I saw photos of cauliflower base vegetarian pizzas a couple of times on social media and last week I was running out of ideas on what to cook, so I thought I would give it a go. The recipe sounds like hard work, but in fact it’s straightforward and easy to make. At least it’s easier than making your own pizza dough.
I added quinoa for extra protein boost. This vegetarian pizza is low in carbohydrate and high in fibre. You can add in USANA Fibergy for extra fibre. For one recipe, 2 tbsp. of Fibergy is adequate. It is delicious! I cut out a piece of the base and ate it with tomato ketchup and it was delicious too. Maybe they could work well as cauliflower sticks. Another thing to try in the future!
1 cauliflower (about 750g/1lb 10oz)
100g cooked quinoa
3 eggs, beaten
1 tbsp. dried oregano
Salt and pepper
227g can tomatoes
1 tbsp. tomato purée/ paste
3 garlic cloves, crushed
1⁄2 large aubergine, thinly sliced lengthways into long strips
1 small red onion, cut into 8 wedges
1 tbsp. dried oregano
1⁄2 small bunch basil, leaves picked
125g ball mozzarella
30 g parmesan cheese
Salt and pepper to taste
Heat oven to 200°C. Remove the leaves from the cauliflower and trim the stalk end, then cut into chunks. Blitz half the cauliflower in a food processor until finely chopped, like rice. Transfer to a bowl and repeat with the remaining half. Tip all the cauliflower in a bowl, cover with a plate and microwave on high for 5 min or until soft. When it is cool enough, transfer to a tea towel. Scrunch it up and squeeze as much liquid as you can out of the cauliflower, then transfer to a clean bowl.
To cook the quinoa, rinse it then cook with 150 ml water for 15-20 minutes. Once cooked, stir in cauliflower, eggs, oregano and plenty of seasoning.
Line a baking tray with baking parchment and grease with oil. Mound the cauliflower mix into the centre of the tray, then use a spoon and your hands to spread out into a 30cm round. Make it a little thicker at the edges to create a ‘crust’. Bake for 25-30 min or until golden brown and a little crisp around the edges. Once cooked, set aside to cool.
Meanwhile, heat a pan, brush each aubergine slice on both sides with a little oil, season and cook for 5 min, turning once, until softened. Add a bit of water if necessary. Transfer to a plate.
Cook the onion with a bit of oil for 3 minutes. Set aside.
To make the tomato sauce, pan fry the garlic for a few minutes. Pour in the canned tomatoes, tomato paste/ sauce, oregano, salt and pepper. Cook gently for 8-10 min until thick (you don’t want any watery tomato soaking into the cauliflower base). Tear half the basil leaves and stir through the sauce.
Turn the oven up to 240°C. Drain the mozzarella and pat dry with kitchen paper. Slice thinly. An egg slicer works really well and can be used to cut mozzarella. Spread the tomato sauce over the base, arrange the aubergines, red onion and mozzarella on top. Scatter over the chilli flakes and return to the oven for 10-15 min. Before serving, grate parmesan cheese on top, scatter with the remaining basil leaves. Season with more salt and pepper.
PS: Feel free to experiment with any toppings you like such as capsicum, zucchini, broccoli, olives and mushroom. Top with nuts such as pine nuts, walnuts, sunflower seeds or a sprinkle of chia seeds. For non-vegetarian, salami, chicken, salmon are a good choice.