Almond-Cauliflower (Grain-less!) Pizza Crust (+ Link Love)

I’ve been on an undeniable veggie kick lately.  My breakfast eggs are suddenly loaded with tomatoes, onions, peppers, spinach, and potatoes; my soups are turning into stews with the sheer amount of vegetables swimming in the broth; stir-fries are invading my daydreams.  I’m guessing it is due to craving the nutrients, now that we are getting close to midwinter and I keep battling bouts of cold and flu that knock me flat for days and then leave me scrambling at work.  Can I apologize any more for the unplanned absence here on this blog?

But I’m returning with a brand new cobbled together recipe and several links to others’ brainchildren.  And all of these recipes have “hidden” veggies.  Or legumes, I suppose, to be vegetation-ally-correct.  Not that I have to hide veggies from anyone, these days, but it’s nice to know I can work in extra nutrients without much fuss.

First, I made Heidi’s Black Bean Brownies.  I was intrigued by this flourless version, as a opposed to brownie-mix recipes around the web, because ‘flourless’, obviously, means one less ingredient to check or adapt to be gluten-free.  I’ll be honest, I started this recipe while I upset with other matters, and didn’t realize it called for a food processor.  Ours has begun its slow death, and after a lot of frustration, I managed to cobble together the recipe.  These brownies taste delicious, deeply chocolate-y, moist and fudgy…nearly too fudgy.  I’m slightly put off by just how much butter is in this recipe (I save my massive-amounts-of-butter-recipes for more precious things like Lemon Curd).  I would like to tweak and play with this recipe, to see if I can reduce the butter and set things up a little better.  These fudgy brownies barely stick together after refrigeration.  Despite our troubles holding them together, we had no trouble finishing off the batch over the next few days.

My second vegetable addition was to my beloved Shepherd’s Pie.  I had some cauliflower to use up, so I cooked that up with a potato or two and pureed/mashed it all in place of the potato topping (still with all of the cheesy, buttery goodness).  I had never had cauliflower mash before, but I love the texture and mild taste it added to the Pie.  I’d like to work in a lot more veggies in this dish, as it’s quickly becoming a house favorite.

Finally, I continue to play with gluten-free pizza crusts and crust-alternatives.  I’d seen recipes for cauliflower crusts, but I didn’t like how much cheese was within the crust.  I have made an All-Cheese Pizza Crust, but I prefer to have my cheesy melty goodness on top of the pizza.  To have it on top and in the crust makes me a little guilty 😉  I also found an almond crust, and played with combining the two to keep the veggies without the massive amounts of cheese, with relative success.

Cauliflower-Almond Pizza Crust, precooked

Almond-Cauliflower Crust

  • -1 c. grated cauliflower (about 1/3 of a head)
  • -1 c. almond meal
  • -2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • -3 Tbsp parmesan cheese
  • -1 garlic clove, minced
  • -2 tsp italian seasoning
  • -1 Tbsp olive oil, plus more for brushing

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Grate or food-process the cauliflower into a texture similar to cornmeal.  Microwave the cauliflower without additional liquid for 8 minutes.  In large bowl whisk almond meal, cheese, and seasoning.  Add cauliflower and garlic, mix well.  Stir in eggs and olive oil until thoroughly mixed.  The dough should be slightly wet and sticky, but ball together and stay together with a little pressure (mine looked kind of crumbly, but rolled into a ball as I pulled it out of the bowl).  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and grease thoroughly (I mean it!)  Spread dough onto baking sheet, pressing flat and into preferred shape.  Lightly brush top with olive oil.  Bake for 15 minute, until crust is golden.  Spread with your preferred toppings (pre-cook any meats and tough vegetables) and broil for 5-10 minutes until toppings are warmed through.

Cooked Crust

 

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