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Fun Mini Pizzas

Kids imageNote: This recipe, created by Olivia Neely of Kansas, won a national contest and was served at a special lunch for kids at the White House. These pizzas pack a lot of nutrition, but the fat and sodium are a little high. Consider reducing the amount of cheese and meat used as toppings. (If you try this recipe, get a grownup's help because it requires using a knife, a food processor, and the oven.)

 Nutrition Label

Prep time: 90 minutes

What you need:

For the cauliflower crusts

  • 1 medium head cauliflower, chopped
  • 1 cup shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
  • 1 large egg
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon dried oregano
  • ¼ teaspoon salt

For the pizza topping

  • ½ pound lean ground beef
  • ¼ cup shredded yellow squash
  • ¼ cup shredded zucchini
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • ¼ teaspoon dried oregano
  • Freshly ground black pepper (to taste)
  • ½ cup tomato sauce
  • 1 cup shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese

Optional toppings

  • 16 cherry tomatoes (halved)
  • 3 tablespoons sliced almonds
  • ½ cup chopped broccoli florets
  • ½ cup sliced mushrooms
  • Several leaves of baby spinach

Equipment and supplies:

  • Measuring cups and spoons
  • Food processor
  • Baking sheet lined with parchment paper
  • Knife for chopping
  • Kitchen towel
  • Medium bowl
  • Spoon for stirring
  • Microwave
  • Sauté pan

What to do:

Make the cauliflower crusts:

  1. Preheat the oven to 400°F (204°C).
  2. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
  3. In a food processor, pulse the cauliflower into very small pieces.
  4. Transfer to a microwave-safe bowl and microwave until tender, about 4 minutes. Let the cauliflower cool for several minutes.
  5. Wrap the cooled cauliflower in a kitchen towel and squeeze out any excess liquid.
  6. In a medium bowl, combine the cauliflower, mozzarella cheese, egg, garlic powder, oregano, and salt.
  7. Stir to combine.
  8. Divide the mixture into 8 equal parts and form each one into a ball.
  9. Press and flatten the balls into circles or fun shapes.
  10. Place them onto the prepared baking sheet.
  11. Bake the pizza crusts for 15 minutes.
  12. Flip crusts over and continue baking for another 15 minutes, until firm and light golden brown.
  13. Remove the crusts from the oven, but leave the oven on.

While crusts are baking, make the toppings:

  1. In a large sauté pan over moderate heat, cook the ground beef, yellow squash, zucchini, garlic, oregano, and pepper.
  2. Stir to break up the beef and continue cooking until the beef is cooked through, about 8 minutes. Drain any excess liquid.

Assemble and bake the pizzas:

  1. Spread the tomato sauce on the crusts.
  2. Top the pizzas with the beef mixture, cheese, and any optional toppings you choose.
  3. Bake until the cheese bubbles, about 6 minutes. (For a delicious smoky taste, heat pizzas on a wood-fire or charcoal grill.)

How much does this recipe make?

  • 4 servings / 2 mini pizzas per person

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Note: All information is for educational purposes only. For specific medical advice, diagnoses, and treatment, consult your doctor.

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