Friday, December 14, 2012

Spinach Crust Pizza

 
Woooooooow! Another healthy blog post in the middle of December's Christmas baking frenzy.
How does that happen?
I have no idea...... I'm as surprised as you are.
This recipe is as uber healthy as you can get. I mean....spinach crust for a pizza? Really?
Yes.
Really.
It's delicious. Honest, I wouldn't lie about a thing like that.
I was trying to think of a way to describe this crust without making it sound like something you wouldn't want to make. See...it's not really pizza crust-y. It's super thin and kind of floppy.
Then I had a light bulb moment.
The best way to describe this crust is to compare it to a tortilla. It's soft, pliable, really thin, and fairly stable but you are not really able to pick up a slice and eat it as you would a normal pizza. It's too bendy for that. Just like if you tried to make a pizza on an un-crisped tortilla.
If you don't mind getting messy then you can try eating this with your hands (I did!), otherwise, break out the forks and dig in.
I was really surprised at how easy this is to make.
And how amazingly tasty it is.
And how healthy it is.
(As per Fitday) Crust only: 400 calories, 29 fat, 5 carbs, 32 protein.
With my toppings: 600 calories, 37 fat, 18 carbs, 48.7 protein.
That's for the entire pizza.
*gasp*
I googled the nutritional info a plain cheese pizza of the same size (12 inches). The calories are over 1,100 and the carbs are 163. That's 400 more calories (at least) and 145 more carbs.
Holy he-double-hockey-sticks.
 
 
Spinach Crust Pizza
 
Ingredients
Crust
2 cups raw spinach leaves
1 egg (large)
1 cup shredded Kraft Italiano cheese blend
spices (I used salt, pepper, and seasoning salt - a sprinkle of each)
 
Pizza Sauce
24 grape tomatoes
2 cloves garlic
 
Toppings
2 rounds of Canadian bacon, diced
1/4 cup onion, diced
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, shredded
 
Directions
Preheat oven to 425. Line a 12 inch pizza pan with parchment paper (Definitely do this. DO NOT skip the parchment paper. I found that where the crust touched the pan it stuck horribly! It peels off the paper no problem.). Set aside.
In a blender (or magic bullet), blend spinach until it is a baby food consistency. Add egg and pulse until combined. Add in cheese and spices and pulse until just combined.
Spread evenly in prepared pizza pan. (If you are like me you are going to think there is no way there is enough to cover a pizza pan. There is. Just spread it out slowly and carefully and it will get there!)
 
 
Bake at 425 for about 15 minutes. Edges will be browned and crispy.
 
 
Prepare pizza sauce by placing tomatoes and garlic in blender (or magic bullet) and pulse until smooth.
Spread evenly over cooked crust. Top with diced Canadian bacon, onion, and Parmesan cheese.
 
 
Place back in oven and broil until cheese is melted.
 
 
Mmmmm.....pizza.
I ate half the pizza for dinner - hello, only 300 calories - and I saved the other half for the next morning so I could see if it was any good cold. I mean, we all know the taste of leftover pizza for breakfast is what determines if a pizza is worth making again.
Ummm.....
yeeeeeeeeeeeeah...
I don't know how it's possible but it is even better the next day. It is easier to eat because you can totally pick it up when it is cold (it is a little floppy but still doable), the flavors are more intense, and the texture is chewy-but-not-chewy but in a totally good way.
 
The best way to eat cold pizza!
 
We had made a Cauliflower Crust Pizza a while ago that is also delicious and is a little sturdier if you are looking for another vegetable crust pizza to try. It is also very tasty.
I haven't decided which is my favourite.

75 comments:

  1. Sounds delish! I wonder if a little corn flour in the crust would stiffen it up? Still gluten free!

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  2. Can you use frozen spinach instead??

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    1. I don't know if you could use frozen spinach....I have a feeling it would be too watery. That being said - I haven't tried it with frozen spinach so I don't really know. Sorry I can't be of more help. If you do try it with frozen, please let us know how it turns out! Thanks :)

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    2. I have tried this with frozen spinach and it works you just have to be sure to drain ALL of the water out so that it's not too watery

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  3. I am def going to try this!

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  4. Thank you, from a person with multiple allergies!

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  5. Very cool idea! Look forward to trying this!

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  6. Frozen spinach is already cooked, in your recipe the spinach is not cooked until it hits the oven, and i tried it and it didn't work, it would only work with the fresh spinach.

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  7. I just made this for lunch...totally yummy. I cooked the crust on a baking mat placed on a pizza stone then flipped the crust over halfway through the bake and removed the mat. It made for a much crispier crust. It was still a little soft in the center but I don't think I got the mixture thin enough. So if you like crispier use a stone. Thanks for the recipe.

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    1. is a baking mat the same as a cookie sheet? also when you used the pizza stone did you use anything to keep it from sticking? such as the parchment paper?

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    2. Awesome tips! Crispy is my favorite thing, ever. Can't wait to try.

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    3. About to start this recipe for the first time, and I love the idea of simply flipping it mid way through. I'm a chicken so I'm going to use the pizza stone with parchment paper just to be safe.

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  8. I tried this with frozen spinach and it worked great! I defrosted in the microwave and soaked up all the liquid with paper towels. Lots of paper towels... added eggs and cheese and spread really thin on parchment paper. I am plan to try with raw spinach next time. Tasty!!

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    1. If you don't wish to waste paper towels, put spinach in cheesecloth or clean, thin kitchen towel and wring it out. Works great and saves a tree! ☺

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  9. Oh my WOW!!!! BEST crust I've ever made. I made a whole wheat crust too..as a backup..ya know - just in case. The spinach pizza was gone in a snap and I had to wrap up the other one. That was awesome!!!! Thank you so much for sharing it.

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  10. Has anyone tried this without cheese?

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    1. I also need a grain free, dairy free alternative to the cheese.

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    2. I made a broccoli crust pizza just like this and I substituted a flax seed/water paste for the dairy and it worked nicely! I don't see why it wouldn't with this, but you would have to experiment to get the correct proportions of the paste to the spinach, because I had to experiment with mine a touch to get it right.

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  11. Just had this for dinner and it's AMAZING! Have made the cauliflower base before and I love it but I think this is even better, thanks for a fab recipe!!

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  12. Can this recipe be made with out the cheese? Is there a good substitute?

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    1. This is what I need to know. I am thinking that the egg is good, others have mentioned corn flour...I'm going to experiment with this and will report back if it is a success!

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  13. This def did not work at all. What does 2 cups of spinach mean? My paper burnt and it got stuck to the paper there was too much sauce ...

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    1. 2 cups of spinach means 2 cups of raw spinach leaves ( loosely packed is how I measured mine) I'm not sure why your parchment paper would burn...that has never happened to me. If you found there was too much sauce for your preference you could half it or save some for another use. I'm also not sure why it would stick to the parchment paper....that 's also something that's never happened. Sorry you didn't have any luck

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    2. Anonymous was probably using waxed paper and not parchment. This would account for the paper burning and the crust sticking. It took me way too long to realize the difference and why my paper kept burning in the oven! Waxed paper is not oven safe.

      -Megan

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  14. I used frozen spinach, thawed it out, and used a colander to squeeze out the excess water. My crust came out great! For the toppings I used turkey pepperoni, turkey sausage, mushrooms, and sliced red onion. I have made a cauliflower crust pizza before, so I knew that a veggie crust wouldn't be strong enough to hold all my toppings lol but I didn't care. I ate it with a fork and it was DELICIOUS! Thanks for the spinach crust idea!

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  15. Has anyone tried this without the cheese to make it Paleo-friendly?

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    1. I am wondering the same thing? Hope we get a response...

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  16. question I am allergic to eggs and do not use an egg substitute is there something else to use to maybe help bind it better?

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    1. http://www.ener-g.com/egg-replacer.html

      have not tried this but i have seen it in a few stores

      http://www.savvyvegetarian.com/vegetarian-cooking/vegan-baking-substitutions.php

      also if you scroll down on the link above there is an egg substitution. have tried this when making box cake mixes and it turned out well.

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    2. I am going to try replacing the egg with milled flax seed... well see what happens :)

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  17. I just tried this.. YUM! I also threw some minced garlic into the spinach mixture, it turned out really good! I didn't have parchment paper, so I used tin foil and sprayed it with cooking spray.. it came out fine. It was a little soft, so I ate it with a fork, but it was still very yummy! I didn't have meat, but I put gorgonzola crumbles on it.. mmm. The only problem is that I want more!!! :)

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  18. Did you wash and dry your spinach leaves before blending?

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    1. You can certainly do that. It shouldn't affect the outcome. Just make sure your leaves are really dry so you are not adding any extra moisture.

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  19. I'm excited to see that some people have tried this with frozen spinach and been happy with the results too. This is most definitely on my "to cook" list!

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  20. This is a really nice idea, I added chia seeds to my pizza crust, it was so yummy that I made a second batch and cut it up to eat instead of crackers.

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    1. That sounds really good! What a great idea, I'm always looking for ways to add chia seeds to my foods :)

      I wonder how it would be if you used Kale instead of Spinach?

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  21. Hi! Can you use store bought pizza sauce instead of making your own sauce?

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  22. When you say baby food consistancy for the spinach...is it still a thicker texture?

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    1. Hmmm...I'm not quite sure what you mean. It is still quite a thick paste - not liquidy, if that is what you mean...

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  23. Could this be made with Kale instead of Spinach? I don't like Spinach, but I do like Kale.

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    1. Hmmm... That is a good question! I would think it should work. If you try it please let us know how it worked for you :)

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  24. This is a wonderful recipe, thank you for sharing it with us. When I made it I used a towel to press some of the water out of the spinach before blending. I also used a little less cheese and added some bread crumbs, maybe 2/3 cheese and 1/3 bread crumbs. I am not sure if that helped at all, next time I will try it sans bread crumbs.

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  25. Interesting. Will definitely give this a try when I get the chance. I am a big fan of thin crust pizza, and I can imagine the spinach will give a different twist to the whole pizza experience. Have you tried it with different veggies besides spinach and cauliflower?

    Carlene Boley

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    1. We have tried many veggie crusts - you can find them on our blog :) We did a carrot crust pizza, a black bean crust pizza, a spaghetti squash crust pizza, cauliflower & spinach. I still have several others I want to try and will post as soon as I get them made :) Thanks for stopping by!

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  26. I'm vegan. What can I use instead of egg to make the crust?

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  27. Thanks for the great ideas I am gluten intolerant and love pizza
    Will definitely experiment with the chia seeds in the crust great idea

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  28. Hey, next time you make it, could you weigh your ingredients? I'd like to convert this to a sheet pan sized crust, and quarter it for spinach sandwich wraps.

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  29. I just want to say this is amaaaazing!! I cant even stress how much my boyfriend and I enjoyed it. Only changes I made is I used mozzerella cheese (I didnt have the blend) and I put minced garlic, onion salt, and italian seasoning in to be blended with the spinach, cheese, and egg. I not a fan of canadian bacon so we used different toppings but the crust was fantastic. Thank you so much! And the bonus...its SOOO easy to make!

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  30. Wow! Just did this with frozen spinach and it turned out fabulous.

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  31. Instead of cheese I used almond cheese sub. and it turned out just fine.. I just want to find something to thicken the tomato sauce a little.. but it was good and my husband loved it.. He's dieting for a competition so it was a nice change from chicken and brown rice everyday..

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  32. What is "shredded Kraft Italiano cheese blend" I'm italian but i have no idea which product you are referring to, can you give me a link or an image please? I really would like to try this today. Thanks in advance!

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    1. Here is the link to the Kraft product page - you will see the "Italiano blend" about halfway down -- http://demo28.bcsinc.com/en/Products/J-L/KraftShreddedCheese.aspx

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  33. What a fabulous idea!! I've made them and they're divine! We use it as a wrap and its just ingenious!

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    1. Thank you! Using it as a wrap is a fabulous idea :)

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  34. I have also never heard about Kraft Shredded Cheese, also as an Italian lol :) so I looked it up, I found the youtube advert for it and its a mix of mozzarella, parmesan, provolone and emmental.

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  35. Just wondering...does any one else's crust get all soggy?

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  36. I spread mine out super thin on a pizza stone and baked until crisp all the way thru to center. Topped it with basil pesto, mozzerela, chicken, artichokes and sun dried tomatoes.

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  37. I think that if you used Psyllium Husk Powder it would help thicken it up. I found mine at a GNC. Make sure it is the powder though not the husks themselves. You would have to play around with the measurements, but I would think only a couple of TBL would be necessary. Also I think Vegans add Nutritional Yeast in place of cheese a lot of times. Maybe even some Coconut Flour could be a good binder as well. I am going to try this tonight so I will let you know how it goes.

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    1. Thank you for the info! Please let us know how it turns out for you :)

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  38. I made this tonight and it was delicious! I love the fresh taste! I will definitely be making this again with one tweak- This recipe will be doubled! Thank you so much for posting this!

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  39. I have made this several times and love it! You wouldn't even be able to tell that it's spinach!

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  40. I've heard you can use chia seeds as an egg substitute. I haven't tried this myself but it might be an option for all the vegans out there (don't know what you would do about the cheese:S

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  41. I made this with two eggs, garlic. Halfway through I flipped it onto a new piece of parchment paper & it made it crispier!

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  42. Amazing! Made 2, and they made phenomenal pizzas! No knife and fork needed! I'll try changing the parchment paper between cooking and broiling though or removing completely, as it was burning the second time in. These crusts would make fantastic wraps, and would be great to make ahead and freeze. Thank you for the recipe!

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  43. This is simply amazing! I decided to make it more of a flatbread and it was phenomenal. I sauteed onions and chicken and placed them over a BBQ sauce base and sprinkled a mix of cheese and it turned out wonderfully. Thank you so much!

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  44. Giving this a try tonight will report back

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  45. Ive made this about like three times, since my family is GF new favorite in the house! SO GOOD!!

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  46. Any suggestions for blending the spinach? I had issues with that, and then my crust came out soggy.

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  47. Hi Do you think this would work without the cheese in the crust?

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    1. The cheese acts as a binder so I don't think it would work without it. If you try it, please let us know how it turns out!

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  48. If I use a Pizza Stone do I need parchment paper?

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    1. I'm sorry, I've never used a pizza stone. You could give it a go and see how it works but I would be tempted to still use the parchment paper. It's quite sticky. Please let us know if you give it a try without! :)

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