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Vegan Roast Veg Pesto Tofu Cauliflower Pizza

Vegan pizza 12

Cauliflower makes a delicious crispy low carb pizza base

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Fresh out of the oven! Topped with fresh rocket leaves

Low carb cauliflower crust pizza? Does it work? YES! Does it taste nice? YES-it is really delicious! Does it taste of cauliflower? NO! I am not the greatest fan of cauliflower, but it’s flavour is virtually unnoticeable in this cauliflower pizza.

Vegan pizza 17

This is one of my favourite savoury recipes at the moment &  kids love it too! I love the crispy base, deep savoury umami flavour of the tomato sauce & the sweetness of the roasted veg & savouriness of the vegan cheese substitute, nutritional yeast.

What is nutritional yeast?

nutritional-yeast

Nutritional yeast is a vegan substitute for cheese and packed with vitamin B12

Nutritional yeast is deactivated yeast. It is very different to Brewer’s yeast & not widely available even in high street health food chains, but it is readily available at Amazon.

Nutritional yeast is full of B vitamins, especially vitamin B12, which is missing from most plant foods, making it a great supplement for vegans. It is also great for individuals with tyramine intolerance who cannot otherwise eat matured products like cheddar or parmesan cheese.

Nutritional yeast is rich in folic acid, selenium, zinc & protein whilst being free from sugars & preservatives. It is also low calorie. It has a cheesy nutty savoury ‘umami’ flavour; see Amazon for rave reviews!

Note: nutritional yeast does not melt with the heat to form stringy cheese, but its flavour is very savoury like cheese. I love it!

Veggie cauli new 1

This is a great way of getting extra veg in (especially with the kids!). Not only is this pizza only low carb, but also gluten-free & has added plant-derived protein powder, something vegetarians & vegans may struggle to get enough of (I have used Pulsin’ Soya derived protein powder in this recipe, but their pea protein powder is a good alternative). For an extra challenge, I have made this pizza vegan too.

Here’s the important bit:

The key to making a great cauliflower crust pizza is by making a cauliflower crumb & then dehydrating it, so that as much moisture is squeezed out as possible, allowing the remaining crumb to be turned into a crispy pizza base. (If you don’t squeeze out the moisture, the base will be all soggy). You will be surprised with the amount of liquid which comes out! But this delicious grain-free pizza is well worth the effort!

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Dehydrated cauliflower crumb

There are 2 ways you can dehydrate your cauliflower crumb: the more time-consuming method is by putting the cooked cauliflower crumb in a tea-towel or two & wringing out the moisture. (I think of this as stress relief!). Alternatively, if you are lucky enough to have a juicer, you can simply feed cauliflower florets through the juicer and collect the residual crumb & mix this directly with the remaining pizza base ingredients.  (No need to cook before using!).

 

Makes: 2 medium pizzas (feeds 2)

Preparation time: approx 1hr if using tea towels or 40 mins if using a juicer

Baking time: 15 mins (for the base) plus 12-15 mins once topping added

Ingredients:

Pizza crust base:

400g cauliflower (approx. half a large head of cauliflower or one small one)

15g ground chia seeds

25g protein powder (I used Pulsin’ Soya derived protein powder)

50g ground almonds

40g nutritional yeast

Chia egg substitute: 2 tbsp milled chia mixed with 5 tbsp water (equivalent to 2 eggs)

1 tbsp dried mixed herbs

salt & pepper

 

Tomato sauce topping:

1 tbsp ground flaxseed (this is optional but it helps thicken the sauce & adds omega-3s and fibre!)

1 1/2 tbsp honey or sugar-free apple sauce

5 tbsp tomato purée

2 tbsp tamari

1.5 tbsp dried oregano

Salt & pepper

2 garlic cloves, crushed

 

Toppings: The fun bit!

Of course, you can add what toppings you like here. I have topped mine with roasted vegetables: sliced beetroot, cubes of roasted sweet potato, red onion chunks, red pepper chunks-roasted with a little rapeseed oil for 30-40 mins. For 2 medium pizzas you will need:

1 large beetroot, peeled & sliced

2 red onions, 

1 1/2 red pepper

1 medium sweet potato

100g Basil pesto tofu (available in supermarkets), sliced

3 -4 tbsp nutritional yeast.

 

Method:

Remove the leaves from the cauliflower & cut into chunks. Then using a blender or food processor, blitz the cauliflower until it is finely chopped so that it resembles rice, i.e. cauliflower crumb.

Transfer the crumb into a steamer & steam for 15 mins or microwave in a bowl with cling-film (with a hole or two on top) for 6 mins until soft.

Preheat the oven to 200ºC (180ºC fan). Line 2 large baking sheets with greaseproof paper & a little coconut spray oil.

Allow the cooked cauliflower crumb to cool before transferring into a clean tea towel & squeezing as much moisture as you can out. (Really wring it!) You may need more than one tea towel.

Transfer the dehydrated cauliflower crumb into a bowl.

Cauli crust 1

Cauliflower crumb with the moisture wrung out!

Add the remaining pizza base ingredients: ground chia seedsprotein powder (I used Pulsin’ Soya derived protein powder), ground almonds, nutritional yeast, chia egg substitute, dried mixed herbs, a large pinch of salt & plenty of freshly ground black pepper.

Using your hands, divide the pizza mixture in half & place directly on each baking sheet. Shape into a ball & then press down to form a round pizza base shape.

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Uncooked cauliflower pizza base

Bake for 15mins until the bases are golden brown & starting to crisp a little at the edges. If you want your base extra crispy, half-way through baking, flip it over to ensure both sides are well baked

Cauli crust5

Cooked cauliflower pizza base-lovely & golden colour

 

Topping:

Whilst the base is baking, mix together the ground flaxseed, honey or sugar-free apple sauce, tomato purée, tamari,  dried oregano, garlic & season with salt & pepper.

 

Cauli crus 9 tom1

Rich tangy & savoury tomato topping

Spread the tomato topping onto each of the pizza bases, as shown below.

Cauli crust 8

Then top your pizza with your topping of choice. I Have chosen roasted vegetables & slices of basil pesto tofu. Sprinkle over with nutritional yeast.

 

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turn the oven up to 240ºC (220ºC fan) & bake for a further 12- 15 mins. I love to serve mine with a large handful of fresh rocket on top & a side salad. Enjoy!

Vegan pizza 17b

 

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Don’t forget you can find my favourite recipes in my FREE eBook here.

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I will shortly be listing a non-vegan version of this cauliflower crust pizza.

 

 

 

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