What I Made: Cheesy Cauliflower Breadsticks and Pizza

For the last few months (or years, if we include starts, stops, failures, etc.), I’ve been trying to overhaul my diet. As part of my mission to get rid of my headaches, I’d been going to a chiropractor and acupuncturist (for cupping). I’ve noticed some improvements with lower back pain as a result of the chiropractor, but it’s too hard to say whether it’s helped with my headaches. Cupping seemed to help with the headaches initially, but then everything went back to normal. Ugh.

As part of my work with my acupuncturist, she asked me to track my diet, just in case she noticed any food triggers. She didn’t, but what she did notice was that I had a horrible diet abundant in processed foods. I believe her exact words were, “You aren’t getting any nutrients. Like zero. Zero nutrients.”

This wasn’t a shock to me at all. But I’m a people-pleaser and overachiever, so I decided to actually work on my diet (in order to please my acupuncturist). I started knocking out the processed foods and adding vegetables instead. I’m not pretending that I’ve eliminated all processed foods from my diet, but it’s considerably less than what it used to be.

My acupuncturist’s next goal for me was to go gluten-free. Even though I don’t have celiac disease, she said there’s a chance that I could still be experiencing an adverse reaction to gluten, and that could be contributing to my headaches.

This terrified me. I LOVE gluten. OK, not the actual gluten, but basically all the foods that contain gluten: pasta, bread (in all its forms), cereal, etc. As much as I wanted to please my acupuncturist, it just felt too overwhelming to me. I tried to cut it in most parts of my diet, but couldn’t commit to 100%. And what I’ve learned is that if you aren’t 100%, it’s not really doing anything to help.

Well, I mean it is cutting a lot of calories from your diet — what I mean is that you won’t know the benefits of being gluten-free unless you are 100% gluten-free for a month. Somehow a month sounds like so much time!

But what’s ridiculous to me is that I was willing to go to doctors and get whatever prescriptions made up of who knows what that would do who knows what to my body, rather than just make better food choices that would possibly relieve me of a headache pain while also just making me healthier in general. Even though I was cognitively aware of this, changing my diet sounded so much harder than popping a pill or two.

Then I read the book Wheat Belly, written by a Wisconsin doctor, William Davis. Aspects of the book were new pieces of information to me, and obviously I can’t verify that everything is factual, but what it said made sense to me. And more importantly, it was compelling enough to make me want to really change my diet.

So I’ve started to cut wheat from my diet. I’m not 100% there yet, but probably somewhere between 60 and 70 percent. I’m eating gluten-free cereals for breakfast (eventually I’d like to stop eating cereal entirely, but I can’t get there yet). I’m substituting all my sandwich bread with lettuce. Are one or two big pieces of lettuce as tasty as two pieces of bread? Not exactly, but honestly, I’m focusing on filling the ‘sandwich’ with really good stuff, so the lack of a bun hasn’t been that horrible. And when I remind myself that I’m saving approximately 200 calories by skipping the bread, I’m super happy with myself.

Pizza is one of my favorite foods. I tried a gluten-free frozen pizza from Target a few weeks ago that was OK…but not that great, and not worth the price (for me). I’ve seen cauliflower pizza crusts on Pinterest, but had never tried it.

That’s a lie. I bought cauliflower once in order to try it, but never did it and ended up throwing a rotting head of cauliflower in the trash.

But today I decided to do it. I used the recipe on the blog Jo Cooks for cheesy cauliflower breadsticks. This made a huge batch, so I’d recommend halving it if you’re trying it for the first time.

Cheesy Cauliflower Cheesesticks | What Lindsey Likes

Was it as good as gluten-full pizza? No. But it did turn out better than I expected. Worse than I had hoped, but better than I expected. I made one set of cheesesticks and one pepperoni pizza. You’ll notice I didn’t include any sauce on the pizza — I was afraid it would make the crust mega mushy. So I just dipped the pizza in a side of sauce, like I did for the cheesesticks.

Cauliflower Pepperoni Pizza | What Lindsey Likes

Will I make this again? Eh, I don’t know. It was a lot of work for this lazy girl: Wash the cauliflower, chop it up, put it in a food processor/blender to really pulverize it, steam it in the microwave for 10 minutes, mix it with a crap-town of cheese and other ingredients, etc. The amount of money I spent on cheese alone for this recipe was probably close to the cost (or more expensive than) a frozen pizza. I realize a frozen pizza has gluten, and that’s the whole reason for making this, but it was a lot of work and not cheap…so I’d probably look into other recipes in case there’s an easier/cheaper version.