In honor of National Cheese Pizza Day I wanted to share with you two healthy cheese pizza recipes 🙂
Recipe #1 Mini Cauliflower Pizza Crust Cheese Pizza Bites
1 large head cauliflower (about 4 cups shredded)
2 large eggs
3 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon dried basil
2 teaspoons garlic powder
1 cup pizza sauce
12 fresh basil leaves
1 tomato, sliced into 12 rounds
1/4 cup finely shredded Parmesan cheese
1 Using a box grater or a food processor, shred cauliflower into crumbles. Reserve 4 cups; store the remainder in the fridge or freezer for future pizzas.
2 Cook cauliflower in microwave in a large microwave-safe bowl for 8 minutes. Allow to cool 10 minutes.
3 Add eggs, 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese, oregano, basil and garlic powder and stir to combine. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.
4 Lightly grease 2 baking sheets (or pizza pans); divide mixture into 12 balls. Place balls on sheets and pat each into a thin round about 4 inches wide. Bake in oven 15 minutes until golden brown (the edges might be charred; this is OK).
5 Remove sheets from oven and heat broiler. Top each mini crust with pizza sauce, basil leaves, remaining mozzarella and Parmesan cheeses and tomato slices.
6 Broil pizzas until cheese is melted and tomatoes are slightly roasted, about 5 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool 5 minutes before serving.
Recipe #2 Zucchini Crust Vegetarian Pizza Margherita
(Makes 2-4 servings, depending on what you serve with it.)
4 cups grated then chopped fresh zucchini (one large zucchini about a foot long, or several smaller ones)
1/2 cup finely grated low-fat Mozzarella blend
5 T almond mill
3 T finely grated Parmesan
1 tsp. dried Greek or Turkish oregano
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
pinch of salt
1 egg, beaten
1 can (14.5 oz.) good quality petite diced tomatoes, drained
1 T olive oil, divided
2 large garlic cloves, minced
1/2 tsp. Italian seasoning
salt and pepper to taste
3 oz. part-skim fresh Mozzarella, sliced and then pulled apart into chunks
10-15 large fresh basil leaves
1. Preheat the grill or oven to 450F
2. Grate zucchini, using a food processor or the large side of a hand grater, then chop the grated zucchini. (I did this with a steel blade in the food processor, but you could chop with a large knife if you don’t have a food processor.) Place the chopped zucchini in a microwave-safe bowl and microwave on high for about 5 minutes. Then drain the cooked zucchini into a colander that’s lined with cheesecloth or a kitchen towel. Let zucchini drain until it’s cool enough to handle.
3. While the zucchini cools, make the tomato sauce. First, drain the tomatoes into a colander placed in the sink. While the tomatoes drain, chop the garlic, heat half the olive oil in a very small frying pan, and saute garlic just until it’s fragrant. Add the drained tomatoes and Italian seasoning and let the sauce simmer on very low heat until the crust is done. (Just before using the sauce, stir in the rest of the olive oil and season to taste with salt and pepper.)
4. When zucchini is cool, squeeze out as much water as you can and place the zucchini in a bowl. Add the finely grated Mozzarella, almond meal, Parmesan, dried oregano, garlic powder, salt, and beaten egg and stir until the ingredients are combined.
5. Spray a baking sheet with olive oil or nonstick spray and divide the crust mixture into two balls. Use your fingers to press out the crust mixture into two circles, being careful not to make the edges too thin (or they will burn). Bake crust on a pizza stone (on a covered grill or in the oven) just until the crust is firm and starting to brown (about 12-13 minutes.) You can also bake this in the oven without a pizza stone, but it will take a little longer to cook.
6. Spread each small pizza with half the sauce, then top with half the basil leaves and half the fresh Mozzarella chunks. Put pizzas back into the oven or on the grill and cook just until the cheese is nicely melted, about 3-5 minutes more. Serve hot.