OK so I am calling this a ‘pizza’ for lack of coming up with a better name but let me be very clear – this is nothing like your regular pizza! It is way better I mean! In terms of both taste and nutrient density and variety. This is a pizza where the base is made up of cauliflower(one half head of a large cauliflower to be precise). The pizza sauce is made of more veggies(cranberries, pumpkin etc). Plus there are additional veggies for toppings!And if you thought you still needed some more veggies, I also made an additional avocado green sauce which you can add on the top too! All this plus a super tasty pizza! What’s not to like guys!
When I started my restricted diet two years ago, pizza and pretty much all ‘italian food’ went out of my life! Pizza has gluten, dairy and tomatoes! And on my allergen free AIP diet, all of these were forbidden. So Pizza to me represented everything I could not eat! Through out this journey, my family has been supportive by choosing not to go ‘Italian’ when we eat out as a family. Prior to my illness, I used to regularly make homemade pizza at home. Over the past two years because of my restrictions, I kind of stopped making them at home since I would need to make something for me separately.
However last weekend, my youngest mentioned how she missed my homemade pizza and how tasty it used to be. I immediately then volunteered to make one for the kids for dinner that night and set about making the dough. Homemade pizza would any day be better than a store bought one! At least it won’t have 30 ingredients most of which are chemicals in them! As the pizza dough was resting, I looked for recipes for cauliflower pizza which I had been thinking of making for quite sometime now. Unfortunately all of the recipes had eggs in them. Finally I found an AIP cauliflower pizza recipe and decided to give that a try. However, the recipe called for microwaving the cauliflower and I didn’t want to do that. So I decided to steam the cauliflower using a steamer.And then I used a food processor to puree it. Perhaps because of this variation in my method, the dough was not coming well together per the original recipe and I needed to modify it. I had to then improvise and added cassava flour and arrowroot flour to make the dough smooth.
As for the tomato free sauce, just a couple days prior to this, I was experimenting with different ‘tomato free ketchup’ recipes and had come up with a concoction that finally was the right proportion of tangy, spicy and sweet for my taste buds. So with that already in my refrigerator, I was so eager to taste this AIP pizza! My husband who is not crazy about ‘pizzas’, saw me making the cauliflower pizza base and felt attracted to the ‘healthier version’ and said he would eat that instead of the regular one!
As both the pizzas were baking, I decided to make an avocado cilantro sauce too just because 🙂 hey, no harm, right?
Pleased to report that we had a fantastic ‘pizza night’ at home. The kids loved their home made pizza where I had made a spinach and mushroom topping for them. And my husband…drumroll please!…said …”Hey this pizza is amazing’!
Actually both the red sauce and the avocado sauce went wonderfully with the cauliflower crust. You don’t need both at the same time of course. Just one sauce is sufficient. But if you know me, you know that I like to overdo things a bit 🙂 I just threw some baby spinach leaves and some sliced red onions on top for the toppings (you can see from the pics that I literally just slapped them on 🙂 ). But when your pizza base is made of ‘nutrient dense’ cauliflower to begin with, not a lot of veggie toppings are needed!
Bringing this nutritious pizza to the weekly Paleo/AIP recipe roundtable hosted by Phoenix Helix.
Please check out my video to see how I make this pizza!
- ½ of a large cauliflower, (yielding about 3 cups of cauliflower rice or use frozen cauliflower rice)
- ¼ cup cassava flour
- 3 tbsp arrowroot flour
- ½ tsp sea salt
- ½ tsp turmeric
- ½ tsp dried oregano
- 1-2 tbsp olive oil
- extra arrowroot flour as needed
- 2 tsp olive oil
- ½ cup frozen cranberries
- 1-2 cherries frozen pitted (depending upon how sweet you like)
- ¼ cup red onion
- 1 clove garlic
- ½ tsp sea salt
- ¼ tsp cumin or cumin powder (omit for AIP)
- ½ cup pumpkin puree
- 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
- ½ cup water
- ½ of a ripe avocado
- ½ cup fresh cilantro leaves
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- ½ tsp sea salt
- ¼ cup water
- baby spinach leaves
- cooked veggies
- thinly sliced red onions
- Steam the cauliflower using a steamer pot. (You can create a steamer set by boiling some water in a large pot and placing a steamer mesh or insert at the top part of the pot.) Cover and steam for 5 mins.
- Transfer the steamed cauliflower to a cheese cloth / kitchen towel and squeeze to remove moisture.
- After most of the water is gone, place the cauliflower in a food processor and puree it by pulsing for 20-30 secs. (Or you can just transfer to a bowl and use a masher too)
- Transfer the pureed cauliflower to a large mixing bowl. Add all the other ingredients for the dough and mix using your hands to form a smooth dough. If the dough is very sticky add more arrowroot flour as needed.
- Oil a pizza pan and place the dough onto it. using your hands press to form a thin circle - about 10-12 inches in dia.
- Bake at 375 for about 25-28 mins until bottom is crispy and golden brown. (oven temps vary greatly so check after 22 mins)
- While pizza is baking, start making the sauce. Heat a frying pan and add olive oil. Add the cranberries, cherry/cherries, onions and the garlic and stir fry for 3-4 mins on low heat until the onions are cooked thru. And cumin and salt. Stir for 30 secs. Transfer mixture to a food processor, add the pumpkin puree and vinegar and water. Blend till smooth!
- Add all the sauce ingredients to a food processor and blend till creamy.
- Serve pizza by spreading the sauce (either red or green) over the pizza. Add the toppings and eat when still warm!
For a gluten free, non-paleo option, you can replace cassava flour with rice flour.
Please do try this recipe and let me know how you like it!