A very funny thing happened a couple weeks ago, I was chatting with an old friend (she’s not old, but our friendship is… in fact, she’s one of a few people who was originally a customer of my old jewelry biz, and who has become a friend over the years. Some of my online friendships are VERY old, in fact, my oldest maintained online friendship will “turn 20” next year.) While we were chatting back and forth she asked me about ketogenic diets, a topic I had not specifically thought about for a while. I’ve experimented fairly deeply with lower carb, Primal, and Paleo diets for a few years now, and for over six years have stuck with extremely low to no grains (I’ve been known to eat an average of about 1 tortilla every 1.5 weeks), zero processed sugars, 99% organic (at home at least), and with my carb sources mainly being things like fruits, vegetables, and of course very dark chocolate. While the way I habitually eat doesn’t have any sort of patented name, label, or catchy catch phrase, I will occasionally jokingly refer to it as “Yuppie Atkins”. This is ,ainly to highlight the lower(ish) carb aspect and poke fun at my need for upscale, ridiculously high quality foods.
So, instead of just racking my brain for keto snacks and before sending over a few of my own recipes that happen to be on the very low carb side (including my fun chicken “fried rice” made from cauliflower), I did a search on Google and found this odd URL… “Ruled.Me” It was just weird enough to click on.
Then I started seeing a whole lot of unique things on there that I liked, and at risk of abandoning the chat window with my pal, kept clicking through. Then I sent her a few links–as in.. have you ever heard of using THIS for THIS?!? The “this” was psyllium husk, and this recipe was using it as the sort of “glue” for a pizza crust… made in a skillet! You can check out the original recipe by Craig, the “www.Ruled.Me guy” by clicking here, but I’d also like to present my slight variations on it.
Mainly I changed the cooking pan, the type of heat applied, and a few of the ingredients. I’ve gotten in a habit of sort of “surfing” with my cast iron skillets, and this recipe responded very well to this practice. The skillet I use for this is what Lodge calls a round 10.5″ griddle, which I bought at my local hardware store for next to nothing, but which is also available on Amazon for about $15. Properly cared for, it will outlive us all. It was also preseasoned and I’ve continued to add to that seasoning with untold numbers of steaks, lamb chops, etc. it’s also a fantastic pan for broiling stuff. It really came in handy with this interesting recipe. This pan is now so slick that it could probably be used for crepes… As an added bonus, this pan when flipped over also makes a handy “lid” for the main cast iron skillet I use on a daily basis, a no-name ancient thing given to me by my grandmother.
Totally mystified by this pizza recipe I also sent it to another friend who was intrigued to the point that we both purchased a small ebook offering on the site to learn more. I am also really amused to tell you that the first friend I sent the link to has already lost 8lbs, and the second friend has now lost 7lbs over the past few weeks. One friend reported today that with her new keto approach she nearly tripped over her own pants and had to get a belt. Not bad!! If you were wondering, I haven’t lost anything, but I also wasn’t trying, I’m good to stay where I am at the moment, and in my current “maintenance cycle” have been enjoying those fantastic organic Cripps Pink (sometimes also called Pink Lady) apples which are in season at the moment. They’re tart, sweet, and have a sort of secondary taste that’s more of a smell than a taste. ANYWAY… be sure to read through all this then scroll to the bottom of the article to see a numbered “how to” photo collage!!
Here’s my take on the ingredients for the “crust” which essentially is like making pancake.
- 1 tablespoon psyllium husk powder
- Pinch of salt and pepper
- Heavy dash of dried “Italian blend herbs” (I like the organic blend from Frontier)
- 2 large organic, soy-free free range eggs
I mixed this in a small spouted pyrex measuring cup (which I would have used in the photos, but it is in the fridge filled with some from scratch salad dressing–recipe series coming soon) using a small but intense little whisk. The order of ingredients is important as the psyllium husk powder begins to soak up the moisture from the eggs almost immediately. So into the little cup goes the psyllium husk powder, salt, pepper, and spices. I crack the 2 eggs on top and get whisking and scraping the sides rather aggressively. Then I let it sit for a second then get all aggro on it again. It might look a LITTLE lumpy but you want to even most of that out. The original recipe says to use an immersion blender, but while I tried the recipe using the small cup on my handy-dandy “Magic Bullet” blender, I found that the texture changed as the eggs were frothed up just a little bit too much. It got too eggy tasting when cooked, which sounds weird, but is the only way I can think to describe it. While I was mixing all this, I’d been heating the pan, which was coated in its usual generous slathering of coconut oil on medium low… closer to low low though, which is my other main departure from the original recipe.
I cooked the crust more “slow and low” on this highly seasoned pan to make it spread out more into a thin crust. The reason for this is both personal preference in general, and the fact that more surface area means more toppings. NOW… WORD OF WARNING… don’t pile the toppings on too high with this magical weird pizza, it’s very easy for it to get too moist and floppy. It’s going to get a little floppy the way I make it anyway, but you don’t want to make things soupy.
When the “batter” seems mostly combined, and the pan is reasonably warm, gently pour out the batter onto the pan, I do this in a sort of spiral to again get the “crust” as large as possible. Then I move the pan around to make sure that this thing which now really resembles a pancake is cooked evenly. Traditional pancake cooking rules apply here, which means when you see things get dry near the edges and bubbles form/pop towards or at the middle it’s time to check and or flip. I used a large spatula to get this thing over in one piece… which is absolutely essential!!!
I let the uncooked side cook a little more at slow and low, and as it finished up, I began to add just a little bit of Pomi (they’re in a box, not a can!) crushed tomatoes, sprinkling salt, pepper, and “Italian spices” on the top with plenty of that delicious Applegate farms organic pepperoni that I cut into 4ths so that I could fit more on the “crust” before adding shredded mozzerella cheese in abundance. Alternately I’ve used an organic 6-cheese “Italian blend” which was fantastic. By the way, right after I flipped the crust, I made sure that the rack in the oven was moved to the top and turned on the broiler. As soon as the pizza was topped, I tossed the whole thing under the broiler until bubbling and browned. During this same short time I cut up some fresh basil (chiffonade style) as a further garnish.
After removing the hot pan (USE A POTHOLDER!) from the oven I slid the pizza with just a little coaxing right from the pan onto my plate, where I topped it with the fresh basil. Add a salad and you have a fun little meal for one, or if you make that a seriously meaty and good huge salad, you could maybe turn this into a meal for two if you really like that other person. But there may be fighting… that risk is up to you. While the texture of the crust is a little weird the way I make it, I really like this recipe and have actually made it over 7 times.
So there you go, that was the strange tale of how a Google search led to 2 friends losing over 7lbs each, and me eating over 7 pizzas.
*My weight changes depending on the season and my training/performance goals… but generally hovers around 130… which at my short height might sound heavy, but I like the shape I’m in as well as my overall composition, and REALLY like what I’m physically capable of doing!