As I mentioned in my …Food Is Art Post, I LOVE to cook. I love rich, flavorful foods that burst in your mouth and beg to be eaten. Recently my family and I have embarked on a journey to healthier eating.
Maybe it’s because I love food so much. Or maybe it’s because I find comfort in flavors that take me back to my childhood. Or maybe it’s because I love to try new things. Whatever it may be I have always struggled with my weight. The battle has been real. I have never wanted to give up on great taste, great texture and fabulous eats in an effort to be healthy. My husband Jesse was diagnosed with diabetes awhile back and this has been the kick in the butt that I needed. (I find it easier to help solve other people’s problems before addressing my own)
With Jesse being diabetic we had to face the music that carbs… No matter how much we crave them, are not our friend. I must admit that my first instinct was to drastically cut them all out. I started researching Paleo diets, the Atkins plan and a myriad of others. But what we came to grasp is, everything has its place even carbs. Our biggest hurdle is keeping Jesse’s blood sugar levels in check and I want to lose weight, so let’s attack that. We have begun our lower calorie, lower carb adventure.
After 2 months of careful calculating and some seriously yummy food Jesse was craving one of his old haunts… Pizza! Our family loves pizza, one of our favorites is Pizza Hut deep dish pizza. But weighing in at 620 calories and 68 grams of carbohydrates in a personal size pizza, it seemed like a distant taste memory, never to be enjoyed again.
That’s when I had to come up with an alternative. I poked around to see what a lower carb flour that could be used to substitute the all purpose flour typically used in pizza dough. While there are some great ideas out there, I decided to make my first try with almond flour. I must say that we were very pleased with the result.
Check out this low carb alternative to pizza crust that will still bring flavor to your plate and a smile to your face. Note… That while I use almond meal in this recipe and it does have carbs, yet significantly lower than traditional pizza. This pizza weighs in at 566 calories and only 19 grams of carbohydrates per personal pizza. The ingredients below are to be divided equally into four parts to create 4 individual pizzas.
Yields 4 individual pizzas
2 cups almond flour
1 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp ground oregano
1/2 tsp ground basil
1/4 cup finely minced onion (optional, but really brings great flavor to your crust)
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
2 eggs, beaten
2 tsp olive oil
Pre heat oven to 400 degrees. Mix dry ingredients (including onion) into a bowl until well incorporated. In a separate bowl beat eggs and add oil to egg mixture. Pour egg and oil mixture over dry ingredients and work into a sticky dough. (I use my hands)
Place Parchment paper on counter and bring dough off onto paper. Divide into four equal parts (approx 4 oz each) roll each portion into a ball and return to bowl. Taking one portion at a time place in center of paper on counter. Use and additional piece of parchment or wax paper to place on top. (This is important, this helps make sure the sticky dough doesn’t stick to a roller or your hands when pressing.) Press firmly down on the dough covered with paper. Press from the inside out working your dough into an appropriate personal pizza size. (don’t worry if its not perfect shape, we are going for a gorgeous rustic look) I recommend approx 1/4 inch thick. Continue this process for the remaining 3 balls of dough. You can use a rolling pin for thinner crust, just do what feels right.
Place your parchment paper on a baking sheet and pre bake crusts (without topping) for 10 minutes in your preheated oven. (less if you go thinner)
1/2 pound lean ground beef or turkey
1 small onion diced
Salt and pepper to season meat to taste
4 slices bacon
3 T ketchup
3 T prepared mustard
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
Cook your bacon off in a hot skillet. Right before it crisps, remove bacon and drain on a paper towel. (Reserve for later) Use the bacon grease to saute that onion and ground meat until meat is brown. (cooking the onion and meat in the bacon grease yields tremendous flavor throughout. And I’m all about flavor!) Drain fat well.
When your crusts come out of the oven reduce your oven temp to 350. Sauce your pizzas by drizzling ketchup and mustard leaving approx 1/8 inch edge. Divide your meat topping equally between the pizzas and sprinkle evenly. Sprinkle the cheese over the meat and finish by crumbling the bacon over the cheese. Return to oven and bake for 15-18 minutes.
Slice your pizza into manageable pieces and enjoy!
Let me know what amazing topping variations you all come up with comment below with your ideas!