While we were dancing our way through Chicago one thing was on the MOVE Team’s mind: Deep. Dish. Pizza. How could we not dream about the ooey-gooey goodness of a delicious Chicago style pizza pie? I’m constantly seeking out ways to satisfy my cravings as well as my conscious. As the tour bus buzzed by the hundredth pizzeria promising the best slice in town -– I began my search for the unicorn of indulgences: a healthy version of deep-dish deliciousness.
I came across the blog belonging to Chicago-native Ashley, a cookbook author, writer, and photographer behind the website Blissful Basil. Lo and behold, she made the seemingly impossible, possible! The crust calls for cauliflower in lieu of flour and lite mozzarella in place of full-fat cheese. I also like how Ashley added spinach for its healthy benefits.
When I get home, I’m going full veggie by adding broccoli, tomatoes and bell peppers.
• 1 tablespoon olive oil
• 1 medium yellow onion, peeled and cut in half
• 1 32-ounce can San Marzano tomatoes
• 10-15 basil whole basil leaves
• 1 small head cauliflower, cleaned, trimmed and cut into florets
• 3 1/2 cups lite mozzarella cheese (I used Trader Joe's brand)
• 2 eggs, whisked
• 1 teaspoon dried basil
• 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
• 1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
• 5 cups baby spinach
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
2. Pulse the San Marzano tomatoes in a blender or food processor until chopped and chunky.
3. Heat olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the halved onion to the pot and cook for 2-3 minutes. Pour in the tomato sauce and toss in the basil leaves. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat and simmer for 25 minutes or until sauce has thickened. Use a slotted spoon to scoop out the yellow onion and basil leaves and discard them.
4. Rice the cauliflower by adding to a food processor and pulsing 10-15 times. You can also grate the cauliflower florets with a grater (this will just take longer).
5. Cook the cauliflower in the microwave for 4-5 minutes on high. Let cook and squeeze excess water from the cauliflower by pressing between paper towels.
6. Add cauliflower to a large bowl. Add in eggs, 1 1/2 cups mozzarella cheese, dried basil, garlic powder, and red pepper flakes and stir to combine.
7. Pour cauliflower batter into a well-greased spring-foam pan (I used a spring-foam tart pan). Use the back of a spoon to press and smooth the crust into the pan, being sure to push the crust up the sides of the pan to form edges.
8. Bake for 30 minutes or until golden brown and set. Remove from oven.
9. While the crust bakes, wilt the baby spinach in a pan over medium heat with a little bit of salt.
10. Top the crust with 2 cups mozzarella cheese, spinach, and sauce (add as much sauce as desired).
11. Bake for another 15 minutes or until cheese is melted and bubbling.
12. Let stand 5-10 minutes before slicing.
13. Slice, serve and enjoy!
Recipe and images courtesy of Blissful Basil.