If I could see the hand gestures, I would know the Italians are angry…..

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I love pizza.  Once upon a time, pizza used to love me as well.  But as the decades have marched on, my relationship with pizza has become a mere shadow of its former self.  There is a feeling more akin to a contractual obligation than the heartfelt love we once used to share.  And as much as I continue to love pizza, its feelings for me still leave my heart (and my abdomen) feeling enlarged, but in a bad way.

In my quest to become healthy, I have been scouring the internet for recipes that omit the culprits responsible for wreaking havoc in my over-forty year old body.  Contrary to my belief twenty years ago, bread is not my friend.  That knowledge, combined with my love for pizza, nearly brought me to my knees.

And then I heard something in the distance.  I put my hand to my ear.  It was quiet at first, almost non-existent, but then it became louder and more distinct.  It was the angels singing….and they were holding pizza!  It was like coming home…only to no home I had ever known.  I was just taking a slice out of my oven and I knew.  I was like….magic.  Okay, so the last couple of lines slightly resemble dialogue from Sleepless in Seattle, but you get the idea…..

This “pizza” recipe is brilliant.  It has no yeast, no flour and no way of making someone avoiding bread be anything less than ecstatic.  And the taste was delicious.  For those who have not experimented with cauliflower in any way, now is your chance.  Had I not made this pizza myself, I would never have guessed it was made with cauliflower.  Here is a photo of the result and below is the recipe I found on Pinterest, with a few modifications.

cauliflower pizza

 1 cup riced cauliflower, 3 cups mozzarella, divided, 1 teaspoon dried oregano, 1/2 teaspoon garlic salt, 1 teaspoon crushed garlic, 1 egg, olive oil, mushrooms, artichokes, sun-dried tomatoes.

Preparation:

Pulse one head of chopped cauliflower into chunks in a food processor until it looks like grain. Microwave the cauliflower for 8 minutes.  (I don’t own a microwave so I heated some olive oil in a pan, heated the cauliflower to medium heat, covered the pan and reduced the heat until cooked.)

In a medium bowl, stir together 1 cup riced cauliflower, 1 1/2 cups mozzarella, oregano, garlic salt, garlic, and egg. Spray a cookie sheet with cooking spray. Pat mixture out into a 9-inch circle. Brush with olive oil. Bake the crust at 450° for 15 minutes.

Top the pizza with 1 1/2 cups mozzarella, mushrooms, artichokes, and sun-dried tomatoes. (I also added parmesan cheese) Broil 3-4 minutes or until cheese melts.  I’m sure there are a multitude of toppings….including bacon….that you can add to this pizza and be completely happy with the result.

Pizza and I have rekindled our romance, on my terms, and love each other once again.  Mangia…. and enjoy.

Over forty and feeling…..broken

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Forty may be the new twenty, but I don’t think my body got that memo.   I used to be able to handle stress much better, not that I had the stress I have in my forties, but the carriage that houses my soul never used to show signs of that stress.  I would bounce back and be prepared for the next onslaught of tension, armed and ready to kill that dragon.

These days, I am not as fortunate.  The knots of stress seem to locate the weakest parts of my body and finds the forty-something-year-old muscles far more inviting.  Like an unwanted house guest, it settles in, makes itself comfortable and it chooses to stay for a while.

About a month and a half ago I injured my knee while shoveling snow.  Who knew an activity so benign could leave such a lasting injury?  The pain subsided and temporarily vanished, but every so often it flares up again and I am currently moving slower than some of my mom’s new acquaintances in the retirement home.

I have yet to go to the doctor, but that trip is looming.  The male part of my brain had me convinced that the temple that is my body would heal itself, but that seems far-fetched as I hobble around my house this morning, wishing I had a cane.  In my self-diagnosis, compliments of Google, I realized that I have most likely torn the meniscus in my right knee.   It could be a minor tear but could also lead to surgery if not properly diagnosed and healed.

cane

(image credit: oralchelation.com)

Today, for me, forty feels more like the new sixty but I am determined not to let this affliction get the best of me.  I will beat stress and injury into submission with determination, tenacity and a borrowed cane!