Keto pizza and mock n’ cheese
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Keto pizza and mock n’ cheese

Every once in a while I will go on a ketogenic diet for a few weeks.  This, is one of those weeks.  It’s interesting to read up on, can be a bit complicated, but is essentially a diet high in protein and fat, and very low in carbohydrates.  It’s always been fun for me to challenge myself to come up with “keto” versions of meals that I enjoy while on a more traditional diet (I have an a strange idea of fun, yes).  Because it was Friday night, and because I usually have greasy takeout on Fridays, I wanted something that could compare with my usual (pu pu platter for two, for one…and an orange chicken…and a scallion pancake…and a bucket for all this gluttonous shame…and a diet coke).  Pizza and mac n’ cheese – two things that would otherwise be forbidden on this diet due to the crust and the pasta.  My solution, replace the crust and pasta with a very “keto” friendly vegetable, cauliflower.  I present to you, a 12g net carb Friday night treat.

So cheesy

Pizza:

1cup of riced cauliflower
3/4 cup of mozzarella cheese
1 egg
finely chopped garlic
pepperonis
oregano and crushed red peppers

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.  Rice the cauliflower with a cheese grater, mix in a little less than the 3/4 cup of the cheese, the beaten egg, spices, and garlic (as a general rule of cooking, put garlic in everything).  Spread the mixture on a cookie sheet (I used parchment paper and put it on a baking stone in the oven) so that it looks like a pizza crust, obviously.  Bake that sucker for 15 minutes, and feel free to give it a brush of olive oil to help it brown.  Pull it out, throw on the rest of the cheese and the pepperonis and bake for another 3-5 minutes.  Easy a’cheesy a’pizza pie (say it in a thick Italian accent or your pizza will burn).

Mock n’ cheese (as cheesy as the name, yum):

1 head of cauliflower
1 cup of milk
3/4 cup of mozzarella cheese
3/4 cup of cheddar cheese
1/2 cup of cream cheese
1/4 cup of dijon mustard
1 tsp ground black pepper

Preheat the oven to 350.  Grate the cheese.  Break the cauliflower into small florets and boil for 5 minutes.  In a separate saucepan heat the milk and stir in the cheeses, the mustard, and the pepper, but put aside a bit of the cheddar.  Eat some of the cheese before putting it back in the fridge.  Drain and pat dry the cauliflower, put it in a baking dish, and top with the rest of the cheddar cheese.  Pull a chair up to the oven window and sit watching the cheese bubble, drooling, for 5-10 minutes.