Everything I ate (and drank) on a Princess Cruise

I don’t know about you, but for years I resisted taking a cruise. One of the reasons is because, as a chronic dieter, I feared I’d gain too much weight. I had visions of me sunning on the pool deck while simultaneously stuffing my face with all-you-can-eat EVERYTHING. Frankly, the thought of multiple, unlimited buffet stations and countless cocktails (while confined on a ship) just freaked me out.

Writing about food and travel is my chosen profession, so I’ll always have to watch my waistline. Before I started eating low carb (at home) and got serious about my fitness tracker, I was gaining about five pounds a year. That all stopped when I started walking 10,000 steps, at minimum, per day and cut carbs from home meals. When I eat OUT, I try to eat low carb (when I can) and it’s a balancing act that, thankfully, stopped the annual weight gain.

In my home kitchen I stock no sugar, sweets, white bread, rice, pasta or potatoes. That old “out of sight and out of mind” mantra definitely works when I cook and eat at home. But out on the open sea, on a large cruise ship, with thousands of strangers and endless food options tempting me? SHEER PANIC.

But here’s the thing. When I went on my first cruise (with Princess Cruises) last year, I ate A LOT and surprise, surprise… I didn’t gain ONE pound. It probably helped that I was traveling with my sister Janet, who is a super fit health nut. Even though I didn’t work out at the gym with her everyday, I still got extra steps in by walking as much as I could while on board. Don’t get me wrong, I didn’t suddenly go mad and run with my sister as she took the stairs UP to Aloha deck 12, but I did skip the elevators going DOWN and surpassed my 10,000 steps goal each day.

PHOTOS: Everything I ate and drank on a four night Princess Cruise (and didn’t gain weight)!


Welcome champagne awaited us in our cabin. Plus we brought a bottle of Prosecco. Cheers!


Lunch (buffet) on the deck. LowCARBish. Slaw, prosciutto, meatballs, fried scallops, brisket, beef, sweet & sour pork.


Fried scallops. I thought they were tater tots. These were way better.


Back to the buffet line.


Roasts for miles. Also, low carb happiness.


Wine on the top deck as we left the harbor.


It’s always happy hour on a cruise right?


Tempura Prawn in spicy sweet chili sauce. Happy hour (media meet & greet) at The Crooners Bar.


Chicken Lollipops with sesame. Happy hour (media meet & greet) at The Crooners Bar.


Wild Mushroom Sauté w portobello & shitaki mushrooms, crispy poached egg, oregano smoked scamorza, truffle garlic puree and lemon zest. Dinner at the Salty Dog Gastropub by Chef Ernesto Uchimura.


Charred Asparagus and Toasted Haloumi cheese, greens, vinaigrette. Dinner at the Salty Dog Gastropub by Chef Ernesto Uchimura.


Pale Ale Pork Cheeks, cauliflower polenta, roasted leeks and thyme apple puree. Dinner at the Salty Dog Gastropub by Chef Ernesto Uchimura.


Lobster Mac & Cheese, aged cheddar, gruyere and parmesan, truffled cream, crispy crumble. Dinner at the Salty Dog Gastropub by Chef Ernesto Uchimura.


Lemon Posset with pistachio crunch. Dinner at the Salty Dog Gastropub by Chef Ernesto Uchimura. The Salty Dog Menu. Just one bite. I don’t have a sweet tooth.


Sipping a vodka soda at the Salty Dog. Just times this by two each evening. Dinner at the Salty Dog Gastropub by Chef Ernesto Uchimura.


Unlimited Bacon. My heart was racing… I had to pace myself. On board breakfast buffet.


Breakfast carbs. I went for a slice of whole grain. And more bacon. On board breakfast buffet.


More options. I chose smoked salmon over French toast… and more bacon. On board breakfast buffet.


Late breakfast by the pool. My sister Janet’s breakfast to the left. Juice, muesli, egg white, fruit. Obviously mine is to the right! On board breakfast buffet.


Round one included bacon, sausage, eggs, corned beef hash, smoked salmon and whole wheat toast. On board breakfast buffet.


My adorable sister Janet.


Serve yourself poached pears at the buffet. Fancy (and a nice afternoon snack). On board buffet.


Charcuterie: Jamon Iberico, Salami Finocchiona at SHARE Restaurant by Curtis Stone (on board The Ruby Princess).


Chicken Liver Parfait at SHARE by Curtis Stone (on board The Ruby Princess).


Little Gems, Pickled Pearl Onion, Oro Blanco, Nasturtium Pesto at SHARE by Curtis Stone (on board The Ruby Princess).


Shrimp Salad, Lemon Gel, Turnip, Citrus Salt, Brioche at SHARE by Curtis Stone (on board The Ruby Princess).


Butter Poached Lobster, Caramelized Endive, Endive Foam at SHARE by Curtis Stone (on board The Ruby Princess).


Cavatelli, Beets, Castelmagno, Sun Choke, Brussel Sprout at SHARE by Curtis Stone (on board The Ruby Princess).


Potato Gratin, Truffles, Cream at SHARE by Curtis Stone (on board The Ruby Princess). Side dish shared at the table.


Roasted Alaskan King Crab Tagilatelle, Chili, Parsley at SHARE by Curtis Stone (on board The Ruby Princess).


Beef Cheek Pie, Porcini Mushrooms, Buttery Pastry at SHARE by Curtis Stone (on board The Ruby Princess).


Roast Turbot White Fish Gratine, Gruyere Crumb, White Vermouth, Mushroom Duxelles at SHARE by Curtis Stone (on board The Ruby Princess).


Shaft Blue Cheese, Crab Apple Mustard, Chestnut Cracker at SHARE by Curtis Stone (on board The Ruby Princess).


Tarte Au Citron Vert, Raspberry, Granola, Meringue at SHARE by Curtis Stone (on board The Ruby Princess). Just one bite.


Dark Chocolate Cremeux, Toasted Hazelnut Feuilletine, Burnt Vanilla Ice Cream at SHARE by Curtis Stone (on board The Ruby Princess). Again, just one bite. More photos of SHARE Restaurant here.


There’s a Pizza and Ice Cream bar on board!! Lines were long, but I waited (for pizza). Hand-tossed and cooked on deck. It was far from my cabin so extra steps. HA!


Buffet brunch on board. My sister’s salad to the left. My egg and meat fest to the right.

Crown Grill, Ruby Princess (Sep 2016)
Dinner on board at The Crown Grill Restaurant (premium seafood and chop house). Photos were difficult (so dark). Black Tiger Prawn & Papaya Salpicon, with Mustard Seed Aioli. Grill Salad with Mesclun Greens, Roasted Bell Peppers, Hass Avocado and Grape Balsamic Dressing.


Pan-Seared Pacific Scallops with Fennel, Celery and Spring Onion Slaw Golden Delicious Dressing & Moroccan Glaze. Spiny Lobster Cake (ball), Tarragon Foam, Cured Olives, Grilled Asparagus on board at the Crown Grill.


STEAKS! I tried both the filet mignon and New York strip steak. The Crown Grill (on board The Ruby Princess).


Desserts on board at the Crown Grill. This was shared with several people. Lemon Meringue Pudding, Tart with Macadamia Nut Shortbread White Chocolate Tuile, S’mores Stack.


Early morning room service (before excursion) on board.


Room service breakfast sandwich on board. Excursion tender (boat) in background. I skipped the muffins.


First stop on our Cruise Excursion to Santa Barbara was Buttonwood Winery in nearby Solvang.


We started with Buttonwood Sauv Blanc at Buttonwood Winery. Cruise Excursion: Wine Tasting in Solvang.


Goat Cheese at Buttonwood Winery. Cruise Excursion: Wine Tasting in Solvang.


Cucumber, Avocado, Jalapeños, Scallions, Cilantro, Yogurt Chilled Soup at Buttonwood Winery. Cruise Excursion: Wine Tasting in Solvang.


Santa Maria Trip Tip Sandwiches at Buttonwood Winery. Ate the meat, left the bread. Cruise Excursion: Wine Tasting in Solvang.  More photos of Buttonwood winery here.


At Sunstone Winery we started with Chardonnay. Cruise Excursion to Santa Barbara.


Foie Gras Mousse Tarts w Tomato, Strawberry Jam & Pistachio at Sunstone Winery. Cruise Excursion: Wine Tasting in Santa Ynez.


Pork Belly Sliders with cumin & cinnamon with apple, fennel relish and baby arugula at Sunstone Winery. Cruise Excursion: Wine Tasting in Santa Ynez. Pork fest.


Blackened Seared Ahi tuna, Sticky Rice Cake at Sunstone Winery. Cruise Excursion: Wine Tasting in Santa Ynez.


Seafood Spring Rolls at Sunstone Winery. Cruise Excursion: Wine Tasting in Santa Ynez. So much fun! More photos of Sunstone Winery here.


Shrimp Tacos at Tacos Marco Antonio. Cruise Excursion: Ensenada, Mexico Food Tour. Indulge time. I ATE all the tortillas and tacos today.


“Ramses Especial” Breaded fish fillet with shrimp and chipotle cream at Tacos Marco Antonio. Cruise Excursion: Ensenada, Mexico Food Tour.


Crab tacos at Tacos Marco Antonio. Cruise Excursion: Ensenada, Mexico Food Tour.


Agua Fresca (I had the horchata) at Tacos Marco Antonio. Cruise Excursion: Ensenada, Mexico Food Tour. More photos of Tacos Marco Antonio here.


Sea Snail Ceviche with slices of sea snail (Ceviche De Caracol Con Lajas De Caracol) at La Guerrerense & Sabina. Cruise Excursion: Ensenada, Mexico Food Tour.


Sea Urchin Ceviche with Clam on top (Ceviche De Erizo Con Alma) at La Guerrerense & Sabina. Cruise Excursion: Ensenada, Mexico Food Tour.


Cerveza at La Guerrerense & Sabina. Cruise Excursion: Ensenada, Mexico Food Tour. More La Guerrerense photos here.


Santo Tomas Wine Tasting. Cruise Excursion: Ensenada, Mexico Food Tour.


San Aura Vino Reserva Experimental Rosado, Grenache, Santo Tomas Wine Tasting. Cruise Excursion: Ensenada, Mexico Food Tour.


Alisio Reserva Vino Blanco, Chardonnay, Santo Tomas Wine Tasting. Cruise Excursion: Ensenada, Mexico Food Tour.


Fiery salsa and chips at Restaurante 645. Cruise Excursion: Ensenada, Mexico Food Tour.


Chile Relleno and Tacos at Restaurante 645. Cruise Excursion: Ensenada, Mexico Food Tour. Quite a day in Ensenada!


Still hungry? Me too. Let’s go!

This media trip was paid for by Princess Cruises.
Culinary Cruise, September 26-30, 2016. The ship departed from Los Angeles and made stops in Santa Barbara and Ensenada. Info: Dining on Princess Cruise’s Ruby Princess

Thinking about taking a Princess Cruises cruise? Read about my first day on board.

Guest Blog Post –  Diary of a Princess (Cruise).

Princess Cruises on twitterinstagramfacebook.

Video – The Ruby Princess.

More information on Princess Cruises:

Princess Cruise News (including the debut of Ocean Medallion).

Princess Cruise Teen & Youth Centers

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Scotch Egg Burger


What’s better than a perfectly executed Scotch Egg? How about a Scotch Egg BURGER?

It all starts with an oozy (but not too oozy) 7-minute egg. That egg is then wrapped with homemade, hand-ground breakfast sausage, panko-crusted and fried. It’s served on a homemade Parker House bun, green peppercorn mustard and horseradish aioli (both also homemade), plus Cheddar cheese and iceberg lettuce.

This magnificent beast is available at Chef Josef Centeno’s Ledlow Restaurant in downtown L.A. It was an off-menu item for quite a while, but it became so popular that it’s on the regular menu (at least for the time being).

I dream about this Scotch Egg Burger, and it’s currently my favorite “cheat day” meal to share with my husband (we do low carb at home). We share the burger, a salad or two plus cocktails. It’s a great hangover prevention, or even a late morning hangover cure. Trust me — I’ve actually “tested” all the options. What else can I say? It’s just SO damn good.


Scotch Egg up close at Ledlow.


The Scotch Egg Burger before cutting and devouring.


Going in! Ok, so I sometimes don’t eat the top bun, but I NEVER leave any Scotch Egg.

Ledlow Restaurant
400 S Main St
Los Angeles, CA 90013
(213) 687-7015
website

About Chef Josef Centeno:
Josef’s career started in New York, where he worked at Daniel, La Côte Basque and Les Célébrités. He also was executive chef at Meson G and Opus in Los Angeles and previously chef de cuisine at Manresa in Los Gatos, Calif. Josef has been featured in the L.A. Times, the Wall Street Journal, New York Times, Food & Wine and Bon Appetit. He also has been nominated for a James Beard award.

Josef also owns Bäco Mercat, Orsa & Winston and Bar Ama, which are also located in downtown L.A.

Follow Josef on instagram

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Low Carb Frico (Parmesan Crackers)

Frico (Parmesan Crackers) & Seeds
I’ve been cooking up lots of frico (parmesan crackers) lately. Mostly to top salads, but I also use them on soups and simple snacking too. These frico with toasted seeds were a big hit at my dinner table recently. So easy to make and low carb too!

Step-by-Step
How to make Frico w Toasted Seeds
Clockwise (from top left):
1. Sprinkle seeds in heated non-stick pan.
2. Add shredded Parmesan (Manchego is lovely too) and make sure the seeds are covered with cheese bits. Use a spatula to make a tight circle.
3. When the edges turn brown, gently start lifting with a thin spatula.
4. Turn frico (use two spatulas if needed) and cook until browned underneath. Carefully transfer frico to plate and let cool to harden. Break into pieces for salad topping or just EAT as is.

This works with pieces of herbs or leafy greens too. Frico with toasted baby kale here.

More Low Carb Recipes here

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Originally publishes 5/9/2015

Low Carb Cauliflower Mac & Cheese

Low Carb "Mac & Cheese"
This cauliflower mac and cheese is one of the EASIEST low carb dishes to make. Start with your favorite Mac and cheese recipe and just swap out the ingredients.

In the photo above I used roasted, bite-size cauliflower florets, heavy cream (instead of milk), coconut flour (instead of flour for bechamel sauce) and delicious, ground up pork rinds (instead of breadcrumbs). See the step-by-step photos here. Note: I added ground turkey, roasted peppers and some leftover bacon on top.

Enjoy!

WHY #LowCarbJo?

List of 40 low carb foods (I keep this bookmarked for carb counting).

If you’re on social media, check out my #LowCarbJo hashtag (on twitterinstagram and Facebook). I post links to recipes I plan on trying and also share photos of my low carb home cooking. Happy eating!

For NON low carb and eating out, click here.

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Searching for my old blog? Click here!

Mind of a Chef, Starring Ludo!


I am BEYOND thrilled that my friend Ludo Lefebvre will be featured on season 5 of Mind of a Chef (MOAC), one of my very favorite shows. If you love cooking, travel and the science of food, definitely plan to tune in or check out past episodes on the official site. MOAC is narrated by Anthony Bourdain, who stars in Parts Unknown another favorite show of mine.

I first met Ludo back in 2009 when he and his wife Krissy started the popup restaurant craze called LudoBites. Over the years, I’ve joined him in the kitchen, on the job and he’s even spent time in my home kitchen for family dinners. In fact, my entire family adores Ludo (and his wife Krissy). We shared many, many fun nights at various LudoBites and continue to support every venture.

Ludo’s restaurants in Los Angeles include Trois FamiliaPetit TroisTrois Mec and Ludo Bird. Perhaps you’ve seen Ludo on television? His TV stints include The TasteLudo Bites AmericaNo Reservations, and more. Still not familiar with the incredibly talented and handsome French chef? Read his bio here.

Last weekend a group of us original LudoBites fans were invited to a reunion of sorts, to tape an episode for Mind of a Chef. We gathered at Ludo’s home and reminisced about the good old days, which included TASTING those memories as well. As we stood around Ludo’s gourmet kitchen, he cooked up old favorites from his LudoBites Cookbook. Look for the episode on the next season of Mind of a Chef.


Chef Ludo and his wife Krissy greeting us in their beautiful kitchen.


Not your grandmother’s pasta. Chef Ludo’s squid pasta.


Squid Pad Thai by Chef Ludo Lefebvre. Recipe on page 264 in LudoBites Cookbook.


Chef Ludo plating his ham sandwich soup (seriously).


Ham Sandwich Soup by Chef Ludo Lefebvre. Recipe on page 164 of LudoBites Cookbook.


Chef Ludo slicing tuna.


Besides the tuna, Ludo also prepped foie gras, tobiko fish eggs and lychees for the next dish.


Mayo, tobiko and Sambal sauce too.


Chef Ludo searing the foie gras.


Blow torch action (mayo, tobiko and Sambal sauce)… almost done… it’s so worth the wait!


Chef Ludo Lefebvre’s Hot Foie Gras Dynamite with Raw Tuna, Lychee and Cracker Puree. Recipe on page 224 of LudoBites Cookbook.


Vadouvan is a French curry spice mix (Ludo makes his own). The first time I tried it was at LudoBites, so I was pleased to see him cooking with it for the reunion.


Butter with monkfish.


Monkfish being plated with veg.


Chef Ludo Lefebvre’s Monkfish, Légumes de la Jardinière with Vadouvan. The recipe is on page 175 of the LudoBites Cookbook.


Panna Cotta and Caviar… for dessert??


YES, yes, a thousand times yes! This is one of Ludo’s best creations (in my opinion). A salty-sweet perfect ending to a super fun day. Crème Fraîche Panna Cotta, Caramel and Caviar. The recipe is on page 301 of the LudoBites Cookbook.


LudoBites fans forever! Left to right: KevinDiana, Will, Josh, myself, Esther.

Huge thanks to ZPZ and Mind of a Chef for such a magical day!

About Chef Ludo

About Mind of a Chef

Live Mind of a Chef blog about our day with Ludo

Mind of a Chef on Facebook

Follow Chef Ludo on twitter @ChefLudo

Follow Mind of a Chef on twitter @MindofaChef

Follow Zero Point Zero Productions on twitter @ZPZproduction

Follow Anthony Bourdain on twitter @Bourdain

Mind of a Chef website

Ludo’s website

More Ludo Photos

Already a fan of Chef Ludo? I tweet daily Ludo news over at @LudoBitches! Nice mention in his cookbook here.

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My 50th Birthday Lunch, Edinburgh

My nephew Camron and I are heading to Scotland this week. It’s his first visit to see his grandpa (my dad) and stepmum, who live near Glasgow in Bridge of Weir. Peter will hold down the fort with our two beloved pups, Woody and Ziggy Stardust.

There’s so much I’m excited to share with Camron, who turns 30 in May. The village where our family home sits is absolutely gorgeous, the surroundings almost out of a fairy tale. Of course, besides family time, I’m mostly excited to share my love for Scottish cuisine. It’s not all deep-fried Mars Bars, black pudding and haggis (which I LOVE) — it’s so much more.

During this trip Camron and I will be lunching at The Kitchin in Edinburgh, the Michelin -starred restaurant by Tom Kitchin. I’ve been several times and am always blown away with the chef’s “from nature to plate” concept — the best of Scottish ingredients cooked with French techniques. The restaurant has recently gone through a major remodel, so that will be a fun treat as well.

Two years ago, I spent my 50th birthday at The Kitchin and was so grateful to share it with my parents and hubby Peter. Photos below!

The Kitchin


The Kitchin


Cheers!


I love the bread warmers.


Stepmum Mandy and my husband Peter.


Party time!


My dad.


Cod & Watercress: Seared North Sea Cod Cheeses served with pancetta and a watercress sauce.


Monkfish: Cannelloni of Scrabster monkfish liver served with roasted celery, squid and lobster beurre blanc.


Ballotine of Rabbit from Burnside Farm served with a tarragon dressing, black olive and toasted sourdough.


Fillet of wolffish from Peterhead served with gnocchi, wild garlic and mussels.


Rump of Highland hogget garnished with macaroni and roasted carrot served with lamb tongue and sweetbreads.


Blanquette of Clash Farm pork cheeses served with spring vegetables.


Cheese course or dessert? BOTH! Top: British Cheese Course.
Bottom: Pistachio Souffle w Pistachio Ice Cream.


The best of British cheeses.


More please.


Chef Tom Kitchin and my father, Glenn.


A wonderful 50th birthday in Edinburgh!

Read more about The Kitchin here.

More photos of visits to The Kitchin.

Follow Tom Kitchin on twitter.

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Provolone & Cauliflower Crust


I recently started playing with a crispy, provolone edge on my low carb pizzas, and shared a few test photos on instagram. Basically I wanted to add some more texture to my beloved cauliflower pizza.

The first time I tried it, I surrounded the cauliflower (cauli) dough with slices of provolone and baked it in a nonstick (deep dish) pizza pan. The problem was that the provolone cooked much faster then the cauliflower and the cheese was almost burnt. Even though my husband Peter loves burnt stuff (he’s funny that way), I wasn’t happy with it at all.

Next I tried cooking the cauli crust pizza first, then adding the provolone edge at the end. It turned out pretty good (not too burnt), but the provolone crust was so good I wanted MORE.

That’s how I came up with this #LowCarbJo Provolone & Cauliflower Crust Pizza. The one in photo above (more photos below) was topped with precooked mushrooms, onions and peppers for #MeatlessMonday, which is always a challenge since I cook low carb at home. At a recent Super Bowl party I switched it up with lots of bacon and I must admit, I was surprised to see it devoured in less than five minutes. Next time I’ll make a few more.

HOW TO MAKE the Provolone Crust Pizza

Preheat oven to 400º

First make the cauliflower crust pizza dough (ingredients here). Leave any precooked toppings off until you combine the two crusts.

For the provolone crust you need about 12 slices of provolone cheese plus a tablespoon of shredded cheese to place in between the two crusts.

I used two deep dish pans to make this pizza. One for the provolone crust and another for the cauli crust. The pans I use are 14 inches, so you may need more or less depending on your pan size.

If you only have one (non stick) pan, just make the cauli crust first, then carefully transfer to large plate. Add the provolone slices back on the (now) empty pizza pan and place back in oven. After the provolone crust is done, sprinkle a tablespoon of shredded cheese on the provolone before carefully sliding the cauli crust onto the provolone crust. The shredded cheese in between helps meld it together. Finish by adding cooked toppings, more cheese and warm through in your oven for a few minutes.

Again, two non-stick pizza pans are much easier! They cost under $15 each on Amazon and well worth it to me.

Step-by-step photos:


Step 1: In a nonstick, deep dish pizza pan, lay down 12 pieces of provolone cheese.


Step 2: In 400 degree oven, cook for five minutes or until melted together.


Step 3: Turn pan for even cooking (no need to flip) and return to oven another five minutes.


Step 4: The crust should be fully formed after 12-15 minutes, depending on your oven. You want a crispy bottom.


Crispy provolone crust!


In between the provolone crust and the cauliflower crust, add some shredded cheese to help make them stick together.


Now add whatever you want… sauce, cooked toppings and more cheese. Warm through in oven and enjoy.


I’m so happy with this #LowCarbJo pizza. Please let me know if you try it!

Basic Cauliflower Crust Pizza

More #LowCarbJo

Why I eat Low Carb At Home

List of 40 low carb foods (I keep this bookmarked for carb counting).

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Basic Cauliflower Crust Pizza


Looking for a low carb pizza alternative? Then you really should jump on the CAULIFLOWER bandwagon.

I’ve been using cauliflower to make dishes lower carb for a couple of years now. I’ve tried low carb cauli tortillasburger buns, bacon-wrapped grilled cheese, fried rice, and even cauliflower grits. But the one recipe I make most often is cauliflower crust pizza. It’s an absolute staple in my kitchen, especially on #MeatlessMondays.

If you’re new to low carb cooking, and not sure where to start, I highly recommend this SUPER EASY, pizza crust recipe. It’s the perfect vehicle for any topping really. I’ve thrown on fried eggs for breakfast, grilled steak for lunch, even spoonfuls of Thai curry chicken. The texture can be anywhere in between a hard-cooked omelet to a thick (albeit cheesy) crepe. It just depends on how thin (or thick) you cook it.

Low Carb Pizza

The cauliflower crust recipe I use now was adapted from two recipes I tried in the past. I first discovered Recipe Girl’s crust, then incorporated some tips from The Iron You blog.

If  you follow me on instagram or twitter, you’ve probably seen the low carb “provolone and cauliflower crust” pizza I’ve been testing. It’s so, SO good and I’ll have that on the blog VERY soon. I thought it best to start with the basic cauliflower crust first.

PHOTOS (recipe below):


Clean and dry cauliflower florets.


Rice or grate cauliflower.


Cook in microwave (or steam florets before grating).


After cooling, add to towel and squeeze out excess water. This is the tip I got from the Iron You Website:
The secret for the perfect cauli crust lies in squeezing out all the moisture from the cauliflower “flour”.


I divide the cooked cauliflower up into small batches so I can get a better squeeze.


After squeezing out the liquid, it almost looks like a dough, right?
Note: My friend @DJfatal skipped the liquid squeeze by sautéing the cauliflower on a stovetop. He slowly heated the riced cauliflower in a frying pan for about 15 minutes.


Add egg, cheese and seasoning then mix.


Ready to make pizza!


Starting at middle, gently spread the pizza out and shape. Bake for about 15 minutes (until golden) in a preheated 450º oven.

Low Carb Pizza
Add toppings, warm through then cut and enjoy!

EQUIPMENT
Food Processor or Box Grater.

Pizza Pan. I currently use a nonstick deep dish, pizza pan (I actually own two). If you don’t have a non-stick pizza pan, use non-stick foil or parchment paper.

Clean dish towel.

RECIPE (Adapted from RecipeGirl AND The Iron You)

Crust:
1/2 LARGE head cauliflower (or 2+ cups shredded cauliflower)
1 large egg
1 cup finely shredded mozzarella cheese (plus more for topping)
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning or oregano
1/2 teaspoon garlic salt
Pinch of pepper
Cooking spray

Toppings:
1/2 cup shredded cheese to start, then whatever you want!

In the photo above I have turkey sausage, peppers, chilies, red onion & scallions.
I’m not a fan of tomato sauce, so I use red pepper sauce or just extra cheese & toppings. More topping ideas here.

Nonstick cooking spray

Directions:
1. Preheat the oven to 450º.

2. Shred the florets using a food processor (or box grater). When shredding, you want tiny cauliflower crumbles, about the size of rice. If you live near Trader Joes, just skip this step and buy the cauliflower ALREADY riced. It makes this recipe go so quickly!

3. Place the riced cauliflower into a microwave-safe bowl and cook for 8 minutes. Do not add any additional liquid. If you don’t have a microwave, you can steam the cauliflower before grating (tip via From Eat, Drink, Smile). Let the cauliflower cool before squeezing out excess liquid.

4. Get your pizza pan ready. If you don’t have a non-stick pizza pan, spray a pan with nonstick spray or use parchment paper and grease with olive oil.

5. After the cooked cauliflower has cooled, use a clean towel to ring out excess water. I do this in small batches (small hands) so I can really squeeze out the extra liquid (in the kitchen sink). There should be about 1 1/2 cups of cauliflower after cooking and removing liquid. Don’t fret if ends up being less then that. Just use more cheese in the “dough”. I’ve done that several times and the pizza comes out perfectly fine.

6. Place dry cauliflower into bowl and add the egg, cheese and seasonings. Mix together then gently place in center of pizza pan. Slowly press the mixture and form into a large circle. It will seem a bit wet but that’s ok. Spray the top with cooking spray so it gets crispy. Bake 450º for 15 minutes or until golden brown.

7. Add more cheese and warm through until melted. You may want to broil for a few minutes if you’ve added something like pepperoni.

Prep time: 25 minutes
Cooking time: 15-18 minutes

When I switched to a non-stick (deep dish) pizza pan recently, I started adding provolone cheese slices around the edge to create a crispier crust. I’ll have step-by-step photos in another blog post soon.

Enjoy!

Why I cook #LowCarbJo at home.

More Cauliflower Pizza Photos

List of 40 Low Carb Foods (I keep this list bookmarked)

#LowCarbJo on twitter

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Soups That Give Back


Still shopping for LAST MINUTE holiday gifts? How about the gift of food that GIVES BACK?

SoupBoxLove offers gourmet, healthy dry soup mixes, with proceeds fighting hunger in America. I LOVE THIS SO MUCH.

A few years ago I started L.A. Bites Hunger and regularly support the L.A. Foodbank, L.A. Mission, No Kid Hungry as well as several other hunger charities. I’m a food and travel blogger so obviously I eat VERY, VERY well. It’s important to me that I give back everyday AND help spread the word.

Soup Box Love
How SoupBoxLove works: Every Month there’s a new seasonal, artisan soup mix that arrives in the box with info on the charity of the month. I tried the Thanksgiving soup from November, a really delicious and hearty quinoa corn chili (hubby loved it too). November’s soup benefitted Partnership For Native Americans (up to 43% of Native children live in poverty).

Each SoupBoxLove comes with details on the charity of the month plus extra gourmet goodies (like candy or chips). Single box orders or monthly subscription start at $22 per month. You can also give (or try) just one box. SoupBoxLove is offering a temporary promo code “LOVEFRIENDS” for 15% off any order (ends soon).

December’s soup? A ginger with sweet potato that benefits the LA Kitchen. It provides 8 weeks of Culinary Training to 25 transitioning adults. Pretty amazing right? One of my favorite chefs, Jose Andres, works with L.A. Kitchen. Read their mission statement here.

The soup mixes are vegan, Kosher-certified and gluten-free. Each box comes with a recipe card with suggestions for adding ingredients (like meat, if you want), but the chili I tasted was terrific on it’s own.

Next month’s soup (January 2016) is black-eyed pea (for New Year’s good luck!). The charity? The nonprofit Top Box Foods, which provides support for families in New Orleans food deserts.

“We LOVE creating artisan soup blends for your friends, family and loved ones to share meaningful meals filled with gratitude, goodness and giving back! ”
— The SoupBoxLove Team

SoupBoxLove website
SoupBoxLove on twitter @SoupBoxLove
SoupBoxLove on facebook

 

Follow me on twitter @MyLastBite and also:

Snapchat (MyLastBite)

Instagram

FaceBook

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