower crust. Now, I know what you're thinking: "That sounds like the worst idea I've heard since letting your kids sleep over at Neverland Ranch." Hear me out.

If you've been following the blog, you know I've been trying to lose some weight. Actually, about half of me, give or take a few stones. I focused on Atkins, because (a) it involves bacon; (b) it involves cheese; and (c) the whole insulin/glycemic index angle kind of makes sense to me from a evolutionary perspective (yeah. It's really more (a) and (b).). Also, I know that I'm not a "sweets" guy, so I figured that temptation would be minimal.

I neglected, however, to consider my love of bread.

I love me some bread. My mother will tell you that there was a period in my life, from about 12 to 18, when, if given the option, I would put whatever meat you gave me between two pieces of bread, and would likely add a slice of some sort of cheese. Since then, my mixing of bread with meat and cheese has only expanded from the basic sandwich. From bacon tomato cups to homemade pizza, bread + meat + cheese is, to steal a phrase, "Good Eats" in my book.

My biggest struggle in this regard has been pizza. If I love me some bread, I would marry me some pizza (For my more conservative readers, please read "civil union" if you feel that pizza marriage would threaten the institution.). My and JE's recent experiments with homemade pizza only fed the grade-school kid in me that loved pizza day in the school cafeteria.

Given my predicament, I did what any modern man would do: I consulted the interwebs.

And what I found was awesome. You can make pizza dough out of riced cauliflower, which is both nutrition dense and Atkins friendly. Now, I will not bother setting forth the recipes for the following reasons: (a) others have done it superbly; (b) in fairness, I should drive some traffic to their blogs; and (c) have I mentioned I'm lazy?

My first attempt went fairly well. It tasted great. The cauliflower browned a bit and added a nutty tilt that creates a layer of flavor absent from regular pizza. My only problems were (a) I added cream cheese, because I thought it would help the crust bind (I was wrong); and (b) I probably didn't cook it long enough for it to firm. So, be patient and don't add cream cheese, and I'm sure you will enjoy cauliflower pizza as much as I did.

I'd like to share the pictures of my attempts, but JE has them. I'm sure she will come behind me and add them. (hint, hint)

All that said, I will leave you now, as I'm writing this after a run, and my body is ordering me to turn my brain off and just lie in cool dark of the basement, marinading in a mixture of my pain, sweat and self-loathing.

Enjoy the pizza and your holiday weekend.

Update: I was hungry and had some cauliflower left over, so I took another run. Here's what the mixture looks like spread onto a pan. I've taken a few liberties, adding garlic, basil and a light coat of butter for browning purposes.

This is what it looks like straight out of the oven:

After that, you just add the sauce (make your own. Seriously, it's cheap and easy. Just simmer some diced tomatoes, some tomato paste and some tomato sauce and add seasonings as you like.) and toppings. Then pop it back in the oven for around 5 minutes under the broiler.

Then, take it out, let it cool and enjoy.

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