November 1, 2013

Cozy Cauliflower Pizza-Bake

Thumbs up to the the cauliflower-crust pizza craze. I love the idea of replacing a nutrient-poor ingredient like white flour with a vegetable, and still getting to eat pizza for dinner! And doesn't it look tasty?

And yet I haven't made it. And I have no plans to make it. Because as good as I'm sure it is, it strikes me as just a little fussy, for pizza. (I love to make pizza from scratch, but homemade whole wheat dough is a little fussy, too. I guess it was always meant to be a special occasion food at our house.)

My other little gripe about this Pinterest rock star recipe is the part where you wring the water out of the cauliflower. It's true that food processing you do in your own kitchen, cauliflower-strangling included, is generally far better than eating foods processed in a factory. But if your goal is great nutrition, it's worth remembering that the way you prepare good ingredients matters. A quick search uncovered a whole bunch of water-soluble vitamins in cauliflower that I'm guessing go down the drain during the cauliflower death-grip.  These include B-vitamins, folate, Vitamin C, and choline.

When I set out to re-create the yummy flavors in cauliflower-crust pizza, I wanted to make it fast and easy enough for a weekday lunch, and I wanted to keep my cauliflower whole and wonderful. Here's the result: a tasty, cozy, pizza casserole!

There's no official recipe for this meal, but here's what I did: first I chopped cauliflower into florets, and steamed it for about five minutes (I suspect leftover roasted cauliflower would also be delicious.) Then I tossed the florets with some marinara sauce and freshly-shredded Mozzarella cheese, and scooped the mixture into an 8oz ramekin. I sprinkled a little extra cheese on top, and slid it into the toaster oven to bake at 400 degrees for about ten minutes.

Darwin and I shared one little casserole dish of this cheesy cauliflower, and it was delicious! Enjoy it, fellow lazy-bones!

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