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Posts Tagged ‘low calorie’

bilblcooksCheesy Garlic Cauliflower Pizza Crust

I first heard about this recipe from one of the YouTubers I follow, VSGTanya. Her video gives step-by-step instructions. This recipe interested me because I’m trying to keep things low carb, and who doesn’t love pizza? This recipe does take time to prepare, but it’s definitely worth it.

Ingredients/Nutrition:

cauliflower crust

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The best thing about this pizza (and all pizzas) is that you can top it with whatever you like, so I’ll show you what I topped this with in a little bit.

Preheat oven to 450.

Cut cauliflower into florets and boil for 10 minutes.

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20130222-103652.jpg Drain cauliflower thoroughly.  The video emphasized how important it is to remove as much water from the cauliflower as possible.  I should have heeded this warning a bit more, because I think this is one of the reasons that my first attempt was softer than I’d have liked.

20130222-103724.jpg Rice the cauliflower.  Rather than a ricer, which I don’t have, I used my Cuisinart, which made quick work of it.

***After trying the recipe and realizing that the crust was too soft, I did a bit of research online and discovered a slightly different method for these first steps on Eating Bird Food, which I’ll use when I make this the next time:

  1. Rice the cauliflower in the Cuisinart.
  2. Sauté the cauliflower for 6-8 minutes in a nonstick skillet.  This seems like it would really help with removing the moisture.

20130222-105840.jpgIf you have a pizza stone, use it, because that will really help the crust get a bit crispier.  Since I don’t have one, I put some olive oil on a cookie sheet that I covered with foil (makes cleanup easier), then I added parchment paper. (The olive oil helps the parchment paper stick to the cookie sheet).  Then I used my Misto to spray a tiny bit of olive oil on the top of the parchment paper, too.  I had absolutely no problem with the pizza sticking.

20130222-103747.jpg The recipe called for for one riced up of cauliflower.

20130222-103803.jpg Combine the cauliflower, quattro formaggio (or shredded parm), light mozzarella, crushed garlic, 1 egg white, and spices.  I used Italian seasoning, dried oregano, cayenne pepper, red pepper flakes, and garlic powder (the title does have ‘garlic’ in it!).  I didn’t add any salt, since I’d salted the water I boiled the cauliflower in and the cheese can be salty.

Now comes the messy part: flattening and shaping the crust onto the sheet.  The recipe calls for the crust to be fairly thin, to aid with crisping.

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In terms of cooking time, the original recipe I was following said to cook it for 15 minutes at 450.  Because I felt it was a bit soft, I think I’d cook it for at least 10 minutes more next time (25 min).

Now let’s talk toppings: I used pizza sauce, jalapeño chicken sausage, and mushrooms, plus a bit more of both cheeses (a 1/8 cup of each, total).

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The possibilities are endless in terms of what you could top the pizza with.  Next time I’m thinking of bbq sauce, chicken, and purple onions.  I’d also love to try a veggie version one of these Fridays of Lent.

My finished product looked and smelled delicious!

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Other than the crust being softer than I’d like, it was simply delicious.  Definitely a better, lower calorie, lower carb version of something I love.  I ate mine “Italian style” with a knife and fork because the crust wouldn’t allow me to pick it up with my hands.  Reviews of the second method I mention said that the crust was strong/crisp enough to eat it by hand.

20130222-104009.jpg I ate 2 servings – 1/2 the pizza, and as I made it with my toppings, it came to 367 calories, 8g carbs, 23g fat (high because of the cheese), and 35g of protein.

I highly recommend this recipe with the second set of directions for the prep of the cauliflower.  I can’t wait to have the leftovers and to try it again.

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Now that school has started, it’s more important than ever that I stay focused on making great food choices.  The most important way that I can do that is to stay organized, which means planning and preparing my food the night before.  Since I leave the house at 7am every weekday, making my breakfast and lunch the night before is a MUST.

I’m proud that this has become a regular part of my routine, and it makes me feel so on top of things to be so prepared.  I thought I’d do a bit of a photo food journal so you could see what I have in the lunch bag for tomorrow.

Breakfast: 246 calories

blueberries, nectarines, and TJ’s Greek yogurt, honey flavor

Lunch: 401 calories

Wrap filled with deli turkey, spinach, tomato, and laughing cow wedge*

TJ’s potato lentil curls; veggies – sugar snap peas, sliced crimini mushrooms, red & yellow bell peppers, and carrots.

407 calories may seem like a lot for lunch to some of you, but since I’m going directly to the gym after work, I need to make sure that I’ve got plenty of energy to burn off all those calories on the elliptical machine.  Plus, they say that eating the larger meal in the middle of the day is great for weight loss.

*I made this wrap almost every single day in the summer and I never got tired of it.  I made it for my dad and my sister and they loved it, and now I’ve made some other variations on it for school.  Since it was such a hit (and so easy and low cal/healthy), I thought I’d break it down for you.

Weekday Wrap

La Tortilla low carb wheat tortilla, 1 wedge Laughing Cow herb & garlic, spinach, tomato (not pictured here), thin-sliced deli turkey.

The steps are ridiculously easy, but because you may not have made your own wrap before, here goes:

1. Spread Laughing Cow on tortilla.

2. Add a heaping handful of spinach.

3. Add turkey – 6 slices = 45 calories!

4. Use ripe tomatoes (this one is from my dad’s garden).

5. Adding tomatoes really helps keep the wrap moist and delicious.

6. Wrap that thing up!  I use aluminum foil sort of like you would a burrito because it keeps it nicely contained and avoids messiness.  Because the worst thing in the world for me would be to spill lunch on myself and then have to go teach a room full of teens.

I did this all in about 15 minutes, so there really isn’t any excuse for me not to make sure I’m eating right by preparing my food ahead of time.  My lunch is all ready to go and it’s even chilling in the lunch bag as I type this:

Since I don’t put my lunch bag in the fridge at school (I don’t want it to get squished), I make sure to keep it really cold by adding an ice pack before I leave in the morning.

And because I don’t want to leave this day incomplete, I’m going to show you the gorgeous dinner I made for myself tonight, and you can just pretend that I am going to eat it tomorrow night.

Dinner: 307 calories

I bought Trader Joe’s salmon burgers and I can’t say enough about them.  Each one is only 110 calories, 1.5g fat, 3g carb, and 21g protein!  Not to mention that they’re delicious!  I just pan fried them with a tiny drop of oil.  I added the burger on a bed of spinach that I had dressed with Newman’s Own Lighten Up Low Fat Sesame Ginger Dressing.  I also added 3/4 of a cup of that brown & red rice medley I found at TJ’s a couple of months ago.  The result? Nothing short of gourmet!

I will definitely be enjoying this meal again.

Daily total: 954.  (I’d add a snack in there somewhere to bring my totals closer to 1200).

Can you believe all of this well-balanced, healthy, scrumptious food is less than 1000 calories?  It definitely makes me wonder why I ever stray from eating this way.  It’s so tasty, makes me feel so good, and it fuels my body so well.

I hope you got some ideas from this food log.  It was fun presenting it to you.

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