As the holidays approach and schedules get busier, healthy diets can fall by the wayside. We often think it’s easier to rely on fast and convenient foods, even though they are typically higher in saturated fats and cholesterol. It’s important to remember there are plenty of healthy and quick meals we can make for the entire family.

We recently connected with Las Palmas Del Sol Healthcare cardiologist Joseph Quintana, M.D., who shared a unique heart-healthy recipe. In addition to practicing cardiology for many years, Dr. Quintana is a trained chef, enhancing his culinary skills through training in the U.S., Italy and Spain. He’s always been passionate about cooking, and often uses his kitchen knowledge to help treat patients suffering from heart conditions.

Here’s one of Dr. Quintana’s favorite alternatives to a traditional pizza.

Cauliflower Pizza Crust

Ingredients:

  • 2 pounds of cauliflower florets, diced
  • 1 egg beaten (or use egg whites)
  • 1 tsp. dried oregano (may consider thyme, basil, rosemary)
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1/3 cup of goat cheese or cream cheese (optional)
  1. Preheat oven to 400°F.
  2. In batches, pulse raw cauliflower florets in a food processor. They should have a rice-like texture after processing.
  3. Fill a large pot with water about an inch deep, and bring to a boil. Add the cauliflower florets and cook with the lid on for about 4-5 minutes.
  4. Drain the cauliflower in a fine mesh strainer and press the liquid out, using cheesecloth or a thin dry dishtowel to remove as much excess moisture as possible. This will give the crust crispiness similar to a regular pizza crust.
  5. In a large bowl, combine the cauliflower, the beaten egg/egg whites, oregano, salt and (optional) cheese. Mix the ingredients together with your hands to make the dough.
  6. Line a baking sheet or pizza stone with parchment paper. Press and shape the dough onto the parchment paper, leaving it about 1/3 inches thick.
  7. Bake for 30-45 minutes or until golden brown.
  8. Add tomato sauce, mozzarella cheese, veggies and any other heart-healthy toppings you’d like.
  9. Place back in the oven for 5-10 minutes until cheese is bubbly. Cool for 5 minutes and serve.