Monday, January 30, 2012

cauliflower crust pizza

Where do the weekends go?  It was a blustery, cold snowy wintery one here; which meant a lot of time was spent indoors.  In between the usual cleaning, laundry, running errands and what ever else seems to consume my time on weekends, I made this for dinner.  Pizza is definitely in my top five fave foods to eat.   I saw this recipe on Pinterest last week and thought the timing was especially fitting given the low-carb plan I'm on right now.  

Mike and I are both pretty particular about our pizza crust.  Nothing beats a thin, almost cracker like crispy crust versus a doughy, bread like crust.  I wasn't expecting this to taste at all like regular pizza crust and well, it didn't.  But it also didn't disappoint.  I certainly need to tweak a few things, like squeezing out the excess water in the cauliflower to avoid soggy crust.  Overall the taste was delicious and savory and something we'll definitely be making again.  Soon.

cauliflower crust pizza

1.5 cups cooked, shredded cauliflower
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese (or any other cheese)
1 egg, beaten
1 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp crushed garlic
1/2 tsp garlic salt
olive oil (optional)

san marzano tomatoes for the sauce, oregano, olive oil
shredded mozzerella cheese
green pepper

Shred the cauliflower into small crumbles. You can use the food processor if you'd like, but you just want crumbles, not puree. You'll need a total of 1 1/2 cups of cauliflower crumbles (which is about half a large head of cauliflower. Place the cauliflower crumbles in a large bowl and microwave them (dry) for 8 minutes  Give the cauliflower a chance to cool.

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.
Spray a cookie sheet or pizza pan with nonstick spray (or use a nonstick surface).
In a medium bowl, mix 1 1/2 cups cauliflower crumbles with the remaining crust ingredients. Pat the "crust" into a 9 to 12-inch round on the prepared pan. Spray the crust lightly with nonstick spray and bake for 15 minutes (or until golden). Remove the crust from the oven and turn the heat up to broil.  (I will bake longer next time for a crispier crust)

Spread the sauce on top of the baked crust, leaving a 1/2-inch border around the edge.
Sprinkle 1/4 cup cheese on top. Add the toppings, spreading it out around the pizza. Sprinkle the remaining cheese on top.

Broil the pizza 3 to 4 minutes,or until the toppings are hot and the cheese is melted and bubbly.
Cut into slices and serve immediately.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

21 days

They say it takes 21 days to make a habit.  It's the 21st day into the New Year.  How many people who committed to start a diet, join a gym or quit a bad habit are still on track?  

The holidays were definitely a time of over indulgence for me with not a whole lot of exercise thrown in.  If I'm going to be honest here, it wasn't just over the holidays.  It's really been for the past four months that my eating habits got a bit out of hand again and I was exercising less and less.  Life got busy and I just made excuses.  So I along with thousands (or so it seems) of others, I went back to the gym this January.  And you know what, I still love it.  I didn't go to run on the hamster wheel (aka treadmill). I have one of those in my basement,  I went to lift. 

Lifting weights is where it's at for me.  My fingers wrapped around the cold steel metal, lifting to build a stronger, leaner me.  Training allows me to achieve that complete body transformation that doing endless hours of cardio just won't give me. Weight training rewards you with beautiful, lean muscle. 

And trust me, if your a girl, weight lifting won't give you big, bulky muscles.  You see that picture of me below.  That took a good solid two years of HEAVY lifting and very clean eating to get that amount of muscle.

So here's my kick in the pants/reminder when I just don't feel like going to the gym after work every day...

I lift weights...
to lose body fat
to gain strength
to build stronger bones = decreased risk of osteoporosis
to reduce the risk of heart disease
to reduce the risk of diabetes
to raise my metabolism (burn more calories when at rest!!!!)
for psychological benefits = gaining strength can be empowering and it's a real boost to one's self confidence and self esteem
So let me just say, if you're reaching for the pink dumbbells, it better be your warm up. 
Lift heavy.  Be strong.