Veggie Pizza Crust

There are very few things in this world that I care for more than pizza. I’m not kidding. I love pizza so much. So it’s always been my mission to try to make a healthy pizza recipe. It’s pretty hard because pizza is basically just fat on sugar on processed carbs. That’s probably why it’s so delicious. I made a few tweaks to clean it up a little. Instead of gobs of fatty, greasy cheese, I chose a small amount of reduced fat mozzarella and a tiny bit of full flavored parmesan. Instead of a sugary pizza sauce, I made a flavorful marinara with lots of spices and an added punch of spinachy nutrition! Instead of oily meats I used fresh ingredients as my toppings. And finally, instead of a nutritionally empty white pizza dough, I used shredded cauliflower and zucchini. I know, I know, sounds weird. But it’s actually really good! It came out really crispy and flavorful, but without all the guilt of takeout. Now, this isn’t exactly like regular pizza, but it won’t let you down.

For the crust:

  • 1/2 head of cauliflower, shredded (use the other half for my cauliflower fried rice!)
  • 1 zucchini, shredded
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 1/4 cup low fat mozzarella, shredded
  • 1/2 tsp each salt, pepper, red pepper flake, dried basil, dried oregano, dried parsley, garlic powder

For the sauce:

  • 14 oz. crushed tomatoes
  • 14 oz. strained tomatoes
  • 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1 cup frozen spinach
  • 1/2 tsp each salt, pepper, red pepper flake, dried basil, dried oregano, dried parsley, garlic powder

Toppings:

  • 1 cup shredded mozzarella
  • 1/4 cup grated parmesan
  • 1 cup sliced heirloom tomatoes
  • 3 tbsp fresh basil

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Shred the cauliflower and the zucchini in your food processor. You can use your box grater, but trust me, just don’t. I did, and it was a huge mess. Just go with the food processor. Anyway, heat the veggies in a large sauce pan over medium heat. You just want to soften them a bit. Once they’re soft, put them in a strainer lined with a cheese cloth. Let that sit for a minute and drain out. In the same pan you cooked the veggies in, you can make the sauce. Just combine all the ingredients over medium heat and let it simmer. Once the veggie mix cools a little, squeeze the extra water out. Combine with the remaining ingredients and form into 6 thin patties on a cookie sheet. Bake for 6-8 minutes, until the edges just start to brown. Flip the crusts, and top with a little sauce. Top with the cheese, tomatoes, and basil. Bake for another 5-7 minutes. Let them cool for a minute and enjoy! They’re more of a fork and knife kind of thing, not really a fold in half and let the grease run down your hands kind of thing. There will be a lot of sauce left over. You can have it over pasta or zucchini noodles! I like to make extra so that I have quick meals for later in the week.

This recipe makes six little mini pizzas. Yum!

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Zucchini Pasta in Lemon Cream Sauce

Zucchini Pasta in Lemon Cream SauceThis is one of my favorite meals. First of all, because it’s so easy to make. Second of all, because it’s delicious, versatile and tastes like spring time! Plus, it only takes a few minutes to make. It can be made either vegetarian or with chicken, shrimp or sausage. i’ve had it all three ways and it’s always good. You can add whatever veggies you like, use zucchini noodles or regular pasta or even ravioli!

If you want to have zucchini noodles,which I highly suggest you do if you haven’t tried them, you do need a spiral slicer. I use mine all the time!

Anyway, I don’t want to waste any more time before I show you this amazing recipe!

Zucchini Noodle in Lemon Cream Sauce

  • 2 Zucchinis, spiral sliced into noodles (you can substitute pasta or ravioli!)
  • 1/2 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
  • Juice and zest  from one lemon
  • 1/4 cup cream cheese
  • 2 tbsp fresh basil
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 tbsp olive oil

Heat the oil in a large pan over medium heat. Toss the zucchini and tomatoes in and cook for about 2 minutes. Add the remaining ingredients and cook for another 2 minutes. The cream cheese should melt down and make a creamy sauce.

And that’s that! 4 minutes of cooking. Maybe 5 minutes of prep. And dinner is ready. If you want to add chicken or shrimp or sausage, cook that first and then follow the rest of the steps. Some other options would be to sauté some asparagus and broccoli, add the cream cheese, lemon juice and zest, tomatoes, basil, salt and pepper and then toss that with some whole wheat noodles. I had that for dinner tonight and it was amazing! Last week I used some sundried tomato and goat cheese ravioli and made the sauce with a little pesto stirred in. What I’m trying to say here is that there are so many variations that you can make here that you can have it 100 times and never have it the same way.

Let me know if you think of any other yummy ways to make this!

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