I was kind of the pizza girl in college.
Every night my fellow Hawkeyes and I went out, I found my overserved self face-to-face with my favorite late night booty call: Falbo’s Pizza. Sometimes I stumbled down Gilbert Street and made an actual in-store appearance (which eventually got embarassing when I became a regular). Other times, much to my Dad’s dismay, I used my “emergency” credit card to order an extra large and delight my friends (I paid him all back, I promise!)
But no matter where I was or where I had been, I found a way to pizza. And it didn’t end in college either.
Now that I’m gluten-free though, life after pizza just isn’t the same. Sure, there are decent GF versions. In fact, Lou Malnati’s gluten-free crust is pretty dang good. But nothing can replace the real thing.
Times have changed. I’ve grown, matured and learned to eat pizza sober. I’ve also learned that deep dish goes straight to the love handles.
This pizza is no Falbo’s. And it’s definitely no Lou’s. But it has under 300 calories per serving according to PopSugar, which is good enough for me.
Plus, it’s Dan-approved, which means it’s actually good, not like healthy good.
And um, shocker – the recipe I used as inspiration is originally from Paul Deen? Get it, P.
Mushroom & Basil Pizza with Cauliflower Crust
Adapted from PopSugar
Makes 1 pizza – serves 2
1/2 a large head of cauliflower
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1 cup shredded part-skim mozzarella and provolone mix
2 tablespoons grated parmesan
Salt and pepper to taste
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 cup mushrooms, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup yellow onion, chopped
1/2 cup meatless crumbles (I like Gardein‘s, which are packed with protein)
1/4 cup tomato sauce
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
Fresh basil leaves, rolled and chopped into ribbons
Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment.
Place cauliflower in a food processor. Pulse until crumbly. You should have about two cups. Place the cauliflower in a large bowl and microwave for 7-8 minutes, or until soft. Remove from the microwave and let it cool for at least 5-10 minutes.
Add egg, 1/2 cup of mozzarella/provolone and parmesan to the cauliflower. Mix well and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Pat crust into a pizza pan, making it as thin as possible without breaking it. I recommend using a spoon to pat evenly (vs. trying to spread it.)
Bake crust for 15-20 minutes, or until it’s golden and starts to brown.
While crust is baking, heat olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add onions, stirring occasionally for 2-3 minutes. Then add garlic, mushrooms and meatless crumbles and half of the red pepper flakes (about a pinch,) and continue sauteing for about 5 minutes, or until onions are translucent and crumble is no longer frozen.
When your pizza crust is done, remove pizza from the oven and immediately top with sauce, followed by mushroom topping and remaining cheese. Return to the oven for another 10 minutes or so. Once done, remove from oven and top with remaining red pepper flakes (another pinch) and fresh basil. Serve and enjoy.