Friday, February 1, 2013

Pizza with a Protein Base

For me, making pizza with a coconut crust is the ideal solution.  It comes out thin and crunchy, and most of the time I cover it with so many toppings that I don't even taste it. That's really how I like it. I like my crust to be incidental, and I will often forget about making a crust all together and just make a "Pizza Casserole" with a combination of topping ingredients.

But I know not everyone feels that way. Many people like a substantial crust and for them using a base made from a protein source could be a great alternative, so today I want to tell you about a few recipes I've found on other sites that you might want to consider.

Mark Sisson has a post here with a "Meatza" recipe.  This basically uses ground beef as a base.  Once this has been cooked then the toppings are added to finish it off.  Personally I find this too heavy, and more like a hamburger than a pizza, but if you have a very hearty appetite this could be just the thing you're looking for. (The top photo shows the finished version of this pizza.)

I have also found another version of a protein crust here which is a lot lighter.  In this version you mix ready cooked chicken meat (chopped very fine) with mozzarella cheese to create the base. The down side of this crust is that it does contain a lot of processed mozzarella, so if you have a problem eating too much dairy, this won't be for you.

By the way, this site has lots of different pizza recipes that are worth a look if you are a real pizza lover, including this gourmet vegetable pizza with a "cauliflower pizza crust".  Since it contains eggs and quite a bit of mozzarella cheese, it qualifies as a protein base pizza as well.

This same recipe is used here to make bread sticks which would be delicious served as a side dish with the pizza .... or just about any meal.

I have tried both the cauliflower crust and bread stick recipes and, though I found them very tasty, I do think there are a couple of drawbacks.  These also contain quite a lot of processed cheese, and if you don't like cauliflower or the smell of cauliflower cooking you don't want to try this.  When I made it the cauliflower smell was very evident and even though I like cauliflower, it was too overpowering even for me. However if neither of these things are a problem for you then these are a good option to consider.

Because all of these crusts already contain lots of protein, this is the perfect time to use vegetables for your toppings.  Finished with a thin layer of mozzarella and grated parmesan, I can see this would make quite a filling meal.

But if you're a major bacon lover, this final protein crust is probably going to be your idea of heaven.  Slices of bacon woven together as if you were making a basket, then cooked to create a crispy tasty base for any of your favourite toppings.

You can add as much or as little cheese as you like, and again it's the perfect vehicle for lots of vegetables.  I can see making a few of these and freezing them.  The topping ideas are endless.

How about a breakfast pizza with a topping of scrambled eggs, avocado slices, salsa and sour cream? Or a BLT pizza - cover the cooked base with some mayo, lots of chopped tomatoes and shredded lettuce, and you have a great meal any time of the day or night.

All in all I think this is the perfect treat for a Paleo eater.

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