Trying to be trendy 2- Cauliflower “Crust”

So Mr. Food It Yourself and I have started really cracking down on our carbohydrate intake. For him, it’s about blood sugar control. For me, it is a matter of keeping my blood lipids in check. We have not given up on carbohydrates entirely. Obviously, we are not giving up fruit. Fruit is good for you. We are still enjoying starchy vegetables and grains, also. We are, however, measuring our portions and limiting our total intake of carbohydrates. So far, we have only had to make small adjustments to our eating patterns. But sometimes I just want pizza.

There are plenty of carbohydrate controlling ways to enjoy pizza. English muffins are just about perfectly portioned for our updated DIYet. We have found that English muffin pizzas do satisfy the pizza craving. I like having options, though. Also, I have been seeing a flood of recipes on the web using cauliflower to make things normally made from grains. You know me, I have to try the food trends! My biggest issue with the recipes I found is that many of them are posted by quack diet followers.

Don’t get me wrong, there is no one-size-fits-all diet. The ketogenic diet has, in fact, proven to be very helpful for patients with epilepsy who do not respond well to anti-seizure medication. (It has never, to my knowledge, been proven to be very helpful to people with any other diagnosis, however. If you have a peer-reviewed article that says otherwise please share.) As long as you are not showing signs of a nutrient deficiency and your medical assessment values are within normal limits, you go ahead and do your thing your way. However, if you do have healthy vital statistics do not for one moment thing that some extreme diet you heard about from a celebrity will make your life and health better. I’m sure many of the recipes on these sites are delicious. There is nothing wrong with the recipes. The quackery involved in promoting the recipes? That is just wrong.

I digress, however. For my DIYet carbohydrate-controlled diet I actually used a recipe from some quackster who wants you to believe “detoxing” is a thing you need to do. It is not. The main reason I went with this recipe? It was an excuse to buy chevre. I will admit I have a soft spot in my heart for soft goat cheese.

Evidently you can now buy pre-riced cauliflower either fresh or frozen. If you buy fresh you can skip right to the cooking part. If you buy frozen you can just thaw and squeeze.

If you, like me, do not currently own a food processor you can “rice” your cauliflower on a box grater. If you, like me, do not feel like dragging out a pot and assembling a steaming rig to steam your cauliflower pulp, you can simply add a splash of water and steam it in the microwave. I cooked mine for five minutes at 60% power, let it sit for five minutes, and then cooked five more at 60% power. You might need to adjust the times and power level based on how your microwave performs.

While that was going on, I got the rest of the crust ingredients together.  A fork made smashing the goat cheese and incorporating it into the egg, salt and oregano quite easy. As directed in the recipe, I squeezed the excess water out of the cooked cauliflower. It took both hands, so I did not get a picture. I was surprised by how much water I was able to expel. The shreds did indeed end up looking dry.

I mixed the shredded cauliflower and the cheese-egg binder, then swept the floor as the oven completed heating. I had no idea a box grater could throw cauliflower shreds so far across a kitchen.

Here is the progression from raw rectangle to golden brown crust:

I went simple with toppings, just some savory tomato jam, mozzarella, and fresh basil. After 10 minutes of baking and five minutes under a broiler we had something that certainly looked like pizza.

The recipe writer claims this crust will fool your family. It will most likely not. It tastes distinctly of cauliflower and goat cheese. It does hold up under the weight of toppings and can be eaten by hand, however. Mr. Food It Yourself and I enjoyed this, although it is not at all the same as a slice from our local pizza joint.

At some point in our lives we all need to make adjustments in our diet, or our DIYet. If you are thinking of making a change make sure that change is backed by science. There are plenty of reasons your doctor or a registered dietitian might advise you to reduce your carbohydrate intake. Using lower-carbohydrate substitutes for grain- based foods can certainly help keep you on track.

I am still unsure how I feel about this cauliflower-for-grains trend, but I am not against more experimentation. What is the best (or worst) substitute you’ve tried in a favorite recipe? Share in the comments!

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