Friday, April 29, 2011

Pizza - Diet Pizza... REALLY the 17 Day DIET PIZZA

Hey everybody...


Well, not really.  But seriously, my long suffering wife made a request last week.  Wedding season is shortly upon us.  We have been invited to the wedding of the century (well, in our family anyway).  She decided she was going to live by the 17 Day Diet for the next 34 days (I know, like Barbie says, "Math is hard.").

Personally, despite the size of my ass, I am just not a fan of diets.  Been on them before, lost on them and gained when the "diet" ended.  In the last couple of years, I have adjusted my lifestyle and become comfortable with my health (much improved), and my ass (just a little improved).  I am more a believer in real ingredients, no additives, no multi syllable alternatives to natural foods.  I cook with sugar, cream, butter.  I love my breads and desserts.

But, since my job is to be my wife's personal chef, for the next few weeks, carbohydrates are a serious no, sugar and fats are as well.  The diet was featured on an episode of "The Doctors".  It is not a deprivation diet, in that there are dozens and dozens of foods that you can eat as much as you like.  Chicken and fish for your proteins and most (but not all) vegetables as well as many low sugar fruits.  Spices (including salt) are allowed and condiments in moderation.  You are limited to 2 TBS of Olive oil a day and 2 eggs (or 4 egg whites) a day.

It has the makings of the type of diet I really hate... Carrot sticks all day long followed by a flavorless piece of chicken on a bed of dry lettuce.  


You can be a cook and study what is allowed and combine the ingredients into something tasty, filling and to do my best to not think of this as a "diet".

Tops on my concern (after accepting the challenge from my wife) was how to continue th PIZZA 2011 PROJECT... a different pizza each week for 52 weeks.  Since flour is one of the forbidden fruits, a typical pizza was out of the question.  So, I have to break down what I consider a pizza is (crust, toppings and sauce) and ponder what I can do...

The sauce was the easy part.  Nothing but natural foods in my tomato sauce.  Remember, you get as much of the allowed ingredients as you like.  Here's what I did for my spruced up sauce...

8 diced ROMA tomatoes
1/2 cup Shitake mushrooms
4 cloves minced garlic
2 TBS "Not your Grandmother's HERBES De PROVENCE"

Without adding any additional liquid (wine or paste), you want to break the tomatoes down without drying out the pulp.  So, plan for at least half an hour to an hour to make the sauce.  Set the tomatoes in a sauce pan over low medium heat.  COVER the pot (prevents the steam from escaping, rehydrating the tomatoes as they break down).  After 30 minutes, you will see the mushy pulp, what appears to be over a cup of water (no additional water was added, just the release from the tomatoes).

Add the remaining ingredients, cook for another 10 minutes.  Run everything through a blender and you have a very basic (very healthy) and 17 day diet worthy Marinara Sauce.

So, the sauce was easy... now to move on to the toppings...

I considered just some chicken and BBQ sauce (remember, small moderate amounts of condiments are allowed).  But I had already used that topping once, and wanted to try something new.

So here's my Chicken/Ginger/Garlic recipe.  It makes a paste, has an egg white to hold everything together...

2 Chicken Breasts, roasted then minced 
Freshly minced Ginger, about 2 TBS
Freshly minced Garlic, 1 TBS
4 Green onions, sliced thin, including most of the green parts
1 TBS Red Wine Vinegar (it's allowed)
1 Egg White

Cook the chicken and mix everything else... Like I said, kind of a paste.

And next, the real challenge.  how do you make a crust without using any wheat flour????

OK, obviously, something is up...  It has the shape of a crust, but really, not quite the look.  But it did end up with the texture of a bread crust.

It's Cauliflower...

I have seen variations of this recipe for awhile.  Doing the Pizza Project, I have looked into alternatives to the traditional.  With just a few variations, the "dough" came together...

1 head of cauliflower... the entire thing, trim the stalks down to just the heads and about 1/2 inch sticking out.  then I steamed them for about 20 minutes until they were very soft.  Then, mince away.   They slice and dice easily to resemble rice.  

But, there is more to my crust...

1 whole onion, diced and sauteed in 1 TBS of Olive Oil until clear (Vadalia Onions hit the store this week, make great cooking onions)
4 TBS Oregano
4 Egg Whites

The Cauliflower is very very tender.  It mashes like potatoes.  Add everything together (I put it all through my Kitchenaid stand mixer with the paddle blade on and mixed until the consistency of mashed potatoes... or dough!

Now, there is a trick... It takes a while for the "dough" to firm up.  Much longer than it takes to bake a pizza.  So, you need to bake the pizza crust first before adding the toppings and sauce.

Preheated oven set at 500 degrees, with your pizza stone pre heated for 30 minutes.  This will insure the crust is firm top AND bottom.  Bake for 15-20 minutes until you can see the crust just start to brown...

Like this...

And really and truely, it bakes up and firms up just like a thick crust pizza.  It has a soft center, but the bottom and top is firm like a crust on a bread.

Now that we have the crust, add the chicken paste...

And top with the sauce.  I like adding a few slices of tomatoes to make it look even more like a pizza...

Return this to the preheated 500 degree oven.  Bake another 15 minutes and ...


It has the look of a pizza.  It has a crust, toppings and sauce.  It has nothing but egg whites, fresh vegetables and seasonings.  By definition, it fits as a pizza.  But also, it features only ingredients that are meant to be a part of the 17 Day Diet!


  1. Whoa! Dave, I am seriously impressed! This looks SO good! Definitely the best "diet" pizza I've ever seen!

  2. Your pizza looks shockingly good! I might just have to try it...

  3. You are such a great hubby DAve! I've made the cauliflower dough before, but didn't bake it as high a temp as you - so it needed to be eaten with a knife and fork - great job!

  4. Ths outrageous! what a great idea to use cauliflower. Take a look at some raw pizza crusts that are out there also. I sometimes make raw foods and the tastes are awesome without the carbs.
    Thanks for the inspiration!

  5. You are so inventive. Jackie is a lucky lady.

  6. Pretty amazing recipe, and it actually looks and sounds delicious.