Who doesn’t love a good piece of Za? It might just be the perfect food, but it also just might be the most evil of foods when you’re trying to eat healthy.
Well, no more ‘cheat days’ are needed to enjoy this pizza recipe I’ve cooked up!
When I am inspired by a recipe, the first things I tend to look at to #cookithealthier are:
- Main source of carbohydrates
- Main source of fat
- Main source of protein
So I was inspired this Carmelized Onion, Bacon-Spinach Pizza recipe I found on Pinterest. I knew it would be packed with flavor with all the savory ingredients, but also not so great for my daily macro goals. So set out to whip up a new recipe, using this as my inspiration.
What I came up with was The Spicy Cauli. The Spicy Cauli is a play on my recipe inspiration, but I altered some of the ingredients to either reduce the amount of carbs per serving, reduce the amount of fat per serving while also making it taste, edible!
It has all the flavor of regular pizza, but it’s made with either a cauliflower crust, Trader Joes Vegan Pesto, crisped prosciuitto, sautéed spinach, caramelized onions and light mozzarella cheese.
I’ve tried two different cauliflower crusts and while they are both good, I prefer the Trader Joe’s Cauliflower crust over the Caulipower Crust for two main reasons.
- The Trader Joe’s crust is larger
- The Trader Joe’s crust is significantly cheaper
This recipe is really easy to make since all the ingredients are for the most part already prepped. The cauliflower crust and prosciutto need to be crisped and then you’ll need to prepare the sautéed spinach and caramelized onions to set aside to top the pizza.
First step is to pre-heat your oven at 425 degrees. Then you will line a baking sheet with parchment paper and lay slices of the prosciutto flat along the parchment paper in a single layer. Then you will place another piece of parchment paper over the top of the prosciutto and lay another sheet pan on top.
Once your oven has reached 425 degrees, pop the prosciutto in for around 7-9 minutes. I would advise checking it around 7 minutes and if it looks like most of the fat has rendered out and each piece is crisp, then you’re all done! Otherwise, stick them back in for another minute until they look like this:
Once you’ve got them perfectly crisped and the extra fat cooked out, you will need to remove them immediately using a metal spatula and place them on a paper towel. If you don’t all that fat you just cooked out will get sucked back up into each prosciutto piece.
Next up is the onions and spinach. Now, you might be wondering at this point why this pizza has ‘spicy’ in the name. Well, my friend, you’re about to find out!
Grab your onion and cut it in half. I used slightly less than half the onion pieces on my finished pizza, so if you’re a big onion fan, then feel free to prep more, though I caution anyone from piling on too many ingredients because the cauliflower crust is a bit more delicate than normal dough.
Julienne your onion. Then heat a drizzle of EVOO in a pan over med-high heat. I placed a 1/2 Tbls of minced garlic, 2 Tbls. of crushed red pepper and my onions to the pan. Stirring frequently until the onions are clear and are making your mouth water (because the smell is amazing). Next add in 4 cups of fresh baby spinach. Stir in another 1 Tbls. of crushed red pepper and stir until the spinach has wilted. Once all of that is complete, turn off the heat and set this aside to top your pizza.
Last but not least, you’ll need to prep your cauliflower crust according to the instructions on the box. The Trader Joes cauliflower crust has you pre-cook it for 6 minutes per side before adding toppings. I HIGHLY recommend doing this, especially if you’re anticipating the crust having a little crisp to it at all.
Once you’re done pre-cooking your pizza, it’s time for the fun part!! Toppings!
I used about 1/4 cup Trader Joe’s Vegan Kale Cashew & Basil Pesto as the base sauce towards the middle. Then I rimmed the outer part of the crust with a basil garlic marinara sauce. The two flavors on the pizza really made it yummy!
I N G R E D I E N T S //
- 1 Trader Joe’s Cauliflower Crust (Or Caulipower Crust)
- 1/4 cup Trader Joe’s Vegan Kale Cashew & Basil Pesto
- 3 Tbls. basil garlic marinara sauce on the outer part of the crust (This is optional. You can skip this part if you want and the pizza will still be amazing!)
- 2 Tbls. Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 1 Tbls. minced roasted garlic (check out my post HERE on how to roast your own garlic! It’s super easy and can be done while you prep your ingredients)
- 3 Tbls. of Simply Organic Crushed Red Pepper
- 1/2 a white onion (julienned)
- 4 cups fresh baby spinach
- 4-5 pieces of Proscuitto
- 2 Tbls. Amore Primal Palate Organic Spices
- 5 Fresh part-skim fresh mozzarella balls (sliced in half)
- 1/2 cup mozzarella cheese
I N S T R U C T I O N S //
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Lay out your proscuitto flat along the parchment paper. Layer another piece of parchment paper on top and then place another baking sheet on top. This will help the proscuitto bake flat.
- Bake the proscuitto for 8-10 minutes or until they are crispy and all the fat has rendered out. Lay out a paper towel on a cooling rack to place them on immediately after you take them out of the oven. Once you remove them from the oven, quickly place them on the paper towel to cool and dry. This will get the proscuitto to the ultimate crispiness level. Once it is completely crisped, you will crumble it into smaller pieces to top the pizza.
- After you remove the proscuitto from the oven, now is the perfect time to pre-bake your cauliflower crust according to the box directions.
- Next, add your EVOO to a pan over medium heat. Add in your garlic, spinach and onion to the pan to sautée. Once this is all perfectly sautéed together, set aside to cool slightly until you’re ready to use as a topping.
- Now that you have everything prepped, you’re ready to make your pizza! The key is to not layer it with too many toppings or sauce. Just enough to make it delicious, yet not weigh it down or make it soggy.
- Add your base of the Trader Joe’s Vegan Basil Pesto sauce (and the outer ring of basil garlic marinara if you want).
- Layer on your sautéed onion and spinach first. Then a thin layer of fresh tomato slices and then season with half the mozzarella cheese + 1 Tbls. Amore Primal Palate Organic Spices.
- Next, add your halved pieces of mozzarella around the pizza.
- Last thing you will add is your crumbled proscuitto, the remaining mozzarella cheese and the last 1 Tbls. of Amore Primal Palate (Italian Seasoning).
- Pop your pizza in the oven to get melty and bubbly. You can keep your oven set at 425 degrees and check your pizza after 12 minutes. (It took my oven 16 minutes to get it looking like the above photo!)
I hope you all enjoy this recipe as much as I did! It has really great flavor with the different, yet simple whole ingredients. Plus, if you keep the ingredients simple on a cauliflower pizza, your pizza should come out crispy and hold together.
Enjoy and have some wine while making this recipe. Please tag me @CookItHealthy on Instagram if you make this recipe so I can see your amazing pizza or use the hashtag #CookedItHealthy.