Delicious cauliflower crust kale pizza recipe makes a great veggie-packed meal.
A wonderful alternative to traditional pizza crust is one made with cauliflower. Not only is it lower in calories, but a great way to add more vegetables to a meal. Top it with wonderful greens and vegan cheese, and you've got yourself a tasty, low-carb, delicious meal that is gluten-free, dairy-free, and great for ovo-lacto vegetarians.
However, it has to be noted, a cauliflower crust is naturally soft. It won't crisp up the same way a traditional flour crust will. So enjoy it for it's flavour and healthy properties, but adjust your expectations. If you have a pizza stone, it will produce a crispier crust than by using a metal pan.
The key to an excellent cauliflower crust is removing as much water from the cauliflower as humanly possible. I prefer to do this by sautéing the cauliflower in a large pan to let the steam escape as it cooks, but it can also be microwaved in a covered microwave-safe dish (about 4 to 6 minutes depending on your microwave). Once it's cooked, remove the lid to vent the steam and cool.
Toppings are customizable, of course, but I really love this simple kale pizza. The toppings are light enough that they don't overload the crust, yet super flavourful.
TIP: Save the core of the cauliflower for making homemade vegetable stock.
TIP: The spices added to the crust are a simple Italian blend. If you have premixed Italian seasoning use 1 tablespoon.
(Makes 6 servings)
1 large cauliflower, riced (~5 cups)
1/2 cup vegan parmesan, shredded
1 large egg, beaten
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon basil
1/8 teaspoon thyme
1/8 teaspoon sage
1/8 teaspoon rosemary
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
2 cups kale, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
3/4 cup vegan mozzarella, shredded
1/3 cup arugula pesto (made using vegan parmesan)
Begin preparing the crust by cutting the cauliflower down to florets and discarding the core and outer leaf stumps (or see tip above). Rice the cauliflower with either a food processor fitted with the grater blade, or by hand using a box grater.
In a large sauté pan over medium-high heat, sauté the cauliflower for about 10 to 12 minutes, turning it frequently so that it cooks evenly without browning. Lower the temperature to medium if the pan becomes too hot. Remove the pan from the heat and set aside, stirring every few minutes until the pan cools enough that it won't brown the cauliflower. Leave uncovered until the cauliflower has cooled then place the cauliflower in a nut milk bag and squeeze out as much liquid as possible. Keep squeezing until you can't get any more liquid out then transfer the cauliflower to a mixing bowl.
Pre-heat oven to 400°F / 200°C. If using a pizza stone, prepare it using the manufacturer's instructions. If using a regular sheet pan, or pizza pan, line it with parchment paper and set aside.
To the cauliflower add the vegan parmesan, egg, and spices then mix well by hand to turn it into a dough. Turn the dough out onto the parchment paper-lined pan (or, if using a pizza stone, onto a sheet of parchment paper on the countertop) and form it into an 8 to 10-inch diameter circle about 1/4 to 3/8-inch in thickness. Bake in the oven without toppings for about 20 to 30 minutes to brown (If using a pizza stone, carefully flip the crust onto a well floured pizza peel and transfer to the stone. Bake for about 20 to 25 minutes, or until browned.).
While the crust bakes, chop the kale and prepare the other toppings. In a sauté pan over medium-high heat, add the oil. Once heated, add the garlic and sauté for a few moments before adding the chopped kale. Cook to help soften and flavour the kale, remove from heat and set aside. Prepare the arugula pesto using vegan parmesan.
When the crust comes out of the oven, it should be cooked and browned. Flip the crust over and spread the pesto, sprinkle on the vegan mozzarella, then distribute the kale evenly.
Return the pizza to the oven for an additional 10 minutes, or until the cheese is melted. Remove from the oven and slide it onto a cooling rack to cool for about 5 minutes. Transfer to a cutting board and cut into 6 slices. Serve hot.
Nutritional Information Per Serving:
total calories = 260 | total fat = 18.29g | saturated fat = 1.55g | cholesterol = 33.83mg | sodium = 392.88mg | net carbohydrates = 9.07g | dietary fibre = 8.73g | sugars = 3.79g | protein = 10.34g