Thursday, April 11, 2013

Califlower Crust Pizza w/Creamy Sundried Tomato Pesto

I have been pinning cauliflower crust pizza recipes for ages now - critically analyzing each one and learning from others' mistakes to figure out what worked and what flopped. Finally, I decided it was high time to take a stab at trying out my own.

I'm pleased to say it was a success!

A few pieces of advice:

1. Pre-heat your pizza stone. If you don't have a pizza stone, pre-heat your pan. Gives it a nice, crispy binding bottom right from the get-go.

2. Use flax eggs AND cornstarch. Makes the crust nice and think and will ultimately be a more successful binder.

3. Have some spray oil (I use coconut) handy for your hands (see what I did there) so you can quickly and effectively press the crust onto your hot pan before you burn yourself and before it turns into a gloopy mess.

4. Try to make the crust slightly thinner in the center and thicker on the edges. The edges cook much more easily than the center, especially once you put the toppings on so if you want it to crisp up nicely, try to make the crust thinner as you get to the center.

Cauliflower Crust
  • 1 medium head cauliflower, roughly chopped
  • 1/4 cup gluten free (or not) breadcrumbs
  • 1/4 cup chickpea flour 
  • 3 Tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 2 Tbsp flax + 4 Tbsp water
  • 1 Tbsp cornstarch
  • 1/4 cup Daiya (or other non-dairy cheese)
  • 2 Tbsp Dried Italian spice blend (basil, oregano, thyme or any other combo that you like)
  • Onion/garlic/salt to taste 

To Assemble 

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees F. Place your pizza stone or pan inside to let it warm.

In a small bowl, whisk together the flax and water to make a "flax egg." Set in the fridge to thicken up for about 10 minutes. After 10 minutes, whisk in the cornstarch.

Using a food processor, pulse the cauliflower until it resembles the texture of cous cous, maybe slightly coarser.

In a large skillet, mix the cauliflower and flax/cornstarch mixture over medium heat to "sweat" the cauliflower and activate the cornstarch. Let it warm, turning the mixture slowly with a wooden spoon for about 5 minutes.

Turn the heat off and let cool slightly. Then, mix in the remainder of the ingredients, using the wooden spoon until everything is combined. Spray your hands down with oil and form the dough mixture into a ball.

Remove your pizza stone from the oven.

Spray the stone down with oil and spray your hands at the same time if you need another coat. Quickly place the dough mixture onto the hot pizza stone. Press the dough down onto the stone (careful not to burn yourself) until it is in your desired shape (I like mine in a flat circle - call me crazy).

Place the pizza crust into the oven and bake for 10-12 minutes or until beginning to brown.

Place your toppings (including spreading your creamy sundried tomato pesto - recipe to follow) onto the crust. Place back into the oven and continue to bake for 5-10 more minutes or until cheese is melty/veggies nicely browned.

Creamy Sundried Tomato Pesto
  • 1/4 cup sundried tomatoes (packed in oil or water or dried + rehydrated)
  • 1 cup marinara sauce
  • 1/4 cup tahini paste
  • 1 cup fresh packed basil
  • 1 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 large dollop of agave
  • 1 Tbsp sriracha (optional)
Place all ingredients into food processor and blend until smooth! You shouldn't need to add oil or liquid because marinara sauce is more watery than pizza sauce - it should have a nice consistency :)

Yum yum yum! This was DELICIOUS. Colin and I ate the whole thing. I could have eaten the whole thing by myself. EASY.

Live long and prosper! And get crazy with your Pinterest recipes!!

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

15-Minute Farro Salad

I love making grain-based salads.

They make great bases for barbequed tempeh, grilled veggies or veggie burgers, or even oven-roasted tofu.

You can take them to any kind of pot-luck, barbeque or event.

There are infinite varieties of grains, veggies, herbs, beans, sauces and spices that can go into them, and there is always room to personalize or incorporate seasonal veggies!

Plus they are EASY, TASTY, HEALTHY and look great!

In this particular take, I utilized Trader Joe's BRAND NEW "10-Minute Farro"
It comes in this pretty little blue bag (but you could just as easily use the 10-minute barley or 10-minute bulgar or even just good ol' fashioned quinoa)

Then, I sauteed up some onions and garlic with a nice dollop of coconut oil

While the above two things were on the stove, I diced up some tomatoes, chopped some kale and chiffonaded some fresh basil (could use any type of fresh herb here!)

For the sauce, I just mixed together some tahini with a bit of lemon, balsamic vinegar and agave in a small bown (for brightness and sweetness) (again, you could use ANY type of sauce here - even pre-made/store bought!)

Then, when the farrow was done cooking, I mixed in the onion and garlic and then tossed it with the tomatoes, kale, basil, fresh edamame beans and finally, stirred in the sauce.

The heat form the farro wilts the kale beautifully - just enough that the bitter, crunchy edge is lessened.

Give it a few good mixes and you are good to go. A gourmet, customized hearty and uber-healthy salad ready for dinner, to keep in the fridge for the week's lunch, to serve up as a side at a BBQ or to take to a potluck! (Can you tell I'm ready for spring!)


Live long and prosper! And remember that sometimes the most delicious and nutritious things are also the simplest!