I wouldn’t have thought it possible, which is why I probably put off making it for so long, but alas…Cauliflower Pizza Crust! Blowing my mind…
So much has happened in these last couple months that I take some solace in just getting back into the kitchen and getting to work 🙂 March 10th we left South Dakota and headed back to California, my husband’s home sweet home. About 3 weeks ago we moved into our new home. I’ll admit we’ve become somewhat “professional movers”. 7 moves in the last 10 years, I think we qualify. I love change. I don’t think I could survive without it. Now I know this makes certain people very uncomfortable, especially my older brother, who also happens to be a CPA. Coincidence, I think not. He’s very by-the-book (and I love that about him), but I’m the bipolar opposite. I almost always outside the box, which is how this blog came to exist. My daughter’s diagnosis forced me to see food that way…and I’m blessed for it.
All that being said, my priority when moving in was to get the kitchen set up and ready. This is no small feat. I don’t think that beds were even set up before the kitchen was nearly complete. At this exact moment I can say that the house is about 85% done…potted garden done, pantry neatly organized and labeled with all my 101 different gluten free flours, everything in it’s place, almost. Next on the list was to check out the local farmers markets, and man did we hit the jack pot. I could go on for a while, but long story short, this farmers market is the Disneyland for adults, if you are an adult who loves a good bargain and also happens to enjoy cooking with raw food. Fruits and veges galore and all for insanely cheap prices!!
All this leads up to the purchase of my first two heads of cauliflower that produced some of the most delicious and “Guilt Free” pizza I’ve ever eaten. But the absolute best part…my daughter can have 4 pieces before I even have to think about giving her a bolus (for those of you who are not diabetic…that’s her insulin). At only around 1-2 carbs a piece, it’s delicious and, yes I’m going to say it…Good for You!
I’ve come across a lot of these recipes. But I finally decided to take a crack at it with YourLighterSide. My first go round didn’t knock it outta the park, but it still tasted really good and didn’t last long at all. I just thought the crust could be firmer and a little crisper. Now, don’t go expecting a replica of your normal pizza crust here. It does retain some moisture and it’s not doughy or “deep dish” like. But if you can keep an open mind and are interested more in the flavor, not to mention the health benefits, then this is the way to go.
So let’s get down to it…
Cauliflower Pizza Crust:
- 1 large head (approximately 1 lb) of Cauliflower
- 1 1/2-2 cups cheese (pepperjack, parmesan, mozzarella, etc)
- 2 eggs
- salt and pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 450 degrees. In a microwave safe bowl, place cauliflower head in bowl and cover…no water, nothing. Microwave for 5-6 minutes. Drain excess water and allow to cool completely. Using a food processor and/or and cheese grater, pulse or grate cauliflower until it resembles rice (hence the term riced cauliflower).
In bowl, combine the riced cauliflower, eggs, cheese and seasonings. I spread a fairly thin crust and was able to prepare 2 12″ pizzas. Place the mixture in the middle of a pizza stone or pan that’s been lightly greased. Spread evenly out to desired thickness. Place in oven for 12-15 minutes. Once you remove the crust it will look hopefully something like this
Add your favorite toppings and put back in oven under the broiler until everything is bubbly and delicious! Looking something like this
Some helpful tips if you find that the crust is too “soft” or “mushy”:
- Try drying out the cauliflower on a sheet pan either overnight or on the lowest temp in your oven for 10-20 minutes.
- Cook it for less time in the microwave. The original recipe called for 8 minutes and that to me was way too long and made the cauliflower too soft.
- When all else fails, press a clean towel or paper towels over the cauliflower to absorb some of the moisture.
I’ve made a handful of recipes that I have deemed game-changers in the “living without Gluten” world. This definitely makes that list! I would argue that most people, when they discover that they have to cut Gluten out of their diet, are tormented by the thought of “NO MORE PIZZA”!…or at least Pizza that tastes like Pizza, right! Well, no longer. I happened upon this recipe from TheMinimalistBaker, and the rest is delicious history. I make this all the time. Even our Non-GF guests have no idea and claim that it is awesome homemade pizza!!
So what was wrong, you may ask, with the other recipes I tried, or perhaps, the pre-made packaged pizza crusts that are available at your local grocery store? Nothing, if you prefer a chewy, bland slab on a tray. Sorry, I’m a little tainted, can you tell?
But alas, here is that incredible crust recipe that will soon become a staple in your home 😉 Enjoy! Notice the look of delight on my youngest daughter’s face in the background!
3 cups gluten free flour blend* (1 cup brown rice flour, 1 cup white rice flour, 1 cup tapioca flour, 1/2 tsp xanthan gum)
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking powder
3 Tbsp sugar, divided
1 Tbsp yeast
1 1/4 cup warm water, divided
1 Tbsp olive oil
Lightly coat a baking sheet or pizza stone with non-stick spray and plop your dough down. I seperated the dough into two equal pieces to make two 12″ pizzas. Using your hands and a little brown rice flour if it gets too sticky, work from the middle and push to spread/flatten the dough out to the edge. You want it to be pretty thin – less than 1/4 inch. Put the pizza in the oven to pre-bake for roughly 25-30 minutes, or until it begins to look dry. Cracks may appear, but that’s normal and totally OK.
Remove from oven and spread generously with your favorite pizza sauce, cheese and desired toppings. Pop back in oven for another 20-25 minutes, or until the crust edge looks golden brown and the toppings are warm and bubbly.
Cut immediately and serve. Reheats well the next day in the oven or microwave.
I avoided this task for many years, but when my husband and I decided to stop traveling to see family on Thanksgiving (buying 4 tickets now-a-days is enough to break the bank!) and start our own traditions, I was apprehensive to say the least. The TURKEY…it’s kind of a big deal! While it may seem daunting, if you follow the steps below, you and your guests, will be impressed…not to mention, stuffed!
I remember my first attempt ever…my husband gently broke the news that he invited his entire coaching staff, ugh! I’ve done it a few more times since then. This last time was a memorable one! 6 members of my family flew out to South Dakota to watch my husband coach his last home game of the season. Since we knew we wouldn’t be having Thanksgiving together this year, we decided to celebrate it early!
Here’s my step by step guide to your fabulous Oven Roasted Turkey (Gluten-Free of course)!
We were feeding 8 adults and 2 children. A good rule of thumb is a 1 1/2 lbs of un-cooked turkey per person. This will allow for leftovers! Our bird measured in at 12 1/2 lbs. Pssst, don’t forget to take out the bag of goodies in the cavity! There are tons of recipes and ideas of what to do with them…but you won’t find them here 🙂
Step 1: Brining. This is not a mandatory step but will definitely help to retain moisture in the bird and add flavor. It can be done overnight (make sure it’s in a cold place) or 4-6 hours prior to cooking. Most recipes call for 2 gallons of water to 2 lbs of salt for the quicker soak, however, if soaking overnight, cut salt in half. Disolve salt in a little bit of warm water and then top off with cold water. Most larger turkeys will not fit in frig. An easier option is a roaster bag or soak it in your sink. Perhaps you have a cooler that you can use. Either way, it should be completely submerged.
Get creative! Use herbs, onions, garlic, celery sticks, citrus…whatever flavor profile you are going for…throw it in with the brine solution. We chose thyme, celery sticks, lemons and onions. Again, this is not necessary but will add that extra depth of flavor to the final product.
Step 2: Seasoning. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Before cooking rinse your bird and pat dry. You may want to keep your brining fruits/veges reserved for stuffing the cavity before cooking. Place breast side up in a pan that is large enough to hold your bird. Make sure it has sides. I was able to get mine into a 9X13″ lasagna pan. Now get ready to get messy! Take a stick of softened butter and go to town! Give that turkey a rub down. Now for a little extra fun, pull up the skin and try to tuck as much butter as possible between the meat and the skin. If needed you can gently use a knife to seperate the skin from the meat. This will help to keep your turkey moist and delicious and also helps in giving it that nice brown crisp skin.
Step 3: Stuffing. I’m not a huge fan of bread stuffing inside my turkey, but to each his own. If you wish to stuff it with your bread stuffing, now is the time. I, instead, used the same items that I brined it with and stuffed that inside the cavity. If your turkey does not come with the ties for the legs, kitchen twine is the next best thing. Tie those legs together…we’re almost ready to cook! Lastly, I salt and pepper my turkey generously. You may want to create a herb mix of your own to season the skin prior to cooking. The butter will help to adhere your seasoning to the skin. I like to add a cup or two of chicken stock to the bottom of the pan, but this is not absolutely necessary. Your beautiful bird should be looking something like this:
Step 4: Cooking & Basting. Now, let’s talk time. My rule of thumb is approx 20 minutes per pound of turkey. Do the math (12.5 (lbs) x 20 min= 250 minutes or a little over 4 hours). Another way of checking doneness is when your meat thermometer reads 165 degrees. Most store bought turkeys will also come with that handy little plastic thingy that will pop out when “turkey’s done!” Cover your turkey with aluminum foil and cook for the first hour with the foil on. After one hour, remove foil and baste turkey with the surrounding drippings. Baste each additional 30-45 minutes until your turkey is done.
Now let’s compare the before and after…because it’s just that pretty!
Step 5: Resting & Gravy. Carefully remove the turkey from the pan and place on a large cutting board. Cover with aluminum foil and let it rest for a good 20-30 minutes. Don’t skip this step as it will help retain the juices. Don’t throw away those drippings in the pan!! Use a colander to strain any solids and place the liquid in a sauce pan. Over medium heat whisk in a tablespoon or two of cornstarch to thicken your gravy. After cutting, you can even drizzle a little over the meat to give it a fantastic punch of flavor. Place gravy in a dish and allow guests to ladle on more as they please.
I’m a firm believer that meat of any kind taste best when its had time to marinate in, well, anything….even if it’s just some salt, pepper and olive oil. That theory has since been put to rest! When I read the book Idiot’s Guide to Gluten Free Cooking I found a recipe that required only a few ingredients, a hot skillet and about 15 minutes. To good to be true…perhaps, but I was gonna give it a try. Who knew! You can have fabulous, seasoned and tender chicken in minutes, without the marinade!
I love this recipe for so many reasons. Most importantly the fact that it’s so unbelievably quick and easy to prepare on those days when “what am I going to make for dinner” didn’t make itself into the forefront of my brain until 6pm. Not to mention it’s so versatile. I always make more than enough, so lunches for the next few days are a breeze! For me, I throw the chicken on top of a fresh salad, for the girls…chicken and rice, chicken and pasta, chicken salad, chicken tacos…and so on. My particular seasoning I used for this batch was Lemon-Pepper with a little Chili Powder for a kick (I’ve been finding ways to incorporate this into a lot of my cooking lately), but try your own concoctions (i.e. simple salt and pepper, lime juice and fajita seasoning, a mix of Italian seasonings, etc)
LEMON-PEPPER CHICKEN IN MINUTES
2 1/2 lbs Chicken breast (if they are thick you may want to slice in half to allow for more even cooking)
4 Tbsp lemon juice, or approx the juice of 2 big lemons
2 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp chili powder (optional)
1/2-3/4 cup chicken stock
Note: I make my own chicken stock, but if you buy yours from the store, check that it’s Gluten Free
Heat a large skillet over med to med-high heat. In a small bowl combine the lemon juice, salt, pepper and chili powder. Mix well.
Brush the mixture over the chicken until coated on both sides. Once pan is hot add 1/4 cup chicken stock.
When chicken stock comes to a boil add chicken and cook for approx 5 minutes or until you start to see the bottom of chicken turning white.
Turn chicken, add remaining chicken stock and cover for another 5-8 minutes. Remove one piece of chicken and cut down middle to check for done-ness. There should be no pink remaining.
Your chicken is ready to enjoy!!
Pork always intimidated me. I could never get it just right. It was always dried out, a little underdone or just flavorless. When I first made this recipe for my family…WOW!
Mommy had got it right and it was unbelievably juicy and flavorful! Who knew pork could taste this good! We all enjoyed it so much that we are now taking “a very short” break from this particular dish because it has been a bit over-used. Why mess with a good thing, right? I guess I was so impressed with how it turned out that I couldn’t stop, who’s to blame a girl?
The two biggest tips I can give when making this dish…1) You must sear it first, and 2) You must let it rest for 5-10 minutes before cutting. Both for the same reason…to lock in those delectable juices.
Start with your preferred marinade (just be sure to check the ingredients for hidden Gluten…you’d be surprised)!
I always allow my pork to marinate for a good 24 hours in a Ziploc bag in the frig
I typically use a 2.5-3 lb piece of Pork Loin
Set oven to 400 degrees
In a large frying pan, set heat to med-high (more on the high side), you want your pan hot!
I spray the pan first with cooking spray and then sear each side of meat for 2-3 minutes or until a nice crust has formed. I try to get each side even the ends of the pork to really trap those juices.
Place the pork loin in a rectangular pan and roast for 50-60 minutes depending on size or until internal temp is between 150-160 degrees.
Let rest on a cutting board for 5-10 minutes and serve with your favorite sides.
I love this recipe because it helps to use up a lot of left overs in the frig and puts them together in one delicious and quick dish! When I cook brown rice (and we always use brown instead of white for Diabetic reasons), I always make a large batch, knowing full well I can whip up a quick Stir Fry that will satisfy everyone in our household. My husband doesn’t really think something constitutes a meal unless is contains a “protein” of some sort, but this dish would be just as yummy served with only vegetables.
Quick and Easy Gluten-Free Pork and Vegetable Stir Fry
Ingredients: Makes 3-4 Servings
2 cups brown rice
1 cup pork (chicken or shrimp would also be great) diced
1/2 cup peas
1/2 cup carrots, diced
1/4 cup onions, diced
3 Tbsp Sesame Oil (Olive oil works fine too)
2 eggs lightly beaten
1 Tbsp ginger, grated
Gluten-Free Soy Sauce to taste
Heat large pan or wok on med to med-high heat. Add 3 tablespoons Sesame oil. Add carrots and let them sweat for about 3-4 minutes. Add rice and stir to combine.
Push rice and carrots off to one side of pan and add the eggs. Scramble on half the pan and then incorporate to rice and carrots.
Add the rest of the veges and ginger and stir for a couple of minutes. Add your protein and stir for a few more minutes. Drizzle with Gluten-Free Soy Sauce and voila!