Great news: Clyde has perfected his low-carb, lower calorie, cauliflower crust pizza recipe!
I’m a pizza fiend. I mean, I could eat pizza every meal, and then order more pizza for dessert. Once, in college, I ate nothing but pizza for three meals a day for thirty days. (I only stopped because friends thought it was weird.)
Lately, though, I’m also a low-carb diner — and that, for the most part, means you don’t get much pizza. Oh, you can scrape toppings off crusts. You can make a sort of “pizza salad” by tossing ingredients with cheese and heating ‘em up. But what I really miss is pizza: delicious, sinful, bready, foldable, crusty, designed-by-Satan pizza. If you’re eating low-carb, I’ll bet that, like me, the occasional pizza is high on your list of cheat foods.
Well, pizza doesn’t have to be a low-carb cheat. In fact, if you’ll use Clyde’s original low-carb pizza crust recipe, it can be a low-carb delight. You could have pizza every meal for a month and still meet your low carb goals! (Or have it occasionally and avoid stares from your so-called friends.)
- one large head of cauliflower
- 1/2 teaspoon of garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon of Italian spices
- 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
- 1/4 cup mozzarella
- 1/4 cup goat cheese
- 2 eggs
Buy a two-pound bag of riced cauliflower or rice your own. (To rice your own cauliflower, run a whole large cauliflower head through the food processor until it looks like rice.)
Put riced cauliflower into an uncovered bowl, microwave it for five minutes, and stir. Repeat this step three more times. (You’re dehydrating the cauliflower.) Allow the riced cauliflower to cool while you preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Once cool, add 1/2 teaspoon of garlic powder and 1/2 teaspoon of Italian spices.
In another bowl, mix 1/4 cup of Parmesan cheese, 1/4 cup mozzarella, and a handful of goat cheese.
Crack eggs and separate whites from yolks. Beat egg whites until frothy, as though making a meringue.
Mix cauliflower, cheeses, and egg whites together. Then beat the egg yolks and fold them into the cauliflower, cheese, and egg white mixture.
Put the “dough” on a silicone mat or parchment paper, shaping it into a round or square pie (your preference). Crimp the edges up a bit to make it look more like a traditional pizza with rising crusts. (This will also make the exposed “crust” brown more in the oven, adding realism to your pie.)
Put in the oven at 400 for 20 minutes. Remove the crust. Put another pizza pan over the crust and flip over. Put the flipped crust back in the oven for 20 minutes. The resulting crust will be golden brown. It’s okay for the raised crust to look a little too brown, in fact.
Once the crust cools, spread on about 3/4 – 1 cup pizza sauce with a spoon. We like heavy sauce, and we buy a very low carb pizza sauce, Rao’s. We also like to add sambal, a sort of Indonesian sriracha, to the sauce.
Then, of course, you add toppings. We used lots of veggies (yellow and red bell peppers, fresh jalapeño slices), then smother these toppings with lots of mozzarella cheese and uncured turkey pepperoni. (If you like spicy food, I’ve noticed that spicy toppings taste especially good on low-carb pizzas.)
If you are still baking pizzas in a standard oven (but why?), bake the finished pie for 10 minutes at 400 degrees. You’ll get better results with this or any pizza by baking it on a Pizza Pizzaz. (Dual heat, 10 minutes.)
What’s it Like?
The resulting pizza crust has a delightfully crisp exposed crust and a a gorgeous brown undercrust sturdy enough to lift and even fold — just like regular dough. There is no hint of a cauliflower taste (a problem with early experimental versions of this recipe); this crust has a soft, doughy mouthfeel and a delicious flavor.
Frankly? This isn’t just good low-carb pizza — it’s good pizza. When you use Clyde’s recipe, you won’t miss out on any aspect of the delights of a gooey, cheesy, bready pizza — except for those pesky carbs.
So: How Many Carbs?
Large head of cauliflower has about 40 grams of carbohydrates, with 21 grams of dietary fiber, for an effective carb content of just 19 carbs. Quarter cups of Parmesan, mozzarella, and goat cheeses will add no more than 1 or 2 carbs. Eggs have about 1/2 a carb each. Rao’s Homemade Pizza sauce has just one effective carb per 1/3 cup. Veggie toppings add even more fiber, and our meat topping of choice (uncured turkey pepperoni) add no more than one carb per ounce.
The result? The entire pizza (hot, cheesy, and very filling) has about 26 carbs. Clyde and I are hearty eaters, and we are very satisfied splitting a pie between us, so our entire pizza dinner has just about 13 effective carbs! (For comparison’s sake: a single slice of a 12-inch Pizza Hut hand-tossed supreme pizza has 26 carbs. Half the pie comes in at a whopping 104 carbs!)
How Many Calories?
Counting calories? Have at it. A single slice of Pizza Hut pepperoni will cost you 240 calories. An equivalent slice of Clyde’s pizza has just 100 calories. And you can eat half the pie for just 403 calories, total! (Don’t try that with a Pizza Hut pie.)
Mix it up, top it, bake it, and enjoy!
Note: Photo above is of our first effort — not bad, but, the crust didn’t have the cheeses or spices in it, and wasn’t double-baked. So it was just okay … sort of like a crust made of hash browns. The pizza crust made with the recipe above was about 1,000 times better.