When I first began investigating the idea of adopting a Paleo diet – that is, one that includes no grains, no processed foods and in most cases, no dairy products, eating like a caveman basically – I like all of the pluses people said it had. All the empty calories from an excessive amount of carbohydrates are gone, and with the focus on natural and organic foods that are high in vitamins, minerals and especially proteins it provides I do admit I have, so far, seen a lot of the improvements in my energy levels as well as the overall condition of my skin and hair.
It is fair to say though that even a few months in there are still plenty of ‘banned foods’ that I still crave a great deal and can make it hard to stick with the Paleo diet. The one I really, really miss is pizza. A lot. Not that I was ever a complete pizza junkie, but the occasional pizza shared with friends on the weekend was always something I truly looked forward to.
I did come across many ‘Paleo pizza’ recipes, but the vast majority of them still called for cheese, which, if you are trying to follow the true Paleo diet as I am, is not allowed. I also was rather suspicious of the commonly suggested idea of a cauliflower crust, it simply did not sound like anything as flimsy as cauliflower could possibly become a good substantial pizza crust. I, unlike certain New York City mayors, believe that pizza should only ever be eaten with the hands and never a knife and fork and I just could see a vegetable crust standing up to the test.
However, with the desperate longing for pizza still gnawing away at me, and the number for the local pizza place all too fresh in my mind, I picked a crust recipe, gathered my own toppings and resolved to give it a go.
Much to my surprise this recipe creates a great pizza crust. Not only did it pass the hand test just fine it has a soft but chewy texture that while it is no way like pizza dough in terms of taste has a satisfying ‘carby’ taste although not a single bad carb was consumed. It is now my mission to create as many different pizzas as I can when that pizza craving strikes and maybe to even attempt to convert a few of my non Paleo acquaintances. My other mission is to continue to find ways to keep making this way of eating fun, and I will keep you up to date on that. In the meantime, however, here is the recipe for what I found to be a truly great Paleo pizza alternative.
Ground Beef and Olive Cauliflower Crust Pizza
Ingredients (makes one large, pizza parlor style pizza)
12 Oz grated cauliflower
2 tbsp almond flour
1/4 cup coconut flour
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1 tsp Italian blend seasoning
1/2 tsp garlic powder
2 tbsp nutritional yeast
1/2 jar organic tomato paste
4-6 oz mushrooms, sliced
1/4 red or green bell pepper, diced
5-6 oz lean, organic ground beef, cooked
4 tbsp sliced olives (black or green, your choice)
1/2 small white onion, finely diced
Pinches of fresh herbs of your choice (to add flavor to tomato sauce)
Begin by emptying the tomato sauce into a bowl, Stir in herbs and set aside. Preheat oven to 375 and prepare a baking sheet, or if you have access one, a pizza stone (the crust will cook more evenly)
Place the grated cauliflower in a microwave safe dish and microwave for three minutes. Empty out ‘cooked’ cauliflower into a fine mesh sieve and press down with a ladle. Press hard as the objective is to remove as much moisture from the cauliflower as possible.
When ‘dry’ add the cauliflower to a large mixing bowl and combine with the other ingredients as listed. Mix until you are left with a ‘dough’. Roll out into a rough pizza shape, place on baking sheet or pizza stone. Bake for 8-10 minutes until golden brown.
In the meantime, in a small pan saute onions and mushroom lightly and set aside. When the pizza crust is cooled, spread with tomato paste and sprinkle on remaining toppings. Return to the oven for just 2-3 minutes, remove and, when slightly cooled, enjoy.
Bio: I have been interested in alternative health and optimum diet for years now, since I was in my teens. As a woman also fascinated by fashion and hair health (visit my site happyhairgrowth.com) I began researching various diets a few years ago and happened upon the concept of Paleo eating. Personally since beginning the plan, which allows for no processed foods, I feel much better in myself. Many people do think however that Paleo is boring and too restrictive so I write about the interesting and tasty side of paleo eating as well as all of the positive benefits it offers for your overall body, hair, skin and nails.