A few weeks ago I was perambulating the aisles of Trader Joe's... I nearly wrote my local Trader Joe's but I have 2 within miles of my home. How lucky am I?! Those of you who are familiar with this brand know you can't walk in and out with just one item - without checking to see what's new, what's different, what's game-changing.
The company that re-branded generic, that made the word chic, that proved to us that fancy food labels mean nothing, strikes again! This time with its Cauliflower Pizza Crust. I vacillate from being the world's healthiest eater to the world's greatest cheater. (Ice cream has been my downfall as of late.)
Like most of you I get cravings. Over the years I have learned that I cannot ignore them, and when I do, I eat everything but that which I truly desire. This of course never works, and then I find myself going whole hog into whatever it is that's got its tight grip on me. I am pretty good at moderation - you'll never see me plow into an entire container of ice cream or box of cookies, which I suppose, if we were to look on the bright side of things, is a good thing or I'd be the size of a house. But nonetheless, I need to find healthy ways to satisfy those cravings. So when I saw this cauliflower pizza crust I knew I had to try it! For me and pizza, it's not always the crust I crave, but the flavor of pizza. Some have too much cheese for my liking while others have too much sauce or are too greasy. I actually like making my own and adding my own toppings. I had an unopened jar of marinara at home and plenty of items to use as toppings. One night when the kids were with their father I decided to give this a try.
When I removed the crust from the box in the freezer it looked like that pictured on the box, though whiter.
I followed the directions and put the crust in the oven. It got slightly brown. I then placed my ingredients on the crust: sauce, shredded Parmesan cheese, olives, thinly sliced shallots, and mushrooms. Nothing more, nothing less. I followed the instructions per the box and removed the pizza from the oven.
It certainly looked good. I took a pizza cutter and sliced through. The crust was definitely soft. Eating it without a fork was not possible. But still... the flavor was good... very good... The crust reminded me of polenta, I could taste the hint of corn from the corn flour. It wasn't bad at all. Because the whole crust was 480 calories (80 calories a serving) that even with the sauce and cheese that I used so sparingly, I could afford to eat the pizza in its entirety, without guilt.
(Notice their crust - top image - and my crust above and below. There's certainly a difference.)
It really was that good... in-spite of the polenta-like crust. I was so full after eating slightly more than half of it that I wrapped the remaining bit and had it for lunch another day. My only complaint was that the crust never got crispy... and yet, I would have it again. I thought it was that good. In the days and weeks since I gave this a try, Trader Joe's has updated their heating instructions.
COOKING INSTRUCTIONS: Preheat oven to 450°F. Remove all packaging from crust and place upside down on a sheet pan. Bake 10-12 minutes, flip crust over and bake another 10-12 minutes. For a crisper crust, broil an additional 4-5 minutes or until browned. Top crust with desired toppings and broil another 4-5 minutes until browned and sauce is bubbling.
ALTERNATE COOKING INSTRUCTIONS: Heat a large nonstick pan over medium-high heat. Place crust in pan and brown 5-6 minutes per side. Top as desired and broil in oven 4-5 minutes, until topping is bubbly and browned.
Another friend said she had luck with a non-stick, perforated pizza pan.
In a rating out of 5 pizza slices I give this 4 pizza slices!
I can't wait to give this another try!
For more information on the Trader Joe's Cauliflower Pizza Crust click here.