Make This: BBQ Chicken Sausage Pizza with Cauliflower “Crust” {Gluten & Dairy Free}

The Boy & I have been trying to severely cut back and/or eliminate both gluten and dairy from our diets. While gluten is something I’ve learned to eliminate over the years (due to personal digestion issues and bloating), I occasionally indulge in a tasty snack or fresh-baked slice of bread made with real ingredients. I know my limits, and I’ve pretty much learned to live without it. I guess I’m lucky because I’ve never really had a sweet tooth so fresh bread is really my only temptation.

However, dairy is a completely different beast. You see, I love cheese. Nothing beats a slice of fresh mozzarella, hard cheese paired with fruit, or local feta from the farmer’s market. That being said, this past year I’ve also come to the conclusion that my love for cheese may have some sort of connection  to my skin issues. So I’ve been trying to cut back as much as I can to experiment. Again, this is just my own personal experiment and I’m not saying everyone should give up dairy for clear skin. After all, we are all different and what works for one may not work for another (see: bio-individuality).

I’m proud to say that I’ve considerably cut back on my cheese obsession, from having it nearly every day to having a taste every now and then (once a month or so). I’ve also been drinking a mug of warm water with fresh lemon every morning before eating, adding organic Apple Cider Vinegar to improve digestion and help detox my body along with consuming a 90% “clean” diet.

The verdict? I feel great! As for my skin, I can’t say if I see major improvements but I do think I’m starting to control it. There are days when it’s super clear and days I want to use a pound of cover up. I also  know a lot of my skin issues are hormonal, and therefore right now I need to focus on de-stressing and maintaining balance (through yoga, meditation and self-care).

The point of all of this? I was really craving pizza the other night and instead of ignoring my cravings (by eating lettuce or an apple instead) I decided to think outside the box. Hm…pizza without gluten AND dairy and that actually tastes good? Now this is going to be a toughie! With a quick google search I found this recipe for Cauliflower Pizza Crust, something I’ve been meaning to try for a while now. Only problem was this recipe used mozzarella in the crust mix so I knew there’d be some substitutions involved. Then I got BBQ-style in my mind, and it was on: BBQ Chicken Sausage Pizza it is!

Healthy Chicks BBQ Chicken Sausage Pizza with Cauliflower “Crust” {Dairy Free & Gluten Free}

*Makes 4 extra-large slices or 8 small

For the crust mix (inspired by this recipe from Closet Cooking):

  • 1 large head cauliflower, chopped
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 c. Daiya Mozzarella Shreds (a vegan, kosher, dairy-free, soy-free cheese alternative that in my opinion is the best out there aside from homemade!)
  • 1 tsp. each dried parsley, oregano and basil
  • few shakes of onion powder
  • sea salt & pepper

For the pizza:

  • 1/2 package or 2 links all-natural chicken sausage, sliced thin
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped finely
  • 1 TB olive oil
  • 1 TB all-natural BBQ sauce for sautéing onions plus 1/4 c. for pizza “sauce” (I used Annie’s Naturals Organic Sweet & Spicy BBQ Sauce)
  • 1/2 red onion, sliced into thin strips
  • large handful of fresh kale, chopped
  • 8 grape tomatoes, sliced in half
  • 1/2 c. Daiya Mozzarella Shreds

1. Preheat oven to 450. Grate the cauliflower in a food processor until it gets a rice-like texture (rather than pureed). Then steam for about 10 minutes, or until cooked.

2. Use a tea towel or cheese cloth to wring out the cauliflower, removing as much of the moisture as you can. NOTE: This step is extremely important. I completely rushed the process (I was hungry!) and therefore came out with a slightly soggy finish. Do it.

3. Mix together the cauliflower, egg, Daiya, seasonings, salt & pepper and spread out on a lined baking dish as you would regular pizza dough. Bake for about 20 minutes, or until lightly browned.

4. In the meantime, prepare & chop your pizza toppings! Heat large skillet to medium heat and sauté onion and garlic for about 2 minutes. Add in 1 TB BBQ sauce and continue to stir until onions are well coated. Mix in sliced chicken sausage, stir and remove from heat.

5. Remove crust from onion and coat with 1/4 c. BBQ sauce, chicken/onion mixture, kale and grape tomatoes. Top with another 1/2 c. of Daiya cheese or enough to your liking. Bake for another 15 minutes, or until cheese it bubbling and crust is a perfect crusty golden  brown.

~Enjoy with a glass of organic wine &  homemade salad like this Roasted Beet & Arugula Salad. Cheers!

I have to say, I was pleasantly surprised by how tasty the cauliflower crust was (minus our slight soggy issue that I totally know now for next time). I could eat this in place of regular pizza any day! I’m telling you…it’s gooood.

Wold you like to cut back on a particular food or have any sensitivities to certain ingredients? Have you ever made a pizza with cauliflower crust before? What natural remedies do you use to keep your skin clear?

2 Responses to “Make This: BBQ Chicken Sausage Pizza with Cauliflower “Crust” {Gluten & Dairy Free}”

  1. Krista Says:

    yum!!! gotta try it.

  2. Rachel @Healthy Chicks Says:

    YES YOU DO!! 🙂

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This entry was posted on Sunday, April 14th, 2013 at 5:48 pm and is filed under Health & Wellness, Healthy Eats, Recipes. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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