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  • The Chopping Blog

Go with your Gut - Eat Pizza

Leah J
Posted by Leah J on Feb 25, 2019

 In recent years, there has been an increasing number of research studies that demonstrate a link between our digestive tracts or our “guts” to overall health. We have growing evidence that we should be listening to our gut more often. It could have an impact on our metabolism, immune systems, cardiovascular conditions, type 2 diabetes, obesity, and inflammation. 

By now, most of us have heard about probiotics and maybe even the more elusive prebiotic. Let’s review: 

Probiotics - Helpful live microorganisms that live in your gut. Think of these bacteria like a group of fish in a pond. If they leave or die off, you can restock the pond (through food or supplements). Naturally fermented foods are probiotics, such as yogurt, sauerkraut, kimchi, Kombucha tea, and Kefir.

Prebiotics - Good fiber or other substances from food or supplements that feed the probiotics. These substances are the food for the fish in the pond. There are foods that are higher in prebiotics like onions, garlic, and cruciferous vegetables (cauliflower and broccoli) to name a few. The key is to focus on eating a diet that is high in fiber. 

But you would rather eat pizza? I have a cure for that craving! How about a gut healthy Za that is full of fiber and gut-healthy nutrition? 

pizza-11

Cauliflower & Broccoli Crust Pizza with Chimichurri, Sweet Onions, Fennel & Kale

Yield: One delicious pizza

Servings: 4 (serving = two pieces)

Nutrition Facts: Calories 490, Fiber 11g 

 

Chimichurri Sauce

Yield: about ¾ cup/12 Tablespoons

Servings: 6 (serving = 2 TB, Calories 180, Fiber 2g)

4 large garlic cloves

½ shallot, cut into chunks

¼ cup fresh parsley

½ cup fresh cilantro

2 Tablespoons fresh oregano leaves

3 Tablespoons red wine vinegar

2 teaspoons crushed red pepper

½ teaspoons salt

½ teaspoons freshly ground pepper

½ cup extra-virgin olive oil 

In a food processor, combine all ingredients except olive oil and pulse until finely chopped. Transfer the mix to a bowl and pour the olive oil over the mixture.

NOTE: You won’t use all of this for the pizza. This stuff is so good so put it in a bag and into the freezer. 

chimichurri

Cauliflower & Broccoli Crust

Yield: 1 pizza crust

Servings: 4 (serving = two pieces, Calories 165, Fiber 6g) 

3 ½ cups cauliflower florets (about 1 large head)*

1 ½ cups broccoli florets (1 small head)*

½ teaspoon salt, divided

2 eggs

¾ cup shredded part-skim mozzarella

¼ teaspoon garlic powder

1 Tablespoon fresh oregano leaves, chopped

1 Tablespoon fresh parsley, chopped

¼ teaspoon ground black pepper

*SHORTCUT: Purchase already “riced” cauliflower or cauliflower/broccoli mix from the freezer section. Prepare according to the package instructions and follow instructions after roasting below. 

1. Preheat oven to 400°F. Line a large sheet pan with parchment paper.

2. Place cauliflower and broccoli florets in a food processor; process until finely chopped.

3. Transfer the cauliflower/broccoli mixture onto the parchment-lined sheet pan, add ¼ tsp of salt and combine. Spread the “riced” veggies out on the sheet pan in single layer. Roast in the oven to soften for 20-25 min, tossing halfway through.

4. Once the rice is tender and beginning to turn golden brown, remove the rice from the oven and transfer into a clean, thin dish towel or cheesecloth. Wrap up the rice and twist the towel to squeeze any excess moisture out.

cheesecloth-1

5. Place the drained rice into a mixing bowl, along with the eggs, ¼ teaspoon salt and the next five ingredients. Mix until fully combined.

6. On a new sheet of parchment paper, pour the rice mixture out and form into a rectangle, making the layer as even as possible.

*NOTE: Don’t use aluminum foil if you run out of parchment as seen in the photos. Even with cooking spray, the crust will stick and be difficult to remove.

rawpizza

7. Bake until brown and crispy around the edges, about 30-35 minutes.

bakedpizza

 

Toppings:

Calories 145, Fiber 3g per serving

1 Tablespoon cooking oil

1 medium fennel bulb, thinly sliced

1 medium sweet onion, thinly sliced

2 cups Tuscan kale, stems removed & chopped

3 oz shredded part-skim mozzarella

¼ cup plain Greek yogurt to top 

8. While the crust is baking, prepare the toppings. Heat oil in a saute pan and add fennel and onion. Cook veggies until lightly caramelized. Add kale and cook until wilted.

pizzatopping

9. Remove the crust from the oven and let cool slightly. Using a spoon, spread about 2 Tablespoons of chimichurri in an even layer over the crust. Cover the pizza with vegetable mixture and cheese. Bake again until cheese is melted and golden on top, about 10 minutes. Cool slightly and cut into eight even pieces. 

10. Top each piece with a dollop of Greek yogurt. Trust me on this, the chimichurri is a little spicy and the yogurt cools it a little.

For more ideas on how to lighten up your favorite dishes including a Sweet Potato Soufflé, check out The Chopping Block's upcoming hands-on class Eating Away the Winter Weight on Tuesday, March 12 at 6pm at the Merchandise Mart. 

 

 

Topics: healthy, healthy cooking, nutrition, healthy eating, cauliflower, Recipes, broccoli, pizza, probiotics, prebiotics

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