By Mike Thayer
Pizza is one of my favorite foods, but traditional pizza is not something I can have on this diet. Sure, I can eat all the toppings, meat, cheese, veggies.... But I can't have that bread.
Enter, the replacement pizza crust. Friends following my diet quest suggested I make a crust using a veggie.... One friend suggested cauliflower, another friend suggested spaghetti squash. They both sounded good, so I tried them both.
The Pizza Crust Battle
What can I say, I love pizza, so why not bake two pies up and see which one I like better moving forward?
I took my friends' recipes and made two pizza crusts. The plan, make two pizzas with identical ingredients, except the crusts.... But even in prepping those crusts, the additions of olive oil, oregano, garlic, minced onion, salt, pepper and a couple eggs was the same.
Right off the bat, the cauliflower crust proved to be less time consuming. I was able to put that together - food processors rock! - and blind bake it, making it ready for toppings while the spaghetti squash was still baking in the oven. That's a plus. It even looked like a pizza crust pulling it out of the oven after the 20 minute blind bake. Back in the oven it went for another 10 minutes, topped with sauce, pepperoni, sausage, mushrooms and mozzarella cheese. Fresh out of the oven, I sampled a slice.......
What, you didn't think I'd give you details on this already did you? I have to sample the other pizza first.....
After sampling the cauliflower crust pizza, I turned my focus on the spaghetti squash crust, with the squash now having cooled after being in the oven for an hour getting nice and soft. I scooped the squash out of its skin and into a large bowl, incorporating the oregano, minced onion, salt, pepper, egg using a fork and turning it into a "crust." Like I did for the cauliflower crust, I blind baked it before putting on the toppings. Piling on the same delicious toppings as for the cauliflower crust pizza, in ten minutes, I had another beautiful looking pie........
I sampled a slice.......
Let me start off the comparison by telling you there's no spin that can be put on this.... Neither crust can be mistaken for a real pizza crust.... It's not as if you're eating it and have to be told it's not bread...... You know you're eating pizza toppings on top of a vegetable.
But back to the comparison.....
The spaghetti squash crust was the clear winner, no contest.
The cauliflower crust was OK and as I mentioned earlier, it was quite a bit less time consuming to put together, but the two downsides: 1. It doesn't hold together as a crust as well as the spaghetti squash crust, the cauliflower tends to crumble. 2. Flavor. The spaghetti squash simply has more flavor, especially when enhanced with pizza toppings.
Next time I make a pizza, I'll go with the spaghetti squash, no hesitation. But then again, I might just make a "Meatza."
You can find the recipes for these two crusts on a number of sites, just Google 'cauliflower pizza crust' or 'spaghetti squash pizza crust' and several will pop up. But know going in, they're all very, very similar.