Lisa Lillien is the author of the popular Hungry Girl website and email newsletter, featuring smart, funny advice on guilt-free eating. She is also the author of ten books, six of which debuted at number one on the New York Times Best Sellers list. Read her PEOPLE.com blog every Monday for slimmed-down celebrity recipes and more.
Cauliflower is a brilliant multi-tasker, capable of slimming down the most decadent dishes. For years, I’ve been using it in mashed potatoes and pasta dishes, and lately, I’ve been blitzing it into bits as a rice swap. But there’s another great use for cauliflower… pizza crust! A typical personal-sized pizza has around 600+ calories, but my DIY pie has just 247 calories! Make it now, and thank me later.
‘Til next time… Chew the right thing!
Hungry Girl’s Cauliflower Crust Pepperoni Pizza
5 cups (about 1 medium head) roughly chopped cauliflower
¼ cup (about 2 large) egg whites
½ cup shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese, divided
2 tbsp. grated parmesan cheese
1 ½ tsp. Italian seasoning, divided
¼ tsp. black pepper
1/8 tsp. salt
½ cup canned crushed tomatoes
½ tsp. garlic powder
½ tsp. onion powder
8 slices turkey pepperoni, chopped
Fresh basil (optional)
1. Preheat oven to 400°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
2. Working in batches as needed, pulse cauliflower in a food processor until reduced to the consistency of coarse breadcrumbs.
3. Place cauliflower in a large microwave-safe bowl; cover and microwave for 3 1/2 minutes. Uncover and stir. Re-cover and microwave for another 3 1/2 minutes, or until hot and soft.
4. Transfer cauliflower to a fine-mesh strainer. Let cool for 10 minutes, or until cool enough to handle.
5. Using a clean dish towel (or paper towels), press out as much moisture as possible. (There will be a lot of excess liquid.) Return cauliflower to the bowl, and add egg whites, ¼ mozzarella, parmesan, 1 tsp. Italian seasoning, pepper and salt. Mix thoroughly.
6. To form the crusts, evenly divide cauliflower mixture into two circles on the parchment-lined baking sheet, each about ¼-inch thick and 7 inches in diameter. Bake until the top has browned, about 35 minutes.
7. In a medium bowl, combine crushed tomatoes, garlic powder, onion powder, and ½ tsp. Italian seasoning. Mix well.
8. Spread seasoned tomatoes over each crust, leaving a ½-inch border. Evenly sprinkle with remaining mozzarella cheese, pepperoni and basil. Bake until cheese has melted and crust is crispy, 5 – 7 minutes.
Tip! Don’t have a fine-mesh strainer? Use a clean dish towel to wring out the water, getting rid of as much liquid as possible.
Nutritional information: 1/2 of recipe (1 pizza): 247 calories, 9g fat, 886mg sodium, 21g carbs, 8g fiber, 9g sugars, 23g protein