By Dave Schreck
My first attempt at cooking was a pizza. Remember Appian Way pizza in a box, the Chef Boyardee pizza kit?
I then graduated to dough from the local Italian bakery and then making my own organic whole wheat pizza dough in a Cuisinart. What could be healthier — lots of complex carbs (grains), vegetables (tomatoes, peppers, and onions), and cheese, just what the experts recommended and years before I read “The Zone.” For me pizza was more than comfort food. It was a staple for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
Recently, a colleague suggested I feature the humble cauliflower as one of the few white foods acceptable on the Zone. When I read about a pizza with a cauliflower crust, I got excited. After grating, boiling, squeezing the water out, mixing in an egg and goat cheese, I had a small grapefruit size ball of cauliflower. It was labor intensive, and I still had to “roll out the dough.” The result was three small patties that after baking for 20 minutes I knew would never compare to a thin-crusted, coal-fired pizza. They reminded me of my mother’s German potato pancakes. Helpful hint: If you’re hankering for pizza, go to your favorite pizza joint for your monthly pig- out. If you need your pizza fix on a regular basis, place pizza sauce on an Original Low-Carb Flatout Flatbread, topped with 2% cheese and your favorite lean protein. Bake, and you’ll be done an hour and a half before the cauliflower pizza dough is ready!
Back to the humble cauliflower. Here are two recipes you will find easy and tasty. Consider these recipes as a side dish. Additional veggies and lean protein are required for a balanced meal.
Curried Cauliflower with Chickpeas and Spinach
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 head of cauliflower (about 1 lb.) cut into florets
1 medium onion
3/4 cup water
1 container (6 oz) plain low-fat Greek yogurt
2-3 tablespoons milk
2 tablespoons curry paste (Pataks’) choose your flavor type
1 can chickpeas – rinsed, drained
1 small bag baby spinach (10 oz.)
Salt and pepper to taste.
- Heat oil in a non-stick pan, add onion and cook until soft.
- Add cauliflower florets with Â¾ cup of water. Reduce heat to medium low, cover and simmer until cauliflower is tender.
- In a bowl mix yogurt, milk and curry paste. Add more milk for desired consistency
- Add chickpeas and spinach to cauliflower and cook until spinach is wilted
- Stir in yogurt mixture; simmer uncovered for desired consistency
- Season with salt and pepper if necessary. Garnish with parsley
Sounds tasty but is there something easier? Try this:
Roasted Cauliflower (adapted from Cooks Illustrated)
1 head cauliflower (about 1 lb.)
2 tablespoons olive oil or olive oil spray
Kosher salt and pepper
- Preheat oven to 475. Line baking sheet with aluminum foil.
- Remove outer leaves and cut cauliflower into 4 equal wedges.
- Drizzle and rub all wedges with olive oil, salt and pepper. Place wedges cut side down.
- Cover with foil and place on lowest oven rack for 10 minutes.
- Remove foil and continue to roast until wedges begin to brown, about 8-10 minutes.
- Flip wedges over and continue to roast until golden.
- Adjust seasoning; drizzle with additional olive oil if desired.