I remember when I was younger, going to visit our cousins. It was awesome. And aside from the talking, laughter and games, I remember desperately wanting to play a computer game they owned that I was quite obsessed with. Now, in hindsight it probably wasn’t such a bad game to be obsessed by, as I’m pretty sure it was educational. Logical Journey of the Zoombinis. Ring a bell anyone?
Anyway, the premise of the game is that the zoombinis (random blue blobbed people) need to escape their island and find a new home. You got to create your own zoombinis with hair, eyes, noses… and on their journey they encounter a series of logic puzzles. I was so obsessed with this game that I’d sneak downstairs into the study and play it every opportunity I had—this wasn’t just a passing phase either. I remember this game being one of the things I looked forward to doing once we go to my cousins house. What was the appeal you ask?
It was this one logic puzzle in the first part of the game called Pizza Pass. There were three trolls that barred the road and a pizza machine in the corner. You had to figure out what type of pizza each troll liked through trial and error and if you got it wrong too many times in a row, your zoombinis would be whacked back to zoombini island. The trolls would give you hints by saying things like “Mushrooms! I HATE mushrooms!”, or “MORE TOPPINGS!”. When you finally delivered each troll with a pizza they liked, they’d all sing out together “Pizza Par-ty!” and chow down.
That was it. That game was the centre of my obsession. I’m not sure if it was a product of the puzzle itself, the fact that it had to do with food or that they all sung pizza party at the end, but for whatever reason, I loved it.
Even now, almost every time people mention pizza I think to myself, ‘Pizza par-ty!” and sometimes happily sing it out (thought I’m not sure anyone else realises why).
So clearly, Pizza is important to me.
But sometimes I’ve found when you have pizza, it can leave you feeling a bit icky. So here is a cauliflower pizza base to the rescue! I’ve seen variations of this on the web for a while and thought, YUM! But have been too lazy to try it out. Cooking cauliflower, food processoring it, making it into dough, cooking that and the putting the toppings on and cooking that….. Yikes. It all sounded delicious, but just too hard.
Then I found this recipe. No precooking of cauliflower required. It was as easy as making a normal pizza dough from scratch! Hurrah! It was delicious! Plus, as the cauliflower wasn’t precooked, it didn’t seem to have any issues with soggy middles (though I still made fairly small pizzas, even our bigger ones held up well, even after freezing the base, but not quite as well as our little ones straight from the oven). Laziness wins again! The base is light, a bit delicate, but still fluffy. and tastes amazing. It doesn’t taste like cauliflower at all, and is almost like a real pizza base but not quite so doughy (I prefer it myself). I don’t really know how to describe it, but it just works. And if you didn’t tell, no-one would know it was healthy…
The recipe is gluten free and grain free and high in protein thanks to the eggs. You will need to eat a bit more than normal though as it’s not quite as filling (it’s a thin crust) as a normal pizza and you can’t load it up with too many extra toppings.
Cauliflower pizza base
Makes 6 small-regular pizza bases, Adapted from the Groovy Foody
4 cups raw shredded cauliflower (just chuck it in a food processor, or cut super finely)
2 generous cups shredded mozzarella cheese (freshly grated is the best… just so darn tasty)
Seasoning to taste (salt, garlic powder, mixed herbs, etc)
Preheat your oven to about 200°C/400°F. Mix all your ingredients together in a bowl to form a dough. Line some trays with baking paper and with your hands spread out to dough to form a thin base. I made mine into several snack sized, several medium sized and two smallish but normal sized bases. They all worked well, but I liked the smaller ones the best as they were easier to work with to serve. I lightly sprayed with olive oil, but I’m not sure it made much difference. Bake the crust for 15-20 minutes until golden (this may vary depending on your size, but make sure they are properly cooked).
Top with pizza sauce or pesto, your choice of toppings and some more cheese, but don’t over do it! Also remember you have cheese in the base and not as much is needed.
Bake or grill again until the cheese is melted and bubbly. If you are worried about it breaking, cool a minute or two to allow the base to firm up a bit. Serve and enjoy!
Notes and suggestions: make your own pizza sauce, try a pesto version, use fresh pineapple instead of canned, use a cashew cream sauce instead of extra cheese, make mini ones and serve them as a snack or at a party (Pizza par-ty!!!). Don’t overload them too much when cooking. Make some extra bases and freeze them between sheets of baking paper for an easier and delicious dinner.
Fresh pineapple (my favourite!)
Roast pumpkin (and cashews)
Home made pesto or pizza sauce
Baked potato slices
Any combination of the above!
What are your favourite pizza topping combinations?