January in the kitchen – Cauliflower Crust Flatbread or Pizza

January in the kitchen – Cauliflower Crust Flatbread or Pizza

Cauliflower Crust Flatbread

Cauliflower Crust Flatbread with Shaved Brussels Sprouts

Cauliflower Crust Flatbread with Shaved Brussels Sprouts

Substituting Cauliflower for rice, couscous, pasta, or other wheat products is newly popular. It’s especially useful for those avoiding gluten or carbohydrates; and an easy (and delicious) way to get some extra vegetables into your diet. This recipe for a cauliflower crust was inspired by one on the blog “Health on Top“.

I must admit it turned out very well; my family gave it thumbs up. I’ll be repeating the recipe with varied toppings.

There are a few tricks you should be aware of before you start.

  • Grind the cauliflower fairly small (rice sized) in your processor.
  • Cook it slightly softer than you would use if stir-frying. 8 minutes was perfect in my microwave but every appliance is different.
  • Line a colander with a tea towel and pour the cooked cauliflower in to cool.
  • Once cool, squeeze as much liquid as possible from the cauliflower before mixing with the other ingredients. Squeeze more than you think you need.
  • Line your baking sheet with a non-stick silicone mat or parchment paper.

Cauliflower Crust (for each crust serving 1-2)

  • I small to medium cauliflower, cut into florets
  • 1 egg
  • ½ cup of low moisture mozzarella, shredded
  • ¼ cup of grated parmesan
  • 1 teaspoon of oregano
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  1. Preheat your oven to 450 degrees F.
  2. Rice the cauliflower in a food processor.
  3. Place in a microwave safe bowl, cover, and microwave on high for about 8 minutes, until cooked.
  4. Place the cauliflower in a tea towel lined colander and cool.
  5. Once cool, squeeze as much liquid as possible from the cauliflower.
  6. Mix the squeezed cauliflower, egg, cheese, oregano, salt and pepper together.
  7. Press the mixture into a circle on the lined baking sheet, pressing it out evenly with your fingers or flat bottom of a glass. My crust was about 12 inches.
  8. Bake for 15-20 minutes until brown. 
Riced Cauliflower

Riced Cauliflower

Cauliflower with liquid squeezed out

Cauliflower with liquid squeezed out









Assemble the toppings

Let your imagination run wild here although I wouldn’t use anything too runny. This is probably the time for more of a white flatbread than one with traditional red sauce.

I made two pizzas. One was vegetarian and had ricotta, pesto, shredded mozzarella, Parmesan, and shaved Brussels sprouts. The other had shredded mozzarella, carmelized onions, sliced spicy sausage, and Parmesan.

  1. Once topped, put them back in the oven.
  2. Bake another 10 to 15 minutes until the cheese is melted and toppings lightly browned.
  3. Cool for a couple of minutes before cutting into wedges.
Cauliflower Crust with Sausage and Cheese

Cauliflower Crust with Sausage and Cheese

Served with a green salad we had a dinner with three vegetables (Brussels sprouts topping), gluten free, low carbohydrate, and positively delicious.

Cauliflower Crust with Brussels Sprouts

Cauliflower Crust with Brussels Sprouts

I’m taking this to share with Angie (from the Novice Gardener) and friends at Fiesta Friday #50. There is definitely something to celebrate this week.


And I think the group at Real Food Fridays will enjoy it as well.

After all, Friday is Pizza or Flatbread night, right?

December in the kitchen – Coconut crusted chicken and persimmon caprese

December in the kitchen – Coconut crusted chicken and persimmon caprese

I love a crisp coating on chicken, but would like to avoid the refined carbohydrates and fat of fried chicken. I’ve been searching for something that gives chicken that same satisfying crunch in a baked version. Paleo circles use almond meal to coat chicken. I tried it and found it to be too heavy, not crisp enough, and fairly high in calories (although delicious).

Then I had an idea; what about coconut meal? Maybe coconut meal (which has more texture than coconut flour) would be a healthy way to add coconut flavor to the chicken, eliminate gluten, and increase crispness. As an added benefit, it is both high in fiber and low in saturated fat. And, coconut fried shrimp have a lovely crunch (although there is still the problem of frying), so crunch is possible.

Thus was born Coconut Crusted Chicken!

With the chicken I wanted to serve something festive. There were some Fuyu persimmons, picked up at a farm stand the week before, in a bowl on the counter. I made a simple caprese salad by replacing the usual tomatoes with persimmons, garnishing with pomegranate seeds and chopped almonds. As a finishing touch I drizzled an aged balsamic vinegar over the whole.

coconut crusted chicken

Coconut crusted chicken

Coconut Crusted Chicken

  • 6 -8 bone-in chicken thighs, trimmed to remove any excess skin and fat (you can use other cuts, adjust the cooking time)
  • 1 cup of coconut meal
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
  2. Place racks in a roasting or baking pan large enough to hold the chicken in a single layer.
  3. Place the coconut meal, salt, and cumin in a shallow bowl or plate and mix.
  4. Roll the chicken in the coating, patting it on to cover all sides
  5. Place the chicken, skin side up, on the racks.
  6. Roast for 45 minutes to an hour until juices run clear and chicken is crisp.
persimmon salad with mozzarella

Persimmon caprese

Persimmon Caprese Salad

  • 4 fuyu persimmons, sliced about ¼ inch thick
  • 1 large ball of fresh mozzarella, sliced ¼ inch thick
  • ¼ cup of pomegranate seeds
  • ¼ cup of chopped roast almonds
  • Aged balsamic vinegar
  • Salt and pepper
  1. Alternate the persimmon and mozzarella slices on a platter.
  2. Generously salt and pepper.
  3. Garnish with the almonds and pomegranate seeds.
  4. Drizzle with balsamic vinegar.
persimmon salad

Persimmon caprese

I added a salad of arugula for a touch of green and the sharpness of the leaves.

Coconut crusted chicken with persimmon caprese

Coconut crusted chicken with persimmon caprese

It worked!

I’m taking this to the party at Friday Favorites sponsored by the Blog The Diary of a Real Housewife, and Real Food Fridays sponsored by Lydia’s Flexitarian Kitchen. Come join us at the last parties of 2014. Happy Holidays!

December in the kitchen – Marmalade chicken

December in the kitchen – Marmalade chicken

I was all ready to create a new recipe tonight but ran out of steam, does that ever happen to you? So, what to do? I poked around in the pantry and fridge to discover what could be used as a quick, easy, hassle free “dress up” for the chicken thighs I had planned to cook. I found a jar of ginger marmalade and some whole grain mustard; together with some soy sauce they would make a simple glaze for the chicken. Three ingredients (not counting the chicken), what could be easier?

You could use any kind of marmalade you have on hand…ginger, orange or lemon. You could also use chicken breasts or legs or wings, I just happened to have thighs which are favored by my family.

Marmalade baked chicken

  • 1/2 cup of marmalade
  • 2 rounded teaspoons of Dijon mustard, regular or whole grain
  • 1 tablespoon of soy sauce
  • 6-8 chicken bone-in thighs, trimmed of excess skin and fat
marmalade baked chicken

marmalade baked chicken

  1. Melt the marmalade in a small saucepan or the microwave; mix with the mustard and soy sauce.
  2. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F
  3. Line a baking pan with foil, place some racks on top (I used cookie cooling racks). The racks will keep the thighs out of the melting fat below.
  4. Pat the thighs dry with paper towels, place them skin side up on the racks in the baking pan. Brush the marmalade mix over the skin and exposed meat.
  5. Place in the oven and bake for 1 hour to 1 ½ hour depending on the size of the thighs.

 This is a perfect dish for a busy weekday evening. Bake some sweet potatoes in the oven with the chicken, make a salad and dinner is ready with a minimum of fuss and hands-on time.

baked chicken

Marmalade chicken

I made a lentil and cauliflower couscous to go with the chicken, look for that recipe on another post.

You could save the juices to use in soup or another dish. Pour the juices in the bottom of the pan into a large heatproof container and put it in the refrigerator overnight. The next day, skim off the fat and discard it.

Tip – I keep the cans from tomatoes or other canned goods for discarding fat. Place the fat in the can, put the can in a plastic bag and put it in the trash. Plastic yogurt containers also work.

I’m taking this to Fiesta Friday to share with Angie from the Novice Gardener as well as Real Food Fridays hosted by Lydia’s Flexitarian Kitchen. This is the busy season for us all.