When many of my clients tell me they’ve eaten pizza, it almost sounds like a confession, like they’re reporting committing a crime against humanity. But pizza can definitely be part of a healthy diet – even if you have weight loss goals. With a few tweaks, you can have your pizza and eat it, too. No confession necessary.
One potential tweak is the crust. While I agree that nothing beats a good wood fired pizza crust, what’s better than knowing you’re packing in some major nutrition while eating pizza? Cruciferous vegetables (like kale, broccoli, cauliflower, radishes and Brussels sprouts just to name a few) contain some of the strongest cancer-fighting compounds of any food group.
Meatless Monday – or any day. My version of pizza doesn’t have to be YOUR version of pizza (mostly because I’m honestly not a fan of red sauce, pepperoni or melted mozzarella cheese…I know, I know I’ve lost all credibility at this point, but hear me out). You can top this crust with whatever your heart desires. In our collective, health-affirming effort to eat more plants, (because it’s good for you and the world), I encourage a pizza that’s light-on-the-cheese and has a mostly vegetable theme. Add a side salad and enjoy a meat free, veggie-loaded, nutrient-dense, satisfying meal that’s damn delicious any day of the week and makes you feel like you’re indulging in pizza…because well, you are! 😉
- 1 medium head cauliflower
- 1/2 cup almond meal (almond flour)
- 2 eggs, beaten
- 1/2 cup crumbled feta or goat cheese
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1/4 cup feta or goat cheese
- 1-2 cups shiitake (or any other type) mushroom tops, washed and sliced
- 3/4 cup vidalia onion, sliced
- 1 T. water
- 1/2 T. olive oil
- 1 cup broccoli florets
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1 garlic clove, chopped
- 1/2 tsp. dried oregano
- 1/2-1 T. truffle oil
- crushed red pepper flakes
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
- Cut cauliflower head into smaller pieces and place in food processor. Process until "rice like."
- Place cauliflower into a microwave safe bowl, cover and cook on high for 5 minutes. Set aside.
- Heat olive oil in a saucepan. When hot, add onions and sautee until translucent. Remove onions from pan and add the mushrooms to the pan. Cook mushrooms, stirring occasionally, about 7-10 minutes, and remove from pan. Return onions to pan and add broccoli plus one tablespoon water and cook on medium/high heat approx. 5 minutes. (*Optional add-ins: If you like garlic, add one garlic clove to the sauteed vegetable mixture, adding to the onions on the second heating.)
- Add mushrooms back to onion/broccoli mixture until water is evaporated and all ingredients are cooked and heated through (about 3-5 minutes).
- When cauliflower is cool, use a clean, thin dishtowel or cheesecloth to squeeze out as much excess water as possible. This step is the key to a avoiding a soggy crust. Return squeezed cauliflower to bowl.
- Stir in almond meal, beaten eggs, 1/2 cup cheese and lightly salt and pepper. (*Optional add-ins: For even more "pizza-like" flavor, add 1/4-1/2 tsp. dried oregano to the crust ingredients.)
- Line a baking sheet (round or rectangular) with parchment paper. Spread "pizza dough" onto parchment paper. (note: it's easier to spread the "dough" into a rectangle than a circle). Bake for 30 minutes.
- Remove crust from oven and dress with onion/mushroom/broccoli mixture.
- Sprinkle pizza with remaining feta or goat cheese, salt and pepper to taste.
- Bake 10-15 minutes longer or until bottom of crust begins to brown.
- Serve alone or with a green salad.
- (*Optional: lightly drizzle with truffle oil and for a little kick, sprinkle crushed red pepper flakes before serving).