Cauliflower Pizza Crust

I have seen so many Pinterest recipes for cauliflower pizza crust, I just had to try and make it.

First, what does it taste like and why would you make it?  It tastes a bit bread like but thicker than a flour pizza would be.  Maybe even a little similar to corn bread?

Why make it? If you have a goal of reducing carbs, going gluten or grain free or just want something that sticks with you more.

I followed Mommypotamus‘ recipe.  I think you can experiment with salt as well for a bit of variety.  I’ve used sea salt and garlic salt.  Depending on what compliments your toppings.

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First rice your cauliflower, add coconut flour, salt, onion powder, eggs and cheese.  I have used both mozzarella and gruyere.  Mozzarella is preferred in my opinion.  🙂  Press on to parchment paper and shape into the pizza shape you desire.

Lets take a break and talk about parchment paper.  I recently learned that traditional parchment paper is really hard on the environment or it contains so many harsh chemicals, you just don’t want to use it.

There are two types: bleached and unbleached.  The bleached version has Dioxin that can leech out into your food.  Oh and it is a carcinogen.  😦  Moving on the unbleached version, this is not the perfect alternate you would think.  Many of them have a chemical called quilon made by Dupont.  I am no expert, but from what I have read – you probably want to avoid this.  I found this brand that is clean – to me, it is worth a few extra dollars for peace of mind that you aren’t poisoning your family!

I preheated my oven to 450 with a pizza stone on the middle oven rack.  I transferred my parchment paper with crust on top of the stone and baked for 20 minutes.  While it was baking I cooked some zucchini, peppers and onions on the stove top.

I buttered the edge of the crust and sprinkled a little garlic salt on it before I added the sauce, toppings and cheese.

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Simply finish in the oven for 8-10 minutes until the cheese is melted.  You probably will need a fork to eat it, but the added benefit is you are truly full after two pieces.  Who can really say that after eating two slices of regular pizza?

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Grain Free Thanksgiving

Happy belated Thanksgiving!

I decided to try something new this year.  I wanted to have a grain free and gluten free (GF) Thanksgiving.  Easier said than done!  I pulled recipes from my new favorite magazine, Fine Cooking.  So far I have loved all the recipes I have made from this goodie!  I will put links throughout so you can make them too.

Most of my modifications were to use GF alternatives and all organic ingredients throughout.  Here are some of the nummies I made and the recipes I used.

First, lets talk turkey.  Well turkey roulades.  I made two different ones because I just could not choose between them!

The first one is a turkey roulade with a gluten free (GF) cranberry, pecan stuffing.  The second is a roulade stuffed with fontina and sage, wrapped in bacon.  I think there was a tie up between which one was liked better.  They were both really exquisite, but the one wrapped in bacon was a big more moist.  I believe you were supposed to make up for it with gravy on the first one, but I am just not a big gravy lover.

Speaking of stuffing, this one was very good.  I made it with GF bread.  I didn’t know much about GF bread but squeezing them in the grocery store did not get me excited.  I think the one I settled on was a Canyon brand, but no matter the bread gets toasted anyhow! This was an apple, leek and sage stuffing – and there is a bit of prosciutto in there as well.  Moist and flavorful.
Lets talk cranberries.  I usually like the canned jelly stuff.  I know, yuck.  It is basically sugar, with cranberry flavor, most likely why I enjoy it!  I made Cranberry Sauce with Orange, Ginger and Thyme from scratch and boy are they worth it!! 
This was something I added to the menu at the last minute…mostly because I was curious and I wanted something in case the stuffing was a fail 🙂 Now I don’t think rice is grain free, but it is probably the easiest grain to digest, so we will let it slide. 
 Wild rice with roasted grapes, pecan and sage.  Wow – this was good.  People were hesitant but pleasantly surprised when they tried it.  When you roast the grapes you toss balsamic vinegar on them – it really gives it a pop.  I used a rice medley I got from Costco.
I bet you didn’t think carrots could be interesting?  Well these were.  Carrots with pistachio herb butter.  This was fun and flavorful.  So simple, I think I will make more herbed butters to use!
Simple roasted brussel sprouts with caramelized onions.  These should make your dinner table any weeknight.  Some at the table had never had brussel sprouts or had them but didn’t like them and they liked these.  Very delish.
This picture is totally unfair.  It should have fireworks coming out of it.  These are the best mashed potatoes I have ever had.  Seriously.  Locate these ingredients and make this.  Put this on your bucket list.  Just saying.  Mashed potato, parsnip and parmesan gratin.
After all that there is clearly room for dessert….after a few hours 🙂  Lets start with pumpkin pie.  This was a bit of a few recipes.  To make the crust I used Namaste flour from Costco.  I started with this pie crust recipe, but used butter instead of shortening and arrowroot powder instead of xanthan gum.  Speaking of ingredients – spend the extra money on good butter, you won’t be disappointed.  Unsalted butter made from grass fed cows.  I buy this brand.
Chocolate needs to be present too, yes?  Yes.  This cake was so cool to make!  It is a Chocolate Beet cake with pink sea salt.  Yep you read that right, beets.  You roast them, let them cool, peel ’em, puree them with almond milk and boom – it is the wet side of ingredients for this cake.  Very moist and dense, almost brownie like.  I made a substitution – I didn’t have any almond flour, so I used tapioca and coconut flour, plus the rice flour called for in the recipe.  There is no way you would know there are beets in this cake.
I hope you had a great Thanksgiving as well, here is to hosting fun, foodie parties more next year!!

Home made protein bars

I have been rather MIA for a long time.  I guess I just needed a break.  Regardless, I am back and boy do I have a treat for you.
Lately I have been obsessing researching natural protein bars.  I figured there has to be a better, cheaper, more delicious alternative.  Guess what?  There is!!
While researching, I happened on a blog called The Nourishing Home.  She has a great recipe to use and build from.   I decided to give it a go myself.  Her recipe calls for coconut flour and I was leery about using it only because I have never tried it and it was spendy.  So, I popped up to Whole Foods and was able to buy some buy weight, which is a much more cost effective way to try things.  

First you are to mix honey, coconut flour & almond butter.  I cheated and used peanut butter. 🙂

Next, you add nuts, dried fruit, coconut flakes and chocolate if you like.

Line a 8×8 pan with parchment paper, leaving some hang over the edge so you can pull it out easier later.  


Put the mix in the pan and squish it down.  I used an extra piece of parchment to flatten it out.

Let them cool for about 45 minutes, then pop in the fridge for about an hour.  Cut into 8 servings. 
SO
INCREDIBLY
DELICIOUS!
These are all pictures of the cherry chocolate bars.  Here is a pic of the apricot bars…still cooling in my kitchen.   
My advice?  Go make this right away.  You will not be disappointed.  I can’t wait to start being creative with the ingredients.  Next, I think I will add pumpkin seeds to them…and white chocolate…or butterscotch…or…

Experimenting in the kitchen

I have been looking into a bunch of new, interesting things to make.  So, stay tuned to see what is going on.
First, I ordered some water kefir.  Go ahead and google it, I didn’t really know anything about it until a week or so ago.  
Here is the plan, take these little fellas and make flavored water kefir soda.  
Why you ask?  
Um, why not.
Making soda with yeast like creatures…oooo sciency!
Pick your own flavors and bottle them in old school flip top bottles!
This type of soda also helps with digestion and tummy aches.
And finally, why not?
Here is step one of the experiment….Assemble the necessities.
  • Quart jar
  • Coffee filter
  • Rubber band
  • Water kefir
  • 4 cups water
  • 4-6 Tbsp sugar (duh I opted for 6)
  • Wooden spoon
Warm up some of the water and disolve the sugar in it.  Add the rest of the water and make sure it is room temp.
Add water kefir and stir with a wooden spoon (no metal allowed).  
Cover with coffee filter and rubber band so it can breathe but nothing can get in.
Wait 3-4 days.  Sigh…that part is not fun.
Oh well, check in later and see what happens next!

Learning about making pasta

As you have figured out I am kind of a one note wonder lately.  I keep experimenting with my new pasta making attachments.  This will be a quick post of lessons learned.
1.  If you can find it, get some semolina flour.  Mix up some pasta flour to store in your pantry.  Basically it is 50/50 unbleached white flour and semolina flour.

You may be wondering why bother?  Well, first the pasta tastes better -duh.  Second, it is much easier to work with.  Semolina flour has more gluten in it and therefore is more stretchy, like… well… pasta.

2. If you live in a humid area or if your kitchen is humid, get a drying rack even if you are not planning on drying the pasta.  This will make transferring your cut pasta to the boiling water better.  No accidental clumping by squeezing too hard.
3.  Experiment!  There are so many recipes out there.  Try some!!!  I made lemon pepper fettuccine last night and it was a big hit.  The lemon and pepper flavors came through the pasta that did not disappoint.  
Easy recipe….
3/4 lb pasta flour
juice of one lemon
zest of three lemons
3 eggs
I just tossed with some butter and sea salt.  I should have taken a picture of it before we dug in.  It was pretty, really it was.  But it was nummy and the only picture I had a chance to grab was this one:

Happy New Years!  

Chocolate love….

For Christmas I got a really neat book:

With my new pasta attachments I have been curious about making different types of pasta.  This book is a really neat read because she gives you a lot of information.  For instance, did you know chickens with white ear lobes lay white eggs and chickens with brown ear lobes lay brown eggs?  I didn’t even know chickens had ear lobes.  I will wait a moment while you google chicken ear lobes… … … weird right?
Anyway, I was going through the book looking at different pasta options and I stumbled on chocolate pasta.  Um, hold up, wait a minute, are you saying you can combine CHOCOLATE and PASTA?  I’m in!!!
Assemble your ingredients:
350g of flour
1 1/2 Tbsp cocoa
1 tsp cinnamon
4 large eggs
I added a couple of teaspoons of water because it is so dry here right now.  It looks absolutely beautiful after it is made…

Boil for 3-4 minutes, drain and top with either butter and powdered sugar or a little ice cream topping or maybe even some ice cream!!!

Here is an added bonus, you know how you have a dessert, say a brownie and you could have another and maybe even another.  Chocolate pasta is filling, how great is that?!?!  Try it out, you won’t be disappointed.

Mi piace la pasta!

It was my birthday yesterday and I must have been a super good girl.  All of my presents were absolutely FABULOUS.
This post however is about one particular present.
One I have had my eye on for years.
One I wondered if I could do awesome things with.
Pasta attachments for my favorite kitchen toy….my Kitchen Aid Mixer!!!!
I was so excited I decided I had to try it tonight!  It didn’t disappoint.
I went with a super basic recipe (that didn’t require my waiting 20 minutes – patience was at an all time low)
4 large eggs
2 tbs water
1 tbs oil
3 1/3 C semolina flour (oops half way through I realized this but used all purpose – worked fine)
1/2 tsp salt
Started like this…
Then you put in the flat beater at speed 2 for 30 seconds…followed by the dough hook at speed 2 for 2 minutes…
Hand knead for 1-2 minutes…roll out a bit…and the fun begins!
After you just boil water, add a pinch of kosher salt and boil for 3 minutes.  It was so good!  And so fun! Yes, I am easily entertained.
I served my fettuccine pasta with Roasted chicken with Pears.
MMMMM!!!!
1 pound chicken breasts cut in half
4t olive oil
1/4 salt
1/4 pepper
1 T honey or real maple syrup
1 T white wine vinegar
3 pears cored and thinly sliced (I used a mandoline)
4 stalks celery, thinly sliced
2 oz crumbled feta cheese
1 bag spinach
Place chicken on sprayed cookie sheet, brush with oil and sprinkle with salt.  Roast 10 minutes at 450 degrees.  Toss pears with syrup or honey, 2t olive oil and 1/8 tsp pepper.  Add pears to the other side of cookie sheet.  Roast 15 minutes.  Combine celery, feta, vinegar and 1/8 tsp pepper.
Place handful of spinach on plate top with pears and celery….add awesome pasta.  🙂