Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Cauliflower pizza bake

YES I know I just did a pizza-y post. But that means I had some leftover ingredients to use up! Anyhow. Everyone loves the cauliflower pizza crust. But of course, there are two problems with it. One: it uses a f*ckton of cheese to hold the crust together. Number two: all of the squeezing to get the moisture out of the cauliflower is a total pain. However, I do like that it incorporates tons of veggies. So, I came up with this solution. Instead of creating a pizza crust, I just mixed the toppings and sauce with riced cauli, packed it into a large pan, baked it, and served it cut into squares. As with the meatza, it's not something that anyone will mistake for a "real" pizza, but it does have those flavors. A real bonus is that it incorporates tons of cauliflower so you don't have to bother with a separate veggie side if you're lazy like me.

CAULIFLOWER PIZZA BAKE
Serves about 6

INGREDIENTS
  • 1 head of cauliflower, leaves and core removed
  • 1 lb fresh Italian sausage, casings removed (sweet or spicy; pork, chicken, or turkey -- whatever you like!)
  • 1 red onion, diced (about 1 cup)
  • 1 green bell pepper, diced (about 1 cup)
  • 8 oz sliced white or crimini mushrooms
  • 1/2 cup sliced black olives (a 2.25 oz can, drained, will work)
  • 1.5 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp red wine vinegar
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp crushed red pepper flakes (optional)
  • 3/4 cup tomato sauce (I used the plain canned stuff)
  • 1 cup liquid egg whites or four eggs, beaten. I used egg whites for the color and also so that it'd be less eggy-tasting, but I am sure whole eggs would work, too.
  • 15 slices of pepperoni
  • Ghee, olive oil, or butter for cooking
  • Salt and pepper
  • Marinara sauce for serving (optional)
  • Grated parmesan for serving (optional, only if you or your family eats dairy)
DIRECTIONS
  1. Preheat oven to 350 F.
  2. First, make your cauliflower "rice". I used this method, or you can run it through the shredding disk of a food processor. Put it in a large microwave-safe bowl, cover, and nuke on high for 2 minutes. Season generously with salt, toss with a fork, cover, and nuke for another 2 minutes. Uncover, stir, and set aside.
  3. Meanwhile, brown your sausage meat in a skillet over medium-high, crumbling with a wooden spoon. When it is completely cooked through, remove it from the pan with a slotted spoon and set aside, leaving the fat in the pan.
  4. Add the onion, pepper, and mushrooms to the pan which contained the sausage and cook over medium-high heat until everything is softened and the onions are translucent. If you used lean sausage such as chicken or turkey you may need to add additional ghee or oil. Turn off the heat, stir in the vinegar, season with salt and pepper, and set aside.
  5. In a large mixing bowl, beat together the egg whites or eggs, 3/4 cup tomato sauce, oregano, garlic powder, and crushed pepper flakes. Stir in the sausage, vegetable mixture, olives, and riced cauliflower. Add additional salt and pepper if you deem it necessary. Mix to combine.
  6. Grease a 13"x9" pan (I lined the bottom with parchment paper and greased the sides). Pour in the cauliflower mixture, packing it in a smoothing the top evenly (I use my hands). Dot with small pieces of cold butter or ghee or brush the top with olive oil. Uniformly distribute the 15 slices of pepperoni over the top so that when you cut it into squares, each square will be topped with one slice of pepperoni.
  7. Bake at 350 for 45 minutes. Let rest for a couple minutes, then cut into squares and serve. If you'd like, pass heated marinara sauce at the table to spoon over the top (highly recommended), and/or grated parmesan (recommended if you eat dairy).

7 comments:

GiGi Eats Celebrities said...

Okay I am totally in love with this idea, minus the cheese!! :D I am putting it on my to-do list!

TheSaltyGirl said...

I love cauliflower pizza but it takes forever! This seems like a good alternative. I'll try it and maybe even add broccoli to the bake so I get some greens.

Amy Lopez said...

The idea you share here is fantastic! ...Thanks for the wonderful recipe! I am going to try this one

Alejandra Carberry said...

That looks so good. I wish I could reach into my computer screen and eat it! Thanks for sharing such great recipes here!

Jane Bennett said...

It is 1 am here and there is nothing in my fridge. Do you know my feeling when I see these delicious foods :(

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Ann Lily said...

I enjoyed over read your blog post. This was actually what i was looking for, and i am glad to came here!
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