The First Try…
After perusing my instagram food porn, I was hell bent on trying out this vegan, grain, and gluten free pizza crust. We could all use less carbs in our life, but Pizza is sacred. And the indigestion and potential weight gain that follows it is worth every orgasmic bite.
I knew my Mom would be the perfect cooking companion for this recipe, since she’s on a pretty restrictive new diet. What is life without pizza? She was really really excited.
The crust’s base is mainly cauliflower. Cauliflower seems to be hot right now. It’s been used as a stand in for grain and carbs in a number of recipes like nachos, fried rice…and now pizza crust. Not a bad second act for a vegetable usually known as the crappy part of a veggie platter. (I actually love raw cauliflower though…)
I’m a big fan of the Detoxinista. She’s got a lot of really healthy recipes that actually taste damn good. That’s a big deal for me. I’m a health nut but I’m also a culinary hedonist…I’d take the few pounds that come along with the pleasure of eating an orgasmic meal.
So I went with her recipe. I used a pound and a half (one whole head) of purple cauliflower even though the recipe called for a pound. One of the most important parts of the recipe is straining the cauliflower and I was worried. Once I had cooked and blended the cauliflower it looked like purple grey mush. I didn’t think it would survive being squeezed in a dish towel. But it did!
The rest of the recipe is pretty easy…although the almond meal (also known as “Almond Flour”) and chia seeds are going to cost you a pretty penny. (Make sure you buy ground chia seed, not whole.) The good news is you can make a several pizza crusts and bunch of other recipes with them. So having them hanging out in your pantry is not a bad thing.
Although from the picture it looks kind of cracker like, it’s actually soft inside and a little crispy on the edges. The combination of salt, oregano and cauliflower is pretty delicious and even buttery at times.
My Mom topped hers with her homemade pizza sauce, olives, and shredded cheddar. I used her homemade sauce, chicken sausage, olives and shredded manchego. We cut up pieces of the crust, topped them, then microwaved.
It was good but I didn’t love my topping combo. Also shredded manchego on a pizza is maybe not a great idea.
The Second Try…
I made a simple home made pizza sauce with fresh organic basil, a can of organic fire roasted tomatoes, a can of organic tomato paste, water, tons of garlic and onions, salt, pepper, oregano, and a little cane sugar. It turned out really well and made plenty for two pizzas.
Mine an oval…my Mom’s a square. My Mom’s burned a little in the middle. Maybe the crust was too thin in those spots?
This time once the crust was done I topped my pizza with goat cheese, sautéed mushrooms, green olives, banana peppers, shredded white onion, and lots of my homemade sauce. Then I popped it in the oven again for a few minutes.
My Mom split hers and topped half with buffalo mozzarella, white onion, sautéed mushrooms, and my homemade sauce for my sister. On her half she did Parmesan cheese, white onion, green olives, and sauce.
Thanks to allergies I gave up gluten some years ago. So on the spectrum of gluten free crusts, I like this one a lot. It’s nice and light digestion wise too…you can have a few pieces and feel pretty darn good.
With all the toppings it was really delicious. I seemed to have found the magic combo. The goat cheese went perfectly with the sauce and crust. I LOVE sauce so I would advice other sauce lovers like me to wait to top this pizza and heat it until you’re ready to serve. The crust can become soggy after sitting with sauce on it for a while.
I was too stuffed to try my Mom’s pizza (we made a huge salad too). They used a lot less sauce so the crust stayed pretty firm long after they topped and heated it. Both my Mom and sister loved it. Neither of them have allergies and can eat gluten. So this recipe seems to be a win across culinary boarders.
I’m curious to try this recipe out again on my Toro, who thinks grainless, glutenless pizza is absolute sacrilege. That would be the true test.
Go forth and try this recipe, especially if you’re vegan, gluten free, paleo, or even just looking to cut carbs. I recommend it. And don’t forget to share pictures with your favorite local food porn junkie (me).
Junkie for Joe