I asked a fairly random bunch of people on Facebook just what they were likely to be eating before or during the Olympic Opening Ceremony this week…and pizza came top of the list. Some were going to order in, some cook from scratch. Most of the bariatrics mourned the fat that they couldn’t eat pizza anymore because of the bread base.
I have touched on this subject before with a couple of recipes that might suit…one using a tortilla as a base in my ‘Return to Slender’ cookbook and the second using a grated courgette and egg base in ‘Return 2 Slender…Second Helpings. Here is a third with a surprising main ingredient. It’s definitely more labour-intensive than using a ready-made tortilla and takes a bit more preparation than the courgette version….but the upside is that this base actually does crisp well, has a wonderful cheesy flavour and does not come laden with carbs.
I have used this ‘crispy cauliflower rice’ base to make a pizza that reflects the Olympic rings…with peppers, black olives and ‘black’ cherry tomatoes. For the latter I used a Kumato variety of cherry tomato (from Sainsburys) but you can use whatever you like and can find. It should certainly get you into the Olympic spirit. The same could also be used to top the orginal bases of tortilla and courgette…mix and match according to the time you have and what you can tolerate post-op.
I shall make the base ahead and then freeze it (wrapped in foil) then simply top the frozen base with the tomao mixture, cheese and vegetable rings and bake at 200C/400F/gas mark 6 until golden and bubbly, about 15-20 minutes.
CHEESY CRUST PIZZA
700g/11/2 lb cauliflower florets (about 1 medium head)
1 egg, beaten
50g/1/3 cup soft goat’s cheese or blue cheese, grated
1 tsp dried ground oregano or Italian herbs
salt and freshly ground black pepper
5 tbsp low-fat tomato salsa
2 tbsp tomao puree/paste
125g/4 oz pack light or half-fat mozzarella cheese, sliced
4 tbsp grated low-fat hard cheese
1/2 green pepper/capsicum, sliced into rings
1/2 yellow pepper/capsicum, sliced into rings
1/2 red pepper/capsicum, sliced into rings
4 black cherry tomatoes, halved
3 black olives
1. Preheat the oven to 200 C/400F/gas mark 6. Prepare a baking sheet by lining with non-stick easy glide or silicone paper (THIS IS ESSENTIAL OR THE PIZZA BASE WILL STICK TO THE SHEET).
2. Place the cauliflower florets in a bowl without any water, cover and microwave on FULL POWER for 8 minutes. Allow to cool slightly then place in a food processor and pulse until the cauliflower resembles rice. When cool enough to handle transfer to a clean, thin tea towel. Twist it up and then squeeze out the excess moisture (there will be a surprising amount!). The more you squeeze out the crisper and drier the pizza base will be!
3. Mix the cauliflower with the egg, goat’s or blue cheese, oregano and salt and pepper to taste, blending well. Press onto the prepared baking sheet into a round about 20-25 cm/8-10 inches in diameter. Bake for about 40 minutes until firm, crispy and golden brown. This is the stage at which the pizza base can be frozen (alllow to cool then wrap in foil and freeze for up to 3 months).
4. To make the topping, mix the salsa with the tomato puree and spread over the prepared base. Top with the mozzarella and grated hard cheese. Arrange the peppers, cherry tomatoes and olives on the top and bake for about 12- 15 minutes until hot and bubbly. Serve warm with a little salad garnish if liked.
WLS PORTION: 1/2-1
V suitable for Vegetarians
* suitable for freezing
CALORIES PER PORTION: 220
Image copyright of Bariatric Cookery (UK) Ltd