Slimming World Cauliflower Pizza

Without a doubt, pizza is my favourite food. I love it. I don’t think I’ve ever had a pizza I didn’t enjoy, but let’s be honest, even a bad pizza is still better than pretty much any other food. Amirite?

Thanks to the wonder that is Slimming World, pizza is not off the menu even though I’m trying to lose weight and I get to have it pretty frequently. My favourite way to enjoy it is using a wholemeal pita for 6 syns, or a Bfree gluten free tortilla wrap as my HEXB. I have pita pizza and SW chips most weekends, topping the pita with syn free tomato sauce made from passata, herbs and garlic, sliced chorizo or veggie sausage, peppers, onions, and my HEXA reduced fat cheddar.

Exhibit A:

screen-shot-2017-01-23-at-22-23-52

I also make the perennial SW fave ‘Pizza topped chicken’ quite often, with either actual chicken or Quorn fillets. This is a nice alternative, and it means I don’t have to use my HEXB on bread for the base.

On Saturday night though, I fancied something a bit different. A proper pizza. Well, ish. I wasn’t about to spend all my syns on a single slice of supermarket pizza (I needed them for wine, obvs) so I decided to make a cauliflower pizza base. These have been going around food blogs for a few years now, and Slimming World put a recipe online last year when spiralising/vegetable replacements to carbs/cauliflower-based everything were all the rage. This is the third time I’ve made one and while it is a fair amount of faff, I really like the finished product. Obviously it doesn’t taste like a thick, doughy slice of Dominos or proper homemade yeast pizza, but for very low syns it’s pretty awesome. And, it means I can go nuts in the morning and use my HEXB for toast or cereal instead! (I know, I need to calm down.)

The recipe is pretty simple and you can really add as few or as many toppings and extras as you like/can be bothered to chop.

Slimming World Cauliflower Pizza

For the base:

1 head cauliflower

1 egg

salt, pepper, garlic powder, italian herbs to taste (you can’t really go wrong here, we’re just trying to flavour the base a bit)

For the sauce:

250g passata

Balsamic vinegar, italian herbs, garlic, cayenne pepper, salt and pepper (again, this is just what I add to my pizza sauce, all pretty much guessed amounts and it turns out just fine every time!)

Toppings:

I used spinach, basil, red onion, vegetarian sausage, tinned mock duck (all free) and synned black olives and mozzarella.

80g reduced fat cheddar (2 x HEXA as I ate the pizza in 2 servings)

Start by chopping the cauliflower into florets, and then chuck into the food processor. Blitz it until it resembles rice and is all evenly sized.

img_8237

img_8238

Pop the cauli-rice into a bowl and microwave for 6/7 minutes until it’s cooked through. Now, here comes the fun bit. Most recipes call for you to put the cauliflower into a clean tea towel and squeeze it until all the moisture comes out. I tried this for about 2 minutes with kitchen towel as we didn’t have a clean tea towel, and let’s just say it didn’t go well. I burned my hand with the steaming hot cauli, and the kitchen roll cracked under the pressure and ripped. Thinking on my feet, I decided to just gently dry fry the cauli in a pan so it would get rid of all the moisture that way. Spoiler alert – this works really well!

Here’s the pan-fried cauliflower all dry and lovely.

img_8239

Then add the beaten egg and all the herbs and seasoning. Food bloggers who aren’t following SW generally add grated parmesan in here, and while I don’t doubt this is delicious, ain’t nobody got time for parmesan syns on Saturday night when there’s a bottle of wine in the fridge. Stir the cauliflower and egg together and you’ll be left with a bowl of wet mush. Mmmmmm. It won’t go doughy so don’t worry if it doesn’t look like you’d expect, the egg works as a binder in the oven and dries it out.

Pop your base onto a sheet of greaseproof paper and shape it into a nice circle. Bake it for 10 minutes, flip it over, and bake it on the other side for another 10 minutes. It’ll be quite delicate when you try and flip it so be gentle – let’s not forget it’s essentially egg and cauliflower so not structurally sound!

Here’s the finished crust! Yummy!

 

img_8250

Then, add all your toppings! Here’s my cheese and ‘meat’ (I was on a veggie kick this night so all fake meat.)

img_8252

Here’s the finished product pre oven…

img_8255

Et voila! I baked it for a further 20 minutes on 180 until the cheese was bubbly, and it was perfect. I ate it quite simply with a green salad and the slices were just sturdy enough to be held, so it felt like a real treat.

img_8263

I’ll definitely be making this again. As I said, it was time-consuming but not hard work, it’s just because of the number of steps involved in making the base. I believe some supermarkets now sell pre-made cauliflower rice which would speed up the process a bit, but I’m not about to spend Β£2 on 100g of cauliflower when I can buy a whole one for 90p. Each to their own, though!

Let me know if you try making cauliflower pizza, and I’ll be back soon with some very much non-Slimming World Orlando food bloggage!

 

Advertisements

Life update!

Uh oh. Naughty blogger alert. It’s been a very long time since I last blogged…an awkwardly long time, in fact. Can I just say in my defence though, a lot has happened in these last 18 months! Most importantly…

I got married!!

Actual married. In Walt Disney World, like we always dreamed, with 30 of our amazing friends and family. It was absolutely incredible and I will be doing a post shortly about the wedding itself as we’ve got all our professional photos back now, and if I’m honest I look for opportunities to share them wherever and whenever I can.

Here’s a sneak peek…

ajp_benlibby_married-2030ajp_benlibby_married-1463ajp_benlibby_married-1380ajp_benlibby_married-1325ajp_benlibby_married-1265ajp_benlibby_married-1051

Another thing that happened was losing 2 stone and reaching my Slimming World target!

screen-shot-2017-01-22-at-20-58-17

It took a year and a half but I hit target August 2016 and felt incredible on my wedding day in October. Yay!

I then ate all the food during our 3 week Orlando/Bahamas honeymoon food-filled bonaza, carried on during the run up to Christmas, over Christmas, and let’s be honest, after Christmas. So I have put some back on, but it’s totes manageable and I’m getting back into the SW mindset now after a few months being a lot more leniant. Which actually felt so good and enjoyable after being so strict for so long!

So I thought to ease myself back into blogging, I’d delve back into the archives and share some more of the Slimming World meals I eat regularly. Thanks to my keen Instagram usage I’ve got many a dinner documented, so it’s just a case of remembering what it actually was. I’m also going to share some of the awesome food we ate during our Christmas 2015 trip to Orlando where we planned our wedding, and during the wedding trip itself. While it’s not Slimming World (Obviously! Can you imagine, ‘Let me just work out the syns in this table-sized platter of 30 garlic shrimp, loaded mashed potato skins and butter drenched green beans.’) it was all delicious and needs to be shared. It’s all about balance anyway – I lost weight so I could look amazing on my wedding day and eat what I wanted on my honeymoon, but I couldn’t eat like that all the time as I think I’d possibly maybe die. Or at least weigh 70 stone.

Here we go, then!

First up is this delicious tomato and basil pasta. Quorn sausages are hidden underneath, and I topped it with my HEXA cheese, chopped basil and 1 syn of balsamic glaze. Easy, simple, delicious.

screen-shot-2017-01-22-at-14-05-26

Curry fakeaway night! I used the Slimming World spicy tikka sauce from Iceland but it was quite thin and watery so I added some passata to thicken it up, and then a Muller light coconut yoghurt to make it more korma-esque. It was really nice after that! I used tinned mock duck and chickpeas as the protein, teamed with double carbs and a medley of speedy spinach and courgette. So good!

screen-shot-2017-01-22-at-14-05-03

A classic SW breakfast! I believe this was created as a result of feeling slightly hungover one Saturday morning…oops.

screen-shot-2017-01-22-at-14-04-17

SW arancini with roasted cauliflower, salad and spicy tomato sauce. I make the arancini using leftover Slimming World risotto, but it would work with just leftover rice too. I shape the cold, leftover rice into balls, add a cube of reduced fat cheddar or mozarella into the centre, and then shape the ball of rice around it. I then dip them in beaten egg, and again in breadcrumbs (2 slices of wholemeal bread blitzed up makes enough for 2 people’s worth of arancini – around 8 balls if you’re doing them this size) and bake them on a tray in the oven with a bit of fry light. They go all crispy on the outside and the cheese melts and it’s a thoroughly enjoyable experience!

screen-shot-2017-01-22-at-14-03-56

This was butternut squash and bacon carbonara. The recipe is roughly the SW carbonara with quark and eggs, but I added roasted butternut squash which not only adds a lovely sweet flavour, but also bulks out the meal and ensures you’re getting that 1/3rd speed. Basically roast cubed bnut squash for about half an hour until it’s soft and getting browned, then stir it in with the sauce (quark, eggs, garlic, bacon, seasoning) and add it all to the pasta. So good. I need to make this again!

screen-shot-2017-01-22-at-14-03-38

This was a breakfast/brunch recipe that I discovered last summer and basically made every weekend for about 6 months. It’s based on one of Joe Wicks’ Lean in 15 recipes – sweet potato cakes with spinach, sausace (or bacon) and a soft poached egg. I love it because it’s super easy and if you’re mega organised you can make 10 at once and freeze them, but I’m not so I didn’t. But one day I will. You just peel and cube 2 sweet pots, microwave them for 8 minutes, add chopped onion, garlic and seasoning, and shape them into patties. Dry fry them for 5 minutes or so until browned, wilt the spinach and add the chopped sausage or bacon (this can cook while you’re microwaving the sweet potato) and then poach your egg! So simple and so good – a great way of avoiding using your HEXB in the morning which is something I really struggle with as I live for toast/cereal/porridge/anything that requires a HEXB.

screen-shot-2017-01-22-at-14-03-13

A typical work lunch for me! The big tub is couscous with veggies in, smoked mackerel in tomato sauce, and boiled eggs. I obviously add water to the oats once at work cause ain’t nobody got time for dry oats, and I keep a tub of Nutella in my drawer to add that all important chocolate hit to my porridge.

screen-shot-2017-01-22-at-14-02-55

I went through a Cocoa Shreddies phase for a while and it was really good. This was a desk breakfast (deskfast?) with yoghurt, fruit and choc shot.

screen-shot-2017-01-22-at-14-02-41

Until the next time! x