Sunday, March 1, 2015

Low Carb Margherita Pizza on Portobello Mushroom Caps

I do not think I am alone here when I confess my love for pizza.  It's a universally loved food item that sadly is not known for the health benefits.  Between the crust, the cheese and the processed meats, it can be a total diet buster.  So in order to adapt one of my all time favorite foods to fit a low-carb lifestyle and be a bit more health conscious, I have started using different vegetables as the crust.  One of the easiest veggies to use is the portobello mushroom.  Not only are they a wonderful way to get big dose of Vitamin D, they are also an easy way to portion control how much you eat.  Each mushroom cap is a filled with sauce, cheese and toppings and works as a personal pizza.  I happen to love margherita pizza on any crust, but the fresh basil and tomatoes work so well with the meaty portobello.  However, feel free to use whatever toppings you prefer!  These perfect little pizza make a quick and easy healthy dinner or work great as an appetizer for any dinner party. 

Here is what you need:

2 Large Portobello Mushroom Caps
2 tbsp Pizza Sauce (spaghetti or tomato sauce works great too)
1/2 cup Mozzarella Cheese - shredded
1/4 cup Parmesan Cheese - graded
1 tbsp Olive Oil
4-5 Cherry Tomatoes - sliced thin
4-5 Basil Leaves - torn
2 pinches of Salt
Cracked Black Pepper
1/8 tsp Garlic Powder
1/8 tsp of Red Pepper Flakes (optional)

This is what you do:
Heat oven to 400 degrees and wipe off mushrooms with a damp paper towel.  Take a spoon and scrape out the gills of the mushrooms and discard.  Place the mushrooms on a foil lined baking sheet top side up.  Drizzle the oil, salt, pepper and 1/8 tsp garlic powder over the mushroom cap.  Bake in oven for 8-10 minutes.  When done, flip them over and layer the ingredients just like you would a regular pizza then drizzle a bit more oil and salt and red pepper flakes over the top.  Return to oven and cook for an additional 5-10 minutes until cheese is melted and gooey. Let stand for a few minutes to cool, then serve and enjoy!
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 15-20 minutes
Serves: 1-2 Mushroom Cap per person

First thing to do is preheat the oven to 400 degrees and wipe the mushrooms with a damp paper towel.  This helps in keeping the mushrooms from getting watery.  Then take a spoon a scrape out the gills and cut out the woody stem to make room for the toppings.
This is how you want them to look. 

Next, place the caps on a foil lined baking sheet gill side down and drizzle the olive oil, salt, pepper and garlic powder over the caps.  Bake in the oven for 8-10 minutes to soften and flavor them.

While they are cooking, get your toppings ready.  I love the classic Margherita pizza on portobellos, but use whatever you like!

Remove from the oven and carefully flip them over.

Start filling them up with the toppings right away, just as you would a standard pizza. 

You only need about a tablespoon of sauce per cap.  
Tomatoes, basil and a drizzle of olive oil, pinch of sat and a pinch of red pepper flakes and they are oven ready. 

Cook for 5-10 minutes, but continue checking on them every minute or so after 5 minutes.  Remove from oven when ready and let cool for a couple minutes.  
I like to add some more basil and Parmesan before I serve them.

Slice them up and serve with a side salad or as an appetizer.  These are so delicious and so easy and fast, you will not miss the crust at all!

I sure hope you and your family enjoy these!  They are perfect for making dinner for one or two people and extremely satisfying yet healthy.  Let me know what toppings you put on them!