You know when you decide to get takeaways for dinner, but you just can’t agree on what to have?
This happens quite often for us because we tend to have the same takeaways over and over.
We usually alternate between a healthy asian style, or burgers (where I get mine with a lettuce bun), as we’ve deemed them the healthiest of what’s on offer.
Every now and then, Nick will suggest pizza with an air of hopeful excitement.
Only for me to dash his hopes by pointing out I can’t eat dairy or gluten.
He then suggests I get a gluten free base with vegan cheese, and I remind him that the last time I did that, it didn’t turn out so well.
I then say “I’d rather make my own”… and so I did!
This is my second attempt at a cauliflower pizza base and it’s a far cry from the first dismal one, which involved steaming then cooling the cauliflower, which effectively stunk out the house and killed our appetites. Well before we’d even tasted the soggy result.
So I put the idea of a cauliflower base into the “will attempt again one day” basket and completely forget about it. Until recently, when I discovered you don’t actually have to cook the cauliflower first. Hallelujah!
And just like that, the ultimate guilt free pizza was born.
The base is made by blending up cauliflower, combing flaxseed, psyllium, a few spices and a little oil and thats it! You then bake it for 20 minutes or so, add the toppings and return it to the oven for another 10.
Of course pizza isn’t pizza without cheese.
So I created a cashew cheese to drizzle over the top. Cashew cheese might sound a bit time consuming to those who haven’t tried making it before, but it’s honestly just a case of soaking cashews then throwing a couple of ingredients into a blender.
This ultimate pizza is completely grain, dairy, egg and sugar free.
It’s also vegetarian and vegan, although you can change up the toppings to create a more traditional pizza if you prefer.
I hope you love this ultimate guilt free pizza as much as we do, and if you make it, come back and tell me what you think in the comments below! Enjoy.
The Ultimate Guilt Free Pizza
Makes: 1 large pizza Serves: 2
Prep time: 30 minutes Soak time: 2 -4 hours Bake time: 35 minutes
2 cups (250g) cauliflower or broccoflower, blended into “rice”
4 Tbsp psyllium
4 tsp basil or chia seeds
12 Tbsp water
2/3 cup ground almonds
2 Tbsp whole flaxseed
3 garlic cloves
1 Tbsp dried herbs (oregano, thyme, parsley, rosemary)
1 tsp pink Himalayan Salt
1/2 cup cashews, soaked 2-4 hours
1/4 cup filtered water
2 Tbsp lemon juice
1 Tbsp nutritional yeast
1/2 tsp pink Himalayan salt
3 Tbsp tomato paste
drizzle of Tabasco sauce (optional)
1 large handful cherry tomatoes
1 large handful pitted kalamata olives
1 large handful fresh basil leaves
Prep ahead and soak the cashews for the cashew cheese. Place them in a bowl, cover with water and leave to stand at room temperature or 2 to 4 hours. Drain and rinse well.
Preheat oven to 170ºC fan bake and line an oven tray.
To make the pizza base, first soak the basil or chia seeds in 8 Tbsp of water.
Wash, dry and roughly chop the cauliflower/broccoflower. Place into a good food processor and blend into “rice”. Add the garlic, herbs and salt, and pulse to combine.
Transfer the mixture to a large mixing bowl. Add the psyllium and stir to combine. Then add the ground almonds and flax seeds, followed by the remaining 4 Tbsp water. Lastly add the chia/basil seeds which should be nice and plump from absorbing the soaking water. Mix into well until you have a soft, loose “dough” that comes together when you press it.
Place the dough mixture on the lined oven tray and press into a large circle, approximately 7mm thick. Allow to stand at least half an hour for the flax and psyllium to absorb the moisture. If making this ahead of time cover it and place in the fridge for a couple of hours until needed.
Place the pizza base into the centre of the oven and bake for 20 then carefully flip over using a wire rack and bake another 20minutes or until both sides are golden.
While the base is cooking make the cashew cheese. Place all the ingredients into a high speed blender and blend on high until smooth. You can adjust the consistency by adding more water if it’s too thick. Set aside while prepping the rest of the pizza.
Wash and peel the zucchini into strips with a vegetable peeler. Wash and cut the tomatoes in half.
Remove the pizza base from the oven and spread with the tomato paste and Tabasco (if using). Drape the zucchini strips over top, keeping them twisted for height. Sprinkle over the tomatoes and olives and season with salt and pepper. Lastly drizzle over the cashew cheese (or see note below).
Place the pizza back into the oven for another 10-15 minutes. You’re aiming for the vegetables to be lightly cooked and you should be able to run a fish slice or palette knife under the pizza base to release it. If you can’t easily release the base from the tray, put it back in the oven for another 5 to 10 minutes until you can.
Remove the pizza from the oven, cut into slices, sprinkle with fresh basil leaves and serve warm.
Note: if you prefer to keep the cashew cheese raw, add it at the end with the basil leaves.