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Cauliflower Pizza Recipe

Cauliflower pizza crust with tomato and spinach

The Miami VA Healthcare System Healthy Teaching Kitchen recipes are designed for the general population that desires to follow a healthy diet. For recipe modifications due to diet restrictions please contact a Miami VA registered dietitian at 305-575-7000, ext. 3070.

By Reut Cohen, registered dietitian
Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Welcome to the November edition of the Healthy Teaching Kitchen, brought to you by the Miami VA Healthcare System’s Nutrition and Food Services.

In honor of National Diabetes Awareness Month, learn how to make a tasty alternative to regular pizza. With the increasing popularity of cauliflower, many grocery stores now carry it in different forms, making it easy incorporate into many recipes. You can find cauliflower in its fresh form, frozen, and even “riced” (in pieces similar in size to rice). Cauliflower can be made smooth to resemble mashed potatoes, added fresh to salads to provide texture, made as “rice,” or even enjoyed fresh with a vegetable dip. There are many healthy ways to eat cauliflower.

Benefits for Your Health

Generally, cauliflower is white but it is also available in purple, green, and orange varieties. Did you know orange cauliflower has 25 times the amount of vitamin A as the white variety? Cauliflower is also high in vitamin C and is a good source of fiber, folate and potassium. While high in vitamins and minerals, cauliflower only has 25 calories per cup. When compared to flour, cauliflower has 33 calories per 100 grams versus a whopping 364 calories for 100 grams of all-purpose flour. That is 11 times more calories!

What are the nutritional benefits of cauliflower?

Soluble and Insoluble Fiber

There are two types of fiber: insoluble and soluble fiber. Insoluble fiber is found in foods such as vegetables, whole grains and wheat bran. Insoluble fiber assists in moving food along the digestive system, adding bulk and promoting regular bowel movements. Soluble fiber attracts water, turns to gel during digestion, and because of this transformation, helps us feel full faster. Some types of soluble fiber may help lower blood glucose and blood cholesterol, reducing the risk of heart disease. Soluble fiber is found in some fruits and vegetables, beans, nuts, seeds, lentils, oat bran and barley.

Folate

Folate or folic acid is one of the eight B vitamins. It is mainly found in leafy green vegetables, fruits, enriched breads, cereals and other grains, and in dried beans, peas, and nuts. Folate helps the body make new cells and is especially important for fetal development in pregnancy through its role in preventing birth defects.

Potassium

Potassium helps with muscle contraction, making it important for normal bodily functions like muscle movement and digestion.

Vitamin C

Vitamin C is helpful for absorbing iron from non-meat sources, wound healing, maintaining bones and teeth, and growing and repairing tissues in the body. Vitamin C is very sensitive and is usually reduced any time it is cooked or over processed. Fresh fruits and vegetables still remain the best sources of Vitamin C.

This recipe is meant for anyone following a regular healthy diet, diabetic, gluten free, and lacto-ovo vegetarian. However below are recipe substitutions if you are following a special diet:

  • Renal/Dialysis diet. Cauliflower is considered to have a moderate amount of potassium. Consider substituting half the cauliflower with broccoli to reduce the amount of potassium in this recipe. Consider adjusting toppings used for flatbread to meet your daily dietary goals/needs.
    • Some suggestions include:
      • Substitute the marinara sauce for a red bell pepper marinara sauce to reduce the amount of potassium
      • Use less cheese than indicated in the recipe or substituting for a lower phosphorus containing cheese
      • Substitute the olives for a vegetable topping to reduce the sodium or add different no-salt seasoning and spices.
  • Heart Healthy Diet. Select low sodium marinara sauce and low sodium cheeses. Skip the olives as they can be high in sodium and choose a different vegetable topping instead.

If you have any additional dietary restriction that may be of nutritional concern when making this recipe, please consult your registered dietitian. You can also use My HealtheVet as a tool to help you track your progress and success as you continue to make healthy food choices. You can also use the website's Secure Messaging feature to communicate with your VA dietitian and other providers.

Cauliflower Flatbread
Yield: 2 servings

Serving Size: 1 4X6 inch flat bread

Ingredients

  • 1 cauliflower head, roughly chopped
  • 1 tablespoon grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 large egg whites
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Non-stick cooking spray (as needed)
Suggested Toppings (Topping can be adjusted according to prescribed diet)
  • 1/2 cup low-sodium marinara sauce
  • 1/2 cup shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
  • 1/2 cup pre-sliced cremini mushrooms
  • 1/2 cup sliced red bell pepper
  • 1 tablespoons of sliced drained black olives

Directions

  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees
  • Place roughly chopped cauliflower in a food processor; pulse 10 to 15 times or until finely chopped (cauliflower will resemble the look of rice). Transfer cauliflower to a microwave safe dish and microwave for 6 minutes (times may vary). Remove from microwave and let cool
  • Place cooled cauliflower in a clean kitchen towel and squeeze until very dry
  • Place cauliflower, Parmesan cheese, egg whites, minced garlic, salt and pepper in a bowl and mix until thoroughly combined
  • Line a 9x13-inch cookie sheet with parchment paper and press cauliflower mixture out to an even thickness. Spray crusts with cooking-spray and par-bake for 15 minutes at 375 degrees
  • Remove flat bread from oven and place marinara sauce, mozzarella cheese, sliced mushrooms, red bell peppers and black olives
  • Bake for another 5-8 minutes at 375° or until cheese is melted. Remove from oven and dig in!

Nutrition Facts (per 4 oz. or ½ cup)

Calories: 250 Kcal
Carb: 29 gm
Protein: 19 gm

Tips for Success

All flatbreads, and especially cauliflower flatbread, tend to break easily from the center. Follow these tips to make sure it reaches your mouth in one piece:

  • Place a small amount of cheese and toppings and scatter them across the flatbread
  • Use fresh ingredients versus canned ingredients. Fresh ingredients contain less water
  • Partially bake your flatbread to prevent it from breaking and for the best texture.

We want to hear from you!

Stay tuned for more healthy recipes. Now that you’ve had a chance to view the video and see this recipe prepared, let us know what you think. Do you have a healthy recipe? Your recipe could be featured in a future Healthy Teaching Kitchen video. To submit your recipes, call 305-575-7000, ext. 3070. Happy cooking!

Note: The Miami VA Healthcare System Healthy Teaching Kitchen recipes are designed for the general population that desires to follow a healthy diet. For recipe modifications due to diet restrictions please contact a Miami VA Registered Dietitian at 305-575-7000, ext. 3070.

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