The Ultimate Guilt Free Pizza
Do you ever decide to get takeaways for dinner, but before you know it something that was meant to be simple and easy has turned into a drama because you can’t agree on what to have?!
This has been happening quite a lot for us recently which I think might be because we end up having the same takeaways over and over.
We usually alternate between a healthy asian style takeout or burgers (where I get mine with a lettuce bun), as we’ve deemed these the healthiest of what’s on offer near us.
But 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 (duh!).
He then suggests I get a gluten free base with vegan cheese, and I remind him the last time I did that neither of us wanted to eat it. I then usually 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 appetite. The resulting pizza was even more unappetising.
So I put the idea of a cauliflower pizza base into the “will attempt again one day” basket and completely forget about it. Until recently that is, 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, chai or basil seeds, a few spices and a little oil and thats it! You then bake the base for 40 minutes, add the toppings and return it to the oven for another 10.
Of course pizza isn’t pizza without cheese though….
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.
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, basil or chia seeds, and stir to combine. Next add the ground almonds and flaxseeds and mix well, then add the water. Mix 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, psyllium, chia/basil seeds 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 minutes. Carefully flip over using a wire rack and bake another 20 minutes 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 to 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.