cauliflower pizza

“When a wife has a good husband, it is easily seen in her face.” Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

cauliflower

Today is Tim’s birthday, the first one since we’ve been married.

And over the last few weeks, as I’ve been thinking about its coming up, reflecting on what our life together is like now, about how this birthday would be different from all his previous birthdays, sandwiched between our daily rhthyms of working from home and sleeping side by side and sharing breakfasts, lunches, dinners, I’ve been wanting so much to explain to you, somehow here on this blog, exactly what my face would show if you could see it: I have a good husband.

pizza ingredients

I told Tim early when we were dating, I had a little bit of a fear of marriage growing up, a fact I know some people can’t understand and others get all too well. The best I can explain it, I think, is that when you’ve been exposed to bad marriages, or to their problems, when you’re young enough, you don’t know how to take it. And for me, I took it and turned it into fear, the kind of fear that made me read books about marriage in junior high.

tim dressing the pizza tim grating cheese

Even after I met Tim and shared deep parts of my heart with him, moving to Nashville and planning our wedding, a little bit of that gnawing fear hadn’t left. There are so many men who aren’t like him, I would think to myself, there’s no way he can always be like this. Sometimes still, that fear comes up—when something triggers that part of my mind that adds up the realities of broken people (i.e., us!) covenanting their lives together. It’s almost crazy when you think about it. How can anyone really make it work?

pizza on cauliflower crust

And then I look at Tim and I marvel at our life, and I think, that’s it, that’s mystery: how God can take two selfish people and make them one, to push through the hard and the ugly and the wonderful and the unexpected, together. That adventure, that battle, is in itself a gift, a refining tool like my friend Carrie and I were saying the other night, something that changes you whether you mean for it to or not.

But the second mystery, at least for me, is that of all the people on the planet, I get to do it with Tim, a man who is, literally, unlike anyone I’ve ever known.

pizzas

I am married to the kind of man who doesn’t cancel plans at the last minute, because he believes in honoring commitments, even small ones like having coffee with a friend; a man I can go to, randomly on a weekday morning, and say, you know that story in Judges chapter 6? and he knows exactly what I’m talking about; a man who’s been cooking with me since I first knew him; a man who has taught me, and teaches me, to pray about everything, from finding a source of income to resting about an upcoming conversation to writing posts like this one; a man who can humble himself; a man who, above everything else, loves God.

my plate

I feel so blessed to share this simple life with him, to work in our dining room together, to laugh about the things the neighbors do, to make a cauliflower pizza crust and eat it across from each other, next to the window, while the longer April daylight streams inside.

dinner from above

I have a good husband.

dinner

So to Tim, that husband: I want you to know you have a happy wife.

I love you. Happy birthday!




Cauliflower Pizza Crust

Adapted from Love and Lemons
Makes 2 pizzas

Gluten-free, this pizza crust is a fun (and fast!) alternative to a traditional crust, but it’s also different: slightly eggy in flavor and never really crisp. Think of it like a veggie-nut flatbread, and it’s great!

Ingredients:
2 cups cauliflower crumbles (about one small cauliflower or half of a really big one)
1/4 onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1 cup almond meal (the kind we buy)
2 eggs (the above picture shows three, which is what I tried the first time; ended up liking two better in our second batch)
salt and pepper

Directions:
Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.

Make the crusts:
Combine cauliflower with onion and garlic in a food processor* and pulse until crumbly, being careful not to overmix (you don’t want it to become a paste). Then stir this mixture together with garlic, almond meal, and eggs, and a couple good cracks of salt and pepper. If it seems too dry, you can add a little water; if it seems too wet, add more almond meal (I added between another 1/4 and 1/2 a cup).

*This will be considerably easier if you do it in batches. Start with a cup of cauliflower and so on. Otherwise, at least if your food processor is like mine, it takes a little longer.

Bake the crusts:
Form into pizza crusts and bake them alone for 20 minutes.

Top and bake again:
Meanwhile, sautee any veggies you want to top them with (we did tomatoes and some red pepper). Remove crusts, top as you like (we did a quick pesto of basil, Pecorino and olive oil; the sauteed veggies; more Pecorino on one // tomatoes and onions and argula on the other). Bake for another 10 minutes.

Shanna Mallon started Food Loves Writing back in 2008, as a way to remember her grandma and write about her life through food. Since then it's become a place leading her to a lifestyle of eating whole foods, a new home in Nashville and the love of her life, Tim. Follow Shanna on Twitter @foodloves, keep up with Food Loves Writing on Facebook and stay inspired with the monthly newsletter.

This Post Has 96 Comments

  1. Lori

    I have a good husband too, I can totally relate to that feeling. He’s just a really loving, hardworking, humble and kind human being and there aren’t a lot of people like him either. This pizza crust looks wonderful I will have to make it!

  2. Jacqui

    A happy wife is a happy life. :) Happy birthday, Tim! Love these photos, Shanna, (especially the first and last one) and love your thoughts on marriage. They always make me look at my own relationship and appreciate it all the more.

  3. Maria

    Shanna – when you write about your happy marriage and good husband, it makes me pause and give thanks for my own good man. So, thank you! Aren’t we blessed to have found them, somehow, in this great big world?

    Happy birthday, Tim!

  4. MaryAnn

    What a sweet post – happy birthday to Tim!
    I’m grateful to read of happy marriages. It shines a light in this crumbling world. The Lord had a beautiful design in mind when He created marriage. And like you, I am grateful that the Lord has given me the eyes to see how much I have been blessed with the husband He provided for me.
    Here’s to many happy more birthday celebrations for the two of you :-)
    And I really want to make this pizza for my sister (she’s a gluten-free girl).

  5. Madison Mayberry

    What a beautiful post, Shanna! Like you, I grew up seeing many of the realities of what a broken marriage can look like. My now husband was wonderful at helping me work through those distorted thoughts and emotions. Thanks for sharing such a beautiful story and giving us a look into what your marriage is like.

  6. raquel@eRecipe.com

    I admire you on how you describe and appreciate your husband. You are very lucky to have each other. I can also relate to what you are feeling. Having a great relationship with your husband is a blessing that you will be forever thankful for. Hope you’ll have more years together. I’d love to try this healthy pizza. Happy birthday Tim! =)

  7. shuhan

    that was such a lovely piece about you and your husband. I pray one day I find my soulmate, someone that;s just perfect for me.

    gorgeous blog and photos, just discovered it, my friend showed me the link and I’m glad she did(: i love the way you write, the photos, and that lean towards healthy food and cooking. will keep checking back for more

    x

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  9. Rachel

    I love your sweet thoughts and comments to your husband. Very passionate and honest. I am not gluten free, but this pizza peaks my interest. I intend on making it, not telling my hubby what it is and see if he even realizes that his “flatbread” is not really bread at all. Hmm. ;) Thanks for sharing! :)

    1. Shannalee

      Rachel, You know, I’m not gluten-free either–or at least, I don’t have to eat gluten-free, but I find myself doing it more and more just because I’m drawn to innovative ideas like this one! : ) Hope you and your husband (to-be? I think I saw you’re getting married in October? Great month for a wedding!) enjoy!

  10. talley

    Happy birthday Tim! This post is beautiful, I especially love the last photo. It really is amazing when you take a step back and think ‘how on earth did we get so lucky and find each other in this big old world.’ My husband adores cauliflower, and although I’m not sure he’d expect it in a pizza crust, I’m going to surprise him one of these days. Wonderful!

    1. Shannalee

      Seriously. Amazing too when we think of any great relationships in our lives and how blessed we are to have them! Love that you want to try this for your cauliflower-loving husband–hope he likes it!

  11. Kristen

    What a touching post. It sounds like you found your match made in heaven, which is a truly wonderful thing… I am lucky enough to know that kind of husband too. Happy birthday to your love!

  12. Ricki

    What a totally ingenious idea! I am going to adapt this for my diet, one way or another. . . ! I just found you via the bios sent to us for the Dole Summit–looking forward to meeting you both next week! (And happy belated birthday, Tim). :D

  13. pue

    what a sweet sweet post. thanks for sharing! i love reading it. the pizza looks amazing. I am so happy to hear you are enjoying married life. I have a good man too. Every day with him brings so much joy. Happy belated birthday to your husband, Tim!

    1. Shannalee

      Tania, I so appreciate your transparency here, and I know that feeling. I can tell you with total certainty that you have good reason to hope, whether for this love or for another greater kind, because I can tell you with total certainty it exists—and we are blessed to taste it in new mercies every morning, in the connection we feel with a friend, in answered prayers, in being known, in sharing life, in grace. Thank you for commenting!

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  15. Stephanie

    I came here from Apartment Therapy…I was just expecting a GF cauliflower pizza and got an incredibly beautiful post to boot. Yes to honoring commitments and mystery and praying without ceasing. I have hope renewed that there are other good men out there too.

    1. Shannalee

      Hi Stephanie, That feature on Apartment Therapy was a nice surprise today, and I’m so glad it brought you by–and even more glad that it could renew your hope. Thanks for your sweet, encouraging comment!

  16. Lynell

    I also just came for the recipe and I’m stunned by the thoughtful post. I understand the sentiment of how it is amazing that two broken people can somehow fit and make things work, I am living that in my own way, which I find sometimes perplexing but always amazing. Thank you for sharing.

  17. Vanessa

    I just started reading your blog, but this post made me feel so compelled to comment (which I never do). I couldn’t help but have a little, sweet cry when reading it. This is exactly the kind of marriage I hope I’ll be lucky enough to have.

    1. Shannalee

      That makes two of us, Vanessa, because I definitely cried a little while writing it. Thanks for your sweet comment (especially when you never do that!) and for your kind words—they encourage me!

  18. Bethany

    Beautiful post. I stumbled upon your site tonight while reading thekitchn.com. So glad I did. Thank you for sharing your recipe and about your marriage :) I look forward to making the pizza with my husband when our cauliflower is ready to harvest in our garden.

  19. Tiffany

    Beautiful story and an wonderfully delicious recipe!!! I made the pizza and it was easy and sooooo good!!! What an awesome alternative!!!! Thank you so much for sharing the “good” story about you and your husband and the great recipe!!!!

  20. Tanya

    I was directed over here for the pizza crust recipe, and I found much more.

    Such a lovely ode to your husband and your marriage (a few tears here).

    And your pictures are really, really lovely.

    Thank you and bless you.

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  22. sillygirl

    I’m a sucker for unusual recipes so I had to try this. Doing it I thought it couldn’t possibly work – another trip into unusual but a failure – then we tasted it – WONDERFUL! We ate half – then yesterday I warmed up the other half – thought it was even better!! I’m cutting down on breads (which I love being a long time home baker) so I’ll make this again and again – I actually like it better than pizza with the usual crust. A good recipe is a good recipe!

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  24. Kat

    Like some of the others, I came here to peek at your recipe (spinachtiger.com linked to your recipe from hers)….and also cried a tiny bit. I love how you bragged on your husband…he sounds like a wonderful, Godly man who loves you as much as you love him. You are both so blessed! I pray your relationship with God & each other will grow more beautiful each day. Loved your recipe too! ;-)
    Kat

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  29. Rachel

    This is so yummy! I made it tonight and did one with tomatoes, green onions and green beans and another with regular onions and chorizo. (I don’t eat cheese.)

    However, the bottom of the crust toasted a lot even on the non-stick pan that I sprayed. It completely stuck but I was able to spatula-off the middle layer to enjoy my pizzas. Any suggestions? Thanks!

  30. Annie

    I got your recipe through a link from thekitchn.com and finally had a chance to try it last night. All of our guests loved it-even the ones who are skeptical of grain-free/dairy free eating were super impressed! Thanks for doing the footwork for this, it turned out really well. :D

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  32. Karrie

    I made this tonight and the crust got super dark around the outside but barely stuck together in the middle. Any tips? (very tasty, will use this regularly if I can figure this crust issue out!)

    1. Shanna Mallon

      Hi, Katie! You know, I’m honestly not sure about that. I know that ours did hold together in the middle…. off the top of our heads, we wonder if you could try building up the edges of the dough (like making the edges thicker with dough to accommodate for the quicker bake) and making the middle thinner. Good luck!

      I’d also think that if you had a pizza stone, that would be huge. It gets preheated with the oven and makes for a crisper overall result with any pizza dough, so I imagine it would help this, too.

  33. Julie

    Do you consider almond meal to be the same product as almond flour? I have blanched almond flour here at home.
    This crust and pizza looks good. Thanks for the recipe!

    1. Shanna Mallon

      (Julie and I have already emailed about her question, but in case anyone else comes here wondering the same thing, here is my response:)

      Almond meal means the almonds still had the skins on them; blanched almond flour, they didn’t. While I haven’t tried this recipe with flour, I bet it would work! Let me know how it goes!

    1. Shanna Mallon

      Hi Nadejda, I’m honestly not sure, as I’ve only tried it with almond meal. If it’s an almond allergy that makes you want to switch, maybe try a different nut? If it’s a desire to stay from all nuts, it might be better to look for a different recipe. However, if you’re willing to risk it, try subbing the cornmeal and let me know how it goes! : )

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  37. Mary

    I’ve been following your page for a while but just stumbled on this post because I’m very interested in making a cauliflower crust. What a wonderful way to honor your husband! Sounds like God has blessed you both very much :)

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  39. felicia | Dish by Dish

    Hey Shanna, first up, both you and Tim have a good husband and a good wife, which i can tell from just your writing, and I’m sure is more than obvious if I were to meet each of you separately in real life. Been thinking of making cauliflower pizza crust for a while now, and I’m wondering, apart from almond flour, what other types of flour can I use? I suppose normal all-purpose is fine?

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