Cheesy cauliflower crust pizza

I love food. Mostly I love to eat it and take pictures of it. And tell other people about how amazing it is.

I’m working on loving the cooking part of it. When I added a food section to this website, it wasn’t with the intention of becoming a food blogger. Similar to why I started blogging about type 1 diabetes, I see this as a good opportunity to improve my own cooking skills, to challenge myself to prepare healthy meals, and to showcase some stellar recipes that others have tried and approved.

One person that I plan to feature a lot is my sister. Earlier this year she was diagnosed with celiacs disease. Part of her journey has been learning what she can eat, but also finding and modifying recipes to fit her dietary needs. A lot of times her alternatives are healthier, low carb versions of popular foods (although not always). But every time she texts me a picture of her dinner, my mouth starts to drool. I figured that many of the people who read my blog would also be interested in what she’s been cooking.

So to start us off, here’s a recipe for Cheesy cauliflower crust pizza that my sister made. She found the recipe from the food blog, Jo Cooks and I’ve copied Jo’s recipe below. The only difference my sister did is that instead of making the cauliflower dough into breadsticks, she just made a giant pizza. You can see below how beautifully it turned out.

PREP TIMG_8160IME: 10 minutes
COOK TIME: 40 minutes
Author: Jo
Serves: 8
INGREDIENTS
  • 4 cups of riced cauliflower (about 1 large head of cauliflower)
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 cups of mozzarella cheese (I used a Tex Mex blend because that’s all I had)
  • 3 tsp oregano
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 to 2 cups mozzarella cheese (for topping)
INSTRUCTIONS
  1. Preheat oven to 425 F degrees. Prepare 2 pizza dishes or a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Make sure your cauliflower is roughly chopped in florets. Add the florets to your food processor and pulse until cauliflower resembles rice.
  3. Place the cauliflower in a microwavable container and cover with lid. Microwave for 10 minutes. Place the microwaved cauliflower in a large bowl and add the 4 eggs, 2 cups of mozzarella,oregano, garlic and salt and pepper. Mix everything together.
  4. Separate the mixture in half and place each half onto the prepared baking sheets and shape into either a pizza crust, or a rectangular shape for the breadsticks.
  5. Bake the crust (no topping yet) for about 25 minutes or until nice and golden. Don’t be afraid the crust is not soggy at all. Once golden, sprinkle with remaining mozzarella cheese and put back in the oven for another 5 minutes or until cheese has melted.
  6. Slice and serve.
Nutritional information based on 1 cup mozzarella cheese for topping.
NUTRITION INFORMATION
Serving size: 99g Calories: 164 Fat: 9.8g Saturated fat: 5.2g Unsaturated fat: 0.0g Trans fat: 0.0g Carbohydrates: 4.3g Sugar: 1.0g Sodium: 296mgFiber: 1.1g Protein: 15.6g Cholesterol: 104mg
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When life hands you lemons…

My sister recently found out that she may have Celiac Disease.

As directed, she has completely cut gluten from her diet. While more and more gluten-free options are becoming available both in restaurants and grocery stores, it’s still a diagnosis that comes with its own set of challenges. I’ve watched her as she’s adjusted to this major lifestyle change. I’ve watched her grapple with finding something she can eat on a menu, watched her reluctantly turn down food at an event, watched her patiently pace the aisles looking for the gluten-free options or alternatives to her favorite recipes. It hasn’t been easy, but she has risen to the challenge with tremendous strength, discipline, and optimism.

I truly admire how she has stayed so positive despite having to give up or modify so many of her favorite foods. How she’s taken on the added responsibility of checking every food label and having the discipline to turn down what she knows she can’t have. How she’s gone from having the freedom and ease of choosing essentially any food to having much more limited options. Through all this, she’s faced this change courageously, head on, and hasn’t let it get her down.

I admire what she’s had to do even more because I’ve been so reluctant to make my own dietary changes even though I know it would help me. While I know that she doesn’t really have a choice if she wants to avoid doing damage to her intestines, she still doesn’t complain. I know I should eat less carbs, I know I should cut back on sugar. I know it would help tremendously to stabilize my blood sugars, to lessen my insulin intake. I know it would benefit my overall health, but I haven’t made those changes to what I eat.

I look at what she’s doing and I find it inspiring and motivating. It hasn’t been easy for her, but she’s doing it and using it as an opportunity to grow. As she said to me, “I think of it as a challenge, as a way to stay healthy, learn new foods I might not be used to eating, and definitely learn to cook better with the foods I can eat.” In many ways she’s given me hope that when I finally decide to make (less significant) changes, that I too can do it. And with so many people with both type 1 diabetes and celiacs successfully balancing both, I know that when I’m ready, I will have plenty of resources and inspiration within the DOC too.

No one asks for these types of challenges. Whether it’s balancing blood sugars on a daily basis or completely eliminating a protein composite from your diet, life is full of obstacles. It’s how you approach them that makes the difference.

I’m lucky to have such motivating, positive, and strong role models in my life. People who when handed lemons, they make amazing gluten-free lemon bars with almond crust!

Oh crepe!

When I was first diagnosed, I carried a little book around with me to look up the carbohydrates of everything I ate. Since I didn’t always have access to the packaging of the food, I would look up every food and add up all the carbs in my meal. Now, that same information is available right on your smartphone. However, after adding up the carbs for thousands of meals over the years, I’ve memorized the majority of the foods I eat and have gotten pretty good at estimating.Yes, there are times when I over or underestimate, but I generally feel pretty confident in my abilities.

In fact, one could say that I’ve gotten a little too confident and maybe even lazy when it comes to carb counting these days. And this attitude is dangerous. Because when I am significantly wrong in my counts, the results can be pretty catastrophic. The continued importance of being accurate in my carb counting was made abundantly clear to me last week over a meal of crepes.

I was excited to try a new crepe restaurant for dinner with a coworker. Although I knew what a crepe is, I greatly over estimated the number of carbs for the thin pancake like wrap. While a typical crepe is about 10 carbs, I had figured it was at least double, thinking of it as more of a tortilla.

Everything was fine for awhile and I figured that I had successfully calculated the meal. I drove home and decided that I was going to go for a run, never mind that I was still really full from dinner. After my second mile, I started to feel off. I figured it was just from running on such a full stomach. I headed home and showered. It wasn’t until after I finished my shower that I realized that the weird feeling was feeling more like a low blood sugar. I checked my blood sugar. 34!! Ohhh crepe!

I treated the low and eventually felt better, but the experience was definitely a reminder that even after all these years, it’s still important to look up foods that I’m not as familiar with. It’s easy to fall into old habits of guessing and being a little lazy, but I realize it’s definitely worth the extra time to look something up in the beginning than to deal with a low blood sugar later. Next crepe, I’ll be ready.

The Shift

This week, four seemingly disconnected events aligned to cause a shift in consciousness. You may be thinking, “Reva, what the heck are you talking about?!” Well, allow me to elaborate.

Event 1: The Conversation

This past weekend, I had a conversation that clearly had a more profound effect on me than I initially realized. We were conversing about a raw food diet and all the benefits of adopting such a diet. While you will never be able to convince me that a raw foods diet is a cure for type 1 diabetes (no matter what some documentary says), I absolutely see the benefits of that lifestyle. It is very true that a raw foods diet would require much less insulin and would drastically reduce spikes in blood sugar. Not eating breads and processed foods that immediately get turned into sugar in the body is very beneficial for controlling blood sugars. When the conversation ended, I was left with the thought that perhaps I could benefit from a less carbohydrate heavy diet, although I still don’t think a raw food diet is quite for me. While I tend to eat pretty healthy, I still use a lot of insulin for the food I eat or to chase high blood sugars. Maybe it is time to see what happens when I cut down on the carbs.

Event 2: The Documentary

My mom and I sat on the couch, surfing through movies to watch. We found ourselves in the documentary section and settled on a movie called Hungry for Change. The documentary “exposes secrets that diet, weight loss and food industries don’t want consumers to know about: deceptive strategies designed to keep you coming back for more.”

While I think some of the claims in the movie are overstated and a bit sensationalized, the general idea of the documentary is quite compelling. Essentially, we are “overfed yet undernourished”. We are getting plenty of calories from the foods we eat, but the calories are empty and leave our body unfulfilled and still craving nutrients. But the thing that struck me the most in the documentary was the talk about the “low-fat”, “fat-free”and “sugar-free” foods. Basically that these foods may have zero fat, but they are full of sugar and as soon as you eat them, they turn into sugar in your body that later gets stored as fat. They also are full of artificial sweeteners that are not easily processed by your body and can leave you craving for more. The thing is, I thought that I was being healthier by buying the low-fat version of foods and being diabetic, sugar-free seemed like a good option. If you were to open my fridge you would find: low fat sour cream and cottage cheese, light laughing cow cheese, light greek yogurt, light dressings, sugar free jello and puddings, 100 calorie english muffins and 35 calorie light wheat bread, light lemonade, fat-free half and half, and even low fat wheat thins and granola. Basically my fridge and pantry are filled with the low-fat, sugar-free options! When the documentary was over, I walked to the fridge and pulled out some of these foods and began reading off the ingredients. Half of them I have no idea what they are. It was then that I decided that perhaps eaten in moderation, it may be worth the extra calories to not be putting all the artificial ingredients into my body. Ingredients that my body was not made to be able to process, ingredients that are probably doing more harm than good, and ingredients that are essentially making me more unhealthy when that is the complete opposite of my goal.

Event 3: The Scale

I consider myself a healthy person. I am a healthy weight, I eat well, and I exercise often (5-6 days a week). However like most people, I have a few extra pounds that I would love to lose. In an effort to achieve this, I upped the intensity of my workouts and began tracking my foods and making a conscious effort to eat healthier and cut down on the extra calories. However, in the last 3 weeks, I’ve watched as my weight increased, rather than decreased. It’s true that this may be attributed to gaining muscle, which weighs more than fat, but it seemed like something else. Over the past year, even though I am a consistent exerciser, my weight has remained relatively constant. I realized that if I really wanted to see a change, I would need to change my diet.

Event 4: The Holiday

In the back of my head, these events were telling me “eat less carbohydrate heavy and processed foods, eat more vegetables and naturally low fat and low sugar foods”. What better time to cut down on carbohydrate than the week of Passover?? It was perfect timing. This week, to celebrate the Jewish holiday of Passover, Jews refrain from eating unleavened foods, this includes wheat, barley, oats, rye and spelt. This means no breads, pasta, cereals, cookies/cakes, rice, oatmeal, basically all the foods high in carbohydrates. Bread is replaced with matzah and matzah meal can be used to cook various foods, but honestly, I’m not a huge fan of matzah anyway. Here is the perfect opportunity to see how my body feels when I’m not eating those high carb foods.

The Shift in Consciousness

I’m not about to completely change my diet. I’m not only going to eat raw foods, I’m not cutting out all carbohydrates, and I’m not switching to all full fat, full sugar foods. I’m also not going on a “diet”. I’m not restricting the foods that I’m eating. But here is what I am doing. Instead of taking away foods or restricting them, I’m adding foods to my diet. However, I’m adding healthy, natural, nutrient-rich foods. I’m adding more green vegetables, more fruits, more nuts, and more foods with natural fats like avocados. As I add these healthy foods that my body craves, I’m hoping that I will become less hungry for processed, artificial, and high calorie/fat foods. I’m drinking more water and making vegetable juices and drinking less diet pop and artificially sweetened juices. While I’m not replacing all my low-fat or fat-free foods, I’m making sure that the yogurts and cheeses and breads that I do buy are not filled with artificial ingredients and sweeteners. I’m giving my body the foods that it needs to function properly in a way that it can easily digest and use. And I’m working to lower the amount of insulin that I need in hopes that I can help to further stabilize my blood sugars.

None of this health information is new to me, I’ve been hearing it for years in my classes, in the news, from studies and even from other people. However it was the coming together of these 4 events that was the tipping point to motivate another healthy change in my life. I know it won’t be easy, and I know I’ll still have that piece of pizza or ice cream from time to time, but I also know that I am on a path to a healthier me.

Join me?

Apple Snob

Today I realized that I am an apple snob. Not an Apple snob, although honestly I might be that too, but the kind of apple that you find in the grocery store. I’ve known for some time that I am very particular when it comes to apples, but today it was confirmed. If it’s not a Honeycrisp apple, then pretty much forget about it.

I had just finished my workout and was experiencing another low blood sugar, 49 (ughhh!). One of the symptoms of a low can be hunger. However, I wasn’t experiencing normal hunger, it was this insatiable appetite that made me want to go into the kitchen and just binge on crackers or chips or whatever else I could find. I had already treated the low with my fruit snacks, but the hunger remained, like a bottomless pit in my stomach. When this kind of hunger from a low strikes, the best solution is an apple. Apples are healthy, filling, and satisfy that urge to just crunch on something. Luckily, I had one apple in the fridge with my name on it.

I took a bite. Woah, this is NOT a Honeycrisp. It was missing that perfect combination of sweetness, firmness and tartness. This apple was definitely not crisp and was not living up to the high apple expectations that a true Honeycrisp apple had set.

So how do I know that I am an apple snob? Because I couldn’t even get myself to finish the apple! Let me remind you that my motivation for eating the apple in the first place was not for taste or enjoyment, it was to satisfy the symptoms of my low blood sugar, but yet I still was refusing this perfectly average apple.

While I am quite aware that it is past Honeycrisp Apple season, I either need to track them down or find a suitable replacement because whatever imposter was in my fridge today is just not cutting it.