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Wednesday, January 9, 2019

Further Adventures In Pleasant Weight Loss - Pizza. No, Really!

My Mobile Gourmet Kitchen!
    I love to eat. Just look at some of my past articles about cooking in my RV, especially when boondocking. Gourmet meals do NOT have to be difficult nor time consuming when on the road. Why do I enjoy cooking so much you may ask? Because, I like to EAT! A few years ago, I was overweight. I have had a bad knee since a high school track accident and when the barometric pressure would swing a great deal, it would ache. I dealt with it. No big deal. Then, BOTH of them began to hurt in the mornings. Why? Easy, I was forcing my one better knee to carry most of my weight all the time and it didn't like that at all. So, I went on a diet. Essentially, I restricted my intake of carbs. There's more to it than that, but that was the basis. I did this the first time LONG before anyone had even heard of low-carb. I've been keeping up with it and have stayed at my target weight for almost 2 years now. That being said, I found myself still missing certain foods.

MMMMmmmmmm!!
I am always on the lookout for great tasting substitutes for my old favorite foods. Aside from the obvious carb rich foods like PASTA I really missed having a simple slice of Pizza. I mean, most of what goes on as toppings....tomato sauce, cheese, spices, mushrooms, pepperoni sausage, meatballs, etc.. are low carb already. What does it in is the crust. A pizza without a crust is like a day without sunshine on an RV trip. You're not particularly happy, but you'll make do. A friend of mine and I were talking about the subject and he asked if I'd ever tried a cauliflower based crust substitute. A what? Huh? Obviously, I'd never even heard of that! I did know that cauliflower could be used to substitute for other foods I missed. I have a killer recipe for cauliflower "mashed potatoes" that I'll share in a later article.

It turns out you can make (or buy) a "crust" that is based on cauliflower that has been ground into small granules. Not as smooth as mashed potatoes, but almost. I start with a medium fresh cauliflower (or a frozen cauliflower rice package) cook the cauliflower and then squeeze out as much moisture as I can. I put it on a piece of cheesecloth and twist until it's "dry." Add an egg, some Parmesan (perhaps a bit of mozzarella) and spices and press into a crust. Bake until crispy at 350 degrees (about 8 minutes) and your crust is ready to use. Or...go and buy a frozen one! Usually around 3.99 each at the supermarket. I won't judge. I buy them too!

Once you have a crispy crust, put on your sauce, cheese and other toppings and back in the oven until they are cooked and the crust is golden brown and delicious. Usually about 10 minutes or so. That's it. Cut and eat! Works great on a small BBQ with the lid closed. No, really it does!! You can make any kind of pizza you can imagine. To keep it healthy, try topping it with fresh items you find at farm stands on your travels. It's like a game, find the ingredients available, mix and match a pizza. I even did one with scrambled eggs, cheddar cheese, spinach and ham bits. Not a "traditional" pizza, but it was REALLY tasty! Trust me on this one, even doubters will enjoy these pizzas. Especially if you like thin crust Neapolitan style.

There is no reason you can't eat healthy and get your favorite foods back, you just have to be a bit "inventive." Stay tuned...more to follow. And believe me, I will thoroughly test them out beforehand!

Be Seeing You... Down The Road,

Rich "The Wanderman"
www.thewanderman.com

9 comments:

  1. Ketogenic lifestyle! Carbs and sugar are bad for you!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Michael,
      Perhaps not totally Keto...but reduced for sure!

      Rich "The Wanderman"

      Delete
  2. I saw these yesterday at Walmart but the carb count was still pretty high. I usually do mozzarella bread for my pizza dough. Or the low carb tortillas from sams club.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Space,
    It's high? 16g for a 1/4 of it? Minus the insoluble fiber (if that's how you count it for dieting purposes) For me, it's a wonderful, great tasting substitute for a traditional crust. I do not eat it every day, but if you can satisfy your cravings for certain things, they don't weigh as heavily on your mind. You don;t feel as if you are "missing out."

    You know?

    Rich "The Wanderman"

    ReplyDelete
  4. Here’s a bit of a delicate or maybe tmi (gross?) question....

    How do you avoid the gastrointestinal after effects of this substitute? When I’m looking to lose a few lbs. I love the cauliflower stand-ins...but they don’t love me :-( I had always hoped my body would “get used to” it, but that never happened and sometimes the pains that accompany it are too much. Have you found that with the frozen crusts?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Aim,
      Thank you for being, umm...delicate. Thankfully, I haven't had any gastrointestinal distress from eating cauliflower based products. or fresh cauliflower. Perhaps it's a quantity thing? Eat less of the products at each sitting. or perhaps even a mild food allergy??

      Rich "The Wanderman"

      Delete
  5. Yes, it could be an allergy. I tried the cauliflower mashed potato substitute and was gastrointstinal challenged each time. I order the thin crust but just eat the pizza without the crust. It's the best tasting part for me.

    ReplyDelete
  6. WE have found that making a crust from ground chicken is awesome. mix in a little italian seasoning with the meat, maybe even some mozzarella cheese, flatten it into a crust on parchment paper and cook it at 400 for 20min, add your toppings, cook another 10min and eat. Much fewer carbs than the store-bought cauliflower crusts...as in practically none.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Chuck & Dave,
      Hmmm.. crust made from meat? In this case chicken. I've never heard of that. Does it stay together like a crust??? What about adding toppings? Is it weird eating pepperoni or meatball topping with a chicken based crust?

      Rich "The Wanderman"

      Delete

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