So… Eric and I have been tryin’ out this whole “paleo” thing. In case you didn’t know, I was vegetarian all through high school and college. Then, after college I started incorporating fish into my diet. One day, I was like “Man, I want some bacon.” The rest is history. I’ve been eating meat pretty much every single day since then. It’s weird, I’m not gonna lie. But, hey – things change, amiright?
Anyway, so back to paleo… overall I enjoy the concept. At home, we both eat paleo for the majority of our meals. At work, I splurge and get lunch that is far from paleo so I kinda feel like it balances out, right? Wrong. One of my fav foods on this planet is pizza. A girl can’t live without pizza. Paleo is not conducive to loving pizza. This is a problem.
The solution? We’ve tried a number of different pizza crust alternatives (including gluten-free ones when Eric was going through that phase) and frankly they stink compared to the real deal. The recipe below is by far the most satisfying alternative version of a pizza crust that we’ve tried. It’s actually pretty good. It will never come close to the magic that is wheat-powered pizza crust, but it can sure as hell try.
We started out with this recipe from The Detoxonista and added some extra starches to help thicken it up a bit. If you’re paleo, gluten free or simply looking for a healthier alternative to normal pizza crust, this is a must try.
I hope you enjoy!
cheesecloth or clean, thin dishtowel
wire mesh strainer
parchment paper (not wax paper)
4 cups cauliflower rice (1 med sized head)
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp arrowroot powder
1-2 tsp dried oregano
Sauce: 1 can organic tomato sauce, 1 clove garlic, salt & pepper
Toppings: fresh basil, cherry tomatoes, mixed bell peppers, red onion, spinach, baby bella mushrooms, cooked chicken breast, feta (optional), red pepper flakes, anything else you want.
Preheat oven to 400°F. Rinse cauliflower head and then slice into chunks, removing stem and green stuff around the bottom. Place into food processor or blender and pulse until it starts to look like rice… aka cauliflower rice. Place “rice” into a pot with about 1 inch of water at the bottom and boil until soft – about 4 or 5 minutes. Pour out into mesh strainer and allow to drain a bit. Run a gentle stream of cool water over rice to bring the temperature down. Drain excess liquid and then carefully dump out into a cheesecloth. It’s easiest to kinda wrap the cloth over the top of the strainer and flip it over while holding the sides together, kinda like turning a cake out. Using your big strong arm muscles, squeeze the rice in the cloth until you can hardly squeeze out any more liquid. You’re going to be amazed at how much is in there. Take a peek at it – if it looks like a ball of mozzarella cheese, it’s ready. In a large mixing bowl, mix together the rice, egg, baking powder, oregano, and arrowroot powder. Then, spread the dough out on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake for 20 mins or until the bottom of the crust is firm. Meanwhile, prep your sauce by blending up the sauce and garlic + any other spices you like and chop up your toppings. Back to the crust, here’s the trick that gives you the best crust – at 20 mins into the baking process when the crust is starting to get nice and firm, carefully (maybe have an assistant here) flip the crust over. Now add your sauce and toppings of choice and place back in the oven for another 20 mins or so. Since ovens vary, keep an eye on it because you don’t want all your hard work to go to waste on a burnt crust. ;) Enjoy!