Eggplant, Artichoke, Goat Cheese Pizza on Cauliflower Crust with Comparison to Store-Bought Pizzas

Eggplant, Artichoke, Goat Cheese Pizza

Who ever said people with diabetes or people trying to manage their weight could not eat pizza? I couldn’t resist posting this amazingly delicious, low carbohydrate, gluten-free, high fiber, nutrient powerhouse pizza and comparing its nutrient contents to two store-bought pizzas (one so-called “healthy” and the other not-so healthy).

People with diabetes—you will never believe those normal blood glucose readings after indulging in this culinary treat, and your body and brain will thank you for the “phytonutrient” health bath.  And for those of you trying to lose weight, this recipe will fill you up, but not out!

I would like to give credit to Megan at: http://detoxinista.com for her “Cauliflower Pizza Crust” recipe and great pictures and directions for making this delicious and healthy crust at:  http://detoxinista.com/2012/01/the-secret-to-perfect-cauliflower-pizza-crust.  Be sure to visit this link for much better directions than I have posted here.  And please don’t miss my explanation of the nutrient comparison to store-bought pizza, way down below.

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Here’s the recipe and nutrient content for the crust:

Cauliflower Pizza Crust:  

Ingredients:

1 medium head cauliflower (4 cups raw cauliflower rice)

1 egg, beaten

1/3 cup soft goat cheese (chèvre)

1 tsp, dried oregano

pinch of salt

Directions:

1. Preheat your oven to 400°F.

2. Pulse batches of raw cauliflower florets in a food processor, until a rice-like texture is achieved.

3. Fill a large pot with about an inch of water, and bring it to a boil. Add the cauliflower “rice” and cover for about 4-5 minutes. Drain into a fine mesh strainer.

4. SECRET STEP: Once you have strained the “rice,” transfer it to a thin dish towel. Wrap up the steamed “rice” in the dish towel, twist it up, then SQUEEZE all of the excess moisture out. You will be amazed at how much extra liquid will be released, which if left in would result in an undesirable soggy pizza crust.

5. In a large bowl, mix up the strained “rice,” beaten egg, goat cheese, and spices. Use your hands to mix well. It will be unlike any pizza dough you have worked with, but it will hold together.

6. Press the dough out onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper (not wax paper), so that it will not stick. Keep the dough about 1/3 inch thick, and make the edges a little higher, for a crust effect.

7. Bake for 35-40 minutes at 400°F. The crust should be firm and golden brown when finished.

8. Now is the time to add your favorite sauce, cheese and toppings.  Return the pizza to the 400°F oven and bake an additional 10 minutes.

9. Slice and serve immediately.

Note: This crust freezes nicely, therefore, make at least two at a time, and freeze what you don’t use immediately. Wrap the extra pizza crust in foil and freeze.

Here’s how my crusts turned out:

Before Baking:

Cauliflower Pizza Crust-2

After Baking:

Cauliflower Pizza Crust-baked-2

I actually froze both of my crusts the day I baked them, and topped them both a week later.  I baked one and put the other topped one back in the freezer.

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Nutrition Facts for Cauliflower Pizza Crust only:  

Serving Size:  1/2 Crust (90 g); Total Servings:  2; Calories Per Serving:  210.5; Fat Calories:  96.7; Total Fat:  11 grams; Saturated Fat:  6.3 grams; Cholesterol 120.5 mg; Sodium:  336 mg; Total Carbs:  15.8 grams; Dietary Fiber:  6.3 grams; Protein:  15.8 grams

NOW, with the TOPPING:

Eggplant, Artichoke, Goat Cheese Pizza Topping:

Eggplant, Artichoke, Goat Cheese Pizza

1/2 cup tomato sauce, no added salt or sugar

4 ounces soft goat cheese (chèvre)

1/2 unpeeled, fresh eggplant slices

1 tablespoon olive oil

4 pieces artichoke hearts (in water)

4 tablespoons chopped fresh basil

1 tablespoon chopped scallions

1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper

Directions:

1. Slice eggplant thinly and brush with the olive oil to both sides and roast to desired doneness. You can pre-roast earlier during the week and save in the refrigerator, or immediately before assembling pizza.

2. Make “Cauliflower Pizza Crust” per directions above, or remove previously prepared crust from freezer.

3. Spread tomato sauce over crust and top with fresh chopped basil and chopped scallions. Sprinkle with crushed red pepper.

4. Drop goat cheese pieces evenly on top of tomato sauce.

5. Top with eggplant slices and artichoke.

6. Bake in preheated 400°F oven for 10 minutes.

7. Cut into 4 even pieces.  For crisper crust, bake longer for desired crispness.

Here are my pizzas topped (uncooked):

Eggplant, Artichoke, Goat Cheeze Pizza

 

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Nutrition Facts for Whole Pizza with Topping + Crust:  

Serving Size:  1/2 Pizza (388 g); Total Servings:  2; Calories Per Serving:  498; Fat Calories:  192; Total Fat:  30 grams; Saturated Fat:  15.5 grams; Cholesterol 146.6 mg; Sodium:  725 mg; Total Carbs:  32.7 grams; Dietary Fiber:  13 grams; Protein:  29.7 grams

 

Store-bought So-called “Healthy” Pizza:

Kashi pizza

 

Nutrition Facts for Kashi Mediterranean Thin Crust Pizza:  

Serving Size:  1/2 Pizza (180 g); Total Servings:  2; Calories Per Serving:  435; Fat Calories:  120; Total Fat:  13.5 grams; Saturated Fat:  6 grams; Cholesterol 30 mg; Sodium:  960 mg; Total Carbs:  55.5 grams; Dietary Fiber:  7.5 grams; Protein:  22.5 grams

Ingredients: 

Crust (Crust Mix With Kashi Seven Whole Grains & Sesame Blend [Wheat Gluten, Whole Oat Flour, Oat Fiber, Oat Syrup Solids, Barley Malt Extract, Whole Triticale Flour, Brown Rice Flour, Whole Hard Red Wheat Flour, Whole Rye Flour, Salt, Whole Barley Flour, Whole Buckwheat Flour, Sesame Seeds], Water, Wheat Flour, White Whole Wheat Flour, Ground Flax Seed, Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Barley Fiber, Yeast, Wheat Starch, Garlic Powder), Cheese Blend (Mozzarella Cheese [Pasteurized Part-Skim Cow’S Milk, Cheese Cultures, Salt, Enzymes], White Cheddar Cheese [Pasteurized Milk, Cheese Cultures, Salt, Enzymes, Calcium Chloride], Cheddar Cheese [Pasteurized Milk, Cheese Cultures, Salt, Enzymes, Calcium Chloride, Annatto Color], Asiago Cheese [Pasteurized Part-Skim Cow’S Milk, Cheese Cultures, Salt, Microbial Rennet]), Sauce (Tomatoes [Tomatoes, Tomato Puree, Citric Acid], Roasted Red Bell Pepper Pesto [Roasted Red Bell Peppers, Expeller-Pressed Canola Oil, Parmesan Cheese (Pasteurized Part-Skim Cow’S Milk, Cheese Culture, Salt, Enzymes), Balsamic Vinegar, Basil, Sea Salt, Granulated Garlic, Black Pepper, Cayenne Pepper], Tomatoes [Tomatoes, Citric Acid], Evaporated Cane Juice Crystals, Salt, Spice, Cornstarch), Spinach, Roasted Red Bell Peppers, Red Bell Peppers, Feta Cheese (Pasteurized Cow’S Milk, Cheese Culture, Salt, Enzymes), Roasted Red Onion, Red Onion.

Store-bought Clearly “Unhealthy” Pizza:

Digiorno Pizza

Nutrition Facts for DiGiorno Original Rising Crust Supreme Pizza:  

Serving Size:  1/5 Pizza (186 g); Total Servings:  5; Calories Per Serving:  420; Fat Calories:  156; Total Fat:  18 grams; Saturated Fat:  7.2 grams; Cholesterol 48 mg; Sodium:  1212 mg; Total Carbs:  55.5 grams; Dietary Fiber:  3.6 grams; Protein:  19.2 grams

Ingredients: 

INGREDIENTS: ENRICHED WHEAT FLOUR (WHEAT FLOUR, NIACIN, REDUCED IRON, THIAMINE MONONITRATE, RIBOFLAVIN, FOLIC ACID), WATER, SHREDDED LOW-MOISTURE PART-SKIM MOZZARELLA CHEESE (PART-SKIM MILK, CHEESE CULTURE, SALT, ENZYMES), COOKED SEASONED PIZZA TOPPING (PORK, WATER, MECHANICALLY SEPARATED CHICKEN, TEXTURED VEGETABLE PROTEIN [SOY PROTEIN CONCENTRATE, CARAMEL COLOR], SPICES, SALT, SUGAR, SODIUM PHOSPHATE, PAPRIKA, PORK FLAVOR [MODIFIED CORN STARCH, PORK FAT, NATURAL FLAVORS, PORK STOCK, GELATIN, AUTOLYZED YEAST EXTRACT, SODIUM PHOSPHATE, THIAMINE HYDROCHLORIDE, SUNFLOWER OIL, PROPYL GALLATE], CARAMEL COLOR, SPICE EXTRACTIVES, BHA, BHT, CITRIC ACID. COOKED IN PORK FAT OR BEEF FAT OR VEGETABLE OIL), TOMATO PASTE, PEPPERONI MADE WITH PORK, CHICKEN AND BEEF (PORK, MECHANICALLY SEPARATED CHICKEN, BEEF, SALT, CONTAINS 2% OR LESS OF PORK STOCK, SPICES, DEXTROSE, LACTIC ACID STARTER CULTURE, PAPRIKA, NATURAL SMOKE FLAVOR, OLEORESIN PAPRIKA, SODIUM ASCORBATE, SODIUM NITRITE, FLAVORING, BHA, BHT, CITRIC ACID), GREEN BELL PEPPERS, RED BELL PEPPERS, SUGAR, CONTAINS LESS THAN 2% OF WHEAT GLUTEN, ONIONS, BLACK OLIVES, VEGETABLE OIL (SOYBEAN OIL AND/OR CORN OIL), WHITE CORN MEAL, SALT, YELLOW CORN MEAL, BAKING POWDER (BAKING SODA, SODIUM ALUMINUM PHOSPHATE), YEAST, SODIUM STEAROYL LACTYLATE, DATEM, FLAVOR, SPICE, DRIED GARLIC, ASCORBIC ACID.

CONTAINS: WHEAT, MILK, SOY.

My Nutritional Commentary:

     Are you surprised that the homemade Eggplant, Artichoke, Goat Cheese Pizza, actually has more calories and fat than the two store-bought pizzas?  Well, don’t be.  Remember that nutrition is more than about calories and fat.  First of all, please notice the number of GRAMS each serving size weighs.  This is in parentheses next to the serving size.  For our
Eggplant, Artichoke, Goat Cheese Pizza, the serving size weighs 388 grams.  For the Kashi Mediterranean Thin Crust Pizza, the serving size weighs 180 grams and for the DiGiorno Original Rising Crust Supreme Pizza, the serving size weighs 186 grams, so these two serving sizes are comparable.  So what does this mean?  It means that our homemade Eggplant, Artichoke, Goat Cheese Pizza is heavier and bulkier because it is made with fiber-rich vegetables that fill you up and stay with you a lot longer, whereas, the two store-bought ones are very light on fiber and high in carbohydrates, which will quickly cause a surge in your blood sugar and than soon leave your system causing hunger pains way too soon.  Our pizza is also higher in protein, which will better help stabilize your blood glucose and along with the fat content, it will keep you satisfied for a longer time and reduce the likelihood of unhealthy snacking.  No need to be concerned with the higher fat and cholesterol content of our pizza.  It is still within healthy daily limits, and is so much healthier than the type of fat found in the DiGiorno Original Rising Crust Supreme Pizza.  Plus, be on guard for the very HIGH Sodium content of the store-bought pizzas.  You should not exceed 2400 mg of Sodium per day in your daily intake.  If you consume the two store bought pizzas, you will very likely exceed your total day’s sodium content with your next meal.  If you consume three meals per day with this type of sodium intake, count on going to your healthcare provider’s office for a chronic prescription of antihypertensive medications and be at much higher risk of shortening your life with cardiovascular disease.
     What you should be even more concerned about in regards to the two store-bought pizzas listed here, is the size of the INGREDIENTS list.  What are half of those things listed, anyway?  Be very scared when a food product’s ingredients list contains more than 5-10 ingredients.  Processed foods are our ENEMY.  More and more studies point to processed foods as the cause of too many chronic conditions, including arthritis, fibromyalgia, irritable bowel syndrome, celiac disease, ADHD, autism, allergies, asthma and so much more.  Gluten is also now considered a culprit in the development of Alzheimer’s disease, and Alheimer’s disease is now considered Type 3 diabetes, since people with diabetes are at a very high risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease.  Since all of us are one way or another, “pre-diabetic,” we should all aim for a low carbohydrate and minimal gluten diet.  You may think you don’t have time to prepare healthy foods with healthy ingredients, but the truth it, you don’t have time not to.  Preparing meals in bulk and freezing them in individual portions, is less time-consuming than going through the fast-food drive through everyday or faster than shopping the massive array of processed foods in the grocery store aisles and than unpacking them and putting them away.  Shop the parameter of the grocery store for the most healthy and wholesome foods and get reacquainted with your kitchen.  Start cooking again, and make it a family affair!  Let’s start putting the processed food industry out of business and start feeling better and reducing the cost of healthcare in America!  It all starts with you!

 

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3 Comments

  1. the best university in UAE on 02/18/2016 at 7:06 AM

    Love it !
    thanks for sharing

  2. Julie ranawat on 05/27/2016 at 6:07 AM

    Amazing blog…Very Useful …Thanks to sharing…

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