“I want to reach my health goals, but I really miss rice.”
Does that sound familiar? What about bread? Pizza? Eating too much of these carb-loaded foods can throw our goals completely off track, but those cravings are real.
What if I told you that you can have healthier versions of your favorite meals by replacing rice, flatbread, or even pizza crust with cauliflower? Okay, fine, I sound crazy, but hear me out. Cauliflower has become a HUGE trend in the past few months, with more and more recipes for cauliflower this and cauliflower that surfacing on Pinterest and health blogs.
Yes, it’s a trend, and you’re allowed to be skeptical of all food trends, but I’m here to tell you that this one is legit. Cauliflower has been proven to help out heart health, protect your brain, aid digestion, and so much more. It is a super-vegetable filled with key vitamins and nutrients for staying fit and healthy. And, just like zoodles can be subbed out for pasta, cauliflower can be subbed out for other popular carbs.
“But, Amy, it won’t taste the same!”
No, but here’s a little secret: it tastes better. Cauliflower is very mild, and tends to absorb the taste of the food with which it is prepared. Mix it with whatever herbs and spices you like best, and it churns out more flavorful pizzas and tastier versions of fried rice. It allows you to have your favorite ‘guilty’ foods with none of the guilt! Don’t tell me that doesn’t sound like heaven.
So, let’s make a deal: the next time you crave pizza, make a cauliflower crust with the recipe below, inspired by Green Kitchen Stories. Don’t worry; you can thank me later ;).
Green Pizza with a Cauliflower Base
makes 1 pizza
We wanted to make a green and leafy topping with lots of flavor. So we made a traditional tomato sauce, added spinach and thinly shaved zucchini before it was baked. And then threw on even more green leaves, a few generous drips of a herb and lemon sauce and some pecorino slices post-baking. It’s always nice to add ingredients both before and after a pizza is baked – it looks better, tastes more intense and give the pizza a more complex texture.
florets from 1 cauliflower
80 g / 3 oz / 3/4 cup ground almonds (almond flour)
1 tbsp dried oregano
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
3 organic eggs, beaten (or see tip for a vegan alternative)
1 zucchini, shaved with a potato peeler
2 handfuls fresh spinach or leafy greens of your choice
pecorino cheese, shaved with a potato peeler
Preheat the oven to 200°C / 400°F and line a baking tray with baking paper. Coarsely chop the cauliflower, place in food processor and blend until it is a fine rice-like texture. Measure 600 ml (3 cups / 20 fl oz) of the cauliflower ‘rice’ and place in a mixing bowl. Add the ground almonds, oregano and seasoning and mix with your hands. Make a well in the centre and add the eggs. Use your hands to pull the dry ingredients towards the middle until everything is combined and you can shape it into a ball. It should be more loose and sticky than a traditional pizza dough. Transfer to the baking paper and form into a pizza base by flattening the dough with your hands. Make the edges slightly higher. Pre-bake for 25 minutes or until golden. Meanwhile, prepare the pizza topping. Remove the crust from the oven. Cover it with tomato sauce, shaved zucchini and spinach and put it back in the oven for 5-10 more minutes. Take it out the oven and top with Basil & Lemon sauce, shaved pecorino, fresh herbs and green leaves. Serve.
Tip: For a vegan alternative, replace the eggs with this chia mixture: Measure 30 g / 1/4 cup /1 oz of chia seeds into a bowl and add 175 ml / 3/4 cup / 6 fl oz of water. Stir well and place in the fridge for 15 minutes before use.