Once upon a roadtrip, my mother and I stumbled upon a brightly painted cafe in the blink-and-you'll-miss-it town of Stites, Idaho. Inside, we found a menu that included one of the best pizzas I've ever eaten. "Hottie Hen with a Pig" featured a handmade crust topped with the usual sauce and cheese, plus strips of roasted chicken, slices of jalapeno, smoked bacon, and fresh pineapple. It's a meal I've duplicated many times...but not since going primal.
Even Conventional Wisdom knows that pizza is an indulgence, but for the primal eater, it becomes even more so. All that dairy and, worse, all that bread! Many of us are willing to excuse dairy, on occasion, but the carb-laden bread can be, um, harder to swallow. The fat wouldn't be a big deal, except for all those carbs waiting to open the insulin floodgates and shuttle both carbohydrate and fat energy into storage as bodyfat.
Primal and low-carb forums abound with recipes for primal pizza crusts. Some are comprised of baked parmesan, others of grated cauliflower, coconut flour, or almond flour. The only one I've tried was made from shredded zucchini and cheese. It was tasty, but extremely high-calorie (I don't usually worry about calories, but this thing was ridiculous!) and not particularly effective as a substitute crust.
Now, I'm not big on low-carb substitutes for high-carb foods. I'd rather build my meals around foods that are naturally low in carbohydrates than engage in culinary gymnastics with mediocre results. On the rare occasion that I decide to to eat something high carb, I plan for it and enjoy the real thing. But this weekend, when I got to thinking this weekend about Hottie Hen with a Pig ... and my planned Christmas indulgences ... I decided to try something new.
Another primal blogger (can anybody remind me who?) has written about his experiments with meatzza, a pizza-like concoction with a "crust" of ground beef. What would happen, I wondered, if I turned that Hottie Hen into a crust instead of a topping? The answer? Good things. You gotta try this.
Hottie Hen with a Pig
1 boneless, skinless chicken breast
1/4 cup tomato paste
1.5 tsp dried oregano
2 oz cheese, shredded (I used mozzarella and parmesan)
2 slices bacon, crisped and broken into pieces
1/4 cup pineapple, diced
2 Tbs jalapeno, diced (leave the seeds if you like it hot!)
1 Tbs red onion, diced
Place the chicken breast between two sheets of waxed paper. Using a mallet, pound it to 1/4 inch thickness. Saute chicken breast in butter over medium heat until cooked through, about 2 minutes per side. Place chicken breast in a pie plate and spread with combined tomato paste and oregano. Top with cheese and remaining ingredients. Bake at 400 degrees for 12-15 minutes, until cheese is melted and bubbly. Slice into wedges and serve hot. Serves 1.
575 calories, 21g carbohydrate, 26g fat, 66g protein.
(Compare that to 726 calories, 66g carbs, 30g fat, 55g protein if you put half the chicken breast, along with the other toppings, on 1/3 of a Boboli whole wheat crust.)