Cauliflower is more than just a cheese bake or a token side of veg.
And this cauliflower crust pizza with kale + cashew cheese has been a long time coming. I’ve been planning on making this for over a year but I gotta say it’s totally worth the wait. I’m so sold on cauliflower as a pizza crust, in the same way I’m a fan of it as a rice replacement. Sometimes you just want a lighter alternative, maybe you’ve ditched the grains or perhaps you just want a variation on a favourite pizza. Regardless, cauliflower crust just works, it’s tasty and a great way to reduce the carb load of your meal whilst increasing the nutritional density. You really don’t think you have to be following a paleo diet to enjoy such things either.
This cauliflower pizza is entirely plant based but of course you can add cheese (and anything you want for that matter!) but I wanted to keep this fresh and vibrant with crisp clean greens and creamy unadulterated cashew cheese. Can we take a moment to appreciate the humble cauliflower………………
Aesthetically pleasing, versatile and healthy too, very healthy and not surprising as cauliflower belongs to the kale, cabbage, broccoli and collard family. So let’s not reserve this wonderful vegetable for a cheese bake or a token side dish but commit to using more of this good stuff. Here’s some good reasons to include more of this humble vegetable in your meals:
a cruciferous detoxifying vegetable scientifically proven to contain cancer prevention properties
high in vitamin C, K and antioxidants, it really is a powerhouse of nutrients
fibre rich and perfect for digestive support and optimum function
a milky, sweet nutty + low carb option for ‘rice’ and pizza ‘dough’
See, cauliflower really is the perfect base for a grainless pizza, ticks pretty much every box and beats a heavy, dough laden, soggy pizza base any day. It takes no longer to throw together than a regular wheat dough but is a whole lot healthier. Of course you can replace the chia egg with 2 regular eggs if you eat animal products but I found the chia egg did a great job. A shop bought tomato sauce can be subbed if you are really tight on time but this one really is very quick, can be made in advance and stored in the fridge.
Feel free to add any topping you love but I just had to use some pretty greens to ramp up the nutrient levels. I’m still living by the rule, ‘eat more kale’ but now I have the addition of, ‘eat more cauliflower’! Not hard to do with a recipe like this.
This cauliflower crust pizza with kale + cashew cheese is nutrient dense, fibre rich, grain free and suitable for most diets. Now that’s what I call plant power.
Cauliflower crust pizza with kale + cashew cheese
for the cauliflower dough:
1/4 cup chia seed
3/4 cup water
1 small head of cauliflower
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon oregano
1 tablespoon nutritional yeast
2 tablespoons almond flour
for the tomato sauce:
1/2 can tomatoes (200 grams)
1 tablespoon olive oil
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon oregano
1/2 teaspoon raw brown sugar
salt + pepper
kale, torn into small pieces
red onion, sliced finely
black olives, sliced
1. Pre-heat the oven to 200 ºC. Prepare the chia egg by combining the chia seeds with the water + setting aside for 15 minutes.
2. Break the cauliflower into smaller pieces + place in a blender. Pulse until a light cauliflower flour like consistency is achieved. You may need to do this in batches. Transfer cauliflower mixture to a large bowl. Using your hands, squeeze handfuls of the cauliflower over an empty bowl to release any excess water. Add the remaining ingredients to the cauliflower along with the chia egg. Combine fully until a doughy consistency is achieved. Add more almond flour if necessary but the dough will always be ‘wetter’ than wheat doughs.
3. Transfer the dough ball to a greased baking pan + push down into a pizza shape (I like oval), leaving the edges slightly thicker. Place the base in the oven for 20 minutes or until lightly browned and set.
3. Meanwhile heat the olive oil + lightly fry the garlic until fragrant. Add the remaining ingredients + simmer for 10 minutes.
4. Lightly fry the red onion + kale in olive oil for 5 minutes until softened. Set aside.
5. Remove the pizza base from the oven + add the tomato sauce, followed by the red onion, kale + olives. Return to the oven for 8-10 minutes.
6. Drizzle with cashew cheese + sprinkle with rocket.