Monday, 26 May 2014

Flourless Healthy Pizza

First of all, a big sorry to my friends from India who may not find the key ingredient of this recipe in their nearby stores. People living in metros, however, do stand a chance of finding it in speciality stores or in the international section of big supermarkets. Today's experiment in the kitchen, after all the high calorie cooking in the recent weeks, is with a form of wheat called  "couscous" which is derived from Durum Wheat and is quite similar to Semolina in texture. You can call it an intermediate between rice and pasta. Couscous is a powerhouse of essential nutrients, the most important being lean protein and dietary fiber and a host of vitamins including vitamin B. It is a very good source of protein for my vegetarian friends and also a healthy diet option for the weight watchers. To know more about the health benefits of couscous, you can ask our trusted friend google for more advanced information.
Coming back to the recipe, I basically had a big jar of couscous lying in the pantry and since I am not a big fan of it I wasn 't giving it much importance as well. However, now my pantry is almost out of stock with every legumes and lentils and so this neglected jar of couscous finally found its place in my menu. I wasn't too sure how it will be accepted by my family, but I was pleasantly surprised to see that they enjoyed the new taste and variety in the regular pizza. It not only tasted yummy, but also offered a unique variation coupled with the regular pizza toppings. All in all, it was a very satisfying meal and feeling happy and relaxed by presenting something healthy for the family to eat. 

For the couscous
1 cup couscous
1/2 cup hot water
1 tbsp olive oil
Other ingredients
1/3 cup assorted veggies (I used diced carrots, peas, and corn)
2 eggs
Herbs of your choice (I used oregano and basil)
A handful of fresh parsley
1 tbsp olive oil, divided
Salt and pepper to taste
For the topping
2-3 tbsp pizza sauce
1/3 cup sliced mushrooms lightly sauteed in olive oil till the water content dries up
Sliced olives (use as per liking)
Grated cheese

In a bowl, place the boiling water and add the dry couscous. Nicely mix and keep covered for 10 minutes. Fork well and add 1 tbsp olive oil. 
Blanch the assorted veggies till soft. In a bowl, beat the eggs and half of the olive oil and whip till smooth. Add the couscous, salt, herbs, pepper powder, parsley, and the blanched veggies and mix well. At this point, I transferred the contents into a blender and pulsed a few times to get the mixture together and mash the big chunks. You can also do this with a potato masher. 
Pre-heat the oven at 180 degree celsius. Line a pizza tray or pie dish with parchment paper and transfer the couscous base onto it. Press it down with a spatula and spread it evenly on all sides. Drizzle the remaining olive oil on top and sprinkle some additional pepper powder. 
Bake in the pre heated oven for 20-25 minutes until the top starts slightly browning and feels little firm. Remove from oven and spread the pizza sauce and arrange the toppings. Garnish with cheese as per your choice and liking and bake it again for 10 minutes until the cheese starts melting and the toppings brown. Serve hot!

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