Healthy Meal: Zucchini Crust Pizza
When I first came across the idea of a Zucchini Crust pizza the actual thought made my face cringe. At the time, I wondered why anyone would ever do anything to change the flavor and taste of my favorite food. Funny thing is, now that I’m exploring different healthy meal options, I am much more willing to give a new idea a try. If you are willing to try something new at least once, you may find yourself pleasantly surprised just like I was with this Zucchini Crust Pizza.
The most important difference you’ll immediately notice is that there is no dough! That is the number one reason why pizza is so unhealthy to eat on a regular basis. When you get rid of the dough, you are left with sauce cheese and toppings. If you use healthier choices of cheese like Parmesan and low-fat mozzarella, then you’ll have a super healthy dish you won’t feel guilty afterwards about eating.
– cookie sheet or pizza pan
– colander for straining
– paper towels
– basting brush
– 3-6 Zucchinis
– small jar pizza sauce
– 1 cup low-fat mozzarella cheese (shredded)
– 1 cup Parmesan cheese
– 3 eggs
– Olive Oil
– salt and garlic seasonings
*preheat oven to 350 degrees
1. Cut the ends off the zucchini and shred into a large bowl. You do not have to skin the zucchinis so just slice off the ends and start shredding away. It will take 3 medium sized (8″) zucchinis to make a pizza crust about 10″ in diameter. While in the bowl, add salt which will flavor and help draw out the water within.
2. The key with the zucchini crust is to get as much of the water out as possible. One way to do this is to place the shredded zucchini in a colander with a paper towel and something heavy on top to help press out the water. Note that doing it this way make take an hour or so to remove a sufficient amount of water.
For this meal example I used the microwave to rapidly speed up this process. Placing paper towels beneath and on top of the shredded zucchini, put in microwave on high for 2 minutes at a time *be really careful because the contents will be extremely hot. Take out, flip, change paper towels and repeat 3-4 more times. Afterwards you will notice the zucchini shrink to about 1/3 of the size it started out as.
3. Once the zucchini is as dry as possible, place in a bowl and add a 1/2 cup of shredded mozzarella, 1/2 cup of Parmesan cheese, 3 eggs and a tsp of garlic powder. Mix well.
4. On an oiled cookie sheet or pizza pan, spread out the zucchini mixture and form a large circle about 10″ in diameter. Pat down and make as smooth and round as possible.
5. Place in the oven and bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes.
6. Carefully remove the pan and use the olive oil and a basting brush to coat the top of the zucchini crust. Set back in the oven on broil for 6 minutes.
7. Remove pan and spread the pizza sauce (about 4-6 tablespoons) on top of the crust along with the other half cups of mozzarella, Parmesan, and other toppings you want to include. For this example sliced olives and mushrooms were used. Note – if you are going to add meat such as sausage, pepperoni, chorizo, meatballs, etc. these will need to be cooked beforehand.
8. Place back in the oven to bake at 375 degrees for only an additional 8-10 minutes.
9. Remove, slice after a brief cool down and enjoy the healthiest pizza around!
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