Cauliflower Crust Grilled Cheese

May 16, 2014

Cauliflower Crust Grilled Cheese


Don’t worry people, I’m going to cauliflower crust rehab in a day or so.
They say the first step in solving a problem is to admit that you have a problem.
So, here it goes: “Hello, my name is Mike and I’m a cauliflower crust addict”
“Hello Mike”
“Over a year ago I’ve first tried cauliflower crust and since then I’ve been making it at least twice a week. It started out with pizza, then it was calzone, hot pockets, breadsticks and stromboli. I can’t seem to stop. I need help!”
Seriously though, when I made the cauli crust stromboli (about a month ago), I thought that was the end of my experiments with cauliflower crust.
Apparently not.
But before we move on, let me say this: If you’re sick and tired of this cauli crust thing, feel free to leave. It’s okay, we can still be friends (or at least I'll pretend to be your friend...)
If, instead, you’re willing to cope with my cauliflower madness in all its psychotic glory, then I can show you what I believe is one of my biggest achievement with cauliflower crust.
I made cauliflower crust grilled cheese! BOOM!

Cauliflower Crust Grilled Cheese


At its base, grilled cheese is one of the most simple things ever. Bread, butter and cheese.
The basic steps are: butter the bread, place the slice into a heated skillet, sprinkle the cheese, top with another bread slice and cook until golden brown on both sides and cheese is oozing out.
In order to forge a healthier grilled cheese, we need to make some uh-mazing cauliflower crust slices of bread. A bit of work, but totally worth it.
It starts with the usual procedure.
Ricing the cauliflower, cooking it and squeezing out as much moisture as possible (I know, this part sucks!).
Now comes the “fun” part, aka making the cauliflower crust slices of bread (and I totally agree with you, this a very lame definition of fun!)
I like my bread to be squared, which is what I went for, but feel free to use you imagination. Rectangles, rounds, oval....endless possibilities.

Making cauliflower crust grilled cheese
15 minutes in the oven and voila’. We got ourselves 4 awesome slices of cauliflower crust bread. 

Making cauliflower crust grilled cheese


Let them cool and then you’re pretty much ready to make your grilled cheese.
I have a confession to make, I got a lil carried away with the cheese.
Really, you don’t need to go overboard like I did; sometimes less is more.
But if you do get carried away, don’t worry, you’re eating two full servings of cauliflower with each grilled cheese. That alone justifies using extra cheese.

Cauliflower Crust Grilled Cheese
Cauliflower Crust Grilled Cheese                                                                          Print this recipe!

Ingredients 
Makes 2 grilled cheese sandwiches
Cauliflower crust “bread” slices

1 small head cauliflower, cut into small florets (should yield 3 cups of cauliflower rice)
1 free-range organic egg, lightly beaten
½ cup / 1.7 oz / 50 gr shredded mozzarella cheese
½ teaspoon fine grain sea salt
¼ teaspoon ground black pepper

Grilled cheese

1 tablespoon butter, room temperature
⅓ cup / 3 oz / 85 gr sharp cheddar cheese, grated/shredded, room temperature

Directions

Cauliflower crust “bread” slices

Preheat oven to 450°F (220°C) and place a rack in the middle.
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and liberally grease it with olive oil. Set aside.
In a food processor rice the cauliflower florets (it should be evenly chopped but not completely pulverized).
Transfer cauliflower rice (about 3 cups) to a microwave-safe dish and microwave on high for 8 minutes, until cooked.
Place the cauliflower rice in a tea towel and twist it to squeeze as much moisture as you can (I usually squeeze out over a cup of liquid). This is very important. The cauliflower rice needs to be dry, otherwise you’ll end up with mushy dough, impossible to use as slices of bread.
Transfer the cauliflower rice to a mixing bowl, add egg, mozzarella, salt, pepper and mix well.
Spread cauliflower mixture onto the lined baking sheet and shape into 4 squares.
Place in the oven and bake for about 16 minutes until golden.
Remove and let cool 10 minutes before peeling them off the parchment paper (be careful not to break them!)

Assemble cauliflower crust grilled cheese

Heat a pan over medium heat.
Butter one side of each slice of cauliflower crust bread (preferably the top part).
Place one slice of bread in the pan, buttered side down, sprinkle with the cheese and top with the remaining slice of cauliflower crust bread, buttered side up.
Turn the heat down a notch and cook until golden brown, about 2 to 4 minutes.
Gently flip and cook until golden brown on the other side, about 2 to 4 minutes.

Nutrition facts

One grilled cheese yields 374 calories, 29 grams of fat, 8 grams of carbs and 23 grams of protein.

119 comments :

  1. Looks incredible...I so want one!

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  2. Everything cauliflower.... so much love!

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  3. That is the most cheesy deliciousness I've ever seen.

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  4. Mike, this is THE greatest grilled cheese I have ever seen. Seriously. The cauliflower? Genius!!! I have become a huge fan of your blog and creations and am incredibly impressed. Have an awesome weekend.

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    1. Thanks Matt, I am myself a huge fan of your blog as well!

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  5. Please, please, please don't go into cauliflower crust rehab!!! Grilled cheese is one of the things I miss the most and it never even occurred to me to try a remake - looks perfect for the rainy weekend we're having!

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    1. Ok, ok, ok since you insist I will not go into cauli crust rehab...but if I get into trouble I'm expecting you to come to my rescue!

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  6. Looks great but can I steam the califlower instead of using a microwave?

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    1. Absolutely. Take a look into the comment section of the Cauliflower Crust Calzone recipe, many have succeed making cauliflower crust by steaming the cauli rice!

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  7. I am not a huge fan of bread - but cauliflower crust bread is pure GENIUS!!! Mike, please don't curb your addiction yet - keep em coming! I have one question - any suggestions on what would be a good sub for that 1/2 cup of mozz? I've used coconut oil and ground flax - but would love a fluffier texture - like yours...

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    1. Have you tried whipped flax eggs? It should work pretty well!

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  8. Hi Mike, you did it again, another great cauliflower recipe. I bet this is delicious!

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    1. It is delicious Cheri and thanks for stopping by!

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  9. Wow!! The cauliflower slices look perfect!!!!
    I have to try them!!!!

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    1. If you do try them let me know how you like 'em!

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  10. Dude! This looks incredible. I do agree that you have a cauliflower crust problem...but that's a good problem to have. Every time I see one of your cauliflower crust posts, I am inspired to try it out. I think I want to try the pizza crust first...it looks so amazing!! Nice job, wolfie, nice job!

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    1. You have to try cauli crust pizza, it's life changing. For real!

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    2. the cauliflower pizza is amazing :)

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  11. Do you know how thick "slices" or pizza "crust" can be made without being too soft or loosing form/ taste?

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    1. As thick as you like, but you need to adjust cooking time accordingly!

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  12. I just discovered your blog today, thanks to Lauren at Oatmeal With A Fork. I love grilled cheese sandwiches, and even though I bake bread, I really don't like bread, so this recipe sounds absolutely fantastic. And thank you for including nutrition information. When it's not listed, I have to figure it out myself before I can consider making a recipe. With this recipe I can just do it. I can hardly wait to see what else you have on your site.

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    1. I'm so happy you've found my blog. So I guess I have to thank you to Lauren for that! :)

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  13. Love cauliflower with cheese sauce and this takes that love to a whole new level. Can't describe how good that cheese looks!

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  14. Whoa! This recipe kind of blew my mind. Must send this along to my celiac sister, she would love to recreate this. Great recipe! Very inventive :) Nice photos too!

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  15. Hi Mike, OMG... this is soooo inviting. May I have some please? :))
    You're an excellent chef and photographer. 2 thumbs up for you.

    Best regards.
    Amelia

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  16. I I have a question, do you add water to the cauliflower rice before putting it in the microwave, or do you just microwave it as is?

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    1. Microwave it as is, it will make it's own water that you have to squeeze out.

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  17. This recipe is amazing!! It takes a little bit of work, but totally worth it! I posted on my website (http://ana-garcia.healthcoach.integrativenutrition.com/cauliflower-crust-grilled-cheese). Hope you are ok with that!

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  18. I stumbled on this from a friend on Facebook and told my hubby to make it for our anniversary this Monday. :) Both of us have the same question, though...what in the world is a tea towel?

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    1. Hey Sheila,
      so a tea towel is dish towel (or dish cloth if you prefer).

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  19. I clicked preview and poof! What I typed was gone. So hopefully this works. I wish I could put a picture here. I don't eat cauliflower, but this sandwich was not only picture perfect... it was delicious! I made it today. I had to wing it a bit because the cauliflower head was small, but I had to absolutely picture perfect 'slices'. I didn't have a lot of moisture drip out of the towel, but it was wet, and again... perfect 'slices'. Can you make a batch of these and freeze them? Seems like a great thing to have handy.

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    1. Hey Janet,
      I've never tried freezing them but I don't see why it shouldn't work. I'm so glad you liked it so much, it makes me super happy!

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    2. Thank you Mike. It's kind of a labor intensive process, so I wouldn't mind having a supply in the freezer. I can't wait to make more and get creative with my grilled cheese sandwiches.

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  20. I must try this, I am Gluten sensitive so NO bread, pizza etc at all unless its gluten free & most of that stuff is horrible. I am hoping for good things from this, fingers X'd

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  21. I would love to try this! Since I've had to go gluten free, one of the big things I've missed is grilled cheese. However, I don't eat eggs. Any idea of what a good substitute would be to maintain the recipe?

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    1. I may never eat grilled cheese on bread again. I make extras and keep them in the freezer. I don't know much about egg substitutes, but I did a search and you definitely can use an egg replacer. Here's my Google search result: https://www.google.com/search?client=safari&rls=en&q=egg+substitute+in+cauliflower+pizza+crust&ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8

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    2. You know what Janet? I should make some and freeze them as well. Thanks for the idea!

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  22. This is amazing! My son made it for us for dinner last night. We added Heirloom Cherokee Purple tomatoes and basil from the garden, best sandwich ever!

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    1. Really? That's awesome. I'm so happy you like it that much!

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  23. I adore the fact that you include nutritional information for your recipes. Is it just the ones I've looked at, or would I be wrong to ask you to also include the amount of fiber, in future?

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  24. Have you ever tried making the crust without a microwave? I don't have one... and won't use one... There must be a way!... maybe just spreading it out in a thin layer and baking it for a few minutes at a fairly low heat to dry it out and cook it to the same degree?

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    1. Some of the readers have reported steaming (or boiling) the cauliflower works just as well. What really matters - when making cauliflower crust - is to squeeze the moisture out of the cooked cauliflower.

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  25. I am going to have to try this. I have tried gluten free pizza crust made with cauliflower, didn't like it so much because it fell apart to easily. I hope this one is better.

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    1. The most important thing is to squeeze the moisture out of the cauliflower. It's non negotiable.
      Even more so when you make cauli crust pizza!

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    2. Soooo true. It's key that you squeeze out that moisture. I put a cheesecloth in a strainer, set that i the sink, and put the cooked cauliflower rice in there to cool a bit before I start squeezing out the liquid. I keep a supply of sandwich crusts (wrapped in 2's) in the freezer, and have purchased food grade cardboard, cover that with foil and have several cauliflower pizza crusts in the freezer too. Those I cook on a pre-heated pizza stone, and put back on the stone when I make the pizza.

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  26. GOD BLESS YOU. Oh my goodness may God bless you and your ancestors and your children and your blessed blessed cauliflower addiction. I recently discovered that cauliflower is one of a very short list of things I can eat, and have been strugg-life-in' it to find a way to make sandwich type things. You are a wonderful, blessed, brilliant human being!!! I'm so excited to try this every which way!

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    1. Thanks Lina, that has to be one of the dopest comment ever!

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  27. Speaking of "every which way" mentioned in the comment above... Here I am again singing the praises of these wonderful little crusts. The other day, on a whim, I decided it was going to be a french toast-like breakfast. I say "like" because there would be no dipping in an egg mixture. I took 2 crusts out of the freezer, quickly heated them in a pan, and then on the plate with fresh fruit, real maple syrup and some bacon (I had turkey bacon). FAN-TAS-TIC!!! Not only did I get 2 servings of vegetables, I had a treat!

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    1. Really? That is genius Janet! I have to try myself asap.

      Again, thank you so much for taking the time to let me know about your "experiments". You're now the official recipe tester/developer of cauli crust bread :)

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    2. Mike... the very first time I made these crusts for grilled cheese, I made them a little thicker - I guess more like the thickness of a slice of bread, which is why I didn't yield as many 'slices'. Thicker certainly worked. And thinner works just as well. I think I might make a supply of thicker 'slices' too. BTW, you don't really taste the mozzarella, which is perfect for the 'french toast'. More ideas are floating around in my little head. Will share again, I'm sure, and with links to pictures.

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  28. My wife asked me to make this for dinner tonight... I was skeptical when she told me the recipe... cauliflower bread grilled cheese. This is/was terrrrific! Nice crispy crust and oozing cheese. Awesome grilled cheese alternative!!!! Thanks for the recipe. :)
    TiM

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    1. That's so awesome Tim, it makes me super happy you guys liked it that much!

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  29. Made this last night for my hubby, he LOVED it so much he just texted me to make it again tonight. Thank you so much for such a great recipe!

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    1. That's awesome Amy, I'm so glad you guys loved it!

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  30. I recently made a new batch of these crusts. This time I added chopped fresh rosemary. Love it! Adding real bacon bits to the shredded cheese was an awesome addition too. By the way, as I've done with grilled cheese with regular bread for years, I don't use butter on my crusts when I make cauliflower crust grilled cheese, I use a little lite mayo... not much, just scrape it on. It serves the purpose and adds a little flavor.

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    1. I should try that mayo trick, I'm intrigued...

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  31. Cauliflower and cheese, fried. What's not to love? <3<3<3

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  32. try a slice of thin onion like the British do for BCO's, I guess that would be CCO's instead!

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  33. Thank you for your Addiction! I made these with a Double Smoked Cheddar for my family and let's just say they are our New Favorite ...Loved them as did everyone else. Can't wait to try more of your recipes

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    1. That's fantastic Pauline. If you liked the cauli crust grilled cheese then you should give the pizza a go as well. It's delish!

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  34. Looks bloomin great but too lazy and too impatient - gunna leave the recipe and directions lying about and hopefully the Mrs will give it a go!

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    1. Oh, come man. You should make this for your Mrs, it's not that hard, trust me.
      And if you do, she'll love you even more; I promise!

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  35. Made these last night: AMAZING! Thank you so much for this incredible recipe!

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  36. what would happen if i didn't use a free range organic egg? will it explode in the oven?

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  37. I don't have a food processor, and you mention not to pulverize the cauliflower , I take that to mean mashing it would be too much so I'm wondering how fine I'd have to chop it?

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    1. Mashing it won't do it. I suggest you chop it with a knife or grate it.

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  38. Hi! This looks terrific, especially to me, as I love cauliflower, but do not love too many other veggies. I tried the cauliflower mash and loved it! I'm ready to try the next thing, and this sounds perfect. However, I am not great in the kitchen. What exactly does "ricing" the cauliflower involve? Does it just mean chopping it up small and then draining it after it's been microwaved, like you mentioned, or is there more involved? Thanks!

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    1. "Ricing" means chopping it really small. A couple of pulses in your food processor should do the trick!

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  39. What about using frozen cauliflower how would that work? Its not in season here and its priced very high.

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    1. I use frozen cauliflower florets all the time, works perfectly!

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    2. That's great! I've thought about using frozen. This question is from someone who never at cauliflower before cauliflower crust Frozen is already cooked, right? So defrost, rice, remove moisture, mix ingredients, etc.?

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  40. I've recently developed a healthy addiction to cauliflower in place of carbs at the insistence of my gluten free chef friends. Nance, the wife, started power lifting at the age of 40 and is the world power lifting champ. She's now over 55 and could whoop most men in their 20's...no lie! I am engaged to marry a retired Marine this year. We both gained weight. He, because he said 20 years of extreme fitness was enough and I'm a great cook. Me because I was extremely ill last January, endured two major surgeries a month apart, 3 months in the hospital and 5 months in bed. We're back in the gym now...yay!!! My addiction started with the cauliflower fried "rice." OMG!!! So good! I am now using cauliflower in place of rice and potatoes with my recipes. I never knew I could make "bread" or "pizza crust" with it. I am SO excited!!! Thank you, thank you, thank you!!!

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    1. That's a lovely story Judy. I hope you'll enjoy cauliflower crust as much as I do! :)

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  41. Can't wait to try this. Did anyone ever try using a high quality jucer instead of a food processor? Just woning if it would be less work getting the water out.

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    1. I'm not sure about juicing the cauliflower, I don't think it's a great idea but you can try it nonetheless. And if you do, please report back!

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  42. Thanks for sharing. This look wonderful and I would like to try this weekend! What's the best alternative for the microwave step? We don't use it and don't have one. Should I bake or steam? Thank you!

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    1. You can either steam it or boil the cauliflower rice, what really matters is that you squeeze all of the moisture out of it once cooked, that's the most important thing when making cauliflower crust!

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  43. My mixture is all done and now I remembered that I didn't cook the cauliflower. Now what?

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    1. Well, that's a toughy Esther. Unfortunately I don't know any way around this... :(

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  44. Sorry, I cannot eat grilled cheese without just the thinnest spread of peanut butter. But hey, I can just add it in when I assemble the sandwich. I've SO missed grilled cheese and pb since going low carb. And I love cauliflower. I wonder, would adding just a tablespoon or two of almond flour take care of any excess moisture?

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    1. You should absolutely add PB. Why depriving yourself of something you love so much?
      About the almond flour, take my advice and don't go down that road, it's not worth it (I talk from experience!)

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  45. I have just recently "quit sugar", and that also means bread...which I love. So glad to have come across this alternative to one of my favorite sandwiches! Can't wait to try it :)

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    1. That's awesome Erin, if you do try it, please report back!

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  46. I have got no oven :(

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    1. Well, that's not fair. You're missing out on something!

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  47. I've made this last night. It's one of the most incredible things I've ever cooked in my life (and I cook quite a lot!)
    Thank you so much for this incredible recipe. I can't wait to try all of your recipe Mike!

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  48. I can't wait to try this... I had to give up bread and gluten and well pretty much everything after finding out I have a Sulfite allergy. This also includes things like citric acid, which tends to be in the water Mozzerella is kept in... do you have an alternative suggestion for the mozzerella?
    Thanks :)

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    1. Hey Melissa, you can use any other cheese that melts easily. Such as emmental cheese!

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  49. We tried this last night and it was yummy!! And, to avoid disappointment, people should understand up-front that this crust doesn't taste or behave like bread - it is it's own unique and tasty thing. BTW the cauliflower juice/milk we got as a by-product was excellent with a bit of salt and pepper.

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    1. You guys are rad! Drinking the cauli juice is truly badass. I want to try as well...I'm intrigued now!

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  50. This was fantastic, we made this today for lunch and devour it. It's one of the most delicious things I've ever made.
    Thanks for this fantastic recipe!

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  51. Will an egg substitute yield the same result?

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    1. I'm not sure about this. It really depends on which egg sub you're using. Maybe a flax egg could work. I guess you'll have to try it...

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  52. This is a great idea. Do you know if the 8 carbs are NET carbs as I don't see a fiber count. I'm counting net carbs. Thanks.

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    1. It's not net carbs, unfortunately I haven't counted the fiber. Sorry :(

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  53. So amazing! I just made this, I like it better than regular grilled cheese. So filling too, couldn't even finish one

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    1. That's so awesome Jenn, I'm really happy you liked it that much!

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  54. We tried this last night and it was yummy!!
    Thank you

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    1. Thank you Ana for your feedback, I'm really glad you guys liked it!

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  55. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  56. Assuming there's extra "bread" does it keep well in the fridge or will it end up soagy?

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    1. It will keep in the frifge for a couple of days but I suggest you freeze it. It freezes really well!

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  57. Can you cook the cauliflower, use an actual ricer (tool) and then squeeze out the juice and get the same consistency?

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  58. I'm so excited to try this but I have one bonehead question. When you say squeeze the liquid from the cauliflower with a tea towel, do you mean actually putting the cauliflower on a tea towel and squeeze....what of the towel fibers. I have clean towels but...? Am I missing something? Glad I can be anonymous

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