Cauliflower Crust Pizza (vegan & gluten free)

In my last post on Fall Comfort Food I experimented with a quinoa pizza crust blend of pre-soaked uncooked quinoa, water and salt. The quinoa crust needs 8 hours to soak before the crust can be made but other than wait time it was a success. 

Now to tackle cauliflower crust!This recipe was a bit more labor-intensive but well worth the effort. I like that the crust was not just one ingredient like quinoa or flour but several healthy feel-good ingredients. It was soooo good! 

After researching various recipes online I decided on this cauliflower crust recipe from PopSugar, changing up the ingredients a bit. Note: I made the dough in the morning, wrapped it in saran wrap, then cooked the crust and pizza that evening. Another plus for this recipe–it can be made in batches!

The ingredients I used:

4 cups of cauliflower florets

Salt (about 1/2 tsp)

1/2 cup raw almonds 

2 TBS nutritional yeast flakes

Pinch of dried oregano, thyme, & a dash of garlic powder (up to 1/2 tsp each)

2 TBS ground chia seeds + 6 TBS water (makes a “chia egg”)

Splash of olive oil

First and foremost, the cauliflower florets needed to be processed in a food processor until it resembled coconut meat. I had to do this in batches with my mini processor. The cauliflower reduced to about 2 cups after it was processed. I then scooped this mixture into an uncovered skillet, added some salt, and cooked 5-6 minutes on medium heat, stirring often to keep from sticking.Note: I used a non-stick skillet but add a splash of water if sticking or turn down heat if burning. 

Next, the cauliflower needed to cool–about 15-20 minutes–so I prepared the rest of the ingredients…

I turned the ground chia into an egg replacer by mixing the water and ground chia seeds together in a small bowl then let sit 5-10 minutes.Then I used the food processor (cleaned & dried) to grind the almonds until it resembled a crumbly almond meal–almost flour but not quite. 

Now the cauliflower was cooled off so I placed the mixture in a nut milk bag (but a clean tea towel works well also).With a towel, twist the ends tightly and squeeze all the liquid out of the cauliflower over a bowl. Yes it smells like cauliflower.

Now that my wrists were good and tired, I then combined everything together into a clean mixing bowl
and used my hands–which I coated with olive oil–to form the dough.I then wrapped this cute little dough ball in saran wrap and placed it in the fridge.

That afternoon I made my sugar-free tomato sauce that I had prepared for the quinoa crust, adding 1 garlic clove to the processor.

When it was time to bake the crust, I preheated the oven to 400F. I then opened a can of chickpeas–drained, rinsed and pat dry with a towel–and spread out on a parchment-lined baking sheet.I placed this in the oven to roast while the oven pre-heated. Roasted chickpeas make a nice topping for the pizza (or just something to snack on:-) with the double bonus of heating the baking sheet which supposedly produces a crispier crust.

While pre-heating I used another piece of parchment to form the crustagain using olive oil on my hands to do this. I’ll re-use the parchment if it’s not too dirty…

Once the oven pre-heated, chickpeas set asideI placed crust on the hot baking sheet and into oven. Timer set for 15 minutes. After 15 minutes I took crust out of oven and used both pieces of parchment to flip (worried it would break in half). Success! Timer set for 15 more minutes.

All topping ingredients were ready at this point. After a total crust cooking time of 30 minutesit’s now ready for topping! We used tomato sauce, pre-baked tempeh cubes, roasted chickpeas, & chopped spinach. Shredded Daiya cheese next time!

Back in the oven for 20 minutes more (still at 400F). We had cold tempeh cubes so even when we turned the oven off after 20 minutes we had to let pizza bake for 10 more minutes. The wait time was forever! Total pizza bake time (par-bake of crust then crust with toppings)  = 1 hour.Time to dig in!

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