Who doesn’t love pizza? If you don’t love pizza then I want to give you a sympathetic hug. I know for a lot of people, pizza is one of the foods they would put up on a list of something they could eat and calories not count. I can completely agree with this. Pizza is doughy, cheesy and packed full of flavour. Unfortunately, it’s also packed full of grease, calories and carbs galore. As a very occasional treat, there is no problem with having a few slices. However, if you’re like me, you could happily eat pizza every week. Doing this with your basic pizza from the takeaway, freezer or supermarket will quickly pack on the pounds. How dare you stab us in the back, you delicious pie.
There are loads of cauliflower pizza base recipes floating around. It is a great replacement to pizza dough and with the right flavours, you can hardly notice. The catch is, it tastes like cauliflower, duh. If you don’t like cauliflower I would be careful about trying this. Even though it doesn’t taste like you’re eating a boiled cauliflower floret, the taste does still come through. Making this pizza completely from scratch is a little time consuming, but I found the time flew by as I really enjoyed making it. There is something liberating about building the base of a meal on your own. Ha, base, do you see what I did there? Any, bad puns aside, this cauliflower chicken pizza comes in at 388 calories per serving. How many servings I hear you ask? 2 servings per pizza. You read that right, 388 calories for half a pizza! Yeah okay, it is quite a bit of food, but I promise you wont feel gobbed and greasy as you would if you ate half of a regular pizza. Also, the carb content in this is much lower than its doughy cousin and is all complex. Come here good carbs, get in my belly.
Cauliflower Chicken Pizza – Serves 2
1 head of cauliflower
160g chickpeas, drained
1 medium egg
1 medium egg, whites only
2 tbsp grated parmesan cheese
1/2 tsp thyme
1 tsp oregano
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp black pepper
4 tbsp tomato puree
100g frozen chicken breast pieces
100g light mozzarella cheese, sliced
60g button mushrooms, sliced
6 small black olives, sliced
1/4 red onion, sliced
Preheat your oven to 200c and line a pizza tray (or any baking tray) with parchment paper. Spray with a few squirts of frylight. Do ignore the tomato in the photo, I decided against it during the prepping process!
Cut up the cauliflower into florets and place in a food processor with the chickpeas. Blitz until you have a rice-like consistency. Be careful not to over blitz the mixture. Transfer the cauliflower and chickpeas to a dish and microwave for 3 minutes. Then place the cauliflower and chickpeas into a cheesecloth or clean tea towel and squeeze out any excess water – don’t burn your hands!
Add the cauliflower and chickpeas to a large mixing bowl along with the eggs, spices and parmesan cheese. Mix with a large spoon until well combined.
Spoon the cauliflower dough on to your baking tray – you can either do one large pizza base or two small ones. Spread the dough around until it is in an even circle. Using your hand as a guide on the outside edge of your base, use the back of the spoon to gently push some of the dough towards the outside which will create a crust.
Place the pizza base in the oven and cook for around 20 minutes or until the base is crispy along the edges. While the base is cooking, prep your pizza toppings. If you are using frozen chicken, pop the chicken pieces in the microwave for a few minutes to defrost. If using raw chicken, use this time to cook the strips. I also softened the kale a little but microwaving it for 30 seconds with a splash of water. This is optional, but if you do this ensure to squeeze excess water from the kale.
When the pizza base is done, transfer it to a wire rack to cool slightly and turn the oven up to 240c. Once cooled, place back on the baking tray and cover the base with the tomato puree. Arrange the toppings on top of the base and put back in the oven to cook for around 10-12 minutes.
Remove the pizza once the cheese has melted and the base has crisped a bit further. Allow to rest for a few minutes before cutting each slice. Plate up with a small side salad and enjoy your guilt-free pizza!
Feel free to change up your pizza toppings! Go all veggie or throw in a mix of different meats, the choice is all yours. A few helpful tips though – the base can easily become too wet and crumble when cooked. To avoid this ensure that all extra moisture is avoided when possible. This is where squeezing the excess water from the cauliflower mixture is important. The thicker your make your base will also add to it staying moist in the middle and risk falling apart. Two sure fire ways to avoid this is to make your pizza base quite large if you’re making one pizza or split and make two decent sized pizzas.