Pizza is without a doubt one of my all time favourite meals. I’m not bothered about frozen or takeaway pizza, but a good thin crust at an Italian restaurant would be a high contender for a last meal if I had to choose! Of course, regular pizzas whether frozen, take out or from a restaurant can pack a hefty calorie punch, as well as being a source of gluten and refined white flour, which often leaves me feeling rather bloated.
It was a couple of years ago that I came across versions of pizza that didn’t use bread as a base. I made socca pizza bases with chickpea flour way back in 2011, and sometimes used my high protein wraps too. However they always lacked something that a proper pizza could offer, that crispy base and gooey melted cheese topping. More recently, bases using cauliflower have popped up on blogs and Pinterest and then a few weeks ago I came across one that used courgette.
Personally I liked the idea of the courgette crust more than the one with cauliflower, which in my experience can be pretty messy to grate up! I tried my first courgette crust pizza a couple of weeks ago and it was so successful, I’m definitely hooked now. Even better, if you are trying to lose weight these make a pretty decent alternative to ‘proper’ pizza at a fraction of the calories, as well as being gluten free. They are also pretty low carb if that is something you are keeping an eye on. Usually I prefer to just eat the real thing in moderation, but this is a healthy swap that can truly rival the regular version!
Unlike some other alternative healthy recipes, this isn’t a faff to make. I really can’t be arsed with too much faff when it comes to cooking and this delivers something that tastes fab without much hassle or an endless list of ingredients. It’s barely a recipe, and certainly not one I can put a claim too. Definitely have a Google and see if you find an alternative twist on this that suits you better. What I’ve noted below is the simplest version I could come up with based on looking at various recipes. I’ve also credited the recipe that’s probably closest to the one I choose below.
- 2 small or 1 and a half medium courgettes
- 1 medium egg
- 30g cheese, grated - I used mild organic cheddar
- 1/2 tsp Italian seasoning
- Toppings of choice - I used tomato paste, red onion, red pepper and feta cheese
- Grate the courgette and place in a bowl. Sprinkle with a little salt and leave for 10 minutes. Pre heat the oven to 220c. Place the courgette in a clean tea towel (or you can use your hands) and squeeze the liquid out. Put it back in the bowl, add the other ingredients and mix well. Line a baking sheet with some grease proof paper, or a fancy silicone baking sheet. Spread the mixture thinly into whatever shape you like, it should be about 3-4mm thick. Bake for 10 - 15 minutes until golden brown with crispy edges. Add you toppings and return to the oven until it's done how you like it. Eat!
- You can do a slightly quicker first bake and a longer last bake with the toppings depending on how well cooked you like your toppings.
- This is also great cold and would make a fab lunch!
This is what the pizza looks like out of it’s first bake in the oven:
Personally I could eat it just like that! But toppings are good too…
Have you tried an alternative pizza crust recipe? What are your favourite pizza toppings?