Skinny pizza... oxymoron anyone? Yes skinny! No carbs, cauliflower crust and dairy free make this an absolutely guilt free pizza!
Topped with a basil olive cashew & pumpkin seed pesto, caramelized onions and roasted oyster mushrooms... warning this recipe is addictive!!!
Difficulty level: intermediate
this recipe is a bit time consuming, but actually less so then making regular pizza; and it is so so worth the effort :)
- food processor
- large Pyrex baking dish (lasagna sized)
what you need:
for the crust
- 1 lbs and 10 oz raw cauliflower cut into thin small pieces (this is roughly one large cauliflower leaves and stems removed. don't worry if you have a bit less or a bit more, just don't go under a lb.
- 4 tbsp ground flax seeds (flax meal)
- 7.5 tbsp hot water
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp onion powder
- 1/4 tsp garlic powder
- 1/4 tsp dried oregano
- 1/4 cup + 2 tbsp almond meal (almond flour)
- 1 cup packed fresh basil leaves
- 1/8 cup cashews
- 1/8 cup pumpkin seeds
- 1/4 cup packed green pitted olives
- 1/2 tbsp lemon juice
- 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- less then 1/8 tsp salt
- black pepper to taste
note: the olives in this pesto are key to the pizza tasting like it does have cheese in it, the salty brininess of the olives with the basil completely fools the pallet into thinking there is some really good Parmesan cheese involved ;)
- 5-7 cherry Roma tomatoes thinly sliced you can use other mini tomatoes, i just find Romas to have a bit more flavor; the brand i use is called cherubs, you can find it in almost any grocery store.
- 4 oz oyster mushrooms torn by hand into rustic pieces
- micro arugula greens (completely optional), you can see them in the picture, they look like little sprouts and have a lovely peppery arugula flavor
- 1 tbsp crushed cashews (i used the bottom of an olive oil bottle to pulverize cashews)
- vegetable oil spray (for mushrooms)
- *2 tbsp of my skinny caramelized onions
*if you don't have some made, just go to the recipe (click on the link) and make some, use only 1/4 a large onion and less oil and broth (or half small one) to prepare a small amount. No this is not necessary, this pizza will turn out amazing without it; but it does add a nice depth of flavor :)
note: you can use any awesome topping combination you like, these toppings i chose do taste amazing but it was simply based on what i had in my fridge and pantry that day :)
What to do:
- preheat oven to 400 degrees
- line a large baking sheet (oven sized) with parchment paper; lightly spray parchment with oil.
- steam cauliflower pieces minimum 20 minutes; we need the cauliflower to be very mushy for this recipe.
- let steamed cauliflower cool for at least 15 minutes
- mix flax meal and hot water, let sit a minimum 5 minutes. this will be our binder, it completely substitutes the need to use eggs while adding both healthy fiber and omega 3 fatty acids as a bonus.
- put steamed cauliflower into the middle of a dish towel, twist the towel closed into a bundle , and proceed to squeeze the heck out of the cauliflower :) i mean it, try to drain the cauliflower as much as possible, this is key to having a nice crust you can pick up with your hands... as opposed to mashed cauliflower pile ;)
I twist the towel (make sure the bundle is closed well) and press the bundle into the side of the sink repeatedly to squeeze out all the water; bonus! this is an upper body workout ;)
i recommend taking a breather, and squeezing the cauliflower one more time, phew!!
- put drained cauliflower into food processor, add the rest of the crust ingredients and process 1 minute, open lid, scrape down sides and process an additional minute.
- using a silicone spatula dollop out desired amount of "dough" onto parchment paper, you can make little mini pizzas, slightly bigger oblong flat breads, just don't go too big, and aim for 1/4" thickness for best results.
- *scroll down to toppings, i suggest putting the mushrooms in the oven to roast at the same time as the crust is cooking (efficient oven use).
- place the baking sheet with shaped crusts in the oven for 25 minutes
- take crusts out, carefully, using hands and silicone spatula, flip the crusts and bake an additional 10 minutes.
- take crusts out and let cool before handling. once cooled i place them on paper towels to avoid condensation.
- at this point, they are ready to be used, they can be made up to 3 days in advance.
- place all pesto ingredients in food processor, process 20 seconds, scrape down bowl and process again, taste and adjust seasoning according to preference. scrape sides and process one more time.
- place mushrooms in greased Pyrex dish in single layer, spray mushrooms with oil, mix well with hands. sprinkle with a touch of salt and pepper.
- bake at 400 degrees for 15 minutes, take out, flip mushrooms around and bake an additional 10 - 15 minutes. They should be roasted but not completely dried out.
WOOHOO... its actual pizza making time, you made it !!!:
- preheat oven to 400 degrees
- place pre-made crusts onto parchment lined baking sheet.
- bake crusts for 10 minutes.
- remove fro oven, slather around with a healthy amount of pesto
- top with mushrooms caramelized onions and tomato slices and lightly sprinkle with crushed cashews.
- place into oven and bake minimum 10 minutes, you can go a little longer if you wish.
- take little pizzas out and sprinkle with little arugula micro greens and... VOILA your very own skinny pizza!!! i warned you.. you will be making these again and again ;) and if you are serving thes at a dinner party make a LOT as there are never any leftovers ;)
*these will last in the fridge for a week. If you want to reheat these once the toppings are on, i reccomend to use a 400 degree oven again, for 10 minutes. However, if they sat in the fridge with the toppings on, place them on a cooling rack on a baking sheet to bake, this will allow the bottom of the crust to crisp back up.