I made low-carb pizza (by mistake)

My folks came over today, fresh from a driving holiday in Ireland. When I came to make lunch, I realised that the cupboard was a bit bare on account of me being busier than normal and having neglected the food shopping a bit. A bit of improvisation was called for.

I found half a dozen eggs in the fridge, and decided to put an omelette together. I had eggs, but not much else, so made do. When I served the omelette, my mum asked if I’d cooked it from fresh. I said “Of course!”. She asked “Even the base?” ‘What base?”, I asked. Turns out my mum thought the omelette was a pizza.

When I thought about it I realised it did look like a pizza. When we started eating it, it actually tasted quite a lot like pizza too. Here’s how I made it…

I fried some onions and mushrooms in a pan and when quite well-cooked I added some thinly sliced chorizo to cook for just a little. I added the onions, mushrooms and chorizo to some beaten eggs. I found some sun dried tomato and mozzarella in the fridge too so sliced these up and added to the mix with some freshly ground pepper. I returned to the pan, cooked for a while and then finished it off under the grill.

I didn’t photograph lunch, so recreated the ‘pizza’ this evening minus the mushrooms (none left) – photo below.

You can see from the photo that the dish does bear more than a passing resemblance to pizza. But the weird thing was, as I hinted above, it tasted quite a lot like pizza too. Must have had something to do with the mix of mushroom, sun dried tomato (which gave it a really tomatoey flavour), chorizo (bit like pepperoni) and mozzarella. I decided to garnish with some fresh basil this evening for effect.

Anyway, it occurred to me that this dish might just do as a pizza substitute for those keen to stay quite low-carb and/or avoid wheat. Enjoy.

Low-Carb Pizza, Anyone?

34 Responses to I made low-carb pizza (by mistake)

  1. Dave Robinson 28 June 2011 at 10:09 pm #

    Sounds delicious John, along the lines of a fritata.

  2. Chris 29 June 2011 at 4:15 pm #

    Your ‘pizza’ style Spanish omelette, ‘fritata’, or ‘tortilla’, sounds great, John. The ‘Spanish’ way is to include diced or sliced fillings in with the beaten egg, where the French style leans in the way of folding a half cooked egg omelette around some tasty adjuncts.

    Spanish omelettes can be quite thick, the bottom will willingly set while on the hob but the top will be slow, so it is not unusual to finish the omelette under the grill to set the top.

    Thick Spanish omelettes lend themselves to being cut into 2-3 cm. cubes, speared with a cocktail stick. and served as tasty morsels with drinks; ‘tapas’. They can be great in a lunch-box too.

    I’ve picked up that baking results in a more consistent and often lighter fritata than the pan and grill method. You simply put the mix in a flan case and bake it in a medium oven until set (20-35 minutes).

    That unlikely looking non stick floppy rubber bake-ware is a terrific aid. The rubber case can be floppy so lay it on an tray before you pour in the egg mix and pop it in’t’oven. The cooked omelette can be turned out effortlessly. An 8cm dia rubber case will result in a sizeable omelette that can be served in 4-6 portions or diced for snacks. It will keep quite well refrigerated and in an airtight container – a day or two certainly.

    It is usual to ‘bulk out’ a fritata with filling. Cooked sliced or diced waxy potato is very traditional, while something more flavoursome adds, erm, flavour. But variations can be as diverse as imagination permits. I tend to want to use many things as raw as I can so they cook lightly in the mix, retain some ‘bite’, and turn out ‘al dente’. Seasonal asparagus can be good, trim back to the tender stems, and add cut into 2 cm lengths. Treat salad onions much the same. Frozen peas and broad beans can be added simply after defrosting. Diced beetroot lends a ‘pink marble’ effect.

    Some veggies could leach a lot of water, mushrooms would be one example and fresh tomatoes would be another. Avoid any temptation to include fresh tomato, add cleaned raw mushroom sparingly if you like, likewise diced raw courgette (zucchini), but do not a lot of anything that will leach a lot of water. ‘Moist’ omelette is a treat while a soggy one will disappoint.

    Potato, salad onion, chive, and diced chorizo makes a great beginning.

  3. Mona 1 July 2011 at 3:21 pm #

    Most definitely a frittata or Spanish omelette John :)

    Completely by chance I’m about to publish the closest I have ever got to a low-carb pizza made with spelt on http://www.planetmona.com. It should be up in a few minutes folks.

  4. marthese 1 July 2011 at 3:46 pm #

    can’t wait to try! thank you Dr Briffa :)

  5. Jane Dawson 1 July 2011 at 4:07 pm #

    Oh please do be careful about using all these food names from other countries; they mean absolutely nothing to the vast number of people who don’t live in towns and cities.

    It’s so annoying to get good recipes spoiled by some ingredients you’ve never heard of – and would never be able to buy, even if you knew what they were.

    I’ll certainly try this – but without the “chorizo”. Please stick to British words in Britain ! :-)

  6. John Briffa 1 July 2011 at 4:23 pm #

    Jane

    There is no word in English for ‘chorizo’.

    Also, we do have dictionaries and google if we’re unfamiliar, right?

  7. Ros 1 July 2011 at 4:38 pm #

    Sounds delicious. Chorizo available in most larger supermarkets – Asda, Sainsbury’s, Tesco etc so definitely not an exotic ingredient any more, just look in the cooked meats aisle in the continental section and try a few more things!

  8. Susie Cornfield 1 July 2011 at 4:44 pm #

    A Briffata? Or a Briffazzia? Either way, it looks delicious and I’m salivating – even tho’ just finished a full breakfast. Please advise when it’s all round to your place or the B’izza takeaway service begins.

  9. Simon Pimenta 1 July 2011 at 5:23 pm #

    Do you deliver?

  10. Fiona 1 July 2011 at 7:06 pm #

    I make something like this regularly, crumbled feta cheese is great in it, as is cut up bacon or lardons, or even parma ham!

  11. ian 1 July 2011 at 7:47 pm #

    Jane,

    Chorizo is a magical spanish sausage spiced with paprika..do not leave it out on any account…it is available in every British supermarket!

  12. Angie 1 July 2011 at 7:56 pm #

    It’s definitely a frittata – an Italian omelette! (But it doesn’t taste like pizza to me…)

  13. RB 1 July 2011 at 8:06 pm #

    Jane,

    People outside of Britain read this great blog as well. Is pizza a British word?

    Chorizo is great by the way–spicy Spanish/Mexican sausage. Adds a nice little kick to things.

  14. Jennifer Eloff 1 July 2011 at 8:21 pm #

    I have an omelette pizza recipe in one of my cookbooks. It’s a legitimate recipe for sure. :)

  15. jo 1 July 2011 at 8:52 pm #

    hi mona, how can i convert your spelt pizza to sourdough starter instead of yeast?
    yes this pizza would be 2/3 less carbs than wheat pizza.
    this is significant for my diet of maintenance.
    i understand linda that it is more than egg, but for me it is good enough….especially as i will ferment it overnight to cut the carbs even more.
    thats wat i do with my spelt sourdough bread.

  16. Mona 1 July 2011 at 8:53 pm #

    Check this out and let me know if anybody tries it :) http://www.planetmona.com/food-on-planetmona/64-recipes/3589-mona-farrugias-spelt-pizza-base

  17. Linda Collier 1 July 2011 at 9:54 pm #

    Mona

    Your pizza still contains a lot of carbs in contrast to an egg base.

  18. John Walker 2 July 2011 at 12:09 am #

    Chorizo seems to be a Spanish spicy pork sausage. Full of garlic in most of the recipes I found. Apparently they make a Yorkshire chorizo sausage ‘Ooop North’. Not that I would bother. I hate garlic!

    John

  19. Brian 2 July 2011 at 3:37 am #

    Thought scrambled egg was a bad idea due to the oxidation of the eggs cholesterol content.

  20. Helent 2 July 2011 at 10:49 am #

    You can also make a wheat- free and reduced calorie “quiche” by using a base made of mashed potato pressed into a quiche dish and the usual egg topping added and then baked. It is actually really delicious !

  21. J Lawrence 2 July 2011 at 2:10 pm #

    Incidentally, my kids love this too, should any of you be wondering how to get them to eat more protein. If you let them design the toppings, and shred the basil or oregano on top, they’ll be even more keen to eat it. Any kind of cheese will do, and if you have parmesan or grana on the table, they can add these for a bit of extra sharpness. We always finish under the grill as Chris suggests.

  22. Penny Vinden 3 July 2011 at 11:03 am #

    Stop calling it a frittata and spoiling John’s point – it’s a pizza for those of us who love (and miss) pizza!

  23. Lynne 3 July 2011 at 1:55 pm #

    Great idea, John, I’m looking forward to trying it. I don’t care whether it’s a frittata or whatever it’s called – if it’s a good version of a low carb, paleo pizza it’s a good enough for me! The people suggesting potato/pastry/low cholesterol versions are missing the whole point of your work! :)

  24. Liz C 3 July 2011 at 2:11 pm #

    Hello
    Some of you (and Dr Briffa) might be interested to know that the American Moosewood Cookbook by Mollie Katzen has a delicious recipe for a courgette (zucchini) based pizza. It’s not carb-free as it has a small amount of flour to help bind the crust together but it’s a lot less than a bread base and delicious, as well as adding another portion of veggies to your plate! You can find the recipe quoted online, eg at the Whole Earth Recipes blog here http://wholeearthrecipes.blogspot.com/2007/11/zucchini-pizza-crust.html

    Bon appetit!

  25. Robin Davies 3 July 2011 at 7:21 pm #

    Well, I think we’re all impressed, Chef.

  26. Katy 3 July 2011 at 8:43 pm #

    I created a low carb pizza recipe a few years ago and even won a low carb recipe competition for it!

    Here’s the recipe, if you want to try it ..

    http://health.dir.groups.yahoo.com/group/LowCarbRecipeBox/message/9853

    It’s very filling – one generous slice is quite enough ;)

  27. Chris 3 July 2011 at 9:49 pm #

    “Thought scrambled egg was a bad idea due to the oxidation of the eggs cholesterol content.”

    The official (Food Standards Agency (FSA)) advice to limit consumption of eggs was withdrawn early in 2009. (The about-turn was done in the name of the British Nutrition Foundation.) The notion that simply eating foods with cholesterol content resulted in an equivalent rise in ones’ own cholesterol has been discredited. It may rise, but by small and functionally insignificant amount.

    Is the method of cooking and the potential oxidation of cholesterol a separate and distinct factor of further consequence to be considered?

  28. helen 3 July 2011 at 11:30 pm #

    I make a similar thing but I use minced beef as the pizza base – I also add a few herbs and spices to the mix add an egg to bind it – press it out onto the pizza tray as thin as I can about half a kilo is all you need to cover a large family sized pan. cook it for 20 minutes first while I chop up whatever I want to put on as toppings it is really nice and filling to I must try yours Dr B it sounds and looks great!!

  29. Deborah Booth 4 July 2011 at 2:05 am #

    We eat lots of chorizo here, Galicia, Spain. You can put it in lentil and chickpea dishes, mixed into winter casseroles, sliced into salads, and yes tortillas. It is versatile and gorgeous, and the peasant farmers around us make them in their backyards using every part of their pigs that they keep in the bodegas below the houses, and all this tosh about not eating “processed” meat…. my neighbours are in their 70′s 80′s and some in thier 90′s and all still working the land. This all on a diet of meat, processed meat, wine of course, with cabbage tomatoes and potatoes, but they all take far more excercise than the average Brit…

  30. Jane 22 July 2011 at 1:14 pm #

    Hi John,
    Thanks for sharing this – what a great discovery! I’ve never really been a fan of spanish fritatas, there’s just something about the taste that I don’t like.
    I tried making this last night after reading this and it was really good and I’ll certainly make it again!
    I think it should be called ‘pizza all uovo’ pizza with egg.
    Can you discover a low carb pie next please? :-)
    Jane

  31. Mandi 10 September 2011 at 1:30 am #

    I’ve been making a fat-free, meat-free version of this for years with egg whites, vegies and tuna, this is not a bad recipe but I definately wouldn’t be eating it with cheese and fatty sausage:( The British could really learn alot more about nutrition and delicious low fat meal ideas from healthy Australians like myself:)

  32. Greg 16 November 2011 at 8:29 pm #

    Can we have a dedicated web page please for low carb recipes?

  33. Teriza 23 November 2011 at 7:37 pm #

    The idea of an egg pizza is great. I’d like to improve on the recipe a bit. It is better to separate the eggs before cooking them. The whites can be whisked up into a froth and folded in to the veggies and already stirred-in yolks.
    When cooking eggs it is better not to mix the whole thing together and heat as with scrambled eggs and omlettes. Raw egg is OK when mixed together and consumed raw. Check with http://www.mercola.com.

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