I don’t know about you, but the moment that clock hits around 5:30 on Friday, I have one thing on my mind: indulgence.
This indulgence can mean everything from a few happy hour drinks and appetizers at the bar to 3 gigantic bowls of ice cream or a nice cozy night indoors with pizza and some vino. Alas, pizza has always been one of those foods that I cannot control myself around.
You see, I tell people that I’m “not a fan of pizza,” but the truth is, I’m just afraid of eating an entire large pizza by myself! Really, how can one not enjoy pizza? It’s a piece of buttery/oily bread, cloaked in tomato sauce and a bunch of cheese. You can’t really go wrong, and once I eat just one piece, I find myself going back for seconds and thirds in a matter of minutes.
(I could totally house this entire snowman myself…)
Personally, I’m very happy with a quality piece of cheese pizza, no toppings required. If it ‘aint broke, don’t fix it, right? But…what if there was a way I could eat half of the pizza by myself without inhaling 5000 calories?
Enter cauliflower crust pizza. I’ve seen it many times over the year, but for some reason, I always assumed it was out of my league! Well, on Wednesday night, with a giant kitchen to myself and the freedom to blast the country music to my heart’s content, I set to work on creating a Skinny Buffalo Chicken Pizza featuring a cauliflower pizza crust.
I was certain I was setting myself up for yet another kitchen disaster, but to my surprise I concocted, dare I say, a masterpiece! The crust was crispy and reminiscent of the actual buttery pizza crust that I know and love, and there was the familiar taste of buffalo chicken in every.single.bite. Even better, this little pie is gluten free!
- 1 small to medium sized head of cauliflower - should yield 2 to 3 cups once processed
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon dried basil
- 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1/4 cup shredded parmesan cheese
- 1/4 cup freshly grated mozzarella cheese
- 1 egg
- 1 cup Frank's Buffalo Wing Hot Sauce
- 1/2 pound chicken breast
- 1 tomato, sliced
- 1 small white onion, diced
- 6 leaves, fresh basil with stems removed
- 2 wedges of Laughing Cow Blue Cheese
- 1/2 cup freshly grated mozzarella cheese
- Start with the toppings. Dice onions, add a pinch of salt and caramelize over medium heat in pan coated in nonstick spray. Remove onions and set aside.
- Spray pan with another coat of nonstick spray; season chicken with salt and pepper and cook over medium heat until no longer pink. Pour in 3/4 cup of Frank's and coat chicken. Cook for 1 more minute. Set chicken aside and cube once chicken has cooled off.
- Preheat oven to 450ºF. On a cutting board, place a large piece of parchment paper or aluminum foil and spray it with nonstick cooking spray.
- Wash and throughly dry a small head of cauliflower. Cut off the florets into small pieces and pulse in your food processor or blender for about 30 seconds, until you get powdery snow-like cauliflower. You should end up with 2 to 3 cups cauliflower “snow”.
- Place the cauliflower in a microwave safe bowl and cover. Cook for 4 minutes. Dump cooked cauliflower onto a clean kitchen towel and allow to cool for about 10 minutes.
- Once cauliflower is cool enough to handle, wrap it up in the dish towel and wring it to squeeze out as much water as possible. This will ensure you get a more crisp pizza crust instead of a crumbly mess.
- Dump squeezed cauliflower into a bowl. Add Parmesan cheese, mozzarella cheese, kosher salt, dried basil, dried oregano, minced garlic and garlic powder. Crack in the egg and mix using hands.
- Once mixed together, form the dough into a crust on oiled parchment paper. Be sure to pat down so that it is tightly formed. Using the cutting board, slide the parchment paper onto baking sheet and into the oven. Bake for 10-12 minutes, until it starts to turn golden brown. Remove from oven.
- Now, begin layering your toppings. Start with the Laughing Cow cheese and use a knife to spread over the hot crust. Next use a pastry brush to spread the remainder of the Frank's sauce. Next, splatter your cheese, then the onions. Place the tomatoes, basil and finally the chicken. Feel free to top off with a bit more cheese!
- Cook for another 7-10 minutes until cheese is melted and slightly golden. Remove from oven and allow to cool for about 5 minutes before digging in!
What a pleasant surprise when this golden beauty came out instead.
I was very worried about the crust being mushy, but it actually came out quite nice. Now, listen to me people: you must wring the s**t out of that cauliflower after it comes out of the microwave. Any extra moisture will ruin the consistency of your crust. Use those bulging biceps.
I served up a piece for myself and my mother…who actually liked it! My mother is a bit of a picky eater, so a seal of approval from her means that I’ve done something right.
A couple of key elements to this little healthified pizza. First, the Laughing Cow Cheese. It was the perfect way to bring in the essential blue cheese flavor without using all of the fat. It melted into the crust, and I tasted the blue cheese in every bite. The hot sauce is also crucial, obviously. Finally, the freshly grated mozzarella cheese. No need to use lowfat cheese here, as mozzarella cheese is a lowfat cheese on its own. And, that fresh cheese really makes a difference, trust me.
I’m not promising you a miracle here! There would be no way to make a vegetable actually taste like pizza crust, but damn, it’s close. And when you add all that buffalo chicken deliciousness to this, well I just dare you to not eat the whole pizza all in one sitting.
Now, I’m not going to tell you this recipe is complicated, because nothing I do is ever that complicated. That said, it will involve a little extra love in the kitchen to get it right. Here’s a brief overview…
My suggestion? Grab a bottle of vino, invite some of your friends and have a little pizza baking party. You can even prepare the crust ahead of time, so that everyone can make their own individual pizzas!
Now, after making such a healthy pizza, you might as well top it off with a killer workout, right? I have been practically obsessed with the Nike Training Club app these days. The workouts are extremely targeted and very challenging.
Yesterday I did a 15 Shoulder Shaper workout. They should have called it the “Burn off your Shoulders Workout.” After 5 minutes, I didn’t know if I could complete the workout, but the “little engine that could” in me forced me to push through.
So, of course, I was inspired to create my own full body workout based off the Nike workouts I’ve been busting out lately…
I call this the full body burn because, quite frankly, your entire body will burn after this workout! There may be a few things on here that you’re unsure about how to execute. If so, check out the videos below or feel free to ask questions in the comment section.
- Burpees + Shoulder Press
- Single Leg Deadlift Dumbbell Row
- Crossback Lunge
- Renegade Row
- Single Leg Deadlift Reverse Fly
- Plank Walks
- Alternating Side Lunge + Rotation
Between this healthified pizza and the killer workout, I’d say I’ve left you with more than enough to get your weekend started.
And for a little bit of humor, if you haven’t seen this video where Jon Stewart laments about Chicago pizza vs New York pizza, you must do so immediately!
Favorite pizza? Tough question – I’m originally from Chicago, so Deep Dish stole my heart a long time ago. Nothing like Giordano’s Stuffed Spinach and Cheese Pizza. Sorry Jon!
Ever tried a cauliflower crust? If you had any issues, I strongly suggest this recipe. The crust turned out great!
Pizza + Beer or Pizza + Wine? Another tough question. I love beer and wine almost equally, but lately, I’ve been feeling pizza and wine.