WIAW on Lindsay’s Personal Food Tour

Hey ya’ll! It is my favorite day of the week, What I Ate Wednesday, thanks to the lovely Jenn over at Peas and Crayons (seriously go check all the posts out, you won’t regret it). I have had something very special planned for this day. Since my brother’s last day in town was Tuesday, I had planned on taking him and his friend on a personal food tour designed by me. I originally had wanted to take them on a Free Tours by Foot in the Lower East side since there are so many great foodie options, but instead on Sunday we went to brunch. I promised that I would make an epic, delicious food tour that would leave us dragging around. On top of having great food, the weather was perfection. It was so hot that I wish I hadn’t been wearing tights. Now lets get to my tour!

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First stop on the tour was Golden Steamer, which is located in Chinatown on Mott St. This local favorite, which was about a 4 and a half star on yelp, so you know it was going to be legit. The main focus of the store is steamed buns, which as you know are my favorite things in the world. They have many other options to pick from too. Classic dim sum items such as chung fung and steamed shrimp dumplings. You can either get steamed buns fresh or you can buy packages that you bring home to steam later. These contain 4 buns of whatever flavor of your choice. The best part about this place is that it is so freaking cheap.

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We started off splitting a pork bun, which was amazeballs. The pork inside was so tender and sweet from the BBQ sauce. This was probably my favorite bun that we tried. It was so soft. I definitely want to back for more of these because it was like a little cloud from the sky. Not to mention that it was like 1$. Thank god this is so far away because I would live off of these if I could.

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The second bun that we split was a red bean bun. It sort of tasted like frito bean dip inside a steamed bun. That was really interesting. I actually really enjoyed it. I tend to not like red bean paste things because sometimes it can get real funky, but this was surprisingly great. Still not as great as my pork bun, but it definitely was tasty.

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Oh the great egg custard bun. You are so hard to find always, but when I find you it is the tastiest thing I have ever had. While it is no pork bun, it is a good second. The creaminess of the egg custard goes along perfectly with the soft texture of the steamed bun. I wish I would have gotten some more of these for all of us to snack on during our walk or at least my huge trek later back to campus. Anyways so far we were 1/1 on going to a delicious, cheap, and foodie approved place. The shop is really small, which is why we had to eat all the buns standing outside. No shame.

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After our steamed buns, we headed over to Eldridge st in order to hit up the iconic Prosperity Dumpling over in Chinatown. This place is known for their super cheap dumplings with deals like 5 fried dumplings for 1$ (however this has now changed and it is 4 for 1$, but still such a good deal). They have other items on the menu like scallion pancakes, noodle soups, and other appetizers. However most people come here for the dumplings. The shop is incredibly small. There is barely any room to sit down. We were lucky enough to beat the lunch crowd, so we got to sit down and enjoy our dumplings.

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We ended up getting an order of the fried pork and chive dumplings to split. These were delicious. The outside was crispy in some spots and soft in others. It wasn’t too greasy. The dumplings were so hot, so they were really freshly cooked for us. The inside was delicious. The pork was mixed well with the chive. You could top the dumplings with three sauces, so we chose the no label dark sauce. My brother ended up shooting half of it across the table, but it eventually got onto the dumplings. It was like a sweet soy sauce for dumplings.

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We decided that we should be somewhat healthy and get steamed dumplings too. These were cabbage and pork dumplings. They were 10 for 2.75$, so still such a good deal. We had to wait a little bit longer for these since steaming takes longer than frying dumplings. These were so good. I was glad that we ended up getting a second order of dumplings. They were soft and packed with tons of flavor. It sort of reminded me of soup dumplings because when you bit inside the dumpling there was the juice from steaming the pork dumpling. We topped it again with the sweet sauce, which this time my brother didn’t spill. Winning. Off to the next place.

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Before we went to our next stop, we had to pit stop at the Bank of America because my smart little brother forgot to get any cash. This is the one problem with living in the city. There are too many cash only places in the city, so you always have to be prepared with having cash on you. Onwards to Cheeky’s Sandwiches, which is located in the Lowest East Side. This was New Orleans style place with tons of sandwiches.

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I ended up going with the Chicken sandwich, which pretty much looks like a little version of Whataburger’s famous Honey Butter Chicken Biscuit. However this one had fried chicken, buttermilk biscuit, cole slaw, and gravy. This was so good. The biscuit was tender, which went well with the crispy crunchiness of the chicken. The coleslaw was a nice mix to place on top because it wasn’t gross like normal coleslaw. We ended up splitting all the sandwiches by passing them around and having a few bites at a time of each sandwich.

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My brother’s friend ended up getting the beef sandwich, which was my favorite by far. It was braised short rib, horseradish sauce, arugala, cherry tomatoes, and served on challah bread. CHALLAH. This is seriously a Jew’s favorite menu item. It was perfection. I love anything served on challah, but when you combine brisket and horseradish sauce on top of it. OMG NOM NOM NOM. I definitely am going to go back here just to get this sandwich. It is totally worth the trek.

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My brother went with a classic choice of the oyster po’boy. He may have not been born in New Orleans like my older brother and I, but he knows good seafood when he sees it. These oysters were crunchy and delicious. It was a very simple sandwich in order to keep the main focus on the oysters, so it was topped with lettuce, tomato, and a spicy sauce. I really liked it, but the sauce was a little too much for me. He loved it though. He gobbled it down and kept trying to grab it from us when it was our turn to eat it. We had ginger brew with the meal too. My brother had a passion fruit one while his friend and I had pomegranate. They were really delicious with a nice kick of ginger. Afterwards we had to walk a while to let our stomachs rest.

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Next up on the tour was Prince St Pizza, which was located in Noho. It was your pretty basic mom and pop pizza shop that has had a ton of celebrities roll through this joint. I know this because the wall is decorated with famous people and the pizza shop workers. It was a really quick get your pizza and go kind of place. Luckily there were a few tables inside, so we could sit down and enjoy our pizza.

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We ended up just getting two slices of margherita pizza to split between the three of us. I mean just look at those slices. The shop is known for their homemade mozzarella, so we obviously went with something that used it as the star. The cheese was melted so great, so when you took a bite into the pizza it just pulled and became stringy from your mouth to the pizza. I was in a food coma at this point. It was a struggle to get the pizza in my body. Afterwards we trekked back to the Lower East Side, so I could take the kiddos to Yonah Schimmels Knish Shop. I ended up just getting some Knish’s to go for my date from the other night, but the kids ended up getting a cheese knish with apple. It looked really good. I’m not sure how they ended up cramming it all into their stomachs, but props to them.

Have an awesome Wednesday! I have to go to my lab soon, which will be pretty easy today since we are just doing stretching exercises and flexibility.

Have you ever been on a food tour?
Would you ever give your own tour? Where would you go?

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WIAW at Grub Street

Hey ya’ll! It is that amazing time of the week again. What I Ate Wednesday, thanks to Jenn. I have another awesome share for my favorite day. I swear I go to so many food festivals. Here in the city, there probably is a food fest about every weekend, so when I saw that the Grub Street Food Festival was going on this past Sunday, I obviously had to go. I dragged my roommates and they happily trekked to the Lower East Side with me. Lets get to the good part: the food.

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When we first got there, we decided to walk around the entire event to see all the food options. The set up was pretty great. It was at a park on a track, so they set up the booths all around the track with a few in the middle. There were also a ton of tables in the middle of the track, but because so many people were there, we ended up having to sit at a checker table near the side. Once we walked around for a few minutes, we were ready to get our grub on.

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The reason I found out about this specific food festival was because I follow Doughnut Plant on Instagram. They said that they were going to be at the festival with pumpkin, apple cider, and coffee cake doughnuts. Obviously that was one reason to go. Their delicious doughnuts are life changing and these were no different. They were serving different types of each flavor. The options were cake, yeast, or doughseed. We ended up choosing the cake doughnut because it was said to be the most dense.

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Look at this perfect specimen. The lightly toasted pumpkin seeds on top. The small amount of pumpkin glaze that covered this doughnut. It was packed with pumpkin delicious flavor. The doughnut was so moist, which was nice because the texture was very cakey, but in a good way. It was a small doughnut, but it was perfect to split with Carrianne because we wanted to be able to eat as much as possible. My other roommate ended up getting the Apple Cider yeast doughnut and it looked amazing. She gobbled it up. Oh how I love fall flavored treats.

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Next up was Asia Dog. I’ve been wanting to go here for a while now. I missed out on going at Smorgasburg, so I was kind of bummed out. When I saw that they were having a stand at the Grub Street Fest, I knew that I had to go get one. I have an obsession with hot dogs. I think they are such a classic American treat. So delicious. At Grub Street Asia Dog wasn’t serving up their typical fair, but instead they were doing corn dogs. Even better.

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I ended up getting the tonkatsu with beef dog. You can get the corndogs if you go to the store front, but at this festival they were only serving them and not their other treats. This corndog was covered in a panko crust and served alongside was katsu mayo dipping sauce. It was amazing. I feel like panko crumbs make anything taste better. The mayo was a like a sweet Asian honey mustard sauce. It was awesome. The crunch of the outside was perfect with the softness of the inside of the dough. The beef hotdog was a perfect combination with this corndog breading.

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My roommate who is vegetarian ended up going to this delicious looking pizza place. The funny thing was that I had bookmarked this pizza place on yelp, so when she let me have a slice of her pizza I was in heaven. The crust was thin like it is in Italy, so when you picked the piece up it flopped down. The cheese was delicious. It was huge slices of mozzarella all over. The sauce was also evenly spread out through the crust and not that much on the pizza. I’m not a big fan of sauce, I really just enjoy toppings, so it was my dream pizza. I will definitely be going to this pizza shop.

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Now to the best thing of the whole day. Little Muenster. Yet another place that I had bookmarked on yelp for a must visit in the city. Oh how I am perfect at finding the best places. I ended up getting the beef brisket grilled cheese. It was the best grilled cheese I have ever had. The beef brisket was moist and tender. It pulled apart as you bit into it. The cheese was melted so well. It pulled in strings as you pulled it out of your mouth. The bread was toasted perfectly. It was crispy, but not burnt. This is the best comfort food.

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Carrianne ended up getting the squash grilled cheese. It was delicious. We ended up swapping half of each of our sandwiches for one of the other. That way we got to enjoy both of them. This was a good vegetarian option. It had a ton of different cheeses and it was topped with butternut squash. There could have been more squash on the sandwich, but otherwise it was perfect. I will definitely be going to their storefront whenever I need a nice warm grilled cheese to brighten my day.

I hope ya’ll enjoyed my post on this amazing food festival. It only happens once a year, so next year in October you better be headed down to Lower East Side.

What would be on your dream grilled cheese?
What is your favorite fall flavor?

Eggplant Pizza

Hey ya’ll! It is Friday. Wooohooo. This has no meaning to me since I only have class two days a week, which is amazing. It can be a little exhausting because my classes are all in a row on Monday from 3-9, but I can deal with it. Nothing too bad. Plus it allows me to explore the city a bit right now while I still have somewhat of free time apart from reading my books and making notecards. Plus I get to go to Boston next week! I’m so excited. I’m going Thursday-Monday (don’t worry I get back way before class starts)! Today I have an awesome recipe for ya’ll. One of my more recent favorite vegetables has to be eggplant. You can make all kinds of dishes with it. Italian or Asian or really any type of cuisine. I went with a more Italian style of preparation on this dish and made eggplant pizza.

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Eggplant Pizza

1 large eggplant
1/2 c of shredded cheese
1 can of diced tomatoes (edit: 2 cans of diced tomatoes)
1 garlic (or only half – depending on how garlicky you want this)
1/2 c of chopped basil
salt
garlic powder
oregano

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1. Preheat the oven to 375. First you want to slice your eggplant into 1/2 inch slices (maybe a little more, depending on how thick you want the pieces to be).

2. Place them on paper towels and salt both sides. This is to help make the eggplants “sweat” and get the water to start coming out. While this process is occurring, about 30 minutes, you can start the sauce.

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3. Chop up the garlic pieces. Place a small amount of olive oil in a pan and add in the garlic. Start cooking the garlic until you can smell it strongly in the kitchen. Beware, so that you don’t let it brown too much.

4. At this point, you need to start chopping up your basil and getting all of your spices ready.

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5. Once the garlic is cooked enough, you want to add in your cans of diced tomatoes. I made the mistake of only adding one can, but you definitely need to have two cans to cover the amount of eggplant you will have. Then you want to add in some basil, oregano, and garlic powder. Stir well. As the sauce may lose some juice, you may need to add a tbsp or 2 of water every now and again. You want to try to smash the diced tomatoes too as the sauce is cooking.

6. Once the 30 minutes has passed for the eggplant, and the sauce is cooked to your liking, you can place the sauce on top of the eggplant slices on a baking sheet. Then proceed to top with cheese and the leftover chopped basil (or you may chop more if you like basil).

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7. Then place in the oven to cook for about 25-30 minutes. Just keep an eye on it, so the eggplant doesn’t turn into complete mush and that the cheese doesn’t brown. You want it to just be melted to perfection so it spreads across the eggplant.

8. ENJOY!

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I know, I know. It looks like a pile of mush. It is not a very visually appealing dish. It is packed with a ton of flavor though and is definitely worth making. The basil gives it such a nice herby taste. The eggplant is soft, but not too cooked. I hate when it becomes actual mush. That is just not a tasty meal to eat when that happens. The sauce had to many flavors packed into it from the garlic, garlic powder, oregano, and basil. Of course you know the cheese is one of my favorite parts. It melted perfectly, for like the first time ever. SUCCESS. Cheese makes anything ten times better. I made so much of this from one eggplant that I had leftovers for three days. Now that is my kind of dish!

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Healthy and delicious. That is definitely my kind of recipe. I have a rule that I only eat out one day a week, which is Saturday for me, so I have been trying to cook all kinds of recipes to keep things creative and so I have delicious things to share with ya’ll on the blog. I am going to have some awesome foodie posts this weekend. I have a dessert recipe planned for tomorrow, I am going out on Saturday to some foodie places, and on Sunday I’m going to this event called Smorgusburg, which is like pure foodie heaven. I’m excited to go wild there. Plus its Yom Kippur starting tonight for all my Jews. I unfortunately won’t be fasting this year, but I believe in always asking for forgiveness for the not so nice things I’ve done this past year. I like that part of the holiday. Starving myself, not so much. Have an awesome weekend ya’ll!

What is your favorite recipe with eggplant?
Do you have a favorite vegetable?

WIAW the Art of the Party

Hey ya’ll! We are halfway through the week. Exciting. Today is the first day I woke up and was not sore. Success. I’m on my 4th day of Insanity and 2nd day of Hip Hop Abs. Shaun T does both of these workouts and it is quite funny to see the difference between him in both of them. In Hip Hop Abs he is super cheesy and hilarious while in Insanity he is super intense and motivating. I gotta love those workout videos. I think I like them because I can do them on my time and get an intense workout. I really hate the whole idea of driving to the gym, etc etc. Anyways today is my favorite day of the week, What I ate Wednesday. Thanks Jenn for hosting such a fantastic day every single week! Today mine has a special theme, ART. I love art and Austin is surrounded by art as you will see throughout my post.

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In Austin there is this really cool place called Hope Garden (although the name may have been changed) where graffiti artists can come and express themselves on the walls of this place. There is this huge castle behind all the walls too, so I think the name may have something to do with a castle. This was one of my favorite pieces at the place. I took my best friend when she was in town from Boston and it was cool seeing so much artwork in one space. I love graffiti to be honest. I really don’t think it should be illegal if it is like this or Banksy style.

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For breakfast I had chocolate blueberry flourless pancakes. These were delicious. I made a blueberry compote for the topping. Such a good idea. I will definitely be sharing this recipe with you tomorrow. I ended up making two servings of it. That was probably because I used egg whites this time instead of just a regular egg. I probably would have had even more if I used a 1/4 c to scoop out the batter, but last minute I was like why not use a 1/3 cup. I made 8 pancakes total. I know what I’m having for breakfast tomorrow!

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Healthy snack alert! I made kale chips. I am obsessed with kale chips. Usually my roommate makes them and they are so crispy and delicious, so I thought why not create my own. I think I put too much kale on one pan, but they still came out crispy. I topped mine with nutritional yeast, Parmesan, and olive oil. Such a winning combination. Kale is really good for you, so I definitely recommend making these or making a salad of kale in order to get a large amount of nutrients.

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I was walking town lake in Austin when I saw this one. We were just about to go across a bridge to walk the other side of the lake when I noticed this. I love shoes, so obviously I had to snap a picture of this. I love that small little things like this are just hidden all around the city waiting for someone to discover it. I think it just makes us more unique. Keeping Austin weird.

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You know I had to throw a salad into the mix. This one has spinach leaves, veggie patch falafel, and slices of mushrooms that I stole from my brother. He wasn’t using them anymore, so I thought why not throw them in my salad. These falafel balls are amazing. They are from the same company that made the meatballs I used in my meatball sub recipe, so you should definitely check out all the products they have to offer. I swear vegetarians get the best frozen food products. Noms.

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My favorite banana truck has been open for a little while now for the new season, so I obviously had to go get me one of these bad boys. I just got a plain one. It had dark chocolate and was rolled in sprinkles. I follow them on instagram and they have specials occasionally, which I’ve been really wanting. One of them was called an Almond Joy. It had chocolate, caramel, coconut, and chopped almonds. It looked like a banana heaven on a stick. I can’t wait to check out what this week’s special is.

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This is what I am probably obsessed with most in life. Cauliflower crust pizza. Ever since I made it for the blog, I have been eating it non-stop. This has honey bbq sauce, sliced ham, pineapple, and low moisture mozzarella. It is so good. I think I cooked the crust perfectly this time. It was crisp and browned just the way it should be. The honey bbq may be the best sauce to put on the pizza. It is sweet yet tangy. It goes well with the citrus flavor of the pineapple and the saltiness of the sliced ham. This recipe is my best friend.

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This is an iconic graffiti in Austin besides the I love you sign. It says never give up and has pacman next to it. This is on town lake too. I think it is super cute and motivational especially for the runners and bikers that always go past it on the trail.

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Since summer is upon us, my mom and I decided to get some fresh fish. Halibut is our favorite and it was on sale at Central Market, so we were like why not? We also ended up buying a spicy soy glaze for the fish. It wasn’t spicy at all and had just the right amount of flavor. The halibut was meaty and cooked perfectly. The meat just flaked off as you dug your fork into it. I made a side of green beans for it. Yep, canned green beans. Can’t live without them.

I hope you all have a fantastic WIAW!

What do you think of graffiti? Is there a lot around you?
What is your favorite kind of art?

Cauliflower Crust Pizza

Hey ya’ll! It is Friday, which I couldn’t be happier about. I feel like weekends are still magical even when I’m not in school. Funny story about last night though. I had a major panic attack at 11 pm last night and emailed my adviser at school about 4 times. When I transferred back from Boston, I had to get approval for all of these hours since Texas is weird and requires all of these dumb credits (like Texas History – will not use that class ever), so I needed to make sure that I was still under the minimum hours of transfer credit allowed. However I convinced myself that I had way too many transfer hours and that I wasn’t going to be able to graduate and go to grad school. Luckily my adviser told me I was crazy (no he didn’t, but I bet he was thinking I was) and that I was fine. Thank god. I was going to go cry to someone at the university or something to make it better. Since that was so stressful, I have an awesome and delicious recipe to share with ya’ll! Cauliflower pizza crust. Sounds kind of gross, but oh my buhjeezus is this stuff good!

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Cauliflower Pizza Crust

2 cups of grated cauliflower
1/2 c of finely chopped basil
1/3 c of liquid egg whites
1 egg
2 c of fat free shredded mozzarella cheese

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1. Preheat the oven to 450. Then you  need to cook the cauliflower. I used frozen cauliflower, so I just boiled some water, threw in the cauliflower, covered, and let cook in boiling water for 4 minutes. Once it was done cooking, I removed it from the water by draining it in the sink. Then I placed it in a food processor to chop into small bits. I then placed two cups into a mixing bowl.

2. The first time I made this recipe, I finely chopped all the basil by hand. That took forever. New and smarter plan is to throw the amount of basil you want into the food processor and chop it until you have fine pieces. Throw the basil into the mixing bowl with the cauliflower.

3. Then add the liquid egg whites, cheese, and 1 egg into the mixing bowl. Stir well until it is a thick clump.

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4. Get a cookie sheet and place a piece of parchment paper over it. Spray the paper with non-stick cooking spray.

5. Grab clumps of the “dough” to make 4 mini pizzas. You keep adding to each pile until they are about the same. Then place the pizzas into the oven for 20 minutes. If the pizzas are not as crispy as you would like, add another 5 minutes to the time. However be careful of burning them.

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6. Once you remove from the oven, add on toppings that you would like. I made one pizza with tomato paste, fat free slices of ham, and pineapple. The other pizza had mushrooms, onions, and sliced tomatoes on top of it. Both pizzas were topped with fat free mozzarella and a sprinkle of low moisture mozzarella. My mom topped her pizzas with a larger amount of cheese. It just depends on how many calories you want to consume from cheese.

7. You then place the pizza back into the oven until the cheese has completely melted. This could either be very quick or slow, depending on the type of cheese you have topped your pizza with.

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Hello to cheesy goodness. You seriously can’t even tell that the crust is made from cauliflower. The basil and cheese masks that pungent cauliflower flavor, and provides a nice savory flavor to the dish. The crust wasn’t extremely crispy, so I recommend going light on the sauce. I learned my lesson from the first time we attempted this recipe. I was in charge of putting on the sauce, which I overloaded on and it soaked through the crust and all over the pan. It was still delicious though. You can cut the pizza into four little slices too. However it will not be like a perfectly cooked slice of pizza from Italy where it just flops. It takes some napkins to eat these. It is also really good as left overs.

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The Hawaiian pizza was definitely my favorite. Later on when we made more, I decided to use a honey BBQ sauce for my base instead of tomato sauce. Best decision ever. It was amazing. This is now my go to healthy recipe. It provides you with tons of fiber, it is low calorie, and it is a tasty option when eating healthy. I can’t wait to try all different kinds of toppings. Mexican pizza? Pesto pizza? You bet I have all kinds of crazy ideas swirling around in my head right now. My mom and I are such fans of this recipe that we have already made it three times and she just bought more cauliflower today, so we could eat it again. Noms. Go out and make these immediately! You definitely won’t regret it.

Have you ever made a healthy alternative pizza crust?
What is your favorite pizza toppings?