I LOVE pizza. It is just the best food on the planet. If I could eat it everyday, I would. But pizza is SO bad for you. Cheese, bread, processed meats–it’s a vegan’s worst nightmare, and kryptonite for just about anyone trying to eat healthy. So, I decided I had to make one up myself.
I kept hearing about cauliflower pizza, after doing some research online I saw that the most common method was vegetarian (made with eggs) and not vegan. Plus, one of the main complaints for both kinds was that you basically couldn’t eat it like a normal pizza and picking it up, because the crust was too weak and crumbly. A weak pizza crust that crumbles when you try to pick it up? No thank you!
I did a couple experiments in small doses, and I saw that the secret was not only adding 1 type of flour, but 2. I realized that adding the chia egg plus almond meal or brown rice flour wasn’t enough. You had to have a mix. So I ended up with a cauliflower crust mixed with a chia egg, brown rice flour AND chickpea flour. The result was perfect! No weak and crumbling pizza crust here! In fact, you could even pick it up and fold it together to eat, as some pizza lovers like to do.
So, I am happy to present to you my very own non-crumbly and very tasty vegan cauliflower pizza!
Let us begin!
For the cauliflower crust you will need:
– 1 large head of organic cauliflower
– 1/2 cup brown rice flour
– 1/2 cup chickpea flour
– 3 chia eggs. These are made with:
– 3 tbsp chia seeds plus 6 tbsp water (1 chia egg = 1 tbsp chia seeds + 2 tbsp water)
– 1/2 tsp garlic powder
– 1/2 tsp salt
– 1/2 tsp pepper
– You will also need one cheesecloth, nutmilk bag or thin dish towel. This is to drain the moisture from the cauliflower once it has cooked (more details in Step 2 below)
For the sauce you will need:
– 1 can organic fire roasted tomatoes
– 1 can organic pasta sauce (I prefer pasta sauce than tomato paste, as it has more flavor)
For the toppings you will need:
– sliced mushrooms
– sliced tomatoes
– sliced black olives
– sliced onions
– fresh basil
– vegan cheese (I used almond cheese on some of mine, this is also optional as well. You can buy it at your local health food store or in the vegan/vegetarian cheese section. Almond cheese is typically about 97% fat free)
– Wash and chop up the cauliflower and put in a pot with water. Boil until tender, about 15 minutes or so
– While the cauliflower is boiling, take a mug, put the 6 tbsp of water in it and add the chia seeds. Soak the chia during this time to activate the seeds and turn them in a gelatinous composition. This is also known as a “chia egg”, and is the vegan equivalent of a chicken egg
When the cauliflower is done, drain the water and mash the cauliflower as best as you can. It can still have chunky consistency if you wish, but you do want it to resemble more of a thick dough than cauliflower rice. Next, take your cheeesecloth/nutmilk bag/dish towel, place over a container or pot, and put the cooked cauliflower inside. This is to help drain all the excess moisture out, so we can be left with only the cauliflower dough-consistency
Hold your draining towel with cauliflower over your pot, and twist, turn and press the cauliflower in the bag to drain out the moisture. Watch as the water drips out of the bag:
Once the water has stopped dripping consistently, take out of the bag and place it in a mixing bowl to add the rest of the ingredients. Your cauliflower will start to resemble a dough-like consistency:
Next, you are going to add in the rest of your ingredients, starting with your chia egg. Dump the entire contents of your mug into the cauliflower, and mix it around. Be sure to mix it thoroughly before adding the rest of the ingredients. Once the chia egg is fully blended in with the cauliflower, add the brown rice flour, chickpea flour, salt, pepper and garlic powder.
Next, we are going to form the pizza crusts and get ready for baking. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees, and either grease a baking tray or line a tray with parchment paper for cooking.
Place a large scoop of dough on your tray, and either form it into a ball, square or mold it to your tray, depending on what you are going to use. This recipe amount can make 2 large cauliflower pizzas or 6 smalls ones, so choose your trays accordingly.
Put into your over and bake, about 20 minutes or so. While the crusts are baking, you can move on to prepare your pizza toppings!
While the crusts are baking, you want to grate your vegan cheese (if you are using it) and chop up your vegetables
If you are using a jar of tomato sauce or paste, take this out as well. If you are using tomato chunks, take this time to blend the chunks up to make the paste for your sauce, or make your own tomato sauce/paste during this time. I myself use tomato sauce compared instead of tomato paste for pizza. I love the flavor and it turns out great!
Once the cauliflower crusts are fully cooked, take out of the oven to let it cool down. When fully cooked, the crusts should look golden light brown:
Now comes the fun part: decorating your pizzas! Add the tomato sauce, then cheese (if you are using it), and all the different vegetable toppings you want!
Here are some of my regular vegan pizzas: Topped with tomato sauce, vegan almond cheese, tomatoes, onions, mushrooms and black olives. You can go crazy with your toppings, there is no limit! This is all I had in my fridge though, haha.
I also did a bit of an experiment, and this was to use hummus as a substitute for tomato paste. It came out great, so I suggest you try it! I used my sundried tomato hummus recipe. Click on the title or this link for the recipe!
Once you have loaded up your pizzas, put them back in the oven to cook, about ten minutes or so.
IMPORTANT NOTE: If you are using basil, DO NOT add this in to cook with the rest of the ingredients. It will turn dark brown and crunchy, and make your pizzas look horrible (I found this out the hard way)! Add it fresh at the end, as soon as you take your pizzas out of the oven.
If you have fresh basil as a topping, add it to the pizza at this time. Let the pizzas cool for a bit, then you can go ahead and serve!
Here are my two hummus pizzas and one vegan pizza:
Here is a close up of my hummus pizzas, which I will now call “Mediterranean style”. 🙂
Here I have cut the pizza in half so you can get a look at the dough, its thickness and what it looks like. You can also make the pizza dough thinner, but I thought this was a good amount of thickness.
You can serve these as a meal, they are great as party snacks (you can make them bite size) or as a vegan dish to make for you friends! Either way, these cauliflower pizzas are tasty, satisfying and so good for you! I hope you enjoy them as much as I did!