03 Aug Zucchini-Crust Margherita Pizza
Makes 2-4 servings, depending on the toppings.
- 4 cups grated then chopped fresh zucchini
- 3 tbsp. nutritional yeast OR PHASE 2 option: 1/3 cup mozzarella cheese, low fat
- 1 tsp. dried Greek or Turkish oregano
- 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
- Pinch of salt
- 1 egg, beaten
- 1 can (14.5 oz.) good quality petite diced tomatoes, drained (no sugar added)
- 1 tsp. olive oil, divided (PHASE 2 or use olive oil spray)
- 2 large garlic cloves, minced
- 1/2 tsp. Italian seasoning
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 96% lean ground beef
- 10-15 large fresh basil leaves
- Preheat the grill or oven to 450F/230C.
- Grate zucchini, using a food processor or the large side of a hand grater, then chop the grated zucchini. (I did this with a steel blade in the food processor, but you could chop with a large knife if you don’t have a food processor.)
- Place the chopped zucchini in a microwave-safe bowl and microwave on high for about 5 minutes. Then drain the cooked zucchini into a colander that’s lined with cheesecloth or a kitchen towel. Let zucchini drain until it’s cool enough to handle.
- While the zucchini cools, make the tomato sauce. First, drain the tomatoes into a colander placed in the sink. While the tomatoes drain, chop the garlic, heat half the olive oil in a very small frying pan, and saute garlic just until it’s fragrant. Add the drained tomatoes and Italian seasoning and let the sauce simmer on very low heat until the crust is done.
(Just before using the sauce, stir in the rest of the olive oil and season to taste with salt and pepper.)
- When zucchini is cool, squeeze out as much water as you can and place the zucchini in a bowl. Add the nutritional yeast OR finely grated mozzarella, dried oregano, garlic powder, salt, and beaten egg and stir until the ingredients are combined.
- Spray a baking sheet with olive oil or nonstick spray and divide the crust mixture into two balls. Use your fingers to press out the crust mixture into two circles, being careful not to make the edges too thin (or they will burn).
- Bake crust on a pizza stone (on a covered grill or in the oven) just until the crust is firm and starting to brown (about 12-13 minutes.) You can also bake this in the oven without a pizza stone, but it will take a little longer to cook.
- Spread each small pizza with half the sauce, basil leaves and very lean ground beef. Put pizzas back into the oven or on the grill and cook just until the cheese is nicely melted, about 3-5 minutes more. Serve hot.