These days, I am trying to cook healthy meals “covertly” primarily because I want to lose weight and Ali needs to shed a few kilos as well. Since he is not very welcoming of a diet plan I have to make things that are low on calories yet tasty and fulfilling. For a perfect disguise, I keep digging alternate cooking methods and recipes online. One of my biggest source of information and inspiration these days is Pinterest.

A few days ago, a Pinterest article fascinated me. It was a recipe for cauliflower crust pizza – a very unique twist to the usual pizza dough recipes. It was on my mind ever since however I did not experiment with it, as I feared no one will like it and I would be eating the whole thing myself. However, to my surprise Ali couldn’t guess that the  pizza dough was made of cauliflower  even after he had eaten it all.

I was planning to make Cauliflower with Potatoes (Alo Gobi) for lunch, but Ali jhad mentioned before leaving that he will not be home for lunch. Keeping the ingredient the same, I wanted to makesomething using cauliflower for tea instead. It struck to me that I should experiment with the cauliflower crust pizza that I was craving to make the other day.

I quickly got to a YouTube video about making cauliflower crust pizza. Thankfully, YouTube is now unblocked. Watching the video gave me an idea of how the dough texture should turn out.

Yes, the crust was made out of fresh cauliflower alone. It was firm to hold like a regular slice of pizza with regular toppings. Believe it or not cauliflower is a magical vegetable and there is hardly anything this floral vegetable cannot transform into. You can turn it into cheese sauce, mashed potatoes and pizza dough. Yes, you will be hearing more about this seasonal vegetable soon. For now enjoy this delicious twist to the classic pizza dough.

Ingredients:

Cauliflower Crust Pizza Dough
  • Cauliflower – 1 small head
  • Cream Cheese – 1/3 cup
  •  Salt - a pinch
  •  Italian herbs – ½ teaspoon
  •  Garlic powder – ½ teaspoon
  •  Egg – 1
Pizza Topping
  •  Pizza Sauce (you can get the recipe here)
  •  Chicken Filling
  •  Cheese – Cheddar & Pizza Cheese

Instructions:

  • Heat oven at 180 C
  • Wash the cauliflower thoroughly and remove the florets from the stems. We don’t need the green stems in this recipe.
  •  Place the cauliflower florets in a food processor and blend until small powdery snow like texture is formed. This will take about half minute of blending.
  • Blend the cauliflower in small portions to get smooth blending. A small head will make up to 2 – 3 cups of cauliflower.
  • In a larger pan boil water and add the grated cauliflower into it. Give it a good boil say for about 3 – 4 minutes, then drain the water.
  •  Once it is cool enough to handle, wrap it in a kitchen towel and squeeze the water out of it. This is the most important step, to drain all water out of cauliflower as it will give the pizza a chewy texture otherwise you will end up into a crumbly mess.
  •  Add the drained cauliflower into a bowl. Now add cream cheese, egg, salt, garlic powder, mix Italian herbs (basil / oregano – slightly crushed between your fingers) and egg into it and give it a good mix.
  •  Once mixed together, use your hands to spread the dough into a crust on a greased parchment paper. Pat it down thoroughly forming a nice and tight pizza crust. Don’t make it too thick or too thin. A 1/3 inch of crust will work wonders.
  •  Slide the parchment paper with pizza crust on your baking pan and bake it for 30 – 35 minutes until the crust is firm and golden from top. Wait till you see the result!!! It will surprise you completely.

Assembly Line for Pizza

  • Once the crust is baked, top it with pizza sauce, chicken and a mix of cheddar & pizza cheese.
  •  Be creative with your pizza toppings and measurements. you can get some suggestions for toppings here.
  • Slide the parchment paper with pizza back in hot oven and cook for another 10 minutes until cheese is melted, bubbly and slightly golden.
  •  Remove from oven, slightly cool on the wire rack, garnish with Italian herbs and carefully cut into pieces.
  • You will be able to slice it and hold it firmly

Fatima Ali

I am trained to be an IT professional. I served National University of Sciences and Technology (NUST) for six years after graduating from the same university. As long as I can remember, cooking good food has been my passion and it makes me happy. My cooking lessons were a bit unusual though. Back in the day when digital did not mean much, my father would record cooking shows (knorr ka kitchen, kaukab khuwaja and Zee Khana Khazana – Chef Sanjeev Kapoor) for me to watch endless times later on, before trying the recipes out. I would make brownies and cold cake almost every day while my mother was asleep. This was my way of surprising her every evening. My mother cooks amazing food too and I have tried many of the recipes written in her recipe book. I draw inspiration from a number of chefs from televised cooking shows such as Late Chef Farah, Chef Rahat, Chef Mehboob, BBC Food, Masala TV, Chef Shai, Chef Sharmeen, Master Chef Australia and my ultimate favorite Chef Shireen Anwer. I would not be as good a cook I am now without passive guidance from each one of these.