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Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Very Low Carb Pizza

The other night I was looking for a picture to put into my post about the diet we're trying. I Googled something like "no carbs" and before I clicked "images" I saw this link. It is a recipe for a NO carb pizza. Well, it's a no added sugar pizza, but any way you cut it, tomatoes have carbs in them, so I call it a very low carb pizza. I also call it delicious.

Like I said the other day, I thought I was going to fall over and die on this diet. I'm just now starting my 5th or 6th day (I can never count days, I always mess it up) and each day gets a little better. I'm actually enjoying it. One conflict though, is that my Nanny and I go out to lunch about once every week, and she's a food pusher. I'm almost certain that not once in her life has she ordered dessert and expected it to only be for her.

She called to see if I wanted to go to lunch yesterday, and wanted to know if I wanted Chinese. I do love Chinese but I got her to settle on Cracker Barrel. I knew they have a low carb menu so I just decided to order off of that. Well we ate (she had potato soup with corn bread) and then she decided she wanted a Coca Cola Cake. I told her before she ordered it that I wasn't helping her eat it, but she didn't believe me. The whole time she ate it she kept saying "are you sure you can't have just one bite?" I love her to death, but she's evil.

I'm off topic. If you've been around my blog for five minutes, you know we love pizza. Big time. We love it enough that I started making it at home to save money. Very serious. So I saw this link to NO carb pizza, and I jumped on it like it was a limited time offer the day after Thanksgiving. No joke.

Last night I was making it and the whole time I kept thinking "this can't be good", "it's not going to taste like pizza, there is no way". I made it anyway, and it was so worth it. I would eat this even if I weren't on this diet. I obviously would make some changes so it didn't have so much fat, but we'll get into that in a minute. It would be very easy to make this into a low calorie meal.

Here is the original recipe from Blogger: What's That Smell? I love her site.

For the crust:
1 (8 oz.) package of full fat cream cheese (room temp.)
2 eggs
Freshly ground black pepper
Garlic powder
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese

For the pizza:
1/2 cup jarred marinara sauce*
A pinch of cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon oregano
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
Sauteed pepperoni
Garlic powder

*Finding a sauce that doesn’t contain added sugar is not easy, but I did find a “no sugar added” by Ragu that with a few added seasonings tastes fantastic on the pizza. You could always make your own too but I’m not THAT brave yet.

For the crust:
Preheat oven to 350°.
Butter a 9×13 baking dish
Blend cream cheese and eggs and season with pepper & garlic powder
Add parmesan cheese and stir until combined
Pour into buttered baking dish
Bake for 17 minutes or until golden brown
Let crust cool for 10 minutes before adding toppings

For the pizza:
After crust is cooked, raise oven to 400°.
Mix together marinara sauce, garlic powder, cayenne pepper & oregano
Top crust with marinara and spread evenly
Top with mozzarella cheese
Add toppings
Bake for 8 minutes or until cheese is bubbly

I was actually going to try to make my own sauce because I thought I could do it without any carbs, but even if I used tomato puree just like Ragu, I would still end up with more carbs than if I just used the jarred pasta sauce. Walmart carries the No Sugar Added Ragu. The whole pan had 9g carbs in it, which really isn't bad at all. We cut it into six pieces so each piece had just a little over 1g carbs. This was so much better than I thought it would be. The crust isn't crispy like a regular pizza, but I may have not cooked it long enough. My oven is really sucking lately so it took way longer for me than the directions said.

This is the crust right after I put it in the oven. If you want to make a healthier version, buy a lower fat cream cheese (I wouldn't go fat free because it is harder to melt in my opinion), reduced fat parmesan, and egg beaters instead of the whole eggs.
Pasta sauce. I was kind of nervous because this is a really small amount of sauce. I thought the pizza would be really dry, but not at all. The sauce is actually pretty healthy for any diet.
Definitely get low-moisture part-skim mozzarella if you're trying to make this a lower fat way. It was nearly impossible to get whole milk mozzarella cheese at Walmart.
I have never worked with a block of mozzarella before, so I thought it would be like any other cheese I've ever grated. Wrong. I used my box grater for about three seconds before I just started shredding it in my hand like string cheese. It worked. I ended up with huge chunks, but they melted all the same.
This is when I took the crust out of the oven. I think it should have been more golden, but at this point it stopped getting darker and started getting too dark on the edges.
The finished product. You should try this.
Also, for a lower fat option, try turkey pepperoni.

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