Kitchen Mishaps / Pizza / Vegetarian

Homemade Pizza and Cauliflower “Rice”

IMG_2925Last night, I went to a Steampunk Ball (no, really) with a friend of mine, and we decided to make dinner beforehand. We went with pizza because 1) it’s easy, and 2) pizza is delicious. Except I kinda burned it this time, my bad.

We went to Whole Foods the day before, and while there we decided we’d get the pizza dough they sell there. It’s about $3 (I think it was 2-something, actually) and located in the refrigerated section, with the to-go meals. I’ve tried the pizza dough at Trader Joe’s before and had great results, so I was curious to see how this would compare. When we went they only had basic pizza dough, so I’m not sure if they ever offer whole wheat as well.

I don’t own a rolling pin, so rolling out the dough was certainly a bit of a challenge…okay, a lot of a challenge. I ended up using a bottle of club soda…seriously. And no, it didn’t work very well. I let the dough come to room temperature about 35 minutes beforehand so it would be easier to work with, and I am sure it helped somewhat at least.

We kind of improvised with baking temperature and time. I know that some people like to prebake their crust a bit before adding sauce and toppings, but I usually just cook it all together the whole time. I let this pizza cook for 20 minutes…clearly, as you can tell from the picture, that was probably at least 5 minutes too long. We were going to put spinach on during the last few minutes of cooking, but when we checked the oven at 20 minutes to do so, we realized it was probably not the best idea to keep it in the oven any longer. Maybe if the crust were thicker, 20 minutes would have been okay, but it was definitely too long this time.

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Nevertheless, the pizza still tasted pretty good (except for the burnt crust bits). It was pretty basic and simple to put together, but I’ll include the recipe for those interested. The nice thing about homemade pizza is that it really can be an inexpensive meal– the only thing I bought for it was the dough, I already had the cheese and veggies on hand, and I whipped up sauce from a small can of tomato sauce already in my pantry.

Easy Veggie Pizza
Pizza dough, at room temperature
Shredded reduced fat mozzarella
1 small can tomato sauce (no salt added)
1 tsp crushed garlic
salt & pepper
1/2 tsp Italian seasoning
1 tbsp fresh chopped basil (optional)
1/2 bell pepper, cut into thin strips
1/2 small red onion, cut into thin strips
1/3 cup sliced white mushrooms (or more)
1/3 cup zucchini, sliced and cut into fourths (or more)
olive oil

Preheat oven to 495F. Meanwhile, roll out dough on pizza stone or pan. Add veggies to a ziploc and toss with a bit of olive oil, salt, and pepper.
In a small pot on low heat, add tomato sauce, garlic, salt & pepper, Italian seasoning, and basil. Let cook about 5 minutes, stirring often.

Spread a thin layer of tomato sauce on the pizza dough. Top with half of the cheese you are using, then add the vegetables. Add a bit more cheese on top, as desired.

Bake 15-20 minutes (check at around 13 minutes for doneness). Let cool 5 minutes before slicing and serving.

I also attempted to make cauliflower rice this weekend. I’ve seen it about a million times on Pinterest, but I finally had the cauliflower to do it, and so I thought I’d give it a shot and see if it lives up to the hype.

I wasn’t entirely sure what the cooking process was supposed to be, but I improvised and it came out okay, in my opinion at least. I mean, it’s definitely not rice. But it was a decent, low-cal substitute…I just had mine with a bit of salsa and cheese, but I think I’ll use the rest for a fried rice style dish tomorrow.

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To make the cauliflower rice, here’s what I did:

Basic Cauliflower Rice
1 head of cauliflower
salt & pepper
olive oil

Chop up the cauliflower into fairly small pieces, then add it to a food processor. Pulse until the cauliflower resembles rice (don’t over-process, you don’t want the cauliflower to get mushy).

In a pan on medium-high heat, add cauliflower and oil (I used about 1 tsp oil and made about 3 1/2 cups of rice). Cook the cauliflower about 5 minutes; you want it to still be somewhat firm. Add salt and pepper as needed.

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