Cauliflower Crust Pizza

Cauliflower is all the rage lately on Pinterest. I’ve looked on with skeptical curiosity but finally decided to take the plunge given our goal to keep eating healthy. I will say making this crust was a bit more work than I expected, but, it really, truly was delicious. My crust was a bit soft in the center so I think I could have cooked the crust a few more minutes or the tomato sauce was too much to handle (I’ll have to make a few more before I can submitt a perfect recipe to you all). But if you are gluten free and cutting back on carbs (or want to hide some veggies from your kids) this recipe is a great option. It can be fun to do as a family, too!

Cauliflower crusted pizza by jewtalian

Ingredients:

  • 1 head of cauliflower
  • 1 egg
  • Salt & Fresh Cracked Black Pepper
  • Garlic Powder
  • Dried or Fresh Chopped Oregano
  • Red Pepper Flakes (optional for some spice)
  • 1 TBSP flax seed meal (optional)
  • 1/4 cup reduced fat mozzarella cheese
  • Few TBSPs of fresh grated parmigiano reggiano cheese

Instructions:

  • Put your pizza stone in the oven at 450 degrees.
  • Place your cauliflower in the blender and pulse until it looks like rice or some people say, snow.

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  • Place the cauliflower in a microwave safe bowl and microwave for about 4 minutes. It will come out piping hot. Dump the mixture on to a clean dish towel and when it’s cooled enough squeeze all the water out–this will take you several minutes. You will be shocked by the amount of water that comes out!
  • In a mixing bowl add the egg, cheeses, and seasonings. (I have used fresh parsley and the spicy oregano I grow in my garden) Incorporate the cauliflower and mix together–use your hands!

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  • Roll it into a ball and place on top of a piece of parchment paper.

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  • Using your hands press down on the “dough” flattening it out into the shape of a pizza. I used my fingers to create a crust around the edge.

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  • Place the crust on the parchment paper on the pizza stone and cook for 15 minutes 

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  • I topped mine with some leftover homemade sauce, caramelized onions, reduced fat mozzarella cheese, a sprinkle of parmesan cheese and of course some spicy soppressata.
  • After your toppings are done, bake the pizza until the cheese is bubbly and browning. NOTE: let your pizza cool and set a few minutes before you cut into it or it will be messy and more difficult to pick up a slice and eat it. Buon Appetito!

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Here’s another version I did with zuchinni, tomatoes and shrimp. 

Real Deal String Bean Casserole with Home-Fried Crispy Onions

We have all eaten some version of string bean casserole. Campbell’s advertises their cream of mushroom soup around the holidays just for that purpose. You’ll even find a recipe on the back of the can. I happen to find canned creamy soup unappetizing so I set out last Thanksgiving to make string bean casserole from scratch–no preservatives or canned anything. ┬áIt was worth the extra effort. I promise.

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Photos courtesy of Lisa Effren Photography.

*You can make this in a cast iron pan but we don’t have one big enough.

Ingredients:

Crispy Onions
2 medium yellow onions, thinly sliced (use 3 if you want to snack-it’s hard not to eat them)
1/4 cup flour
2 tablespoons panko breadcrumbs
Salt & Pepper
Canola oil, for frying

Mushroom Sauce
3 tablespoons or so butter
1 package of mushrooms, chopped
Freshly ground black pepper
Kosher salt
2 garlic cloves, minced
3 tablespoons flour
1 1/2 cups vegetable or chicken broth
1/2 cup heavy cream or similar substitute

1.5 lbs of fresh string beans, trimmed and cleaned

Instructions:

Using a mandolin, cut your onion into thin strips.

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Toss the onions with the flour, bread crumbs, salt and pepper.

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Heat about 1/2 inch of oil in a pan and test the temperature by dropping one onion in. It should sizzle.

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Only cook a handful or so at a time in small batches. Place the finished ones on a paper bag lined with paper towels to soak up the excess oil. *Beware: hide these somewhere while you compile the rest of the dish- or they will somehow disappear.

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Par boil the string beans in salted water and then place in a ice bath to stop the cooking. The last thing we want are mushy string beans.

Heat oven to 400 degrees.

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To make the mushroom sauce:

Over medium-high heat, melt butter in the bottom of a pan or cast iron skillet. Add the mushrooms, salt and pepper and saute them for 3 to 5 minutes. Add the garlic, shallots and saute one minute more.

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Add the flour and combine.

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Add the broth a little at a time and keep stirring. Let it simmer for a minute or so, add the cream and bring to a simmer again while stirring. In about 5 minutes or so the sauce should thicken.

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Pour the mixture over the string beans in a baking dish. Add onions and bake until everything bubbles – about 15 minutes.

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