I am not a follower of sports games but apparently next week one of the biggest sports games of the year is going to be played. While fans around the country tune in to watch men in spandex jump all over each other, even more people will be engaged in America's true favorite pass time - snacking. Well I say BRING IT ON! Let's all get together in our jeans and t-shirts, talk loudly, watch goofy commercials, and nibble yummy food. Throughout this week I will be posting ideas for party foods that will make even the most hard core snacker happy, and help reduce the number of greasy fingers secretly wiped on your couch. Just please continue to eat mindfully, even healthy party food can be consumed in excess.
Kicking Off The Main Event!
I think pizza is to the Super Bowl what turkey is to Thanksgiving so it seems like a good place to launch this week of game day foods.
If you aren't a follower of the Our Lady Facebook page you may have missed one of the latest recipes sweeping the internet - Cauliflower Crust Pizza. This recipe came to me via my super savvy cousin who found it on www.recipegirl.com who got it from a friend and so on... Well, I tried her recipe last week and in addition to being quick and easy it was DELICIOUS! Mr. Second Helpings and I even squabbled over who would get to eat the leftovers for lunch. Recipe Girl's recipe calls for using about half a head of cauliflower but I ran the entire thing through the food processor and, with the same quantity of egg and cheese, made one large pie. The finished crust doesn't taste like cauliflower but it doesn't not taste like cauliflower.
A couple of tips from my experience: Make sure your pan has a good coat of non-stick spray before patting out the crust, plop the mixture down in the middle of the pan and gently work it toward the edges with the back of a spoon or rubber scraper, and as Recipe Girl indicates this is a pizza to eat with a fork.
If cauliflower really isn't your thing a more traditional pizza from scratch (or semi-scratch) is a great way to go, most everybody loves pizza after all. The Our Lady of Second Helpings Pizza Rule is use lots of veggies (or all), pick a lean meat, and go light on the cheese.
If I am planning ahead I have started making my crusts from scratch but truthfully I have not found a method that yields a good texture. I'll keep experimenting but in the mean time I will fall back on pre-made options.
Here are some ideas for a quick pizza crust:
- Whole Wheat Boboli
- Reduced Fat English Muffin Halves
- Thin Bread or Thin Bagels
- Flatout Flat Breads
After picking a crust the sky is the limit for toppings here are some of my favorites:
- Pre-sliced mushrooms
- Check the produce section for veggies pre-sliced for fajitas
- Roasted Bell Peppers - Water Packed
- Turkey pepperoni
- Chicken or Turkey Italian Sausage - cooked in the casing for a rustic pizza or uncase before cooking for crumbles
- Jarred Marinara Sauce - look for 40 or less calories per serving
- Canadian Bacon
If you really want to go crazy try more out of the box toppings, spinach, arugula, shredded chicken, roasted garlic cloves, grapes, thinly sliced apples, or whatever happens to be in your fridge. In your kitchen you make the rules go crazy and have fun!
Reduced fat shredded cheese is a convient topping but to cut the calories we often use chèvre (goat cheese), it gets soft and toasty in the oven making it creamy and delicious. Look for plain and flavored chèvre with the deli cheeses at the grocery store.
Making pizza from scratch (or semi-scratch) cuts calories, fat, salt, sugar, grease, gas, bloat, and I think, is much tastier. For a Super Bowl party invite the guests less interested in the game to help slice and assemble the pies. Cooking with friends is a fun and healthy way to pass the time between "Bud-Wise-Er" ads.
Cauliflower Pizza Crust Recipe
Makes 6 servings. Prep time: 25 minutes; Cook time 20 minutes
From Recipe Girl: Cauliflower Pizza Crust
- ½ - ¾ head of cauliflower, 2-3 cups shredded
- 1 large egg
- 1 cup finely shredded mozzarella
- 1 teaspoon Italian herb blend (use a pizza herb & spice blend if you can find it)
- ¼ teaspoon Kosher salt
- olive oil
- Favorite Pizza Toppings
- Pre-heat oven to 450 degrees F. Set aside a cookie sheet or a pizza pan.
- Prep Cauliflower: Grate cauliflower into a microwave safe dish, Microwave uncovered for 8 minutes, Let cauliflower cool (fluff it a bit to cool evenly)
- Once the cauliflower cools, Mix in mozzarella, egg, and spices.
- Spray or wipe pan with olive oil. On the pan - shape mixture into the crusts two small or one large - a circular pizza pan helps to make the large pizza crust. Place into pre-heated oven.
- Bake for about 15 minutes or until golden - keep an eye on it, the edges may turn a little black but that is okay.
- Once golden remove crust from oven and adjust temperature to Broil.
- Top pizza as desired and replace in oven under broiler until toppings are heated through and the cheese is melted.
WW Points Plus: varies according to the ingredients used. My crust was made with Part-Skim Mozzarella and ⅙ came to just barely 3, I would call it 2 because I'm a rebel like that.
Related Posts: Leftover Thanksgiving Dinner Pizza
I'll have to share my new pizza crust recipe with you! It's excellent and makes 8 pizza crusts at once so you can freeze a bazillion of them for later.